Madrid: Museums, Plazas & Nightlife

For our final stop in Spain we went to Madrid, of course!  We all really liked Madrid and want to spend more time there. Though I have no idea how I would survive with a nightlife that starts at 10pm and goes pretty strong till about 3am.  Let’s just say it ends way past my bedtime.

We took the 30 minute train from Toledo after seeing Museo El Greco and the Toledo Cathedral- holy smokes was it impressive.  The train ride was way better than the bus we took to get to Toledo.


Anyways, we proceeded to walk around the old part of Madrid. Checked out the Plaza Mayor:



Walked through the Mercado de San Miguel which is basically a bunch of stalls selling different varieties of Tapas and Drinks. It was awesome. I think that Nichola (HI!) would have died and gone to heaven in there.



These are little charcuterie to-go cups.



We went for the earliest seating of dinner at 8pm (!) at this restaurant called Botin.  It is actually the oldest continually serving restaurant in the world!




It was pretty darn good! We enjoyed ourselves along with all the other tourists. As you can imagine, Mum was pretty excited!

Museo del Prado


As you can see, I was pretty excited to go here. Unfortunately there are no photos allowed inside. Boo.

This Museum has been on my must see list for about 10-15 years, in the top three.  We saw so much great stuff!  The Goya’s and the Velasquez’ were even better in person.




The museum is so big that I would see a painting I knew on the other side of the room, think to my self “hm, I thought it was bigger” walk towards it, reevaluate and go “oh shit, it’s bigger than my apartment was- never mind!” I did this at least 20 times.

It was big, beautiful, and better than expected!


Sidenote: Their gift shop is unreal.  They are able to use the images in their collection and it is very well done. I bought a few things.

Rating: 4/5

Pros: AMAZING, the comments about each painting were really good and up to date on art history theory.

Cons: SO BIG

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza



If the Prado is what the Royal Family can collect then the Thyssen-Bornemisza is a testament to what an aristocratic family can do with time, taste and money.  This is like the cool younger brother to the Prado’s Infante.




It’s a collection of lots of great works over hundreds of years.  Each piece in the collection is great but there are a lot fewer than in the Prado.  It also bridges the jump between painting run by academies and modern art.  Thus bridging the collections of the Museo del Prado (academic and historical) and the Reina Sophia Museo (MODERN).




I really loved it and its ability to take more risks than the Prado. The special exhibition we saw was about photos for Vogue which could have been paintings.  It was fun and beautiful. I enjoyed watching the fashionistas and wannabes take artsy photos and selfies.




It was the kind of place you go, “They have THAT?!?” It was pretty sweet to see Degas’ Blue Dancers among others.


I also saw one my favourite John Singer-Sargent paintings. I love his stuff (FIGHT ME ART HISTORIANS) which is not always loved by the modern art historians.  Introducing, Millicent the Duchess of Sutherland:





Rating: 5/5

Pros: It was all around lovely, fun and well executed. We liked how intimate it really was. Cool shop and cafe!

Cons:  Can’t think of any… oh the shop had Native American stuff that was questionable. I hope it was actually made and produced by Native Americans but I didn’t investigate.


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