Two weeks ago my dream of visiting Spain came true! So, here is a quick guide if that’s your first time in Spain.
I arrived in Madrid just before midday, anxious to see my boyfriend who was already waiting for me at the airport. From there it’s possible to take a train or subway to the city center, and that’s what we did. Because the airport is reasonably far away from the center, the subway ticket was more expensive than normal (ticket machines have several languages available and it is very well organized, you inform which the station is your destination and it tells you in which area it is etc ), about 7 euros (inside the “ring” a single ticket costs € 1.50 – updated in August 2018).
Towards 15:00 we went to meet a couple of friends (who Tolomei made friends during the previous week in Portugal) in a very nice restaurant, El Sur De Huertas. There, I asked for an Aperol ( <3 ) and the rest had a beer. For the entrance, we had a “Tabla de Jamon Iberico” or Iberian ham board (€16). The main course was a plate of paella for each couple and for dessert, we asked for a cheesecake and a lemon pie – everything was delicious and the place itself has a very nice vibe, so I totally recommend it! After that, we went up the street a few meters and booked our table for the night show in a Jazz bar called Café Central. I’ll tell you more about this soon!
From there, we went to the Parque Del Retiro. Although it was close to where we were, the 36ºC made it seem like it took forever to get there. We visited the Crystal Palace (which disappointed some of the photos I had researched previously), the Monument to Alfonso XII and some others and then returned to the hotel. It was almost 8:00 PM but we lost the track of time because the sun was still shining brightly. We got ready and went to the concert at Café Central. There, we ate some Croquetas, Tostas Caprese and a hamburger while listening to Spanish and Brazilian music live.
The second day began with a tour of Madrid towards the main square of the city, the Plaza Mayor. We walked around the square, listened to the local musicians, entered some stores and decided to have lunch there. A few meters away is the Mercado de San Miguel, a market that sells fresh fish, juices, smoothies, pastries, paellas, and churros – a bit of everything. Since we had just finished our lunch, we did not feel hungry to eat anything else. After that, we walked towards the Royal Palace Of Madrid, but didn’t enter there because the tickets were very expensive. We walked then, to the Debod Temple, which was quite disappointing because there was no water around as I expected. So, we had a long walk until we got to the Prado Museum, which I loved! As we both are students, we didn’t pay for the entrance – as in all the other museums in Madrid!
The next day we were very tired, so we only went to Reina Sofia Museum, where many famous modern painting are (including Guernica, from Picasso!). It was good to rest that day because the next one we walked all the center of Madrid: since Puerta del Sol, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Plaza Cibeles, Paseo de Recoletos, Biblioteca Nacional (National Library), had lunch at Pizza Emporio ( we had the Menu Of The Day for €11, 95 – a very good price!) and then started to walk all the way to Barrio de La Latina.
Here is an itinerary I made myself before traveling to use as quick guide to us:
Where to Eat
- Churros: San Gines Chocolateria
- Bocata: El Brillante (Plaza Emperador Carlos V)
- Tapas: El Palentino, Lateral, 100 Montaditos
- Croquetas: Casa Julio
- Tortilla de Patatas: Buo
- Bodegas de La Ardosa
- Oldest Restaurant in The World: Sobrino del Botín
- Rooftops: Círculo de Bellas Artes “Tartan Roof,” Room Mate Hotel Oscar, Hotel de Las Letras, Corte Inglés, Palacio de Cibeles
Where to Go
- Calle Mayor
- Puerta del Sol
- Calle de Alcalá
- Plaza Cibeles
- Paseo de Recoletos
- Biblioteca Nacional de Espanha
- Jardines del Descubrimiento
- Plaza Colón/Torres Colon
- Chrystal Palace
- Prado Museum
- Parque del Buen Retiro
- Bairro La Latina (Middle Age)
- Plaza de la Paja (Capilla del Obispo)
- Calle Toledo
- Plaza Mayor
- Palacio Real
- Calle Siete de Julio
- Gran Via
- Debod Temple
- Mercado de San Miguel
Where to Pary
- Tupperware (rock, indie, 80’s, pop)
- La Via Láctea (“bar mais lendário de Madrid”, rock e punk)
- Kapital (fancy)
- Joy Eslava (fancy)
- Theatro Kapital