When it comes to city breaks, you can never have too many recommendations, so we’ve got another 8 or so for those looking to visit Madrid. The Capital of spain and home of the mighty Real Madrid has much to offer, and we’ve whittled it down to our absolute favourites. Just make sure you don’t forget to pick up some traditional Madrid dishes such as Bocadillo de Calamares and Churros on your jaunts around the city.
Cafe Federal is a well known local brunch spot, that has gained popularity among tourists more recently. It’s not uncommon to find large queues for brunch of a weekend. Although they tend to move fast, we’d recommend turning up hungry but not absolutely starving, just in case of a long wait. In terms of the menu, you can find a fairly traditional brunch mix of eggs, coffee and smoothies alongside some typical Spanish dishes.
Location-wise it’s around the corner from the ABC Museo de Dibujo e Illustracion so if you fancy some culture after, you’re in the perfect spot.
They also have sister restaurants in Barcelona and Valencia.
2. San Miguel Market
Everybody loves a Food market and San Miguel Market is probably the best-known market in Madrid. It’s is home to over 30 stalls offering everything from traditional tapas, cava and delicious calamari. Just one trip around the market is a literal journey through the complex history of Spanish cuisine. Chances are though, you’ll probably be full after 3 or 4 stops but, if you’re anything like us, you’ll power through!
The Royal Palace is pretty impressive as you’d expect and of course the chance you might see the King heading out to his day’s appointments. Right next door you have the Santa Maria Cathedral, from the outside a Neo-gothic beauty but once you enter inside you begin to see modern touches seldom seen in Cathedrals that makes it stand out.
4. El Retiro Park
I’d never thought of the beauty of parks until I visited spain. I realised that even Hyde Park could do with a lot more love and attention with regards to its design and upkeep compared to our Iberian cousins. El Retiro has a feature lake with stunning statues and columns in the backdrop to add to the striking view. If you’re feeling energetic you can even rent a rowboat to help you take a closer look.
There is also the Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace). An iconic building near the centre of the park which is often used for events and art exhibitions due to its unique design made entirely of glass.
5. Chocolateria San Gines: Home of Churros and Chocolate
Madrid is not only the capital of spain, but more importantly, it’s the capital of Churros. These Sugary delights are good pretty much anywhere you try them in the city but, if you are looking for the best of the best then you need to head to Chocolateria San Gines. It’s like Harrods for Churros!
6. Sunset at Templo De Debod
Whether you are looking for something romantic or not, the sunset at Templo De Debod, is one not to miss. The Temple itself has an interesting history, having come over to spain in 1968 from Egypt as a thank you for spain’s help in saving the Abu Simbel temples, but the breathtaking sunset is what makes it worth the trip up there.
7. Dinner at Inclan Brutal Bar
Inclan Brutal feels like a bit of Heston Blumenthal, mixed with a bit of modern tapas. The creative menu touches on some of the traditional favourites with a little twist making dining a visual affair as much as an experience of the palette.
Alternative: Lateral – get the chocolate cake
8. Drinks at Ojala
The food is good, the drinks are wet, but the thing that really makes this a must see, is the sand covered floor in the basement that makes you feel like you are in a cool beach house after-party.
Alternative: Ana La Santa
Mercado de la Cebada – This market is almost 140 years old and is one dominated by true Madrilenos, you’ll be lucky to see
Zuccaru – If all the Churros, haven’t satisfied your sweet tooth, then head to Zuccaru for a huge range of free from Ice creams and
Mao & Cathy – If you’re a fan of holiday ink, then this famous shop started by its namesakes is the place for you. Mao and Cathy were at the forefront of the early tattoo scene in spain in the 80s. As well as having one of the first Spanish tattoo shops, they are also known for producing their own tattooing equipment.