Enjoy Easy Access to Attractions in Madrid
The Senator Gran Vía 21 Hotel is located in the heart of Spain’s bustling capital city of Madrid. It is set on Gran Vía Avenue next to Gran Vía Metro Station and is only 300 meters from Puerta del Sol. The Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral, Debod Temple, Reina Sofia Museum, Thyssen Bornemisza and the famous Prado Museum are just a short walk away. The Calle Preciados shopping boulevard and main theaters are also nearby. Bernadeu Real Madrid Stadium and Plaza Toros Las Ventas are within four kilometers of the hotel and IFEMA (Feria de Madrid trade show venue) is eight kilometers away. Telefonica, Santa Lucia, Prisa, FNAC and Corte Ingles are within two kilometers. The Madrid-Barajas Airport is 14 kilometers away, the Chamartin Train Station is four kilometers and the Atocha Train Station is just one kilometer from the hotel.
LWH Top Ten Madrid Activities
Gran Via Avenue
Gran Vía Avenue, which began construction at the beginning of the 20th century, is today a vibrant center of shops, leisure establishments and other attractions in Madrid.
Plaza Mayor is a symbol of Madrid and must not be missed. Building began on this huge open area in the city center in the 17th Century under the orders of Felipe III, whose bronze equestrian statue adorns the square. The plaza, which was opened in 1620, was formerly the venue for many public events, such as bullfights, processions, festivals, theater performances, inquisition trials and even capital executions. Beneath the arcades, there are traditional shops and a host of bars and restaurants. Notable buildings include Casa de la Panadería, with its fresco-decorated façade, and Casa de la Carnicería.
Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol is one of the nerve centers of Madrid. Although the first buildings surrounding this area were begun in the 16th century, the square took on the importance it holds today with the construction of the Casa de Correos building in 1768. In the 19th century, the square was completely transformed to its current look following the demolition of a number of buildings. This site, “Kilometer Zero,” from which all radial roads out of Madrid begin, has witnessed many different historical events, including the Esquilache Mutiny in 1766, the resistance against Napoleon’s troops on May 2, 1808 and the coronation of Fernando VII in 1812. It features several attractions, including the “Oso y Madroño” (the “Bear and the Strawberry Tree”) statue, next to Calle del Carmen, and the equestrian statue of Carlos III standing nine meters tall. The square is closely linked to the New Years Eve tradition of eating twelve grapes at midnight, one on each chime. The large clock that dominates the square is the celebration and symbol of the New Year for many Spanish people.
Madrid’s Royal Palace is the main tourist building in the city. It was built in the 18th century by the order of Philip V, on the site of the old Alcázar fortress, a former Moorish castle. Sachetti began the work in 1738 and completed it in 1764. Architect Sabatini designed the southeast wing and the great staircase, or staircase of honor. The Palace has a square floor plan with a large central courtyard. Puerta del Príncipe is the doorway on the east side that gives access to the central courtyard. The Sabatini and Campo del Moro Gardens are other attractions to be found at the Palace, along with a variety of different façades. There is a debate regarding its artistic style – whether it is Baroque or Neoclassical. There are several special rooms, including the Royal Guards' Room, the Columns Room, the Mirrors Room and the Room of King Charles III as well as paintings by Velázquez, Goya, Rubens and El Greco.
The Prado Museum is a very famous gallery in Madrid and one of the world’s finest. It has the most complete collection of Spanish paintings from the 11th to the 18th centuries, and many masterpieces by great universal artists such as El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Bosch, Tiziano, Van Dyck and Rembrandt. It also houses the most important works of Flemish and Italian paintings, and noteworthy examples of the German, French and English schools. The masterpieces of universal art such as Velázquez' "Maids of Honour," Goya's "Majas," El Greco's "Nobleman with a Hand on his Chest," Bosch's "Garden of Delights," and Ruben’s "The Three Graces," amongst other priceless pieces, are all to be admired here. Although the museum was created to house paintings and sculptures, it also has major collections of drawings, engravings, coins and medals, as well as items of sumptuous and decorative art.
Reina Sofia Museum
The Reina Sófía Museum is located in the old General Hospital and was built by architect Sabatini under the order of Charles III of Spain. It was designated a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1977 and is home to one of the world's most highly esteemed permanent collections. The museum's collections come from the old MEAC (Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art), acquisitions made by the museum itself and works left by Catalonian artists, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. The permanent collection is located on the second floor, which is divided into rooms dedicated to Nonell, Anglada Camarasa, Iturrino, Zuloaga, Solana and María Blanchard, among other Spanish painters of the early 20th century. It also features works from the Cubist movement, Picasso, Dalí, Miró, and has a room devoted to "Ideas" (Propuestas). Temporary exhibits take place at the museum's main venue in Velázquez Palace and the Crystal Palace. The latest trends by the most novel artists are presented at the "Espacio UNO,” which occupies the ground floor of the main building. Picasso's "Guernica" is among the most significant works to be seen here.
The Thyssen Museum houses one of the best private collections of paintings in the world. For several generations, the family collected a large number of works that today are exhibited in this museum. The architect Rafael Moneo remodeled and renovated the Villahermosa Palace, a building from the early 19th century, for this very purpose. It is said that this museum is the perfect complement to the Prado and Reina Sofía Museums, because it bridges the gap in their respective collections. There are splendid works, dating from the 14th century up to the masterly pop art of the 20th century. This is a wonderful place for a journey through the different "Isms" of art, starting with Impressionism. A new building with 18 rooms, which houses the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, has recently been added to the museum.
In 1630, Philip IV began the construction of the Buen Retiro Palace, near the Los Jerónimos Royal Monastery on land ceded by the Count-Duke of Olivares. Throughout their nearly 400 years of history, the gardens and the park have witnessed many events, ranging from the celebration of major festivals and theater performances to neglect and destruction in the times of the War of Independence. A large part of the land was split off and sold in 1865, and in 1868, the park finally became the property of the city of Madrid. Some of its most noteworthy features are the lake with a monument to Alfonso XII, the Casa de Velázquez and the Crystal Palace, the rose garden and the parterre, which has one of the oldest trees in Madrid, the Montezuma Cypress (Taxodium mucronatum).
Today, IFEMA (or Feria de Madrid) hosts the staging of more than 80 trade shows at its facilities, which make up one of the most modern and efficient venues in Europe. These trade show events occupy a total of 1.3 million square meters of exhibit space, feature the participation of some 42,000 companies and welcome 4.5 million visitors, of whom almost 1.5 million are professionals. These figures have made IFEMA the leading trade show venue in Spain and a clear point of reference within the European trade show sector.
Congress Palace is located on Castellana Street in the financial district of Madrid. Its avant-garde design has given it great versatility, with the technology and services that are necessary to absorb all market demands. The center has solid experience in organizing conferences, meetings, presentations, exhibits and events. There are large exhibit areas, two auditoriums, an all purpose hall with an area of 2,200 square meters and thirty rooms and halls with different capacities.