Madrid/Barcelona travel notes
I was in Madrid last week for a conference and spent a few vacation days there and in Barcelona. Here are some notes for visitors. Please see also Katharina's post.
In Madrid I stayed at Hotel Preciados off Plaça Callao and Gran Via. Comfortable and reasonably priced (free minibar was a nice touch). Good special exhibitions on now - Picasso at the Reina Sofia (over Protected content thru 5 May), Modigliani at Thyssen Protected content and Velasquez at the Prado Protected content . Parque del Retiro was really neat - would love to go boating there in the spring. Plaça Major - beautiful to walk around at night. Dine atop Corte de Ingles at Callao - great view from the terrace. Kabokla - small brazilian club with live music/dancing and caipirinhas at San Vicente Ferrer.
In Barcelona I stayed at Hotel Jazz - also comfortable and reasonably priced Protected content walk from Plaça Catalunya. City bus tour from Catalunya (Red/Blue lines) was good - get on/off whenever you want. Barri Gotic was fun to walk round - visited the Cathedral, Dali exhibit and Museum Frederic Mares. Walked Las Ramblas and to Funicular at Tibidabo (nice views at bar/restaurant across street).