Colorful and vibrant capital of Spain , Madrid is a charming city , competing with the major European capitals . Visit Madrid is the perfect time for a weekend or short stay. Long in the shadow of Barcelona , Madrid returns to the front of the stage . The city has been completely redesigned and the city center is adorned with many pedestrian streets . The atmosphere is amazing in Madrid. In the evening, everyone gives go places or in the streets of the city. Besides being lively and energetic, Madrid has many facets and there is something for everyone : food, architecture, culture, shopping, nightlife. It has spent a long weekend recently . It was 10 years since we had not set foot in Madrid. It was an opportunity to rediscover the city. We share with you our favorites and our best tips for visiting Madrid.
When to visit Madrid ?
We recommend you to visit Madrid in the spring or fall . Indeed, it is very cold in Madrid during the winter. Recall that Madrid is one of the highest European capitals ! Summer can be very hot. You must be able to withstand temperatures around 35 ° C.
How to move to Madrid ?
By Foot ! The preferred means of transport in Madrid.
If you stay away from the center or plan to travel frequently or outside the city, the Metrobus ticket is the best option . This post combines 10 trips for € 12.20 , which you can use to get around by subway and bus. In addition, it should be noted that the Madrid airport ( Aeropuerto de Barajas , 12 km north – east of the city ) is connected to the metro (line 8) network.
By train! Even if you do not take the train at Atocha station worth a visit. The main train station in Madrid is unique . It offers a beautiful tropical garden in the heart, in a large vaulted canopy. There is even a pond with fish and turtles. Dining is possible on site.Madrid is of course a big city but is home to many distinct neighborhoods like small villages.
El Centro ( center)
Madrid is full of history and things to see and do : Puerta del Sol, Plaza del Sol, Mercado de San Miguel , …
Malasaña neighborhood favorite among the young and trendy crowd in Madrid. There are many shops, craft shops and restaurants . The cobblestone streets , the walls adorned with graffiti and eclectic shops give a certain charm to this neighborhood.
This is the neighborhood of immigrants and people of Madrid bohemia . In this area you can eat any sauce All countries are represented. This is more in this neighborhood stands the famous flea market Sunday Rastro .
Chueca . Pretty quiet during the day , the Chueca comes alive in the evening and at night. The nightlife is the liveliest in the city. There are countless tapas bars, trendy restaurants and clubs.
Retiro is a nice area . In addition to museums and beautiful buildings lining the streets , it is mainly the Park of the same name that characterizes this area . It is pleasant to stroll on sunny days.
To see! To do !
Located not far from the Puerta del Sol, in the heart of old Madrid , Plaza Mayor is a large rectangular room with typical Castilian architecture. The square is surrounded by majestic ocher buildings. This site is a must during a stay in Madrid.
The Palacio Real ( Royal Palace )
The Palacio Real ( Royal Palace ) of Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain . But the King and Queen prefer to reside at the Zarzuela Palace , where they lived since their marriage in 1962. The Royal Palace is surrounded by several gardens :
The gardens of the Campo del Moro, located between the main building and the street of the Virgen del Puerto .
The Sabatini Gardens , much less extensive .
The Royal Palace is open to the public year round except during official functions . It is located on the Bailen street, west of the Centro . The nearest metro station is Opera .
Madrid is home to three museums : the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemisza . In addition to the famous museums magnificent permanent collection , there are also many other museums , cultural centers and art galleries .
The Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid is our favorite museum. Obviously for the imposing and masterful Picasso’s Guernica and the large collection of works by Dali, but also for its architecture. Tips : do not hesitate to visit the top floor of the recently redesigned by Jean Nouvel building. You will enjoy a beautiful view over Madrid including the Atocha station in front of the museum.
Parks and Gardens
Retiro Park is the most popular park in Madrid. It hosts many Madrid at the weekend . The park comes alive around the musicians , painters, jugglers and fortune tellers . You can also take a tour of the boat on the lake with emerald green highlights .
Also in the Retiro Park and close to the lake , you can admire the Palacio de Cristal, a magnificent glass building . The palace , built in 1887 , was originally used as a greenhouse. It now houses temporary exhibitions. Do not miss .
Temple of Debod
Egypt in the heart of Madrid ! The Temple of Debod is an ancient Egyptian temple located near the Plaza de España. This temple , dating from the fourth century BC, was moved to Madrid in 1971 thanks to Spain for his help in the rescue of Abu Simbel. Originally the temple Debod was in the valley of the Nile , near Aswan . It is dedicated to the god Amon and Isis .
Where to eat ? Where to drink ?
Good food in Madrid ! During our stay in Madrid, we especially love feast in the city markets . We give you the addresses of our favorites a little lower . Nightlife side, you have the choice , Madrid , like Barcelona, is very lively . And yes the Spanish love to party ! At nightfall , the streets are filled as sidewalk cafes . Residents often find themselves outside and go bar to bar still looking for a nice place to party . Head to the Chueca for a trendy atmosphere and to parts of the Latina or Malasana asked for a room . At the time , everything goes later in Spain . There lunch and dinner later in France .
The market San Miguel Market.
Tips : Located in the historic heart of the city , this market is one of our favorites . The place is beautiful . We go from stand to stand , trying various typical Spanish dishes.
El Tigre . Calle de las Infantas , 30 ( near the Place de la Chueca )
Madrid tapas bar
This bar is an institution, the obligatory passage during a visit to Madrid. It is enough to order a beer ( una cana ) and serves a full plate of tapas ( assorted tortillas, cakes , hams, … ) . This is the ideal place for free food and to meet people ! The bar is often crowded, so if you want to avoid the crowds go in the early evening .
Coffee Ginés, Pasadizo San Ginés (Near Plaza Mayor)
Humm you will enjoy here . This cafe is an institution for nearly 120 years. All celebrities World staying in Madrid passed through here . Chocolate and churros are prepared in the purest tradition. You must order and pay at the counter before selecting a table.
This return to Madrid has delighted us. The charm of the Spanish capital operated . We still wait to return to sunny days to enjoy long sunny days and events that animate the city at this time of year .