Madrid of the Austrias
The Puerta del Sol includes several buildings such as the Casa de Correos and important statues such as the popular Bear and the Strawberry Tree. On the other hand, you can also find the Plaza Mayor which houses the statue of Felipe III in its centre. The square is surrounded by bars and restaurants where you can taste the typical Madrilenian cuisine. The Royal Palace will not leave you indifferent, it has more than 3.000 rooms. The Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Almudena dates back to 1883 and its façade forms an architectural ensemble with the Royal Palace.
The Puerta de Alcalá, located on the roundabout in the Plaza de la Independencia, was designed in 1869 by the town planner Ángel Fernández de los Ríos. It replaced an old Baroque gate that Philip III had built to welcome his wife Margaret of Austria. The Retiro Park is a large green expanse for the enjoyment of tourists and citizens with various spaces, such as the country house or a lake that can be crossed in boats.
Shopping in Gran Vía
Only a few steps away from the hotel you will find Calle Fuencarral, where you will be able to buy modern clothes in innumerable shops selling national and international brands, or maybe you can visit the Fuencarral market and see some of its original shops in one of the most modern areas in Madrid. On the other hand, you can also walk around the streets of El Carmen and Preciados, where you will not just find big department stores like FNAC or El Corte Inglés, but also many different shops selling shoes, music, clothes, souvenirs and many other interesting things. Sundays you will be able to enjoy the street market, El Rastro, just a few minutes walk from the hotel. In this famous and quaint street market you will find a variety of products from valuable antiques to many different types of souvenirs.
Museums in the capital city
Madrid offers a host of museums, many of them world famous. The Reina Sofía Museum houses contemporary art from the 20th century, with well-known works by Miró and Picasso. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum mixes art from the 13th to the 20th century and offers some 1,000 paintings from different periods. The Museo Nacional del Prado has an extensive collection of paintings from different periods, featuring European artists from the 16th to the 19th century, with a special focus on Spanish painters such as Goya, Velázquez, Murillo and El Greco.
Theatres and shows
The Lope de Vega theatre has become one of the most outstanding venues on Madrid's Gran Vía, with a capacity of 1,350 seats. The musical The Lion King is currently being performed there. Don't miss this fantastic musical that has been a great success all over the world. Teatro Lara is one of the oldest theatres on Gran Vía, having opened in 1880. Although small in size, with a total capacity of 460 spectators, it offers splendid architecture. This theatre has seen the premieres of some of the most important plays in the history of Spanish theatre: "Los intereses creados", "El amor Brujo" and "Canción de cuna". Teatro Compac Gran Vía is one of the most emblematic theatres, which has changed its name and has been refurbished several times. Musicals, comedies, dance and large-scale plays are staged in this great hall.
All over Madrid you will be able to enjoy a delicious and very attractive gastronomical offer elaborated with the best artisan ingredients. In the centre you will find fantastic eateries like bars serving great ham, taverns and tapas bars. The most typical dishes of the local cuisine are cocido madrileño (soup accompanied by chick peas with potatoes, meat and fat), game and offal. Also popular are rolls filled with acorn-fed ham and calamari, ideal as a snack in one of the bars around the centre.
Tablao La Carmela
Flamenco in its purest form. Located in the old coal bunkers of the Tavern "La Carmela" (Former Convent of the Victory. Demolished in 1836 after the War of Independence). Mystical place full of history in which Castiza Gastronomy and Flamenco Artists of first level, under the direction of the master Juan Andrés Maya and Raquel Martos.
More information at: www.tablaolacarmela.com