Vacations in Madrid, Spain

Vacations in Madrid, Spain
While sun-seekers line Spain's warm, sunny beaches, energetic vacationers can plan a more active and educational itinerary in the capital, Madrid. Though the modern currency is now Euros, Madrid's origins date back to the ninth century. History buffs and admirers of architecture will appreciate the many-centuries-old buildings. Sports fans may wish to tour a football (soccer) stadium. Everyone will appreciate the authentic Spanish food. Many hotels dot the urban landscape at a convenient distance from Madrid's many tourist spots.

Monasterio de la Encarnacion

Centrally located near the heart of Madrid, the Monasterio de la Encarcion opens its doors for visitors Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday. The nuns make themselves scarce during these times so that you can take the guided tour (in Spanish only) or make your own way throughout the Baroque structure, built in 1611. Along with a collection of 17th-century art, the monastery houses a room of relics. Most important among these is the blood of Saint Pantaleon, kept in a glass orb. Physician and philanthropist, he died in 305. For convenient lodging, try Hotel Rex with its buffet breakfast and on-site hairdressing service. After your visit, stop in at Alimentos de Madrid, where you can purchase items such as queso de cabra (goat's cheese), Aranjuez strawberries or Campo Real olives along with Madrid wines for a feast in your hotel room.

Monasterio de la Enarnacion
Plaza de la Encarnacion
Madrid, Spain 28013

Tapas Walking Tours

Walks of Madrid provides a relatively new attraction, taking visitors through Old Madrid. Walking Tapas Tours introduce tourists to restaurants and tapas bars familiar to the Madrileno or local. Groups averaging up to eight people stop at three restaurants, sample five authentic Spanish foods and taste five unusual Spanish wines. Traditional foods may include squid or chorizo, while drinks could be Fino or Manzanilla sherries. Stay in historic Vincci Capitol Hotel, where, for an extra fee, you can take advantage of spa and massage services after spending hours on your feet experiencing Spanish cuisine.

Walks of Madrid
Andres Jarabo Perez
Niceto Alcala Zamora 11 3-C
Madrid, Spain

Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

Real Madrid Football Club makes its home at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid. There are three ways to view the stadium. You can purchase a ticket to a match; just be sure not to wear the opposing team's colors by mistake. Taking a tour of the stadium gets you deeper into the club's history. View the dressing room, trophy room, players' tunnel and more. Tours are available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sundays and holidays, except when a match takes place. The third option supplies a view of the stadium as well as a meal of Spanish or continental food. Visit the stadium cafe, which looks out onto the pitch. Hotels close to the stadium include Hotel Infanta Mercedes, featuring 61 rooms with lobby bar, breakfast lounge and room service for the tired football fan.

Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Avenida Condia Espnia 1
Madrid, Spain

La Capilla del Obispo

The only surviving example of an architectural style once common in Madrid, 16th-century La Capilla del Obispo, represents the mature Isabelline Gothic style. Features of this style indicate a shift from Gothic to Renaissance. Built from 1520 to 1535 to house the remains of Madrid's patron saint, San Isidro, Isidro's body ended up next door in Iglesia de San Andres instead. Stay at the Hotel Reye Catolicos City Center nearby, which will also place you near Puerta de Toledo and Almudena Cathedral. Just around the corner is Botin Restaurant, acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest restaurant in the world, dating from 1725. Sample the sauteed artichoke hearts, followed by suckling pig.

La Capilla del Obispo
Plaza de la Paja, 9
Madrid, Spain 28005

Article Written By Giselle Diamond

Giselle Diamond is a freelance writer and has been writing since 1999. Diamond is experienced in writing in all genres and subjects, with distinguished experience in home and garden, culture and society, literature and psychology. Diamond has a Master of Arts in English and psychology from New York University. Diamond has articles published on both eHow and LiveStrong.

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