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Madrid - Around Town : Around Paseo del Prado (part 2) - A Day on the Paseo del Prado

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A Day on the Paseo del Prado

Morning

Begin at Plaza de Cibeles and take a peek at the palatial central hall of the Town Hall . Plans to redirect traffic away from the Paseo del Prado have been frustrated, but the central boulevard still makes a pleasant walk, with plenty of shade in summer. Cross the road to Plaza de la Lealtad and the garden terrace of the Hotel Ritz – a delightful spot for coffee.

Continue past the Neo-Classical façade of the Museo del Prado and you’ll come to Plaza de Murillo and the Real Jardín Botánico. Allow at least an hour here to make the most of the verdant tranquillity.

On leaving the garden, cross the Paseo del Prado and double back to Plaza Cánovas del Castillo and Ventura Rodríguez’s splendid Neptune Fountain. The small side streets here are crammed with plenty of tempting tapas bars and restaurants. You could try La Platería for a light lunch.

Afternoon

After lunch, take the small detour into Plaza de las Cortes, to admire the impressive portico of the Congreso de los Diputados . Return to the Paseo del Prado and on your left is the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza which will occupy the rest of the afternoon. Take the central boulevard to return to your starting point, Plaza de las Cibeles.

Best of the Rest

  1. Puerta de Alcalá

    This imposing gateway to the city was designed in 1769 by Francesco Sabatini.

    Puerta de Alcalá
  2. Real Fábrica de Tapices

    The Royal Tapestry Factory was founded by Felipe V in the 18th century. Today’s artisans still use the original wooden looms.

    • Calle Fuenterrabía 2

    • Open 10am–2pm Mon–Fri

    • Closed Aug, public hols

    • Adm

  3. Iglesia de San Jerónimo el Real

    The Castilian parliament, the Cortes, met in this historic church in 1510.

    • Ruíz de Alarcón 19

    • Open 10am–1pm, 5:30–8:30pm (6–8:30pm Jul–Sep) daily

    • Free

  4. Salón de Reinos

    The Hall of Kingdoms was part of a 17th century palace and was named after the shields of the Spanish monarchy’s 24 kingdoms that decorated the hall. It has now been acquired by the Museo del Prado.

    • Méndez Núñez 1

    • Closed until 2015

  5. Museo Naval

    Among the highlights here is a 16th century Flemish galleon and the first map of the New World.

    • Paseo del Prado 5

    • Open Sep–Jul: 10am–2pm Tue–Sun

    • Closed Aug, public hols

    • Free

  6. Museo del Ferrocarril

    Housed in a disused station, the railway museum has a wonderful collection of old steam locomotives on display.

    • Paseo de las Delicías 61

    • Open Sep–Jul: 10am–3pm Tue–Sun

    • Adm (except Sat)

    Museo del Ferrocarril
  7. Hotel Palace

    The Palace has been one of Madrid’s most luxurious hotels since opening its doors in 1913. Wander in to gaze at the fantastic stained-glass ceiling over the Rotunda .

  8. Plaza de Murillo

    The decorative centrepiece of this small square is the Apollo fountain, designed in 1781 by Ventura Rodríguez.

  9. Observatório Astronómico

    The National Observatory museum includes historic telescopes and other astronomical instruments.

    • Calle Alfonso XII 3

    • Open 9am–2pm Mon–Fri (by appointment until 2009, 91 527 0107)

    • Adm

  10. Congreso de los Diputados

    Admire the portico and Renaissance-style sculptures of the congress building on a guided tour.

    • Plaza de las Cortes

    • Open 10:30am–12:30pm Sat; by appt Mon–Fri

    • Closed Aug, public hols

    • Free

If you want to take a tour of the Congreso de los Diputados, take your passport with you as a form of ID.

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