26 Feb Key Spots to visit in Madrid
Let’s get touristy. I am sure that if you have been living in Madrid for some time now, you have already visited many of the places that I’m about to mention below. Nevertheless, it’s always good to keep the new residents informed. Although this post is of a more general note, you might discover and learn a couple of things even if you know Madrid by heart.
This is Madrid’s version of Central Park. Some might say it’s better, some might say it’s worse, but it is definitely beautiful. Although we have already talked about it in previous posts, there are certain things to do here that you might not know about. Obviously, it is perfect if you want to escape the business of the city and take a walk or go running. However, there are many other things to enjoy in this amazing space.
Firstly, you can visit the Crystal Palace, which holds temporary expositions from time to time. It is absolutely stunning, with a lake at its feet and surrounded by nature. I urge you to take a look if you haven’t done so already.
Another key attraction of the Retiro is the Central Lake. If offers boat rides throughout the day for a very affordable price, and makes for the perfect plan in a Sunday afternoon. Check out our Valentine’s Day post if you want to learn more about the times and prices.
Finally, if your idea is to just take a walk and enjoy the nature, there are two fountains that are very worth visiting. One of them in the Fountain of the Fallen Angel, and the other one is the Fountain of the “Galápagos”. Make sure to wonder around the park and search for them. They are absolutely beautiful, and it’s quite amusing to wonder around in order to find them.
The Plaza Mayor is at the very heart of Madrid, very close to the “Puerta del Sol” and it’s a beautiful square surrounded by many restaurants. Typically you can spot certain antiquity sellers on the sides, selling old coins, pictures, paintings, etc. The most special time in this square arrives close to Christmas. A huge Christmas market takes over the square, and thousands of people go every year, trying to buy new ornaments for the tree, or figures for the “Belén” (Christian nativity scene).
On your next visit to the Plaza Mayor, make sure you try a “Bocadillo de Calamares” or Calamari Sandwich. (It’s hard to translate the word “bocadillo” to english, so you will have to check it out yourself!)
Mercado de San Miguel
Amazing food. That’s all I really have to say for this market. Is located next to the Plaza Mayor, and offers a wide variety of Spanish food. Besides the beautiful decoration and setting, the food is sublime. The price is quite elevated, so if you are on a tight budget, it might not be the perfect place to go everyday, but it’s definitely worth it to go a couple of times and enjoy it as much as you can.
As many of you already know, Spain is a monarchy, now under the reign of Felipe VI and Queen Letizia. This palace used to be the home of the monarchs, but after the Civil War it became just the place for official acts, and stopped being the residence of the Royal Family.
It is beautiful inside. There are guided tours almost everyday for a quite affordable price. If you are a member of the European Union, you can enter for free at certain times. Interested? You can check out all the relevant information and book your tickets right here.
To add even more beauty to this building, you can also visit it’s garden. Although it’s not extremely big, it’s very nice to walk around it and discover it’s numerous fountains. Furthermore, it offers a beautiful perspective of the palace for free.
Catedral de la Almudena
Next to the Royal Palace we can find the “Almudena Cathedral”. It can be said to be the most important catholic church in Madrid. There is two parts to it. The actual cathedral, to which you can enter for free, and the museum, which has a price of 6€. Besides going inside and enjoying the stunning architecture, you can also go around it and enjoy some great views of the south of Madrid and of the Royal Palace.
Templo de Debod
If you are at the Royal Palace, you only need about five minutes to reach this amazing place. Is located west of Plaza de España, and was inaugurated in 1972. It’s an ancient Egyptian temple that was rebuilt in Madrid. Besides the beautiful construction, this spot offers an amazing view, where you can see the Royal Palace and the south on Madrid. Try to go near to sunset, you won’t regret it!
I hope you have discovered some new facts and places that Madrid has to offer. Don’t let the opportunity slip through your fingers, and be enchanted by the magic of old Madrid!