Sociocultural Events of the Winter Season in Madrid

Winter holidays are an amazing opportunity to explore the cities of Europe and enjoy the festive atmosphere as we are approaching Christmas. In Spain, it is typical for this atmosphere to extends to January as well. It is a completely different experience to visit Madrid during winter because numerous sociocultural events hosted in the city of Madrid create a scenery which you cannot find any other time of the year.

Also on the plus side, Madrid’s climate is quite moderate, which means you will be quite comfortable exploring the city and attending the outdoor events. Multiple clothing layers and comfortable boots are enough to keep you warm as you wander around the city during the most magical time of the year to be visiting the city. It can get a bit chilly at night time, but when it does, you can quickly go back to your cozy apartment in the center of Madrid, and enjoy watching a Christmas movie all tucked up under a warm blanket.

It is advisable to do your Christmas shopping earlier, to avoid crowds and make sure the items you want are in stock. As the holiday season approaches its peak, there is less time to pick up gifts for your loved ones. Still, it is not too late. Besides plenty of stores around the city, the biggest Spanish department store El Corte Inglés S.A., and Gran Via, the most famous shopping street in Madrid, popular places to shop during winter are Christmas markets.

Many of the markets are set up as pop-up markets, which means that you can find them exclusively during the winter holidays. Most are open throughout December, up to the New Year’s Day, but you will see a couple of them staying up until the first week of January.

Sociocultural Events of the Winter Season in Madrid

Christmas market with festive stalls

Christmas markets in Madrid

Christmas Market Plaza Mayor

Watch as the most iconic square in Madrid turns into a Christmas wonderland with hundreds of log cabins and stalls that offer a variety of Christmas and winter related products. You will instantly be infected with this festive atmosphere as you step to the square.

Open: From the 1st of December to the 31st of December

Hours: Monday to Thursday, from 10 am to 10 pm

Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 11 pm

 

Christmas Market Plaza de Callao

Plaza de Callao is the place where you will find lots of decorations and Christmas-related items. The setting is installed by El Corte Ingles, with a traditional Christmas tree which is almost 20 meters high.

Open: From the 1st of December to the 6th of January

Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm

 

Christmas Market Plaza de la Remonta

Here is another market worth visiting this winter in Madrid. You will find lots of Christmas ornaments, figures and other products such as toys, gifts, etc. This market also has an ice rink so if you are interested to try out ice skating this winter, check out this place in Madrid.

Open: From the 5th of December to the 6th of January

Hours: Monday to Sunday from 12 pm to 22 pm

 

Christmas Market Mercadillo del Gato

A lot of travelers will be visiting Gran Vía street anyway, so it is quite convent to visit a market placed on this street. The market offers a lot of fashion items, accessories, jewelry, art, children clothing, crafts, etc.

Open: From the 15 of December to the 5th of January

Hours: Monday to Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm

 

Central Courtyard of Matadero Madrid

This is known to be the most international market that celebrates Christmas and winter holidays in Madrid. It represents the unique way to enjoy the local atmosphere, to buy gifts, taste international dishes, and attend activities and events organized for the entire family. Yes, you will find lots of exciting activities for the young ones, such as dance classes, decorating dishes, creating toys, etc.

Open: From the 15 of December to the 29th of December

Hours: From 12 pm to 8 pm

 

Events of the winter season in Madrid

 

Crystal Gallery

Enjoy this magnificent winter landscape which is a perfect day to spend a day in Madrid. Besides the lovely tour of the place, you can also spend time on different games or skate in an ice rink. The entrance is free.

Open: From the 21st of December to the 6th of January

Hours: From 11 am until 9 pm, except on special days (December 21: 4 pm to 9 pm, December 24 and 31: 11 am to 6 pm, December 25 and January 1: 5 pm to 9 pm, January 5: 11 am to 2 pm)

Location: Calle Montalbán 1, Madrid

 

Harry Potter – The Exhibition

They say there is something magical about spending winter holidays in the city such as Madrid. When you add the tour of the Harry Potter’s world, the magical experience is guaranteed. Discover the world of the famous wizard as you enjoy the exclusive Harry Potter™: The Exhibition. You will get to see the objects and props used in the movies, costumes and popular movie sets, such as Gryffindor™ bedroom, classrooms, Quidditch™ field, etc. The exhibition in Madrid is the only one in Europe. The entrance fee starts at € 16.90 (plus €1 management fee) for adults.

Open: From the 18th of November until the 2nd of April

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

Friday and Saturday, from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm

Location: Ifema – Feria de Madrid

 

Christmas lights in Madrid

This one has indeed become a tradition typical for Madrid. Christmas lights are set up in the late November, and they decorate the city until the 6 of January. The lights are on from 6 pm each day, until 10 or 11 pm. On the 24th of December and the 5th of January, the Christmas lights stay on until 3 am. On the 25th of December and the 1st of January, they are on until midnight, while they are on throughout the night until 6 am during the New Year’s Night.

The Christmas lights are placed along the most prominent streets of Madrid, which is where you will do most of your sightseeing. Here is a suggestion of the Christmas light walk, that will take you from the Calle Serrano to the Plaza Mayor as you explore the most prominent Christmas lights ornaments in the city.


Source: http://www.madrid-traveller.com/madrid-christmas-light-walk/

It’s a great guide for you to discover the streets with the Christmas lights and make sure you do not miss excellent places to take photos of the festive atmosphere.

 

New Year’s Day in Madrid

Traditionally, the last day of the year is the day when the popular 10k race is taking places. With decades-long tradition, the San Silvestre Vallecana is one of the most important sporting events in the city. The route might vary from year to year, but it is always located in the center of Madrid. This year, there will be two races. SSV’17 Popular race is a running party where 40,000 are expected to join the amazing experience. The second one is SSV’17 International, and the best world’s athletes are announced to participate.

When: The 31st of December

Hours: SSV’17 Popular starts at 5:30 pm. SSV’17 International starts at 7:50 pm

Location: The Square of the Sacred Hearts, Madrid

 

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve, known as Noche Vieja in Spanish, is the big celebration organized on multiple locations around the city. Besides hotels and clubs that organize parties, those celebrations include streets parties as well. The main event of all street parties is the celebration at the Puerta del Sol, where the Real Casa de Correos clock strikes twelve times at midnight. Traditionally, 12 grapes are eaten at midnight, for each strike of the clock. It is believed that this brings good luck for the upcoming year. It is also a tradition that people staying at home do as well. The old year ends with spectacular fireworks, confetti and light show.

The day after New Year’s Eve is a public holiday, which means that most of the shops and other establishments will be closed. It is a day that is typically spend indoor, with family and friends, resting from the big celebration the night before.

 

The Day of the Three Kings

Typically, the holiday season in Madrid lasts until the 5th of January, because of the Día de Los Reyes Magos (The Day of the Three Kings), one of the most anticipated holidays, especially among children as they wake up the next day with gifts left by the Three Kings. This holiday has even more significance for the Spaniards than Christmas. The city celebrates the arrival of the Three Kings with the parade organized on the 5th of January. People gather on the city streets to watch the parade on its route that is organized to promote peace and solidarity. Giant puppets, lots of colorful costumes, dances and acrobatics are some of the highlights that are typical for this parade.

Details: The parade starts at the Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz, it goes along the Paseo de la Castellana, and it ends at the Plaza de Cibeles. It starts in the evening, at 6:30 pm and it lasts approximately two hours.

 

No matter which events you choose to attend during your stay, you will definitely enjoy winter season in Madrid. It is the perfect city to spend your holidays and welcome the New Year.

Is Madrid Apartment Right Choice for You?

When traveling to Madrid, you will have a lot of options regarding finding accommodation. Different types of accommodation, as well as various locations around the city, are available. For travelers, especially for those who are traveling to the city for the first time, it might be overwhelming to think about choosing the perfect accommodation. This is why it is worth exploring all your options and understanding the benefits a particular accommodation.

 

Madrid apartments as accommodation type

Among all of these diverse accommodation type, there is one that has been gaining popularity over the years. It is renting apartments. This accommodation is perfect for a lot of travelers, regardless if they are visiting for a few days or a few months. The motives for the visit can also vary. Some might be traveling during the winter holidays, while others might be visiting the city on business. Some might be traveling solo, while others are accompanied by their family members or friends.

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Apartment building in Madrid

The number of travelers who choose apartments is increasing each year, due to numerous perks this accommodation type provides. One of the main perks is the flexibility. Every traveler can find a Madrid apartment that will suit the nature and the length of the visit.

What most travelers might be wondering about is whether this type of accommodation is the right choice for them. Is there a way to know if Madrid apartment is the right choice for you?

We have been working in this industry for years now, and we have helped thousands of tourists find their comfortable accommodation in the Spanish capital. This is why we want to share tips to help you make this decision and see if an apartment in Madrid is the right choice for you.

 

Long-term stay in Madrid

One of the main reasons that will affect your decision regarding accommodation is the length of stay. Travelers whose stay in Madrid is long-term should always look for an apartment to rent, rather than any other type of accommodation, especially a hotel. This decision is based on the fact that renting an apartment per month is more cost-efficient than staying in a hotel, for example, and renting a hotel room per night. Even if the period is low-season and hotels offer better rates than usual, apartments still turn out to be a better choice in terms of monthly costs. During a long-term stay, this is a factor that will have lots of importance for a traveler.

 

Business visit

In case your visit to Madrid is related to business, an apartment would be a perfect choice, especially an apartment in the center of Madrid. The first reason is convenience. Most of the business offices and other event venues are in the center of Madrid. As an important commercial center of the region, the city welcomes lots of business professionals from many different industries during the year. And a large percentage of those will spend their time in the venues scattered around the central area. This is why renting an apartment close by is such a convenience.

Furthermore, visiting a city on business is much more different than when traveling for pleasure. During a business visit, you will probably have a specific itinerary and a list of things to do, meetings to attend, etc. It is so rewarding to have a comfortable apartment to stay in after your busy day is over. It feels homier and it is more spacious than a hotel room, and it generally helps you feel more pleasant and relaxed.

Therefore, if you have any doubts about renting an apartment, this is an option you should really explore. Business travelers whose visit is a long-term one have even more reasons to choose this type of accommodation out of all the others.

 

Traveling with friends

Traveling with friends is an incredible opportunity to unwind together and bond. You will be spending so much time together. You will be sharing a fantastic experience of traveling, meeting new cultures and experiencing life around the globe.

When you travel with a friend, sharing an apartment can be quite comfortable and yet affordable option. It is also a great choice if you want to bond even more, as you will get to share more time together than when staying in separate hotel rooms. Holiday apartments are just like any apartment rentals, so you can find a flexible solution that suits your travel group. For example, an apartment with one (or more) bedroom, a living room, and a kitchen is an excellent choice.

 

Traveling with kids

When it comes to families traveling with kids, renting an apartment is definitely an option one should dwell upon. As much as it is exciting to travel with kids and watch them as they experience things for the first time, this can quickly become too stressful. Children also have their routine and traveling alone can disrupt it. This is why it is helpful to have an accommodation solution that is flexible for the entire family.

For example, the kids usually go to bed earlier than their parents. If you were to stay in a hotel room, this could be impossible to organize. When in an apartment, kids can go to bed earlier, and parents can stay up late if they want to because they will have a separate room in the apartment. This is also very convenient when you have a baby or children with a significant age difference, so they do not go to bed at the same time.

It is also worth mentioning additional space you get in an apartment, which is usually not the case with hotels. This means more space for kids to play around when inside. All of these are the reasons to check out apartments when traveling. When you explore what each accommodation provider has to offer, you will soon realize that Madrid apartment is going to be the right choice.

 

Wanting to prepare food on your own

This argument absolutely favors apartments as the best type of travel accommodation. Hotels, and similar travel accommodations, do not provide conditions for preparing food on your own. This results in two issues for travelers. First, there is an additional cost. Most hotels offer a restaurant, but the food here can be so overpriced. Secondly, there is usually a limited number of meals you can get here. In case you follow a special diet plan, or have extremely picky kids, this could be a big issue for you.

When you rent an apartment, it is very likely that you will have a kitchen with all the utensils ready for you to use it. Before you rent an apartment, make sure the kitchen is fully-equipped. This means that you will have everything waiting for you, except for food. Luckily, there are plenty of food stores and supermarkets in the city, especially in the center.

This option gives you so much flexibility. Regardless if you are on a diet because you are trying to lose weight, or if you are a vegan, or perhaps even allergic to gluten, having the option to cook for yourself is a great plus when on holiday. It also tends to be cheaper to cook by yourself than to eat out. If you are on a long-term visit, or if you want (or need) to stay on the budget, there will be even more reasons to have this option for preparing food on your own.

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 Kitchen in a Madrid apartment

Great selection of apartments

After you have gone through all the reasons and situations that affect the decision of whether to rent an apartment in Madrid or not, it is worth mentioning one final thing. You already know that Madrid is a popular destination among tourists. The city is proud of its historical heritage and has worked on building this reputation as a must-see travel destination. This means that the city is extremely tourist-friendly. One of the things that affect this status is an excellent selection of apartments to rent in Madrid.

When you start browsing the offer online, you will soon be faced with lots and lots of different apartment rentals. If you know that the apartment is the perfect choice for you, try to define what your ideal apartment should look like. How many rooms should it have? Is it going to be in the center of the city, or would you prefer a specific district? What is your budget?

All of these will provide you an idea of what kind of apartment you are looking for. Use them as criteria to sort the apartment offer and explore only those apartments that would be perfect for your stay in Madrid.

Here are a few examples to help you understand how this process of making a decision should look like:

If you want a small apartment, ready to accommodate up to 2 people, this could be one of your choices. A Smaller apartment means a lower price, which is perfect when you try to stay on a budget.

Families or groups of people traveling together would need a bigger apartment, such as this one. A great asset included in all of these apartments is the completely furnished kitchen.

For a more luxurious stay, you could look for an apartment with a terrace. This example is a perfect choice for a big family or even two families because it can accommodate up to 6 people.

The best thing about choosing accommodation for your travel is the flexibility to choose the perfect accommodation for you. With the extensive offer and lots of places around the city, the choice is quite vast. As you start exploring the reasons for choosing apartment rentals over any other type of accommodation, you will soon realize that this type of accommodation can satisfy most travelers, regardless their situation. The main reason for this is such flexibility and diversity of Madrid apartments.

The Benefits of Staying in an Apartment near the Plaza Mayor

Travelers love Madrid as a destination that merges historical landmarks, cultural heritage, and excitement of urban life. Regardless when they visit or how long their visit was, it is a memorable place, one you will never forget. Since each travel is unique and everyone experiences the city in their own way, memories of Madrid can also be quite distinctive. Some remember it as a city full of lovely people. Some remember tapas and delicious wine, while others will never forget the city streets and architectural masterpieces typical for the historic center. One of those memorable places is the Plaza Mayor, the central city square.

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The square Plaza Mayor in Madrid

When organizing a trip, you will have a lot of things to think about. Selecting and booking accommodation is one of those travel-related tasks you will have to take care of. There are a lot of places you can stay in the city during your visit, but choosing an apartment near the Plaza Mayor has a lot of benefits. Here are some to have in mind:

 

The Plaza Mayor is in the city center

The city center is one of the most important destinations for the tourists, regardless the city or country they visit. The same happens with Madrid. When you travel to Madrid, it is only natural to be impatient to see all those remarkable landmarks and places you could see in the photos of the city. You will instantly reach out for a city map and choose your favorite destinations. As you do so, you will soon realize that most of those landmarks and places you will visit are in the center of the city, including the Plaza Mayor.

The Plaza Mayor, as it names suggests (in English the Main Square), is one of the most important squares in Madrid. Even when it was originally built in the 17th century, the square was intended to be the central city square. It changed the name several times through centuries. It was rebuilt and under reconstruction numerous times. However, it has kept its importance in the hearts of the locals and remained one of the most popular landmarks in the city, one you, as a tourist, will probably visit during your stay in Madrid.

The walk around Madrid might take you on the exploration of different places and sceneries, but you will most definitely spend some time in the center of Madrid. This will be a chance to take a moment and enjoy the atmosphere on the square. It is a remarkable place, so make sure you have some time to spend walking around the square.

 

Apartments near the Plaza Mayor are convenient

When choosing accommodation for your travel to Madrid, you have a lot of choices. Starting from different types of accommodation to various locations around the city, the options are countless. Being a popular tourist destination means that the city has an extensive offer of facilities to accommodate such a large number of travelers. However, what really distinguishes apartments near the Plaza Mayor from all others is the fact that they are very convenient. Here is why.

This location is perfectly connected to the airport, bus and train station. This means that arriving at the city for the first time does not have to be a nightmare. You will be able to manage everything quite quickly and easily if you find accommodation in the center of the city. Both arriving and leaving will be so much easier to organize when you stay in the center than in other neighborhoods in Madrid. You will probably need only one type of transport. This makes things so much easier for you, especially when you travel with a lot of luggage or if you are traveling with kids.

Another perk of the central location is that it offers specialized taxi service to the airport, thus connecting the center of the city and allowing the travelers to get there comfortably.

Also, staying in such a location is very convenient during your stay. You can easily organize sightseeing and walks around the city when you are staying near the Plaza Mayor.

As a traveler, you should care a lot about these conveniences. Traveling is such a fantastic opportunity where you get to explore different cultures and landscapes. Therefore, you want to focus all your efforts on doing just that. You want travel accommodation to be convenient, and something you can easily take care off. You do not want to waste too much time looking or risking choosing accommodation that is too far away or does not meet your requirements.

 

Saving time is so important during a travel

At the moment when you are planning your trip to Madrid, time might not be a big deal. You might not want to think about it too much, especially when you are focused on organizing everything and making sure everything goes well. However, as soon as you arrive to the city you will soon realize that time is very important. In fact, you are most likely to run out of time so quickly, that you will probably not be able to manage to visit all of the places you originally intended.

Travelers who do not care much about the location of the accommodation can make a huge mistake when booking. While you are looking at a map of the city, things might seem close, but when you get to the city and when you actually have to get from the point A to the point B, things can get tough. The two places might not be well connected, so you might need to change lines or even types of transportation. In either case, you will most definitely have to walk a certain part of the route. All of this can take up much of your time. Even worse, it may get you tired, and your plan to explore the city might have to be cut short, so you can have a nap or go to bed early.

Hence, the option to stay in the center, for example near the Plaza Mayor, is a wise decision to make to avoid wasting any time and investing it all into having the best time during your visit.

 

Charming place in the center of the city

Besides a lot of benefits and the fact that staying in an apartment near the Plaza Mayor is very convenient, there is another reason why you should consider this location. There is something unique about the square. With its entrances on each side, this rectangular-shaped square joins many different roads in the city. Historically, it has been an important place in the city life, so it is only natural to see this square leveraging its strategic location to this day.

It is the place where you can meet friends, take a nice walk, or simply enjoy a cup of coffee. Its charming atmosphere brings the best it has to offer to light, and it becomes a place every tourist will love and return to.

Madrid is enjoyed most from the ground, exploring your way through its narrow streets that always lead to some intriguing park, market, tapas bar or street performer. Each night we’d leave our hotel to begin a new adventure in Madrid and nine out of 10 times, we’d walk through the Plaza Mayor.

Quote by Emilio Estevez

Immersion into the local atmosphere

There is no universal way to travel, no a unique guide that will show you how to experience each destination. That is the beauty of traveling. You get to visit new and exciting places and experience them in a way that is completely adjusted to you. This will affect the places you will choose to visit, the photos you are going to take, etc.

Still, immersion is a very inspiring and stimulating way to spend your travel. It is an effort to blend into local life and soak up the atmosphere. One of the ways to experience that is by staying near the Plaza Mayor. Just imagine. You wake up in the morning in your Madrid apartment, open your window, and the first thing you see is an impressive landscape of the city. As you sit down on your terrace to drink your coffee, you get to watch as people walk by, chatting in their distinctive Spanish accent and go about their day. During that time you get to plan yet another adventure around the city, by choosing the places in Madrid, you will visit that day. Most probably you will get to enjoy all of that while the weather outside is nice and sunny. After all, Madrid is famous for having a lot of sunny days throughout the year.

This sounds like a perfect way to blend into the life of the locals. As you wake up in a new city, try to immerse into the local life to truly experience the life in the city and a piece of the local atmosphere.

The bottom line is that planning a holiday is exciting and tiring at the same time. Even though you are thrilled to see new places and start a new travel adventure, there is always that issue of finding accommodation that lingers. You might have doubts about the type of accommodation, about the location, the price, etc. It might be challenging for you to make a decision, but you should always have in mind that central location have lots of benefits for travelers, which is why we strongly recommend staying in an apartment near the Plaza Mayor.

Tips for Traveling to Madrid

Most tourist arriving in Madrid for the first time are not sure what to expect. They have gone through all of the trouble of getting to the city, but one might become overwhelmed rather quickly, as there is so much to know about the city and so many things to see. If you want to learn a thing or two about how things work in Madrid, what to expect and what not to expect, you should keep reading this article. The tips about Madrid will surely make your traveling more enjoyable, and you will come prepared.

 

1. Knowing about transportation options can be quite handy

There are several ways to get to your destination in Madrid, and knowing some basic things about your transportation options will surely be handy. The Madrid Metro connects all of the central areas, and it is color coded so one can easily follow each route. Public buses are also commonly used for reaching destinations, but metro is known to be the quickest way, especially for longer routes.

Here are the options commonly used by tourists:

  • Single metro ticket – It costs €1.50 (5 stations) and €2 (10 or more stations). It is available at ticket offices or specialized machine located in front of each station.
  • Single bus ticket – It costs €1.50, bought at the driver.
  • Combined single ticket – It can be used for both types of transport around Madrid area, and it costs €3.
  • Metrobus card – It can be used for both metro and bus. It costs €12.20 and it can be used for ten journeys.
  • Tourist pass – Available for one, two, three, five or seven days, this ticket allows the unlimited number of rides using metro, bus, and train. Depending on the number of days, the card costs between €8.40 to €70.80.

For more information about tickets and ticket prices, it is best to check the official Madrid Metro website: https://www.metromadrid.es/es/index.html

Tips-for-Traveling-to-Madrid

2. Book accommodation to get better rates

Madrid is a popular destination, so the rates are always higher during the peak season which lasts between May and October as well as during holiday season in winter. This means that the rest of the year is the best period to find cheap accommodation in Madrid. If you are on a budget, still, you want to make the most out of your travel, and you are looking for ways to keep the spending to a minimum when traveling, this is what you need to have in mind. Also, it is sometimes cheaper if you book accommodation in advance. Obviously, you cannot always plan everything too much in advance, but if there is a possibility to schedule the accommodation months before you are supposed to travel, it is best you do so.

 

3. Rent an apartment in Madrid for a more comfortable stay

We all know there are plenty of accommodation opportunities in a city such as Madrid. A diverse city such as the Spanish capital also offers quite a selection of different accommodation types, which can be suitable for many travelers. However, apartments in Madrid have been proven to be a perfect choice for various types of travelers, mainly because apartments provide a very comfortable stay. It does not mean that apartments are more expensive than other types of accommodation because they are comfortable. On the contrary, you can find a lot of cheap apartments in Madrid, so you will never have to compromise on the quality of the accommodation.

 

4. Mealtimes and what you should know about food

Unlike in some countries, where you can expect breakfast to be a big meal, Spaniards are known to have lunch as their main meal. This means that you can expect light breakfast to be served when eating out, while lunch will include quite a large portion. Typically, lunch is served between 1 pm and 4 pm, which is a bit later than some people are used to. Since you will probably end up eating a lighter breakfast, you might want to grab a quick snack before lunchtime. Dinner is also served rather late, usually after 8 pm or 9 pm.

Additional things to know about eating in Madrid:

  • Siesta – Generally known as the nap time, siesta might be unfamiliar custom to foreigners, but what it means is that most restaurants and cafes are closed between 5 pm and 8 pm. Sometimes other establishments, such as shops might be closed during the daily siesta time.
  • Tapa – This term is used for small appetizers usually served with wine in Madrid’s restaurants, taverns, and bars. Some people do not want to eat much in the evening and want a light dinner instead. If that is the case, eating tapas with drinks would be enough without the need to go out for a full-sized meal.
  • The menu of the day – Some restaurants offer a menu of the day during the workdays for lunch, most often between 1 pm and 4 pm. It is usually posted outside the restaurant. It is a great option if you want a good deal and to eat out at reduced prices. The menu of the day commonly consists of two plates, appetizer or soup, and the main dish. This menu often includes bread, desserts and even a glass of wine or beer, which makes it a great selection when eating out. The prices may be different from restaurant to restaurant, but what is safe to say is that the menu of the day is the most affordable option for eating lunch in the restaurant. It is much cheaper to order this menu than to order each of the items individually.

 

5. Tipping is not expected

Tips are not included in the price of meals and drinks, but they are not always expected, like in some countries. However, if you plan on eating again in the same restaurant, you could leave a tip.

 

6. Buy in supermarkets to save some money

You can buy a lot of things in the supermarket, such as bread, cheese, desserts, fruits and vegetables, wine, etc. Basically, everything you need to have a good meal is available in the supermarkets, and it is much cheaper. Having in mind that it is the capital city, there are supermarkets open even on Sundays, as well as during the night, which means that there is always an option to prepare your meals instead of eating out. This is a great option if you are staying in an apartment in Madrid. In the Madrid apartment you will have a kitchen where you can easily prepare meals. Additionally, if the budget is tight, this is an amazing way to reduce your costs. Instead of eating out all the time, try some home-made meals instead.

 

7. Try to learn some basic Spanish phrases

To be honest, no one really expects you to learn Spanish just for that one travel to Madrid. However, it is recommended that you still learn at least a couple of basic Spanish phrases. Knowing these phrases will save you so much time and effort when finding your way around the city. Use the internet while planning the trip and check out the commonly used phrases for travelers. Spanish is relatively easy to read, but you can always use an online tool to read the text out for you so you can repeat and practice. Do not worry if your pronunciation is not perfect. The important thing is that you can understand some Spanish and you can respond.

 

8. Things to know about sales tax refund

Sales tax is called IVA in Spanish. Non-EU residents are eligible for a tax refund if the purchase was at least 90 Euros in one store. To be able to claim the sales tax refund, you should look for stores that have a tax free sign. Then, during your purchase, you will receive an invoice which includes the price and the tax. You will need the invoice(s) and a refund form filled out, which you will then drop at the airport at places specially assigned to accept these forms. The refund will be paid to your credit card, usually up to two months after you have submitted the forms.

 

9. Visit museums when they are free

Visiting museums is one of the highlights when traveling to Madrid. It is impossible to visit the city without visiting at least one of them but can be costly. This is why it is worth knowing that each museum has one day or a period of the day when they offer free entrance. Simply choose the museum you want to visit, go to its website and check under entrance fees. This tip for traveling to Madrid can help you save money but still enjoy the beautiful masterpieces that are part of the collections featured in the local museum.

 

10. Exchanging money in Madrid

The best solution is to bring Euros when arriving in Madrid. Alternatively, you can use your credit card to pay for things or take cash from an ATM. In this case, you will face the lowest exchange rates. If you choose to go to a bank or an exchange office, you will usually pay higher rates when exchanging money to Euros.

 

11. Tap water is a safe choice

Unlike many other large cities, tap water in Madrid is completely safe to drink. You can still choose to buy bottled water, but there is not much of a difference, apart from that you will save a lot if you drink tap water.

 

12. Free tours and sightseeing

This trend of free tours is growing in popularity around the European cities, and Madrid is no exception. The best place to look for tours (including the free ones) is the internet. You can see the exact schedule and location from which the tour starts so that you can plan your sightseeing of Madrid accordingly. Most often you can get a city map at a tourist office or at reception, which allows you to plan the sightseeing on your own. Planning this way has so many perks. When you plan individual sightseeing, you get to plan at your own pace, enabling you to see everything you want and to spend any amount of time you want exploring different sights.

 

13. Driving around Madrid

Although driving your own car offers so many perks and it is generally very convenient, the reason why most tourists choose against it is the fact that parking is quite expensive. Some accommodation providers might offer free parking when staying with them, but this is not a general rule, so you might end up paying a lot of money for parking if you want to spend time in Madrid and have a car while you are there.

 

14. Health and travel insurance

All the EU citizens are entitled to free or discounted treatments in state hospitals. You will need to have European Health Insurance Card to be entitled to the treatment. Even so, you can still use your travel insurance if you have got one.

 

15. Explore Madrid on foot

Finally, make sure you spend plenty of time walking around Madrid. You will come across beautiful historic places as the central area has historically been the place from which the city evolved. And if you choose an apartment in Madrid as your accommodation for this travel, walking around Madrid’s central area will be quite convenient. That is the main benefit of apartments in Madrid. All of the most important landmarks, best restaurants, and bars, everything is within walking distance when you stay in the city center.

apartment-key-Renting-Holiday-Apartment in-Madrid

Renting Holiday Apartment in Madrid

Millions of travelers visit Madrid each year. They all have different stories and different ways they experience the capital city of Spain. Some like to party, some like to explore cultural sights, while other are simply there on business and unable to do much of the sightseeing. Travelers are all unique, and this is what differentiates them in organizing the travel and experiencing the new environments. Even those who will spend days sightseeing still have completely different visions of what they are going to visit. However, what all of them have in common is the fact that they need accommodation while staying in Madrid.

There are numerous types of accommodations you can find when traveling. The tourism industry has developed tremendously over the past few decades, so the offer of different kinds of accommodations has been on the rise. Since we specialize in renting holiday apartments in Madrid, we want to focus on this type of accommodation in particular. We want to show you how it works, how you can find apartments and why you should choose this type of accommodation in the first place.

 apartment-key-Renting-Holiday-Apartment in-Madrid

Holiday apartment is a great choice of travel accommodation when staying in Madrid

 

What is a holiday apartment?

Well, the term holiday apartment is pretty descriptive. It is an apartment you rent on holiday. Holiday apartments are sometimes also called serviced apartments. This is because they are fully equipped and ready for the guests to use them once they arrive. They provide full service, and they have everything you would need in an actual apartment, which means you do not have to bring anything from home.

The number of appliances can vary from one apartment provider to another. There is no universal rule of what you can find in a holiday apartment which is why it is always best to check about the services offered before booking an apartment. When it comes to Apartamentos Madrid, the services our apartments include are the following:

  • Kitchen (microwave, fridge, vitro-ceramic/gas kitchen, kitchen utensils, coffee pot)
  • Washing machine
  • Hair drier
  • Telephone
  • TV
  • Heating
  • Air-conditioner
  • Safe
  • Wi-Fi high-speed internet connection in all the area
  • Reception 24 hours on call

As you can see, what you get in a holiday apartment is everything you need for a comfortable stay in Madrid. All that is left to do is to pack your suitcase, bring the travel documents and come up with a few ideas about interesting places to visit in Madrid. Thinking about the accommodation too much is no way to enjoy your holiday, so the best solution is to book apartments with a provider that has a great reputation. You can easily check these things online, as travelers usually share the reviews of the places they have visited, which also includes holiday apartments.

Benefits of an apartment in Madrid

If you have never stayed in a holiday apartment, and if you have not had the chance of exploring this as an option when traveling, we would like to highlight some benefits of our apartments in Madrid.

  • Modernly equipped apartments with lot of natural light make an enjoyable setting for you and your travel companions
  • Lots of different apartment types and sizes to choose from so the apartments are a perfect choice for different kinds of travelers (solo travelers, couples, families, group of friends, etc.)
  • Fully equipped kitchen to cook in the apartment which is ideal when you do not want to eat out
  • Convenient location in the center of the city so you can easily reach the accommodation from the airport and be near all the interesting places to visit in the city
  • Online booking enables travelers from all over the world to book our apartments
  • High-speed internet for travelers who need to work or would like to use the internet on daily basis
  • Reception available at any moment to help you with any questions or doubts you might have

These are all the conditions that should be met for your comfortable stay. You might notice that different types of accommodation do not offer all of these perks, which is yet another reason to seriously consider an apartment as an accommodation type for your next holiday. Consider these benefits as one of the factors that will help you make a decision when exploring accommodation options for your next trip to Madrid.

How to find a holiday apartment in Madrid?

Just as much the internet has changed the way we look for information every day, it has also changed the tourism industry and the way people travel. Today, you can organize the travel pretty much yourself. You do not need services of a travel agency because everything you need is available online. So the answer to the question on how to find a holiday apartment in Madrid is the internet.

Use the search engine such as Google, and type in the relevant terms that will show you holiday apartments. You can always narrow down the search using more concrete terms. Therefore, instead of “holiday apartments Madrid”, you could search “holiday apartments in the center of Madrid”. This will narrow down the search to only those apartment located in the city center. If this is where you want to stay during your visit, it is very helpful to be specific about that. Other criteria such as the number of rooms, services, and price can also help you narrow down the search in the same way. The goal with this is to focus only on those results that are relevant to you and reduce time spent browsing the accommodations you are not interested in.

When it comes to our own offer of apartments, we suggest you check out the Gallery menu. This is where you will find the images showing the interior of each apartment. The pictures and the description of each property will help you a lot when making a decision as you can exactly determine which apartment you are interested in, which apartment you like and which one would be perfect for your holiday in Madrid.

In general, we have divided our apartments into five groups:

  • Superior apartment with terrace
  • Superior apartment
  • Standard Plus apartment
  • Standard apartment
  • Studio

When you proceed to check availability and book the actual apartment on our site, you will choose one of these groups based on the number of travelers and based on your budget. We always suggest you use Gallery page as a reference when it comes to the apartment interior to make sure you choose the apartment you will be perfectly happy with.

When to rent a holiday apartment in Madrid?

Sometimes it is simply impossible to book in too much advance, and you are forced to organize a trip on short notice. However, when it comes to booking a holiday apartment in Madrid, the sooner you can do it the better. This is especially important for holidays and weekends because these are the busiest time. During these periods, most travelers will choose to visit the city, which means sometimes you need to be super fast to make sure you book the perfect apartment for the exact dates that you can travel.

Since you will probably be using the internet the make the reservation, you can actually do it at any moment you see fit. It can be any time of day or night. You will need to provide necessary information and have a credit card that will be used to either pay in advance or for paying the non-refundable part of the apartment rent.

What you need for renting an apartment?

To be able to rent an apartment in Madrid, you will need:

  • To know the exact dates of the travel – Have in mind that Madrid is popular destination, and you have to know the exact dates when you can travel so that you can book those dates in advance.
  • To choose the type of apartment – Like said, there are plenty of types of apartments in Madrid available for travelers, but there is a huge difference between a studio or superior apartment. Not only does the price significantly differ, but the number of travelers is also a very important aspect to have in mind. If you are traveling solo, there is absolutely no reason even to consider superior apartments. Instead, look for smaller holiday apartments.
  • Credit card for online payments – To be able to book an apartment, you will need a valid credit card to complete the online payment.

What happens next?

Once you are all done with decision-making, once your apartment is all booked, you can be confident that you will have accommodation when you arrive in Madrid. All that is left to do is start preparing for the trip, packing everything you might need during your stay.

Having explained what holiday apartments are and what you need to know if you choose this type of accommodation for your travel to Madrid, we would like to share some extra tips for all travelers out there planning a trip to the Spanish capital.

To help you get to know the city and enjoy your stay in Madrid, we regularly publish lots of helpful articles for travelers. In particular, we have a couple of guides with plenty of useful tips and advice on how to spend the holiday in Madrid, what to see, what to do. In addition, we also share suggestions on how to get from the airport to the city, which is something every traveler should know before arriving.

Hopefully, this will also be of great assistance, especially for the first-time travelers. Traveling to a city as big as Madrid can sometimes be daunting, but if you know that your holiday apartment in Madrid is waiting for you and if you know how to get to that apartment easily, you are in luck. This can be the most difficult part, but once you are in the city, you will easily find exciting ways to spend your holiday in Madrid.

5 Days in Madrid: What to Visit

Planning a city trip can become a bit of challenge. There are so many things to do on such short notice, so if you are unable to organize everything right, you will be at risk of missing some important sights. This is one of the main reasons why people turn to travel agencies for help. They want a ready-made itinerary that will help them see as much as possible during their trip. However, with the amount of resources available online, organizing your own trip has never been easier.

In this article, we will show you how to spend five days in Madrid to get the most out of your stay.

What to Visit – Day 1 in Madrid

For the first day, we suggest a couple of activities that will be quite easy to organize and handle, having in mind that you might arrive late during the day and you might be travel from the trip. This is why you want to focus on the area near your apartment in Madrid. We suggest the Plaza Mayor as the main landmark of the day, with some extra activities in the nearby area.

Get to the city

Sometimes you cannot be flexible with the time you get to the city because there is only one flight which arrives at a particular time. However, whenever it is possible, always choose a morning flight. This way, you get to the city early, you drop by your accommodation, such as an apartment in Madrid, and then you have the rest of the day to start your adventure.

Have lunch at the city center

We all know that traveling can be tiring, especially if you are coming from a distant country. This is why we want to keep this day easy-going but still enable you to immerse into the local environment. If you find an apartment in the center of Madrid, this gives you an instant edge. You can immediately go to a nearby restaurant and try out some of the local specialties.

There are so many restaurants, cafes, and bars in the city center, that you might even have a hard time choosing which one to visit. In situations like these, travelers love turning to popular apps such as Yelp, Foursquare and similar, to get reviews and recommendations regarding best places to visit.

Plaza Mayor

After the lunch, go for a short walk and visit the Plaza Mayor. It is an impressive landmark, a distinguishable square in the center of the city, which has great historical value. It is a perfect location to take photos, have lunch or simply enjoy the local atmosphere.

Calle Mayor

If there is enough time, continue your walk along the Calle Mayor. Since it is the central area, you will find a lot of gift and souvenir shops along the street. Other stores, including the supermarkets, are also located here, so you will have an opportunity to go for a quick shopping spree. In case shopping simply is not your thing, then perhaps having drinks in one of the tapas bars is. Either way, the city central area around the Plaza Mayor will certainly be an interesting place to visit during your first day in Madrid.

What to Visit – Day 2 in Madrid

The second day of your Madrid adventure is focused on the west, with the life of the Royalty being the central aspect. There will be quite a few landmarks to visit here, so many sure you get an early start in the morning.

The Royal Theatre

The Royal Theatre is on your way as you head to this area, so it is worth having a look around of Madrid’s opera house founded in the 19th century. You can simply admire the exterior, but if you are interested in more, the interior tours are available as well.

Plaza del Oriente

Your next stop could be the Plaza del Oriente, a historic square with a beautiful garden around it with a central monument. It is actually in front of your next destination, the major attraction for the second day of exploring Madrid.

The Royal Palace of Madrid

The official residence of the Spanish Royal Family is actually an amazing landmark to visit in Madrid. The construction started in the 18th century, and now a part of the palace is open for public so that you can explore the impressive collection of armory, porcelain, furniture, etc. This way you get the glimpse of the court life and different epochs that influenced it.

Sabatini Gardens

The gardens are a part of the Royal Palace, but they were not opened to publish until mid 20th century. An outstanding structure and meticulous attention to details are what makes this garden truly royal. It is a perfect place to wrap up the day and have some rest of all the sightseeing.

Catedral de la Almudena

As a country with strong religious and architectural heritage, Spain has so many impressive churches built in its unique gothic style, and the Almudena Cathedral is one of them. Beautiful interior with colorful chapel outside, the Roman Catholic church is one of the places you can also visit in this area.

What to Visit – Day 3 in Madrid

The third day in Madrid is all about the central district, outstanding architecture and a little bit of shopping. As you leave your apartment in Madrid, embrace yourself for another exciting day in the city.

Plaza de España

A grand square in the center of the city, the Plaza de España in Madrid is definitely the place to visit. This will be the starting point for today’s sightseeing. The main attraction on the square is a monument to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. There is also a part of the green surfaces with lots of colorful flowers. It is surrounded by two large skyscrapers, and it directly leads to another destination in the city you will want to visit.

 5-Days-in-Madrid-What-to-Visit

Plaza de España in Madrid and the monument to Miguel de Cervantes

 

Gran Vía

On the east, you can continue your trip to Gran Vía, Madrid’s Broadway, as this street is known for. While you walk down the street, enjoying the view of stunning architecture and design, you will come across a lot of shops. In fact, this area is known as a favorite shopping destination, so it is only natural to be tempted to stop by. Let this day be about shopping as well. Besides international brands, you will find lots of Spanish brands with their stores in this area, such as Zara, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius, Bershka, etc. You can also have a drink in local cafes or even visit one of the rooftop cafes with an amazing view of the city.

Once you reach the opposite end of the avenue, you will enter Calle de Alcalá. If you are all done with the sightseeing for today, you can go back to your apartment in the center of the city. If you would like to see a little bit more of the city, this street will take you to your next destination.

Plaza de Cibeles

Plaza de Cibeles with its impressive fountain is another landmark worth visiting while in the city. The Cibeles Fountain is in the middle of the square, and it is heavily inspired by the Roman deity, while the surrounding buildings are influenced by distinctive Gothic style. In all, it is a perfect day to end another they of sightseeing.

What to Visit – Day 4 in Madrid

This day is all about nature and culture. If you love both, visiting these places will help you enjoy the unique spirit of Madrid. You could always choose only one of these. So you could either focus on nature and spend the day exploring the natural life or explore the culture and artistic heritage the country is so proud of.

Atocha station

We will start the day four in Madrid from the Atocha station. This is the largest railway station in Madrid, but what is interesting about this location is its steel and glass construction with a unique interior. Inside of the station, you will find a tropical garden.

Botanical garden

The next destination is the botanical garden located nearby. It is a perfect place to enjoy the natural life and species that originate from all over the world.

Retiro Park

If you are fond of nature, the Retro Park is a perfect destination for you. It is the largest park in the city, and one of the greatest ones in Europe. It has a lot of green surfaces, but you will also find lots of monuments around the park. Two most notable landmarks in the park are certainly the Crystal Palace, a glasshouse which is now housing contemporary art and the lake with Monument to Alfonso XII next to it. It is an impressive place, and you will probably spend a lot of time exploring the park. You might also want to go for a short ride around the lake.

Paseo del Prado

Let us end this exciting day of sightseeing with a nice walk along the Paseo del Prado, one of the most famous avenues in the city. This location is of great cultural and historical value for the city, which is why you will find lots of monuments and other historical places along the avenue.

The Golden Triangle of Art

A walk along the Paseo del Prado slowly takes us to the three most famous museums in Madrid:

  • The Prado Museum
  • The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
  • The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

If you want to experience the local culture, as well as to explore masterpieces of international artists, choose to visit one of these museums as the final activity for your day. In case you are too tired to enjoy such visit, just leave it for the final day. The museums are in the center of the city, so your apartment in Madrid will probably be quite near. This way you will get to enjoy the final day of the trip, especially if you are scheduled to depart later in the day.

What to Visit – Day 5 in Madrid

Like with the day one, day five is all about travel, this time going home. Unlike with arrival, where you want to get to Madrid early on, you can take advantage of the final day if you are able to schedule a departure for the late afternoon. If that is the case, that would be perfect, because there is one more landmark you need to visit.

Puerta del Sol

If you are staying in the apartment in the center of Madrid, this square will be quite near you. Seize the morning and spend it exploring the favorite meeting point of the locals. Once you get there, you will soon notice the statue of King Carlos III and 0 km marker stone. You could also explore the local cafes, shops or even pastry shops if you would like to have a quick breakfast in the city.

Finally, it is time to wrap up everything. The landmarks we have highlighted here are all the major points you need to see in the city. However, if there is an activity that takes too much of your time, and you do not get to see all of the places in the same day, it is perfectly fine. The whole point of going on holiday is to enjoy and have fun, and that is what your goal should be all the time.

How to Spend Summer in Madrid?

When you first think about summer holiday, you instantly think of a beach. It is what most people will do. All you want to do is lay down and enjoy the sun. This image is what most people associate with a summer holiday.

But did you know that summer in a city can also be fun? Do you know how you can spend an exciting summer in a big city such as Madrid? If the beach holiday does not fit your schedule or plans for some reason, the alternative of spending the summer in the city also sounds amazing. In case you decide to visit the Spanish capital this summer, here are a couple of suggestions you need to consider to spend an awesome summer in Madrid.

Seize the morning

Morning is such a beautiful part of the day in summer. Despite the fact that you are on holiday, wake up early and enjoy this amazing experience while you walk down the streets of Madrid. It will not be as crowded during the day, and it will definitely be less hot. Morning is such a perfect setting for a peaceful walk around the central city area. Stop by one of the lovely street cafes and have your Spanish breakfast or take a cup of coffee to go.

Then let the walk bring you to one of the Madrid’s parks. The Retiro Park is in the city center, so it is quite convenient to visit it. There is some special vibe in the park in the morning. The air is rather fresh, and there are not many people. Yes, you will probably come across a busy runner or an enthusiastic photographer. But if you prefer solitude and if you want to enjoy nature, try visiting the park in the morning.

The Crystal Palace in the Retiro Park - How to Spend Summer in Madrid

The Crystal Palace in the Retiro Park

Another great location for a nature-inspired, morning walk is the Botanic Gardens. With its seven outdoor areas and five greenhouses, which holds an impressive collection of over 90.000 plants, flowers, and trees, the garden is a perfect location if you want to explore natural life. If will surely keep you busy the entire morning, and perhaps you will extend this walk until lunch time. The Botanic Garden is also in the city center. In fact, it is next to the Retiro Park.

Find an accommodation with air-conditioning

Since the temperature can get high and it might be rather hot during the day, we always recommend that you look for an apartment that has an air-conditioning during the summer months. It is unlikely that you will need it throughout the year, but when it comes to July and August, it can get too hot during the day, especially around 2 pm or 3 pm.

Besides the air-conditioning, another thing you should think about concerning finding accommodation is the location. If possible, you should always choose to rent an apartment in the center of Madrid. This location provides a dose of convenience when traveling to Madrid and exploring the city area. Most of the city landmarks will be within walking distance in case you choose an apartment in the center.

Enjoy Spanish cuisine

Renowned worldwide, Spanish cuisine is perfect to explore while you are visiting Madrid. Famous dishes such as Spanish tortilla, croquettes, hues rotos, are all part of the menus which you will come across as you explore the local restaurants during the lunch time. In case you are renting an apartment in the center of Madrid, you will be able to find restaurants rather quickly, as lots of them are actually located in the central area. If you want suggestions on which of them to try out, check out our Gastronomic Guide with restaurants, pastry shops and other places to eat out in Madrid.

Embrace the siesta

Siesta is a nap time in Spain. It usually happens from 2 pm until 5 pm, and it means that some restaurants, cafes and even shops can be closed during that time. Siesta is a traditional custom, which some people love, and some people do not. If you want to have some rest in the middle of the day, simply stop by your accommodation and enjoy having rest in the apartment during the hottest period of the day. It would be a perfect break to prepare you for an evening out. However, if you are not tired, and you want to get the most out of your day in Madrid, we have an indoor and outdoor activity suggestions for you.

Visit the museums

If you do not want to take a nap and you prefer to spend the middle of the day indoor, you should stop by museums. They are air-conditioned, so it would be a pleasant walk away from the heat. Consider this visit a delightful cultural tour where you get to experience a glimpse of cultural life and historical event that shaped the life of the locals. Go to the Golden Triangle of Art and choose one of the three museums to visit. The Prado Museum, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are three museums you should explore. All three of them are in the center of the city, quite near each other, so if there is enough time, you can always choose to visit two in one day. However, to make sure you explore them indeed, you should focus on one of them and take as much time as you need it to look around.

Stop by a swimming pool

Here is another amazing, middle-day activity for all outdoorsy people – swimming. Madrid may not have a beach, but swimming is an activity you will definitely want to try out during the hot summer days in Madrid. Simply choose on of the local pools and enjoy the day. The swimming pool season in Madrid starts from May, and it lasts until September (the exact dates might vary from year to year). Most pools are opened from 11 am to 9 pm every day, but this can also vary depending on the facility and you will often find community pools that open as early as 8 am. The entrance for adults starts at around 5 Euros. Children and seniors have a discount, and the entrance is generally more expensive on weekends and holidays.

Swimming Pool - How to Spend Summer in Madrid

Relax by the pool during hot summer days in Madrid

Parque Deportivo Puerta del Hierro

One of the biggest swimming pools in Madrid, Parque Deportivo Puerta del Hierro stretches on over 300,000 square meters. Its outdoor pool is known as one of the largest ones in Europe, being 130 meters long. Besides the swimming pool, there is a golf course, tennis courts, and other areas to play different sports, making this complex into a wonderful sports park. There are grassy areas for enjoying the sun, as well as children’s pool. It is a perfect oasis to seek shelter on hot sunny days.

Location: Ctra. de La Coruña, km 7, Madrid

Centro Deportivo Municipal Casa de Campo

Besides its 50-square meter pool, the center also has another 33-meter pool and a children’s swimming pool. Unlike other sports centers, this one primarily focuses on water-related activities organized next to the swimming pool and other water sports.

Location: Paseo Puerta del Ángel, 7, Madrid

Centro Deportivo Municipal Vicente del Bosque

Another huge sports center with courses for football, basketball, tennis, beach volleyball, etc. is Centro Deportivo Municipal Vicente del Bosque. Of course, the swimming pool is what we want to focus on during the summer months. There are two 50-meter pools as well as children’s pool, so it is perfect for travelers, for families with children, etc.

Location: Avenida Monforte de Lemos, 13, Madrid

Centro Deportivo Municipal Francos Rodríguez

In this sports center, you can spend a fantastic summer day, sitting by a large outdoor pool, or playing beach volleyball or table tennis with friends. With its 11.5000 square meter surface, the center is a bit smaller than the previous ones, but still a perfect place to enjoy outdoor activities in summer.

Location: Calle  Numancia,  11, Madrid

There are more public swimming pools you can find around the city, but what is also interesting is a number of private rooftop swimming pools. These are usually owned by a particular hotel or a restaurant, but they sometimes offer admission for non-guests, which is great to take advantage of if you want to enjoy swimming and the fantastic view from the rooftops.

Check out a water park

If you are up for a more adventurous water time, instead of going to a swimming pool, stop by a water park. An activity popular among people of all ages, water parks are great resorts during the summer months in the city.

Warner Park Beach

Although certainly more famous for its theme park, Warner Park also has a beach section with exciting rides and cool attractions to keep you cool on a hot summer day. There is even Baby Olas, a section for the youngest children with Looney Tunes inspired theme with sure school and beach houses.

Aquopolis

This might the most popular water park in Madrid. It is approximately 30 minutes away from the city center. Lots of exciting rides, slides, children area as well as a sandy beach are good enough reason to check out this park while in Madrid. There is even a restaurant if you decide to plan to spend an entire day here.

Explore terrazas

As the evening time approaches, you will probably start getting hungry or thirsty, which is the great moment to look for one of the terrazas or outdoor eating areas to have dinner. With your evening drink, you will probably want to order tapas, as this is what Madrid bars and restaurants are famous for. Enjoy the night breeze while the evenings get cooler as it is much more pleasant to spend time outside in the night than during the day.

Enjoy an evening walk

While some of you will prefer a morning walk, some will always choose to sleep late, and then spend the evening exploring the city. While the entrance to the facilities is closed, there are many more landmarks to see around Madrid in the evening time. Squares and monuments with their night lights shine so proudly and give that unique charm to the city late into the night.

Organize a day trip

While most of the activities tourists focus on is usually in the city center, the Community of Madrid actually extends over a much larger area, which also includes interesting places such as Navacerrada. Even though the location is a popular winter destination, for those interesting in skiing in Madrid, during summer it becomes a sort of a resort, with daily temperatures barely passing 20 degrees. It is located 52 kilometers from Madrid. It is a great destination for hiking, cycling and generally enjoying the nature.

Visit Segovia While Staying in Madrid

When you travel to Madrid, you will be faced with quite a selection of interesting places to visit. One landmark after the other, and you will soon discover what makes Madrid such an important tourist destination. You will soon realize the reasons why it is included in most lists of the best cities to visit in Europe. While discovering the wonders of the center of Madrid, you will admire impressive architecture and buildings housing apartments in the center of Madrid. You will get to enjoy the local cuisine, visit museums, have a walk in the park and take photos on famous squares. All those and plenty of other activities are available to you when visiting Madrid.

People often spend most of their time in the center, especially if they find an apartment to rent in the center of Madrid, but if you decide to explore the area a bit more, you will find some hidden gems that will take your breath away. One of those places is Segovia, a town you should visit while staying in Madrid.

Segovia

Segovia is a town located 50 miles northwest from Madrid. This means that you can visit the city if you rent a car, or you can take a bus (a journey will take up to an hour) or a train (30 minutes if you take a high-speed train or two hours by the regular train). The most convenient way is to take a bus, because there are one or two buses between Segovia and Madrid every hour, with the return ticket being around 15 Euros. If you travel with small kids, renting a car might be great option to organize a trip or taking the high-speed train, as this greatly reduces the time spent traveling. On the other hand, a bus journey is the best one is terms of costs, plus the buses leave quite often, so you will always have an option to leave or return whenever you plan to.

This vicinity and convenient transport make Segovia a perfect destination for a day trip during your stay in Madrid. It is best to leave in the morning or some time before noon, in which case you will have the entire day to enjoy exploring Segovia. It is a nice opportunity to take a break from the busy streets of the central district, but it still is a landmark worth visiting.

Segovia is well-known for its Old Town and Aqueduct, so it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Aqueduct was built by the Romans in the 1st century AD. It was used for military supplies. The Old Town contains a lot of historic buildings and monuments, as well as religious sites. The number of buildings of Jewish origin is also notable, and one of the most important sites is the Jewish cemetery, El Pinarillo.

Other things you need to visit in Segovia include:

Aqueduct of Segovia

Located in the Plaza del Azoguejo, the Aqueduct is one of the most important things you should visit in Segovia. It is a leftover from the Roman times, and as such, it is a remnant of the centuries-old history of Spain. It is also considered an engineering accomplishment, an extraordinary endeavor made centuries ago which is still used to deliver drinking water. It is impressive the way the stone blocks are placed on top of each other, with no advanced technology used. No adhesive materials to keep the blocks together, no heavy machinery to drag and raise the stones to the position. And yet, the Aqueduct still serves its purpose, hundreds and hundreds years later. Not only is it a monument that has endured through all this time, it is also considered to have special architecture beauty which is typical for the Roman times.

Visit Segovia While Staying in Madrid AquaductThe construction of the Roman Aqueduct in Segovia

 

Alcazar of Segovia

Alcazar is a royal palace between the rivers Eresma and Clamores. The first existence of the palace is documented in the 12th century, but the exact date when the palace was built is not confirmed because it is suspected that it had been there for much longer. Besides two towers and a keep, the construction also has two courtyards. Once popular residence among Spanish kings, this palace now houses the General Military de Segovia and the museum of the Royal School of Artillery.

Visit Segovia While Staying in Madrid CastleAlcazar Palace, an architectural landmark that once had great importance in the Spanish court life

 

Walls of Segovia

The area where the town of Segovia exists today was known battlefield in ancient times so it is believed that the Walls of Segovia originate before the time Alfonso VI of León and Castile retook the city from the Arabs in the late 11th century and the beginning of the 12th century. Its main purpose was to keep the boundaries and prevent people from taking over other territories. During the Alfonso’s reign, the Wall’s perimeter was enlarged to 3 kilometers. Today, the Wall encompasses an important historic quarter of the city with three gates: San Cebrián, Santiago, and San Andrés.

Segovia Cathedral

As you explore cities in Spain, you will soon discover that there are numerous cathedrals around the city, with strong a influence of Gothic style. What makes Segovia Cathedral unique is that it is believed that this is the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain. It has become a significant piece of Spanish architecture with 18 chapels and three doors. Recognizable Gothic style and adorned exterior, typical of the constructions style used for cathedrals in Spain, can also be seen on Segovia Cathedral.

Other things to visit in Segovia

Parks and gardens

Alcazar Gardens is the most famous garden in Segovia, built on the ruins of the Old Cathedral. It was created in the 18th century to host the marriage of Philip II. It was expanded in the beginning of the 19th century, only to be destroyed by fire a couple of decades later. Today, the garden is completely renovated and it is a place you definitely want to visit while in Segovia. Another garden you should consider is the Garden of la Merced which is considered to be the most beautiful garden in Segovia. The Paseo del Salon is one of the oldest gardens in the town of Segovia. If you happen to visit Jardinillos of San Roque Garden, you will see an amazing fountain inside the garden, as well as a pavilion dedicated to the Feria de Muestras. As you explore Segovia, you will discover even more small parks and gardens within the boundaries of the town.

Museums

Although the most remarkable Spanish museums are located in Madrid, with their extraordinary collection of masterpieces, Spain is known as a country with rich cultural and artistic heritage. This means that a lot of museums in other cities have collections of their own, with impressive pieces of cultural and historical value. There are a couple of museums you can visit while you are in Segovia:

  • The Museum of Segovia
  • The Gastronomic Museum of Segovia
  • The Museum del Pasado
  • The Museum of Witchcraft
  • The Museum of Arms
  • The Museum of the Contemporary Art Esteban Vicente
  • The Museum of the Walls of Segovia

Festivals and other events

·         MUCES

The word MUCES is an acronym that is used for the annual film festival organized in Segovia since 2006. It is usually organized in November and its purpose is to promote European film, especially those films that are not commercially screened.

·         San Frutos

Hosted each October 25, the purpose of the festival is to celebrate the patron saint of Segovia. The day starts with the Carol of San Frutos being sung in the Cathedral, followed by numerous activities in the town including a proclamation, a concert by the band of the Segovia Musical Union, etc. Numerous activities are also organized in the days before the actual celebration, so the festival is actually taking place for a couple of weeks each October.

·         Virgin of the Fuencisla

Segovia also celebrates its patroness. This celebration is taking place in September. The festivities take place over several days, but the biggest celebration day is organized during the last Sunday of the month. There is a traditional ritual that is followed during the September, starting with a novena, and ending with an impressive route from the Cathedral Shrine accompanied by the cadets of Artillery Academy and the Band.

·         San Lorenzo

Organized at the beginning of the August, this celebration is devoted to one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city.

Squares and other buildings

Segovia also has a lot of interesting squares and streets, which you will come across as you walk around the town and explore these amazing landmarks. These are all the places that had some role in the history of the town, usually as places where people gathered with some common purpose. The most notable ones include:

  • Plaza del Azoguejo
  • Jewish Quarter
  • Calle Cervantes
  • Puerta de la Luna arch
  • Church of San Martin
  • Casa de Los Picos
  • Plaza de la Merced
  • Plaza Mayor

All of these places you will find in the central historic part of the town, which is where you will spend most of your time while in Segovia.

Other activities in Segovia

While historic places and cultural sites are what makes Segovia worth visiting, there are other activities to do on your day trip to Segovia. Start by trying the local cuisine. There are a lot of restaurants near the Plaza Mayor, as well as in the area near the Cathedral and the Plaza del Azoguejo. It is recommended that you try out traditional Spanish dishes. One of those is Cochinillo, a roasted suckling pig. Everyone raves about this dish, and you will see a lot of reviews online featuring Cochinillo as one of the things to do while in Segovia. Cordero, roasted lamb, salads with vegetables and cheese, judiones, a big bean stew, as well as tapas, are all dishes Segovia is known for. Wine is also popular, especially red wine, as well as whiskey, having in mind that the town also has DYC whiskey distillery. After all, eating and drinking is a perfect way to wrap up an exciting day of sightseeing before you have to head to the bus or train station and leave Segovia.

Once you get back to your apartment in the center of Madrid, you will be overwhelmed by the impressions of this town that will charm you with its beauty, historic and cultural value. Even though you will be interrupting your visit to Madrid to go an hour drive away from the center of the city, it is still worth the time. It is a town that has had such an immense importance in Spanish history, which has also influenced the life in Madrid over the centuries. Even though it seems secluded, it will actually feel like a part of Madrid’s charm is transferred to this town.

 

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Benefits of Renting an Apartment in the Center of Madrid

Traveling to Madrid offers plenty of opportunities. There are lots of places to visit, beautiful, historic landmarks that are internationally famous. Numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops are also there, especially in the central area. Finally, there are many ways to find accommodation in Madrid.

Finding an apartment to stay in during a travel is never easy. It is a process that requires a lot of time and effort because you want to explore all the options that are available to you and find the best one. The best one refers to the apartment that combines everything that you need. This includes great comfort, great location, and great price. Sometimes, you will find an apartment that meets only two of these criteria. For example, you might find a very comfortable apartment at an affordable price, but it is located far away from the city center. Although you are often left with no choice than to compromise, location is a very important aspect of finding an accommodation when traveling.

 Benefits-Renting-Apartment-in-the-Center-of-Madrid-01

Benefits of apartments in the center of Madrid

There are numerous benefits of choosing apartments in the center of Madrid when staying in the city, and we will highlight the most important ones.

Reachable

All travelers first go to the accommodation once they reach their destination. It is important for them to leave their luggage and to freshen up after the journey. Sometimes, a short nap might be a good way to prepare yourself for the sightseeing. This routine is something most travelers have in common, regardless the location they travel to. As a result, it is crucial to find accommodation that is reachable.

What does this mean? Well, you need to easily reach the accommodation once you arrive at the city. Having a direct bus or even a shuttle service is a great way to reach the accommodation of your choice.

When it comes to Madrid, there is a specialized bus line that operates all day long, 24/7, from the airport to the city center. There are hardly any stops and the final destination is the center of the city. This is a more affordable option, and the one most travelers choose. Of course, there is always an option of hiring a taxi, but this kind of transport is more expensive.

Either way, when you find an apartment in the center of the city, you will be able to easily reach it once you get to the city. There are no switching buses, waiting for the right stop to leave the bus, or looking for the location on a map, with the luggage in one hand. As much as it is exciting to travel, it can take its toll, and the last thing you want to do once you arrive at the city is to explore the map and look for the quickest way to reach your destination, especially if you arrive at night. This is why apartments in the center are a perfect choice. You will be able to reach them easily, and then get ready for an exciting adventure around the city.

Flexible

Apartments offer a much more diverse type of stay than hotels for example. There are so many different options travelers can choose from. For example, having or not having a terrace, having two or three bedrooms, etc. When finding an apartment to rent online, you will probably be provided with the photos of the apartment. This offers an even better view into the apartment interior. Besides the general description, you actually get to see the actual apartment. This helps you decide whether this is something you would like and whether this solution would be good for your travel.

Another reason, we will have to group under the flexibility, is the option to cook while you are traveling. Hotels do not have this option available and this might be a problem for travelers who are on a special diet plan or those who travel with kids. In situations like these, it is very helpful to have a fully serviced apartment. This way, even when you are traveling, you get to keep up with some of your habits, such as a special diet plan.

Therefore, renting apartment does take precedence over any other type of accommodation in terms of flexibility. It allows you to adjust your stay to a home-like situation and make the adaptation process as seamless as possible. This is particularly important when we talk about a long-term stay. When it comes to a short-term stay, travelers are much more willing to compromise, and they are not as strict with the requirements, unlike those who are planning a long-term stay. Actually, it is even more important for long-term travelers to consider flexibility a quality they need from an accommodation, which is why it is worth considering Madrid central apartments.

Comfortable

Most people think about the apartment interior when they see the word comfortable. While this is the great part of comfort, there is so much more to the meaning. The location is also one of the comforts you can and should enjoy. This is why we highlight comfort as one of the benefits of renting an apartment in the center of Madrid.

When you stay in the city center, it is like being in a privileged location. You are staying near the points of interest, as most places, you will visit during your stay are in fact located in the city center. This includes everything from cafes where you will have a morning coffee, to shops you will explore. Everything is so close to you, usually within walking distance. Another benefit we can see here is no need to use public transport. There is no need for you to learn how public transport in Madrid works because chances are you will hardly ever use it if you stay in the center of the city.

This kind of comfort is important for both short-term and long-term stay. In the case of a short-term stay, you know that the time you will be spending in Madrid is limited, and you want to put it to a good use. You want to make sure you are not wasting any moment, and that you are enjoying every second of your visit. This obviously means that you want to be near all the landmarks and places you would visit anyway, enabling you to visit as many places as possible. On the other hand, when we talk about a long-term stay, location is again an important part of the decision-making. You know you will be spending a certain period in the city, and you will probably be visiting a certain point of interest, for example, an office. Staying in the city center enables you to reach any nearby destination on foot, but it is also very convenient when traveling to other districts because the center is where all metro lines meet. This means that the central area is a centralized hub, a place from which you can find a direct line to other locations in the city.

Affordable

Just because you are interested in staying in the city center, it does not mean that the holiday will be expensive. There are many options to find affordable apartments in the city center. All you have to do is to start with the search, explore all of your requirements and use the price to sort through the apartments. You will see that you can find a lot of options that will be within your budget. It is even more so when traveling with a group because renting a large apartment will usually be much cheaper than renting a hotel room for each and every one of group members.

It is also worth knowing that there are special deals and offers, which means that you can find special discounts for renting an apartment. Longer stays or a stay during a particular period of the year may be cheaper than a regular apartment price, but to make sure you do not miss those deals, make sure you subscribe to a newsletter of the apartment provider or send an inquiry about the dates you are interested in. As a general rule, the time around the holidays such as Christmas, Easter, etc. is the busiest, meaning you will rarely find discounts during that time. Sometimes there are discounts when you book well in advance, but again, to be sure you keep up with those, you will have to do an extensive research and follow the updates online.

You cannot go wrong

Finally, another benefit you should definitely consider is the fact that you cannot go much wrong when renting an apartment in the center of Madrid. It is a perfect location, a flexible and yet comfortable solution for any type of stay. This means that this choice of the central apartment will make a selection much easier for you. There is no need to learn about districts in Madrid and explore the neighborhoods to discover those that are best suitable. Instead, simply concentrate your search on apartments in the center of Madrid, and you can be sure that this location would be perfect for your travel. This is especially important for the first-time visitors, who might be facing a true challenge as they will have a problem using location as criteria when browsing through the apartment listings. In this case, focusing on central area is simply a safer choice, especially when you consider these benefits.

Like most travelers, you will face a challenge of finding accommodation when traveling, but when you think about these suggestions, you can surely determine that an apartment in the center of Madrid is a pretty good choice. When you decide that this is something you are looking for, the further selection will be much easier because you will have something specific in mind. Along with other requirements, you will face a much narrower choice of the apartments that meet those, which will make the apartment hunt more efficient. And that should be your goal. Rather than spending lots of time online exploring all sorts of accommodation types, focus on a selected few and then choose the one you like best.

In the end, all that matters is that you can easily reach the apartment and that you feel comfortable during your stay. Chances are you will spend a lot of time outside, especially if you visit during the months when the weather is nice, but coming back to a comfortable apartment at the end of your busy day is such a great satisfaction. It will make your stay more enjoyable, regardless if it is a short-term or a long-term stay. Ultimately, that is all that matters. You want to have a great time in Madrid, and choosing a great place to stay in will certainly help with achieving that goal.

 

76th Madrid Book Fair

Visiting Madrid in spring is such a perfect time to experience the city. It’s quite warm to spend an entire day out enjoying sightseeing, and yet it is not too hot for you to constantly look for the nearest shade. According to most tourists, spring is an ideal time to visit Madrid. You could choose any period between the beginning of April and until the beginning of June and you will love it outdoors. Since Madrid has a lot of places to visit, as well as some amazing parks in the central area, most notable being the Retiro Park, there will be plenty of things for you to do during your visit.

If you love spending time outside and you love literature, then Madrid Book Fair is a perfect event for you. It is traditionally held in the Retiro Park and this year it is organized for the 76th time. This is one of the most popular events organized in the park during spring as it brings out the literature to the people, to the place where a lot of locals and tourists spend their days anyway. The event in a way overtakes the spotlight, so the park is not the main focus anymore. Instead, all the attention is aimed at the booths presenting hundreds and thousands of books. This way, the main purpose of the book fair as an event that nurtures the importance of books and literature is accomplished.

76th Madrid Book Fair

Madrid Book Fair is a place to explore books and enjoy cultural events accompanying the fair

 

About the Madrid Book Fair

The first ever book fair in Madrid was held back in 1933 as a part of the Cervantine Week events. It was held at the Paseo de Recoletos with booths placed along the avenue. The writers of the period also participated in this event that was created in celebration of literature.

In that time, it was a modest event, organized on a local level, but the tendency to grow was present from the early days. The next year, the phrase “National and Hispano-American” was added to the name of the fair. This immediately meant the fair is going to expand its influence and the selection of books offered at the fair was going to expand significantly. Two more fairs took place, before the outbreak of the Civil War, which was later followed by the World War II.

The fair was reinstated in 1944 when the booths were once again placed in the Paseo de Recoletos. That year the fair was renamed to the National Book Fair. It was not until 1967 that the fair was moved to the Retiro Park, where it still is held to this day. The main reason why this location was chosen was the fact that the fair kept attracting more and more visitors. Booksellers and publishers, as well as the readers, from the country and from abroad all wanted to participate, and the Paseo de Recoletos was simply not large enough to accept all of them. This way, a small local event turned into a large-scale book fair, attracting visitors from many different countries which meant that the new location was needed. It was decided to move the festival to the Retiro Park. Since 1982 the fair is known under the name the Book Fair of Madrid and it was the year when a new tradition was established. Each year, one of the members of the royal family opens the fair by taking a walk between the booths on the first morning of the fair.

76th Madrid Book Fair

This year’s Madrid Book Fair will be held from the 26th of May to the 11th of June. Each year there is a guest country, so the year 2017 is no exception. The guest country this year will be Portugal. Here are some basic information you need to know if you decide to visit the fair:

Location: Pº del Duque de Fernán Núñez

Jardines del Buen Retiro

Get there by metro: Príncipe de Vergara (Lines 2 and 9), Retiro (L2) or Ibiza (L9)

Get there by bus: Lines 2,20,26,28,63,152,C1,C2,N6 y N8 (C/ Menéndez Pelayo)

Lines 1,9,15,51,52,74,146,N2,N3,N5 y N7 (Puerta de Alcalá)

Get there by car: Parking available in the following streets

C/ Velázquez, 16

C/ Doctor Castelo, 10

C/ Montalbán, 6

Contact information: info@ferialibromadrid.com

Website: http://www.ferialibromadrid.com/

Phone number: +34 915338836

To keep up with the upcoming itinerary and other information related to the fair, it is best to follow the official announcements on the website or social media channels.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/FeriadelLibroMadrid/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FLMadrid

This year the fair is organized for the 76th time and it is expected to feature more than 360 booths with over 400 exhibitors. Booksellers, distributors, and publishers from the entire country, as well as some from abroad, will attend the fair, which means that this is a great opportunity to look for rare books and editions that are not widely available in the stores during the rest of the year.

Events and activities during the fair

During the fair, there is a special discount available on certain books, which is an excellent opportunity to purchase some books at special prices. This period is also a great time to meet the writers in person and even get signed copies of their works. In fact, book signings are scheduled for each day, so every day you could meet one of the greatest names in the contemporary Spanish literature. The entire list of book signings, as well as other activities organized during the fair, will be announced in the days before the fair starts so you can plan your visit accordingly.

Besides writers, each fair also features other artists, including graphic designers, illustrators or musicians. It is a true cultural event that brings together people from the cultural life of Spain, making the fair an excellent opportunity to really enjoy. Occasionally, you will see live performances, concerts and other events organized. Even though the literature is the main focus of the event, there is still place to learn more about local art, including music, dance, and theater. This is the main reason why the fair has become such an influential event in the cultural life of the city.

Workshops are also organized, especially those for kids, which is a great chance to engage the little ones and get them interested in literature. Through this event, the goal of bonding family is also achieved this way, as this becomes an event for the entire family. While kids enjoy spending time outdoors, watching the performances organized for them and participating in craft workshops, the parents get the time to browse their favorite books as they walk along the park.

The official map of how the booths are placed is usually available in advance. So if you have a specific publisher or author you want to find, without the need to spend much time going through booths, you can do that by checking the map. The organizer will also be announcing the schedule for all the activities that are planned, including workshops, public readings, etc.

Where to stay during the Madrid Book Fair?

For all of those staying in the center of Madrid, this event is perfect if you want to spend an afternoon or an evening out. When you rent an apartment in the center of Madrid, these kinds of events are a great chance to meet the locals and truly enjoy the city. This is why it is recommended to look for accommodation in the center, instead of focusing on neighborhoods of Madrid that are far away and require more time to navigate around.

The Retiro Park is also a place where you will find a couple of notable Madrid landmarks including the Monument to Alfonso XII, the Paseo de la Argentina as well as the Crystal Palace. The festival is a unique blend that mixes together the culture and literature in a way that you get a multicultural event, popular by locals as well as by tourists.

When you stay in the city center, not only are you close to the Retiro Park, but you will also be near other most remarkable landmarks in Madrid which are all worth visiting. Regardless if your stay is short-term, or you are on a long-term stay in Madrid, make sure you check out all the events and landmarks that are available to you in the central area. Madrid is a metropolitan city and as such it strives to provide rich cultural life and diversity so that everyone can enjoy their visit.