Madrid is a city that’s listed in most travelers’ bucket lists. It’s definitely in mine! Offering everything from a rich history to a vivacious nightlife, Madrid appeals to every kind of tourist there is.
I’ve done quite a research on things to do in Europe since I’m planning to go there before the year ends, and as most travelers, I’ve tried to compile a list of things to see and do without breaking the bank. With it being a mere stop away from different points in Europe, there is absolutely no chance I’m missing out on this top destination. From Barcelona, the perhaps most popular destination in Spain at the moment, it is only a 2h and 30 minute train ride away, according to travel search site GoEuro. The vibe and language alone can make a walk down Madrid’s streets a worthy time passing affair with its stately establishments and busy plazas. Read on to see three of my must-sees in my Madrid itinerary!
Image Courtesy of Mauro Fuentes Flickr.com
El Rastro flea market, Europe’s largest flea market, is a treasure trove of everything from fashion to missing masterpieces. The Sunday shopping is a time honored tradition since the 15th century, one that takes pride of its atmosphere more than its bargains. From El Rastro, you can check out the local bars for traditional local dishes and drinks in Plaza de Coscorro where you can feast on scrumptious fried sardines, calamari, or pimientos de pardon with an order of “canas” or short beer.
Image courtesy: Flickr
Madrid being the hometown of some renowned European greats, one cannot simply miss out on the chance to see the MuseoNacionaldel Prado. This museum gives everyone the chance to see masterpieces in European art from the 16th to the 19th centuries including El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Hieronymous Bosch, Titian and Rubens. Even better than seeing the works of these greats in person face to face, is seeing them for free! Admission is open to everyone free of charge, so there would be no problem at all for you to take a trip or two.
Image courtesy: Geolocation
What trip to Madrid is complete without experiencing the tradition of “ir a tape” (going out for tapas)? Madrileños takes the words “culinary journey” to a literal sense as they advise you to sample tapas at every bar with a crisp white wine at a strip of your choosing. You can go to the inner Madrid barrio of La Latina around Plaza Mayor, or take the more modern route by checking out Plaza de San Miguel’s renovated 20th century market. A favorite among Madrilenos, however, is Calle de la Cava Baja which is peppered with tapas bars at every turn.
Just on these three activities alone, Madrid proves to be a worthy destination for anyone who wants a true European experience. You can feast on culture, history, fun, and flavor all in one day, and find even more surprises if you take another day or two. Madrid is a travel stop that is definitely worth visiting!