Travel to Madrid

Travel to Madrid

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

TOURIST AND FINANCIAL SERVICES

Tourist Offices: Municipal, Plaza Mayor 3 (fax 913 66 54 77), will be expanding and relocating to a location across the Plaza Mayor. M: Sol. Open M-Sa 10am-8pm, Su 10am-3pm. RegionalProvincial Office of the Comunidad de Madrid, Duque de Medinacelia 2 (914 29 49 51; www.comadrid.esturismo). Branches at Estacion Chamartin and the airport.

Websites: www.comadrid.esturismo;www.madrid.org;www.tourspain.es; www.cronica-madrid.com; www.guiadelocio.com;www.madridman.com;www.red2000.comspain madrid; www.descubremadrid.munimadrid.es.

Budget Travel: ViajesTIVE, C. Fernando el Catolico 88 (915 43 74 12; fax 915 44 00 62). M: Moncloa. Exit the Metro at C. Isaac Peral, walk straight down C. Arcipreste de Hita, and turn left on C. Fernando el Catolico; it’ll be on your left. Organizes group excursions and language classes. Lodgings and student residence info. ISIC ‚6; HI card ‚5, over-30 ‚11, non-Spaniards ‚19. Open M-F 9am-2pm. Arrive early to avoid long lines.

Embassies: Australia, PI. Descubridor Diego de Ordas 3 (914 41 60 25; www.embaustralia.es). Canada, C. Nunez de Balboa 35 (914 23 32 50; www.can-ada-es.org). Ireland, Po. Castellana 46, 4th fl. (914 36 40 93; fax 914 35 16 77). New Zealand, PI. Lealtad 2, 3rd fl. ( 915 23 02 26; fax 915 23 01 71). South Africa, Claudio Coello 91, 6th fl. (914 36 37 80; fax 915 77 74 14). UK, C. Fernando el Santo 16 (917 00 82 00; fax 917 00 82 72). US, C. Serrano 75 (915 87 22 00; www.embusa.es).

Currency Exchange: In general, credit and ATM cards offer the best exchange rates. Avoid changing money at airport and train station counters; they tend to charge exorbitant commissions on horrible rates. Santander Central Hispano charges no commission on cash or traveler’s checks up to ‚600. Main branch, PI. Canalejas 1 ( 915 58 11 11). M: Sol. Follow C. San Jeronimo to PI. Canalejas. Open Apr.-Sept. M-F 8:30am-2pm; Oct.-Mar. M-Th 8:30am-4:30pm, F 8:30am-2pm, Sa 8:30am-lpm.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

American Express: PI. Cortes 2 (traveler services 917 43 77 40; currency exchange 917 43 77 55). M: Banco de Espana. Traveler services open M-F 9am-7;30pm, Sa 10am-2pm; currency exchange M-F 9am-7:30pm, Sa 9am-2pm. 24hr. Express Cash machine outside.

LOCAL SERVICES

Luggage Storage: Barajas Airport. Follow the signs to consigna. One day ‚3; 2-15 days ‚3-5 per day; after day 15, ‚0.60-1.40 per day. Estacion Chamartin and Estacion Atocha. Lockers ‚2.40-4.50 per day. Open daily 6:30am-10:15pm.

Bi-Gay-Lesbian Resources: Most establishments in the Chueca area carry Shanguide, a free guide to gay nightlife in Spain. Colectivo de Gais y Lesbianas de Madrid (COGAM), C. Fuencarral 37 (fax 915 22 45 17). M: Gran Via. Provides a wide range of services and activities, including an HIV support group (M-F 6-10pm). Reception daily M-Sa 5:30-9pm. Free counseling M-Th 7-9pm.

Laundromat: Lavanderia Ondablu, C. Leon 3 (913 69 50 71). M: Anton Martin, Sol, or Sevilla. Open daily 9am-10:30pm. Just up the street is Lavanderia Cervantes, C. Leon, 6. Wash ‚2, dry ‚1. Open daily 9am-9pm.

EMERGENCY AND COMMUNICATIONS

Emergency: s 112. Ambulance: 061. National police: 091. Local police: 092. Police: C. de los Madrazo 9 (s915 41 71 60). M: Sevilla. From C. Alcala take a right onto C. Cedacneros and a left onto C. de los Madrazo. To report crimes committed in the Metro, go to the office in the Sol station (open daily 8am-llpm). Guardla Civil (a062 or 915 34 02 00). Proteccion Civil (915 37 31 00).

Rape Hotline: 915 74 01 10. Open M-F 10am-2pm and 4-7pm.

Medical Services: Equipo Quirurgico Municipal No. 1, C. Montesa 22 (915 88 51 00). M: Manuel Becerra. Hospital Ramon y Cajal, Ctra. Colmenar Viejo (913 36 80 00). Bus #135 from PI. Castilla. For non-emergency concerns, Anglo-American Medical Unit, Conde de Aranda 1, 1st fl. (914 35 18 23), is quick and friendly.

Internet Access: New Internet cafes are surfacing everywhere. While the average is a reasonable ‚2 per hr. small shops in apartments charge even less; keep a lookout. HEasy Everything, C. Montera 10 (915 21 18 65; www.easyeverything.com). M: Sol. From the Plaza del Sol, look for C. Montera, which goes toward Gran Via. Open daily 8am-lam, with hundreds of computers, fast connections, good music, and a cafe. Access from ‚0.50.

Conectate, C. Isaac Peral 4 (915 44 54 65; www.conectate.es). M: Moncloa. Over 300 flat-screens and some of the lowest prices in Madrid. Open 24hr.

Yazzgo Internet, Gran Via 84 & 69 (915 22 11 20; www.yazzgo.com). M: San Bernado or PI. de Espana. Also locations at Puerta del Sol 6, Gran Via 60, Estacion Chamartin, and Estacion Mendez Alvaro. A growing chain; check their website for new locations. Most branches open daily 8:30am-10:30pm; Gran Via 69 branch open 8:30am-lam.

Post Office: Palacio de Comunicaciones, C. de Alcala 51, on PI. Cibeles (902 19 71 97). M: Banco de Espana. Windows open M-Sa 8:30am-9:30pm, Su 9am-2pm for stamp purchases, certified mail, telex, and fax service. Poste Restante (Lista de Correos) at windows 80-82; passport required. Postal Code: 28080.

READ THIS. The Guia del Ocio, at any news kiosk, should be your first purchase in Madrid (‚1). It has concert, theater, sports, cinema, and TV schedules. It also lists exhibits, restaurants, bars, and clubs. Although it is in Spanish, the alphabetical listings of clubs and restaurants are invaluable even to non-speakers. For an English magazine with articles on finds in and around the city, pick up In Madrid, distributed free at tourist offices and restaurants.

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