Madrid is indeed the city that never sleeps; it is vibrant and always alive! This was my first time in Madrid and only two days to explore the city in and out, which was quite a challenge because Madrid has so much to offer. We made it but with a bit of organisation and research in advance.
I’ll share with you the must see places, my favorite spots and some fun facts to take with you into consideration when visiting this beautiful Spanish Capital.
What to see?
Madrid is charming, with so many corners to explore and beautiful architecture to appreciate combining the medieval and contemporary. Wander around plaza Mayor or plaza de la cibeles, enjoy the sunshine in Parque del retiro, and make sure to enjoy the many cathedrals, churches and monuments. Try to avoid the main avenues and street, and keep walking in the hidden ones, if you want to experience the real charm.
What to do?
- Rooftops: There are so many rooftops in Madrid, offering food or just drinks while enjoying the beautiful view. The rooftops might not be as high as the ones in Manhattan but that doesn’t make them less interesting. A nice one to try out is at the top of the Room Mate Oscár hotel. Another option is the Tartán Roof.
- Flamenco Show: There are so many flamenco shows that it can become confusing to choose. Normally you pay a entrance fee for the show along with a drink or dinner. The prices vary from 25 to 100 euros. We chose La taberna de Mister Pinkleton, located close to plaza san Mayor. The price is 25 euros for the show and a drink. The place was very authentic and cute, but the show wasn’t that impressive. It was more the atmosphere and vibe of the place that gave it a madrinian spirit. If you want something really fantastic I think you should go higher in price. Just make sure to check a few options before and donate forget the reservation.
- Hammam Al Andalus: By far the best hammam and spa that I have ever experience. A real oasis in the middle of the city that allows you to immerse yourself in the past through the beautiful architecture and aromas. Choose the complete package, where you will have the bath and massage, and they also offer student discount. I would recommend going there during the day, as it can be very packed in the evening.
Where to eat?
Tenconten restaurant and bar: this restaurant is located in the fashionable Salamanca district and is always very busy, so make sure to reserve beforehand. It is modern, pleasant and serving high quality food. Highly recommended for dinner!
Fun yet important Spanish facts
Most small shops and restaurants are closed during the afternoon (siesta time), so either you go in the morning or afternoon :) Monday is a resting day in Spain, so some of the places will also be closed!