I know that Madrid is a huge city and you could spend weeks exploring and still have more to see, but there are a lot of cities in this world, so sometimes we have to do things just a little bit faster. This past weekend I had a little over three days in the Madrid area, so I did 30 hours in Madrid, 25 hours in Toledo and 23 hours in Segovia...and it was awesome.
Here's what I did and what I would recommend for Madrid:
I started the morning off at the Círculo de Bellas Artes just off the Plaza de Cibeles. I had a delicious breakfast which included a grilled croissant and cappuccino. I hung out here for a couple of hours taking in the views and doing some reading. Most people come here for sunset or evening drinks, but coming in the morning means way fewer tourists.
From here I made a quick stop at the Plaza de Cibeles and then headed towards the Mercado de San Miguel. On the way to the Market you can walk right through Puerta de Sol and also make a pit stop in Plaza Mayor (my favorite square in Madrid, Spiderman is always there).
The Mercado de San Miguel is a great place to grab a drink and if you want, a snack, but I don't recommend eating a full lunch here as for the most part I found the food to be overpriced and slightly underwhelming. That said, it's definitely a fun place for a pit stop. If you're looking for lunch near by, Madrid really isn't complete without a stop at Cava Baja which is actually just a street in La Latina. There are tons of great restaurants, but many agree that you must go to Casa Lucio and get the “Huevos Estrellados” which is basically a few fried eggs over a plate of french fries. This place is always packed, so make a reservation or be prepared to get cozy in the bar area (they'll pack 'em in as tight as you can handle).
Around 5PM I headed from the La Latina area over towards the Temple of Debod. Along the way I had the chance to see the Royal Palace and surrounding gardens as well as the Almudena Cathedral which has a pretty interesting history. Once at the Temple of Debod I explored the small museum (free!), snapped some pictures, and walked around the surrounding park. The best part about the Temple is that is closes to the public around 6:30PM, so it's a great place to feel like a professional photographer at sunset.
For dinner, I suggest tapas :).
I spent the night in Madrid and the next morning went for a run in the Madrid River Park. I had no idea this park existed until right before this trip, but it's a really peaceful, beautiful place to run. If you're closer, or if you prefer, Retiro park is also a great place to run.
If you have extra time in Madrid, here are the other things I wish I'd had time for, but had to skip this time around:
- One of the many museums (The Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Sorolla Museum, etc.)
- Retiro Park (very close to the Plaza de Cibeles)
- Plaza de España
- Real Madrid's Stadium - Estadio Santiago Bernabeu (but really you should just head to Barcelona and go to Camp Nou) :)
From Madrid, I was off to Toledo. That post is coming soon.
Thanks for stopping by.
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