I spent a good half a year living here in the capital city of Spain, and so it’s no surprise when I admit that it’s my personal favourite of all the places I’ve visited so far. With a tonne of architectural marvels and a wild history of wars, unrest, and various stints of foreign occupation, Madrid is a vibrant yet relaxed city with plenty to explore, so I've added even more below...
What To Do
- Museo Del Prado This art museum is dedicated to classics, but its huge size means there’s something for everyone. This gets extra points as I personally love Goya’s Pinturas Negras and could spend the rest of my life in the gift shop.
- Catedral De La Almudena The most impressive cathedral I’ve ever visited has hardly any queues and is much cheaper than the Royal Palace, as for just a small donation you can spend hours checking out its amazing mix of architectural styles.
- Parque Del Retiro You can easily spend hours wandering through this beautiful park, where you can check out the Crystal Palace, have an ice cream by the lake, and pay a visit to the world’s only statue devoted to the devil himself.
- Matadero This abandoned slaughterhouse has been transformed into a huge cultural campus, with theatres, restaurants, co-working spaces, exhibitions and the Centro de Diseño, which puts on frequent design exhibitions.
- Museo De San Antón With a fabulous rooftop bar and plenty of food stalls below, this market in the quirky Chueca district is the perfect place to soak up some sun and avoid the busier tourist markets - grab a beer and find a sofa!
What To Eat
- Boceta De Calamares There’s nothing quite like a recently baked bread roll full of freshly fried squid rings and a squeeze of lemon. Grab one and enjoy whilst sunbathing by a fountain in La Puerta Del Sol like a Madrid native.
- Churros Con Chocolate A classic Spanish hangover cure, delicious dessert or even a midnight snack, these doughnut-like strips can be bought 24 hours a day from the oldest churrería in Madrid, San Gines, and are brilliant to share.
- Patatas Bravas With a simple recipe which can appear quite boring, these fried potatoes topped with a spicy tomato sauce are a delicious staple, and can be best enjoyed down at the Matadero or as one of many tapas dishes.
- Huevos Rotos Con Jamón Here again the Spanish keep it simple but delicious with a plate of chips topped with a fried egg and jamón, a delicious cured ham. Another staple when ordering a selection of dishes for a tapas meal.
- Natillas Con Galleta A very common dessert in the city, but nontheless one of my favourites, this small dish of sweet custard topped with cinnamon and soft sweet biscuit is delicious and available pretty everywhere you look.