Things to do in Madrid

Postcard from Madrid

(Last Updated On: April 5, 2018)

When you think of Spain, the first thing that comes to mind is the colour red. It’s in their national flag, their world famous football club, their brave Matadors wearing bright red traditional robes taming the bulls at a grand arena, their flamenco dancers beautifully dressed in traje de flamenca giving their best performances to the tunes of Spanish guitar and obviously their very best Sangria. Join us as we provide essential information on all the things to do in Madrid.

Things to do in Madrid - Madrid City Center, Spain - Travel Blog 1
Exploring Madrid..
Things to do in Madrid - Streets of Madrid, Spain - Travel Blog 1
Madrid Street View.. 🙂
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The city lit up at dusk.. Also, an amazing amalgamation of old and new..

Madrid, a big cosmopolitan city in Spain, is famous for its breathtaking squares and Plazas. The city has a mix of modern and historical architecture, like most of the popular European cities. As a first impression, Madrid would definitely impress you with the amazing underground metro transportation. There are numerous lines connecting the length and breadth of the city and we never waited over 4 minutes at any station to board a train.

There are information signs posted everywhere in the station and you don’t have to ask anyone about how to get to a destination. The tickets are quite reasonable and only for the airport, there is an additional charge of 3 euros (again, quite cheap). To check out the connections, visit their official site. While on the metro, you might come across musicians playing beautiful and soulful Spanish music in full volume, entertaining you all along the journey. They usually expect some small tips in return for their services though.

Things to do in Madrid - View of Madrid from Debod Temple, Madrid, Spain - Travel Blog 1
Madrid at sunset.
Things to do in Madrid - Sunsets in Madrid, Spain - Travel Blog 1
Even though it’s a metropolitan city, the architecture has a charm of its own..

 

Things to do in Madrid:

What and where to eat:

Madrid is a food heaven for non vegetarians. There are many tapas (small sampler sized portion) bars and you should definitely try bar hopping, tasting the various tapas. Some of the well known and must try items are patatas bravas, patatas aioli and paella. One such place we highly recommend is Juana la Loca, in La Latina area. Try their fried spinach fritters, tortilla tapas and sangria. We had our first lunch in this amazing restaurant and went mad sampling their yummiest recipes.

Vegetarian food:

A word of caution for vegetarians visiting Madrid, you will have a tough time finding vegetarian food. To top it, most of the waiters don’t speak English and you will have a hard time explaining them that you are looking for vegetarian food. Please also remember that fish is considered vegetarian in Madrid restaurants so make sure to ask the ingredients in the food. Fortunately, there is a restaurant called Pura Vida vegan bar in La Latina area, that serves amazing healthy vegetarian food. We loved the food there and they are open only for dinner. Another food heaven, away from the touristy spots you find in such metropolitan cities.

Markets and Gelatos:

Another cool place to check out is the Mercado de San Miguel Market. This is an enclosed building and here you can find plenty of shops offering variety of food items and drinks. Very close to this market, you should visit Amorino for Gelato and macaroons. We have never tasted such delicious macaroons in our travels and even though it’s a bit pricey, it’s worth every penny. They also serve the Gelato in a flower shape which is equally delicious.

There is another ice cream parlour named Mistura, in the Chueca area. They mix the ice cream and the toppings on a very cold stone and the taste is to die for. Do not miss the yummy churros with hot chocolate at the city’s best cafe, San Miguel Chocolatier. It’s a high calorie experience but definitely need to be tried out.

Things to do in Madrid - Mercado de San Miguel Market, Madrid, Spain - Travel Blog 1

Things to do in Madrid - Mercado de San Miguel Market, Madrid, Spain - Travel Blog 2
Enjoying some Tapas and Sangria..

Things to do in Madrid - San Miguel Chocolatier, Madrid, Spain - Travel Blog
Also the most amazing churros.. We still prefer the Mexican version through.

 

Attractions:

Egyptian temple:

Debod Temple is an ancient Egyptian temple built in the 2nd century BC, at the village of Debod, Egypt and was donated to Madrid and was rebuilt in 1968.  We went there during the sunset based on popular recommendations and it was well worth it. We stayed until it was completely dark and put our tripod and long exposure settings to work. The temple looks absolutely stunning at night. We did not go inside the temple but we have heard that it’s gorgeous from the inside as well. It’s a very happening place with loads of tourists and locals chilling around the temple and in the gardens.

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Just chilling out.. 🙂
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Debod Temple at sunset..
Things to do in Madrid - Debod Egyptian temple, Spain, Madrid - Travel Blog 3
It’s a really cool place to hangout, probably with a drink or two. 😉
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Debot temple at dusk. 🙂

 

Plaza de Mayor:

The Plaza de Mayor is Madrid’s main square. It is a large rectangular area surrounded by three story residential building, located right in the centre of the city and is just a few minutes walk from the Puerta del Sol. This is a nice place to just sit, relax, enjoy some tapas and watch the time go by.

 

Metropolis building:

Visit this place at night. You can compose a really good shot with the use of a tripod, capturing this marvellous architecture alongside the Rolex building. Well, we didn’t have a lot of time in hand, so not so cool, regular day time shot. You can spend your evening at this restaurant, enjoy a cocktail and look at the sun go down.

Things to do in Madrid - Metropolis Building, Madrid, Spain - Travel Blog 2
Metropolis building..

Things to do in Madrid - Metropolis Building, Madrid, Spain - Travel Blog 1

 

Flamenco Dance: 

We love experiencing local cultures and performances like the Jazz in Prague and dance of Dervish in Istanbul. Flamenco Dance, a speciality of Spain is a high energy dance, which will surely impress you. Flamenco dance is a solo dance with a combination of hand clapping, some high energy foot tapping and beautiful hand, arm and body movement. It’s accompanied by a guitar player and a singer and it’s an experience that you shouldn’t miss. We went to Cafe Ziryab for the dance and you need to book your place in advance. The entry fee of 22 euros per person includes a drink and an appetiser. Food wasn’t that great but you won’t go there for food. 🙂

Things to do in Madrid - Flamenco Dance, Cafe Ziryab, Madrid, Spain - Travel Blog 2Things to do in Madrid - Flamenco Dance, Cafe Ziryab, Madrid, Spain - Travel Blog 1

 

Day trips:

Madrid is close to many other popular cities and the ones really worth mentioning are Toledo, Segovia, Avila and Cuenca. There are fast trains covering these cities in a matter of just 30 mins to an hour and it’s really worth visiting at least one of the destinations. We visited Segovia, home to a 2000 year old Roman aqueduct, just a 30 mins train ride from Madrid.

 

Accommodation Details

We stayed in this very cost 1BHK Airbnb apartment located in El Rastro. The apartment had all the amenities like a kitchen, air-conditioning (which you will definitely need) etc. The host allowed early check in and late check out as our flight was in the late evening. He also provided local suggestions and a long list of things to do, which we wouldn’t have found even in top travel websites. The area is amazing with many restaurants and bars around and close to metro station as well. We highly recommend this accommodation!

Get 35 euro travel credit by signing up with our Airbnb code – click here.

 


Leaving you with some more photos from our trip..

Things to do in Madrid - Streets of Madrid, Spain - Travel Blog 2
Exploring the pretty streets of Madrid..
Things to do in Madrid - Madrid City Center, Spain - Travel Blog 2
Pretty outdoor cafes..
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Evening walks and exploring Almudena Cathedral..
Things to do in Madrid - Buildings of Madrid, Spain - Travel Blog
Madrid surely has very impressive architecture..

 

Planning a trip to Europe? Also read about our articles on Prague, Tuscany, Vienna, RomeEdinburgh, Santorini, Amsterdam

13 thoughts on “Postcard from Madrid

    1. Thanks Pooja! That’s Raga’s photography and he is very proud of that one.. 🙂 I am sure your comment will make him happy.. Madrid was a nice getaway and even though it was very hot there our trip felt so relaxed and nice.. 🙂 if you like big cities then you should visit Madrid.. 🙂

  1. Madrid was where I started my first solo backpacking adventure, six years ago 🙂 Such warm memories – how time flies!
    Absolutely stunning photos, as always!

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