MADRID

Madrid: Playful Drinks at Chueca’s La Tita Rivera

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DSC00787Tucked down a side street nearby the vibrant Calle Fuencarral is the trendy tapas restaurant and bar, La Tita Rivera, a spot as trendy as the surrounding Chueca neighborhood. Homely yet modern, the playful industrial design contrasts white brick walls and exposed brewery equipment with colorful mismatched chairs that look as if they could have been pulled from an old school or DSC00790a grandmother’s house. The originality of the design results in a modern, comfortable and festive environment to enjoy some tapas, a burrito or a drink.

DSC00792One of the unique draws of La Tita is the line of signature, pre-mixed cocktails. The “Latitas” come in six different flavors: Tinto de Verano, Sangria, Blanco de Verano, Shandy from Cider, Tinto de Verano Limon and Rebujito. Enjoy one as you watch pedestrians pass by through the large glass windows in the front room or on the open-air terrace located in the back of the restaurant.

Chueca neighborhood/Calle de Pérez Galdós, 4, Madrid

Madrid’s Wax Museum: Museo de Cera

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DSC00603Madrid’s wax museum offers a multi-level interconnected labyrinth of over 400 wax figures. The adventure starts at the History Gallery on the ground floor, which covers the Roman Empire, Visigoths, Muslim Spain, the Habsburgs and the Modern Age. Things begin to get interesting as you enter the Main Gallery, where you will be as entertained by the eclectic range of figures as their awkward juxtaposition to one another. The entrance to the Main Gallery houses famous explorers and navigators, such as Christopher Columbus before leading you to the selection of American celebrities, where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are prominently featured. Leave the celebrities to enter the Bullring, which features a matador being gored by a bull on one side of the room as fellowDSC00600 matadors and a doctor pay their last respects to the slain bull fighter on the opposite side of the room. The Main Gallery also hosts sports stars including soccer players Pele, Zinedine Zidane and the Spanish national team alongside the likes of Michael Jordan and Rafael Nadal. From the sports area, you can wander into the Wild West, where a saloon fight is staged. Just beyond this, historical figures, including Mother Theresa holding Princess Diana’s hand behind a seated Ghandi figure are alongside a figure of US President Barack Obama, who offers an outstretched hand to those who pass by. Navigate the cluster of Show Business celebrities in the likeness of Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe among others, filling one of the gallery’s larger rooms, before finding your way to the upper level Crime Gallery. In the Crime Gallery, which depicts graphic brutalities, you DSC00618will walk past Freddy Kreuger, The Andalucia Train Murders, Inquisition Tortures, 19th Century Bandits and Famous Killers. Finally, if you still haven’t had your fill, jump on board the Horror Train, an indoor train akin to a child’s carnival ride, to leisurely pass by nine exhibits including Dungeons, Monks, Rats, Sharks, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Star Wars Cantina, a Bear Cavern and the Vietnam War.

The museum is a bit kitschy, as wax museums tend to be, but the attention paid to figures and traditions important to Spain and the undeniable entertainment value make Madrid’s Wax Museum worth the price of admission. Be sure to hold onto your ticket throughout the museum as it will be punched at the entrance of each non-connected Gallery.

Paseo de Recoletos, 41/ Metro: Colon

Madrid’s Hotel Vincci Via 66

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DSC00554Hotel Vincci Via 66 is a contemporary boutique hotel offering 116 rooms in the center of Madrid along the busy Calle Gran Via and within walking distance to some of the city’s most entertaining squares. Upon entering the hotel, guests are instantly swept into the refined theatrical and vintage style glamour that gives the hotel its distinct character. Evident in the curving marble staircase and beautiful stained glass wrought iron elevator banks, the hotel has attended to every detail. The clean and elegant design concept extends into the hotel’s guestDSC00556 rooms and first floor lounge. On warm nights, guests should take advantage of the rooftop terrace, where comfortable sofas and chairs line the low-lying walls allowing guests to take in sweeping views of the city below. The standard two and three person rooms don’t offer much extra space, but the hotel’s common areas, including the lounge and terrace offer nice options to spread out.

Gran Via, 66, Madrid