Counting the days until Mercedes Benz – Fashion Week Madrid

No, September isn’t just about returning to school and autumn approaching. Apart from being the chosen time of year for a well-earned holiday for all those who have had to work hard during the hot summer months, September is also a month when you can enjoy a number of unique and long-awaited national events. The most prominent one? The Mercedes Benz – Fashion Week Madrid, the country’s most well known fashion event and one of the most important ones in the world.

 With the IFEMA (aka Feria de Madrid) as headquarters, the event will take place between the 15th and the 19th of September. During those days you will be able to enjoy the best of national fashion as represented by holy designers (such as the Mallorcan Pablo Erroz, or the hyper-well-known Juan Duyos) as well as young Spanish talent that can be seen in the Showroom of Samsung, Ego of Cyberspace.

 What will we see, and how can we see it?

More than just showing the creations of the best designers in the country, the Mercedes Benz – Fashion Week in Madrid is the perfect place and the ideal time to find out what trends you’ll find in your own wardrobe facing the upcoming spring-summer season 2018.

With this as a starting point, the event will offer various platforms and spaces where all fashion lovers (whether they are on the runways or not) can participate in everything on offer during this 66th edition.

This allows all those who love the world of fashion to follow every collection in detail through live webcasts available on social networks during the event, and they will even be able to speak with many of the creators themselves via Twitter and Facebook, thanks to their now-famous Lives and Periscopes.

A hotel that lives up to high fashion couture

Mercedes Benz – Fashion Week in Madrid brings the capital city a touch of unique glamour during the four-day catwalk.

Far from suggesting you stay in a hotel around the IFEMA area, the Trips & Hotel blog will instead recommend various hotels located in the true centre of Madrid this month – hotels where you can find everything you’re looking for and where you’ll feel like you’re one of the celebrities yourself. They are: hotel Petit Palace Embassy Serrano, hotel Petit Palace Art Gallery, hotel Petit Palace President Castellana.

A month filled with exhibitions in Madrid

Before anyone asks us the very question, this is our reply: no, museums are not just for winter. In places like Madrid it’s always really interesting to visit the main museums and in winter the number of exhibitions and their quality is even higher. Exhibitions that you can enjoy if you go on a quick getaway with a clear flavour of ‘cultural tourism‘.

Do you like the idea? Do you fancy making the leap and go to the Spanish capital to enjoy world-famous masterpieces? Trips & Hotels will let you know what exhibitions not to miss during your upcoming trip to Madrid. Take note:

The Reina Sofía National Museum and Art Centre

Apart from being one of our favourite museums (the building as well as its contents), this is definitely one of the art centres that start to flourish again during May. With an exhibition schedule that carries on well into the month of October, this museum includes the following must-visit exhibitions:

  • A Place for the Body, on Franz Erhard Walther: an exhibition that will stay in place until the month of September.

  • Art et Liberté. Rupture, War and Surrealism in Egypt (1938-1948): an exhibition that will close on the 28th of May.

  • Compassion and Terror in Picasso. The Road to Guernica: available until September.

Thyssen Museum

Whether you choose to visit the permanent exhibitions at the Prado National Museum (something we recommend that you do, because of their quality) or not, the Thyssen Museum also provides specific dates and featured exhibitions for the upcoming season. Among the exhibitions to visit we can mention the following:

  • Masterpieces of Budapest. From the Renaissance to the Avent-Garde: active until the 28th of May.

  • Overseas: Fontana, Kuitca, Seeber and Tessi. Can be visited until the 21st of May.

Where to stay in Madrid?

For any kind of cultural visit to this capital city, it’s important to choose a good hotel, not just with regards to service but also with regards to location. A hotel that lets you rest and that has the best extra services available, and, of course, the best food.

This month of May, our recommendation here at the Trips & Hotels blog for cultural trips to Madrid will be three of the most famous hotels belonging to the Petit Palace Hotels chain. Why not enjoy your rest in a beautiful boutique hotel located in the heart of the city? Take note of these: Petit Palace Chueca hotel, Petit Palace Triball hotel and Petit Palace Ópera hotel.

As a couple, on your own, or with friends – an important question when travelling

Although it may seem that the first firm step towards shaping our long-awaited Easter holidays might be to speak to ‘the boss’ to let them know about our future temporary absence, the fact is that the crucial step comes when it’s time to ask yourself the following question: How do I want to travel… as a couple, on my own, or with friends?

Even if travelling alone is an experience that more and more people opt for, there are travellers who feel that nothing compares to a couple of relaxing days with friends. Then, of course, there are the lovebirds who always want to go on holiday as a couple.

But what happens if we reach that point where we can’t decide what option we want to go for? At Trips & Hotels we have selected 3 Spanish destinations for each of these ways of travelling. We don’t expect to have the final say on the subject (since everyone has to make the decision themselves), but we would like to at least help those who are undecided.

A trip to Madrid with friends

Famous throughout the world, the capital of Spain is one of those destinations that always works no matter how you choose to travel, and (of course) with all the various kinds of travellers we are familiar with.

Madrid is a city to visit with friends and what better way to start a conversation than enjoying one of the many musicals or plays on offer? What could be better than having a good time eating a wedge of potato omelette, drinking craft beer?

Given that the city is quite large and the goal is to take advantage of the capital to the max, the best solution is to go for a central accommodation option – such as the hotel Gran Via Madrid – helping you to be mere steps from such highly-recommended places as Puerta del Sol, the Retiro Park, Gran Vía and the Plaza Mayor.

Destination? Tenerife as a couple

At Trips & Hotels we are very much fans of the Atlantic breeze. It’s charming, different, refreshing and highly romantic (yes, even more so than the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean). With waves of intense blue and intense passion, it couldn’t be a more obvious choice: for a couple’s getaway there’s nothing better than opting for the island Tenerife, part of the Canary Islands.

Choose a hotel in southern Tenerife to enjoy your Easter holidays with your partner, to choose relaxation but also that Canarian magic: evenings filled with the scent of the sea and a charming culture that makes us fall in love (at least that’s what it does to us).

A singular destination on the island of Ibiza

If there is one destination in Spain that’s perfect for those who prefer to travel on their own, it’s definitely the island of Ibiza.

A hippie spirit and a mindset that’s completely open appeals to all travellers who dare to travel around the world in the company of their backpack, the white island hides treasure that will make the single traveller feel right at home. The best? Choose a hotel in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza and create your own routes throughout the entire island.

The perfect plan for Valentine’s day: a trip to a boutique hotel

Whether you are more or less romantic, once the date February 14th approaches it’s normal to get that urge to surprise your partner with something nice, romantic and original – even if you don’t really know why… Just a small detail that helps show how you feel about the person you share your life with.

Yes, Valentine’s Day is around the corner, so best choose a good gift for the two of you. Our choice this month couldn’t be any clearer: what about gifting a stay in a boutique hotel on a quick trip to one of the destinations in this country that never cease to amaze. This month we opted for three heavyweights: Madrid, Seville and the eternally beautiful Barcelona.

 

 

Sevilla, always authentic and romantic

Few cities in this country are as romantic as Seville, the capital of Andalusia. With its streets and squares full of charm and a culture that is unique of its kind, with a character that makes you fall in love from the first minute, this city is the perfect destination if you want to experience a unique and highly romantic Valentine’s Day.

Out of all the places to visit, the Santa Cruz neighbourhood takes first prize thanks to its beauty and its art. A neighbourhood where we find some of the most romantic boutique hotels in the city, hotels such as the Petit Palace Canalejas.

Madrid for two

Madrid is another destination we recommend for this Valentine’s Day 2017, because of its leisure, history and culture. A city with hotels as beautiful as the Petit Palace Triball where you can enjoy taking unique walks (such as those on offer in the Retiro Park, or along Gran Vía), having romantic dinners in exquisite restaurants, and treating yourself to things you love and other whims.

A Valentine’s Day with a Mediterranean flavour

Walking hand in hand along the beach in Barceloneta, discovering the nooks and crannies of the Barrio Gótico, getting lost in the intricacies of Park Güell and discovering the majestic Montjuïc are some of the things that are always worth doing when you visit Barcelona. A destination that gets even more romantic if you choose a hotel such as the Petit Palace Barcelona.

The most traditional natural magic of Madrid

Authentic by nature and historical by tradition, that’s Madrid. A capital that oozes style and culture and is home to many places where time seems to stop … Places that are a hundred percent Madrid in which you can breathe in the local essence that attracts thousands of travelers.

Although there are lots of visitors who seem to stick with the tourist areas of the capital (such as Retiro Park, the crowded Plaza Mayor and Gran Via), Madrid is much more than a museum, a large avenue or a total entertainment program. How can you discover the authentic, traditional side of Madrid? That is easy, just opt for these alternative visits to the true Madrid, which still bears the natural magic of the past.

Chamberí, Madrid

Chamberí, Madrid

Wander through the streets of Chamberí

Part of the essence of Madrid lies in Chamberí, a neighborhood which breathes the past but is all that is good in the present. With its iron balconies, its tiny streets and a calm and quiet that you don’t find everywhere in Madrid, Chamberí is home to unique places and iconic sights such as the Sala Galileo Galilei the Luchanas Theater or the Olavide Square with its many tapas and beer bars.

Literary Madrid

As much as Madrid was in the past, it is now and it will continue to be the place of residence of the most important writers in our country. Writers of the stature of Cervantes (who lived his last years in Madrid), Calderon de la Barca or Quevedo who viewed the city as a source of supreme inspiration and a unique place in which to unleash his literary talent. What would be your perfect program? Visit some of the places that are part of this legacy such as the Calle del Prado and Plaza Santa Ana.

Where to stay in Madrid

As expected in any big city, our capital Madrid has a very large range of hotels to suit all tastes and for all types of customers (singles, couples, groups of friends, tourists traveling with animals and so on). Given that choice can start to be complicated, it is best to prioritize what really interests you, whether it is services, location or price.
For those looking for hotels with charm, there is nothing better than choosing hotels like the Petit Palace Triball, the Petit Palace Alcala Torre or the Petit Palace Arturo Soria; three full service hotels situated in the historic center of Madrid.

Cultural visit to Madrid’s museums: the perfect guide

Everybody likes some kind of art and culture. Some love it and some just like it a bit. There’s a type of art which is exclusive and highly demanding. We talk about painting and visual arts.

If you like visual arts, you will surely love to visit Madrid and discover the best exhibitions in the most important museums of the capital.

Let’s start the travel!

Enjoy Madrid’s exhibitions in the best museums

There’s always something to see in Madrid, particularly if we talk about visual arts exhibitions. All museums and main gallery arts in Madrid host weekly new amazing events.  Discover below the five main museums in Madrid and know about their histories.

Prado Museum

It was built in 1786 as the Royal Cabinet of Natural History in Spain. Prado’s Museum became quickly one of the biggest museums in the world. What makes this museum special is its wide collection of Goya, Greco, El Bosco, Velazquez and Tiziano, one of the most important art galleries in the world of the 16th and 17th centuries artists.

We can find in the museum two prestigious works, not just because of their beauty, but for their meaning: Degollacion de San Juan Bautista y banquete de Herodes (The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist and The Feast of Herod) measuring 952 centimeters in width and 280 centimeters high, the biggest in the museum.

We can also find Alegoria de la donacion del Casino a la reina Isabel de Braganza por el Ayuntamiento de Madrid (Allegory of the donation of the Casino to Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza by the Municipality of Madrid) painted by Vicente Lopez in order to decorate the roof of the Queen’s Casino, which has now disappeared.

Current exhibitions

  • The invited work: since the 19th January we can find in the museum a portrait of Don Pedro de Alcantara Tellez-Giron y Pacheco, Osuna’s 9th Duke. It’s a Goya’s work available until the next 24th April in Madrid.

  • Georges de La Tour exhibition: it is shown since the 23rd February and finishes on 12th June. For many people he’s an unknown painter, but as you analyse his loneliness and darkness on his paintings, you will start admiring one of the most outstanding French painters of the 17th century.

Future exhibitions

Strength and beauty, Miguel Blay in Museo del Prado

Strength and beauty, Miguel Blay in Museo del Prado

  • Strength and beauty: it will be shown from the 19th April until the 2nd October in Museo del Prado. A varied exhibition dedicated to one of the most outstanding Spanish sculptors, Miguel Blay. Realism, modernism, symbolism and 150 anniversary of the sculptor are celebrated in Museo del Prado.

  • Copied by the sun: in collaboration with Glasgow University or Centro de Estudios Europa Hispanica, Museo del Prado hosts an spectacular exhibition: calotypes and talbotypes made in 1847 by Nicolaas Henneman and Stirling Maxwell. This was the first Photography exhibition in the History of Art. The original book, called Annals of the Artists of Spain was also the first in history which had photographic evidence of Spanish artists like Goya. Enjoy this exhibition from the 18th May to the 4th September.

  • Exhibition of the Centenary: the 500 anniversary of El Bosco death is commemorated and in honour of this great artist Museo del Prado together with more than 20 of the biggest museums in the world will host his work in six themed sections. Paintings exhibited in Prado and others brought from different places in the planet. It will be exhibited from May 31 to September 11.

Museo del Prado: what you should know

Museo del Prado is located in Ruiz de Alarcon Street, 23. At the end of this article, we give you some tips to reach it and enjoy it.

Museo del Prado opens from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday and  bank holidays from 10am to 7pm. It only closes 3 days a year: January 1, May 1 and December 25. For those who want to visit Museo del Prado for free, you can do it from Monday to Saturday from 6 to 8 pm and Sunday and bank holidays from 5 to 7 pm.

Museo Reina Sofia

It’s located in a quiet and charming square over what previously was the General Hospital of Madrid. Museo Reina Sofia hosts works of the 20th century and contemporary art works. Together with Museo del Prado and Thyssen Bornemisza conforms the Art’s Triangle in Madrid (more information below).

Interesting fact: art by floods

One of the main attractions of Museo Reina Sofia is the collections of famous artists like  Picasso, Dali and Miro.

The museum hosts 20.000 works and exhibits fewer than 7% of them. Admiring the famous Guernica is an amazing experience in the museum. We also suggest you to see El Hombre Invisible de Dali (Dali’s invisible man).

Another piece of art that makes this museum popular, is the pair of crystal lifts on the façade of the main building. Its style with crystal details makes this building a piece of art itself.

Sabatini Building,  Reina Sofia Museum

Sabatini Building, Reina Sofia Museum

Interesting fact: Sabatini Building

Sabatini is an Italian architect who designed the famous Puerta de Alcala, an icon for architecture in Spain. The original building plans of the museum were dismissed, as it had less than a quarter of the estimated budget. For this reason, the façade of the building is simple and almost empty.

About the exhibitions

  • Ulises Carrion: the exhibition of this Mexican artists has been shown since March 16 and will be exhibited until October 10 at the 3rd floor of Sabatini Building. He has been recognized as the promoter of the art and the publisher; founder of Other Books And So.

  • Remy Zaugg exhibition: the exhibition is called Cuestiones de percepción (perception issues) and is exhibited from March 31 to August 28 at Palacio de Velazquez in Parque del Retiro, Madrid and invites all monographic art lovers to this exhibition in honour of the swiss artist. It awakens your senses through perception and the use of language. This exhibition is free.

  • Wilfredo Lam: the exhibition starts on the 5th April and finishes on the 15th August. It shows the work of the famous Cuban artist. A mix of traditional modernism and Caribbean and African symbols reflect vanguardist movement started by Wilfredo Lam which is shown in a belligerent and committed painting.

  • Erlea Maneros Zabala: this artist from Bilbao reflects in this exhibition its fine abstract art, focusing on distribution and image contexts. This exhibition will run from the 19th April to the 29th August at Sabatini Building in Museo Reina Sofia.

Museo Nacional Reina Sofia: times and information

At Santa Isabel Street in Madrid we find Museo Reina Sofia main headquarters. It integrates both Sabatini and Nouvel buildings. The museum’s other headquarters are in Parque del Retiro and it is integrated by Palacio de Velazquez and Palacio de Cristal.

Opening times comprise from 7 to 9 pm from Monday to Saturday and from 1.30pm to 7 pm on Sunday.

In Parque del Retiro headquarters tickets are free. So, if you want to visit museums in Madrid for free, this is an excellent option.

National Archeological Museum

Closed for almost eight years due to its complete restoration, the National Archeological Museum opened in 2014. Although it preserves the main attributes and historical characteristics from its foundation in 1867, the National Archeological Museum has become a modern museum of the 21st century and you could be one of the first to admire it.

Relevant information: La Dama de Elche

After its opening, we can find some iconic sculptures in Spain: La Dama de Elche. A work made in the 5th century Before Christ, which invites to visit the museum. We must also stand out Ibiza or Galera Ladies and the popular Bulls of Costitx in Majorca.

La Dama de Elche is so important for the National Archeological Museum as Mona Lisa for Louvre Museum in Paris.

Relevant information: interior café and library

If you are a coffee lover, you will be glad to visit the Archeological Museum. The café even if it is part of the museum, it’s in the main hall and you don’t need to buy an entrance to the museum to enter, have a sit and enjoy a coffee while you admire artworks.

The library in the Archeological Museum has more than 120.000 books, mostly archaeology and history books. It’s the perfect place to learn about these topics.

Archeological Museum exhibitions

Most of the museum exhibitions are permanent. For this reason. if you are in Madrid and would like to visit an art’s exhibition, you can always go to the Archeological Museum and admire great pieces of art.

This month the museum offers guided visits and themed tours through the area of Proto-history, Medieval world and its inner yard dedicated to Arabic culture.

Times and other interesting facts

The National Archeological Museum is at Serrano Street. You can easily access it by bus, metro or train. It only closes on Monday and opens from 9.30am to 8pm the rest of the days, except Sunday and bank days closing at 3pm. You can enjoy a free entrance to the museum on Saturday from 2pm and on Sunday morning. The general entrance to the museum costs just 3€.

Thyssen Museum in Madrid

It’s one of the most important art galleries in Spain located in Paseo del Prado, really close to other two big museums in the city: Prado and Reina Sofia.

It hosts historical paintings which belonged to Thyssen-Bornemisza family for over 70 years.

Short summary: what the museum tries to express

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

It has a privileged location in Madrid and its interior design differs a lot from other museums. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum shows exclusivity, luxury, high-class and elegance.

In this museum we can find lots of important artworks from the 20th century, works of pop art, Russian constructivism, German expressionism…  in other places they would be “classified material” because of their historic value. We recommend you to see works like Piazza Navona, Roma by Vanvitelli, a reflection of perspectivism and Reflejo con dos niños, a self-portrait of Lucian Freud, in which you see the artist crushed into the roof and the pendant light.

Relevant information: its amazing walls

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is different from other traditional museums. It has not the typical white walls as background for several pictures and works. It has warm walls in wood or clay colour. This decision was made by baroness Thyssen, Carmen Cervera, baron Thyssen’s widow.

Interesting exhibitions at Thyssen-Bornemisza

  • Andrew and Jamie at the studio: the American realism is perfectly reflected by Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, who potentiated this artistic movement last century. More than 60 works are exhibited from March 1 to June 19. Some works are shown to all audiences for the first time. Come and discover Wyeth’s amazing works!

  • Realism in Madrid: exhibition opened on the 9th February and finishing on the 22nd May. It hosts almost 100 works of artists from Madrid, who work on their art works since the 50’s. It reflects realism and daily routines, as well as common places and the most representative scenes of Madrid.

When and how to see Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum collection

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is in Paseo del Prado integrated in the Art’s Triangle together with Museo del Prado and Museo Nacional Reina Sofia. If you want to visit permanent collections, you can go on Monday as the entrance is free from 12pm to 4pm. You can also go from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 7pm paying a reduced fare for 13€.

Accommodation: in the heart of Madrid, in the Museums’ Triangle

Madrid centre is one of the most exclusive areas in the city. It’s the perfect place to stay, as we find most of the best museums in this popular area.

For this reason, we recommend Catalonia Las Cortes hotels in Santa Ana Square and the Art’s Triangle. Below, there’s more information about the hotel.

Main hotel attributes

If you want to have a quiet and nice experience during your visit to the museums in Madrid, you should find the easiest access. The location of Catalonia Las Cortes, at the heart of Prado Street in Madrid and in front of the charming Santa Ana Square offer you four advantages you should know.

1. Privileged location: in the Art’s Triangle

It’s located in El Prado Street in the centre of Madrid. Particularly, it’s in front of Santa Ana Square. This area is also known as Las Letras neighbourhood and also the Art’s Triangle. It’s called like this because it hosts the three biggest museums in Madrid: Museo del Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and Museo Nacional Reina Sofia.

Its privileged location allows you to visit the main museums in Madrid just by walking through this area and enjoying the exhibitions.

2. Classic style construction and rooms

room of Catalonia Las Cortes

room of Catalonia Las Cortes

Formerly, the building were now the hotel is located was a palace. Its original construction dates from the 17th century. For this reason, the hotel chain decided to preserve and restore it completely.

The hotel still hosts paintings, metallic and wood pieces and many more items as old as the palace, giving each room a particular historical atmosphere, so you will enjoy the museum and the cultural exhibition for sure. If you look at the photos of Catalonia Las Cortes Hotel you will admire its charm and architectural tradition.

3. Free snacks and international cuisine

  • Free snacks: Piscolabis, that’s how free snacks are called in Catalonia Las Cortes hotel. This is not an exclusive service and it does not comprise any extra fee. On the contrary, it’s available without any additional fee for the hotel guests.

  • International cuisine: we can find a great restaurant inside the hotel, specialized in international cuisine managed by the chef Jesus Trujillano. The menu and the customer service will whet your appetite.

4. Pets are welcome upon customer request!

Finally, the last attribute of Las Cortes hotel by Catalonia Hotels that we must stand out is the possibility of bringing your pet to the hotel. The guest must just confirm that he will bring his pet at the time of booking his room. And that’s it! The hotel will prepare everything for your pet to be comfortable and also enjoy culture and Madrid’s museums,  of course, in its own way.

Five comedies you shouldn’t miss this October in Madrid

These months are perfect for cultural plans like going to the theatre, etc. In fact, the time is right for this art due to several plays opening in Madrid theatres. In this post we will recommend you five comedies to see in Madrid this October.

  • La cena de los idiotas.-  This mythical comedy can be seen in Reina Victoria Theatre until January 31. This Francis Veber’s classic comedy has an outstanding cast and it is directed by Josema Yuste.

  • Más apellidos vascos 2.0.–  After “8 apellidos vascos”, the creators of this comedy returns to the Marquina theatre in Madrid to offer you another hilarious play where the difference between Euskadi and Andalusia come to light to make you laugh with these legendary topics.

Image: www.madridesteatro.com

Image: www.madridesteatro.com

  • Hasta aquí hemos “llegao”.- It is a 90 minutes play with monologues of Leo Harlem, Sinacio and Sergio Olalla. The three comedians will make everybody laugh with the funny situations they’ll face before going on stage. It will be available until January 10 in the Compac theatre of Madrid.

  • Nuestras mujeres.- La Latina theatre host this amazing comedy where three friends met at their usual poker game. However, this isn’t going to be a regular play at all since the moment one of them arrive he confess he just murdered his wife.

So if you’re free during these days take a chance to give you a break for a couple of days and enjoy the best plays while staying in some hotel in Las Letras, Madrid. Where you will find an interesting cultural calendar in the surrounding areas.

If you’re coming the Spain capital to enjoy some of the comedies being played this month we recommend you to stay in the Iberostar hotel Las Letras Gran Vía, an Hotel in the Gran Vía of Madrid where you can easily go to the near theatres.

Urban travellers conquering the big capitals

Urban trips have increased in the last years as trip option for many national tourists. The economic crisis in Spain and the impossibility to invest much money in holidays, but the will to discover places, have resulted in trips to more affordable and closer destinations, generally in the same peninsula, so the fight is less expensive, or you can travel by train or by car.

Destinations such as Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Salamanca, Cádiz or Bilbao have seen how their hotels are receiving more and more sporadic travellers in search of an experience where they can enjoy the city, gastronomy, culture and leisure for short stays (2 – 4 days). These urban travellers look for quality at special prices. As the stay time is shorter than holidays in beach destinations, they use to always opt for accommodations with extra services –although they could be more expensive- allowing them not only to rest, but also to make the most of the destination and every minute of their days in the city.

They generally opt for hotels in the centre of Madrid with gastronomic experiences and discounts for shows; charming accommodations in Barcelona, where they can enjoy the spaces, design, modernity (and modernism, of course)… But they also look for other alternatives, beyond these two big and emblematic capitals: hotels in the old town of Seville or accommodations in Salamanca right in Plaza Mayor are the most sought-after, so much that you should book long in advance if you really want to enjoy a good hotel at an affordable price.

Travelling for a couple of days to a any city of Spain is fashionable. Many are the urban travellers that plan many trips during the year, taking advantage of special events such as film seasons, theatre and music festivals, concerts by famous international artists, top level sport competitions… Cultural and leisure plans in the destination are clearly one of the main trip motivations. But they are not always specific events, there are also traditional experiences in every city: vermouth in Madrid on Sunday in the Rastro market; enjoying the university atmosphere in Salamanca; contemplating the nights in Granada; discovering the best flamenco tablao in Seville, the Guggenheim in Bilbao…

In this sense, institutional efforts with private initiatives have worked together to create products and experiences that improve the value of a destination and turn it into a place to visit not one time in the life, but many times. For the moment, there are many interesting projects in many big capitals in Spain. Some of them, have gotten almost immediate results, such as Bilbao, which has turned into in urban tourism reference in the north of Spain, because of its gastronomy, contemporary art, its estuary, nature and adventure tourism in its surroundings or mass events such as the BBK Live Music Festival which this year has filled all the hotels in the centre of Bilbao, campsites and apartments.

If we focus on Palma de Majorca, one of the most developed destinations in terms of tourism, we will see that –despite the economic difficulties of the local administration during these years- this city has significantly changed its tourism services, investing on the old town in order to revitalise neighbourhoods situated near to the centre, but not very visited, offering more attractive cultural plans targeted at both national and foreigners, promoting traditional celebrations and organising or supporting quality events. Palma 365 is a project that becomes stronger and stronger, and it is a model to make tourism less dependent on seasonal factors, especially in this destination which is too related to sun and beach holidays since many decades ago.

Hotel trade is also working in the same vein, not only in the Balearic capital –where we find new top level hotels in the centre of Palma– but in most of the Spanish cities. This is the case of the hotels in Seville, which are investing on combining new technologies with more traditional and typical elements of the city culture. There are also business hotels in emblematic areas of the city and new business ways providing spaces more opened to the general public, such as restaurants in hotels where you can book without needing to stay at the hotel.

Palladium Hotel

Palladium Hotel

This has been applied in hotels in the centre of Madrid since a few years ago. Some of the most renowned ones are the Malevich restaurant of Art Gallery Hotel, El Foro bar restaurant of Lealtad Plaza Hotel –with special service for business dinners- El Invernadero restaurant of Embassy Serrano Hotel or Las Letras Hotel’s restaurant, right in La Gran Vía, led by Paco Morales chef.

A similar system has been taken by hotels in Barcelona of Catalonia Hotels chain, which has some outstanding examples such as Barcelona Plaza Hotel. Most of them offer a clear local and Mediterranean gastronomy tendency, without leaving behind options for all tastes, even with special products for diets and intolerances. In these cases, the recommendation is to directly consult to the hotel before booking.