Madrid Overview: general tips for beginners

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-, Madrid, Spain

Madrid Overview: general tips for beginners Reviews

Gandul Gandul
6 reviews
Madrid Overview: tips for long stays! Mar 11, 2008
Hi!!! I don´t know if this is the correct place, but as I don´t have a lot of time to write a longer post, this is the best option to give some tips for newbies coming to Madrid. In fact, this post it´s more concrete for the people who are going to spend some time living there (maybe long tourism, maybe short job, maybe students). Hope the picture will be clear enough, as I´m going to refer everything to it.

Ok, so you´re coming to Madrid, uh?. First thinh you have to manage is to pick up a map, and probably it will look like this one. But names won´t tell you a thing, so I´ve made things easier.

First of all are conection nods. Those places in which you can find a lot of different transportation connections. Buses stations, trains and so on.

Well, in the map, you can find 4 squares painted in turquoise-blue. Clockwising from top, there´s Plaza Castilla (C1), Avenida America (C2) which its important as is the closest nod to/from the airport and have a very good "metro" (underground) connectivity, Atocha (C3) the largest train station and by far the most beautiful (look at the tropical garden inside it), and Moncloa (C4) known to be the conection key to the western monuments of the Madrid region.

In the map I pointed out some turistics areas just to let you know. Distances between them are not a big deal, chosing the correct metro/bus connection you can go in 30 mins, almost to everywhere inside this map (yes, I really love our transport system). Of course, metro will be always quicker than buses (buses also can take a lot of time to arrive :S ).

But let´s go back to the map:

At the middle-left you can see the first green square of touristic places: thats Ventas bullring. Along with Seville´s Maestranza the most important bullring of Spain. Its quite a trip because there´s nothing of (turistic) interest near. If you want, you can have a beer and a tapa at the close bars. They´re genuine and not to expensive (for Madrid standard).

Clockwising you´ll find Retiro park, Madrid´s lung. Interesting and beautiful walk. Don´t miss the statue of the devil!!!. Close to the park, the narrow squared T2 shows the heart of Madrid: the fountains dedicated to Neptuno and Cibeles, and the culture triangle with our most important museos along the same street. This is also the key to the very city centre (in red square in the map) and to the east atractions: El rastro (urban market like those in Camdemtown, London) and the Royal Palace (T4 and T5) The last point it´s the financial point of Azca, just north, below the first connection dot. There are some skycrapers and shopping centers, as well as the Real Madrid football stadium.

And what about living?? Well, I´ve chose some neighborhoods (or districts, or suburbs, or whatever you want to call them) to tell you some information about them.

First of all, Chamartin (Z1), at north east. Close to a connection nod but a expensive option for living. There´s a lot of hotels around there, mainly because its connections with the finnancial areas, so maybe, maybe, hotels there will be cheaper at holidays. Below Chamartin, we find Salamanca (Z2). It´s very recognizable due its simetrical structure. This is the POSH area. with caps. If you want to buy your girlfriend a Gucci or Loewe or Prada whatever, this is your place. If you bleed when you´re hitted, as the rest of the mortal species, don´t look for accomodation there.

Clockwising, just north the city center (Z4, yeap, I miss sesame street chapter about numbers) its Chueca, the gay district. Cool and funny, with lots of nightlife and excelent restaurants. Its a better option to stay close to the center, because I find center itself not a good place to look for a hotel nor a house for rent.

Just north from chueca, in the center of this map, Alonso Martinez (Z5) its another good option. Well comunicated, with nightlife and at a stone-throw to main cultural and historical places. Lots of pubs/bars with live music.

Left from here, we reach Moncloa (Z6). Another conection nod to explore the city and surroundings (starting point to visit El Escorial) It has another nightlife zone round here, more used for younger people. In the past it was a bit unsecure due the fights of drunken teens, but I didn´t hear anything like this nowadays. Moncloa and our next guest; Ciudad Universtaria are good options to newcomers with budget. Due the near Complutense University, there is a lot of rooms to rent. Lots of options, but remember we´re in a expensive city. The last option is Tetuan (Z8). I don´t like it very much, mainly because it´s a ugly place. I mean, doesn´t have any especific monument or thing, not well comunicated and walking at night it´s not always pleasant, if you know what I mean.

Hope you find something interesting!!!
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
mskadu says:
Useful, thanks. What would be more useful would be a link to the picture of the map. This would help make sense to someone who doesnt have this map.
Posted on: Mar 10, 2009
Tom2288 says:
very helpful, thanks!
Posted on: Jun 27, 2008
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