HOW I FELL IN LOVE WITH MADRID

Hola Amigos! I feel really fortunate to have lived so many positive experiences and the most beautiful things in my life have happened out of surprise. One of which is the day i got invitation from Spain Tourism to visit the city of Madrid.  I was excited and ready to explore the capital city.

Madrid has an amazing fusion of history, modern & urban lifestyle. It is a beguiling place with an energy that carries one simple message: this city really knows how to live and enjoy. Impressive landscapes, elegant avenues, baroque palaces, notable museums, fine food and more, there is enough for everyone to fall in love with this city!

Day 1

I arrived in Madrid on 28th afternoon, the weather was quite pleasant and we had this day to explore the city by ourselves.  After checking in to our Hotel Miguel Angel and having a quick snack, i decided to head out and roam around the city.  A number of beautiful grand city squares & impressive historical buildings form the core of this capital city.  I took a bus ride to Plaza de Cibeles  and found Madrid’s iconic Palacio de Cibeles. It is one of the most notable landmarks in the city. Located behind the famous Cibeles Fountain, where the famous streets of Alcalá and the Paseo de Prado meet, the whole area is beautiful and lively. The building was originally a central post office which got changed to a government building, where the mayor would hold office.

 

Next place is the EL Retiro Park. You can see me enjoying the cool breeze near to the lake. It is one of the most famous and largest parks in Madrid. The glorious gardens of El Retiro, surrounded with marble monuments, landscaped lawns, gorgeous lake, the elegant crystal palace (the Palacio de Cristal) and abundant greenery, makes it as one of the must-see attractions in Madrid! You cannot miss this.

It was originally created as a retreat for the Royal Family. Opened to the public in the late 1700s, both locals and tourists have been enjoying this very special garden since many years. Be sure to see the Crystal Palace tucked amongst larger-than-life evergreen trees and alongside a duck and turtle pond here. It is the ideal retreat for boating, picnic, or just a stroll. Made entirely in glass, you will be mesmerized by the image of the sunlight streaming through a glass creating an almost otherworldly vibe throughout the whole place.

 

A day well spent admiring the beauty of Madrid and was now time to head back to Hotel for dinner.

 

Day 2 

Another beautiful day was waiting for us! So after breakfast we left the hotel at 9:00 am to visit Palacio De Santona for meeting the high rank officials at @camarademadrid

Santoña Palace, in Calle Huertas 13, in the heart of the Barrio de las Letras, is one of the six remaining Manor House-Palaces in Madrid. A jewel of 18th century architecture, it is a perfect combination of stunning courtly-Bourbon work in Madrid and the exoticism of oriental art, all of which lying within the neoclassicism and neo-Baroque of the period.

It stands out for its artistic value and the wide variety of halls and rooms that can be combined with each other allow to host and celebrate events of various kinds, with the elegance, exclusivity and history of the noble floor. The place is open for bookings by an individual or organization & is currently owned by Madrid chamber of commerce.

After an interesting meeting and get together session, we went ahead with our planned visits to some of the most luxurious brand stores. Madrid is hub of all high-end and luxury brands & is one of the best shopping destination in the world. Name a luxury brand, and you’ll find it here. It’s a haven for luxury enthusiasts and shoppers.

We visited some stores such as PURIFICACION GARCIA, CAROLINA HERRERA, NICOL’S & LOWEE. Madrid is very fashionable and trendy, so you will find it hard to resist going shopping as there are so many options for everyone’s taste. For upscale fashion you can head to Salamanca district or Calle serrano.

A hungry stomach can never make good shopping decisions so we decided to take a halt and go to Hotel Villa magna, a 5 star hotel for a delicious lunch at their Lounge Restaurant. With a superior elegance, Villa Magna is the most distinguished hotel in the heart of Madrid.

It impresses with a collection of fine dining experiences where guests savor authentic flavors from both Spain and around the world in sophisticated surroundings.

 

Back in the same spirit like before we are ready to continue our shopping adventures. Spain’s most popular department stores was on the last thing in our itinerary today. Founded in 1940, El Corte Inglés forms part of Spain’s largest retail group and is very much ingrained in the Madrid way of life. If you can’t find what you are looking for in El Corte Inglés, it probably doesn’t exist.

Spain is all about food, and where else than the capital will you find some of the best tapas. So we ended the day with a fine meal and dinner at  Platea Madrid.  We had mouthwatering sushi and tapas. The place had a lively young atmosphere and beautiful setting. It is one of the top spots for gourmet food to tantalize your taste buds while you enjoy the live entertainment/performance.

Day 3

My heart had stared falling in love with Madrid. It is open and welcoming, modern yet traditional, stately yet popular, lively yet peaceful… But more than anything else it is a cultural paradise. Day 3 itinerary had started with visit to the World famous, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (The Real Madrid Stadium). This global city is a dream destination for football fanatics.

 

This is a top-UEFA classified elite stadium and an essential visit to every football fan from every part of the world with a seating capacity of 81,044. It has been the home stadium of Real Madrid since its completion in 1947. Real Madrid is the city’s professional football team and world famous for winning several trophies, cups, and championships. Renowned player, Christiano ronaldo was also part of the team till last year. Holder of multiple European and international titles, the Real Madrid club opens its doors 363 days a year for football and sports fans to explore its historic stadium, an absolute must on your trip to Madrid

We went for a tour with access to every part of the stadium. From the locker rooms to the benches, the pitch, the presidential box, the coach’s viewpoint, you’ll be able to get a panoramic view of the whole stadium along with visiting the museum which houses an exhibition of the trophies and a quick journey through the history of Real Madrid.

This exciting tour was followed by sumptuous lunch at Restaurant Chicote Puerta Del Sol.

Next place to checklist in the itinerary was the renowned PALACIO REAL DE MADRID. It is one of the most impressive monuments of the capital. It’s so majestic from the outside and the inside is even more beautiful with its stunning frescoes and luxurious decor.  It is also the largest royal palace in Western Europe.

 

Initially designed by Fillippo Juvarra, the palace was constructed mainly from stone and overlooks the hills to the west of Madrid. Not only is it an astounding palace, but it’s also one of Madrid’s most important museums.

The palace is compromised of 3,418 rooms and the official tour (or even the self-guided tour) will lead you through 50 of the palace’s rooms, which exhibit proudly the richness of the Spanish culture. As you enter, you’ll find the main vast staircase standing proudly and from there you can end up exploring the main state rooms, the Hall of Halberdiers, the Hall of Columns, the Hall of Mirrors and King Charles III’s room. The most important highlight, however, is the Royal Armoury,  which you can visit through a separate entrance and includes an incredible collection of armor  – some of it actually worn by Charles V. You’ll also find valuable tapestries, furniture, ceramics, and works of art by Velazques, Goya, Giordano and Mengs

There was something special planned for us at the dinner but before that we had to cover our last stop which was Plaza Mayor which is Madrid’s grand central square and one of the prettiest open spaces in Spain. A winning combination of imposing architecture, picaresque historical tales and vibrant street life.

From the grand arcaded buildings surrounding it on all four sides, to the hundreds of locals and visitors walking around, Plaza Mayor is the quintessential Madrid destination. There’s always something going on here — whether it’s an impromptu street performance or a charming holiday market — and it makes for a gorgeous photo point as well.

 

By now we all had tingling sensation in our stomach driving us towards Cafe De Chinitas. Apart from delicious tapas that were served here, the most exciting part of this evening was the special performance by Flamenco dancers. You cannot miss  attending a flamenco show when in Madrid. Flamenco is considered the most famous art form in Spain.  In flamenco, heartfelt song, accompanying guitar, rhythmic tap-dance and clapping, all come together with the dance of great artists, who often appear anonymously. The performance lasted one hour and it was very intense. It was my first live performance of flamenco and I absolutely loved it.

With every passing moment, i felt grateful to god for gifting me lifetime of memories. Tomorrow would be the last day in Madrid. It was time to head back to hotel and lay head on the bed.

Day 4

‘Buenos Dias’ means Good Morning in Spanish. With high spirits in our heart after a delicious breakfast and strong determination to loosen up our wallets we headed to Lasrozas Village in Las Rozas De Madrid.

It’s a hub of factory outlets of more than 100 international and national luxury fashion and lifestyle boutiques with discounts upto -60% from the original price. I shopped till i dropped & my debit card caught caught on fire ; )  

Versace, Tous, Custo, Desigual, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein and Dolce&Gabbana are just some of the many brands that sell their clothes and accessories. Here you will find everything you need as well as plenty of things you did not know you needed! It’s a paradise for shopaholics! 

If that wasn’t enough, then you can visit Style Outlet  just 10 mins away from La Rozas Village. It’s one of the largest outlet store centre in Spain with 120 shops selling top brands in fashion, accessories and household goods. You can find quality styles and goods at very attractive prices with discounts from 30% to 70%.

 

The last thing for the day was the  Museo Thyssen. The Thyssen is one of the most extraordinary private collections of predominantly European art in the world. Where the Prado or Reina Sofía enable you to study the body of work of a particular artist in depth, the Thyssen is the place to immerse yourself in a breathtaking breadth of artistic styles. Most of the big names are here, sometimes with just a single painting, but the Thyssen’s gift to Madrid and the art-loving public is to have them all under one roof.

There are over 1000 paintings ranging from the 13th century Italian Gothic movement, to the 20th century American pop art movement. It’s advised to start from the top floor and then work your way down. On the 2nd floor you’ll find medieval art and Italian, German and Flemish religious paintings, then on the 1st floor you’ll find works by Monet, Pissarro, Sorolla, Picasso, Juan Gris, and Sisley and much more. On the ground floor, you’ll be sent back to the 20th century with pop art and modern paintings.

This was the last thing in our itinerary. I cherished every moment with amazing people that i met on the trip. Every single moment spent here was a blessing. Adios Amigos, Adios Madrid! Hasta Pronto Orta Vez! which means Goodbye friends, Goodbye Madrid! See you soon again 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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