PARQUE DEL RETIRO
The gardens have their origin between 1630 and 1640, when the Count-Duke of Olivares (Gaspar de Guzman and Pimentel), validated by Philip IV (1621-1665), gave the King some land that had been ceded by him Duke of Fernán Núñez for the recess of the Court around the Monastery of the Jerónimos of Madrid. Inside the Park we can visit the Paseo de la Argentina which is popularly known as Paseo de las Estatuas, because it is flanked by a series of them dedicated to the monarchs of Spain, ordered to do the decoration of the Royal Palace of Madrid, during the reign of Fernando VI. The Puerta de España (1893) is the work of José Urioste y Velada (1850-1909), an architect and urban planner who undertook major reforms in Madrid, such as the extension of the Gran Vía. It is the entrance to El Retiro from Calle Alfonso XII, with a monumental gate designed by Agustín Felipe Peró. After crossing it, the Paseo de la Argentina leads us to the pond. The monument to King Alfonso XII is a sculptural ensemble located almost in the middle of the Retiro Park. The Monument to Santiago Ramón y Cajal is located on the Paseo de Venezuela and is made of granite stone and bronze. It was inaugurated in 1926. We can also see the Artichoke Fountain, the Fountain of the Fallen Angel, the Fisherman’s House, the Crystal Palace, the artificial mountain, the House of Feral, the gardens and the estuary.
Distance from the Hostel: 700m.
PUERTA DEL SOL
The Puerta del Sol is a square in Madrid (Spain). Here is the so-called Kilometer Zero of the Spanish radial roads. The oldest building in the Puerta del Sol is the Casa de Correos and it is worth noting the tower clock that was built and donated in the 19th century by José Rodríguez de Losada and whose bells from 12 noon on 31 December mark the traditional take of the twelve grapes to the great majority of the Spaniards.
Distance from the Hostel: 800m.
MERCADO DE SAN MIGUEL
The Mercado de San Miguel is a historical and monumental place, loaded with literary reminiscences. Located in the heart of “Madrid Castizo”, is in the area of greater personality of the city and better commercial, cultural and leisure offer. Now you are writing a new page of its history with the aim of bringing together the best traders, professionals, experts and enthusiasts of their respective specialties.
Distance from the Hostel: 650m.
WEEKEND IN MADRID
17-19 hours. The Plaza de Oriente is our starting point for this walk. Surrounded by statues and gardens, we discover the Royal Theater, which, little by little, will leave behind us to approach the Royal Palace.
Before us stands an imposing building flanked, to the right, by the Gardens of Sabatini and, to the left, by the Cathedral of the Almudena, where we can visit the crypt and the church. From there, along Calle Bailén, we find Calle Mayor.
19-21 hours. Going up this road will appear before our eyes the Plaza de la Villa and shortly after, the Market of San Miguel. Do you fancy a cool tapas? Maybe some oysters with a glass of cava. If we prefer something more traditional we can also taste a tapa of Iberian ham and vermouth. On leaving we find the Plaza Mayor where tourists and locals intermingle to be amazed by the beauty of its architecture.
The Puerta del Sol is our next stop. A place full of secrets to discover. And from there, we walked to the Congress of Deputies, guarded by two majestic lions who preside over its entrance.
9:00 p.m. Across the street from Prado you will reach Plaza de Santa Ana. Take tapas at any of its breweries and then head to Huertas Street, one of the nightlife centers of the city. Dozens of bars and pubs open their doors for you until the wee hours of the morning.
9-12 hours. We started Saturday at Paseo del Arte, known for hosting three of the most famous art galleries in the world. The Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofía Museum of Art open their doors for you to travel the world of art. Choose which one you want to stay with!
12-14 hours. After visiting one of the museums, walk to the Plaza de la Cibeles and photograph the most famous goddess of Madrid. Taking a short walk we reach the Plaza de la Independencia where the Puerta de Alcalá is located, essential in any photo album. Just opposite is the entrance to the Retiro Park, a place to enjoy walking, breathing fresh air or paddling in the boats.
14-15 hours. It is time for a meal based on rations in the neighborhood of Las Letras, where you will find many taverns with charm and tradition as La Dolores or Los Gatos.
15-17 hours. It is now time to move to the north of Madrid along the Paseo de la Castellana. The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium will welcome us.
17-19 hours. It’s shopping time! We go downtown to buy some fans and some souvenirs, passing before the “Golden Mile” to give us a whim in an exclusive store, or perhaps you are looking for the latest Spanish design? Then do not miss Malasaña or Triball. Do you fancy a mall? Approach Prince Pio, near the Royal Palace. Here you will find everything!
19-20 hours. Direct your steps to the Plaza de España and walk to the Temple of Debod, Egyptian building in a privileged location with wonderful views of the Madrid skyline and the Casa de Campo.
20-00: 00 hours. We now return to Gran Vía to enjoy a musical in the middle of Madrid’s Broadway. After the show it’s dinner time.
8-12 hours. After a chocolate-based breakfast with churros in San Ginés, a Sunday morning in Madrid is a must visit for El Rastro. It is advisable to arrive at about 9 hours to visit this market that extends along the Ribera de Curtidores and the surrounding streets, displaying all kinds of goods before the eyes of the peddler.
12-13 hours. All this in the neighborhood of la Latina, famous, among other things, for being a regular area of tapas, which, around midday, we can start to enjoy. In addition, near La Latina it is worth visiting the Gardens of the Vistillas, where to contemplate Madrid or to rest for a while lying on the lawn. We can also taste typical dishes from Madrid, such as the gallines or the ins and outs, on their terraces.
13-21 hours. It’s time to make a break. Aranjuez is one of the must-sees, as it is a city declared World Heritage Site and has one of the most beautiful Royal Palaces in Madrid. Do not miss the Porcelain Cabinet or the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace. Save some minutes to stroll through its gardens surrounded by the River Tagus and decorated with fountains from the 16th and 17th centuries. Afterwards, it runs through the streets of the town, which has a rich and varied gastronomy: from asparagus, strawberries and rich wines. We suggest you try a barbecue in one of their inns.