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7 Things not to miss in Madrid..!
Madrid, Spain’s central capital, is a city of elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks. It is known for its origin of European art, including the Prado Museum’s works by Goya, Velázquez and other Spanish masters. Madrid is a city of “Travellers choice”. It is a cosmopolitan city that combines the most modern infrastructures with a huge cultural and artistic heritage, a legacy of centuries of history. We planned a trip to visit this magnificent city for three days (Do not forget to keep kids busy & involved on a trip) we find it worth spending time & money. Madrid is full of interesting things to do but here is a list of 8 things not to miss in Madrid. We really liked and enjoyed these places.
Plaza Mayor is the heart of Madrid bustling with restaurants, shops, and street entertainments. This is a gorgeous square with beautiful architecture all around. In 2017 Plaza Mayor is celebrating its 400th Anniversary of Madrid’s Plaza Mayor. It is a very nice place to sit and have a drink or a meal. There are plenty of restaurants and you can try a few tapas or can have just coffee while having fun watching
around people. You can even have a great opportunity to eat at “the oldest restaurant in the world at Botín Restaurant, which was founded in 1725, is the oldest in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, it’s just a few steps away from Mayor Plaza and one of the touchstones of Madrid’s traditional cuisine. Luckily our Hotel was just beside it and we enjoyed it.
2)- Puerta del Sol:
Puerta del Sol means “Gate of the Sun” is a vibrant part of the city and the most classic meeting point in Madrid full of bars, restaurants, and shops. the most important of the 3 statues to be seen in the square, “El Oso y El Madroño” (the Bear and the Strawberry Tree). The Oso & Madroño is the official symbol of the city. Puerta del Sol also hosts one of the year’s biggest events like New Year’s Eve which is a very interesting event where locals quickly consume 12 grapes in a row and in sync with the chimes of the clock. Leading off the Puerta del Sol are several streets but Calle Preciados street have many large department stores such as El Corte Inglés and FNAC are located, together with international clothes shops such as Zara, H & M, Bershka and much more. You can enjoy some coffee or chocolate drink at The San Ginés Chocolatería located halfway between the Puerta del Sol and the Teatro Real is one of the oldest chocolatiers in the capital founded in 1894 is the oldest chocolatier place in Spain. Here you can enjoy traditional way of chocolate with churros, any other refreshment or coffee accompanied by pastries. Here they made chocolate on the spot and can be mixed with any of the liqueurs they’ve got to hand for an added jolt.
In the evening, these streets turn in to fun and entertainment place with lots of shows going on. It’s very interesting that You can also find many illegal vendors selling fake designer bags and products too and if police raid on them they just disappear in these streets so fast that you stay stunned that “What Happened…lol”. There are many old and historic shops selling traditional goods and souvenir can be found close to this historic square. My daughters bought flamenco dresses and hand-held fans and we bought some souvenirs too.
Prado Museum was like a dream to go for me and my husband especially after reading “IF TOMORROW COMES “in our teen days so we were very keen to see the museum and it was great, “Prado” did not disappoint us. It has a superb collection from great and famous artists. A lovely building, full of some wonderful artwork with huge galleries where you can take hours wandering around. We avoided going during the free couple of hours at the end of the day, having seen the queues stretching forever around the building. We went in the morning around 11:00 am and the queue was not that long. We spend more than 4 hours and then our kids start getting annoying and we left the museum but believe me we went again one more time before leaving the Madrid one more time to have a look one more time. We loved were Goya, Velazquez, and Bosch and we bought a couple of replicas of their paintings too. I must say It was great and not to miss… and don’t forget to have a cup of coffee at Cafe Parado…coffee is very important while traveling gives you energy and keeps you fresh:)
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal family in Madrid and is still used for state functions. Palace was built on a Moorish fortress dating back in the ninth century. This is the largest palace in Europe but only a small part of the palace is open to public viewing. This small part even gives you an idea of the wealth, magnificence and rich life style of the Spanish royals. The audio guide comes in handy with the tour you can get a nice and comprehensive 1h tour. The architecture is beautiful and the furnishings on display are splendid. The rooms and the sumptuousness in which the aristocracy of the past lived, takes your breath away. Pics inside not allowed inside which is not fair but I used pics from the internet via Madrid just to show an inside view of the palace.
The home of bullfighting in Spain, and arguably in the world as well, is at Plaza Toros Las Ventas in Madrid. The massive bullring can be found in the Guindalera quarter of Madrid’s Salamanca district to the northeast of the city center plaza Toros Las Ventas is the third largest bullring in the world. The best time to experience bullfighting in Madrid is during the San Isidro Fiesta, which takes place between May and June each year. During San Isidro it is difficult to get tickets for the fights as they are so popular, so the best option is to purchase bullfight tickets online.
we read about bullfights before attending, but this does not do it justice because one needs to attend in person to get the full experience. We went to witness the Spain’s traditional bullfight. The Ventas is very beautiful and historical and the fight was great. we appreciated the bravery of both bullfighter and bulls and watch around four fights. We know that it is very cruel but all I can say is that Bullfight is part of Spanish culture and traditional symbol of bravery for Spanish people. If you are not interested in bullfight then you can go to visit the “Bullfight Museum”. It is an interesting place and has the history of bullfighters. They also let you visit bullfighting area. I “highly” recommend it is a great cultural experience.
The Bernabéu Stadium, home of Spanish football giant Real Madrid. If you are interested in football it is a must to see. For Real Madrid Fans it’s like a dream comes true. Here you can go for a tour around the stadium which will give you excitements and tremendous memories. You can enjoy going through the stands, sitting on their benches, walking through their changing rooms and the awesome trophy and history rooms. Even if you’re not a football fan you will enjoy the atmosphere of the whole place.
Gran Vía is the most well-known and popular touristic street in Spain This long street is one of the eventful areas of Madrid in our experience. It has hotels, restaurants, various theatres/shows, street side cafe seating, bus stops, metro station and all. We can say it’s more like 7th Ave in New York or Oxford Street in London. You can stroll the Gran Via and appreciate the architecture from the early 1900s up to modern day. Here you can track the decades of changes and your eyes will catch that popular and designer store looks like an awesome palace inside. It’s a must see and enjoys street and of course, a rip is not completed if you miss GRAN VIA.
1)- If you are traveling on budgets then you can visit the museums when they are free and buy a 10 viajes ticket for metro/buses.
2)- Taking Madridvision double deck tourist bus, we find it very convenient and money saving plus our kids really enjoyed the open double deck ride.
As I mentioned earlier, Madrid is full of interesting things and there is much more to do. you can choose according to your interests. But we really liked and enjoyed these places and had a memorable time in Madrid, SPAIN.