Is Madrid a beautiful city? Subtly, insidiously, maddeningly, irresistibly, yes! Madrid is different experience from other European capital cities. Madrid captivates, ensnares you, leaves you with a need and a yearning. Madrileños don’t need to be born Maddrileños because when you realise that you have become – probably always were – Madrileño, it never leaves you. It’s where you belong, who you are
Tell me more…
It’s obvious that Madrid is not Paris or Florence, or any of the typically considered beautiful cities of Europe, but it has its own kind of beauty. I would say that the most beautiful thing in Madrid is not its buildings, parks and museums, but its people, it’s a really vibrant, friendly, open and tolerant city.
Madrid has community, and communities. And they are essentially personal, local, developing and evolving but unchanging. People don’t move. Whatever they suffer or gain, they stay attached to Madrid, much more to their ‘barrio’. My local ‘frutero’ might have died, but everyone has memories of him slipping them an orange when they were a kid. The market is (mostly) still there. The ladies with their shopping trolleys still there. The ‘bar de esquina’ still serving – taken over by one of the sons, serving a more modern menu of burgers, perhaps. The local ‘casa de comida’, the bar for breakfast, the ‘panadería’ (though ‘la abuela’ no longer makes the ‘magdalenas’) – still there.
The girls get prettier. The women more easily elegant. ‘La chispa’ of a handsome man, casually encountered, insouciantly challenging, daring you to impress – still, very much there.
The new Café Commercial, the market in Lavapiés, Tu Librería, ‘los centros sociales’, live music and studio theatre in abundance. So much that is alive, burgeoning, pushing, new. So many people pushing so many good things.
Noise, incorregible noise. Weather, nearly always in your favour. The ‘menú del día’, and Neptuno one triumphal night in May. La Cuesta de Moyano and hidden secrets of Chamberí. Parks and weekends out to La Pedraza and the Sierra
Madrid Is alive, is comfortable, and it have a bit of magic everywhere.
Recommend me places to visit..
Most of Madrid’s main attractions sit within walking distance from one another, so with a little determination—and the jolt from a café con leche or two—you can tackle them all in just a few days. Tapas bars, busy plazas, outdoor markets, and hidden hotspots, taking in all Madrid has to offer can be daunting, especially if you plan to dabble in the city’s other major claim to fame: sundown-to-sunup nightlife. From people watching at the world-famous Plaza Mayor to prestigious art at Museo del Prado and exquisite tapas and unmissable rooftop bars, these are some of my recommendations if you won’t want to miss on your next trip to the sunny capital.
You could see the museums if you like art: Prado, Thyssen, Reina Sofía. There are many other good museums, but these 3 are the biggest. Madrid is the cultural capital of Spain.
Top must-see are:
– Calle Preciados (calle means ‘Street’) (lots of shops)
–Puerta de Sol (the heart of Madrid)
–Calle de Alcalá (which leads to Fuente de Cibeles)
–Fuente de Cibeles (Beautiful Fountain where Real Madrid fans tend to celebrate big wins)
–Plaza Mayor (the main square) In summer it’s lovely to sit out there in the many terraces.
If you are there on a Sunday, from the Plaza Mayor you can walk to the flea market (El Rastro) by taking the Calle Puerta Mayor, walking all the way down to La Latina (or get the metro to La Latina), the heart of the Rastro. There is interesting bric a brac, but not ‘trendy clothes’ or anything like that. I have bought there good ‘imitations’ of paintings I saw in the Rastro, so for things like that, it’s good.
Where to eat..
At “El Botin”, the oldest restaurant in Spain.
PS: In the morning If you go to a cafe ask for ‘Cafe con Leche en vaso con Porras’, which is a typical Madrid breakfast.
For more information about where to eat in Madrid, go to our blog and check it out the ‘Madrid Food Guide”
Where to stay..
Madridcito Bed & Breakfast.
Calle de la Montera, 20 4º izquierda, 28013 Madrid España
+34 910 52 15 44
10% off for #GoSpainCampers.