City break to Madrid Spain
A city break to the Spanish capital city of Madrid can mean many different things to different people. World class museums. Winning football club. Events. Or just a relaxing stay in a beautiful clean city. At the same time Madrid is one of the more reasonably priced European capital cities. Lodging prices that even during high season can be very reasonable. If Madrid didn’t have enough to offer on it’s own you’ll find it a convenient transport hub for excursions to other Spanish cities. All this adds up to make a city break to Madrid well worth considering.
The Madrid airport bus at €5 is an economical choice to quickly get you into the city. Frequent and with two stops likely to interest tourists. Atocha the final stop from the airport is the main train station. It’s also near the Sofia Reina Museum making it a good choice if your hotel is in the museum triangle. The Cibeles stop on the other hand gets you to the Plaza de Cibeles. Useful if you are staying near Calle Gran Via or other nearby parts of Madrid.
Madrid is lucky enough to house three world known museums. Ranging in styles from the Prado’s more classical to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía with it’s focus on the 20th century and finally the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum with it’s range defying collection. The three museums comprise the golden triangle of art. Close enough to each other that if you stay nearby they’ll be easily reached on foot.
Museo del Prado
The Prado represents what many would call classical art. If you are attracted to this type of art you can easily spend the day. If you are drawn more to modern types of art you might find the Prado less interesting. The Prado offers free admission during the last two hours of the day. For those with an interest in the collection I would personally recommend not going during the free hours. The collection is large enough that the short two hour visit will only disappoint you. If on the other hand you are less interested in classical art you might find the free admission period with all it’s drawbacks worth your time.
The Prado has a general admission ticket of €15
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
The Reina Sofía museum on the other hand is pure modern. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía with works from Dali,Man Ray and others attracts a different crowd when compared to the Prado. In both cases it pays to spend some time on the museum websites consulting the collections and special exhibits. Your own interests will lead you to one museum over the other.
Reina Sofia has an entrance fee of €10 at the door or €8 online in advance.
The Thyssen museum is the last of the three large museums in the triangle. While the other two museums are more focused in the periods they cover the Thyssen is more eclectic. The museum collection covers a range of styles and periods. Once again spend some time prior to your trip looking over the website to see which works interest you.
The Thyssen entrance fee is €12
More than museums
A city break to Madrid can be more than museums. Normally on the first Wednesday of the month ( excluding January, August and September) the royal guard will perform the changing of the guard ceremony. First thing in the morning you can watch the rehearsal followed at noon by the actual changing of the guard.
The Royal palace isn’t the only one in the city. You’ll also find the Crystal Palace in the Buen Retiro Park. The park itself can be a cool place if the summer heat is bothering you.
Temple of Debod
You will also find the ancient Egyptian Temple of Debod not far from the Royal Palace.
If a city break to Madrid needed more you can also do excursions out of Madrid. Toledo , Segovia or Salamanca are easy enough. You can arrange the train tickets yourself or one of the organized tours if you would rather relax.