I finished my final year of Economics degree in Madrid – in Spanish. It was a beautiful learning experience, quite of a challenge, but a great way to learn about new culture. Especially since I choose the only city where I didn’t know anyone. I like to give myself some weird challenges.. And to study in spanish. Quite a big bite..
But I definitely don’t regret anything. Madrid was amazing experience. If full of positive and happy people with incredible habits and very welcoming to foreigners. Very temperamental and incredible social place. Spanish people are known as a big lovers of life – fiesta and siesta, comer y beber… so I was always wondering when do people actually work!? 🙂
barbecues on the rooftops are very popular in the summer.
At the end you realize that the city is very small, and almost everything can be walking distance. Full of bars, great restaurants, clubs and happy people around you. I never seen it as a place I would want to live, but it was a great place to experience for a year. And to learn about spanish culture, flamenco, las corridas etc.
I would definitely recommend the visit of the incredible city to everyone. And even the non meat eaters 🙂 But the ones that do for sure need to try the famous El jamon. Not to even mention how easy it is to fly to the islands or take a train to Barcelona, Valencia and other cities.
My shot from the train
The city contains of many different areas, whereas my favorite and most popular are Chueca and El barrio de las tetras (very nice to walk around, full with shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Chueca is a gay area), as well as La latina and La Malasaña that are more alternative. There is the most incredible park with the lake in between called El Retiro, and you should def plan an afternoon there. Try to go through the whole park, as it is hiding many pleasant surprises. If you feel like spending the day with luxury shopping you should check the Serrano area, and the more you will walk towards Goya, if will offer you the high streets brands. One of my favorite things regarding shopping was that there is a Zara on every corner, as well as the prices are much cheaper then everywhere else. I really miss it, especially the incredible sales they have every time at the end. Almost worth just flying to Spain for Zara sales 🙂 And in case you want to shop a bit of everything you should definitely go to El Corte Ingles. A big department store (quite a lot of them around the city) offering everything from luxury brands until the groceries.
Anyway also I can’t forget to mention the area Sol, which is known as center of the city and offers many monuments and other historical things to see. One of my favorite places to get a quick juice/drink or a bite is Mercado de San Miguel, which is definitely on a must visit list when in Madrid. As well as Mercado de San Anton in Chueca.
Of course don’t forget to visit the stadium and if you get lucky go and see the Real Madrid football mach. Extremely luck might get a chance to go see El classico, which is my favorite match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, and really gives you a chance to experience and see how a real spanish culture is. Temperamental and energetic.
WHAT DO DO / SEE / VISIT:
Museo del Prado
Reina Sofia Museo (Guernica)
Parque del buen Retiro
Mercado de San Miguel
Mercado de San Anton
The Rastro Flea Market
See la Corridas / bullfigthts
See a flamenco show
Visit Plaza Mayor
Plaza de Santa Ana
Puerta de Alcala
El Botin (my favorite -> the oldest restaurant in the world!)
La tasquita de enfrente
Ten con ten
Harina (my favorite place for coffee and breakfast)
Asian gallery at palace hotel
Lateral (small traditional plates)
La Mallorquina (best patisserie)
The principal hotels rooftop
Me hotel rooftop
Sala de Despiece
La latina on sundays is always fun and great atmosphere, full of young cool and trendy people, hipster (more alternative)
Hotel Villa Magna
Hotel Unico Madrid
Hotel Santo Mauro
Only You Hotel & Lounge
I honestly can’t wait to go back and visit the city again! Que viva Madrid!!!
Mil besitos a todos,