Madrid 101

Welcome to Madrid, where the days start late, the nights end later, and the locals look like Javier Bardem.

Sound good? Well, there’s more. Much more. Madrid is home to some of the biggest and baddest sights in the world, from museums filled with iconic art to discotheques packed with Spain’s most beautiful. From Goya’s The Nude Maja by day to the (almost) naked madrileños at night, Madrid insists that you stay on the move—in only the most laid-back style, of course. When it’s time to recuperate, slow down, savor some of the best in Spanish cuisine, and lounge in one of the city’s immaculate parks or gardens under the warm Spanish sun.

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Madrid Blogs

107, 2014
  • Soccer Royal Palace Madrid Spain

Pickup at the Royal Palace

By |Madrid, Spain, Sports|0 Comments

Reflections on impromptu soccer in Madrid. Finally, I found Spanish children playing pickup fútbol on the streets of Madrid. There were six of them, boys around ten years old, kicking a ratty gray ball across the plaza in front of the Reina Sofía, Madrid’s contemporary art museum. They used the cement walls adjacent to the museum as goals and marked no boundaries for their game, running wildly around the square between crowds of tourists and vendors and screaming nonsensical commands to their teammates. It wasn’t much of a game at all, actually. The boys were just [...]

2806, 2014
  • A photo of the Madrid bear in Puerta del Sol

A Drunk Bear in Puerta del Sol

By |Art, Madrid, Spain|0 Comments

Stark black against the reddish-gold Puerta del Sol stands Madrid’s most treasured monument. No, it isn’t a lavish architectural behemoth, like the nearby royal palace. Nor is it a reverential sculpture honoring a Spanish monarch, like that of King Philip III sitting on his horse in the Plaza Mayor. Instead, the monument is a small, unassuming statue tucked away into the corner of the square. The statue, what Madrileños call El Oso y el Madroño, is of a bear standing on its hind legs and lifting its mouth into a berry tree. I first saw the bear [...]

2506, 2014
  • Madrid Let's Go

Sampling Madrid

By |Food, Madrid, Spain|0 Comments

I’ve been in Madrid for thirteen hours and already I’ve done my fair share of people watching. At first glance (mine was at 10:30—no need for “a.m.,” since Spain’s clock runs on military time), the city was eerily quiet. As I walked from the metro stop to my first hostel in the Malasaña and Chueca district of Madrid, I saw only a few cars drive past and even fewer pedestrians people the sidewalks. Besides a sole construction worker, who thankfully understood my broken Spanish and pointed me toward my hostel, there was no one to be seen. I [...]

2506, 2014
  • Madrid el Barrio Let's Go

El Corazón de la Ciudad

By |Madrid, Spain|0 Comments

Somewhere hidden in el Centro a secret graffiti artist paints the city in pink and red. Walk down the narrow alleyways of el Barrio de Las Letras, the city’s literary quarter, or through wide open plazas at midnight and you’ll see them–the hearts, los corazones. For simple sketches, the hearts are really quite good. The artist somehow has the time and ability to outline a few veins and arteries, though if my knowledge of human biology is correct (and it very well may not be), their veins are somewhat arbitrary and misplaced. Accuracy doesn’t matter, though. What’s [...]

2006, 2014
  • View of Toledo

Notes from Toledo

By |Madrid, Spain|0 Comments

On panoramic views and El Greco's masterpiece. If you’ve ever seen El Greco’s View of Toledo, you should visit the city. On a darkish, gloomy day—which, admittedly, is hard to come by in a city that apparently has more hours of sunshine than any other in Spain—the hills look just as El Greco depicted them. They even cast the same aura that El Greco’s do—a little ominous, foreboding, mysterious. There’s a spot up the highway, about a 15 or 20 minute hike from the Alcantara bridge, that a few people visit during the daytime and even [...]

Madrid was last modified: June 25th, 2015 by letsgoadmin

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