5 reasons to visit Madrid

Monday, 25 April 2016 Madrid, Spain

5 Reasons To Visit Madrid

I absolutely loved Madrid. It may be the first capital city I've ever visited which has the feel of a small and intimate town, rather unlike Barcelona. I spent a few days exploring the vibrant and dynamic city in the centre of Spain with my family. Here's 5 reasons why you need to book a flight pronto!

1. The Food
Spanish food has a place in my heart. It's cheap, filling and exciting! We had many amazing meals in the evenings, for incredible value too. Tapas bars are all over the city, where you'll often find locals having a quick bite with a beer or coffee. Portions of tapas start as cheap as 80 cents, so it's well worth ordering a few dishes and trying out something new! The bakeries also deserve a special mention here - whilst everyone knows that France is the queen of a fabulous croissant or pain au chocolat, Spain have some glorious creations of their own. I recommend trying canolis, pastry filled with chocolate, cream or custard! Another favourite of mine is the napolitana, which may be filled with cheese and ham, or loaded with chocolate!

2. Monuments and Museums 
Madrid is home to some fabulous museums, and whilst I'm a bit gutted I didn't get to see the Prado, the Golden Triangle's two counterparts, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen were also extremely interesting! I'm not the biggest art fan in the world, but with both options there was art and some very famous artists (Picasso, Monet, Dalí) for all tastes and styles. I really don't like contemporary art, and if this is the case for you, the Reina Sofia won't be your thing.

I saw some very interesting exhibitions there but the majority of pieces I saw weren't to my taste. For the history nerds out there (holla at me) modern art the Thyssen had many fabulous portraits of some notable people in history, along with many historical works depicting the devil and death! So if you have that morbid side to you I wholeheartedly recommend a look around!

5 Reasons to Visit Madrid

3. Beautiful parks
Madrid has so many wonderful green spaces to explore. The biggest is without a doubt El Retiro Park, which actually reminds me a lot of Hyde Park in London. The place is abuzz with people getting on with their day; perhaps a jog through, a brisk walk to work in the sunshine, or a quick run around with the dog! There are so many routes leading off on different paths, as well as a few café's dotted about if you feel like watching the world go by.

However, if you follow me on Instagram you'll notice that I positively fell in love with the Botanical Garden, not far from the Retiro! Full to the brim with all sorts of exotic plants, a few glasshouses with cacti, and countless rows of beautiful roses, I loved wandering through and taking pictures and enjoying the peace of the garden.

Another little gem we found was in La Latina, a neighbourhood in the centre with a slightly quirkier feel to the area, was a secret garden! Whilst small, it was incredibly well tucked-away and had a slightly magical feel to it with a lovely fountain in the centre.

5 Reasons to Visit Madrid

5 Reasons to Visit Madrid

4. Shopping
Madrid has plenty on offer for shopping addicts like myself! Without a doubt, the best street to find all the top brands in one place is Calle del Fuencarral, just off Madrid's busiest street, Gran Vía. With wide and impossibly clean streets, it's perfect to stroll down and people watch. I wasn't so impressed with their NYX store, it's so tiny and gets busy so quickly! Gran Vía itself also has some huge names on offer, including the biggest Primark I've ever seen! It puts any bog standard UK store to shame. I found the best times to go shopping was during siesta (1/2-5pm). Don't bother after 7 in the evening, you'll find the after work crowd and tourists all decide to go shopping at this point!

5 Reasons to Visit Madrid

5. The people
For me, this was one of the most endearing aspects about Madrid. The people were so friendly and helpful whenever we had to ask for directions or when we ate in cafés or restaurants. They just didn't seem to have that city attitude that you might find in Paris, Barcelona and London. People rush about less, they were more polite and seemed to be much more pleasant with tourists! Even in Salamanca I haven't experienced such nice service and genuine warmth from their people.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Madrid, and I can't wait until the next time I can visit! Have you been to Madrid? What is an absolute must-see? Thanks for reading!


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1 comment

  1. Ah I really want to visit so bad! Looks amazing
    Jabeen x


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