Madrid Travel Guide
Eurostars Madrid Tower
Paseo de la Castellana 259B
+34 91 334 2700
Madrid’s tallest and most avant-garde hotel offers stunning views of the city and sierras, and its business amenities are first-rate.
High Tech President Villamagna
Marqués de Villamagna 4
+34 91 577 1951
This hotel combines stylishly renovated rooms and subtly lit decor with a tip-top range of computers, scanners, photocopiers and translation services in its efficiently supersized business center.
Plaza de las Cortes 7
800-325-3535 (U.S.), +34 91 360 8000 (Spain)
This spacious traditional hotel is an elegant choice close to the Madrid parliament and Prado Museum. Past guests have included royalty and prominent politicians.
Gran Café Gijon
Paseo de Recoletos 21
+34 91 521 5425
This elegant, old-world café where distinguished 19-century literati used to meet and chat is a must-visit for morning coffee and delicious snacks.
Paseo de la Castellana 57
+34 91 210 8840
The exquisite Mediterranean fusion dishes have earned Santi Santamaría more Michelin stars than any other Spanish chef, including the renowned Ferran Adriá, of El Bulli.
Sobrino de Botin
+34 91 366 3026
This nook-and-cranny-filled 18th-century establishment—the oldest restaurant in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records—specializes in traditional Castilian lamb and suckling pig roasts.
You can take leisurely walks in the Retiro and Casa de Campo parklands, both of which date back several centuries. Or roam the narrow-laned historic center, which is still very much a living area. Atmospheric districts here include Los Austrias, where most of the city’s original 16th-century buildings are clustered.
Hiring a car for the day is cheap, and the cream-colored municipal taxis (all bearing the city’s traditional insignia of a bear and a madroño tree) are plentiful and a very good value for whizzing around the capital.
Madrid stays up later than most cities, and old barrios such as Malasaña and Chueca (the city’s gay haven) are filled with intimate clubs and discos. For movie buffs, more than a dozen cinemas show the latest undubbed international releases, and the French, German, Italian and Brazilian institutes all show films in their national languages. A wealth of theaters put on plays in Spanish, and classical music works are performed live at the renovated, 19th-century-built Teatro Real (teatro-real.es) and the modern Auditorio Nacional de Música (www.auditorionacional.mcu.es).
Spain’s signature artistic expression may be seen in nightly tablao clubs, such as Casa Patas (casapatas.com), though its greatest artists always perform in the theaters.