The Rough Guide to Madrid Book Review – Perfect Introduction to Heavenly Madrid

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The Rough Guide Madrid, from APA Publications, brings to the pages a vibrant traveler's guide to Spain's capital city with world class art museums, stunning architecture, shopping, pulsating nightlife, café culture, tapas bars, and alfresco dining.

Written and researched by Simon Baskett, The Pocket Guide Madrid divides the city into eight districts along with a day-trip guide to for those who want to venture outside the energetic urban metropolis each with color-coded chapter designations which are located on the inside front cover.


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For the locals they are so enamored with their city the declare, "desde Madrid al Cielo," after Madrid there is only one destination left – Heaven. Madrid, is a quick trip getaway for those living on the continent and a destination of the imagination for others.

The areas detailed are Madrid de los Austrias, Palacio Real and Opera, Rasto, Lavapies and Embajadores, Sol, Santa Ana and Huertas, Paseo del Arte and Retiro, Gran Via, Chueca and Malasana, Salamanca and Paseo de la Castellana, Plaza de Espana and beyond and Day Trips.

A "Table of Contents" follows segmented into four sections: Introductions, Basics, Places Accommodations and Essentials.

Within each of these sections are helpful suggestions such as best times to travel to the region, what not to miss, festivals, outdoor activities, Food and drink and other essentials. As with all Rough Guides, an introduction to the language with enough for many non-native speakers to learn tourist Spanish before arrival.


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As the current travel restrictions and precautions make most international travel dicey, the future will once again allow unrestricted international travel. The guidebook also provides an Author's pick and itineraries.

As with all Rough Guides Pocket edition, an introduction to the region is provided with seventeen not to miss adventures. Also included are itineraries including one- and two-day trips, Budget Madrid, Off The Beaten Path Madrid, Kids Madrid, and Green Madrid.

The "Guides" section outlines each color-coded region. Highlighting each district with a complete outline that features the essentials, eating, drinking, accommodations, nightlife, shopping, and information, and then walking maps of the tourist and sight-seeing musts. The block color code in the margin also makes thumbing through the guide to find a destination or restaurant relatively easy.

The regions covered in The Rough Guide Madrid is complete with breathtaking architecture, art galleries, with Pablo Picasso's Guernica on permanent display at the Museo Reina Sofia, and along with the exciting nightlife, no trip to Madrid would be complete without an visit to Casa Patas or any of the other venues who offer authentic Flamenco dance.


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Bullfighting, or Corrida, may also be on any traveler's list of must see while in Madrid. As bullfights are events where the animal will be killed, according to Rough Guide Madrid if this sport is of interest try to arrange a "big, prestigious, event where star performers are more likely to dispatch the bulls with "art" and a clean kill."

For people watching and alfresco dining the Plaza Santa Ana, Plaza de las Comendadoras, La Latina or the Castellana are the most famous.

Once the city wakes again, these vibrant, open air dining options will again be filled with the aroma of delicious cuisine and abuzz with a world of interesting and welcomed guests.

With district walking maps included and a larger pull-out walking map any trip to Madrid would not be complete with a visit to the countryside, enjoying the vast collections of galleries, sculptures and museums.

A warm, welcoming, atmosphere, Madrid blends a comfortable laid-back lifestyle, splendid contemporary and European history, outstanding cuisine, and trendy nightlife.


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As with all Rough Guides special notes are included for Gay and Lesbian Travelers, thoughts on Travel Insurance, electricity/electronic device charging, Entry Requirements, also regional travel, and any health issues related to COVID-19, general tourist information, consulates, police, and money.

Each edition includes expert advice, independent reviews, best places to stay, eat, drink and shop and all The Rough Guides are authored by experts in the region.

The Rough Guides Madrid provides a complete preview of the city, with a thorough introduction and all the information necessary to make any stay filled with interesting, breathtaking, once in a life-time memories that will linger long after the vacation has ended.

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