Posts with categoryGuías Madrid

Estación de metro de Sol

By | 25 April, 2014 | 0 comments

Metro SolSol is the busiest station in Madrid, alongside Atocha, due to it being an intermodal station, since it has offered a regional trains service since 2009. The latest renovation did however encounter a few difficulties, since the works had to be interrupted due to the finding of archaeological remains.

Originally, with the earliest metro lines, it only had one service, Line 1, which in 1919 was the only one that went through the inside of the city. It wasn’t until 1924 that another metro line arrived, Line 2, and a further twelve years for a third one. Today, it still has not incorporated further metro lines and it has a regional trains that go to El Escorial, Alcobendas-San Sebastián de los Reyes and Colmenar Viejo.

These advances slowly contributed to create the modern and complete station that Sol is today, renamed for sponsorship and funding reasons to Vodafone Sol, and whose latest renovation culminated with the ‘whale’ or ‘hungry-hippo’ building. Designed by the architect Antonio Fernández Alba, at first it was the victim of criticisms and jokes, both by the conservative and modern voices. They ignored that, with time, it would be part of the landscape and that it would not be as shocking to the eye, just like the Eiffel Tower or the pyramid at the Louvre, or even the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, all of which sufferers from similar judgements after their construction.

Consulted for the different names that the locals, spontaneously, started to propose for this new way of access to the Metro, the architect told the press that he would just call it Puerta del Sol. He was therefore referring to that gate that sees 70,000 people walk past it every day and that it finally had an entrance since this central square, unlike the Puerta de Alcalá or the Puerta de Toledo, never had a single way of access. Perhaps because the most important squares, like the seas, are fed by different streets that, just like the rivers, populate its urban space with people.

Sol Metro station is the closest to our establishment. Hotel Victoria 4 is just 200 yards from this new Sol Metro and regional trains entrance.

Metro de Madrid

By | 31 March, 2014 | 0 comments

It offered its first underground services in 1919, when King Alfonso XIII inaugurated the first line that went from Cuatro Caminos to Sol, with Chamberí station -of which we will talk about later on- in the middle of the line. With these new infrastructures, Madrid was now a European city in its full right, with the works on the Gran Vía in full flow initiated nine years before and the vocation of leaving aside that appearance of ‘Castilian town’, paraphrasing the members of the literary Generation of ‘98. In neighbouring Portugal, the first lines of the metro in Lisbon were inaugurated in 1959 while the underground in Rome began to work in 1930. In Paris, the first line of the Métropolitain opened in 1900, built for the Olympic Games of that same year.

During the Spanish Civil War, the metro stations became common refuges  for the people of Madrid to keep safe from the bombings of the aviation of General Franco and his German and Italian.

Going back to the present, the metro of Madrid enjoys a good reputation among locals despite the recent protests due to the increase in ticket prices, prices that are in line with those from other European capitals with a higher per capita income. However, the short frequency of trains -especially by day- and the cleanliness of the facilities make it an increasingly-popular transport as the following data indicates: 634 trips in 2011.

With a total of 12 lines and 238 stations, the Madrid Metro is getting closer and closer to the periphery of the city, with access to cities like Alcobendas, Leganés or Getafe, although the regional trains are recommended for long journeys inside the city itself -which you can get from Chamartín and Atocha, for example-, essential for day trips of cultural interest to places like San Lorenzo de El Escorial , Alcalá de Henares or Aranjuez.

If we go back to the aforementioned station of Chamberí, a curiosity is that it was closed to the public because with the opening of new stations it was no longer needed, so it was ‘frozen’. Before it became a museum, if you travelled on Line 1 you could still see the remains of the past, with adverts from products from years gone by (Anís del Mono) and the tiles in Parisian style on the walls that used to be so trendy back then (and which luckily are coming back into fashion). Since 2008, it became a small museum on the old metro, preserving the aesthetics it had until the station closed on May 21st 1966. An excellent way of learning about the past of the quickest and most comfortable transport in the city.

The most famous and key station in the network is Sol, which is located barely 200 yards from our hotel. From it you can get to almost every point in the city of Madrid in less than an hour. It was one of the first stations in the network but in the 1980s it was revamped to make it suitable for the huge traffic of commuters that it had every day.

De compras en Sol desde el Hotel Victoria 4

By | 13 January, 2014 | 0 comments

One of the pleasures of travelling is ‘hunting’ for those unique items that are exclusive from the place we find ourselves in, small trophies with which we can surprise our loved ones when we go back home or that we can treasure in our own home as travelling souvenirs.

If you have chosen to stay in our hotel, it’s very easy to go shopping in Madrid because some of the most original and oldest shops of the city are located in the area of Sol due to its unique history and central location.

Below are some of those shops that you can find in Sol, where you can buy traditional gifts from Madrid without having to walk further than 15 minutes from our hotel:

1) Casa Diego

Casa Diego - Tiendas en SolOn one of the busiest corners in Sol we find Casa Diego (Puerta del Sol, 12), a 200-year-old workshop-shop that makes fans, umbrellas, parasols, and walking sticks.

All of its products are handmade, which gives them a unique touch and exclusiveness of the highest quality. Members of royal families from around the world have ordered products from Casa Diego, such as the princess of Spain Letizia Ortiz, who ordered a fan made here for her wedding.

2) Cafés “La Mexicana”

The century-old shop Cafés La Mexicana (Preciados, 24) welcomes its visitors with the strong and unique aroma of freshly-grinded coffee. All of its coffees are 100% homemade, toasted by hand and grinded right in front of the client.

Curious fact: despite the latest trend of coffee-capsule machines, this shop and its franchises currently hold the Guinness Record for being the shop that sells the most coffee in the world.

La Violeta, dulces típicos de Madrid3) La Violeta

Whether you want to take back a souvenir from Madrid for a delicatessen lover or you have a sweet tooth yourself, don’t miss out on visiting the confiserie La Violeta (Plaza de Canalejas, 6).

The violet-flavoured sweets and the dewed petals of this flower are this sweet shop’s biggest speciality, a shop that will fascinate you for its vintage style both in its decoration and in the wrappings of its sweets. This is something you can only buy in Madrid.

4) Capas Seseña

Founded in 1901, Capas Seseña (Cruz, 23) is the only shop in the world that specialises in the traditional garment that are capes. Celebrities such as Pablo Picasso, Federico Fellini or Michael Jackson have ordered capes made in the workshop of Seseña. Even the Nobel-prize-winning writer Camilo José Cela received this prestigious award in one of these capes.

Originally a piece of clothing for men, in the last few years they have been making silk ones for women: Hillary Clinton has one of them.

Photos | (CC) La Casa de Diego, Kerolic and (CC) Violet Candies in Madrid Shop, by Mark Peacock.

Written by Laura Blanco

Navidad en Warner Madrid

By | 23 December, 2011 | 0 comments

Parque Warner Madrid is a great place to visit all year round, situated just outside Madrid on the Carretera N-IV, km 22 in San Martin de la Vega, you can reach the park by car, or train from Atocha Train Station or bus from the bus station at Villaverde Bajo.

This Christmas Warner Park Madrid are making of Christmas a reality, in their own words, with the various activities they have prepared for this festive period. Until the end of December all the lovely characters from Warner cartoons will come to life to welcome you into the park and introduce you to all the musical shows and Christmas activities for the whole family. Some of the shows and activities will include Christmas carols, lights and fabulous decorations.

Your children will be able to deliver their letters to Santa and the Three Wise Men, before you take them to enjoy a nice meal in one of the many restaurants or just shopping in the many shops and boutiques.

The park closes at 8pm and opens at 12pm. Price for people over 120cm is 39 Euros and under 120cm or taller but senior citizen (over 60) is 30 Euros. Those children who haven’t reached yet 90cm go for free, but they have to accompany an adult.

So, don’t delay book your ticket now, remember you can get to Parque Warner by train from Atocha, not far from the Hotel Victoria 4.

De paseo junto a la Gran Vía

By | 16 November, 2011 | 0 comments

The Gran Vía is famous in Madrid for many reasons, the main one is maybe that it is one of the main arteries in the centre of Madrid. However, Gran Vía is also the area with the highest concentration of cinemas and theatres in Madrid.

You can start in Callao, and then go down Gran Vía towards Plaza de España, Plaza de Callao also has its own cinema and one of the best sandwich cafés in Madrid, Rodilla. This home grown sandwich chain serves really different sandwiches with creative and delicious fillings.

If you continue towards Plaza de España, on your way you will find innumerale little cafés and bars where you can taste some of the local tapas or just simply relax in front of a cup of coffee. In Plaza de España you will be able to pay a visit to the statue dedicated to the great writer Cervantes and his most prominent creations, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

From this mini-garden square you can take the chance to admire some of the local 20th century architecture, like the Edificio España (Spain Building) that overlooks the square with its massive body of brick and metal.

In Calle Martín de los Heros you will find Cines Renoir and Cines Golem, where you can enjoy the latest releases and art movies in their original language.

This is one of the sightseeing routes on foot that you can do from Hotel Victoria4.

Noches de flamenco en Madrid

By | 25 October, 2011 | 0 comments

The experts say that Madrid is the world capital of Flamenco. Without any animosity against Andalusia, where this form of art was born, the capital of Spain has the best venues where you will be able to enjoy the Flamenco magic.

Passion, strength, intensity, some happiness at times and some pain at times, these are the basic ingredients of flamenco singing and dancing, an art that has been declared Immaterial Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

In our search for the best Flamenco stages in Madrid we will have to stop at El Rincon de Jerez, a venue situated in Barrio de Salamanca. This place has a distinctive Flamenco atmosphere with a daily show.

Another flamenco temple is El Corral de la Moreria, one of the most famous and old flamenco stages in the world, in Calle Moreria, 17. From 1956 it sells out almost every night because of the prestige of its singers, guitarists and dancers.

You will also be able to enjoy a delicious dinner with good quality dishes, this venue has been mentioned on the Michelin Guide. This venue has also been visited by great cinema stars like Rita Hayworth, Nicole Kidman or Natalie Portman.

El Museo del Atlético de Madrid en el Vicente Calderón

By | 21 October, 2011 | 0 comments

The Vicente Calderon Stadium has a surprise inside for all football fans, its museum. This valuable exhibition is considered one of the five most important and prestigious in the world of football because of the quantity and quality of the pieces kept in it. read full article

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