Salamanca is Madrid's answer to New York's Upper East Side. Designed by the Marquis of Salamanca in the 19th century, this area was the choice of nobles and upper-class.
To see how the other half lives, make your way to Madrid's version of Hollywood's movie star homes. While admiring the ornate architecture and elaborate security, see if you can catch a glimpse of someone from Hola magazine.
Many of these neoclassical palaces now house the cities most elegant fashion stores. This trendy shopping area boasts elegant brands in luxurious surroundings. Whether you want to buy some Cartier jewels or simply lounge in an elegant cafe, come to Salamanca to see Madrid in style. Known as the Golden mile, the streets Serrano, Ortega y Gasset and Velazquez are home to the most prestigious and luxurious brands such as Dolce and Gabbana, Prado, Armani, Dior and Chanel. ABC Serrano
is also a must see for shopaholics, it's not just your average shopping mall. With 80 stores, beautiful architecture reflecting its former use as the head of the Spanish press it has become known as a temple of fashion. Another mall with a difference is The garden of Serrano, located in two remodeled palaces; it is a gallery of fashion which combines the finest brands with art exhibitions and delicious snacks such as sushi and Spanish tapas.
After shopping till you drop, head to Colon square where you can go to theatre Fernan Gomez
or pay a visit to the vast collection and impressive interior of the National Library
which dates from the 17th century. It is home to 26 million publications and has an astounding collection of prints, drawings and maps not to mention antique books.
Continue by taking a stroll down the Paseo of Recoletos and lounge in one of the many cafes while you watch the world go by. One of the most famous of these is cafe Gijon which has always attracted lively literary debates and meetings of film makers and intellectuals for over 100 years.
A perfect location from which to base your weekend visit to Madrid by staying at one of the hotels below that you can book directly just by clicking on any of the regularly updated ads
Fancy houses, embassies. A significant number of diplomatic missions are set in the Salamanca district, such as the Switzerland embassy, the United States embassy, Canadian embassy and the Italian embassy.
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
This stadium has a capacity of over 80,000 spectators. It is home to Real Madrid, and is an essential visit for football fans. The stadium is located on the Paseo de la Castellana, one of the most important arteries of Madrid. The Santiago Bernabeu stadium tour allows you an inside look into one of the worlds most successful football teams. Having opened in 1947 with a team as prestigious as Real Madrid, it has been witness to some of the most memorable moments in Spanish footballing history.
For tickets and information on this seasons line up, click here
Eat and Drink
Mallorca is a great cafe for brunch after a morning of shopping. They sell fantastic pastries and delicious quiches, salads and snacks. Their prices are reasonable which means you can treat yourself to desert.
The restuarant Jockey is one of the most prestigious in the city. It has won countless culinary awards including a Michelin star. Seasonal game and wild fowl dishes are specialities. So are high prices, but once in awhile it is worth splashing out (the pheasant might not agree with us however).
Loewe doesn't sound like a typical Spanish name, but in fact its one of the countrys longest established fashion brands. The first Madrid store opened in 1846. It is known for great leather accessories and good quality tailoring.
In the streets nearby, you'll find a vast number of prestigious brands such as Chanel, Dolce and Gabana and Louis Vuitton to name a few.
The Juan March Foundation
is one of Spains most important cultural institutions. Founded in 1955 by banker Juan March to promote contemporary Spanish art, it is still bursting with exciting events and exhibitions decades later. The permanent collection has a great range of work from abstract artists of the 1950s such as Tapies, Saura and Sempere. Also worth checking out are the foundations fantastic temporary exhibitions. For details on upcoming shows click here
is a museum devoted to the Valencian artist Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923), he spent the last 13 years of his in this house which has been turned into a museum. Some rooms remain the way they were during his lifetime and others are used to display his fantastic paintings of beaches and Valencian sunlight. Known as the Spanish Impressionist, his subject matter ranges from ordinary scenes of people to beach and landscapes. Whereas the Prado
often deals with darker subject matter, Sorolla is a breath of fresh air and sunlight. Definitely worth a visit.
Madrids Archaeological Museum
is daunting because of its sheer volume of artifacts. Check out the Lady of Elche on the main floor, a stone bust of an Iberian noblewoman from the 4th century BC. Other must see highlights include Bronze and Iron Age artefacts from the Canary Islands and a collection of painted amphorae from ancient Greece.
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