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Madrid, Spain Vacation Travel

More About Madrid - Editor's Tips - Weather Maps & Dining

When to go?
Spring is an excellent time to visit Madrid, when the outdoor cafes open up and the nightlife begins to bustle. May offers two lively celebrations, the Fiestas del 2 de Mayo and the Fiestas de San Isidro, both of which include bullfights, open-air dances and festivities. If you want to see Madrid when it is quiet, try summer or the week before Easter, when locals leave town for their Semana Santa holiday. Winters in Madrid are cold but dry and fall is a great time to find package deals.

Where to stay?
To experience the medieval architecture, book your stay in the Old City, where budget-conscious travelers can rent a hostal room / apartment and all others will find ample hotels. Upscale travelers may prefer the Escanche neighborhood, with its nouveau hotels and endless shopping; Salamanca is another fashionable area with a bohemian feel. Plaza Mayor is the center of nightlife, while Gran Via is the grand boulevard, full of daytime street life.

What to do?
Walking tours are an excellent way to experience Madrid. The neighboring Prado Museum and Botanical Gardens offer one great day of indoor-outdoor exploration. For a taste of authentic Spanish culture, catch a Zarzuela, a musical and physical comedy, or take in a flamenco show over tapas, complete with wine and cheese pairings. Kids will enjoy the Teatros de Marionetas de Guinol, puppet doll playhouses in el Retiro Park - as well as the Madrid Zoo. Lastly, everyone likes riding the cable cars above Casa del Campo.


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