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The Must-See Museums in Salamanca

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Amongst the many high-end shops located in the Salamanca neighborhood are a plethora of must see museums. Whether you’re in Madrid for a few months or just a short weekend, your itinerary should include a visit to at least one of these awe-inspiring museums.

The culturally-rich district of Salamanca is home to museums such as the Museo Arqueológico Nacional (MAN) (National Archeological Museum), Museo Lázaro Galdiano (Lázaro Galdiano Museum), Fundación Manuel Benedito (Manuel Benedito Foundation), and Museo de Escultura al Aire Libre de La Castellana (Castilian Outdoor Sculpture Museum). You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy the pleasantries of these museums and their enticing exhibitions.

 

To begin, the Museo Arqueológico Nacional focuses its displays on archeological artifacts from various cultures instead of decorative arts that you would find in places like the Prado Museum in central Madrid. Material artifacts by themselves can tell fascinating stories about how our ancestors lived and worked. Ancient objects from Celtic, Iberian, Greek and Roman civilizations are represented at

the MAN along with many others.

 

Some of the featured pieces are a replica of the Altamira cave, the Lady of Elche, Bull of Osuna, Mausoleum of Pozo Moro, Pyxis of Zamora, and beautiful vases that were originally intended for the Alhambra in Southern Spain.

Address: Calle de Serrano, 13

Just down the street from the MAN is where you will find an exquisite mansion that houses the Lázaro Galdiano Museum. This museum contains the art collection of José Lázaro Galdiano and is said to be the both the biggest and most influential compilation in all of Spain. Nearing 12,000 items, the collection includes works by Bosch, El Greco, Goya, Velázquez, and Zurbarán.

Address: Calle de Serrano, 122

 

Next up is the Fundación Manuel Benedito. As you might guess, this museum is comprised of the paintings by Manuel Benedito. The Fundación’s location was the artist’s former home-studio where he created many infamous portraits of numerous Spanish elite society members. Check out the museum in order to see its latest edition by Benedito – “Boceto del Infierno” (Sketch of Hell).

Address: Calle de Juan Bravo, 4

After spending your morning inside these before mentioned museums, it’s certainly high time to soak up the Madrid sunshine and observe the various pieces in the Museo de Escultura al Aire Libre de La Castellana. This museum is an outdoor sculpture garden that is located underneath bridge that connects the streets of Eduardo Dato and Juan Bravo. This public art museum includes a waterfall and work by both Chillida and Miró. What better way to end your museum tour than with observing these abstract pieces? They will sure leave you speechless, and maybe… hungry? Did someone say tapas?

Address: Paseo de la Castellana, 40

 

 

5 things to do this Saturday in the Salamanca district

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If you’re looking to splurge and feel like a king-or queen, Salamanca is your district.  Featuring la Milla de Oro of shopping and plenty of high end restaurants, Salamanca is the ideal location for Treat Yourself 2018!

Start your day with a lesson on how real kings and queens lived. Visit the National Archaeology Museum in the Recoletos neighborhood and head to the exhibition room.  Greek pottery, Roman statues, and Ancient Egyptian artifacts are on display along with an exhibition filled with ancient currency.

Visit: National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Calle de Serrano, 13

La Milla de Oro (the Golden Mile) of Salamanca was recently converted into a Bitcoin Street where customers can use the cryptocurrency to pay for their purchases. Located on Calle Ortega y Gasset, this street features Cartier, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.  However, you can find smaller, local boutiques if big brands aren’t your thing.

Visit: Calle de José Ortega y Gasset

If your shopping bags are weighing you down and you need to refuel, try the Artisan Bakery Manolo (Pastelería Artesanal Manolo) in the Lista neighborhood.  The chic decor and irresistible croissants will make you keen to stay and try more than one of their many flavors!

Visit: Calle del Conde de Peñalver, 68

For lunch, make a reservation at Restaurante Ten Con Ten.  With a cozy, yet spacious dining area, Ten Con Ten serves classic hits with a twist-like their Hamburguesa de Rabo de Toro (hamburger of bull tail).  They have an extensive menu and their desserts look to die for!

Visit: Calle de Ayala, 6

Another option for lunch is el Mercado de la Paz, established in 1879 and one of the oldest markets in Madrid. You can pick from dozens of friendly vendors and create your own meal by mixing and matching tapas.

Visit: Centro Comercial La Paz, Calle de Ayala, 28

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Salamanca. You will love it!

A Museum in the Metro – La estación fantasma de Chamberí

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If you travel to the bustling city of Madrid, you will quickly learn that practically everyone here uses the Madrid Metro system. School children and working adults alike take advantage of the public transportation system as it is extremely user-friendly and connects to virtually everywhere in the city. Inaugurated almost 100 years ago in 1919, the metro currently contains 318 stations and 13 lines. Over the years, various reconstruction and expansion projects have taken place including the closure of one metro stop, Chamberí.

 

The Chamberí station was one of the original eight metro stations and is (still) located on metro Line 1 directly under the Plaza de Chamberí. Line 1 was the first of the metro stations that opened, and it connects Sol to Cuatro Caminos. However, in May of 1966, the Ministry of Public Works agreed to shut down the station due to an exponential influx in riders and the station’s structural inability for future augmentation. Additionally, the Chamberí station was discovered to be too close (within 500 meters) to the Iglesia stop when plans to increase the platform lengths from 60 to 90 meters were initiated. Metro Line 1 continues to pass through Chamberí as it makes its way underground from Iglesia to Bilbao. Since the metro does not stop at Chamberí anymore, it has come to be called “La estación fantasma”.

 

After its closure in 1966, the Chamberí platform was deserted for about 40 years. Many madrileños knew the platform existed (or used to), but they didn’t know what had happened to it. Anymore, Chamberí could not be found on maps and trains passed through the former station to stop at either Iglesia or Bilbao. Due to vandalism, restoration of the Chamberí station began in 2006 in an effort to transform it to its original condition. In 2008, it opened to the public as a museum called “Andén 0”.

Being built in the early 20th century, the walls of the Chamberí station house vividly-colored, antique advertisements that are constructed of beautiful ceramic tiles. Architect Antonio Palacios wanted the new subterranean stations to be warm and inviting to the then residents of Madrid, so they would feel comfortable utilizing the new form of transportation.

 

In the station, you can still find some advertisements that have Madrid’s then four-digit phone numbers! In addition, at Andén Cero you can see the old ticket offices, metro maps, original platforms, and of course, experience the dim, yellow train station lighting of the 1920s! Additionally, the museum has a small audiovisual component that tells of the history of the Chamberí station as well as the rest of the metro system in Madrid.

Andén Cero is located in the Plaza de Chamberí. There is no entry fee for the museum. It is open on Thursdays from 10AM to 1PM, Fridays 11AM to 7PM, and Saturdays & Sundays 11AM to 3PM. The museum is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

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5 things you must see in Las Letras

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Las Letras, officially located in the Cortes neighborhood (Center district), is surrounded by the Sol, Jerónimos and Embajadores neighborhoods. You can get there easily via metro Line 1 by getting off at Anton Martín or Atocha stations. Las Letras is full of different things that everyone should experience at least once while being in Madrid.

 

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1. Calle de las Huertas

This street goes through Las Letras neighborhood. It starts from close to Plaza Mayor and continues all the way to the Prado museum. This lively street is only for pedestrians and while walking there pay attention to the pavements. Some of the pavement stones have golden embroidered quotes by the great writers of the Golden Age of Spanish literature such as Cervantes, Quevedo, and Lope de Vega.

 

 

2. Mercado de las Ranas – Frog’s Market

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In every first Saturday of the month, local stores of Las Letras spread out to the streets to organize all types of events and activities. You can try gastronomic products, join workshops or listen to some live music. The atmosphere of the market is close to Camden town’s in London but with a Spanish twist. Frog’s market is a great way to spend Saturday afternoon and support some local businesses.

 

 

3. Plaza de Santa Ana

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Plaza de Santa Ana has numerous restaurants, cafes, and tapas bars and it´s a popular meeting point in Madrid. From the square, you can find monuments of a writer Pedro Calderón de la Barca and a poet Federico García Lorca. On the east side of the square stands Teatro Español which is the oldest theatre in Madrid.

 

 

4. Vertical Garden (Calle de Cenicero, 34)

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This green wall is a must-see and an Instagrammer’s dream. Designed by Patric Blanc in 2008 this epic vertical garden has a length of 24 meters including 15000 plants in 215 different species. The building underneath the green layer used to be a power station. The other building right next to the vertical garden is cultural arts center Caixa Forum where you can stop by in exhibitions, workshops, concerts and other art events.

 

5. Teatro Kapital (Calle de Atocha, 125)

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Do you prefer to dance EDM, Latin or hip-hop music or just to sing karaoke? It doesn’t matter because Kapital offers you them all and even more. The biggest nightclub in Madrid with 7 floors opens at midnight and is worth of money and the effort of dressing up nicely. After passing the strict door policy you are about to experience a party that you don’t want to miss.

We truly recommend you to visit in Las Letras neighborhood if you happen to be in Madrid. There’s so much more to experience than only these five things!

Interesting places to discover in the Sol neighborhood

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Welcome to Sol!

Are you also curious about the stores in the center of Madrid? The Sol neighborhood contains of many shops and some of them are very relatable to the Spanish culture. You cannot miss them when you are in the center!

As some of you probably already know, is Sol literally the heart of Madrid. Not only the heart of Madrid but it also has coordination point 0,0 (‘Kilómetro 0′) which means that this place is exactly situated in the middle of whole Spain. Sol is definitely a must-see which is why it receives many, many, many tourists. It is important that the city is well connected and therefore has this place a very strong transportation network. Especially the metro works quite good, the most central station which you can use is called Sol (metro Lines 1, 2, 3 and Cercanías). Other metro stations that you can use are Callao (Line 3, 5), Gran Vía (Line 1, 5) and Sevilla (Line 2). Several neighborhoods around Sol are Palacio, Malasaña, Chueca, La Latina and Lavapiés-Embajadores.

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RESTAURANTS / TERRACES

Casa Labra is a tavern that over generations has been offering something very unique and typical from Madrid. Croquettes are their specialty delighted in an environment that has remained almost since the 19th century which makes this one of the oldest restaurants in Madrid. [Address: Calle Tetúan, 12].

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Las cuevas de Sésamo produces one of the best sangria in whole Madrid and is especially known by the local people. The sangria is made with red wine, lemon, sugar, fruit and other ingredients. If you want to discover all the ingredients than you have to go to the cuevas and taste it. [Address: Calle del Príncipe, 7].

Jardín Secreto Salvador Bachiller is located on Calle Montera, near Gran Vía. In the first place, you wouldn’t expect that there is a rooftop hidden in this shop. It is actually a store where they sell unique bags. But as soon as you take the stairs to the third floor, you will have a large lounge bar which is decorated by many kind of plants.
On the 4th floor, you can find the rooftop. It is called el Jardín Secreto (or in English, The secret garden).

This place has a spacious terrace where you can order all kind of drinks and pastries. It is also surrounded by many unique flowers which makes it a perfect spot for a drink and a break from all the heat. When you walk towards the end, you will have a beautiful view over the street. Definitely, a well-worth visit. [Address: Calle de la Montera, 37].

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SHOPS / STORES

Typographia sells very alternative t-shirts and is developing a unique approach to the art of printing and designing t-shirts for men and women. The designs are focussed on symbols of Madrid, as the bear in Sol, the metro stations and many more! A very original gift to come home with! [Address: Plaza de Canalejas, 3].

La Violeta is specialised in violet sweets. The shop sells a special kind of candy: Caramelos de Violeta. It is called like this because of their shape, their colour and the essence of the flower is part of their ingredients. So, let’s try them! This shop is located next to Typographia. [Address: Plaza de Canalejas, 6].

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Torrons Vicens. The stores of Vicens are full with entire walls with those typical Spanish sweets. They produce a delicious and original candy bar that has been popular for centuries. They are specialised torrons which you can buy in all kind of flavors as truffle, marzipan, strawberry and many more. They also offer some pieces as a gift, for example in a wooden box as you can see. The bars are frequently consumed throughout a year, but especially during christmas it is a popular present. You have also the possibility to taste some pieces for free. Hurry up and give it a try! [Address: Calle Mayor, 41].


COMMERCIAL STREETS

Calle del Carmen, Calle de Arenal and Calle de Preciados are known as one of the most commercial streets in whole Madrid. It is always crowded here because mainly of all the special shops you are surrounded with.

  • Calle del Arenal is a very central route, but also a trafficfree zone of Madrid between Puerta del Sol and Plaza de Isabel II (Ópera). It has a variety of shops, including many restaurants, the Real Madrid Official Store or gifts and souvenirs. But also many hotels, apartments and hostels for an overnight stay.

  • Calle de Preciados starts at sol till plaza de Santo Domingo and is familiar from the shop El Corte Inglés and all the franchises who are located here as well. You can also find those typical clothing stores as Zara, Pull and Bear, Sfera or Pepe Jeans in this street.
  • Calle del Carmen is especially known because of its famous shop Doña Manolita. You can buy here lottery’s (during Cristmas Holidays) and this shop has millions of customers spread throughout the country. The street also contains many clothing and shoe stores.

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So if you are in Madrid, don’t forget to take a visit to Sol and one of its amazing places.

Our favorite ones are Jardín Secreto de Salvador Bachiller and Calle de Preciados. The Secret Garden offers a great opportunity to relax. During the Summer you can even enjoy on the rooftop which gives everyone a tropical vibe because of its beautiful flowers. You can also visit this place in the Winter. There are a few cozy bars hidden inside where you can order a drink with a snack. And last but not least, if you are in a shopping mood, go to Calle de Preciados! You will find here everything that you need!

If you want to watch a video about all of these places, don’t the miss the MADventures video about Sol on the MadridEasy YouTube channel.