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Short time in Madrid - anything big we should not miss?

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We are taking a cruise from Rome to Rome in October (eastern Med).


We have an overnight stay in Madrid on the way home (arrive 230 p.m., depart 110 p.m. the next day).


Staying at the ME Madrid, based upon a recommendation I found here (thanks).


Obviously, we will not have a lot of time. Concierge suggested 3 museums, the HOHO bus, a couple of Flamengo places and 3-4 restaurants.


Aside from museums, is there any other specific MUST SEE place, remembering that we have only a short time in this city?

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Would "second" the Royal Palace - we really enjoyed it too. We also really enjoyed heading out for dinner at 10pm and checking out the older tapas bars with the ceramic tiles. A walk around the Plaza Major in the evening is also lovely.

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Yet another vote for the Royal Palace. It was BY FAR the highlight of our visit to Madrid. I was actually underwhelmed by the rest of Madrid.


If you head to the Palace, I would highly recommend getting there when it opens (I believe 9am). We got there early and when we were finished touring around 10:45am, the queue to get into the palace looked to be about a 45-minute wait.


Also, another tip...you have the option to walk through on your own (there are a few displays in the rooms with English commentary but it is very little info), get a guided tour in English (2 or 3 euro extra), or get an English audioguide (again, about 2-3 euro extra). A guide very much enhances your visit.


We chose the audioguide simply because the next English tour required a 20 minute wait and we wanted to start exploring. The audioguide was great - informative and interesting. I would advise the audioguide instead of the human guide even if the tour leaves at a convenient time. We were able to go at our own pace, which was great. We did catch up to a tour toward the end of our visit, and while the guide seemed very interesting, she spoke with a heavy accent and you had to really concentrate to understand her. The audioguide was very clear English and you could set the volume to a comfortable level instead of always making your way toward the front of the group to hear the guide.

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I agree with the comments about the Royal Palace. I would also include a cup of coffee (or something stronger if you prefer) in the cafe opposite the Palace - just sit a while and people watch.

If you like art I would recommend a couple of hours at the Prado Museum. This is my favourite art gallery anywhere in the world.

If the weather is good and you have the time I would also suggest a stroll around Retiro Park.

There is so much to see and do in Madrid you will only be able to scratch the surface in the time you have available.

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