Posts with category tourism

High Shopping in Madrid

By | 21 July, 2014 | 0 comments

If we want to invent some expressions, we might as well invent high shopping when we are referring to shopping in expensive shops, playing Julia Roberts shopping in LA in Pretty Woman. You can also find these exclusive shops in Madrid, as you can judge by the high rent prices of shops on Calle Serrano, some 175 per square meter on average.

Let’s stay in Serrano, one of the noblest streets in the Salamanca district, which concentrates its commercial stretch closest to Plaza de la Independencia or to the Puerta de Alcalá, where it culminates. There you can find a good representation of the most exclusive and select brands in the world, in shops that are valuable on their own, such as Loewe (Serrano, 26), that holds a fashion photography exhibition by Lillian Bassman during the month of July, included in the programme of PhotoEspaña.

With 155 stores from Juan Bravo to the Puerta de Alcalá, on Serrano you can find brands such as Carolina Herrera, Prada, Yves Saint-Laurent, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tous, Forever Young, Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada or Roberto Verino. Also inside this high-level spectrum there is affordable fashion brands, such as Zara, classed as “hyperbolic” by the press due to its huge size at number 23; or Adolfo Domínguez, located at number 5. The ABC Serrano shopping centre, at the old headquarters of the ABC newspaper, is also worth a visit.

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The art mile in Madrid

By | 21 May, 2014 | 0 comments

CaixaForum MadridThe inauguration of CaixaForum was the fourth and latest addition to the great museum scene in Madrid, made up by the Prado, the Thyssen Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía National Museum of Art, up until then known as the Triangle of Art. A unique concentration of culture along an avenue, Paseo del Prado, that leads to the nearby area of Atocha train station and the Reina Sofía Museum, located in the old hospital of San Carlos.

Below is a little bit on each of these museums, from the newest to the oldest. Inaugurated in 2008 as part of the social project of laCaixa bank, CaixaForum Madrid stands out among the other three for having a free entrance. All of its temporary exhibitions can be enjoyed without paying a single euro, as well as the vertical garden at the entrance of the building. The building itself is one of the main attractions, like for example the re-adaptation of an industrial building, the old Electrical Station of Mediodía, reconverted by the studio of Herzog & De Meuron into a modern space whose spiral staircase is worthy of a mention.

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San Isidro: A Festival with Deep Roots

By | 6 May, 2014 | 0 comments

San Isidro MadridConsidered as the patron saint of farmers and although his festival is celebrated in many towns with processions that bless the fields, it’s in Madrid where he is venerated the most, with a festival dedicated to him that is becoming increasingly important.

The saint’s incorrupt body is located in Madrid, the city where he was born in around 1082, in the old cathedral of la Real Colegiata de San Isidro. The visit to his sacred remains is what originated the pilgrimage around the chapel built as a tribute to him, located in Pradera de San Isidro, painted by Goya in a painting with the same name. Every year, the amount of attendants is huge to the point that you need plenty of patience to deal with the large crowd that has gathered there since first thing in the morning. In the afternoon, the procession with images of San Isidro and Santa María de la Cabeza take place from the Colegiata de San Isidro to the district of La Latina and the Plaza Mayor, a return route that ends with the hymns of the Virgin of the Almudena and of San Isidro. read full article

Sol Metro station

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. read full article

Preciados Street

By | 16 April, 2014 | 0 comments

Calle PreciadosDespite what some may think, this street does not start on Plaza del Callao but before, from the area of Santo Domingo, parallel to Calle Jacometrezo.

Its name comes from the fact that the Preciado brothers used to live there, who worked as civil servants that used to check and spy on the irregularities that took place in the markets, an old figure that was common in the Arab souks. The word in Spanish is almotacén, of Arabic origin, which sounds like almacén – warehouse, which is relevant because this house held one of the most famous department stores in Spain of the 20th century, Galerías Preciados, who opened their doors in 1943. Their central location soon turned it into a favourite street among locals who began to enjoy higher purchasing power from the 1960s onwards, which influenced the pedestrianisation of the area a decade later. read full article

Casa Botín: The oldest restaurant in the world

By | 10 April, 2014 | 0 comments

Casa Botin MadridThe name does not come from the president of an important Spanish bank; this restaurant boasts, and rightfully so since it is certified with a Guinness plaque (the records one, not the beers), of being the oldest in the world. The date is subject to controversy since there are older restaurants in the world although if you google “oldest restaurant in the world” you will find Casa Botín in the top places. In any case, it is the oldest in Spain, opening its doors in 1725 during the reign of King Felipe V, the first king of the House of Bourbon in Spain. It rivals with Can Culleretes in barcelona, a restaurant that has offered Catalan gastronomic specialities since 1786. read full article

Madrid Metro

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. read full article