One of the best places to get a literal overview of Madrid if the roof terrace of the Círculo de Bellas Artes. It's especially wonderful if you go in the morning for breakfast when it's still cool and, if you brave the crowds, at sunset. It costs 3 euros to access the terrace and there are tables and lounge chairs as well as two bars serving breakfasts, lunches, drinks, and cocktails.
Personally, I don't enjoy the evenings when they try to make it something of a Euro-trash hang out but I will admit that the atmosphere is nice at night during weekdays and in August when there aren't many people. Just don't go on a Friday night ;). The rest of the time, it's spectacular. You can see literally everything in Madrid excepts the Royal Palace: Gran Via, Cibeles, Atocha, the Four Towers, the scenic church steeples of Huertas and the Barrio Salamanca, the Paseo de la Castellana, the Prado Museum...everything!
Anyways...if you're visiting Madrid for the first-time, this should definitely be on your list. It's a wonderful place that's popular among locals and not in a lot of the more traditional museum-and-monument guidebooks. I'd suggest heading there at 10am for breakfast. You won't regret it!
I’ve lived in the Spanish capital for 10 years and I still continue to visit this building. I love taking the Metro from my apartment and, in twenty short minutes, I arrive at the Banco de Espana metro station and, upon leaving, I see Cibeles, Banco de Espana, the Town Hall and my beloved Metropolis building! Just thinking about the beauty of the building fills me with energy, and the great thing is I can see it every day, although us Madrilenos tend to stroll right by it, taking it for granted. Head over to the metro entrance and be sure to take in all the 360 degree panoramic view has to offer, making a mental note of all beautiful architecture that surrounds you!
I have been living in the capital of Spain for ten years and even so every time I go out I go there. I love taking the subway and in 20 minutes get to Banco de España station, going out to see Cibeles, the Bank of Spain, the town hall and my beloved Metrópolis building.
Stop at the exit of the metro and take a 360º turn, observing what you have around you... And be grateful for it!
If you want to see The birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, you absolutely must visit Alcala de Henares. He was most likely born in 1547, and there you can see the house that he was born in. This important author was the creator of the first modern novel, Don Quixote de la Mancha. During the visit to the house, which is two stories, we see a recreation with objects that were representative of the time. You see the house's rooms, his father's pharmacy, the kitchen and other facilities, as it was only for women. On the top floor there is an exhibition of various editions of Don Quixote, among which one illustrated by Salvador Dali, a first edition of 1605, and editions in other languages such as German or Thai. Definitely a must see and very interesting. Hours: Mondays closed. Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00. Free admission.
If there is something unique about the Spanish Congress of Deputies building, it is its two lions: of the most photographed faces of Madrid. They majestically pose for all tourists and locals. There is another pair of famous lions in Madrid, located in Cibeles.
The Congress is a synonym for politics, agreements, laws, presidents, oppositions... Well, a long list of terms that are part of our country's recent history.
The Congress is located in Carrera de San Jerónimo street, in Plaza de las Cortes. It is easy to recognize because of the lions at the entrance.
Every year, on December 6th (Spanish Constitution Day) the building is open to everyone. If you need more information to visit it any other day during the year, you can write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Comedy Corral de Alcala is documented as being one of the oldest theatres in Europe. The inside comprises many different building styles and eras, as it has been renewed over time. It is one of the most emblematic symbols of Alcalá. If you can, I recommend watching a performance here.
The monumental Arganzuela bridge, made by architect Dominique Perrault, is the ninth bridge crossing Madrid’s Manzanares river. Located in the middle of one of city’s biggest and newest “green lungs,” the Madrid Riverwalk. Enjoy!
The Ateneo is a scientific, literary and artistic institution of Madrid; a private company formed by the members and its governing board.
Anyone can join: just fill out a form and show your ID and four passport pictures. The membership is 110€ (50€ for under 25's) and 50 € for three months. It currently has 3,500 members.
Book launches, conferences, exhibitions, films and documentaries, besides its extensive library, are part of its programming.
A plaque at the entrance says that 'the Ateneo of Madrid was founded in 1835. Their first headquarters were at the corner of the street between El Prado and San Agustín, Plaza del Ángel and Montera street. Soon it became one of the cultural and political forums of the romantic Madrid. In 1884, Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, president of the University and of the Council of Ministeris at the same time, and King Alfonso XIII, inaugurated the headquarters of Prado street. The building's narrow facade does not do justice to the size of the building's interior. The hightlight is the hall of Greek Revival, conducted by Arturo Melida, In 1992 it was declared of cultural interest".
This is a Madrid classic and a favorite among tourists and locals alike. It's a centennial bakery that still makes its pastries, buns, and savory treats fresh daily and you can tell the quality. Every bar in Madrid serves chocolate croissants and the like, but they don't even compare to the gooey, flaky wonders that La Mallorquina cooks up.
They have a to-go section for pastries and sweets (chocolates, toffees, etc.) and a bar area that serves hot chocolate, coffee, wine, tea, beer, and of course the bakery's trademark pastries. What to order? Whatever you like! The counter to place your order is ALWAYS packed with people looking for their chance to squeeze in an order so don't be nervous, hop on in a grab something delicious.
One of my favorite plans in Madrid is to get up at a reasonable hour in the morning, head down to La Mallorquina for a ham and cheese croissant and coffee then head out to explore the winding streets of La Latina, Huertas, and Madrid de los Austrias.