Updated: Jan 24
I’ve recently just been on a 4 day trip to Madrid, organised by my university. I literally got the chance to go because someone else dropped out, so my professor called me on Friday asking if I wanted to join them on this trip and by Monday I was in Madrid. Isn’t that amazing?
The first day was super busy with the flights and all of that so I only had the afternoon and evening to do some exploring in Madrid.
I was staying in Hotel Mediodia, which is conveniently close to the subway station and to major restaurants, plus Retiro Park.
Views from my room:
For dinner, I would highly recommend this little restaurant called, Taberna del Sur. The service and the food were all amazing, the bartenders gave me and my friend free shots at the end of our dinner. I mean, come on, why would you wanna miss out on that? Also, they had the best Sangria I’ve ever tried before.
After dinner I went to an event called “Fuckin Monday”, which is known to be one of the best international parties in Madrid and it happened to be a salsa/bachata party at the beginning. I was so happy that I was able to squeeze in some dancing while I was in Madrid and if you’re ever there on a Monday and wanna learn a couple moves, they also teach from 10PM, so head there and have fun. I met a cute girl that night also, who happened to live in New York, close to where I was doing my internship at, and now she is London studying and it was just amazing how similar our lives were. I love going out and dancing, talking to people, it’s such a great way to make new friends.
The next day I have joined a walking tour and found out the most amazing things about Madrid.
Did you guys know that Madrid is one of the greenest cities in Spain, more than 30% of the city is covered with beautiful nature? They have a vertical garden, designed by Patrick Blanco, in the Caixa Forum which looks incredible, worth a visit.
If anyone has read Don Quixote, then you probably know that this piece of literature is one of the most famous and influential works of Miguel de Cervantes and something that Spaniards are really proud of. He was actually buried in Madrid, something you can visit and tell your grandparents about!
If you’re artistic at heart, I highly recommend that you visit the artistic quarter of Madrid, called: Calle de Huertas. One thing I loved about this area were the quotes in the pavement, even though I didn’t understand most of them, I think it’s a very clever way of putting literature out on the streets.
If you’re a foodie, like me, you might wanna visit Calle de Jesús, some of the best tapas bars are found on this street. Taberna La Dolores is known to be one of the best tapas bars in Madrid, you might wanna visit that if you want some real good spanish tapas, alongside your sangría.
Also, to anyone ordering beer at any bars or “tavernas” keep in mind that there’s 2 ways to do that. There’s “Caña” which is a small beer, and there’s “doble” or double, which is a pint.
Another interesting fact that I’ve learnt on this walking tour is that if you walk into a bar or restaurant and if you see any of the walls painted red, that means that these places used to sell red wine, back in the day when selling alcohol was prohibited.
Calle de León is a very famous street in Madrid, because it got its name from an actual lion that was kept on this street. Crazy, right?
Also, because most the population was illiterate back in the 16th century, the street names were illustrated by paintings, rather than having their names written in letters.
You also have to know that in the 19th century so many of the churches have been demolished in order to create more communal spaces. You will find that there are plenty of squares in Madrid. One the most famous ones is situated in the literary quarter, called Plaza de Sta. Ana. Definitely worth the visit since it has a number of amazing restaurants and bars around.
Another important square is Plaza del Ángel, where you will find the most famous cafe, Café Central, which is famous for its live music nights, literally every night, so if you’re looking to have a good time after dinner, why not head there? You can also find this amazing little shop called “Dear Tee“, where they have the funniest T-shirts and if you’re sassy just like me, you might wanna get on of them.
Close to Plaza del Ángel, you’ll find this awesome Ice Cream Parlour, called Mistura. I didn’t get the chance to go in and actually try their ice cream, but it’s apparently the best one is Madrid, so if you’re there on a hot summer day, you know where to get that ice cream from.
If you’re in Madrid on a Sunday, I highly recommend you visit Plaza Mayor, because they have an amazing flee market with lots of handmade and local goodies which I’m sure you wouldn’t wanna miss out on.
Also, the famous Calamari Sandwiches are the cheapest and best to get here. For example, La Campana is known to be serving the best of these bad boys for a really low price.
Mercado de San Miguel is the most famous market in Madrid, built in the 1900s. It’s really expensive, so if you’re on a budget I suggest you just visit it (it’s open till midnight) and then get lunch/dinner from the tapas bars around it.
Not too far from here you’ll find the best place to get Churros at, Chocolatería San Ginés. If there’s a line to get in, you know it’s about to be real good and that’s exactly what it was. Had the best churros of my life here. Take a look at this yumminess:
The most famous square in Madrid is Puerta del Sol, something you definitely want to visit. The main shopping street, Precidios Street starts off of this square, but it’s not only great shopping deals that you can find here, it’s also where the centre of Spain or the 0 km can be found.
For some cultural enlightenment I suggest you visit the Prado Museum in Madrid, which has 3 floors and it is considered to have one of the world’s finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and the single best collection of Spanish art.
This is a lot to do in one day, but if you’re ambitious, like me, you’ll be able to go out after all of this as well. The same day I went out to a nightclub called Larios Cafe and I was surprised how good it was for a Tuesday night. The place had two floors with different types of music on each floor and beautiful interior design. Drinks were a bit expensive, but shots were reasonably priced.
The 3rd day I headed to the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium for a tour of the stadium.
Girls, if you’re there with your boyfriends, you’ll probably get dragged there, but just enjoy the beautiful pictures of the hot football players, like Ramos, Bale or Asensio. The stadium tour is pretty long, you’ll probably spend there about 2 hours. Also, since the stadium is outside the city, you’ll either have to get an Uber or take the metro/bus back to the city.
If you’re lucky, you might even catch a game while you’re in Madrid. I got to see these hot guys play against Girona and just being there with all the fans and cheering on Real Madrid is such an experience, I highly recommend it. Tickets could be as cheap as €20, so why not?!
Public transportation is amazing is Madrid. I actually got a Metro Card and used the metro quite often, since there was a station close to my hotel. It’s totally worth it for the money and it’s usually faster than getting an Uber or taxi. By the way, taxis were on strike when I was there, so the metro was just the perfect mode of transport.
After immersing myself in the beauty of football, I was so ready for food, so I looked up a couple places and decided to go to this cafe called “Superchulo“, which is seriously Instagram goals. The interior design and the food is top notch, they also have a number of vegan options, YUMM!
Just take a look at this beauty:
Oh, I forgot to say, their bathrooms are literal goals.
I got the mushroom, truffle vegan pizza there and damn, I wish I could send you all little tasters, it was sooo delicious!
If you know me, you know that I’m a big sucker for sunsets and sunrises. Therefore one of my favourite things to do in Madrid was going to the Temple of Debod, to watch the sunset from there. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a beautiful sunset in my life. The sky was so pink and I could see the whole city from up there. Guys, if you’re in Madrid, you HAVE to go see the sunset from there.
The 4th day I decided to explore the Buen Retiro Park, which is not only huge, but has so many hidden gems. You’ll definitely need half a day just to walk around and check everything out.
My favourite things to see were the Crystal Palace and the Estanque Grande del Retiro, right in front of the little lake, which was built between 1634 and 1636 by the architect, Cristobal de Aguilera and was used to hold water shows, such as navy battles or mock battles, and boat rides for the King and Queen and their Court. You can actually rent a boat and paddle around the lake here, for only €6.
I actually met two really sweet girls from Belgium, while I was exploring the park, Solo and Rie and they helped me take some amazing pictures in the Crystal Palace.
What’s better than sunsets? Yes, you’ve guessed it!
Watching sunsets from rooftop bars with a glass a champagne!
I found this little gem, while scrolling through Instagram. Azotea Rooftop Bar in Madrid offers the best views, service, music, drinks and food. Keep in mind, that since it is a fancy place, everything is overpriced, even the potatoes, but you could totally just go up, have a drink and enjoy to view. No need to splurge!
I hope this post will inspire you to travel to Madrid and explore this culturally rich city in the middle of Spain!
After spending 4 days there I felt like I want to move there, eat good, dance good, live good for the rest of my life.