4 days in Madrid
Madrid is often overshadowed by its neighbour Barcelona.
Little reason for this, though—with delicious food, amazing art and deluxe shopping, the capital of Spain deserves its own spotlight of fame!
With the sun shining bright and the beautiful long days, the end of summer in Madrid is truly magical.
Once arriving at our hotel we ordered some tapas (our craving for the next threee days ;-)) and passed out for 2-3 hours. Thankfully the Spaniards live for mid-day siestas. After some rest, we felt ready to head out and explore.The city prides itself on being the top notch of Spanish culture, art and style and we must agree on that. Madrid’s buzzing atmosphere, culture and resplendent architecture (even the Post Office building is a work of art here) justify its status as Spain’s capital. After some exploring it was time for dinner.
We went to this amazing newly opened restaurant “Amazonico”. The ambience is exotic and creative, the food is rather simple, a mix of Japanese Cuisine with an Amazonian Tropical twist. If you go there you should really try for dessert the Chocolate Moctezuma and afterwards have drinks either at the bar upstairs, or at the Jazz Club downstairs.
We decided not to stay too long because we had a very charged program the upcoming 3 days.
So Buenas Noches!
After a delicious and copious breakfast, we, art-lovers headed to the Thyssen Museum. The Thyssen is one of the most extraordinary private collections of European art in the world and is considered as one of Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art (along with the Prado and the Reina Sofia). The Thyssen is the place to immerse yourself in a breathtaking breadth of artistic styles.
Starting on the second floor is the extension built to house the collection of Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. It houses paintings of great artists by Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro and Degas.
Being Belgian we also wanted to see our great Flemish masters such as Anton van Dyck, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Rubens and Rembrandt. (Here again a reminder how proud we are to be Belgian!)
On the ground floor, the foray into the 20th century takes over with paintings from cubism to pop art.
We love the art of cubism and abstract expressionism painted by Mondrian, Rothko, Kandinsky, James Ensor,… and last but definitely not least the mix of the big three of cubism; Picasso, Braque and Juan Gris.
With an art state of mind we went down to Malasana district.
Malasana is the trendiest district in town where all the hipsters show up.
From stunning architecture covered with graffiti to hip little bars – restaurants, and vintage shops alongside traditional markets, Malasana is overflowing with things to do and see.
The best way to get to know the place is to do like we did; simply wander, get lost, and then somehow find your way back.
We took a taxi back to Plaza Santa Ana. A most lively and vibrant plaza, with tapas bars, terrace cafes, pubs, restaurants that has a very glamorous and dazzling ambience. We went to this big impressive building at the other side of the plaza … “ the Radio” ; an exclusive bar on the rooftop terrace of the ME Madrid Hotel with a spectacular panoramic view of the city where we were so lucky to have apero and dinner.
Time for bed!
After yesterday’s cultural day today is reserved to shop, shop & … shop!
When it comes to elegant fashion, Salamanca district is a shopping heaven! The district has two main shopping arteries; Serrano and Ortega y Gasset street. We saw lots of Spanish designers such as Adolfo Domínguez, Manolo Blahnik,… and international brands such as Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton,… who have stores here.
Also El Corte Inglés department store, Zara, Mango, Camper and other Spanish brands are in this big boulevard Serrano.
Strolling on … Around Toledo street behind the plaza Mayor we came across smaller boutiques with a more local character that warrant careful attention as well!
After all this shopping, it was time to go back to the hotel and dress up because we booked ourselves a dinner-flamenco show! Yay!
Considered the “cathedral of flamenco,” the Corral de la Moreria is the oldest flamenco house in the world.
The intimacy of the house is set by the lighting and decoration, it made us feel like part of the show.
The melancholic voice of the singers, the strumming of guitars, and the intricate steps of the dancers brought the room to life as the flamenco artists performed in front of us— we were mesmerized of this legendary Spanish tradition – an unforgettable night out Madrid style.
After the show, we strolled down to Mercado San Miguel.
Even though we had just eaten, we were instantly salivating at the amazing tapas, paella, and other fresh food in this gorgeous place. It was top-notch and a foodies paradise. A must do if you come to Madrid!
Lucky enough for us that night was also “Vogue Fashion night out” so we asked the taxi driver to drop us off again at Serrano street. Most of the stores stayed open late offering discounts on high-end merchandise and fashionable gifts. With red carpets, champagne, live music and a sneak peek at the coming fashion trends and red carpet photo opportunities – we felt like a little star ;-)!
Very tired of the ‘VFNO’ we had to pull ourselves out of bed because we absolutely wanted to see the Guernica painting before leaving Madrid.
The guernica painting is housed in the Reina Sofia which offers more contemporary work. Picasso’s Guernica masterfully painted mural is a special and unique painting that stands out amongst the rest of Picasso’s work.
It’s the museum’s top crowd-puller. The painting stands as a powerful reminder of the horrors of the civil war, its return to the country also marked the end of Franco’s dictatorship and the emergence of modern Spain. For us it wasn’t just a painting, it was a feeling. We could just keep staring at this mind-boggling interpretation of the Spanish Civil War because the painting has so much hidden understandings and if you look carefully you see; the bull, a woman holding a dead child, the fallen soldiers but you also see the light bulb which reflects hope,…
The rest of the painting I leave up to you guys… What do you make of it?