Madrid City Breaks | Book Weekend Breaks to Madrid - Holiday Supermarket


Madrid City Breaks

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Madrid - the scenic powerhouse of Spain

Spain's capital city is a spectacular city to visit - some of the world's greatest monuments reside here. Some of the world's best food can be sampled here. And if you love life, some of the most passionate people in the world live here!

Give yourself a good couple of days to enjoy this town - you'll need plenty of time to sleep as well; Madrid stops for no one! Take a break and let Madrid take over your soul!

Make sure you take in all the art you can handle at the Prado, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Caixa Forum. Wander the streets, people-watch in the squares and plazxas and just soak up the passion. (Dare we say Madrid is just perfect for weekend getaways of a romantic nature?)

Explore the architecture of old at the Palcio Real, rest a while at the Parque del Buen Retiro. When you've restored mind, body and spirit head out for a night of flamenco and spend some time people-watching in the bars and taverns of La Latino. If you're looking for city breaks in Europe that will invigorate you and open up a sense of wonder, Madrid is hard to beat.

Eating out in Madrid - cheap, expensive and everything in between

The food in Spain is exceptional. These people have perfected the art of fun dining; food is a simple but serious pleasure here and even the most ordinary of taverns will make a significant effort in the kitchen. Certainly in Madrid, anyway. Much of the eating options are outdoors, most involve a tapas style of menu with forays into larger dishes like a paella. Look out for the red-checked tablecloths for a more traditional offering but look out also for the newer 'gastrobars' as they're known. The key ingredients are meat, seafood and lots of garlic. You have been warned!  if you want a la carte in Madrid ask specifically for it. 'Menu' in Spanish is a set meal. if you want a larger portion in a tapas bar, look out for 'racion' on the menu.

The budget options - the tapas and bar culture of Madrid is best enjoyed in an outdoor setting. Your best bet if you're happy with pot luck are the bohemian barrios of La Latina and Lavapies. Malasana has a rash of new, upmarket, yet value-for-money eateries such as Lolina Vintage Cafe (Calle Espiritu Santo 9). If you are hankering after a good, cheap burger, head to Home Burger Bar also in Malasana.

Mid price options - the cool hangouts of Malasana, Chueca, Los Austrias, Lavapies, La Latino and Centro will see you right. Try Gloria de Montera on Calle del Cabellero de Gracia for tasty Mediterranean style food. Sobrino de Botin on Calle de los Cuchilleros is the oldest restaurant in Madrid (1725) and the must-try dish is the roast lamb. La Buga del Lobo in La Latina is as good a tapas restaurant as you'll find. If you need seafood, try for a table at Ribeira Do Mino where the seafood platter for two is great value.

Splurge - ah, well take your pick really! Ramon Freixa Madrid is a Michelin star restaurant on Calle Claudio Coello in the Hotel Selenza in the upmarket Salamanca area. This is black-and-white decor dining that is formal without the pretension.  Diver XO is a new restaurant with an exciting chef at the helm. You'll need to search it out in the residential area of Tetuan but it's well worth the effort. You'll be treated to an exceptional meal here, done as a set menu degustation with a light Asian feel.

What to wear, when to go

Madrid is cold in winter and hot in summer. It's mid-country aspect doesn't let the cool water breezes in , but that said autumn and spring are just delightful. 

Average temps in summer are a balmy mid-thirties and rain is rare. Winter can see snow because of the altitude and the temps average 7C.

Spring and autumn will see a lot more rain, but the temperatures are an easy mid-teens level.

 Madrid - a colourful, exciting, historic city

There's so much to do in Madrid! It's a truly beautiful city and a stroll through downtown Madrid on a hot summer's night is one of life's great pleasures. Wander down pedestrian-friendly malls, past street buskers and hordes of open-air diners. Meander across thoroughfares into back streets lit by braziers and feel the heat of the day leeching off the thick walls as you duck into the small doorway of a crowded tapas bar. Enjoy sangria at a red-check table and just people-watch for the evening. There's always time for tourist sight-seeing tomorrow!

Puerta del Sol - the heart and soul of Madrid! All roads lead here and it's Madrid's main square or plaza. This is a good place to start... south of Puerta del Sol is the old city. North is plenty of mainstream shopping and the fabulous Gran Via and Chueca. East is El Retiro park and the upmarket Salamanca.

The Royal Palace - Madrid's most beautiful building and Western Europe's largest palace. A day here is well spent; wander the palace outskirts and enjoy the adjacent Plaza de Oriente.

Flamenco - when in Spain! Madrid is home to some of the best proponents of Flamenco in the world. The beauty of the artists, the magnificent dresses and the passion of the music makes for a brilliant night out! You'll find dozens of bars and restaurants dedicated to flamenco, but the best is probably found at Corral de la Moreria on Calle Moreria. The food, thankfully, is fairly good too!

Sightseeing - there's such a lot to see in Madrid it's hard to focus. Old buildings? Check out the Madrid Cathedral (quite spectacular), and Templo de Debod (Egyptian none the less, dating from the second century BC). There are plenty of shopping choices on the Gran Via, Madrid's central street. Spanish plazas are a joy and several will reward the inveterate people watcher... Plaza de la Villa and Plaza de Cibeles are fun. Art? You must see Guernica at Reina Sofia.

Don't miss - a football game at Santiago Bernabeu with Real Madrid up against a top Euro team is an exciting way to spend the day.


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