Madrid grows on me more & more every time I go back! While Barcelona certainly has my heart, Madrid has my stomach. The food here is incredible! Good art too. It’s a winning combination. Here are a few of my favorite things to see/eat and a couple of perfect days all planned out for you you too.
Arriving to Madrid, take the bus to/from airport-“city center” (Atocha train station) It’s 5 euros (cash only, check hours of operation)
Accommodations…We stayed at Hotel Vincci Centrum downtown which was a cute boutique option- I also highly recommend a couple of really nice hostels: U Hostel & The Hat. Airbnb is my usual go-to, try to find a spot in the La Latina or Chueca/Justica neighborhoods!
Day 1: free Walking tour meets at 10:45 daily at Puerta del Sol (That’ll show you Plaza Mayor, Palacio Real, give a quick history…) after walking for a couple of hours, grab Tapas at Mercado San Miguel (try the bacalao/cod, bocadillo de jamón & my favorite drink: a vermut casero) It’s cheap: 1-1,5 euros for tapas + 3 for wine. Go wild! After some decent eating and day drinking take a nap! Dinner isn’t until 10pm in Spain. For evening food & drinks head to El Viajero (sit on the rooftop, we loved their patatas bravas & tortilla) in the La Latina area.
Tapas from Mercado San Miguel: octopus with oil & paprika up top, then cod two ways: with tomato was my favorite!
Day 2: sleep in! Then take a walk, maybe stop for some paella (meal of the day) – we loved it at Barilla Alhambra (lunch spot near del Sol). Visiting the Circulo de Bellas Artes for rooftop drinks is a must! From here you can walk to the Prado museum which is free M-Sa 6-8, Su 5-7. For evening, go for tapas at Platea.
View of the City from the Circulo de Bellas Artes rooftop.
Some other must-dos in Madrid:
Reina Sofia museum free M-Sa 7-9, Su 1:30-7:30 (closed Tu)
Mercado San Anton was my favorite lunch spot. It is far less crowded than San Miguel, they have wifi and you can sit & stay a while. It feel more local. There is also a rooftop bar which looks appealing (although we didn’t go for it)…
Whenever you develop a sweet tooth, I recommend churros + chocolate at Chocolateria San Ginés– touristy but the best
For a fun evening, start with cheap wine + healthy(ish) food at Ojalá (be sure to visit the WC) in the Chueca area. The surrounding area is full of trendy bars to hop around.
For the last night, dine at Ten con Ten for dinner- sure to be your best meal in Madrid! Reservations required. Don’t miss the octopus “to share” – treat yourself!