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Off to Madrid - what should we see?

(16 Posts)
UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Wed 18-Jan-17 07:57:59

My mum and I are off to Madrid for 4 days in a few weeks time. We're trying to plan what we should see. The Prado for sure, buy what else is good? We like museums and art galleries, but we're also happy to just chill out a bit.

Is it worth booking for the Prado to avoid queues? Mum is 75, quite active but gets tired easily so long queues would be wearing for her I think.

Is it an easy city to walk round or should we use the metro? And does anyone have any restaurant recommendations? Nothing too expensive or trendy!

Thanks for any suggestions.

blue25 Wed 18-Jan-17 23:09:17

We went a few weeks ago and loved it. We mostly just walked around the city, enjoying coffee, wine and tapas. Walked along Gran Via. We went to the Royal Palace. Apparently it's free to go inside towards the end of each day-check the times. We queued for the Prado museum and did the Real Madrid stadium tour. The food area at the top of the main department store was worth a look- had nice lunch here. The indoor food market (mercado) just off one of the main squares was brilliant, but busy. Lots of lovely restaurants.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Thu 19-Jan-17 07:49:07

Thanks blue . I can't see mum and I doing the Real Madrid stadium tour! Bit good to know about the food market which is definitely our sort of thing.

I think I'll buy the Prado tickets in advance which will save mum from queuing. The Royal Palace sounds good. We don't mind paying for entry if we can go at a better time.

I'm hoping the weather will be good so we can wander around and enjoy the ambience.

Itscurtainsforyou Thu 19-Jan-17 07:55:21

Take a day trip to either Toledo or Segovia - direct trains and beautiful places

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Fri 20-Jan-17 12:52:55

Ooh, Toledo sounds interesting.
Will see if mum.wants to do that. I didn't realise it was so close to Madrid.

Greenteandchives Fri 20-Jan-17 12:57:47

Don't forget to go and see Picasso's Guernica at the Reina Sophia. It is incredibly moving.
Madrid can be quite chilly, so check the weather before you go.

nothappymummy2014 Sat 21-Jan-17 12:13:16

The Retiro park is lovely but maybe not at this time of year! Toledo is a nice daytrip. El Rastro market is also good for a browse.

lozengeoflove Sat 21-Jan-17 12:15:52

Goya paintings.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Sat 21-Jan-17 17:51:15

lozengeoflove are the Goya paintings not in the Prado? I assumed they were. Which museum are they in, as we'd like to see them.

electrasy Sat 21-Jan-17 17:59:49

I was going to recommend the free walking tour until I saw that your mum is 75, probably too much walking and standing around for over 3 hours.

It's a lovely city just to wander and enjoy. One problem I had was that I went when pregnant and exhausted and it was virtually impossible to get early dinner anywhere nice (not fast food or cafe) as for such a big city they seemed to stick very much to traditional Spanish eating times and it was hard to find much open before 8.30/9.

caroldecker Sat 21-Jan-17 19:08:20

Goya is at the Prado.
cable car
archaeological museum
Atocha train station has terrapins

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Sat 21-Jan-17 19:49:05

Thanks for all the info.

I know what you mean about late eating tines electrasy. Dh and I had that problem. When we went to Barcelona a few years ago, but quickly got jbto the seog of beer and tapas at 6pm. Mum likes to eat by 7 at the latest and be in bed by 10pm!

lozengeoflove Sat 21-Jan-17 21:44:23

Sorry paxman didn't read your OP clearly, just the title blush

I see you have it covered. Love the Prado so much smile

AgentProvocateur Sat 21-Jan-17 21:48:57

Toledo is fab, but you can't just turn up at the station and get a train. You need to reserve a seat, do if you go to the station you might need to wait for a train that has space. Or you can book online in advance - the company is renfe (or similar).

The Prado is great, and if wasn't too busy, even in the height of the tourist season. I just love Madrid.

OverAndAbove Sat 21-Jan-17 21:58:27

The Thyssen-Bornemisza is another fabulous museum/gallery and very close to the Prado and Reina Sofia. It's very easy to walk round there. Retiro is nice to walk around whatever the season

Teds77 Sun 22-Jan-17 04:44:52

We took two 3.5 year olds last February and ended up cooking dinner in our apartment as struggled to find early dinner. Feel I missed out on the food and drink scene so hopefully you'll see more of that than me!

Prado is great as is the Royal Palace. We ate ice creams in Retiro and went on a rowing boat so is wasn't too chilly in February, though we were wrapped up! Reina Sofia also worth going to. It opens late at least one day - I left DH and sleeping DTs and had a look around one evening. We also popped into the Caixa Forum which is another small-ish art place that had some children's activities on when we were there.

The cable car was closed due to winds but there is also a tower/lift thingy you can go up (it's closed on either a Mon or Tues) so we didn't see it. Faro de Moncloa (apologies for any spelling..)

Mercado de San Miguel is great for a wonder, nibbles and drinks. Very near Plaza Mayor which is worth a look. It was a bit touristy but the DTs loved chasing massive bubbles around!

We also did a open top bus tour which was a great way to get a sense of the city. Getting around otherwise we used the Metro but also the regular buses so they must have been relatively easy to figure out.

Weather-wise it wasn't as cold as we had read it could be and we had lovely crisp and clear days but we certainly wrapped up with layers and good coats.

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