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Madrid is a cosmopolitan and lively city (ep. 5)
Madrid is not only the capital of Spain, but also the capital of the province and autonomous community of Madrid. Built on the ruins of a Moorish fort called Magerit, the city became the capital in 1561, during the reign of Philip II of Habsburg. As a result, Madrid has become a flourishing city, and today it is culturally rivaled only by Barcelona.
At the beginning of spring, during the period 1-3 March 2013, I was in a city break in Madrid. I went on the road with little knowledge of the destination. I heard all kinds of stories, I knew it was a city full of tourist attractions, green parks, but I didn't want to know more. I didn't make a plan before, I didn't want advice on what to visit and where to go. I let everything come to fruition and I discovered the capital of Spain as it could be better in the 2 days.
flights Bucharest - Madrid - Bucharest were operated by Blue Air. It was a first for me and I was really surprised by the services of this low-cost operator. Cheap flights, nice flights, line landings, ok services on board aircraft, but about all that I wrote in the first episode of the trip.
As I arrived at the airport in Madrid, the madness began. The first challenge was to find the subway station and a tourist information center. From the T1 terminal to the subway, I walked for about 15 minutes and often thought I was lost. But no, Barajas airport is huge and you have to go.
2-day subscription - 14.2 EUR
Before getting off the subway, I found the tourist information center where I got my map of the city and the tourist pass for public transport. I got a 2 day subscription and paid 14.2 EUR. It was valid for area A of Madrid and offers access to all means of transport, including the route to / from the airport. With subway from Madrid you can get very fast to the corner of the city. Metro de Madrid It starts at 6 in the morning and runs late at night, officially until 1 and 30 minutes. The train frequency is between 2 and 5 minutes during the day, and the evening runs at 15 minutes.
Paravion.ro found me a fixed accommodation in the heart of Madrid, in the Puerta del Sol area, the busiest tourist area in the city. It was a very pleasant surprise to know that I was within walking distance of Km 0 and very close to the tourist interest centers. But I didn't visit museums, I just walked around and walked every street in the area. This is how I discovered the green parks, many terraces and bars, shops for shopping, wonderful people and even talented actors.
For those interested, shopping is done on Gran Via Boulevard, light women can be found on Montera at any time of the day and night, very close to SOL there is Plaza Mayor and tourist information center. Within 10 minutes walk, you will find Palacio Real, Sabatini Gardens, Plaza de Oriente, Teatro Real and many other museums and sights.
Although I stayed in the tourist area, I managed to eat well and cheaply. Don't bypass the Museo del Jamon restaurant chain, true jam-packed culinary museums for all your pockets, where a sandwich costs 2-3 EUR. Don't miss sangria and paella, especially seafood. But about what you can eat in Madrid I wrote in episode four of my trip.
From a sports point of view, Madrid is recognized as the city of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, two bands with European and even world renown. FIFA declared the Real Madrid team the best of the 20th century, after winning 9 European Cups, a record. Atletico Madrid is not even worse, winning 2 UEFA Europa League cups in the last 3 years.
It is not known when I arrive in the capital of Spain, so I took the opportunity and went to visit the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. I arrived in the area shortly before the start of one The classic and I left near the end of the match.
The moments spent near the supporters of the Real cannot be described in words. This is how I discovered that the Spaniards are extremely friendly, maybe too physically loving. They kiss when they meet, they kiss each other, they compliment each other, they take part in a whole greeting ritual. They saw me with the camera and the scarf of the Real on the neck and immediately adopted me. I watched the match in a venue near the stadium and drank beer at 1 EUR.
Nightlife in Madrid
But Madrid also means nightlife. It is a city with a friendly but hectic atmosphere, with cheerful people and always having fun. At least in the Puerta del Sol area you can't get bored. Cafes and bars are open late into the night. Or you can have a snack and sit quietly at one of the fountains in the market.
Madrid has the largest number of bars per capita in Spain. Many Madrilenians dance all night and go to work in the morning.
Madrid's nightlife is divided into areas: Plaza Mayor / Puerta del Sol is the most popular location for tourists, the streets Cava de San Miguel, Cava Alta and Cava Baja are full of bars. There are many restaurants in the Plaza de Isabel II / Plaza de Oriente area. Argüelles / Moncloa is recognized as a student area - many clubs and fast food restaurants.
One night I had the pleasure of attending a street concert, and the second night of seeing the marching band of the church Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen. Two memorable moments and I invite you to watch them below.
About security, just fine. Madrid police are present everywhere, even with civilians. I can act quickly on any call and 3-4 crews come. I can say that I felt safe, although the tourist areas are real "treasures" for beggars. I even witnessed a few arrests. It is said that in the SOL area they have pressure sensors and they always know how many people are in the market. This is how they can ensure an optimal number of police officers.
Conclusions about Madrid
As a final conclusion, Madrid is a city for travelers, for those who love the nightlife, for those passionate about museums and tourist attractions. Anytime I would return to Madrid, but not alone. I would love to have friends with me to share a jug of sangria and a tray of paella.
I managed to walk through Madrid without spending a fortune. The food is acceptable as a price, and the entrances to the sights cost from 1 EUR and up to 50 EUR. There is one MadridCard - 45 EUR which gives you access to many museums and tourist attractions.
What you should remember about Madrid:
- I recommend the transport pass for tourists and the MadridCard for those who are passionate about art and museums.
- Avoid visiting Madrid in the middle of summer, when temperatures jump 40 degrees. I recommend walking through the Spanish capital in early spring or autumn.
- You can eat acceptably at a price even in the heart of Madrid.
- Madrid is known for its nightlife. There are many discos, bars and restaurants open late into the night and even into the morning.
- The Puerta del Sol area is the busiest in Madrid.
- Madrid is recognized as a city with many parks, museums and cultural attractions.
- During the summer, Madrid offers a lot of festivals and performances sponsored by the town hall - take from the newsstands "Guía del Ocio" to find out the program of concerts, movies and shows.
- And if you get to Spain, don't miss Sangria and paella.