Post written by Shelby
Next to Barcelona, Madrid has to be Spain’s second most popular travel destination. A three-hour train from Barcelona, Madrid is located in the centre of Spain with beautiful snowcapped mountains along the horizon. I didn’t know there were mountains in Spain! Let alone you could see them from Madrid. Such a welcomed surprise!
With only a few days to explore Madrid, we made sure to take advantage of Barcelona’s more “trendy” sister and see what Madrid had to offer at a nice relaxed pace instead of our usual go-go-go momentum… Here’s my quick guide to Madrid!
The Royal Palace (The Palacio Real de Madrid) – A short walk from Sol you can wander the palace grounds and if you are facing the building, go to the right of the palace; you can see the mountains in the distance. A pretty spot for a few quick photos and to check it off your, “to see” list!
Sol – The heart of Madrid. Sol is literally the centre of Madrid so this is a perfect area to make a base camp! You can shop, find a lot of good tapas and watch the street performers if you want. I also spotted a few chocolate shops that smelled amazing walking by…
San Miguel Market – It’s a really cool market that’s busy with tourists and locals. It is overpriced as most tourist destinations are but you can get two tapas and a glass of wine for 6 Euro which I think was pretty good. Watch out for a pushy lady at one of the vendors though she throws things you don’t want on your plate so you have to buy it and then is very rude when you put your foot down. You can get 3 Euro salads and 2 Euro fruit cups from the fruit stand. There is also a desert section that is incredible! Churros anyone?
Rooftop bar – The rooftop bar “Azotea” was a happy spontaneous decision! My boyfriend’s sister lives in Madrid and recommended that we all go there and I’m so happy we did! The view from the top is stunning. You can see the snow-capped mountains in the distance, monuments and the beautiful skyline of Madrid. The cover is 4 Euro to get up which I think is completely worth it for the view, and drinks start at 4 Euros each.
Crystal Palace – Such a beautiful design! I fell in love with this unique building and could have spent a few hours people watching. If you are patient enough you can get lucky and have the place almost entirely to yourself! For more photos click HERE
Buen Retiro Park – One of the prettiest and happiest parks I’ve ever been to. People are boating around the lake, laughing and enjoying the sun while others are enjoying a crisp cerveza from the shore (patio). You can sit back and people watch for hours and take in the warm Madrid sun.
Temple of Debod – An unexpected monument to be found in a Spanish Park but years ago an Egyptian monument was at risk of being damaged so Unesco made the decision to move the monument to save it. Spain was a big help in excavating the monument so as a gift/thank you, they decided to give the monument to Madrid! Pretty cool to see something that was once in Egypt now in a beautiful spot in Spain