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Going there. This weekend. Have some plans and some idea. Need more.
Any advice on exceptionally good meat shops with reasonably priced (or even cheap) beer and meat for the eating and drinking will be gratefully received.
...Madrid is unbeatable - literally every side street will have half a dozen tiny bars and restaurants on it. A lot of places around the centre of town do a daily special lunch for 10 Euros which is three courses and includes a beer or wine. By and large beer, wine and food is fairly cheap everywhere altho you do pay a premium for eating or drinking in a restaurant rather than a bar.
In terms of the major sights, The Prado is probably the big one. If it's a nice day The Botanical Gardens are lovely. Alternatively, they are right next to the Parque del Retiro which is also nice and free. Talk a walk thru the Casa del Campo at night if you want to see hundreds of prostitutes doing business in bushes and up against trees...
There's a lovely film shop near the centre of town, Ocho y Medio:
I prefer Madrid to the somewhat overrated Barcelona. Where are you staying? Most of central Madrid is doable by foot.
Staying somewhere a fair way out of the centre (but cheap), apparently public transport will be fine to get us in and out.
...and runs fairly late. Altho not as late as the bars open (ie very late). As Gringo says below, Reina Sofia is a must - can't believe I forgot that.
It's a shop, not a museum, but it sure is meaty, I'll give them that
The afore mentioned Prado is good, but I find it full of rather stale 16th and 17th century potraits
Try the Reina Sofia or Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza for modern cool Picasso/Dali stuff. Guernica at the Reina Sofia is an absolute must
To eat/drink, there are some superb tapas/sideria bars near Plaza de Santa Ana (southeast of Sol). Try La Trucha for a top quality meal
Or you could try and get tickets for the football (Athletico or Real) its a proper trip and the atmosphere is brilliant
day 1. go to O'connels irish pub near the plaza mayor. they serve guiness.
day 2. get up and go to o'connels pub for brunch and guiness. then go to the mexican restaurant next door, then back to o'connels for more guiness.
sounds like the stag do I went on to Bratislava, must have been organised by the same people
we only ordered chirizo and beer.
I'll print your post out with "Itinerary" as the header. Done deal.
Also thanks Gringo - we'll probably have a better time with Picasso and Dali than medieval portraits.