Royal Madrid

Description:

Spain is a constitutional monarchy, maintaining much of its royal ceremonial traditions while functioning as a democracy. The kings have lived in palaces and have been buried with regalia. Nowadays the ordinary folk know how to live it up too. Whether you stay at the top hotel and eat at a couple of the finest restaurants, or simply visit the following sites, in four days you can live and breath royal past and present in Madrid and the surrounding area.

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Author: Jennifer


Day 1 - Madrid, San Lorenzo de El Escorial


Begin this royal tour with a day trip to San Lorenzo El Escorial, a small town only about an hour and a half away from Madrid. The art and architecture of the monastery and imposing stone palace are impressive, but the pantheon of the kings is a true history lesson. It is the burial place of almost all of the kings and queen mothers since Carlos I. The next chapter of your lesson is a short trip to Valle de los Caídos, where the equally imposing Basílica houses Franco's tomb. Take a study break, and return to Madrid to the luxury of the Westin Palace Hotel, fine dining at the Terraza del Casino, and a night of dancing at the Palacio Gaviria. Some people say there are more people in the streets in Madrid at 3 a.m. than 3 p.m when shops are closed, and people are having lunch or a siesta!


1

Westin Palace Hotel

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Location:

Plaza de las Cortes, 7
28014 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

800/325-3535 in the US


2

Monasterio de El Escorial

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Location:

Paseo de Juan de Borbón y Battenberg
28200 San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 890 5902


3

Basílica del Valle de los Caídos

Location:

Carretera de Guadarrama
(Valle de Cuelgamuros)
28280 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 890 5611


4

La Terraza del Casino

Location:

Alcalá 15
28014 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

91-521-87-00


5

Palacio Gaviria

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Location:

Calle del Arenal 9
28013 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

34 91 526 6069


Day 2 - Madrid


Sleep in, and ease into the morning, then stretch out those legs you danced off last night. Start your circuit by passing the Congreso de los Diputados across the street from the hotel, (visiting hours are limited). This was the setting for the failed coup d'état of February 23, 1981, an interesting historical note. Continue down to the Paseo del Prado passing the Neptune and Cibeles fountains, the Palacio de Communicaciones (the town hall that looks like a palace), and the Palacio de Linares (an ex-palace with a ghost story, now a cultural and art center). Head up Calle Alcalá through the Puerta de Alcalá to the once exclusively royal Parque de Retiro to wander or to visit the exhibit halls: Palacio de Veláquez or Palacio de Cristal. After a couple of naps or a coffee in a park cafe, visit the Real Fábrica de Tapices. Not many make it out here, but it's truly a unique experience to see an active workshop that has a royal history. Imagine tapestries keeping the palaces you're seeing beautifully warm before central heating. From here you can visit the Panteón de Hombres Ilustres and the Basílica de Atocha. The Virgin of Atocha was proclaimed the Spanish royal family's protector in 1643 by Felipe IV. Pay homage to her and learn a bit more about history before preparing your palate for dinner at Viridiana.


1

Congreso de los Diputados

Location:

Carrera de San Jerónimo
28014 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 390 6296


2

Fuente de Neptuno

Location:

Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo
28014 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 588 2906(Tourist Information)


3

Cibeles (La)

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Location:

Plaza de Cibeles
28014 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 588 1636(Tourist Information)


4

Palacio de Comunicaciones / Museo Postal y Telegráfico

Location:

Calle de Montalbán
Plaza de Cibeles
28014 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 521 4260 / +34 91 522 2046


5

Palacio de Linares (El)- Casa de América

Location:

Paseo de Recoletos, 2
28001 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 595 4800


6

Puerta de Alcalá

Location:

Plaza de la Independencia
28001 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 588 1636(Tourist Information)


7

Parque del Retiro

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Location:

Plaza de la Independencia, s/n
Calle de Alfonso XII
28001 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 5888790


8

Palacio de Velázquez

Location:

Paseo de Venezuela
Parque del Retiro
28014 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 573 6245


9

Palacio de Cristal

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Location:

Paseo Duque de Julio Romero de Torres
Parque del Retiro
28012 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 574 6614


10

Real Fábrica de Tapices (Royal Tapestry Factory)

Location:

Fuenterrabía 2
Near Atocha
28014 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 434 0550


11

Panteón de Hombres Ilustres

Location:

Calle Julian Gayarre, 3
28014 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 454 8800


12

Viridiana

Location:

Juan de Mena 14
28014 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

91-531-52-22


Day 3 - Madrid


Get close to the residence of the current royal family, and take an excursion out to the green spaces surrounding the El Pardo Palace. Inside the Pardo Palace you'll see several tapestries woven at the Real Fábrica de Tapices you visited yesterday. Francisco de Goya painted the designs for many of them. On your way back into Madrid you'll come in through the Moncloa neighborhood where you could go up the Faro de Moncloa, the space needlesque viewpoint. Tonight you'll tapa-hop around La Latina. Try La Percha, El Viajero, or Taberna Bilbao, but don't be afraid to branch out, and certainly don't stay in the same bar all night!


1

Reales Sitios de El Pardo

Location:

Calle de Manuel Alonso s/n
28048 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 376 1136


2

Faro de Moncloa

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Location:

Avenida Reyes Catolicos
Av. de los Reyes Católicos
28040 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 588 2900 (Tourism Office)


3

Taberna la Percha

Location:

Toledo, 28
28005 Madrid,

Phone:

34 91 366 4000


4

Taberna Bilbao

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Location:

Costanilla de San Andrés 8
28005 Madrid,

Phone:

34 91 365 6125


5

El Viajero

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Location:

Plaza de la Cebada 11
28005 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

91-366-90-64


Day 4 - Madrid


Your final blue blood day will be spent in the Palacio Real de Madrid in awe of the endless porcelain, silk, crystal chandeliers, and a table still used today to seat up to 150 for gala events. (Who irons that tablecloth?!) Pause in the Cafe de Oriente or grab a bite to eat in the Taberna de Oriente before visiting the Opera house either on a guided tour, or if you've planned ahead, experiencing a performance.


1

Palacio Real (Royal Palace)

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Location:

Calle de Bailén
Plaza de Oriente
28013 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 547 5350


2

Plaza de Oriente

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Location:

Opposite the Royal Palace (Palacio Real)
across from the Palacio Real
28013 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

+34 91 588 2900 (Tourism Office)


3

Café de Oriente

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Location:

Plaza de Oriente, 2
28013 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

34 91 541 3974 / 34 91 547 1564


4

Taberna Real

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Location:

Plaza de Isabel II, 2
28013 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

34 91 559 6922


5

Teatro Real

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expert pick

Location:

Plaza de Oriente s/n
28013 Madrid, Spain

Phone:

34 91 516 0660


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