LUXE City Guides - Madrid - - Front Page -

Only got a few days in Madrid? This broad may not be easy to crack, but per­sist and you’ll be most taken. To this end, we’ve peeped, pried, prod­ded and picked, put our palates to the test, pounded pave­ments and lain pros­trate to bring this city to you in all her glory. Now there’s no ex­cuse, come play with those slinky gatos...


Miró, Miró on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Don’t be fooled by the aus­tere ve­neer of this Span­ish dowa­ger. Long over­shad­owed by her Gaudi-er sis­ter Barcelona, this gal ain’t cap­i­tal for nothin’. With Pi­cas­soblue skies, some of the world’s best mu­se­ums, leg­endary nightlife and a so­phis­ti­cated gas­tro­nomic and shop­ping scene, Madrid reigns supreme. From the cen­tre Puerta del Sol, gen­teel Sala­manca and gay ol’ Chueca are north and east, the golden mu­seum tri­an­gle is south­east and the at­mo­spheric old quar­ter is south­west. Tore­adorable!

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Best time to visit is spring and au­tumn (May is tops), sum­mer is brick-oven hot and the whole damn city shuts down in Aug, while win­ter is cold and clear Bara­jas Air­port to town: around 30 mins / € 35 by taxi English is not widely spo­ken, so ges­ture fran­ti­cally Taxis are plen­ti­ful, just raise your hand The metro is fast, ef­fi­cient, and all trips are € 1.50 Real Madrid matches are Sep-May, and feast day of San Isidro (15 May), is a week of bull­fight­ing hell Fút­bol is a re­li­gion, in­sult it at your peril Al­most all shops shut for lunch ap­prox 2-5pm and close on Sun­days (ex­cept in the Sol district and on the 1st Sun­day of the month), which is most in­con­ve­nient Many shops make you buzz and then wait for en­try In a hurry? For­get it, get used to mañana, mañana It’s point­less fight­ing the Madrileño way of life. Have lunch at 2pm, din­ner at 10pm, cock­tails at mid­night and go danc­ing from 2am. It’s siesta, then fi­esta Madrileños tend to dress up, so ditch the flip-flops Many of the most ex­cit­ing new restau­rants are in the sub­urbs, be­yond old Madrid, so get out there and eat Smok­ing is sup­pos­edly banned in pub­lic places, but un­for­tu­nately the rule is sel­dom ac­tu­ally en­forced Madrid is safe, but beware of the odd rogue pick­pocket Rush hour is 9-10am, 6-8pm and 2-4am on w/ends You’ll need to show photo ID if pay­ing by credit card It’s per­fectly fine to lit­ter in tapas bars Don’t wait for waiters, wave at them po­litely - just don’t ex­pect them to be po­lite back to you Int’l di­alling code is +34, al­ways add 91 for lo­cal calls In an emer­gency, dial 112

The fol­low­ing Span­ish phrases will come in handy:

¡Hola! / hasta luego : Hello / later, baby Por fa­vor / gra­cias : Please / thanks ¡Basta ya! : Enough al­ready! Less talk, more ac­tion please

...¡Nos Va­mos!

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