City Visit: Three Days in Madrid, Spain
We spent three well earned days exploring the heart of Madrid, Spain. We discovered a European city that is well worth some time to explore. With it’s varied neighbourhoods, terrific plazas and squares, and enough museums to keep the most ardent historians occupied, Madrid has something for everyone. Once you add in terrific “tapas” and wine, this place should be on every European traveller’s list of cities to visit.
This post is one chapter in our Around the World in Star Alliance First Class via China, Thailand and Spain. This trip was booked using Air Canada Aeroplan miles. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read more from this trip:
- Trip Introduction: Around the World in Star Alliance First Class via China, Thailand and Spain
- Air Canada Executive Class, Vancouver – Los Angeles
- Star Alliance Lounge, Tom Bradley International Terminal, Los Angeles
- Asiana Airlines First Class: Los Angeles – Seoul Incheon
- Asiana Airlines First Class Lounge, Seoul Incheon
- Asiana Airlines Business Class, Seoul Incheon – Shanghai Pu Dong
- Renaissance Shanghai Yu Gardens, Shanghai, China
- Shanghai, China
- Air China Domestic Business Lounge, Shanghai, China
- Air China, Shanghai – Beijing
- Swisshotel China Hong Kong Macau Center, Beijing, China
- Beijing, China
- Visiting the Great Wall of China at Miytanyu
- Air China Business Lounge, Beijing Capital Airport
- Air China, Beijing – Shanghai
- Riding the Shanghai Maglev at 430 km/h
- Shanghai Airlines Business Lounge, Shanghai, China
- Thai Airways Royal Silk, Shanghai – Bangkok
- Thai Airways Royal Silk Domestic Lounge, Bangkok
- Thai Airways, Bangkok – Phuket
- Le Meridien Khao Lak, Thailand
- Ko Phi Phi Don Islands, Thailand
- Thai Airways Royal Silk Domestic Lounge, Phuket
- Thai Airways, Phuket – Bangkok
- Le Meridien Bangkok
- Thirty Six Hours in Bangkok, Thailand
- Thai Airways Royal First Lounge, Bangkok
- Thai Airways Royal First Class, Bangkok – Madrid
- AC Hotel Carlton, Madrid
- Three Days in Madrid, Spain
- Day Tripping to Salamanca, Spain
- Renfe AVE Preferente Business, Madrid – Barcelona
- AC Hotel Barcelona Sants, Barcelona
- Exploring Barrio La Rambla in Barcelona
- Getting into Gaudi, Barcelona, Spain
- Renfe AVE Preferente Business, Barcelona – Madrid
- Puerta del Alcala VIP Lounge, Madrid, Spain
- Lufthansa Business Class, Madrid – Frankfurt
- Novotel Mainz, Germany
- Walking through Mainz, Germany
- Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt, Germany
- Lufthansa First Class, Frankfurt – Seattle
- Air Canada, Seattle – Vancouver
City Visit: Three Days in Madrid, Spain
Madrid. It is likely Europes liveliest capital. We had a great few days in Madrid and took in some lovely sights. The city a regal, but beautiful setting with several fascinating areas worth exploring.
Madrid was a stark contrast to Bangkok – the complete opposite in fact. There weren’t any persons passed out under the BTS Skytrain or children swimming in dirty rivers. Instead, it was beauty at its best as spring fell upon this lovely city.
We started off walking from the hotel walking up past the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. It’s home to some of the most famous art in Spain, including several Picasso’s and other works of art from the twentieth century up to the 1980’s. It’s very close to the AC Carleton Madrid Atocha, where we stayed on this visit.
Visiting Plaza Mayor, Madrid:
We wandered on foot over to Plaza Mayor, Madrid. It was designed in 1619 and bullfights were often seen here with upwards of 50,000 spectators.
It seemed like a great place to stop for a cappuccino with our time change from Bangkok time. As a result, we touched down here for it was a good place for a little people watching.
Despite all the news about 24% unemployment in Spain, everyone was out shopping and eating!! The restaurants were packed as if it was Friday night every night. Packed with locals with dark olive skin speaking Spanish. Few tourists were out in the barrios that we walked through after dark. There were always interesting tapas bars on our walks through Madrid.
Visiting the Plaza de Oriente:
We eventually made our way over to the Plaza de Oriente, which is a square in the historic centre of Madrid.
It is rectangular in shape and monumental in character and was designed in 1844 by Narciso Pascual y Colomer. The square was propagated by King Joseph I, who ordered the demolition of the medieval houses on the site. It is located between some important landmarks in Madrid: To the west is the Royal Palace, the Royal Theatre to the east, and to the north is the Royal Monastery of the Incarnation.
Stopping in at the Plaza de Puerta Del Sol:
From the Plaza Oriente, we headed down towards the Plaza de Puerta Del Sol. It was a crowded unofficial centre of Madrid that was a cross between people gathering, a convenient subway station “Sol” amid several bus exchange routes.
The architecture in this city is particularly amazing and in remarkable condition for a European City.
Calling in on Parque del Buen Retiro:
During our stay, we also took in a visit to the Parque del Buen Retiro. Similar to Central Park in New York City, the Parque del Buen Retiro combines monuments, elegant park spaces and leisure activities.
After starting off overlooking the gardens, we found ourselves at the Monumento de Alphonso XIII. It was complete with paddle boats and a giant ornamental sculpture which set the stage for entertaining paddling.
Madrid by Night:
Although a spectacular city by day, Madrid is just as beautiful at night. There are many wonderfully lit buildings late at night.
One of the more specular ones are the Westin Palace Madrid, where had an excellent stay on a later trip.
There are plenty of sights in Madrid to keep you busy. In addition to several world class museums, there are ample wine bars not to mention the terrific architecture that is prevalent throughout the city.