IED MADRID

Historical Monuments

Plaza Mayor
The porticoed square lies at the heart of Habsburg Madrid and is one of the most charming districts of the city with its narrow streets, alleys and passageways.

The Royal Palace
Home to the Kings of Spain from Carlos III to Alfonso XIII, the palace is now open to the public for visitors who would like to take a tour through the history of Spain by enjoying its beautiful architecture and stunning art collection. Besides, the palace owns one of the most important gunsmith collection in the world.
Calle Bailén, s/n. 28071, Madrid
Tel: 914 54 87 00
Opening hours: October to March: 10:00-18:00
April to September: 10:00-20:00
*Free entry for citizens, residents and working permission holders of European Union as well as Latin American citizen with nationality credentials, or residential or working permissions: Monday to Thursday: 16:00-18:00 (Oct. to Mar.) and 18:00-20:00 (Apr. to Sep.)

Almudena Cathedral
Consecrated by Pope John Paul in 1993,  the cathedral conserve some works of great historical and artistic value, including masterpieces of Juan de Borgoña, Juan Martínez Montañés and Francisco Ricci. The dome which crowns the building offers a spectacular view over the city. The Virgin of la Almudena is the patron saint of Madrid and her day is celebrated on November 9th.
Calle de Bailén, 10. 28013 Madrid
Tel: 915 42 22 00
Opening hours: 9:00-20:30
More information about the schedule of religious activities see the website.

Descalzas Reales Monastery
An outstanding 16th century building converted from an old royal monastery which used to be the residence of Carlos I and Isabel of Portugal into a convent for Franciscan nuns. It´s a must visit since the on its walls a great historic and artistic heritage are well conserved.
Plaza Descalzas Reales, s/n. 28013 Madrid
Tel: 914 54 88 00
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday:: 10:00–14:00., 16:00-18:30.Sunday and holidays: 10:00-15:00.
Closed: November 9th, December 24th, 25th and 31st

La Plaza de Las Ventas
Being one of the most important artistic monuments of the capital, Madrid’s bullfighting arena has more than 80 years’ history. It is recommended that you take a guided tour around the entire building, which will provide you with an opportunity to experience every corner of the site and get to know the legendary art of bullfighting.
Calle Alcalá, 237. 28028, Madrid
Tel: 91 356 22 00
Opening hours: everyday: 10:00-18:00
July to August: 10:00-19:00
Closed: December 25th and January 1st
*Bullfighting day( ticket office close 4 hours before the beginning of the show):
May 10th to June 11th of 2013 ( San Isidro Fair and Culture and Art Fair)
October Autumn Fair

Debod Temple
It’s a famous site for people of Madrid for being an incredible monument of more than two thousand years old. It was brought over from Egypt and built stone by stone in the heart of Madrid, which is an ideal place to watch stunning sunsets.
Paseo del Pintor Rosales, 2. 28008, Madrid
Tel: 913 66 74 15
Opening hours: October 1st  to March 31st:
Tuesday to Friday: 9:45-13:45, 16.15-18.15
Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 9:30–20:00
April 1st  to September 30th (except August):
Tuesday, Sunday and holidays: 9:20-20:00
*Free entry to the temple for all the visitors.

Parks and Gardens

Retiro Park
The park is definitely the most emblematic park in the city of Madrid for its size, its location in the heart of the city and, above all, its unique beauty and the variety of the different elements. It is also known as “the green lung of Madrid”
Plaza de Independencia, s/n
opening hours: Monday to Sunday 6:00-22:00
Summer: Monday to Sunday 6:00-24:00

Madrid Río
The project began when the section of the M-30 ring road running parallel to the Manzanares River was moved underground. Then we have an area of parkland 10 kilometres long filled with wide a range of sports, leisure and cultural facilities.
Distrito Arganzuela. 28004, Madrid.
*Metro: Príncipe Pío, Puerta del Ángel, Pirámides, Marqués de Vadillo, Legazpi, Almendrales.

Casa de Campo
It is the main lung of the city of Madrid, with 1800 hectares of green open space. It is located in the north-west of Madrid, delimited by the N-VI Madrid-La Coruña motorway. The area is home to, among other things, an amusement park (Parque de Atracciones), the Zoo of Madrid, the Rocódromo Madrid Arena and the lake, and as a whole it constitutes one more symbol of the city of Madrid.
Paseo Puerta del Ángel, 1. 28011, Madrid

Royal Botanic Garden
Designed 250 years ago, it invites visitors to enjoy a pleasant stroll through thousands of live plant species. Among its collections there is a herbarium with over one million specimens, a library and an archive of drawings, as well as an exhibition of 5,000 live plant species. Its greenhouse preserve plants from other latitudes including rare orchids and carnivorous plants.
Plaza de Murillo, 2
Tel: 914 20 30 17
Opening hours: January, February, November and December: 10:00-18:00
May, June, July and August: 10:00-21:00
September: 10:00-22:00
Closed: Christmas and New Year
*Ticket price: Normal (3€), student card holder (1,5€)

El Capricho Park
With a romantic and French atmosphere, the El Capricho garden is the perfect place for a walk on weekends and public holidays. A labyrinth, a palace, a pavillion or a pond any of them can be a place full of surprise and caprices which you encounter in an unknown corner of the park, most people from Madrid don’t know about.
Paseo de la Alameda de Osuna, s/n.
Tel: 91 588 01 14
Opening hours: Winter (October to March): Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 9am to 6.30pm. Summer (April to September): Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 9am to 9pm. Closed on January 1st and December 25th.

One day trip nearby

Alcalá de Henares
Located only 35 kilometres northeast of the city of Madrid, Alcalá de Henares remains its city centre in essential medieval style. It has been one of UNESCOS´s World Heritage Sites from 1998, with many winding Cobbled streets and many historical buildings. The University of Alcalá de Henares is a must see for its old history and astonishing architecture. It´s the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, the famous Spanish litterateur and author of Don Quijote de la Mancha, which makes the local university also acknowledged as global leader in the study of Cervantes and his works. The city also hosts a Birthplace Museum of Cervantes.

How to get there
Renfe Cercanías
. Line C2, C7 from Station of Chamartín, Nuevos Ministerios or Atocha Renfe.

Aranjuez
It is a town and municipality in the southern part of Community of Madrid and lying 42 kilometres south of the capital city. Located at the confluence of the Tagus and Jarama rivers, it is one of the Royal Estates of the Crown of Spain since the times of Philip II in 1560 and was entitled as “Villa” in 1899. It is famous for its Royal Palace and garden as well as for the cultivation of strawberries and asparagus, which had inspired the Joaquín Rodrigo´s creation of  the famous Aranjuez Concert. The city was declared Historic Artistic Junction in 1983 and its Cultural landscape was listed by UNESCO in 2001 as a World Heritage Site.

How to get there:
Renfe Cercanías
. Line C3 from Station of Chamartín, Nuevos Ministerios, Sol or Atocha Renfe.

El Escorial
Being a town and municipality of Community of Madrid, the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is an historical residence of the King of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 kilometres northwest of Madrid. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and was a fully functioning building as a monastery, royal palace, museum and school. As the political centre of Philip II´s empire, the monastery was declared as a World Heritage Site. Its austere architecture, a break with previous styles, had a considerable influence on Spanish architecture for more than half a century.

How to get there:
Renfe Cercanías
: Line C8 from Station of Atocha Renfe or Chamartín.

Toledo
Situated 70 kilometres south of Madrid, it is the capital of the province of Toledo and the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. Toledo is  known as the “city of three cultures” since for centuries it was home to Christians, Jews and Muslims. The city boasts with many interesting places and has been a World Heritage site since 1987. Some must visits include Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes and the Catedral de Santa María, among others. It is also known as the birthplace or former residence of several artists such as Garcilaso de la Vega and El Greco, etc.

How to get there:
By bus:
*Alsa: at station intercambiador de Plaza Elíptica
*Autocares Grupo Samar: South Station
By train:
Renfe
: from the Station of Atocha Renfe.

Segovia
It is the capital of Segovia Province and located in the southern part of autonomous region of Castilla y León. Its old city and Aqueduct were declared as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1985. The old city stands out for a cultural diversity in its historic buildings both civil and religious, not only Catholic but also of Jewish. The must-sees are the Aqueduct(built from 1st century), the Alcazar(an ancient royal palace), the Cathedral(last Gothic cathedral built in Spain), Wall of Segovia, etc.

How to get  there:
*By Bus:
La Sepulvedana
: Transportation exchange station of Príncipe Pío
*By Train:
Renfe
: from the Station of Chamartín.

There are some tourist destinations maybe a little bit further, but definitely worth visiting. What about planning a weekend trip?

Salamanca
Located in northwestern Spain and in the community of Castilla and León,  it is the capital of the Province of Salamanca. The old city was declared as  a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. The university of Salamanca was established in 1218 and is one of the oldest universities in the world, renowned for the astonishing historical architectures and prestige in Spanish teaching. Besides the university, the city is full of ancient beautiful squares and public spaces, religious buildings, museums as well as palaces and palatial houses.

How to get there
By bus:
Avanzabus
: South Station (Calle Méndez Álvaro, 83. 28045, Madrid).
By train:
Renfe: from the Station of Chamartín.

Cuenca
A municipality of autonomous community of Castilla la Mancha, Cuenca is built on the steep sides of a mountain. It was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996 for being an outstanding example of  medieval city. A must see is the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art, located in two “casas colgadas”(hanging houses)–a serie of former residential houses from 15th centuries which seem like hanging on the mountains, which has become the most symbolic monument of Cuenca. Other sites such as La Ciudad Encantada (Enchanted City ), Cuenca Cathedral and Episcopal Palace, etc. are worth visiting.

How to get there:
By bus:
Avanzabus
: South Station (Calle Méndez Álvaro, 83. 28045, Madrid).
By train:
Renfe
: from the Station of Atocha Renfe.

Mérida
Being the capital of Extremadura and located in the western central Spain, Merida has its Archaeological Ensemble declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site at 1993. It is a city full of numerous monuments and sites of great importance that witness the history of centuries through Roman epoch, Visigothic period, Arabic invasion, Reconquest, French invasion and modern times. However, this vivid historical image coexist with the contemporary Mérida, in which the modern buildings and architectures are also worth a visit.

How to get there:
By bus:
Avanzabus
: South Station (Calle Méndez Álvaro, 83. 28045, Madrid).
By train:
Renfe
: from the Station of Atocha Renfe.

For more information:
Turismo en la Comunidad de Madrid

 

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified), Spanish