Hola! Our next stop on our Spanish tour was to Madrid! We were here 2 1/2 days and we made the best of it! I am pretty sure we did more walking in Madrid than anywhere else, but there is just so much to see and do. You are sure to fall in love with this city! So below are our absolutely CAN NOT MISS sights in Madrid.
VISIT the ROYAL PALACE
You are going to love the Royal Palace. There are so many rooms which are each decorated to a particular royals taste and unique design and filled with art, riches, china patterns, and luxury furniture. The rooms are spectacular and you can see that there is no wasted space, there is detail in every square inch. One suggestion we have is do a self guided tour!! We walked around with a
tour guide and you could hardly hear her because of the audio guides they gave, plus she hardly spoke and didn’t give us much information when she did. We were rushed through the rooms as well. We saw other people walking around with self guided tablets that looked to have much more detail and even 3D layouts of the space. If it is a little more costly, it is worth it, because it is made up by not having to tip at the end. Click here to get your tickets. Make sure you check out the Royal Palace and the view from up top when you are in Madrid.
EAT at SAN GINES CHOCOLATERIA
San Gines is a MUST EAT PLACE when in Madrid. They are famous for their churros with chocolate. The chocolate is so good and rich, that V actually drank what we didn’t use for dipping or churros and finished it all. They have a sit down restaurant (which I suggest going to during siesta time so it isn’t as crowded) and because they get so busy, they actually have a take out one right across the street, which had way less of a line. Click here to find out where they are located once there. Even if there’s a line, you have to do it, believe me you will not be disappointed. One suggestion we have, is ask for the churros with cinnamon and sugar. Maybe that is just what we are used to, but we all thought it tasted way better once we added that. If you like sweets, this is the place for you! PLUS it has been around since 1894… so it’s worth stopping by!
VISIT EL PRADO MUSEUM
The Museo del Prado was one of V and I’s favorite spots in Madrid. They have so many famous pieces, and everywhere you turn you will be inspired. We actually talked about this while in the museum, how lucky we are to be able to see the transformation of art and history through the work presented here. The PRADO and it’s collections represent the history of Spain, which is what make this museum so unique. Go in an explore pieces by featured artists such as Velazquez, Rembrandt, Rafael and many more. You can get your tickets by clicking here. They also have a cafeteria inside, so you can plan to make a day of it.
VISIT the REINA SOFIA MUSEUM
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte: Reina Sofia is another must do in Madrid! Not only is it home to Picasso’s infamous “Guernica,” but it houses Modern Art in all it’s glory. We also were lucky enough to be there during the David Wojnarowicz exhibition, which truly spoke to us and our students. It was great seeing them all try to connect to the art and piece together their own theories. Be sure to stop by. It is actually free to enter on Sundays!
PLUS we were there in July, so museums are always a nice place (cooled with air conditioning) to get away from the summer heat for awhile and appreciate Spain’s history and culture.
SHOP at the EL RASTRO MARKET
If you are in Madrid on SUNDAY then you absolutely have to shop at the El Rastro Market. It is a huge open flea market located along Plaza de Coscorro. You can find ANYTHING HERE. I highly suggest if you want to get anyone souvenirs, you wait until you go here. You can find key chains, fans, bracelets, and more for only 1 euro! Also, when you go here, be prepared to hustle a little. It is a flea market, so they expect you to hassle them on the price a bit. Especially if they know you are from out of town, so don’t be afraid to bring out your best bargaining skills. They have lots of cute clothes, shoes, accessories and antiques here as well. DO NOT MISS OUT on the shopping here!
SHOP and HANG OUT @ the PLAZAs
PUERTO DEL SOL is a great place to have a taxi drop you off and begin exploring Madrid. There are plenty of street performers that will be around here if you want to spend some time hanging out in this plaza, or it is center to A LOT of shopping. We spent nearly a whole day just walking around the shops near here. Also, eating in this area. It is easy to make your way back to this spot, so we highly suggest making it your start/meet up area.
PLAZA MAYOR is another great Plaza to hang out at. Here you will find lots of restaurants to sit and enjoy people watching at. There are plenty of picture opportunities set up for you too (as you can see just a couple above) so be sure to have some change with you to give out. Walk around, take a break, or just enjoy the view here in Plaza Mayor.
PLAZA CALLAO is another one where you will find street artists and GIANT Koala bears 🙂 This one is great because it is right in front of Corte Ingles, which brings me to my next to do…
GO UP TO EL CORTE INGLES TERRACE
While in the Plaza Callao, go in to El Corte Ingles and take the escalator all the way up to the top. Up here you will find different restaurants and bars that you can grab a bite to eat or something to drink, before heading out to the terrace to see the amazing view of Madrid. You don’t have to buy anything to see the view though, just go on up! You will love being up here. Also, El Corte Ingles is something like a mall, so you can enjoy the shopping on your way up as well.
EAT at MUSEO DEL JAMON
So when in Spain, eating JAMON (ham) is a MUST! There is no better place to eat Jamon then right here at Museo del Jamon. This was one of my favorite meals the entire trip!! They started us out with each our own bread and a spread of Jamon and cheese, which was DELICIOUS! Then we each received a chicken skewer, with perfectly cooked chicken and vegetables. I could eat that every day for the rest of my life it was that good. Finally, they gave us a delicious chocolate cake for dessert. I highly suggest going to Museo del Jamon when in Madrid for AT LEAST one of your meals. You can find more information by clicking here.
Madrid is a BEAUTIFUL city and there are so many things to do and see here. Make sure to plan your trip out ahead of time so you see it all, and give yourself some time to just get lost and explore a little as well.
Please comment below your favorite things to do in Madrid or your experiences with any of the places we mentioned above. 🙂
Adios Amigos <3