At my 18th birthday, my sister promised me to go on a trip when I would turn 21. Just the two of us. Time had come in November last year and after delay of a few months, we decided to visit the Spanish Capital: Madrid. Sun, Sangria and Spanish food: sounded like a perfect plan for us!
Something we did the first day was visiting the ‘the Mercado de San Miguel’. For the people of Antwerp: Something like Mercado, but cosier and cooler. Wanna eat? Or just drink? For both it’s the place to be! Sangria from draft, sweets or seafood, they have everything.
Talking about sweets: San Gines is the place to go. It’s the oldest churros-restaurant in Madrid and is also the best one (said by locals). Order a ‘churros con chocolate’ and enjoy your daily (or maybe weekly in this case) dose of sugar! It’s worth it.
If you’re not into culture and more into relaxing and exploring the parks and nature of Madrid, you should go to Parque del Oeste. Starting from there, you’re able to take the cable elevator to another park: Casa de Campo. This one has 11 times the surface of the New York Central Park!
When passing from the Mercado de San Miguel to the previous mentioned parks, you’ll pass the Catedral of Santa Maria. At the other side of the square is the Palacio Real, which reminds me of the Palace of Versaille. It’s stunning and is perfect for taking some pictures (Talking about my own experience 😉 ).
A more crowed park is ‘Parque Retiro’, where you’ll also find the Cristal Palace. After visiting this magnificent piece of art, you can pass to the pond of the park. If you want to enjoy the burning Spanish sun, you may order (another) sangria in one of the bars next to it. More into sports? Hire a boat on the pond for only 6 euros and you’re able to train those biceps and triceps for 45 minutes 😉
After burning those calories, you deserve a treat! (That’s what we tought at least.) That’s why we headed to the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Calle Alcala. Madrid is offering some very nice skybars and the one on the top of the Circulo de Bellas Artes, is one of the best ones! It offers a view on the known Metropolis building and the Gran Via, which is the main shopping street of Madrid. Searching for another rooftop to eat of just to drink? Check out Mercado de San Anton.
This Mercado brings us to a new barrio: Chueca. The district is the gay heart of the city. The district draws the latest fashion trends and remarkable young designers. Next to this, you’ll also find lovely restaurants, tattoo shops, art galleries and concept stores.
When it’s 22 o’clock and most of the Spanish locals go out for dinner, Malasaña is the ‘barrio’ to go. It’s crowed with bars and very good, cosy restaurants. If in Spain, it mandatory to try the paella! Next to this, we also conquered some tapas, like the world famous ‘patatas bravas’.
If you’re visiting Madrid in the near future, make sure to check out the mentioned places! 😉
Mercado de San Juan
Churreria San Gines
Cathedral & Palacio Real
Circulo de Bellas Artes
Mercado de San Anton