My last post (10 things I miss about Spain) made me miss my home even more (if possible) and magnified my wanderlust 10x.
When I went to live to Madrid back in 2009 I didn’t know that I was going to end up loving the city that much. For three years every time I was coming back from my parents’ house I always felt like home as soon as I could see the Cuatro Torres Business Area (which, believe me, you can see 50-60km from the city when coming from the north).
It was my second home.
And today I come to you to share some of that love.
Also, if you are planning on visiting, keep reading 🙂
Madrid is a huge city with tons of things to do, see, places to eat, parks, shopping… If you only have a couple of days to visit I would definitely plan ahead and follow a schedule so you don’t miss anything! I’m telling you, I lived there for three years and I still have a lot of things on my “to see/do” list.
But that’s part of the charm, isn’t it?
One of the best things about Madrid is that it’s well communicated by public transportation. You can pretty much get anywhere with the metro or buses.
This is not going to be the regular post “X typical things that you can do in your next trip to Madrid”. I wanted to do something different and share with you a few places that don’t usually appear in the guides; give you an insight of where a person from Madrid would actually go. If you really want to know a place, you have to go where locals go, right?
I’m going to give you a list of places to visit and where to eat so you can add them to your list and enjoy the city as a local would. Also, if you’re planning on visiting Madrid, check out Eventbrite to find out events going on in the city while you’re there. You can also create your own event using their event management software!
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Things to do/see:
- Parque del Capricho. It is one of the prettiest parks in the city, but it’s not very known so not many people go there. Inside you can find a palace, a pond and the Dolphins and Frogs fountain. Paseo de la Alameda de Osuna, 25, 28042 Madrid, Spain
- Metro Chamberí. They closed this station in 1966, as it was situated very close to other stations. Nowadays it is open to visitors and still looks as it looked when it was closed. Plaza de Chamberí, s/n, 28010 Madrid.
- Rastro (open on Sundays and bank holidays). It is so worth it to get up a little early and go to the Rastro! Take a walk, look at all the stuff that it’s for sale and find some treasures. It is usually pretty packed. If you go during the warmer months you can relax afterwards with a drink in one of the terrazas in a bar nearby. Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores, S/N, 28005 Madrid.
- Templo de Debod. It was a present from Egypt for the help to save the Nubia temples. They brought the stones by boat to Valencia, and then one by one by truck to Madrid. You can walk there from the Plaza de España. Calle Ferraz, 1, 28008 Madrid
- Best views of the city: If you want to take a panoramic picture of Madrid, here are two places that are very popular:
- Círculo de Bellas Artes. Entrance is 3€. Calle de Alcalá, 42 (Planta 7). http://www.azoteadelcirculo.com
- Gourmet Experience (El Corte Inglés). Free. Plaza de Callao (Planta 9).
Where to eat:
- Botín Restaurant. The oldest restaurant in the world is in the city center of Madrid. It opened its doors in 1725 and has been opened ever since. If you decide to eat here, though, I would recommend making a reservation. Calle Cuchilleros, 17, 28005 Madrid. (www.botin.es)
- La Latina. This neighborhood in the city center is a great place to go have some drinks (day or night) while relaxing in a terraza chatting with friends. The area gets packed around midday during the weekends for the tapeo (going out to eat tapas).
- Chocolatería San Ginés. This is just simply a MUST. It is one of the best places to have a chocolate con churros in town. Expect a line to go in if you go in the weekends from 5pm on. Pasadizo San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid (www.chocolateriasangines.com)
- La Infinito. A perfect place to get a coffee while reading a book and enjoying yourself. They also serve sandwiches and cakes. You can check out their website to see if they’re hosting any activities during the days that you are visiting the city. Calle Tres Peces, 22, 28012 Madrid. lainfinito.es
- 100 montaditos. A montadito is a small sandwich, and they have 100+ with different tipes of bread and stuffing. It is a franchise with more than 350 restaurants around the world (they even have a few in the US). They have offers on Wednesdays and Sundays. Calle Montera, 34, 28013 Madrid. (http://spain.100montaditos.com)
- Mercado San Miguel. The Mercado opened in the beginning of the 20th century and inside you can find ham, cheese, chorizo and so much more. It is not cheap, but at least you should go take a look and check it out. Plaza de San Miguel, s/n, 28005 Madrid. (www.mercadodesanmiguel.es/en)
Finally, if you know some Spanish and you’d like to learn more about Madrid, it history and some more places to discover, I want to recommend you to check out www.secretosdemadrid.es. It is definitely worth a visit 🙂
Also, check out this list of 101 things to do in Madrid Before you die. You will need more than just a couple of days to do all of it, but it might give you a couple of ideas of extra things to do while in the city! Spanish Version – English Version