Most of my European trips were competed under 72 hours because I would travel on the weekends but don’t you worry, 72 hours is enough to explore some of the cuisine and the sights of Madrid!
Madrid, the capital of Spain, is one of the best cities in Europe although it doesn’t get as much attention as Barcelona does but the city has a lot to offer – especially for your stomach. Here are a couple of things I definitely recommend to do while in Madrid.
My first recommendation would be visiting the Parque del Oeste, a park placed on top of a hill, which means the view will be amazing, especially during sunset time. This park is smaller and less popular than El Retiro but it’s filled with young Madrileños (people from Madrid). All you have to do is grab a bottle of Cerveza (beer) and chill out on the grass but prepare for a little hike up a hill to arrive. When you arrive, you will notice the Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple that was originally in the city of Aswan in the South of Egypt, which makes this park a little bit more unique yet perfect for a chill morning or afternoon.
After visiting the Parque del Oeste, my next step would be to take a 20-minute walk down to the Royal Palace of Madrid. The palace is the largest functioning palace in all of Europe and it’s now used for state ceremonies. It is not common information, that Spain is actually a monarchy but the royal family doesn’t actually reside in the palace anymore yet it’s still used for official state manners. Nevertheless, it’s still a great place to visit and you don’t necessarily have to go inside. If you have some free time on your hands, there’s no reason not to enter the palace and see the extensive, beautiful art collection owned by the Spanish Royal Family.
Now, for the best part of Madrid, in my opinion, is the amazing Mercado de San Miguel, which is basically a huge food market that specializes in Spanish cuisine. From tapas to fruit to desserts to Iberian ham and anything else your stomach and your heart desires, all is available in this huge market. My recommendation is to find a Sangria bar, get your sangria and start your “food adventure”. My friends and I stayed in this market for about 1.5 hours walking around, eating as much as possible. It seems like the choices are endless but my top 3 “kiosks” I kept visiting were the “Mozzarella Bar”, “Crab Crab Crab”, and “Horno de San Onofre” for mouthwatering desserts. The best part is, it’s great to enjoy by yourself or with friends and family!
After your 3 glasses of sangria, why not continue the night at a local bar in the city? Take a nice walk to Calle de la Cava Baja, a street filled with bars left and right. We went to “47 Cocktail Bar” for the biggest piña coladas I’ve ever seen. They were so delicious and huge so 1 is probably enough to get your night start. If you feel energized and want to stay on your feet, 47 Cocktail Bar is the place to be. If you are feeling a chill night out, another bar right across the street is highly recommended as well. It’s on Calle de la Cava Baja 40 and it’s called “Hopper” and its atmosphere is amazing. They also offer tapas if you’re still feeling hungry after visiting the Mercado. Check out their tasty drinks, their comfy couches, and the cool art all over the walls. Grab a beer or their huge cocktails, both bars are affordable and you definitely won’t be complaining about their portion sizes.
The Heart Of Madrid
Lastly, before you leave Madrid, you have to visit Plaza Mayor which is located in the heart of Madrid. There are many cafes and restaurants that offer coffee, beer, wine, sangria, paella, and more. It’s a very big and spacious plaza with a large, bronze statue of Felipe III, who was the reigning king of Spain between 1698 until 1621. The plaza is a great place to sit and have a coffee after shopping and walking around in the city. Plaza Mayor is regularly filled with Madrileños and with tourists, so take a seat under one of the lamp posts and enjoy the hustle-and-bustle of the Madrid.
And that’s Madrid in under 72 hours! Make sure you bring your comfortable sneakers and maybe some stretchy pants because you will leave Madrid with satisfied taste buds and trust me, you’ll want to go back as soon as you can because this city is beautiful and dynamic.
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Picture credits – Pixabay