Who knew that Madrid, besides being the Spanish capital, was the cultural capital of Europe in 1992-a fun fact many of you probably weren’t aware of, although this comes as no surprise when looking at the magnificent cultural attractions this city has to offer. On top of that Madrid has a reputation for being a student’s city, as well as being a city for footballers thanks to Atlético and Real Madrid. In addition, it represents a trading and finance center for Spain. As you can see this city is so multifaceted and different making it quite hard to discover everything about it in just a few days.
However I do hope that these FashionTouri-Highlights will make your stay more memorable and ensure that you can see as much as possible.
The most beautiful activity: The active life in the evening at the Puerta del Sol
The worst thing about the city: The crazy temperatures in the summer
You should have done that: Have a siesta in Retiro-Park with snacks
The craziest fact: The king of Spain doesn’t live in the Palace of Madrid
Two in one
The museum Reina Sofía was named after the former Spanish queen Sofía de Grecia, who opened it in 1992. This may sound strange but this museum is actually like a two for one offer, but we will get to that in a minute. First of all, everyone pays this building a visit because of the great art collections from artists like Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró or Gerardo Rueda. “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso is probably the most famous picture in the whole museum. It showcases the damage done to the Spanish city Guernica during the Spanish civil war. Above all this, it is one of the most frequently visited museums in the world. For all those of you who aren’t that keen on art the museum still has something to offer you because at the top of the extension building of the Reina Sofía. As it also boasts a magnificent viewing platform (This is what I meant when I said that this museum is a two for one deal). So for those of you, who need a short break from all of the art, I highly recommend you go to this viewing platform to breathe in the Spanish air and take in the great view.
Opening hours: MON-SAT 10.00 am-9.00 pm, SUN 10.00 am-2.30 pm and TUE closed
Entrance fee: 5 Euros, 4 Euros online. Visitors under 18 and students under 26 are free.
Not far away from the Reina Sofía is another popular destination where you can spend a relaxed Sunday afternoon. The big Retiro-Park and its large pond represent the perfect spot for a get away from the exhausting midday heat. Although the pond is not that big, you will always spot a lot of boats sailing on it. That’s why when on one of the boats you remain in the same place for most of the time as a boat trip in Retiro Park is a very popular tourist activity. Nevertheless, it is a great park, particularly because it offers a lot of shade. The best thing you can do is to buy something to eat and drink and find a spot in the shade and relax for a few hours. You will forget about everything around you and will be able to take in the here and now.
Another sight that is very close to the famous museum is one of the most beautiful station halls, giving you a great reason to travel to or from Madrid by train. The train station I am referring to is the railway building of the Atocha train station in the center of Madrid. This building is popular because of its complex and at the same time wonderful roof construction made out of glass and cast iron. It was designed by the basque architect Alberto de Palacio y Elissage as a railway terminus and built between 1888-1892. 28 years ago an extension of the train station was built, the historical one hasn’t had any practical use since. Now it is just a waiting- and common area. In order to ensure a pleasant time there, a little palm tree paradise, an aquarium for turtles and so many other plants have been spread around the station.
Prada does not equal Prada
If you hear “Prada”, probably the first thing that comes to mind is the Italian luxury label by Miuccia Prada. However, there is also a Spanish designer that shares this name. Agatha Ruiz de la Prada is the most well known designer in Spain and enchants her audience with crazy colors, exotic themes and extraordinary shapes. The most important part of her fashion is the entertainment factor. Besides that she also creates accessories, including the Spanish must-have for every woman: el abanico (en: fan). Every single female Spaniard must have at least one of them in her closet, for cooling down during the crazy heat in the summer months. So stop by her boutique in the center of Madrid, because not only does a fan have a functional purpose, it is also a very pretty accessory.
Opening hours: MON-FRI 12.00 pm-7.00 pm and SAT 11.00 am-3.00 pm
Famous in one place, completely unknown in another
Designer Adolfo Dominguez studied in Paris and London and opened his own store after taking over his father’s shop. Furthermore, his company was the first fashion establishment to be listed on the Spanish stock exchange in 1997. His clothing for men and women is easily recognisable because of its elegant, timeless and simple elements. The designer’s products are created using high quality fabrics, materials and designs and being in the medium price category, they aren’t as expensive as one might first think. So if you are in Madrid and want to go shopping, stop by his store. The soft and sandy colors represent the southern fashion.