Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Madrid

Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:47am EDT
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By Valle Aviles Pinedo and Martin Roberts MADRID (Reuters Life!) - Got 48 hours to spend in Madrid? Ideal for strolling, it's a city that lives outdoors and the arrival of spring makes it more attractive than ever.

Local correspondents help you get the most out of a stay in the Spanish capital, where the heart of lively, modern Spain beats inside a city rich in Old World architecture and culture.


6:00 p.m. After unpacking, hit the streets of one of Madrid's coolest neighborhoods. Chueca, the gay village of Madrid, has undergone a transformation from being one of the seediest places in the capital to becoming one of Spain's trendiest spots. Stop in at the main square and enjoy its cosmopolitan and extravagant atmosphere.

Just a short walk away from Chueca, you will find some of Madrid's most fashionable shops in noisy Fuencarral Street. If you fancy a coffee, then the old Cafe Comercial (7 Glorieta de Bilbao) is definitely the right place. Dating from 1887, it was once a regular meeting place for writers and thinkers.

8:30 p.m. Take a late-night stroll around Malasana and explore the neighborhood that once was the heart of the Movida Madrilena, an explosion of sex, drugs and music which took place in the Spanish capital in the 1980s.

Dine at Nina (10 Manuela Malasana Street, 35), a Mediterranean cuisine restaurant with minimalist decor. Try its famous grilled fresh foie-gras.

10:30 p.m. Madrid is famed for its vibrant nightlife. If you want to go clubbing before heading back to the hotel, then check out the Via Lactea (18 Velarde Street), an alternative pub, or the Pacha (11 Barcelo Street) nightclub. But don't stay out too late. There will be plenty of sightseeing tomorrow.

SATURDAY   Continued...

<p>Garlands decorate the streets during Europride celebrations in the quarter of Chueca in Madrid June 27, 2007. REUTERS/Andrea Comas</p>