Madrid and day trip to Tolido!
Madrid Travel Blog› entry 14 of 98 › view all entries
Madrid-Barcelona (2 hrs. 35 mins) AVE train-reserve 1 day before departure
Banks-open 9:30-2 M-F and til 1 on Saturdays
Embassy: Calle Serrano 75 (91-587-2200) open 9am-6 pm
Day trip: Either Atocha or Chamartin stations; Madrid-Toledo
How to get there: From either of these stations, make a reservation the day before. Departures are from 6:50 AM M-F, and 9:20 Saturday and Sunday-takes about 35 minutes to get there, and once at the Estacion Toledo, take bus no. 5 or 6 to the city center
Estacion Charmartin: International station linking to Lisbon-information station located opposite track 19, RENFE office is located between tracks 11 and 12
Estacion Atocha: Originally 1 19th century palace built of iron and glass; links to Barcelona and a branch of the Madrid Tourist Office is located here, and is open 9 am-9 pm
Getting Around Madrid: The metro service connects all major attractions, with tickets costing only $2.30 or 1.75 Euros-trains run from 6 am-1:30 am and buses run until 11:30 pm
Museo Arqueologico-In 1867, Queen Isabella founded this great museum in a mansion, and exhibits history ranging from unrecorded times all the way to the 19th century, including Iberian artifacts and those from digs in Greece, Italy, and Egypt.
Museo del Prado-This grand museum houses the greatest collection of Spanish paintings in the world, but was originally a royal collection burgeoned by the Hadsburgs, and includes artwork from the 12th-19th centuries. If you have little time, it could be a good idea to head straight through the Puerta de Goya, leading to the second floor, where the art is arranged by school. Most notable are the works by Diego Velazquez, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Jose Ribera, and HHeironymus Bosch.
Palacio Real-The dictator Franco regarded this palace as merely a monument, but the palace has much more meaning now, after the restoration of the monarchy. The bluff that is sits on has a grand view of the Rio Manzanares, and was rebuilt after a fire in 1734 by the orders of Felipe V. Some of the most impressive rooms include the throne room, the porcelain room, the dining gallery, and the Gasparini room, which is named after the designer
Panteon de Goya-Just outside the city center, Goya's tomb includes one of his masterpieces, a fresco showing the miracles performed by St. Anthony, as well asthe hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida. This piece of work, considered "Goya's Sistine Chapel," was built during the reign of Carlos IV in neoclassical style, and is dedicated to St. Anthony. The copula took 4 months to paint, and is interesting in that the background contains faces of ordinary street people of the 16th century. Goya became the court painter for Carlos IV, but later died in 1828 as an expat in Bordeau, when his body was shipped to the chapel to be buried here.
Plaza Mayor-The 17th century architecture surrounding the square contains many craft shops and cafes, and several of the facades depict allegories. During old Madrid, this square was the center of anything social or political, bearing witness to everything from executions to pagents to bullfights, and even trials during the Inquisition.
El Rastro is located just a few minutes walking distance south of Plaza Mayor and is centered around Plaza de Cascorro. Originating in the middle ages, it is sometimes called the 'theives market,' as it is believed that most things stolen in Madrid end up here.
El Arco de los Cuchilleros is a great place for original arts and crafts from all over Spain, and is located in Plaza Mayor 9 at the basement level
In Toledo (to be updated)
Catedral de Toledo-claimed to be one of the greatest Gothic structures in the worl, and dates back to 1226, when the first stone was laid by King Ferdinand III
Museo de Santa Cruz-museum of art and sculpture
Iglesia de Santo Tome
Monestario de San Juan de los Reyes