Madrid, La ciudad que nunca duerme

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.

Parque del retiro 

Parque del retiro 

Plaza Mayor 

Plaza Mayor 

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?

tartan roof
tartan roof
  • 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 

Hammam Al Andalus 

  • 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!

Where to eat in Bahrain?

I’ve spent the last two weeks in Bahrain, wandering around and exploring new places. Many of the get together and activities that you organize with people over there revolve around eating. The options in Bahrain are unlimited, but when it comes to eating it’s rare to find a place where both the space and the food is good. I therefore decided to make a list of a few of my favourite places, all very different from one another. Each one of them is given a title that represents the place with a short description.

1. The traditional

Saffron

Saffron

Saffron

Saffron

Street Art

Street Art

It’s called Saffron and it is located in the traditional old soul in Muharraq, in a corner away from the crowd. The space is built like the old houses in Bahrain and has both seating inside and out. The waiters are dressed in traditional Bahraini clothes and the vibe is so relaxing and peaceful. I recommend trying their breakfast together with saffron milk. Delicious!

2. The Artsy

Situated in the heart of Adliyah, this small space reminded me of the cafés and galleries in Europe or New York. Al Riwaq café/Art Space is an original place and one of a kind in Bahrain. It is a non profit institution that promotes local contemporary art and design. Because of it's very nice decor and calm vibe, It is a great place to enjoy reading a book or working. You can also go their with friends over a nice meal, fresh juices or dessert. The cafe is situated in the same building as the Art Gallery.

Al Riwaq Cafe 

Al Riwaq Cafe 

Al Riwaq cafe 

Al Riwaq cafe 

Al Riwaq Cafe 

Al Riwaq Cafe 

3. The outdoor Garden

There are plenty of outdoor restaurants and cafés in Bahrain, but not all of them offer a nice setting and vibe. I’ve tried many different ones, and none of them really caught my attention until I found this one. The Orangery is a Tea Room/patisserie located in Adliyah, right next to the Palace Boutique Hotel. My first impression was very positive; I felt that I wasn’t really in Bahrain, but in a heavenly garden somewhere. The place is isolated from everything that has to do with traffic, noise, crowd and you feel that it is a small oasis in the middle of the city. If you go there, you must try their labneh with red fruits and honey, it is absolutely delicious! Been dreaming about it ever since.

L'Orangerie 

L'Orangerie 

L'Orangerie 

L'Orangerie 

L'Orangerie 

L'Orangerie 

4. Moulin Rouge inspired

Inspired by the French Moulin Rouge, Café Lilou has two locations in Bahrain; one in Adliyah and one next to Aali Mall. The interior is designed as a typical Parisian Brasserie taking us back to "la belle époque". The menu is very nice and offers a wide range of selection, a choice for every taste. Ever since it opened in Bahrain this place has been really crowded, with 45min to 1 hour waiting list. On weekends it is not possible to make table reservations, so I highly recommend to go there a weekday for breakfast if you want to avoid the waiting time.

5. The Fancy Pancy

tea-club-
tea-club-
tea club
tea club

Located in the heart of Amwaj, Tea Club is what I would call a mini palace with a royal yet tranquil ambiance to it. The food is a bit on the expensive side, so if you want to keep it on the budget then I would recommend to order a cup of their unlimited choice of tea and some nice dessert. The location is beautiful, right by the waterfront in Amwaj. 

Hope you enjoyed reading, and will be inspired whiny visit Bahrain :)