Palacio area is where it all started, the medieval Arabian first city. This area will help you understand the background of Madrid, anchoring the city to its place in history and geography. Palacio has illustrious neighbors such as the royal palace and royal theatre.

Here you will find stories of infamous kings, mighty clergy, and brave citizens. The Convent of la Encarnación hides underground passageways connecting to the nearby royal palace. It’s said that King Phillip III used them for his affairs with…the noble nuns! There was also the 1734 fire at the Alcázar royal palace, which burned its invaluable baroque paintings to ashes. (No one really cares today).

Gran Via boulevard embodies the last century of Madrid’s history, featuring grand art deco architecture. Here you may just reach shopping nirvana: Camper, Zara, H&M, Bershka, and more can all be found here.

A day in Palacio. Start with breakfast at the bookstore La Central, then explore the “Descalzas Reales” Renaissance convent. Enjoy lunch at the terrace of the “Cuando Salí de Cuba” restaurant, then wind down at the Templo Debod gardens to see the cute (and authentic!) Egyptian temple and meet other “madrileños” who gather there every sunset. Finally, take a short walk through the neon lights of Gran Via to see a live jazz venue at Café Berlin and order a fresh mojito. Or two. Follow the beat.

Our Palacio Area Guide
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