Madrid 2013: Museo Del Prado, Retiro Park, Royal Palace

Madrid 2013: Museo Del Prado, Retiro Park, Royal Palace

Beware of these photos. Even though it is very sunny, it was only about 25F here in Madrid when we went during Thanksgiving break. They were under a cold spell when we went there. There was still some snow left over from a storm the previous week. This is very rare in Madrid as it normally doesn’t go below freezing.

These three locations are located along Calle Mayor and Carrera de S Jeronimo. It is not a bad walk between them and there are various sites in between.  San Gines is located off of this street so everything was very close to one another.

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The above and below picture are of Puerto Del Sol. This is the train stop we got off to start our sightseeing.

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Along the way, There was a SPG hotel right by the museum.

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Across this square lies the Museo Prado.

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We got off at station and walked to the Museo National Del Prado. They had a very extensive collection here but we focused on Spanish art as we were in Spain. They had a great collection of other works as well. This place was very large and you can easily get lost without a map.  We couldn’t take any pictures inside the museum, unlike inside the Louvre. There were pay lockers near a few entrances and we left our stuff in there.

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We managed to walk through most sections of the Museum and definitely had a lot of great art here. We also walked through the Velaquez collection, highlighted by the huge banner in the front of the Museum. We didn’t really know how the admission for this worked but you get a time to go in based on when you bought a ticket into the museum. We completely missed our time as we didn’t know but the museum official let us in anyway, which was nice.

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Next, we walked to Retiro park. It is a large park adjacent to the museum and it was very nicely laid out with a mix of trees and gardens. There were a good number of runners going to the park and running inside the park. I saw a few runners before we got to the park. I’m hoping to run the Madrid marathon in the near future.

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Back in Puerto Del Sol, I saw a few stands selling lottery tickets. I thought this was pretty interesting and I’ve seen this in Santiago, Chile as well. I would suspect this to be a place to scam people but it seemed a lot of locals bought them here. Either that or fake locals buying it so that it gets tourist to buy them.


I happen to stumble upon this place on the same main street. It looked so similar to Hot Wok in Dublin and the food was pretty reasonable. I didn’t try it as I wanted to save room for Spanish food rather than some semi-Asian food.

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Next, we walked through Plaza Mayor and there was shops and a carousel here. Later on that night, there was a concert with some soldiers on horseback.

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Below was fat spiderman. That’s his thing. He even has a figurine.


Below are two pictures of Plaza Villa, the meeting place for a Tapas Tour I signed up for later that night.

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The next stop was the Royal Palace. The first picture is actually of the Museo de la Cathedral de la Almudena.

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Below are pictures of the Royal Palace.

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We had a bit of daylight left so we went to the Royal Palace, which was on the other side.

The palace was very nice. We paid the admission fee to get in and walk around inside. I could only take pictures of the outside but not of anything inside. They were very strict about this. There are officials everywhere to prevent people from taking any pictures. We left it in some pay lockers provided.

There was no official tour of the palace and it was self guided. There was a map they gave out so you can kind of know which room you were in. The most extravagant room we were in was the main dining hall. A full table setting was put out on exhibit. This is where important international dinners are held, like with presidents, royal families from other countries and other important politicians.

There were also various rooms, like a billiards room, opium room, and sitting room. There are many rooms that were lavishly decorated with gold ceilings, marble walls or decorated with many paintings. Some of the rooms were in disrepair and some were being renovated. They may have restricted pictures because they don’t want to have pictures of the renovation.

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After we left the Palace, we walked north to see the fountain on the north side of the Royal Palace. There was a small festival being set up along the Royal Palace.

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Here were some pictures of the horses that took part in the festival at Plaza Mayor.

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Here was a small park just north of the Royal Palace.

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Here were a few more pictures of the park adjacent to the Royal Palace.

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Here was a picture of the parade of the horses to Plaza Mayor.

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Later on our walk up Calle Mayor, I finally noticed that there were lights strung up along the road.

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This was the walk into Plaza Mayor from the east path.

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The lights were amazing and there were some performance going on as well. The singer seemed to be above the horses.

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Once we left Plaza Mayor, we walked back along to Museo de Jamon to try out some ham!

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