City Break / 48 Hours in Madrid – What to see
My top list of what not to see if you have 48 hours or more in Madrid:
Madrid Airport T4 by Richard Rogers / Palacio de Cristal in Parque del Retiro / Estanque the boating lake in Parque del Retiro / Caixa Forum art centre and the garden wall / Atocha train station with the palm garden / Picasso’s Guernica painting in the gallery Reina Sofia / Real Jardin Botanico / Muse Ico / Platea food hall which was originally an Art Deco cinema / Mercado de san miguel food market.
A girlfriend and I fancied a city break away to get some sunshine and Madrid in October did not disappoint. Such a wonderful city to explore and have a relaxing fun weekend in.
I will share a few of my favourite photos I took that will inspire us all in the studio in the coming months for design and colour inspiration.
Madrid airport T4 by Architects Richard Rogers
I flew into T1 and had to go and meet my friend luckily in T4 as this is the part of the airport designed by architects Richard Rogers. It is a stunning space and next time I must check that I fly into this terminal as I would have loved to have seen more of it.
Parque del Retiro.
Our Hotel Hospes was right next to the entrance to Parque del Retiro. We dropped our bags off and then went into the park to enjoy the sunshine. It was lovely sitting next to the boating lake enjoying a glass of presseco! The whole park is stunning and we loved the Palacio de Cristal building as well. This building was inspired by the British Crystal Palace and built in 1887.
The park was also a stunning place to go for a run in the morning and the reflection into the lake in front of the Palacio de Cristal was stunning without the fountain on. Plus the sun coming up over the boating lake.
Caixa Forum art centre.
I had wanted to see this building for a long time after reading about it on Dezeen magazine. I have written a full blog post on this building and shows more of the photos I took. This was one of the first places I had to hunt out when I arrived in the city and wasn’t disappointed. It is a fascinating building designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron. Firstly you see the garden wall against the cor-ten structure and then as you enter the underneath of the building you begin to realise that this building will be fascinating inside and out. The building incorporates walls from a power station that previously occupied the site.
Then to top it off there was a great exhibition on Alvar Aalto the Finish Architect that took you through his career from start to finish. I loved watching how they make the Stool 60’s we have at home – a video from birch tree too stool. The wood is dried for 1 year, then there are 45 stages in the making of each one! I would love to add the yellow topped ones to our collection!
Atocha train station with the palm garden.
Estacion de Atocha is Madrid’s southern railway statian is also a palm garden. It is a stunning building and I loved the patterns in the glass end wall faced by day and night. The old terminal is a magnificent cast-iron structure designed by Alberto del Palcio in 1888. The French engineer Gustave Eiffel, designer of the Eiffel Tower in Paris was a consultant.
Real Jardin Botanico.
The gardens where still great to walk round in October but would love to see them in full bloom in the summer! Lots of leaf and flower inspiration as photos are great to draw from when creating new designs.
Other galleries to visit in Madrid.
There are so many to visit so we choose to go to the Museo Reina Sofia and Museo ICO.
We went to the Sofia Gallery in the evening and it was free to go between 7-9pm Mon-Fri and 3-7pm Sunday. The museum is set in a converted hospital and it had a fascinating mix of art including the huge Picasso painting Guernica, Miro’s, Juan Gris and Salvador Dali’s.
Museo ICO was another of my favourites and they had a wonderful exhibition on David Chipperfield’s work. I would now love to see Neues museum in East Berlin he has done and the river and rowing museum in Henley on Thames.
Favourite places to eat in Madrid.
All the places we ate were incredible and I would recommend all as a must!
Tapas at Estado Puro – funky tapas run by famed Spanish chef Paco Roncero – asparagus tempura was delicious!
Platea food hall was incredible and they had a live singing on the stage. We sat in the middle and choice food from all the different food stalls. A stunning building flu of design inspiration as well as it was a old art deco cinema.
We picked a few delicious tapas at Mercado de san Miguel which was a beautiful visual food market. Snacking paradise.
Lunch in the secluded Jardin Hotel Ritz was stunning and so quite. A real treat to have a salad and a glass of Rose in the sunshine by the fountain!
The best food we had was at Baco y beto which was a tiny restaurant but the food was incredible. Superb tapas and wine.
Hotels that look good when we were looking:
Hospes / Urban / ME / Dear Hotel – well priced / Praktik metropolis / H10 ville de la Reina boutique / Unico / Urso / Room mate Alicia well priced/ Intur hotel San Martin
Other places we didn’t get time to go and see:
Ojala restaurant look up – indoor beach and amazing toilets / Madrinalean and vacaciones look up for cocktails / Urban grill calle 30 restaurant look up / Malasana looks cool area / El Escorial museum must see – near Madrid / Palace de comunicaciones looks amazing covered courtyard / ABC museum / Azotea, terrace in circulo de bellas artes. – best sunset drinks recommended by girl in Platea. / La Latina. For tapas and drinks. / Serrano street for shopping