Posts Tagged ‘top ten things to do in Madrid’

Top 10 Things to do in Madrid

October 31, 2013

A couple of weekends ago, we were in Madrid for about 72 hours. I decided the Madrid tourist card was not worth it. Also, a public transit pass is definitely not worth it. You’ll really only need transportation between the airport and downtown. And for that you should use the Airport Express Bus (5 Euros and not covered under the metro pass). You can easily walk around downtown to see all of the sights.

To sum up my experience, here are my top ten things to do in Madrid:

10. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina SofiaI only put this on the list because if you are into modern art, this is a must-see. I, however, am not, and thus was not too thrilled about this museum. But it’s one of the famous trio of museums in Madrid, so we saw it anyway.

9. Corpus Christi Convent – A really neat area with lots of old buildings. At this convent, the nuns make a special selection of cakes and treats you can purchase, although they did not have anything for sale the weekend we were there (the sign said to come back on Monday).

8. Mercado de Fuencarral – On Calle Fuencarral you can have a great shopping experience. And this three-story shopping area has some really unique clothing, including absolutely adorable 50s-60s inspired pieces.

7. Mercado de San Miguel – A great market hall to wander through specializing in seafood and drinks. We tried the sherry sampler from The Sherry Corner. It definitely expanded my (very limited) knowledge on sherry. Fresh oysters were also a must in this mercado. And there is a really interesting fish tapas that looks like a bunch of cold noodles piled on top on bread, but it’s fish. I dubbed it the “fish brains” tapas. It’s called Gulas (the article mentions its made from eels, but now it’s made from fish). It’s really good!

6. Buen Retiro Park – Such an expansive park. We especially enjoyed walking around the artificial lake to the semicircular colonnade with the monument to Alfonso XII. There is also a rose garden which had roses in bloom even in October!

5. The Royal Palace – The largest palace in Europe, boasting¬†3,418 rooms. Excessive? Naw…¬† It’s certainly one of those must-sees. I think the audio guide is worth getting.

4. Museo del Prado – This museum houses much of Spain’s (and the world’s) greatest art pieces. We particularly loved works from the 18h century and Goya’s dark period.

3. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza – Art from 13th century to present day. Majority of works in late 19th century. Great collection of impressionist pieces.

2. Almudena Cathedral РEver wonder what a modern Cathedral the likes of Notre Dame would be? Wonder no more. This cathedral, officially completed in 1993, is so modern and yet is decked out in such grandeur to easily compete with famous Gothic Cathedrals around Europe.

1. See a Flamenco performance! We went to Casa Patas. An intimate performance space in a back room of a restaurant. 35 Euros gets you a seat with a drink of your choice.

I loved Madrid. Such a lively city with so much to see and do. It was my first time in Spain and hopefully not my last!

Almudena Cathedral from the visitors entrance.