I'm landing in Madrid on November 9th (the Fiesta of Almudena), and I have 5 or so hours free in the afternoon. I had wanted to visit the Royal Palace, but since it's a local holiday in Madrid, the palace is closed. Does anyone have any ideas for something interesting to do? I'd love to see El Escorial, but I'm afraid I don't have time to get out there, see the place, and get back in 5 hours. I'm seeing the Prado the next day, so that's out. Any suggestions are appreciated, and any info on how busy/closed down, etc the city will be on this day would also be welcome. Thanks.
Bad timing. Shops are closed, bars and restaurants open, transportation clobbered. Don't know about museums.
Allison-We're arriving in Madrid the same day, although not until early evening. We anticipated visiting the Almudena Catherdral immediately south of the Royal Palace, figuring it would be "Ground Zero" for Almudena celebrations. This may be a very reverent and quiet opbervance, but being Spain we figured it could be a vibrant scene, although we figured things would start winding down before it got too late. Don't know whether that will be a viable option. Maybe we'll run ito you on Sunday - we'll be the other Americans at the Prado:-)