Posts Tagged ‘madrid’

the main street of madrid: gran via

the main street of madrid: gran via

while booking a hotel in madrid for the first time, you always wonder which area will fit best to your needs. not only for the holiday-lovers, but also if you want to move to the capital or just want to know how to spend your day perfectly, it is useful to gather information of the different areas of spain. with more than 3 million residents, every area has its own characteristics and uniqueness. we divide the area into three different main characteristics: most exclusive, trendy and the competitors. every characteristic has different areas what can help decide where to go in madrid.

most exclusive

a chic and luxury traveller or a professional may want to secure accommodation in salamanca or castellana, some of the most expensive areas in the city. the broad thoroughfares are lined with designer shops, stylish boutiques and upmarket restaurants. not only for the more posh-people, but this area is beautiful to walk through as a tourist and to explore the luxury part of madrid. the us embassy is found here and the district´s wide highway and tall buildings are the headquarter of many banks and companies.

serrano street and calle goya are the busiestand most luxury shopping streets in Salamanca, both with an upmarket high street feel. Serrano has just emerged from a bit of a revamp, aimed at making the whole shopping experience more pleasant.

serrano street and calle goya are the most busy and luxury shopping streets in Salamanca, both with an upmarket high street feel. serrano has just emerged from a bit of a revamp, aimed at making the whole shopping experience more pleasant.

the poshest part of madrid, with the best restaurants, the most expensive shops and lounge bars. it is also a traditional neighbourhood of madrid where you can enjoy typical madrid food in many places.
el madrid de los austrias
the oldest part of madrid, between the palace, the cathedral and the opera. you will have access to many great restaurants and green spaces.
letras & cortes
letras is a neighbourhood with a long intellectual history, known for its traditional tapas bars and partying along calle huertas.


the trendy area of madrid is for the typical student or for the ones that want to avoid the touristic sightseeing. it is famous for its non-touristy alternative area and it is getting popular every day. wander through the streets for glimpses of street art, second hand shops and even pop-up stores.

famous in madrid for its bars and artist population, malasaña is the neighbourhood for the gentrified, the alternative and people who like to be in the middle of things, should it be party, alternative art and music, or the city itself.
famous for its gay population, but it is in fact much more than this. old typical madrid buildings, with quaint bars, calm coffees and a bit more laid back and diverse than malasaña.
la latina
typical old buildings, a vivid neighbourhood life, coupled with the most famous street for tapas and Madrid’s huge flee market.
sol, nickname of the neighbourhood around the puerta del sol, is the very centre of madrid. sol is a great place to live as a your first neighbourhood and if you want to discover madrid but still feel you need to stay close to international and english-speaking restaurants, shops and bars.

Malasaña is a vibrant neighborhood and a center for the 'hipster' phenomena, full of lively bars and clubs overflowing with young people. Its streets are currently being renovated, making it a much more attractive quarter. It's one of the classic areas for partying the night away.

malasaña is a vibrant neighborhood and a center for the ‘hipster’ phenomena, full of lively bars and clubs overflowing with young people. its streets are currently being renovated, making it a much more attractive quarter. it’s one of the classic areas for partying the night away.

the competitors

these areas could be called as ´upcoming´ as they are not known by everybody, but they are getting more popular to experience another expression of the city. this area has a lot to offer and especially for the outdoors among us: there are a lot of nice parks and avenues and not a lot of tourists are aware of the inner-beauty of these places.

lavapies and embajadores
lavapies starts just south of the very centre of madrid, from the tirso de molina square which marks the start of this neighbourhood, and goes south until the metro station of embajadores. it is a diverse neighbourhood, with a large indian and african community, but it is also still known for its traditional bars and shops like the butcher.
a neighbourhood which still lives the traditional madrid way, with local markets, no lounge bars and only the typical tapas restaurants where madrileños are enjoying with friends. not as fancy as malasaña, or as posh as salamanca, but it is another quintessential neighbourhood like la latina.
a traditional neighbourhood with universities close by and plenty of parks just five minutes walking: debod’s temple park, parque del oeste and casa de campo. a great place if you are looking for a quality quiet neighbourhood, not too expensive, with plenty of parks nearby and very close to the centre.
the neighbourhood is defined by the massive park in the middle of it. retiro is quite expensive, with great restaurants in its surroundings, “modern” buildings compared to the city center, and the park is always near to enjoy a stroll. careful with the eastern part of the neighbourhood, which is not so well connected with the city centre as you think it should be.




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we all know the situation, just booked a trip and telling it to your family and friends and the first thing they say is: “you have to bring me sth.” who did not do this experience yet. well we are sure all of us know this situation.

now imagine you arrive in your destination, in our case madrid, and you think about what kind of presents you can buy. well you feel yourself somehow obligated to buy a small present, because if not we will somehow feel bad that we did not do it.

however imagine now a second you are in madrid and are searching something. the first stores you see in the city for souvenirs and gifts are the typical ones where you can find this:


normally you go inside these shops and buy a stupid thing. however, today we will stop being normal and be a little more special.

let us inform you about some old, traditional shops in madrid, where you can find traditional spanish products with a good value for money. let your loved or friend feel for just once a bit of your trip.

alvarez gomez, a century perfumery

the story of the perfumery alvarez gomez started when three cousins decided to leave their hometown, león,  for searching a job in the capital of spain. they started there journey in a drugstore of a relative.  when this relative decided to retire, circumstance and opportunity that the cousins took advantage of by buying it, which was a very important step for their future. their ideas and visions made the small drugstore nowadays to a famous and popular perfumery in spain. they produce and develop own perfum.

our first recommendation is to buy a small present in the perfumery and relate it with a short explanation of the history of this place. give your relatives the feeling of getting something special from a more than hundred years old store.


pastelería el pozo, handmade sweet delights

rumors are saying that this is the oldest bakery in madrid. a bakery where the sweet delights are still made in the traditional way, that means more or less completely handmade.
also famous is the bakery for their roscone de reyes, a sweet delight. for enjoying this you have to make a reservation days, weeks before you visit this place as the demand is quite high.

our recommendation is to visit the bakery and just try different delights, as a present you should buy a small mixed package the day before your departure.


almacén de vinos mariano madrueño, a trip across spanish wines

this company was founded in 1895 actually as a distellery of aniseed, liquors and syrups. over hundred years it was runed by family members til 1999 when the company closed its doors as a distellery. the new philosophy since then is to offer a selection of the best wines from all over spain and its different regions. the shop will be found close to the city center at the plaza callao.

our recommendation is to visit the shop, be advised by someone working there and knowing about the best spanish wines.


bombones la violeta, the violet flower of madrid

this small shop is dedicated since 1915 to the sale of chocolates and candies. but this shop is famous in all madrid for its candy “violet”. this is a small flower-shapped candie and flavored with a violet aroma. one really nice and popular gift from madrid.

our recommendation is to buy this beautiful, very unique candies. give your relatives a different taste than they ever had in their life.


sombrerería casa yustas, hometown of madrids hats

in the casa yustas you will find three floors where you can find all kinds of caps, berets and hats, in any size and price. the store has its own workshop where they produce there products handmade. besides in this store you can find military items, things for a small present or any decoration.


we hope you have for your next visit now some ideas about what present you could get and which are not normal stuff as 85% of the visitors of madrid are buying.

however, finally we just want to give a small hint for the one who is travelling to madrid…:)

in madrid there is the possibilty of having lunch or dinner in the oldest restaurant of the world, the “el botín”. specialized in traditional spanish food the restaunt is a must-do if you come to visit the capital. the most famous dish is the piglet and the lamb. the mix of it old atmosphere, delicious food and best spanish wines is making this place to an unforgattable place.
but do not forget to make a reservation as this place often is fully occupied if you just go spontaneously. and for our clients we have special prices…;)


here is a map for you to see where the different shops are, as we can see all of them are located in the city center.

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the bullfighting in spain is questioned since years, people saying that the act and killing of the bull should be forbidden and not be longer a part of spanish culutral activities. however when the event is taking place the entrance card are sold out quickly and banns thousands of people for some hours in the world of bullfighting with all his emotions.

in this blog we will not focus so much in the history of it moreover we want to present famous bullrings as “the plaza de toros” in ronda, “plaza toros las ventas”  in madrid and  “plaza de toros de la maestranza” in sevilla. for sure there are a lot more rings all over spain, as almost every bigger city has his own bullring, but as the three “plazas” mentioned before are the most important ones in spain, we will have a closer look to them.

but before presenting the three rings let me take you shortly through the history of the bullfighting in spain. the bullfighting in spain as we know today was created in the early 18th century from francisco romero, while the first ring was build in 1749.

one of the oldest plaza de toros in spain, younger and smaller than that at sevilla, but home to one of spain’s most famous ‘schools’ of bullfighting, is ronda.  this city became the city of birth of the traditional bullfighting and the city of practice for the first toreros. torero is the definiton off all people participating during the act. otherwise there are novilleros, matadores, banderillero and picadores. however the main protagonist is the matador who is angering the bull with the “muleta“, the red cloth, and giving the bull the deathblow witht the sword.


the traditional bullfighting, corrida in spain, and his main act are divided into three parts

tercio de varas

in the first part the torero is meeting the bull, this part should give him the opportunity to get to know his enemy, read his movements, and get along with him. some movements of the torero are accompanied by the audience with an “olé”

tercio de banderillas

in the second part the banderillos, helpers of the torereo, comes into the act. their task is it to weaken the bull by stinging 3 banderillas, colourful spears, into the back of the bull

tercio de muleta y estocada

the final showdown in which the torero is trying to prick the rapier into the bull´s heart and finish him off

today the plaza de toros is a museum, open to tourists, and used only in the spectacular september goyesca bullfights, in which combatants dress in the manner of goya’s portraits of 18th century life in spain. this year the act will be performed the 6th of september.

however the plaza de toros de las ventas in madrid became through the decades to one of the  most important ring of bullfighting worldwide. the plaza was build up in 1929 and presents since then the bullfighting spectacle to their audience. the ring has a capacity of ca. 25.000 people, who can enjoy the fighting.


the season of the bullfighting is from may til october, however the best time to experience this act is during the san isidro festival in may and june, where almost every day a bullfight is shown to the audience.

apart of the bullfighting it is posible to visit the ring and his museum, a tour giving you the opportunity to learn more about the history of bullfighting and about the spanish passion for it.

the third ring which is being presented is the plaza de la maestranza in sevilla, the oldest and most significant bullrings in spain. it took more than 100 years to build up this ring with all his beauty. in this ring the bullfight moved from horseback to foot, and many of the cherished theatrical traditions of the matador evolved





during the feria de abril, a week-long celebration of all things in seville, the season´s most prestigious fights are held. every afternoon, crowds pack the plaza de toros (under locals known as “the cathedral”) to see the “dance” between the matador and the bull. 

if the spectacle turns your stomach and is to much for you, you might like to visit only the museum and leave it at that. here you will find the chapel where the matadors pray, the hospital area in case of accidents, bull´s heads and matador´s costumes

bullfighting for sure is not as popular as it was once, but people still go and enjoy the act. for most of the outsiders it is hard to understand how people can get joy of this spectacel. but this not understanding exists in for example every kind of sports, not everyone likes futbol, saying what is so interesting about when 22 people are trying to catch a ball. and as long as the goverment will not forbid this event, the audience will go on jellying and shouting an “oléééééééééééééééé”

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in case you find yourself in the capital of spain, overwhelmed by the increasing heat, you may want to find interesting and exciting places where you can spend your days and prepare for even hotter madrid nightlife.. there is certainly a number of great options for any taste, however, in this artice we have prepared a little insight into what the city can offer to travellers interested in culture and art.

first of all we want to encourage you to explore the so-called the golden triangle of art which consists of three art museums that are among the most important museums in the world: the prado museum (museo del prado), the reina sofía museum (museo nacional centro de arte reina sofía) and the thyssen-bornemisza museum (museo thyssen-bornemisza).


the prado museum,
is among the most prestigious art museums in the world, storing more than 8000 masterpieces from the spanish, flemish and italian schools, starting from the middle ages to the 19th century.

the accent is put on spanish artists, including the magnificent “las
” by velázquez which happens to bealso the best-known work displayed at the museum.

in addition to permanent exhibitions this summer you can also enjoy two temporary exhibitions: “el greco and modern painting” and “evil vanishes. egusquiza and wagner´s parsifal in the museo del prado”.

the museum is located on paseo de prado, with the nearest metro stations being banco de españa and atocha.

the opening hours from monday to saturday are from 10am to 8pm; on sundays and holidays from 10am to 7pm.



the next museum on the “art walk” list is the reina sofía museumsofiacol2.jpg, which is the house for around 20´000 masterpieces, dating from late 19th century to today.

once there you must definitely see the masterpiece “el guernica” by pablo picasso. museum also has an extensive collection of other spanish artists, such as as joan miró and salvador dalí.

nevertheless, if you are more interested in international artists,. the collections also include works by artists like francis bacon, damien hirst, max ernst, lucio fontana, etc.sofia.jpg


the programme of museum includes all types of artistic disciplines, divided into three collections: “the irruption of the 20th century, utopia and conflicto (1900-1945)”, “is the war over? art in a divided world (1945-1968)” and “from revolt to postmodernity (1962-1982)”.

this summer we recommend you to visit also the temporary exhibitions that include works by richard ham
and kerry james marshall.

the museum is located on street santa isabel, 52 with the closest metro station being atocha.

opening hours from monday to saturday are 10am – 9pm, on sunday 10am – 7 pm. the museum is closed on tuesdays.






last but not the least important museum in the golden triangle of art is the thyssen – bornemisza museum which housesaround 1000 arthyssencol1.jpgtworks from the 13th to 20th century.

it is interesting to note that the museum initially started of as a personal collection by baron hans heinrich thyssen-bornemisza and his father, baron heinrich.

thyssen supplements the madrid´s art temple with unique works of such underrepresented areas as the early italian school, impressionism, german expressionism, russian constructivism, , pop art, etc.

if you visit thyssen this summer, you have the opportunity to see two temporary exhibitions, a mixture of conventional and contextual exhibitions. these are – “pop art myths” and “alma-tadema and victorian painting in the pérez-simón collection”.


thyssen is located in palacio de villahermosa, paseo del prado, 8 which is near the metro station banco de españa.

until september 14 the temporary exhibitions are open from 10am to 10pm on tuesdays to saturdays and from 10am to 7pm on sundays and mondays.



although the three aforementioned museums are the very cornerstones of madrid´s art collections there are even more interesting cultural places to see, e.g. the arts centre matadero or caixaforum – the live space for old, modern and contemporary art, music and poetry .matcaixa.jpg

across spain would like to invite you to be our guest and explore the never-ending artistic and cultural opportunities the city has to offer, be it either by yourself or by choosing any of our several guided tours and art gallery routes.

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hot summer in spain – madrid or barcelona, what can be better?

enjoy warm sea and cosmopolitan city of catalonia or walk through the emblematic sunny streets of madrid.

however when it gets too hot, better to put on sun cream and panama hat, or  hide from the heat in some cool place, to avoid catching a sun strike.


barcelona and madrid give you unique opportunity not just to escape from heat, but to experience a small northern adventure without going far away – and even see the northern lights!

how is this possible you will ask? – check it out!

ice bar in barcelona

opened in 2007, this ice-place suggests its visitors to get unique northern experience, just at the sandy beach of barceloneta.  ice bar is a wonderful place to be amused both for locals and tourists: lightened ice sculptures, ice interiors are forming two areas that are ready to welcome visitors and provide perfect place for fun and unusual celebration.


entrance ticket (don’t forget to make pre-booking!) for the price of 15 eu provides you with 45 minutes visit and drink, that will warm you up. at the entrance you will get jacket and gloves, but better take some extra clothing with you if you are and easy freezing person.

temperature in the bar varies from -2oc to -10oc depending on the bar occupancy.

ice bar in madrid

ice bar in madrid presents more intimate atmosphere and is a good place for any kind of event or celebration. the ice bar has a number of packages to book for perfect event that you will remember for years!


package for vip clients, ¨love package¨, ¨photography package¨, ¨vodka tasting package¨, ¨celebrations package¨. moreover in the bar there is an ice shop, offering you a number of exclusive products related with the ice world.


and last but not the least! madrid ice bar can surprise you with a unique show of northern lights, prepared by the brightest video and photography specialists together with the ice bar members.

use a chance to experience north and south at once

and take rest from the summer heat in the ice-bar!


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