Have you been to Madrid? My first encounter with the city was a short 24 hour layover on route to Mallorca. Those few hours set off a strong desire to return for more. With so much to see and so many wonderful things to eat, three – four days is best for exploring this great city. Read on to learn where to go and what to eat while on your trip to Madrid.
Spain’s capital city is not only one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, but also in all of Europe. With so much to see and do, both historical and modern, a trip here can never disappoint. Madrid offers something for everyone, whether you love art, the outdoors, or sports. Here are 5 of the best places to make your visit fabulous.
The Prado is not only Madrid’s most famous museum, but it is one of the most popular in the world. Filled with paintings and sculptures, the museum showcases Spanish, Italian, and Flemish styles of art.
Queen Sofia Arts Center
The second great art museum in Madrid focuses on modern and contemporary art. The 21,000 pieces of art include works by Salvador Dali and Picasso. This is where you will see the gallery dedicated to Picasso’s giant masterpiece Guernica.
Museo del Jamon
Located on the main Paseo del Prado street between The Prado and The Queen Sophia Arts Center. It’s the perfect place to stop when you are on your way from one museum to the other. The specialty is Iberian ham in all its forms served with church of freshly baked bread. Wash it all down with a local beer (Cinqo Estrella) or cava (Spanish sparkling wine).
Visit El Retiro Park
This luscious park offers activities for the whole family. Enjoy walking among formal gardens, including a rose garden filled with over 4,000 roses. Let the kids enjoy the playgrounds and take the entire family on a paddleboat ride.
Eat at Level Veggie Bistro
Looking for something healthy after playing in the park? Just on the eastern edge lies the fabulous vegan Level Veggie Bistro. They offer a tasting menu, where you can try several small plates, as wells a la carte items, and serve organic wines.
Visit Plaza Major
This renaissance square dates back to the early 1600s and surrounds you with cafes and bars where you can enjoy a drink while admiring the beautiful architecture and atmosphere.
Eat at Mercado de San Miguel
Food lovers will enjoy this vast marketplace that offers drinks like coffee and cocktails, tapas, fruit, meat, and seafood. This market is a destination in and of itself. Located right off the Plaza Major, it’s a much better spot for lunch than one of the touristy restaurants lining the Plaza arcade. My favorite way to much through the market is to do it tapas style. Working my way through the stalls, ordering one small plate at each. Most stalls also offer beverages to complement their specialty. Some favorite vendors are, Arzabal and Mozz Heart.
Visit Bernabeu Stadium
Soccer fans will adore a tour of this gigantic stadium filled with the history of the great successes of the famous team Real Madrid. Enjoy panoramic views and visits to the players’ dressing rooms and dugouts.
Eat at Bibo Madrid Restaurant
Not far from the Stadium lies the amazing BiBo restaurant by Dani Garcia. Having eaten here a few times, I can vouch for their creative and delicious dishes. The kitchen is particularly adept at seafood and fish dishes and the desserts are out of this world. So, save some room at the end!
Visiting any of these locations is sure to make your trip to Madrid one to never forget. Now that you know where to go and what to eat, I’d love to help you plan a Spanish adventure of your own. If you’ve been wondering which city to visit in Spain, or any stop in Europe, be sure to consider Madrid as a top choice.
Has your interest in Spain been ignited? Check out these other journal entries on Spanish culture and cuisine:Eating your way through Basque country or…how to live your own Anthony Bourdain fantasy in Spain,Spain’s Pintxos Vs. Tapas with sample recipes for your next happy hour at home.
At Gourmet Adventures Travel Co., I craft culinary getaways for travelers who love to eat well and yearn to truly savor the authentic side of their destination. From a river cruise through Provencal wine country to a journey through the heady spice markets and medinas of Morocco, you'll taste your way through the world's most enchanting landscapes.