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18.5.16

A Mini Travel Guide To Madrid


Madrid really lives up to everything you think it will be. With its amazing architecture, yummy food, nice weather (depending when you visit) and lively nightlife - it’s perfect for a culture-rich long weekend or city break.

Since 1561 Madrid has been the Spanish capital, celebrating rich history and culture however don’t be fooled because it is a very cosmopolitan city, with a modern urban twist.

The city is really easy to get around with an easy to use Metro system and various buses. It works out cheaper if you buy 10 trips compared to a single ticket. When visiting Madrid it would be easier if you knew a little Spanish to get by however if you don’t the locals will always try and help as best they can.

TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN MADRID


#1. Visit the Royal Palace 

Visiting the Royal Palace is a must when visiting Madrid. It can take 1-2 hours depending how slowly you walk. Inside is absolutely beautiful however you aren't allowed to take pictures in many of the rooms. Today the palace is rarely used – only for formal occasions. 

#2. Go shopping in Gran Via 

If you are into shopping then Gran Via is where it’s happening. Similar to Oxford Street in London it’s full of low end to high end stores, not to mention loads of good food places. 

#3. Appreciate the architecture 

Just get lost and soak up the beautiful streets.

#4. Visit the Stadium 

Real Madrid fan? Then you can’t miss out on visiting the stadium. They have a guided tour option but we just went with the self-guided option. It’s cheaper and all the facts are written around when walking through. I’m not a major football fan but it’s something to do when in Madrid and I did enjoy it.

#5. Visit Temple Debod 

Temple de Debod is an ancient Egyptian temple that was donated to Spain in 1968 because it was under threat by the construction of the Aswan Dam. The temple was dismantled in order to be transported to Madrid where it was rebuilt. You can visit the temple during the day where you can go in and view the faded glyphs. However if you want to admire the structure then it’s best to visit at night when it is lit up. I visited at night and it looked amazing especially because it is surrounded by water.


WHERE TO EAT IN MADRID

Madrid is well-developed for tourism, so there are thousands of incredible eateries battling it out for the title of best restaurant, but it’s not all about upscale dining. Some of the best food you’ll have will be a simple restaurant, so don’t miss out on the chance to eat like the locals do. Here are some of my favourites that I came across during my visit:

Eating on the go - Wok to Walk

This place is amazing if you want something quick, easy and cheap. Essentially you can choose what you would like to eat in a similar way to Subway. If you want noodles you just choose which type, what you would like in it and which sauce. They also offer a range of rice and pan asian curries.

Something sweet - Chocolatería San Ginés

Established in 1894 Chocolatería San Ginés is one of the oldest shops selling churros. It is very popular among tourists and sometimes there can be a queue but it is a must visit place. If churros aren't your thing then they also offer a selection of cakes and coffee but I mean who can resist dunking fresh churros in chocolate.

Local food – La Latina

This is an area of Madrid that is popularly known for good Spanish food and nightlife. There are a selection of delicious restaurants so be sure to check out the menu's of various places. I had the best paella in a cute little restaurant in this area. If however you don't fancy a full meal then why not grab some drinks and tapas?


BASIC SPANISH

Hello - Hola

Goodbye - Adiós

Thank you - Gracias

I don't understand - Yo no comprendo

Sorry - Lo siento

Yes - Si

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