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1. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 7y

I am off, to Madrid, next Wednesday, for a couple of nights.
I have booked a hostel bed, and got a list of Heavy Metal bars, for the evening and night life.

Would anybody have suggestions, about things to do and visit, during the day?

Mel

2. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1370 posts) 7y

Hi Mel,

Madrid is good to take a long walk, in the city, but it's hard to tell you what to do, as I don't know what you would like. If you like Arts, there are some excellent museums. If you in Madrid on a Sunday, you can visit the Prado and the Museo Reina Sofia, for free until 14.30 (closing time on a sunday). The Thyssen I liked as well, but the collection is a little bit mixed up. Visit at least the Retiro Park (not as pretty as in April/May but worth a visit, Look at the Royal Palace (at least from the outside, and when you are interested from the inside), also take a look at the Cathedral next to the Palace. Head for the Plaza Major, walk into the neighbourhood called La Latina,Walk the Gran Via and the Calle Alcala to the plaza de Cibeles. And report back to me if they are finished rebuilding Sol.

I would at least make a daytrip to Toledo. You can take a train at the Atocha trainstation (who's architect was Gustav Eifel - indeed the same one), that will bring you to Toledo. When you are using the metro, stop at the Atocha Renfe station (instead of Atocha). You could also take a bus from Mendez Alvaro (also a metrostation), which will be a little cheaper, but take one hour to reach Toledo. (I think it is a bus by SAMAR, or else it's AISA)

You could also make a daytrip to Segovia, to see the Alcazar and the Roman Aquaduct, and the beautiful old city, with a lot of really old churches (I lost count ...)

When arriving on Barajas, make sure to take the Metro, and don't take a taxi. You can buy tickets for the metro on machines, or at a stand. (and get yourself a map) If you are staying for a couple of days, buy a ticket for 10 rides (-> diez idas).

I hope you will have a good time in Madrid, and tell the city that I will be back next month. I can't wait to get back there.

3. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 7y

Thanks very much, Herr Bert

Do u know, if I can I buy a day pass, for the public transport, in Madrid? If so, is it valid, to use travelling from airport to city centre?

Mel

4. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1370 posts) 7y

Yes, the ride for Barajas is valid, let me in short explain the Metro in Madrid.

The metro is all the public transport you need in Madrid (there are 11 lines running under the city). Barajas has it's own metrostation, situated in Terminal 2 (you will see signs to guide you there). Don't hesitate to go down the escalator, you will see the vendormachines being located, just before the gates, that will gave you access. The is also a desk, where you can buy your tickets, if you don't want to use the machines.

In Madrid you pay for getting into the metro. It doesn't matter if you take a ride for 1 station or changing lines 4 times to the other end of town, as long as you are not leaving the metro you are fine. That's why I recommended taking a card for 10 rides (I believe you will pay 6,15 unless they raised the prices on the 1st of january). When you stick your card into the machine, when you are entering the station, there is a display on top of that machine, telling you how many rides you have left.

From Barajas Airport you can take line 8 (pink) to Nuevos Ministerios, and there you have to take a look at the map, to see where you have to go next.

5. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 7y

Thanks Herr Bert
U sure know a lot, about Madrid.
I will be there, for just 2 nights. I wonder if i will use 10 journeys. I suppose it depends on how many sites and bars i take an interest in.

Do u know how late, on week nights, the metro runs?

Mel

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 4, 2007, at 1:46 AM by Mel. ]

6. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1370 posts) 7y

You could opt for loose tickets, that will cost you 1 euro. (so 7 rides, will get you back your investment of 6,15). And btw, the tickets are very small, don't loose them. If you stick to the center of Madrid, and your hostel is there, you can get by walking. If you only have two days, I would stick with Madrid, if you are arriving early on the first, and departing late on the third day, then I would at least consider, taking the train to Toledo, for the second day. (it's a shame, you don't have one or two days more)

I believe the Metro runs until 1.30 am. but you might want to check that upon arrival.

My best friend lives in Madrid, and I visit her two/three times a year. It can be a strange city when you first visit (or on the first days), but after a while it gets under your skin.

7. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 7y

Thanks very much Herr Bert.
I will buy the 10 ticket thingy.

What is strange, about the city, for the first few days? Should I be mentally preparing?

Mel

8. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1370 posts) 7y

Coming from Northern Europe, and being used to visiting cities in the North and Middle, Madrid made quite animpact on me, or maybe those were just my feelings at that moment. One thing that is bad in Madrid is the number of cars, and the gasses they produce, and I had the feeling that Madrid could be so much better, but I also realize that this is one of the fastest expanding cities in Europe, and are still trying to catch up with the rest of the EU and to make up time, they lost under Franco. But in a lot ways Madrid is way ahead of other cities ... sometimes it feels like the balance is wrong, but it's not ... it's just a little bit different.

At this moment, you can drop me anywhere in that city, and I will find my way, but there still is a lot to explore. (there are a lot of little things in Madrid e.g. the Cathedral in Atocha, has a small mausoleum kind of building next to it, which it very is pretty, with a small rose garden)

9. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 7y

Hello Herr Bert

I think in southern countries, they have different priorities, than countries in central europe. I suppose, that is why they are not bothered, by the traffic and the smog.

I think i will not have too much trouble with the cars. Traffic, in Ireland, where I come from, tends to be also chaotic.

Mel

10. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 7y

we dont have any traffic in ireland!

stupid irish government dont know how to build roads! and expect us to use the same damn roads that the horses still use today that were built hundreds of years ago!

we got monkeys running this country over here! they even built this tunnel of only 5km long, took them 5 years to build! almost costing 1 billion euro! when almost completed whoops! they they forgot that the new european trucks were slightly higher than our own...........LETS KNOCK DOWN THE TUNNEL AND BUILD A NEW ONE...
sounds like a joke! but very much so real.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 4, 2007, at 4:21 PM by oslaue ]