MADRID: Cheap Hotels in Madrid
Madrid is a favorite destination among tourists to Europe. Even though it is a big and busy capital city, it manages to hold on to its gentle, laid-back, and traditional ways. Strict local standards mean many Madrid hotels provide excellent service and facilities.
The Museum Triangle is a highly recommended area to visit. You will find here the Prado for some of the finest Spanish artworks in history, the Reina Sofia for modern art, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza for classic art. Landmarks abound, too, and perhaps the first one that should be visited is the Puerta del Sol, the literal hub of the city and where many major streets begin. Another main gathering point is Plaza Mayor, around which you will find shops, restaurants, and cafés. The ceremonial palace of Spanish nobility is the ostentatious Palacio Real, which can be visited daily.
The siesta helps Madrilenians recharge their batteries for the rest of the day. Thus, a night in Madrid is never boring. The Circulo de Bellas Artes is known for the diversity of acts staged here: from theater to music, to dance. As you are in the birth country of the flamenco dance style, make sure to catch a flamenco performance. Corral de la Moreria in the city center is an easy choice. You can go tapas bar-hopping as well. This involves going from one tapas bar to the next, stopping at each one for small samples of their specialties. Huertas, Chueca, and Alonso Martínez are three areas which are known for their nightlife.
The serious shopper will find navigating Madrid's retail world simple. Well-known international clothing brands, such as Zara, Mango, and H&M, are found all around town. Close to the city center, you will find an El Corte Ingles shopping mall. To find the most modern and the hippest clothing stores in the Spanish capital, you will need to head to Chueca, Madrid's thriving gay district. As in many European cities, flea markets are popular in Madrid. The busiest is El Rastro, which opens on Sunday.
A number of UNESCO World Heritage sites are within close proximity to Madrid. One is Aranjuez, just an hour by car to the south. The most prominent landmark here is the Aranjuez Royal Palace, the summer residence of Spanish kings. Aranjuez is a beautiful town and walking here is advised. Another heritage city close to Madrid is Alcalá de Henares. Aside from the city's grand, beautiful structures, Alcalá is the birthplace of Spain's most famous literary figure: Miguel de Cervantes, the author of one of the most important novels in Western literature, Don Quixote.
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