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Four days in Madrid--advice please

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North east England
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Four days in Madrid--advice please

We are staying at the Quatro puerto del sol hotel for 4 nights and hope to see the art galleries and maybe fit in a visit to Segovia and/or el Escorial.

We are arriving at the airport at 4.30pm and we wondered if we would have time to visit the Reina Sophia art gallery after checking in at the hotel.I know it is open until 9pm but i don't know what time the last entry is.

Would we need a full day for Segovia and one for Elescorial or could we manage to fit in an art gallery after our visit to one of these places?

Thank you

Odette

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1. Re: Four days in Madrid--advice please

It's a short flight from the UK to Madrid, so you should have the energy and stamina for a visit to the Reina Sofia, where the last entry is 15 minutes before closing time.

museoreinasofia.es/visita/horarios_en.html

My one visit to El Escorial was in January a few years ago, and it was so perishingly cold within those thick grey stone walls that although I loved the place, and toughed it out for as long as I could, I was back in Madrid by 3pm with plenty of time for another visit to the (nice warm) Prado. So I had four hours at El Escorial, and although I'd have liked to spend longer there, I just couldn't. Seriously, if you start out early in the morning, and get there by say 10 or 11, you'll have a good few hours and still get back to Madrid early if you want to.

I would say the same about Segovia, except that you might find you want to stay there for longer, as there is a larger area to cover - a whole town - and there are lots of good places to eat lunch.

Montejaque, Spain
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2. Re: Four days in Madrid--advice please

That means that you will have just three full days in Madrid. Since you are interested in art, I seriously suggest that you spend all three days in Madrid. There are at least two other major museums/art galleries in Madrid and most people I know can´t do more than a half-day in any museum.

If you want a break from the large ones, I can recommend the outstanding Museo Sorolla.

http://museosorolla.mcu.es/

Even if your flight arrives on time, you are unlikely to get out of your hotel door much before 7:00 p.m. You have to add time for collecting your luggage, going through customs and immigration, transfer to your hotel, unpack...etc. That will not leave enough time for a visit to any of the major museums. Just relax and go for an aperitif somewhere, and then go for dinner.

Edited: 31 March 2012, 14:50
Montejaque, Spain
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3. Re: Four days in Madrid--advice please

By the way, I see that the venere.com website says that your hotel is located where "Barajas international airport is 14 km/15 minutes by car from the hotel". All I can say is that must have been written by someone who has never done that trip. If you make that more like 40 mins and you would be nearer the mark.

venere.com/hotels/…

Edited: 31 March 2012, 14:57
North east England
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4. Re: Four days in Madrid--advice please

Thank you Albastron and Tony for your helpful replies.

We will see what time we manage to get to the hotel after our flight and decide whether to visit the Reine Sophia or not..

We are going to get the airport bus which stops a short walk away from the hotel.

We will definitely visit Segovia and the 3 main art galleries.

The museo Sorolla also sounds interesting.

Thank you again

Odette

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5. Re: Four days in Madrid--advice please

Odette:

El Escorial has a very good painting collection.The palace is very cold at any time of the year so you should dress warmly. I think that half a day will be enough there.

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6. Re: Four days in Madrid--advice please

The journey from the airport to the centre (or vice versa) can indeed take as little as 15 minutes - at 5 am. I've twice done it in 12 minutes by taxi. You will arrive in the middle of the late afternoon rush hour, and it will certainly take at least 35-40 minutes. But barring a major flight delay, you will have time for the Reina Sofia, and if that's what you'd like to do, who are we to discourage you?

Most restaurants in Madrid don't start serving before 9pm anyway. If you need a snack before or after your visit, a bocadillo de calamares at El Brilliante across the way should do the trick.

The painting collection at El Escorial is important. Although much of Philip II's collection found its way to the Madrid once the Prado was estabished as a museum, there is enough of it still at El Escorial to make a journey there absolutely worthwhile - never mind the rest of this extraordinary, unique place. If I had to choose between El Escorial and Segovia, much as I enjoyed Segovia, it would have to be El Escorial.

Edited: 01 April 2012, 10:37
North east England
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7. Re: Four days in Madrid--advice please

After all your advice our plan is:

The Reina Sophia on Monday evening if possible.

Segovia on Tuesday

El Escorial on Wednesday morning , an art gallery or the Palatio Real in the afternoon and an art gallery in the evening

Thursday we can visit other art galleries, churches and museums.

Friday morning we have available for anywhere else we want to visit.

I believe that E.U residents can visit some museums and art galleries free but I'm not sure which ones.

Thanks again

Odette

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8. Re: Four days in Madrid--advice please

Wednesday is a very punishing day. I can almost guarantee that you will not want to trek through the Palacio Real after walking miles through El Escorial.

Thursday - how many galleries, churches, and museums do you think you can visit in one day? Anyway, I'm not sure what you mean by "art galleries": if that includes the Prado and the Thyssen - which should certainly be on your itinerary - those two alone will be more than enough for one day.

And may I ask why you are going to Segovia on Tuesday? You'll have only just arrived in Madrid. Why not have a look around Madrid before going somewhere else?

Be flexible and don't plan on doing too much. You'll only get into a rush, and Madrid is too nice a city to hurry through. You'll enjoy Madrid whatever you do, but you'll enjoy it more if you leave yourselves time to sit down now and then, and watch the world go by.

Madrid, Spain
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9. Re: Four days in Madrid--advice please

In order to help focus the visits, this is a calendar of the main current exhibitions:

http://www.esmadrid.com/en/events-calendar

Montejaque, Spain
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10. Re: Four days in Madrid--advice please

I agree with Alabastron (#8). I think you either over-estimate your stamina or under-estimate just how much Wednesday will take out of you.

I also cannot imagine anyone spending a morning AND an afternoon in two separate museums, especially two of the biggies.

I will just add one comment. I don´t see any mention of which Barajas terminal you are flying into. If it´s T4 or T4(S), it can take anything up to an hour from touchdown time till you collect your bags from the carousel. When I flew into that terminal it took us 45 mins but someone posted on here the other day that it took them an hour.

So, if your flight arrives at 16:30, it could well be that you are not able to start your journey into the city centre much before 17:45.

Edited: 02 April 2012, 13:13