Having you been looking at a weekend away in Europe this spring? One of the best places to visit in May in the wonderful city of Madrid.
Capital city of Spain, Madrid is located in the very heart of the country and is a vibrant and exciting city to visit. May is an excellent time to visit as it is warm, sunny and dry – making it the perfect escape for those of us living in more northern climes. Madrid is at high altitude in the centre of a plain so it is cold and dry in the winters and extremely hot during the summers. Spring and autumn are the perfect times to visit Madrid.
A perfect weekend in Madrid would consist of taking in the fabulous plazas such as the Plaza Mayor a huge square surrounded by elegant buildings and home to some lovely cafes. These are great places to soak up the history of this majestic city. The city is divided up into different areas – each with a very different character to the next. To the north is the Chueca and Malasana areas which are funky, young areas home to many bars and nightclubs. To the east is the more classical Justicia where the Bank of Spain and the main law courts can be found. The main shopping area runs off Puerto del Sol and around the Gran Via where you can find both expensive boutiques and international chains.
After a busy morning you will need to stop for some sustenance and Madrid has a wonderful range of restaurants and cafes. Of course you must try pinchos or tapas or perhaps stop at the Museo de Jamon for a ham sandwich like no other! There are also top Michelin starred restaurants to try if your budget allows.
After lunch you may need some time for relaxation and head over to explore El Retiro which is a beautifully green park with a boating lake and cafes centrally located in Madrid. Close by is the world famous Museo del Prado which is home to some of the world’s most famous works of art.
In the evening strolling around the lively post siesta streets of Madrid is a fun experience as the city comes alive at nightfall. You can pop into a tiny bar for tapas and a glass of rioja or go dancing in a glitzy nightclub, or just wander the streets soaking up the atmosphere before heading back to your hotel. One of the best located hotels in Madrid for a short break is the Ilunion Alcala Norte hotel which is located in San Blas, half way between the city centre and the airport at Barajas, making it perfect for those with early or late flight times.
For your second day in Madrid if you need a break from city life you can head out of the city; either on the excellent bus or rail network or by hiring a car, to visit some of the wonderful places in the area. The nearby towns of Toledo and Segovia are well worth a visit as is the Sierra de Gaudarrama mountains.
Madrid is easy to reach for most places in Europe being no further than a couple of hours by plane from most places and with an extremely good rail network bringing visitors into the city centre.
With an incredibly combination of history, beauty, great food and nightlife, fabulous shops and galleries, comfortable hotels such as the Ilunion Alcala Rooms and some very pleasant green spaces Madrid truly is the perfect place for a weekend break in May.