6 weekend plans for Madrid


6 weekend plans for Madrid

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Be Casa Essential
6 minutes of reading

If you’ve read our previous posts, you’ll know that if you live at Be Casa you’re just a stone’s throw away from one of Europe’s biggest and most exciting capitals, and that’s an opportunity you can’t afford to miss. In this post, we would like to recommend six things you can do in Madrid. Or rather, six areas where you have endless choices to make your own weekend plans. Shall we start?

1. Habsburg Madrid

You can’t say you’ve been to Madrid without having visited the Habsburg area. Luckily, it is practically impossible to travel through the city without visiting it, because it lies in the very centre. Between Puerta del Sol and Bailén Street and between Gran Vía and Atocha Street there is a series of streets and squares where every spot is worth a visit if you are on a sightseeing tour.

You can wander through the medieval lanes between Mayor and Segovia streets and forget that you are in the heart of a modern city as you come across magical spots such as the Renaissance garden of the Prince of Anglona. You can visit monuments such as the Mayor Square, the Opera Square, where the mythical Royal Theatre is located and just behind it, Oriente Square dominated by the Royal Palace (the largest in Europe), next to the Almudena Cathedral.

The Habsburg quarter is the tourist area of Madrid par excellence, but it has managed to preserve many of its most traditional icons, such as the churros at San Ginés, the cod at Revuelta and Casa Labra, the hat shops in Mayor Square and the Seseña cape shop. The La Latina district, between Cebada Square and Bailén Street, is one of the most emblematic places to have a drink. On sunny Sundays, its streets and squares are a real celebration.

2. Art Walk and Retiro Park

In the Prado-Recoletos section, between Colón Square and Carlos V Square, you can walk through an area that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its monumental, architectural, town-planning and artistic interest. If the Hapsburg area is the origin of Madrid as the capital of Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries, here you will be walking among the treasures built by the kings of the Bourbon dynasty in the 18th century.

In an area spanning a few kilometres, you will find monuments such as the Cibeles and Neptuno fountains, architectural gems such as the Bank of Spain and the National Library, and an incredible concentration of internationally renowned museums such as the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Reina Sofía Art Centre and the Caixa-Forum exhibition hall. At Cibeles, you will see the impressive Palacio de Correos, now the Madrid City Hall, where there are also exhibitions and cultural events every day, and if you go up Alcalá Street, you will come to Retiro Park, one of the lungs of the city with a monumental pond, a spectacular crystal palace and one of the few sculptures dedicated to Lucifer that exist in the world.

At the other end of the spectrum is the district of Las Letras, where you will find, in addition to buildings such as the Palace Hotel and monuments such as the church of Las Trinitarias (where Cervantes is buried), the streets where many of the great writers of the Golden Age lived.

3. El Rastro and Lavapiés

Very close to La Latina is Cascorro Square, which is the northern end of El Rastro, one of the most renowned open-air markets in the world. Every Sunday morning, hundreds of stalls with a wide variety of goods await you: antiques, handicrafts, new and second-hand clothes, old records and books, magazines and comics from all periods, fossils and minerals… practically everything you can imagine in an area full of life and flavour, where the crowds are part of the fun.

After wandering through the streets of El Rastro, you can dive into the streets of Lavapiés, one of the most multicultural, traditional and creative neighbourhoods in the city, with restaurants of every nationality, architectural oddities such as the “corralas” and a multitude of cultural opportunities thanks to its numerous theatres and centres, such as La Casa Encendida and La Tabacalera.

4. Madrid Río and El Matadero

Madrid Río is a linear park that follows the course of the Manzanares River for kilometres. It was built on the former route of the M-30 ring road, which, since 2007, runs underground, transforming a grey and polluted landscape into one of the city’s main attractions. Exploring Madrid Río on foot or by bicycle, stopping at any of its outdoor cafés or contemplating monuments such as the Segovia and Toledo bridges is a delightful experience.

At the southern edge of Madrid Río lies Matadero Madrid, an amazing collection of 19th-century neo-Mudejar warehouses that once supplied meat to the city and now form a great avant-garde art hub with exhibition halls, cinemas, theatres, restaurants and outdoor areas that you will never want to leave. Definitely a must if your favourite plans include avant-garde art.

5. Chueca and Malasaña

Hortaleza Street (between Gran Vía and Alonso Martínez Square) separates these two neighbourhoods that certainly deserve a visit. Chueca is Madrid’s greatest expression of diversity, a true emblem of the LGTBI movement where everyone is welcome in the hundreds of bars, restaurants and shops that are scattered along some of the city’s most beautiful and well-kept streets.

For decades, Malasaña has been the symbol of modernity, and its main hub is Fuencarral Street (between Gran Vía and Bilbao Circus). In the 70s and 80s, it was renowned for its underground atmosphere; in fact, the Movida Madrileña originated in some of the bars that still exist today, such as the Penta or La Vía Láctea. Today, this area is still a testing ground for the latest trends, as you can see in its shops, restaurants and bars, but it is also one of the most traditional spots in Madrid. Not surprisingly, the heart of the neighbourhood is Dos de Mayo Square, where the popular uprising in 1808 against the French occupation began.

6. Ponzano

The trendy gastronomic and leisure area in the capital is Ponzano Street and its surroundings. You will find the most beautiful and modern establishments in Madrid, with everything from the traditional to the avant-garde. But its many bars and restaurants are not its only attraction. This area is home to the El Canal theatres, the Sorolla Museum, the Geomining Museum and the Natural Sciences Museum. In short, it is the ideal place for any occasion, whether it be an aperitif, an afternoon snack or a few drinks in the evening.

As you can see, there is always a lot to see, a lot to do, a lot to experience in Madrid, and we have only covered a fraction of it here. And the best part is that at Be Casa Rivas you are only a few minutes away from the centre of one of the most exciting and fashionable cities in the world, in a modern residential area where you also have everything you need.

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