"Madrid is HUGE!" Top 5 Page for this destination Comunidad de Madrid by magictravelers
Comunidad de Madrid Travel Guide: 5,886 reviews and 12,468 photos
We´ve been to Madrid several times, and still have not repeated anything yet! The second time ever I came to Spain to visit my them boyfriend Javi, he picked me up there and then we came here by train. So, yes, Madrid is the best communicated city in Spain because it is in the center of Spain. This means, no beach, very cold weather in the Winter and very hot in the Summer, but you can get away within 2-3 hours to the beach (Benidorn) by car, 3-4 housr to Andalucía (Málaga, Marbella, Cadiz, etc.) by the fast train Ave, 6-8 hours by bus or train to Barcelona, or 1-2 hours to the mountains in the Sierra the Madrid by car. Barajas is a renovated airport, I think the biggest in Spain, and of course you can travel from there to any of the Canary Islands, anywg¡here in Europe or in the world.
Right now Madrid is having a "make up" due to the Royal Wedding to be celebrated May 22nd, so if you come later than that, Madrid will look a bit better yet.
My favorite thing in Madrid so far was to visit "El Escorial Abbey" in 1999 (I don´t have scanned pics) on the Monday after San Lorenzo´s festivity. El Escorial is usually not open on Mondays, but that Nonday it was dut to the closing of the Abbey to the public the Sat before. We where lucky to enjoy the place with no one else but our guided tour. We had a chance to tale the best pics and ask all the questions we wanted. As we left, it started to get really full. Another of my favorite places in Madrid (near) is Toledo. I wish I had spent 1 or 2 days there. It was so hot (44ºC), but so beautiful. The mixture of cultures, styles of art and all the history. I learned more history that afternoon than all my 30 years before. I recommed a guided tour which will explain the history, point out the important/special features, and most importantly, you will have all the tickets paid for (to the churches and museums), so you won´t have to stand in lines and save a lot of money. Too bad none of the places allowed cameras! OH YES! let me warn you; Toledo is always full of people, it is in a high hill so you will have to go up and down a lot of hills and stairs and the streets are tinny. Either a car goes through or you do. They are THAT SMALL!
And don´t miss a play while in Madrid.. There is always a bunch of them playing all year round. And finally, go to the "normal and common" places; El Prado Museum, El Retiro Park, La Almudena Cathedral, etc.
Our most recent visit to Madrid was an art/entreteinment one. We came to see a Musical and to meet the city a bit more. So this time, after we had discovered the tourist buses and that we love them; we took the Madrid Vision Bus that would explain most important buildings and monuments. Traffic at this time in Madrid is quite awful; the city is being renovated inside and outside. They are covering M-30 an artery that brings people into the city; adding a new metro line, and repairing streets and buildings. It is crazy within Madride, so taking Metro and buses is the best way to move around until all construction is done.
The bus cost was 12 euros and 50% off for a second day. We had earphones with music and pre-recorded explanations in a few languages (very nice). There are 3 lines that last about an hour each and we took our first bus right in front of El Prado Museum. We were also given a discount coupin book. Like in Barcelona, and London, this is a Hop in , Hop out bus, and covers most of Madrid Center, although I thik it needs some new recordings.
In 3 hours we took more than 400 pictures so you can get an idea of all things you can see in Madrid. OH! if you come during Summer time and plan to seat on the second floor: bring sunglasses, fresh clothes, sun protection cream and a hat if posible. IT IS HOT!
Wellllll, this is a tough one! I like Barcelona because of the Sea and milder temperatures. I like Madrid because of the language (Spanish) and the cultural diversity. And also because of all the Plays and musicals, concerts and activities you can go to.
I don´t like Barcelona because of the langiage (catalan) and the attitude of people: very close minded. I don´t like Madrid because it seens to be such a bussy, fast city. People here seem to me to be nice, but not too involved.
Temperature wise, Barcelona´s Summers and Winters are a lot milder, but a lot more humid. It will hardly snow during Winter, were as in Madrid, it gets extremly cold and it snows more often. And the heat in Barcelona is humid (nice if you are used to it), were as in Madrid, it gets really hot (40º), but since it is dryer, it can be handled better by most people.
As far as arquitechture, museums, and such; they are both great! Each has its own style and it all depends on your taste.
If I was given the choice, I would visit both cities (during early or late Summer time).
So, this is my point of view, you can take it, or not.
- Pros:Many people speak English and well comunicated
- Cons:The weather can be awfull, a lot of traffic
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