My 10 ultimate travel tips for Madrid
Here is what I enjoyed during a recent city break in Madrid:
- Walk the Gran Via all the way down to Plaza Cibeles and the Puerta de Alcalá - you will see the most beautiful buildings of the city and various styles of architecture.
- Visit the roof terrace of the Círculo de Bellas Artes when the sun goes down - you can hardly get a better view of the city.
- Madrid is museum city! Don`t miss the most famous ones on the Paseo del Arte where you will find the Prado (best collection of Spanish painters such as Goya and Velazquez), the Thyssen-Bornemisza (art of 7 centuries) and the Art Centre Reina Sofia with the famous Guernica of Picasso.
- Palácio Real - The Royal Palace - art and weapon collections and the impressive change of guards.
- Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol - two real icons of the city! Plaza Mayor is one of the larges squares in Europe with historic buildings and monuments. For a coffee break look for one of the bars in the streets between Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol. A "café solo" is the Spanish way of drinking coffee - a tiny, strong espresso!
- Madrid is the capital of gastronomy! You will find traditional and vanguard places to eat. Have some "tapas" (little plates) in one of the century old tavernas (restaurantescentenarios.es). - You will see tons of Spanish bacon ("jamon serrano") in many places. However, there is also a great choice of vegetarian and even vegan places!
- Evening fun! The famous "movida" began in the adjacent neighbourhoods of Malasañaand Chuecas, both close to the Gran Via. Here you will find tons of fancy boutiques, cafés, bars and restaurants, including live music. Chuecas has turned into one of Europe`s leading gay & lesbian neighbourhoods. Join the crowds and party until sunrise!
- Relax at Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid`s green lung. It is a short walk from Gran Via. Enjoy a stroll through the park and take a boat ride on the lake - a perfect program after a long night!
- My very personal tip for a nice coffeeshop is the Federal, a short walk from Plaza España. Nice ambiance, friendly service (although a bit slow), tasty snacks (including organic ones!), smoothies and excellent coffee! - federalcafe.es/madrid/
- Hotels: certainly not the cheapest choice but if you want to treat yourself very well, consider the Principal Madrid*****, one of the city`s newest high-end boutique hotels right on the Gran Via with a gorgeous roof terrace - just stunning! - theprincipalmadridhotel.com
For those who prefer a low-budget accommodation, try Room 007 in Chueca, a very innovative form of a youth hostel! - room007.com/en/chueca-hostel-madrid
ENJOY MADRID - QUE DISFRUTEN!
PLAZA DE CIBELES
Madrid`s most photogenic square with historic buildings and the famous Cibeles fountain
FANCY BAR AT PUERTA DE ALCALÁ
You will find as many stylish bars as traditional places in Madrid
PARQUE DEL RETIRO
Madrid`s green lung and playground on weekends
One of my favorite coffee places
HOTEL PRINCIPAL ON GRAN VIA
Recommendable stylish 5star hotel on Madrid`s most famous boulevard
Can`t get enough of this beautiful architecture in the Salamanca neighbourhood
My recommendations for one Europe`s most exciting capitals!