Madrid is a city that has so much to offer that sometimes one trip doesn’t always cover everything you hope to do. However, if you go with something in mind and follow this list of 4 things to do during your visit to Madrid (especially if you’ve never been before), we’re sure you’ll go back home happy and excited to go back and experience it all again. The following suggestions are for all preferences so, no matter who you’re travelling with, enjoy!
A vermouth in La Latina
Heading out for a vermouth in any Spanish town is fun and interesting whether it be with friends, your partner or even the kids. However, having a vermouth in Madrid is practically part of their weekly ritual. In the La Latina zone and now in many local pubs and bars in Lavapiés, it’s normal and trendy to eat something before Saturday lunch. Here, you’ll find everyone is out in the streets laughing and having fun.
The tapas are delicious with the best ones being: Russian salad, Andalusian calamari, cured cheese, cuts of Spanish ham, croquettes, sirloin and patatas bravas. Nowadays the variety is infinite with a range of tapas and pinchos (small aperitifs) for vegetarians and children.
The Triangle of Art
If you’re a fan of art or even if you don’t have the remotest idea, the Triangle of Art in Madrid is worth a visit. The El Prado museum is one of the most recognised museums in the world, with one of the best and fascinating collections of works from every century. A visit of some of the halls or high-quality temporary exhibitions should be enough (as you could spend days exploring the whole museum).
For those who prefer contemporary art, the Reina Sofía or CaixaForum are the perfect choices for you. Temporary art exhibitions take the lead in both these centres. Innovative artists from all over the world have left their stamp here. Also, these centres are always hosting interesting events and workshops for adults and children.
Have a picnic in Buen Retiro Park
Put aside time to visit this green paradise of Madrid. You’ll get to appreciate the lake, boats, walkways, places to relax, impressive glass palace (where you can sometimes find art, sculpture and photography expositions) along with the most incredible ambiance in all Madrid, especially if you’re visiting with the little ones.
A theatre production
Or a stand-up comedy show, opera, musical or live concert. If you go to Madrid you have to take advantage of the biggest benefit of this great capital: that the programme of events is relentless, so much so in its cinema premiers as in its dance performances and other lesser-known stage disciplines. In Madrid, you can find options for all preferences and ages.
The only thing you should keep in mind is that the better you plan your trip and the sooner you book event tickets, the better off you’ll be, as tickets in Madrid either tend to sell out fast or become expensive quickly. With that being said however, there are many things worth doing that are free like music performances in small bars or concerts by lesser well-known groups that will surprise you with how good they can be.
In terms of accommodation, if you want to enjoy Madrid in 4 days, the best thing to do is opt for a centralised hotel which is well-equipped and from which you can access all the historic points of interest in Madrid. Some of the best for this are: the Petit Palace Puerta del Sol hotel (just next to the emblematic zone where the bells are rung for the end-of-year celebration) and the Petit Palace Alfonso XXII (next to Buen Retiro Park).
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is one of the great capitals to travel to in winter. Perfect at any time of the year, now is really when it shows us its best attractions: fewer tourists and, therefore, more native and authentic than ever, the Canarian capital opens its doors to the select traveler who seeks gourmet experiences, relaxation and wellness, shopping and high-level culture.
Luxury trips to classic destinations are more fashionable than ever. You may have already gone to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, but it is very likely that you have done it in high season and at a typical beach resort. And, although that option is also excellent, it certainly has nothing to do with discovering the island and its capital during the winter, when everything is calm and when luxury hotels and restaurants are at more affordable prices and with a greater offer available.
Traveling in winter to Santa Cruz de Tenerife will allow you to enjoy the city from a totally different perspective. Its customs and local side is openly displayed before the few tourists who in these months of January and February take days to visit the capital. Just before the carnival, which this year squares at the end of February, is when you will find the most authentic Santa Cruz, with fewer false offers and with all its primary and natural charm.
After Christmas and before Carnival is the best time to schedule a golf or spa getaway to Tenerife.
Designed for the most observant, the lovers of local culture understood through its daily routines, its folklore and its context, and travelers who like to take away memories of small and unique moments, Santa Cruz offers a luxurious version that is well worth the whim. If you have days off to catch it during these winter months, before the big carnival, book a flight and land in this luxury destination.
The first thing to choose to enjoy your Santa Cruz luxury is a unique hotel. Some of the hotels with more history and charm of all Spain are concentrated here in this Canarian Capital. This is the case of the Hotel Botanico, an accommodation with Oriental-style Grand Luxury and impeccable service that takes all the life forming part of the rhythm of this capital. Next to it is also the NH Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where the tradition and modernity characteristic of this chain meet in a space tailored to the most urbanites.
Another of the great classics of luxury accommodation in Tenerife is the IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Mencey of IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts where you can enjoy, in addition to a unique accommodation in Spain, the best cooking class of the Canaries: Mencey’s Cookery Classroom. From there, we recommend the courses of tastings and Canarian cheese, the rice workshops and the possibility of reserving their stoves for special events, thus giving companies and individuals the opportunity to design an original event with a guarantee of success. The classroom has regular luxury visitors, who are part of the nationally most acclaimed chefs selection, as well as a local team of luxury chefs who are able to combine the best and most exotic international cuisine with the most authentic flavors from the Canary Islands. Always taking care of the product to the maximum level.
January and February is when the golf season in the Canary Islands opens and it is now when hotels with golf courses or near the most famous courses of the islands make their offers and special packages for winter experiences. Booking now at a luxury hotel with discounts on green fees is easier than ever, yes: watch the location because in Santa Cruz is not where the best fields are, but in the south where you can find interesting resorts like the Vincci Tenerife Golf.
The most emblematic fields of the island are the Real Club de Golf de Tenerife, the famous Golf del Sur and the Buenavista Golf. But if you want to review the entire list of existing courses to be able to evaluate competition dates and special tournaments, the Tenerife Golf Association and the official Tourism website always has updated information.
Yes, wellness experiences can be had without leaving Santa Cruz, in the most exclusive hotels or in the many specialized centers that are all over the city. The techniques are always combined here with innovative massages and professional physiotherapy therapies duly accredited. It is very important to know the specific training of the team that works in the wellness center that is chosen for a treatment since it is often more health than relaxation and that is convenient for an accredited physiotherapist.
The beauty centers and the relaxation spaces of the hotels are a good option when reserving a package of accommodation and treatments or circuits. The rates at this time of year, after Christmas and before Carnival, are the most affordable, especially if you book without intermediaries directly on the official spa and hotel websites.
It’s been some time since design hotels have made such a strong impression but this year promises to be their year. Located in charming refurbished antique buildings and paying attention to small details, these hotels are a must-stay for your holidays. And now you’ll not only find them in big capital cities; Bilbao and Malaga now offer distinguished hotels, with unique experiences which suit and complement the destination’s surroundings. Welcome to a new era of hotel experience.
Found in desirable locations, these hotels offer charming spaces, elegant furniture and exquisite design to create a unique atmosphere with the opportunity to enjoy historical buildings which, before the construction of the hotel, were not in use. They are small, charming and very selective hotels. A new design that will captivate all kinds of holidaymakers.
Choosing one of these hotels means a guaranteed unique experience with many guests putting the same effort into finding one of these as they would searching for a specific beach or museum, making them a prime reason for their trip. In fact, most of the time, the hotel counts for a big part of their holiday, with guests wishing only to take advantage of all the hotel’s services and facilities without going on outings away from the establishment. Guests only come to rest, disconnect and relax in a place that has character.
Although up until a time ago there was something exclusive and special about going on a city break to a big capital city, now you can find everything you want to do in medium-sized cities or touristic sun and beach destinations like Mallorca or Tenerife. Bit by bit, this trend is expanding and big hotel chains like IBEROSTAR are adding these types of hotels to their profile such as Vincci Hotels, Catalonia, Melià, Barceló, NH or those in Madrid city centre. Additionally, another pioneer hotel joining in with this trend is Petit Palace by High Tech.
Petit Palace Hotels is the perfect example of this trend sweeping Spain. Other than in Madrid and Barcelona, where the best part of their city break hotels are based, they are now setting up shop in places like Malaga, Bilbao, Seville, Malaga and Valencia. All these will be design hotels constructed from antique buildings, combining the classic with the modern, completely refurbished whilst still maintaining their exquisite historical design, converting spaces into chill out areas with new age services and attention to detail when it comes to making the experience unique to every guest.
They will be distinct in their design and, moreover, their services: free bike hire, free wifi in all rooms and renting of technological devices at no extra cost (iPad, rooms fitted with computers, etc…) They allow pets and specialise in accommodating all different guests (high-ranking directors, groups of friends, families with small children, etc…) offering custom-made rooms.
Take advantage of the experience
Built over the basic structure, every hotel has its own character, it mimics its surroundings and offers many leisure activities to complement the guest’s experience. Special walking tours, activities for families (like the Family Experience), couples or friends; discounts on entries to the best shows or cultural centres of the destination; reservations for nearby golf courses; beauty salons; spa and wellbeing centres; and direct access to beaches or authentic old towns.
Taste all the flavours
The hotels’ gastronomy is a treat in itself as much as any other part of the hotel; it’s unique and different. Signature dishes with a concoction of variety and fusion, combining innovative and traditional blends with local and international influences. The dishes in these hotels are made keeping in mind the destination and guest preferences. Thus, there are hotels that offer restaurants á la carte or special dishes for business meetings; banquets and others that offer free breakfast at the time of booking.
True, design hotels offer more experience but they are also a bit pricier; yet, at the same time, fairer than you would think. Most are 4 star hotels, accounting for the wide variety of services and facilities on offer, without amounting to the price of a luxury 5-star hotel. They offer lots of attractive promotions with guarantees that would be unthinkable in other type of hotel; extremely important and necessary when it comes to feeling at ease during your stay. Consult, as an example of what these hotels offer, the offers of Petit Palace to see for yourself that the price is a fair proposal for the values and services it has available. What’s more, you’ll see that the quality is as good as any luxury hotel.