I am working with Traverse to help promote the city of Madrid. This is a paid campaign but it has not influenced the article in anyway and as usual I am offering my own experiences and opinions. #mustseemadrid
Top 5 Things to Do in Madrid
With Madrid being only a couple of hours by plane from the UK it is the perfect place for a short break. I combined it with a trip to Barcelona and then down to the south coast for a beach holiday but if your short of time a couple of days exploring the Capital of Spain is a cool trip.
Madrid was my first solo trip
Before this trip I had only done beach holidays to Spain and this city break was a totally different type of holiday for me. I did this trip a few years ago when I was an inexperienced traveller. I would love to go back now I am more used to travelling solo as my attitude to travelling has changed. If you are looking for a good place to start your solo female travels this is a good city, also it is great for couples, families and friends.
I found Madrid to be an interesting cultural experience. I must admit I got a little frustrated at first as not as many people spoke English but then I realised taking me out of my comfort zone made the experience all the better.
My attitude to travelling has changed, if I visited Madrid now, I think I would have a totally different experience.
I was a novice traveller and I found the trip planning easy, I did most of it online. It is quite strange thinking back as I wasn’t blogging, so I didn’t take notes or many photos, but I still remember the trip clearly even tough it was over 6 years ago.
I stayed in a lovely hotel by the train station, I remember that no one spoke English as it was a small boutique hotel but they seemed welcoming, a smile can go a long way when you don’t speak the language. This was the perfect location for me as I was travelling in and out of Madrid by train which was so easy to book online and was a great way to see more of the country rather than speeding overhead in a plane.
By my hotel was a square with cafes and restaurants this is where I had a little difficulty ordering food as the menus I were given were not in English. I ended up with a dry piece of bread and one slice of ham I wondered why it was so cheap!!. But this did not put me off, as after exploring the city a little I returned to the square and went to a different restaurant this time I understood chicken on the menu so ordered this.
This trip was before I was blogging and I do not know the name of the square, but this is something I would really appreciate now as I like the fact that English was not widely spoken, I wonder if it is different 6 years later.
How to explore Madrid
Madrid is an easy city to explore, it has a metro system, buses, taxis, easy to walk and it is also a cycle friendly city.
I loved the hop on bus and found this a great way to see the main attractions in the city. I always try and do a hop on bus as I find they take me to all the major attractions and I personally have limited mobility so I don’t like walking too much. So the hop on bus is a great way for me to explore. However, Madrid was a lovely city to stroll around.
Top things to see in Madrid
There are lots of things to see and do in Madrid, the same with most capital cities. I loved the architecture, just walking around Madrid can be interesting I recommend looking up rather that down when walking to spot the beautiful buildings. The city has museums, churches ,The Almudena Cathedral in Madrid which was not finished until 1993, parks and much more to explore.
Parque del Retiro
Plaza Della Indipendecia 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain
According to TripAdvisor this is currently the No.1 thing to do in Madrid. It is a beautiful park and you could spend all day here soaking up the sun watching the locals on roller blades, skateboards, jogging, having picnics it is a relaxing atmosphere and a lovely place to get away from the hustle of the city.
There is a large lake where you can hire a rowing boat, fountains and interesting sculptures. There is one in particular which is interesting it is called the Fallen Angel and is said to be the only monument for the devil in the world.
Royal Palace of Madrid
Calle Bailen, 28071 Madrid, Spain
The Palace is open every day of the year and has access for reduced mobility and wheelchairs check out the website for opening times and prices which are around 10euro. You can do audio or guided tours or explore on your own. Even if you don’t go inside the Palace is wonderful to look at.
Prado National Museum
Calle Ruiz de Alarcon 23, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Be warned the queues into the museum can get very long especially as it nears 6pm when the museum is free. You can hire a guide which is recommended or explore on your own. It is a big museum and has some of the best paintings in the world and it is advised to spend a few hours looking around.
Calle Gerona 4, 28012 Madrid, Spain
This is a large square in the city and is very popular with tourists. There are shops, cafes and bars. Like with a lot of cities mains squares it is quite commercialised but worth a visit, however I would recommend eating outside of the square as it will be cheaper and not as busy. There is a Statue of King Philip III which I see a lot when reading articles on Madrid.
Street Gran Via, 28013 Madrid, Spain
You can watch a show in this area or try one of the many delicious restaurants for some Spanish culinary delights. The buildings architecture in this area is magnificent and just walking around will give you many things to look at.
This is only a few of the things to do in Madrid there is so much more to see and do. After writing this article I think I might try and head back at some point and explore more and get some pictures for me blog. Have you been to Madrid what was your favourite.
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