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Visit Madrid & Paris This Summer

The latest U.S. Top 20 list featured highly rated Westin properties in Madrid as well as Paris. These properties, which offer savings of as much as 45% on current rates, offer a wide window in which to visit. For those looking to explore during peak season, we checked in with our offices in those countries on what not to miss this summer.

Sara Pastor, a Deal Expert in our Spain office, told us:

If you are looking for a full experience in Spain this summer, Madrid is your choice. All in all, the city is a great spot for warm-weather travel because you will get sun, amazing food, tons of culture and infinite possibilities for enjoying the city. On top, you can now stay in this emblematic hotel -- The Westin Palace, Madrid -- in Paseo de la Castellana, minutes away from el Parque del Retiro and walking distance from Gran Vía (and the city center) with this “wow” offer that they have published with us. Apart from the location, rooms are amazing and the breakfast incredible!

Also, whether you are traveling with a family or with friends, Madrid has a lot to offer. For families, there is the Parque del Retiro, where children can play and you can rent a boat in the lake; or you can go to Parque Warner, a theme park close to Madrid with all type of attractions. If you want to party, Madrid is very well-known for the nightlife. The city is full of bars and night clubs for all tastes, from electronic music to Cuban dancing. As well, there are some Flamenco shows, such el Corral de la Morería, which are worth visiting.

And if you are a fan of the Spanish gastronomy, Madrid is THE place. There is a huge variety of restaurants: from Michelin-starred ones such as Ramón Freixa to the world-famous Casa Lucio's huevos estrellados (a type of scramble eggs) or the small shops at Mercado de San Miguel, where you can taste all kinds of national products and tapas. Visitors will find some of the best museums: Museo del Prado (the National Museum), el Museo de arte Thyssen-Bornemisza (which is open on Saturdays until 11 p.m.) or Museo Reina Sofia.  Plus, Madrid architecture is very distinct and along your walks, you will discover beautiful building and wide avenues with amazing landscapes.

Betty Noel, a Deal Expert in France, says:

So, you didn’t think you could lie on the beach and enjoy summertime activities in Paris? Well, during the summer, the capital transforms itself to become “Paris Plage.” Beach volleyball, aquatic exercise classes, sun chairs, kayaks and more! And during the evening, live concerts will cap off sunny days from July 21 to the end of August.

While speaking of water, you could also take a cruise on the Seine River, on the fly boats known in Paris as Bateaux-Mouches. From Notre-Dame to the Trocadero you will enjoy all the famous historical sights of the city.

If you wish to avoid the crowd of the restaurants, why not enjoy a picnic on the Champs de Mars with the Eiffel Tour in background? In summer, Parisians love to spend the day in the grass there and catch up with friends.

We call them “les bouquinistes” of the Seine -- they are old booksellers along the bank of the river. They are situated on the right bank from the Pont Marie to the Quai du Louvre, and on the left bank from the Quai de la Tournelle to the Quai Voltaire. It’s a nice thing to do an afternoon when the sun is out on the capital. Or for those who are more into strolling into a very flowered garden, go the 16th arrondissement and enter the Jardin of Bagatelle. Next to the Orangery, it is one of the most famous rose gardens.  You will find a huge number of flowers and other plants. Special rotating exhibitions are staged throughout the year.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, New York
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
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Andrew Young