Great views

The activity of visiting interesting sights of a city becomes a pleasure when it gets to be the center of Madrid. Several places near VillaJardines offer gorgeous views of the city center. As there are many to explore, a selection of the most recommended places near VillaJardines for the art of sightseeing is as follows.

Please click to enlarge image.

Please click to enlarge image.

1. ADA HOTEL. 360º terrace. 2 Gran Via (entry by 1 Marques Valdeiglesias).

The ADA Hotel is 5 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from revistastrogonoff.com)

The ADA Hotel is 5 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from revistastrogonoff.com)

The spectacular views and the enjoyable decor are two important assets of this hotel terrace. From here, if we stretch one hand we feel that we can almost touch the statue of the winged Victory in the magnificent dome of the Metropolis building in Gran Via, or the Circle of Fine Arts and even the Bank of Spain.

The Ada Hotel terrace is located in the Gran Peña building, a gentleman’s club funded in 1869 by military officials who gathered in the literary Swiss Café in Sevilla St.

The best is the stunning 360º view of the elegant buildings in the Gran Via (photo from tripadvisor.es)

The best is the stunning 360º view of the elegant buildings in the Gran Via (photo from tripadvisor.es)

This elegantly fusty private club has “few written rules but many habits” that are scrupulously respected. The club moved to the building in 1917 and women were not allowed in until the 1990s.

On the sixth floor, the Agora restaurant, specialized in French – Mediterranean cuisine, offers a choice of two terraces. A wider, more animated terrace is for relaxed meals, and another more secluded and intimate one, preferred for romantic quotes. In both cases, the views of Madrid are spectacular. Very interesting prices, especially at lunch time. The prices for cocktails, while not exorbitant, are the usual places for this category (around 12 euros for a cocktail or combined drink).

2. DE LAS LETRAS HOTEL. Air Lounge. 11 Gran Via.

Hotel De Las Letras is 5 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from travelinhappiness.com)

Hotel De Las Letras is 5 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from travelinhappiness.com)

This open-air lounge terrace is perfect for some excellent evening cocktails with views of the Gran Via. The roof-terrace is located on the seventh floor of the Hotel De Las Letras, a new hotel in the neighborhood that merges turn-of-the century architecture with a modern style.

The attic boasts a sophisticated, avant garde design. Wood flooring and wood paneled walls, plexiglass tables and tall transparent tools.

De las Letras Hotel is located in a residential building built at the end of 19th Century

De las Letras Hotel is located in a residential building built at the beginning of 20th Century

This bar not only serves drinks and cocktails, but also dinners which can be savored in a relaxed ambience, to the sound of mellow music like chill out, house and ambient, while enjoying a magnificent view of the city. If the weather does not help, try the different teas at the ground floor trendy café.

Do not expect a terrace with a doorman letting in only the handsome ones, as the atmosphere here is more relaxed than other chic places. Furthermore, in this place a nice service does not imply abusive prices. It also has water sprays, essential to enjoy a wonderful midafternoon sun. A chic ambience with soft music and not too many people to enjoy pleasant relaxed moments near the Gran Via.

3. ROOM MATE OSCAR. Splash Pool Club. 12 Vazquez de Mella Square.

Terraza Hotel Oscar1

Oscar Room Mate is 5 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from vitrogres.blogspot.com)

This terrace mixes pool and beds to enjoy exceptional views in a sort of cool Ibiza style in the very center of Madrid. After a hot busy day in the streets, it is very relaxing to enjoy the sunset from the terrace, watching the city from above.

The atmosphere is very minimalist, with a lot of white, chic atmosphere and informal lying on sunbeds and mattresses around the pool.

Terraza Hotel Oscar2

The pool club is an oasis in the center of Madrid (photo from absolutmadrid.com)

This very gay friendly hotel is situated in the heart of the Chueca district in Madrid, at the edge of the Gran Via, between Fuencarral and Barquillo streets, in one of the most luminous plazas of Madrid’s downtown. It is in a very convenient location if you want to enjoy the nightlife and the bars that are close by.

The hotel is located in a building with rationalist style reminiscent of the Bauhaus movement. It overlooks Vazquez de Mella Sq., a lively plaza that mixes people drinking coffee in tables with kids playing football around.

The staff is very nice, though prices are not very competitive. In summer time it is generally very crowded with youngsters who love to see and be seen.

4. SAN ANTON MARKET. The Market Terrace. 24 Augusto Figueroa St.

San Anton Market is 5 minutes from VillJardines (photo from spain.info)

San Anton Market is 5 minutes from VillaJardines (photo from spain.info)

The Mercado de San Anton is a gourmet market in Chueca. Built in 1945, it was fully renovated in 2011. The building features a three story square. In a total space is 7,500 square meters, the ground floor hosts a traditional market, in the middle floor there are deli food shops and on the top floor there is a restaurant and a lounging terrace. You can buy your own fresh products in the supermarket downstairs and have them cooked in the roof restaurant. There is also an art exhibition area.

Terraza San Anton 2

The San Anton Market terrace is very popular (photo from gorgeoustyles.com)

This cosmopolitan and modern terrace overlooks the 19th century rooftops of the area. On the top floor of this gourmet market you can nibble between meals with delicious tapas, enjoy an open air dinner, enjoy your fresh shopping from the a traditional market or see an art exhibition.

There is a great variety of food, from ox mini burgers to sushi, show cooking, take-away food, wines and whatnot.

The first floor (traditional supermarket) is open every day from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Second floor (deli shops) and the terrace are open from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. The terrace opens until 1:30 am from Friday to Sunday.

5. CASINO OF MADRID. Terraza del Casino. 15 Alcala St.

The Casino of Madrid is 5 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from elblogdemarialeon.com)

The Casino of Madrid is 5 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from elblogdemarialeon.com)

This Casino does not house gambling activities. The term “Casino” is of Italian origin, from “Casa” (house), and originally meant a small country villa.  This Casino was created in 1836, when illustrated youngsters created a place to enjoy certain cultural activities in a refined atmosphere. In the 19th century, illustrated youngsters gathered around “tertulias”, which were social gatherings with literary or artistic overtones.

Terraza Casino de Madrid 2

A unique dining experience from the hands of Ferran Adria (3 Michelin Stars) through his disciple Paco Roncero (1 Michelin Star) in La Terraza. Photo from casinodemadrid.es

In Casino de Madrid the tradition of mixing gastronomy with social and literary gatherings continues nowadays. It is one of the most popular places to organize events and numerous parties go on here nowadays, like the wild Oscar Ceremony Awards party, officially celebrated here each year.

La Terraza del Casino is run by one Michelin Star Paco Roncero, a disciple of 3 Michelin Stars Ferran Adria, who is the supervisor of this restaurant that offers a modern kitchen with a rigorous selection of prime materials.

A memorable meal here is possible if you want to experience extravagant dishes and  design cuisine from one of Spain’s best known cooks. Expect a great experience, but also high prices. Etiquette is required.

6. CIRCULO DE BELLAS ARTES. Terraza del CBA. 42 Alcala St.

Terraza Circulo Bellas Artes 1

The Circle of Fine Arts (Circulo de Bellas Artes) is 5 minutes walking from VillaJardines (photo from canonistas.com)

The Circle of Fine Arts was founded in 1880 and is a major multidisciplinary center with one of the most active cultural programs in Madrid. The terrace offers one of the best and most spectacular views of Madrid. If you want to enjoy a unique perspective of the urban landscape, you can get in for 3 euros. Tickets can be purchased at the reception of the building. Open from Monday to Sunday, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and from 4:00 pm 9:00 pm.

Terraza Circulo Bellas Artes 2

Overlooking Madrid, on the roof there is a statue of Minerva, the Greek goddess of wisdom (photo from circulodebellasartes.com)

During summertime you may access to the top floor and enjoy the views of Cibeles Sq, the City Hall, the roofs of the Bank of Spain, Cervantes Institute, Saint Joseph’s Church, the Metropolis building and the Gran Vía. You can also visit any of the numerous art exhibitions and eat or drink something at the coffee shop in the ground floor. The coffee shop is a literary cafe called “La Pecera”, or “the fishbowl”, named after its massive glass windows to the street. You can enjoy the lively atmosphere of the streets while admiring the fresco paintings of the ceiling.

With the combined ticket, you have access to the roof from Monday to Sunday, at the exhibition halls from Tuesday to Sunday and the café-restaurant “The Fishbowl” for a total amount of 4 euros. To access the roof, there is an elevator with glass doors and direct access to this privileged place.

7. PALACIO DE CIBELES. Centro Centro. 1 Plaza de Cibeles. 

Terraza Ayuntamiento 1

The Palacio de Cibeles, Madrid’s magnificent Town Hall, is 5 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from madrid.es)

The Palacio de Cibeles hosts the Town Hall of Madrid since 2010. It was originally built at the beginning of the 20th Century to host the central offices of The Post (Correos).

A big part of the building is currently devoted to cultural activities in the Centro Centro space. From the terrace of the building you have good panoramic views of some prominent buildings around (Cibeles Sq, Bank of Spain, the gardens of the Army‘s headquarters, the House of America, the Paseo de Recoletos or the Paseo del Prado), among other important historical sites in the city center.

Terraza Ayuntamiento 2

The Palacio de Cibeles now hosts the Madrid City Hall, but it used to be The Post (photo from madridconencanto-siema.blogspot.com)

It is located on the 8th floor of the building’s large central tower, 70 meters tall, and you can hop up to see one of the best views of the downtown area.

In addition, you can also enjoy Madrid’s gastronomy in the restaurant on the 6th floor. This restaurant has a terrace bar with a wonderful view of the square. A cocktail, a gin and tonic or just a coffee become an unforgettable moment in this magnificent new terrace.

The times to climb are from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm and from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Closed on Mondays. Ticket costs 2 euros for adults and 0.50 euros for children under 12.

8. THYSSEN-BORNEMISZA MUSEUM. El Mirador. 8 Paseo del Prado.

Terraza Museo Thyssen1

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is 10 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from unadocenade.com)

There can be no better plan for a summer evening than to visit one of the exhibitions of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, one of the three most important museums in Madrid, and then enjoy a delicious dinner overlooking the green and always busy Paseo del Prado.

Dinner in a museum can be a good idea, but visiting the Thyssen galleries, and then having a dinner on the wonderful Mirador terrace is simply spectacular and is often recalled as one of the highlights in a Madrid visit.

Terraza Museo Thyssen2

A great opportunity to enjoy a wonderful view of the Paseo del Prado, Madrid’s Art street (photo from museothyssen.org)

It is usually a complicated plan because it only opens during the summer and it is generally over demanded. Visiting the museum is not compulsory, and you can go for dinner only.

The restaurant misleads a bit, as it does not seem very big at first, but has capacity for one hundred. The star of the Mirador is undoubtedly its 250m² terrace from which to enjoy the best view of the Paseo del Prado. There is enough separation between tables which provides an intimate atmosphere.

If you are visiting Madrid you shall probably not recognize the clientele (business men, artists, football stars, etc). Prices are high, as expected in this kind of well-located fancy venues.

9. RITZ HOTEL. El Jardin. 5 Plaza de la Lealtad.

Terraza Hotel Ritz 1

The Hotel Ritz is 10 minutes walking from VillaJardines (photo from ritz.es)

In spring and summer the luscious gardens of the Hotel Ritz in Madrid are the perfect outdoors meeting place to sample delicate tapas surrounded by a lovely atmosphere.

White wicker chairs, marble tables covered with spotless linen tablecloths, sun protected terraces and a lovely  garden create the perfect setting to relax and quietly enjoy some delicious Spanish cuisine.

You can enjoy gentle melodies played on piano or harp in an atmosphere of quiet and attentive service in the lobby (photo from cntraveler.com)

You can enjoy gentle melodies played on piano or harp in an atmosphere of quiet and attentive service in the lobby (photo from cntraveler.com)

The characteristic blue awnings protect guests from the heat for during the day, while in the garden the beautiful trees provide a welcome shade. The view of the Neptuno Sq is an unforgettable privilege. At night, the candlelight and live music make this a unique and unrepeatable place in the heart of Madrid.

If the weather does not allow open air activities, there are few more enjoyable things than taking the traditional afternoon tea or an evening snack in the Ritz’s majestic lobby.

Try their range of teas with their delicious fruit muffins at tea time, when the weather starts to smooth. As other Ritz hotels around the world, prices are not for everyone.

10. PETIT PALACE ALCALA. El Bilbaino. 2, Virgen de los Peligros St.

Petit Palace Alcala is 5 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from actitud50.com)

Petit Palace Alcala is 5 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from actitud50.com)

A breakfast is always better with a view. This breakfast room is located on a terrace in the Hotel Petit Palace and lets you devote some quality time for the first meal of the day. The hotel, a building constructed in 1929 by the Union & Phoenix insurers, is located at the intersection of Alcala St and Virgen de los Peligros St.

It is open to the public from 7:30 am to 10:30 am from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays it is expanded until 11:00 am.

These are the views you get from the Petit Palace Alcala (photo from hotelpetitpalacealcalatorre.com)

These are the views you get from the Petit Palace Alcala (photo from hotelpetitpalacealcalatorre.com)

The buffet serves freshly cooked pastries, quality products and a wide selection of food. The price, 12 euros per person, is quite expensive for Madrid standards.

You have a spacious fully glazed lounge from where you can enjoy the spectacular views of the most aristocratic face of Alcala St, like the dome of the 17th century Church of Calatravas or the façade of a Four Seasons Hotel in Madrid, announced to be opened in 2016. It shall be the most luxurious hotel in Madrid. You can simultaneously have a delightful breakfast and almost touch the chariots of bronze horses from the opposite building, the magnificent former headquarters of  a bank.

11. URBAN TERRACE. El Cielo del Urban. 34, Carrera de San Jeronimo.

The Urban Hotel is 10 minutes from VillaJardines (photo from panoramio.com)

The Urban Hotel is 10 minutes from VillaJardines (photo from panoramio.com)

Madrid’s best option for enjoying summer evenings with a meal, a drink and incredible views of the city skyline and one of Madrid’s not-to-be-missed summer evening hotspots.

The Urban Terrace is undoubtedly one of the most chic terraces of the capital. People love it, reaffirming that this is one of the best places in Madrid for a drink. Regulars are very chic middle aged people. The atmosphere is basically soft lighting, a nice decoration, gentle chill-out music, etc.

Madrid's best option for enjoying incredible views of the city skyline (photo from traveler.es)

Madrid’s best option for enjoying incredible views of the city skyline (photo from traveler.es)

There is a roof pool where you can chill out night or day and enjoy amazing vistas over the old part of the city.

The hotel stands out for an impressive art collection of Egyptian, Chinese, Hindu and African pieces distributed throughout the hotel including the guest rooms. On the ground floor there are 19th century totems from Papua New Guinea. Maybe it’s no coincidence that the establishment is located in the vicinity of the most important museums in the city.

If you want to enjoy some of the best views while chilling out with a sophisticated cocktail, go to this terrace in the very center. Not cheap.

12. EL CORTE INGLES. Gourmet Experience Gran Via. Plaza de Callao.

El Corte Ingles in Callao is 10 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from lavie-vocha.blogspot.com)

El Corte Ingles in Callao is 10 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from lavie-vocha.blogspot.com)

Unknown to most of locals, the 9th floor of the Corte Ingles in Callao is a surprise. What makes the gastronomical experience so special is definitely the view. Open 362 days a year until 12:00 at night, its terrace also works in winter with live music concerts.

There are ten cool spaces to chose from, from Asian street food, to Mexican, burgers, pizza and cafés. It is possible to eat in all of these areas for an average price of 15 to 30 euros.

Several historical sites of Madrid can be seen from this terrace (photo from dindon.elcorteingles.es)

Several historical sites of Madrid can be seen from this terrace (photo from dindon.elcorteingles.es)

From the ninth floor you can see a panorama encompassing Madrid from the Faro de Moncloa up just beyond the magnificent church of San Francisco el Grande, past the Royal Palace, the Cathedral, Casa de Campo, Plaza of Spain, the Madrid mountains… And in the foreground, the endearing Schweppes advertisement, located on the Carrion Building, an art deco hotel that once hosted a cinema, which is so dear to Madrilenians that has appeared in several films.

As for the offer to purchase, you will find top brands combined with gourmet deli spaces and an extensive wine cellar, surrounded by a large window covering around 220º. Open every day from 9:30 am to 12:00 am.

13. VINCCI CAPITOL HOTEL. Reims Sense. 41, Gran Via.

The Vincci Hotel is 5 minutes from VillaJardines (photo by revistastrogonoff.com)

The Vincci Hotel is 5 minutes from VillaJardines (photo by revistastrogonoff.com)

One of the most fabulous penthouses in Madrid. The building is a Madrid landmark. Avant-garde architecture from the Belle Époque. The Carrion Building, also known as Capitol Building, was completed in 1933. The exterior was made in stone and granite. It was the first building where the ground floor was made with reinforced concrete. It was designed as a multipurpose space, hosting offices, cafes and a huge cinema.

It is located in Gran Vía, one of the landmarks of Madrid, near the Plaza de Callao and is very easy to spot.

This art-deco building is a Madrid landmark and you can enjoy gorgeous views of the Gran Via from the terrace (photo from viendomadrid.com)

This art-deco building is a Madrid landmark and you can enjoy gorgeous views of the Gran Via from the terrace (photo from viendomadrid.com)

The terrace is on the seventh floor of the hotel and from there you can enjoy the magnificent roofs of the old Madrid and some beautiful sunsets.

The hotel has two terraces. The solarium terrace offers views to Jacometrezzo street and the Madrid of the Habsburgs. The other terrace is on the Gran Via side of the building. From there we can see the second and third part of the street.

Prices in this terrace are slightly cheaper than in any other hotel terrace near the Gran Via, and offers cocktails and drinks from 8 euros. They also have a large wine list. It opens from Monday to Friday until 11:00 pm and on weekends 12:30 am.

14. VINCCI HOTEL. The roof terrace. 66, Gran Via.

The Vincci Hotel is 10 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from vinccihoteles.com)

The Vincci Hotel is 10 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from vinccihoteles.com)

Another splendid Vincci terrace near the main theatres of the capital, in the busy Gran Via. The terrace at the Vincci Hotel is located on the roof of the building, and is large and urban with a truly minimalist decor. The floors, mainly teak, give a sense of comfort and warmth, and the terrace offers very spectacular views of the Gran Via and the roofs of downtown Madrid.

Do you dare to walk up the funky marble stairs?. If you like them, you should see the elevator (photo from tripadvisor.in)

Do you dare to walk up the funky marble stairs?. If you like them, go and see the elevator (photo from tripadvisor.in)

Another perfect place for relaxing and taking a break from the busy days at the capital and for enjoying the romantic sunsets from this terrace (this is a hint!). A sunset in Madrid is a brief and intense moment and it has been immortalized by painters such as Velázquez or Goya, who recorded in their canvases the Madrid sunset.

Prices of drinks and cocktails are not expensive, and vary from 8 euros onwards. You can organize a private cocktail party for a minimum of 15 guests from 24 euros per person.

It is not considered one of the fancy terraces of Madrid, so it is never really crowded. Like the other Vincci terrace in the Gran Via, during the week it opens until 11:00 pm and on weekends at 12:30 am.

15. EMPEROR HOTEL. The Roof Garden. 53, Gran Via.

Terraza Hotel Emperador 2

Vincci Hotel is 10 minutes walking from VillaJardines (photo from vincci.es)

More than a terrace for drinks, the Roof Garden at the Hotel Emperador is more of a beach club in the very center of Madrid. With an incredible pool (10×15 meters and 3 meters deep), the Roof Garden is the ideal place for a refreshing dip touching the sky of the city.

You get a grand feeling of climax if you end up here in a sunny day and enjoy a very pleasant cocktail and a bath in the swimming pool.

Terraza Hotel Emperador 1

The best is this fabulous roof pool combined with the spectacular views of mythical Gran Vía (photo from madridpremium.es)

Designed as a day club, the terrace offers several packages to enjoy a day of sun and swimming. Tickets for the whole day, including meal tickets, or tickets after work include a cocktail with bathroom, and are a good choice to combat heat in Madrid. The decoration of the terrace is a little bit out of date. The schedule, as a club day, is from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, from June to September.

Top Tip:

If you want to spend a day in the swimming pool at a much less expensive price, a good option is the Lago Swimming Pools (Metro station at Lago) a town hall facility which is highly popular with locals, though it only opens in the summer months.

16. HOTEL ME. The Penthouse. 14, Plaza de Santa Ana.

ME Hotel is 10 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from es.melia.com)

ME Hotel is 10 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from es.melia.com)

Located in the Plaza de Santa Ana, some people say that is the terrace with the best views of Madrid. The terrace is decorated in a sort of minimalist elegant style, all in white, curtained beds, chic people and expensive drinks. Certainly it has impressive views of the rooftops of downtown Madrid. At night it is a luxury to watch the city ​​from above.

Before becoming a cool spot to be seen, in another time this hotel was a favorite among bullfighters (photo from es.melia.com)

Before becoming a cool spot to be seen, in another time this hotel was a favorite among bullfighters (photo from es.melia.com)

The Penthouse is part of the Midnight Rose, a chain of “fashion” bars located in cities like New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles. The Midnight Rose Madrid is within the ME Madrid Reina Victoria.

The hotel was built in the nineteenth century. The hotel achieved fame for being the favorite among the most popular bullfighters. For example, the regular guest Manolete always reserved room number 220 in superstition. The Plaza de Santa Ana is a popular meeting point in Madrid and hosts the Spanish Theatre.

Regarding the cocktails they have a menu of some 20 cocktails, where you can find the typical margaritas, cosmopolitans, mojitos and martinis, as well as a wide range of premium drinks, whick you can take with delicious snacks. Open from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am.

17. TEMPLE OF DEBOD. 1, Ferraz St.

The Temple of Debod is 15 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from madrid.ociogo.com)

The Temple of Debod is 15 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from madrid.ociogo.com)

Some people consider it the best mirador in Madrid to watch a sunset during the summer. The Temple of Debod always has a mix of people, from hippies and drinkers to loving couples and families. The Temple of Debod is an ancient Egyptian temple and is the most ancient construction present in Madrid, dating from the early 2nd century BC. More than four thousand years of history are present in this beautiful spot. For virtual tours and more historic information, click here.

The temple was rebuilt in one of Madrid's parks, the Parque del Oeste, near the Royal Palace, and opened to the public in 1972 (photo from commons.wikimedia.org)

The temple was rebuilt in one of Madrid’s parks, the Parque del Oeste, near the Royal Palace, and opened to the public in 1972 (photo from commons.wikimedia.org)

How did Madrid get an Egyptian temple?. In 1960, due to the construction of the Great Dam of Aswan and the consequent threat posed to several archeological sites, UNESCO made an international call to save this rich historical legacy. As a sign of gratitude for the help provided by Spain in saving the temples of Abu Simbel, the Egyptian state donated the temple of Debod to Spain in 1968. In 1972 it was reconstructed so that the orientation with respect to the sun is the same as it was originally in Egypt. Ever since, it is a grand favorite of locals.

The entrance is free. Open on weekends from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm. For weekdays, check the time schedule, since it changes at the end of March and at the end of September. Mondays closed. In August it opens from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

18. CAFE DE ORIENTE. Cafe de Oriente. Plaza de Oriente 2.

The Cafe de Oriente is 15 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from guias-viajar.com)

The Cafe de Oriente is 15 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from guias-viajar.com)

Here you can enjoy an invigorating coffee before or after a visit to the Royal Palace.

The Café de Oriente is considered one of the oldest literary cafes in Europe. It is located in the Plaza de Oriente, near the Royal Theater (Opera House) and in front of the Royal Palace. The decoration style is neobaroque. This cafe should not to be confused with the ancient Oriental Café, between Carmen and Preciados streets.

Cafe de Oriente 2

The statue of Phillip IV of Spain crowns the Plaza de Oriente. The statue is held in only two points and required the work of Velazquez and Galileo Galilee (photo from commons.wikimedia.org)

The Cafe de Oriente is a business meeting point at midday. Its rooms are reminiscent of old European cafes, where you can find relevant politicians, distinguished cultural figures and even members of royalty under the sound of a piano.

You can enjoy the views of the Plaza de Oriente, the Royal Palace and the statue of Phillip IV, a marvel of the time that required the intervention of Velazquez and Galileo Galilee. The monarch is represented mounted on a rearing horse supported at two points, a model hitherto unprecedented in the field of sculpture, given its enormous technical difficulty.

The cafe opens from Monday to Sunday from 8:30 am to 1:30 am and the restaurant opens from 13:30 am to 4:00 pm  and from 9:00 pm to midnight.

19. ROYAL PALACE. Sabatini Gardens. Bailen St.

The Sabatini Gardens are 15 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from skyscrapercity.com)

The Sabatini Gardens are 15 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from skyscrapercity.com)

Located opposite the north facade of the Royal Palace, the Sabatini Gardens, with its 2.5 acres, have a neoclassical style and are very symmetrical, typical of French gardens.

These beautiful gardens in the center of Madrid are part of the Royal Palace, and were opened to the public by King Juan Carlos I in 1978. They honor the name of Francesco Sabatini (1722–1797), an Italian architect of the 18th century who designed, among other works at the palace, the royal stables of the palace, previously located at this site.

The Gardens of Sabatini are accessed from Calle de Bailen, via a double staircase (photo spain.info)

The Gardens of Sabatini are accessed from Bailen St, via a double staircase (photo from spain.info)

In 1933, clearing of the stable buildings begun, and so did the reconstruction of the gardens, which were only completed in the late 1970s.

The gardens have a formal Neoclassic style, consisting of well-sheared hedges, in symmetric geometrical patterns, adorned with a pool, statues and fountains, with trees also disposed in a symmetrical geometric shape.

The statues represent Spanish kings from around the year 400 AC and were not intended originally to grace a garden, but rather crown the adjacent palace. The Sabatini Gardens are open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm.

20. CATHEDRAL OF MADRID. Cathedral tower. 10 Bailen St.

Catedral

The Cathedral of Madrid, named La Almudena, is 15 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from commons.wikimedia.org)

If you intend to visit the Almudena Cathedral, next to the Royal Palace in the Plaza de Oriente, you will have the chance to enjoy the best panoramic views of the central city.

The Cathedral of La Almudena was consecrated by Pope John Paul II (photo from commons.wikimedia.org )

The Cathedral of La Almudena was consecrated by Pope John Paul II (photo from commons.wikimedia.org )

When visiting the Museum of the Cathedral of the Almudena, besides being able to see all artistic works in it, you can reach a terrace from which you will have the best views of the Royal Palace, in particular, of Armory Square. At the end of the visit, go up to the terrace of the great dome of the Cathedral de la Almudena.

Santa Maria la Real de La Almudena is a Catholic cathedral in Madrid and it was built on the site of a medieval mosque that was destroyed in 1083 when Alfonso VI reconquered Madrid against muslims.

The Neo-Gothic interior is uniquely modern, with chapels and statues of contemporary artists, in heterogeneous styles, from historical revivals to “pop-art” decor.

Visit to the Museum entrance, Sacristy, Chapter House and Dome of the Cathedral costs 6 euros, from Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 am to a 2:30 pm. The Cathedral Museum closes on Sundays and on important catholic festivities.

21. PARK OF ATHENS. Athens Terrace. 55 Segovia St (corner Cuesta de la Vega).

The Athens terrace is 15 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from terra.es)

The Athens terrace is 15 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from terra.es)

The best terrace in Madrid, to some at least, is the privileged Athens terrace. There are no neighbors to bother in the wonderful crossroads forming the park of the same name, the serpentine Cuesta de la Vega and the gardens of the Campo del Moro, so it is always very lively.

At the foot of the Cathedral of the Almudena, in the park of Athens, there is a cocktail bar called the Terrace of Athens. Of a futuristic decor, it looks like a UFO, and you can expect bohemian atmosphere and funky electronic music. A lush, green haven in the heart of Madrid.

The Athens terrace offers the pleasant experience of a drink with an incredible view both in day time and night time (photo from fotomadrid.com)

The Athens terrace offers the pleasant experience of a drink with an incredible view both in day time and night time (photo from fotomadrid.com)

A small oasis surrounded by a soft grass at the feet of the Almudena Cathedral, this terrace is located in a park that encrypts its charm with vegetation and electronic music in a funky and bohemian atmosphere.

Thanks to recent renovations it has gained many adherents. Modern furniture and a futuristic semicircular bar, is far away from the conventional image of other terraces in Madrid.

Open all day, it is recommended at night, from 9:00 pm onwards. Remember that this place gets really popular at night with young and middle aged urbanites.

22. GAU & CAFE. UNED University. 14 Tribulete.

Gau & Café is 15 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from unadocenade.com)

Gau & Café is 15 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from unadocenade.com)

One of those places that surprise locals. People never imagine finding an impressive terrace on the top floor of the library of the UNED University. It overlooks the dome of the ancient Church of the Saint Fernando and some “corrala” roofs in Lavapies. It is part of the UNED University (Open University).

The Gau Cafe is located in the old Saint Fernando School, which was savagely burnt in 1936 (photo from madrid.uned.es)

The Gau Cafe is located in the old Saint Fernando School, which was savagely burnt in 1936 (photo from madrid.uned.es)

The school of San Fernando was founded in 1729 for poor handicapped children. The building, like other religious buildings of Madrid, was burned by communists one day after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, on July 19, 1936, after some fascists who were entrenched inside shot at passersby in the streets. Nowadays, it has become the stunning backdrop of a ruined church that hosts a large terrace with views over the Lavapies rooftops.

Gau Cafe serves great teas, coffees and snacks (plus simple meals, like sandwiches, burgers and salads). The general atmosphere in this terrace in Lavapies is very young, mainly dominated by university students and their alternative friends. The terrace is filled to bursting on summer evenings.

It opens at 3:00 pm and closes at midnight. This one of the few terraces with really affordable prices. Appealing.

23. ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS. 2 Plaza de Murillo.

The Botanical Gardens are 15 minutes walking from VilllaJardines (photo from gardenvisit.com)

The Botanical Gardens are 15 minutes walking from VillaJardines (photo from gardenvisit.com)

The Royal Botanical Gardens were founded in 1755 by the King of Spain Ferdinand VI and is one of the oldest ones in the world.

The garden is divided into seven major outdoor sections and five greenhouses. Total collections include an amount of  90,000 plants and flowers, and 1,500 trees. It also contains a substantial herbarium.

The botanical gardens are a popular tourist attraction with hot weather, as people love to get some cool breeze in a privileged area in the very center of Madrid (photo gardenvisit.com)

The botanical gardens are a popular tourist attraction with hot weather, as people love to get some cool breeze in a privileged area in the very center of Madrid (photo gardenvisit.com)

Located on the Paseo del Prado and very near a number of the city’s popular attractions, this massive garden is easy to find and provides visitors a chance to get out in the fresh air after hours spent exploring Spanish art and other ancient artifacts.

The Paseo del Prado itself is one of the main boulevards in Madrid and is considered as the oldest historical urban garden. It forms the southern end of the city’s central axis (which continues to the north of Cibeles as the Paseo de Recoletos, and further as the Paseo de la Castellana). The statues of the Royal Botanic Gardens are very representative of the history of botany in Spain.

The Botanical Garden opens everyday at 10:00 am and closes at different times during the year, depending on the station we are.

24. EL RETIRO PARK. Plaza de la Independencia.

El Retiro Park is 15 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from inmadrid.org)

El Retiro Park is 15 minutes away from VillaJardines (photo from inmadrid.org)

El Retiro Park is the one of the largest parks of the city of Madrid and definitely the best place to enjoy views.

This park belonged to the Spanish Monarchy until the late 19th century, when it became a public park. The few remaining buildings of the Buen Retiro Palace, including Cason del Buen Retiro and the Salon de Reinos, now house museum collections. The Cason has a collection of 19th and 20th century paintings, including art by the Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla.

Here we can find a large artificial pond next to the monument to King Alfonso XII, featuring a semicircular colonnade and an equestrian statue of the monarch on the top of a tall central core.

Here we can find a large artificial pond next to the monument to King Alfonso XII, featuring a semicircular colonnade and an equestrian statue of the monarch on the top of a tall central core.

The statue of the Falling Angel is worth a visit. It is a work by Ricardo Bellver (1845–1924) and represents Lucifer falling from Heaven. It is claimed that this statue is the only known public monument of the devil.

Since assuming its role as a public park the late 19th century, it has been used as a venue for various international exhibitions. Several emblematic buildings have remained as testimony to such events, including the Mining building, popularly known as the Velazquez Palace (1884) and the Palacio de Cristal.

The Retiro Park is a must. Do not miss it.

Once a recreation area for the Royal Family, the Retiro Park has become very popular and is central to the city´s image. Try not to miss it. Just 15 minutes walking from Villajardines.

The Paseo de la Argentina, also popularly known as Statue Promenade (Paseo de las Estatuas), is decorated with some of the statues of kings from the Royal Palace, sculpted between 1750 and 1753. There are now art galleries in the Crystal Palace, Palacio de Velázquez and Casa de Vacas.

In the Retiro Park is also the Forest of the Departed, a memorial monument to commemorate the 191 victims of the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks, carried out by global militant Islamist organization Al Qaeda in the Atocha station.

The Retiro Park is very much loved by Madrilians. It is always recommended to visit it during the weekdays, as at peak days there are thousands of visitors enjoying the park. The Retiro Park is a must in Madrid.

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All the above information simply intends to inform about the center of Madrid, Spain. Please let me know if any of this information is inappropriate or outdated.

Licencia de Creative Commons

The Madrid experience by VillaJardines is licensed under Creative Commons Reconocimiento – No Comercial – Compartir Igual 3.0 Unported License.

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One Response to Great views

  1. Paivi says:

    From the great views you can step down to the earth and take a look at the city from different perspective. I´d recommend the guided walking tours offered by the Madrid City Council. The tickets for the walking tour can be purchased at the Tourist Office in Plaza Mayor at very reasonable price of 5,90 € (summer 2013). The tours with the official city guide last 1,5-2 hours and start at Plaza Mayor. There´re several tours in English and if you speak Spanish there´s really a wide range of tours to be selected.
    See more http://www.esmadrid.com/guidedtours/portal.do

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