See this pathway tour in flash
We here recommend an entire walking tour
of city center interesting sites. This tour
can take 2-3 hours walking if you don't wish
to access any of the described sites (depending
on your pace and how long you take to watch
arounf the proposed sites).
Arrive at Atocha railway station by subway.
The sattion itself has some awsome indoor
tropical gardens and is the departure for
high-speed AVE trains that go to Sevilla.
Just accross the station you will find the
Sofía Center of Contemporary Art.
A hospital during the 18th century, this museum
has recently been refurbished and enlarged
by the architect Jean Nouvel. Queues during
weekends can be moderately long.
the street from the Reina Sofía Museum
you will find the Paseo del Prado, a large
boulevard planned in the 18th century by king
Carlos III, who began to enlarge the city
in this area. The nearby Botanical
opened up in 1781 are home to over 30.000
species of trees and plants. The central building
of the gardens was designed by Sabatini, the
architect of Madrid's Royal Palace.
When leaving the garden you will alredy notice
the buildings of the Prado
Close by, the Calle de Felipe IV
will lead you to the church of Los Jerónimos,
a preferred site for catholic marriages
and neighbouring the Alfonso XII
street, one of the most elegant of the city.
In this area are other buildings as the Bolsa
(stock exchange) or the Royal Academy of Spanish
Language - Real Academia de la Lengua.
The Retiro Park or Parque del Buen Retiro
is a favorite site for the for the madrileños
and where they enjoy the park, attend art
exhibitions at the Casa
de Vacas, the Palacio
de Cristal, or the Palacio
de Velázquez. You can enjoy a drink
at the terrace of one of the multiple kiosks.
Rowing boats or puppets theatre are other
nice amusements for a Sunday morning. Formerly
this park was a garden that belonged to tha
Monasterio de San Jerónimo
and later to the Retiro Palace.
park exit leading to the Plaza de la Independencia
(see map) will take you exactly to the
Puerta de Alcalá (N-7).
This old city gate is today an icon of the
city. Follow down the Alcalá street
to arrive at the Plaza de la Cibeles
surrounded by beautiful buildings like the
Palacio de Comunicaciones, the Bank
of Spain, the Palacio de Linares
—today the Casa
de América— and the Palacio
de Buenavista, headquarters of the Spanish
Army with a magnificent garden of roses of
which you can appreciate the scent from outside.