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Madrid or London?

Which Madrid hotels are on sale?
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Beijing, China
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Madrid or London?

Which city would be better for a family of 5 (mom, dad, 18 yr.girl, 16 yr. boy, 13 yr. girl) and we'd be staying for 2 nights/3 days visiting all the touristy sites. Does one city have more for tourists to do than the other? Is one city better for children than the other?

Madison, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Madrid or London?

I am biased, but an advantage of Madrid is that the historic center is very walkable. You don't need to rely on taxi or metro unless you just get tired. Here is my list of things to do.

Not to miss: 1. El Prado,

1a. Nearby Retire Park is good for a stroll and/or a boat ride with you doing the rowing. (This isn't a must-see or do, but for a family with young people, it would be a good break.)

2. Reina Sofia, at least to see Guernica Picasso's masterpiece which is a statement against violence and war.

3. Palacio Real to see a palace that would engulf the White House and challenge Versailles, but no one lives here now although the King uses it for formal occasions.

4. Puerta del Sol with its Kilometro 0 (centro of all of Spain) in bronze in the sidewalk on the southside in front of the building with the clock where the New Year is welcomed with 12 grapes. On the northside is the statue of the bears that used to roam the area eating berries from a tree. This is on the shield of Madrid on all taxis.

5. Plaza Mayor, the main square.

6. Don't leave the city without trying a pastry (carryout) at La Mallorquina on the west side of the Puerta del Sol, hot chocolate in Bar Majaderitos on little Calle de Cadiz south of the Puerta del Sol or the more classic Chocolatería San Ginés which is two blocks west of Puerta del Sol on Calle Arenal, turn left on Pasadizo de San Gines.

7. For an economy meal, try Casa Mingo. For more of a splurge, try Heminway's favorite south of the Plaza Mayor, BOTIN'S.

All of the things described above and be seen on foot easily walking from one place to another....exception is Casa Mingo.

8. On a Sunday before 2 pm, consider the Flea Market, el Rastro. Watch for pickpockets though. This is within walking distance.

If you are a soccer fan, consider a tour of Real Madrid's Estadio Bernabeau. If you a bullfight aficionado/a, consider a corrida in las Ventas and/or a visit to the museum there. You will have to take metro or taxi to the soccer stadium or the bullfight.

This is hop-on, hop-off bus tour to get a feel for the city if you want to try...but certainly not necessary. If I did this, I would do it the first day of your visit.

Beijing, China
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2. Re: Madrid or London?

Thanks for your advice! What do you think about the Westin Palace Madrid? Is it in a good central location to see all the sites?

Vancouver
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3. Re: Madrid or London?

Well it depends on what you would like your children to see. Madrid has far more "old cultural sites" and is more "tourist" friendly in getting around. London has more happening as far as modern fare - ie. Tate, So Ho, Oxford Circus etc...

After visiting both, I think Madrid is the more pleasurable visit, but London has more in other ways.

And of course, the costs are much higher in London....

Madison, Wisconsin
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4. Re: Madrid or London?

The location of the Westin Palace is perfect. It's nearest the museums, Retiro Park (typo in the first post) on the east side of the historic center but is within walking distance to the Palacio on the west side. Of course, it's a grand hotel. The Tiffany-stained glass ceiling in the Rotonda, etc.

If the Palace were one of my options for my family, I would take it!

Madison, Wisconsin
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5. Re: Madrid or London?

I didn't mention having tapas in the Santa Ana area, which is blocks from the Westin.

Madison, Wisconsin
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6. Re: Madrid or London?

If you have girls 18 and 15, they will want to shop Zara, runway fashions at knock-off prices. Also Zara sells menswear. Also, look at Mango. Sales are in July and August. I am not sure when you are traveling.

Madison, Wisconsin
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7. Re: Madrid or London?

There is a Zara in Manhattan, but the fashions are priced to the economy so the prices would be better in Spain...especially on sale. I know your stay is short, but what a perfect souvenir.

Beijing, China
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8. Re: Madrid or London?

Thank you very much for all your advice. It was very helpful! I think Madrid would be better for our family.

Torrox Costa, Spain
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9. Re: Madrid or London?

As you have posted this quetion on the Madrid forum, it is natural you will get more favourable results for Madrid than London.

I have visited both cities and really love Madrid, but for a family I think London may be a better option, unless cost is the deciding factor.

Lodon is far more expensive to travel in, eat and stay.

There are more museums than you will ever have time to see in one visit e.g. Brisitsh Museum, Imperial War Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Science museum (great for kids) etc....

The Tate Art Gallery is equal to the Madrid Prado.

The Tower of London is unique and a must see.

St. Paul's Cathedral.

The Lodon Eye - a huge ferris wheel.

London also has a hop on-off tour bus, cost about £18 per day.

For evening entertainment there are, of course, top line shows in the West End Theatres, and many cinemas. The advantage of these for you is that all are in English.

Lots and lots more, do a "Google" search for London attractions.

England
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10. Re: Madrid or London?

How nice to have an unbiased view from a Spaniard, even though this is the Madrid site.

I love Spain. Madrid is a lovely city but London is bigger and surely has more 'touristy' things to do; lots of which have just been mentioned. Then there is

Buckingham Palace

Kensington Palace

The Parks (Hyde Park, Regents Park, St James's Park, Battersea Park Greenwich park and museum, Kew Gardens.. etc etc)

The zoo

The shops (Bond Street or Oxford Street, High Street Kensington, the markets like Petticoat Lane..)

Westminster Cathedral

The Palace of Westmisnter (Houses of Parliament)

Hampton Court Palace

River cruises down the Thames (with fantastic guides in English)

The Tate galleries (modern and traditional)

The National Portrait Gallery

Trafalgar Square

Piccadilly Circus/Eros

The West End theatres

Tower Bridge

Restaurants of every description

Madrid is more compact, is a bit cheaper and definitely hotter, but there is defnitiely not as much to see, even though it is a very attractive city.