Usually I have some expectention of a city we visit like I had with Barcelona, but Madrid was so unknown for me. And then when I first saw a Parque del Retiro (or Parque del Buen Retiro) I fell in love immediatlly and I was thinking why I didn't heard or saw pictures of beautiful Madrid so offten on my feed. We stayed for 2 nights in a small boutique hotel Sterling near Gran Via so we could explore city by walk and here are our ten memories from beautiful Madrid.
1. Parque del Retiro (Parque del Buen Retiro)and PALACIO DE CIBELES
The most beautiful park I've seen so far. There you can enjoy in a boat ride, chill or have a picnic. When I think about Madrid this is my fist thougt. After that you can contiue your walk to PALACIO DE CIBELES a square with a neo-classical complex of marble sculptures with fountains. You can enjoy outside or you can go to the top and enjoy in beautiful view.
Palacio de Cibeles
2. MERCADO SAN MIGUEL - PAELLA and SANGRIA
I love love Spanish food and wine and Mercado San Miguel is a place were we enjoyed in delicius food. Beautiful market located in the center of Madrid is a gourment tapas market and so many different vendors selling there freshly prepared food. I will just say: for us Paella and sangria everywhere and anytime so thank you in advence.
3. ROYAL PALACE OF MADRID
Beautiful area around Royal palace, official residence of the Spanish royal family, but is only used for state ceremonies. It's the largest royal palace in Europe by floor area. We didnt go inside, but we enjoyed around this area - Plaza de la Armería, Plaza de Oriente, Campo del Moro.... Just saying these names in spanish acent is beautiful.
4. STADIO SANTIAGO BERNABEU and VICENTE CALDERON
If you are going to Madrid with someone who love football, like I had the honor, you can go there for a stadio tour or a football match. You will enjoy in the tour and the view from stadium. Like I said before, going there with someone who loves football will give you a great way to have a compromis chance ahed. So remember that while you are going for a usally always quick shopping tour with him. And if you wanna visit Atletico Madrid stadion (Vicente Calderon), before you go all the way there check if they are open. If you don't check that info you will always remember Atletico Madrid with that closed door like we remember, but that experience was funny though.
5. PRADO and REINA SOFIA MUSEUM
I love art but I'm not that type of museum visitor that spent hours and hours in museums. And suprise, Kiki is neighter hahah. But yes, we love that museum vibe, we wanna see some of the pictures and what I love the most is when Kiki tells me his opinion which picture is worth to be in museum. Thats my favorite part. So we have some of favorites in Prado, the main Spanish national art museum that features one of the world's finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century. We visited Museo National Centro de arte Reina Sofia too. That's the national museum of 20th-century art where we were both suprised how big Picasso's Guernicca is. Also, some of our funniest memories are from museums so every time we travel on our wish list is at least one favorite museum.
6. GRAN VIA
If you are more into shopping than into museums this is the best way to spent time. This street is one of the city's shopping areas with a large number of hotels and large movie theatres ( they called this street Spanish Broadway). However I read that many of these theatres are being replaced by shopping centres. I dont love that idea even l love shopping a lot. There si El Corte Ingles with it's beautiful inside and with a great view from the top. Also, this is a street full of beautiful restaurants and bars. So after some shopping you can enjoy in delicius meals and wine there too. Also, in this street is one of the most beutiful buildings I love - Metropolitan (wich looks alike Flatiron building in New York, right?)
7. Walk from PLAZA MAYOR
The Plaza Mayor is surrounded by three-story residential buildings having 237 balconies facing the Plaza. It'is located only a few blocks away from another famous plaza, the Puerta del Sol where is the statue of the bear and the strawberry tree, a sculpture from the second half of the 20th century, represents the coat of arms of the city. From there you can continue lovely walk all the way to the Plaza de Espana. That's a square from where you can enjoy in the beuatiful view: Building The Torre de Madrid will be on your left side, Cervantes Monument in the center and the Edificio España, one of the city's most iconic buildings, on the right. Beautiful!
8. TEMPLO DE DEBOD is one of the few works of ancient Egyptian architecture which can be seen outside Egypt and the only one of it's kind in Spain. As a sign of gratitude for the help provided by Spain in saving the Abu Simbel temples, the Egyptian state donated the temple of Debod to Spain in 1968, so they rebuilt this temple stone by stone in this parc. Stone by stone. If you choose to go there before sunset you will be able to enjoy in beuatiful sunset as the sun slowly sunk below the horizon of the temple. Great place to chill.
9. Plaza Monumental de Toros de las Ventas
The building is one of the largest bullfight stadiums in the world (The most famous bullrings in the world are La Maestranza in Seville and Plaza de Toros in Mexico, the world's largest bullring). Bullfights are not for everyone nor do we approve them, but they were tradition in Spain. So we didn't go there to see a bullfight, we went there to see inside of this beutiful stadium, and with a guided tour that was a great experiance. Also, I found the most sweeties bull inside.
10. We enjoyed in Madrid so much and we continued our trip to Estacion de Atocha- the largestrailway station in Madrid and one of the most beautiful in the world. The station is exceptional with it's steel and glass construction, not to mention the vivid tropical gardens that line it's concourse.
From there we start our trip to Barcelona, with a speed train going up to 380 km/h and arriving in Barcelona in 3 and a half hours. Distance between Madrid and Barcelona is for about 620 km. So 3 and a half hours later and 620 km away from Madrid you can enjoy at the beuatiful coastline of Barcelona. And soon you'll be able to check our 10 things to do in Barcelona here.
Thank you Madrid and here are our ideas for next time in Spain:
1.Seville is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia. Andalusia is on our bucket list and we cant wait to enjoy in flamenco show, walk in beautiful Real Alcazar and amazing Plaza de Espana, semi-circular building with canal, fountain in the middle and ceramic tiles representing the spains provinces. Also, Sevilla stadium tour is waiting for us.
2. Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage and historical co-existence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures. How beuatiful is city view from Mirador del Valle?
3. Cordoba Beatiful Mezquita Cathedral de Cordobathat is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite. Also, there are so many beautiful flowerpots and colorful flowers on a white walls.
4. Gibraltar and Tangier
5. Malaga Ronda MarbellaOne summer we would love to visit Andalusia and enjoy on beaches in costline from Malaga to Marbella with a trp to a beautiful Ronda, small town one hour from Malaga, known for three bridges, The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of the bridges, towering 120 metres (390 ft) above the canyon floor and splits the village in two: the old and the new part. Breathtaking view ideal for hadokasheart.