Streets and walking, Madrid
Madrid has a great architecture, nice squares and different areas of the city all having their own characteristics. Anyhow, Madrid is a very modern and lively city.
Its numerous restaurants offer delicious food.
Nightlife is lively and there are lots of different styles of places to choose from. I enjoyed a Cuban place with the nice latino music.
Fondest memory: My favourite place was not downtown, but Plaza Mayor with its wide open square; and the area called La Latina (the traditional working class living area in Madrid).
In La Latina you can find narrow streets and tiny restaurants, prices too are not the same as in downtown.
Favorite thing: The Gran Via is the commerical focal point of Madrid. It is here that you head to after you tire of Madrid's many museums and have decided it is time to do some shopping. The area also has many destinctive early 20th century buildings that makes the architecture fascinating. At night the reason that you might visit the Gran Via is to see is to take in its many bars.
Favorite thing: While walking around the centre of Madrid, look around! You will find yourself surrounded by this beautiful architecture, and not only in the bigger streets. I like to think that Madrid has a certain class and elegance due partly to its architecture. Also, where ever you are, don't forget to look up! You might find a nice surprise on top of a building!!
Favorite thing: This marvelous trompe-l'oeuil on the side of a building is near the Plaza de Jacinto Benavente in Old Madrid. Blink an eye and you might just walk right into the building! Another wonderful surprise waiting to be discovered.
This building in on the way from Puerta del sol to Plaza Mayor.
I love the paintings on the facades, make it very special. I founded quite a few buildings like this walking around the Austrias area.
Favorite thing: Many of the streets and squares in central Madrid have, in place of the usual street name, a mural with both the name and a picture related to the street or square name. So, for example, in the Moorish quarter, Plaza de Puerta de Moros has a nice picture of a Moorish gate beside the square name. This seems like a really interesting idea, especially when a particular street has an obscure name. We saw many of these signs around the old quarters of the city.
In the old part of the town, mostly around Plaza de Santa Ana, shops and bars and restaurants have often façades decorated with tiles very similar to the portuguese azulejos. But, unlike Portugal, the are not only blue and white. The colors vary and so do the themes opf the drawings.
Here are some of the pictures of these azulejos I took in Madrid. Only a few examples, but walking around in a nice day you'll see plenty of them.
Favorite thing: Madrid's stately boulevards are lined with buildings ranging from grand to gaudy. Many of them are embellished with statues, sphinxes, gargoyles and many other sculptural extravanganzas. Framed in voluptuous niches, holding lintels or topping domes and turrets, they seem to spy from the heights the multitude rushing around on their mundane daily errands (and on their extraordinary touristy deeds).
Favorite thing: Madrid is relatively safe but it is a big city after all and you always need to be aware of your surroundings and your personal items. If you are approached for charities etc, just walk away. In crowded areas, hold your possessions close by and secure. Pickpockets will always have a go.
Favorite thing: We loved walking around the city. I totally adore the houses with balconies and different types of windows. It looks so fresh and sunny. Probably because i am from Czech and we dont have such type of house here, i feel the south atmosphere from these houses.
Favorite thing: Madrid is a wonderful city to just walk in and discover what it has to offer. One of the things I' ve heard people say is that Madrid doesn't have any real interesting attractions or that the just don't know why Madrid could be interesting and that they prefer Barcelone. I had been to Barcelona before, but I definitely wanted to give Madrid the benefit of the doubt. I'm glad I did, because I was not disappointed at all. Madrid as beautiful. Impressive buildings, clean streets, diverse in the type of neigbourhoods and what not. So, put on some comfy shoes and start walking, discover Madrid!
Walk, walk all over. Is the best way to know Madrid or for that matter any city. But in Madrid I felt pretty safe.
Now, wear a good pair of shoes.
Fondest memory: Its people, their culture, their food and its Monuments. I loved their parks, and would love to go back soon.
What I missed the most is the "Enjoy Life" feeling is everywhere.
It was October 12, the Spanish National Day. The street was clear and good to walk.
Fondest memory: The achitecture and good urban planning.
Fondest memory: you'll likely see a fair number of these flying in the breeze, on buildings and actual flagpoles. Woohoo, you are in SPAIN!!
Who doesn't love Old Madrid? It's so.... SPANISH!! So when you get to Madrid take advantage of all these lovely old streets and explore!
Just watch your wallet, okay?