Four days in Madrid
Middle of February I spontaneously went to Madrid for four days. Before I arrived I didn’t really know anything about the city but in the end it was such a nice time. Here are some things that I did and which I can recommend. If you have any questions, just hit me up!
Located in the barrio “La Latina”, El Rastro is one of the oldest and biggest flea markets in Madrid. It’s open from 9am – 3pm on Sundays and public holidays. I went there quite early and would recommend you to do the same when you wanna avoid huge tourist groups. You’ll find many different clothes, antiques and lots of other stuff. Pay attention to your valuables, the place can be quite crowded.
El Rastro can be reached with the Metro via the station “La Latina”.
One of Madrid’s best known attractions: the Royal Palace. We went there around 11:30 am and had to queue for about 20min. The entrance fee for students is 6€, for adults 11€. You have the opportunity to book an audio guide or a guided tour through the palace, we just went on ourselves. First you enter the big courtyard from where you have a nice view over the city and on the palace. During the time we visited the palace there was a special exhibition additional to the palace. We spent about 2h inside.
Toledo is about 70km away from Madrid. If you don’t have a car, you can either take a bus (around 1.5h) or a train from the central Station “Atocha Renfe” in Madrid (around 0.5h). The train costs 22€ for both ways. In Toledo the train station is located a bit outside the town, by foot it will take you around 20min to the center. I arrived in Toledo in the morning and went back after around 4h. If you’re keen there are many different museum, cathedrals and historic sites to visit. Apart from that it’s also really nice to just walk around, get away from the huge touristic groups and get a glimpse of what living there means. Take some lunch on of the viewpoints from where you see over the historic buildings.
Puerto del Sol
Puerto del Sol is not only directly in the center of Madrid but also the geographical center of Spain. All the highways are measured from “KM 0”. The place is always busy and crowded during the day. Many people just sit at the side of one of the fountains, grab a coffee or use the metro station. When it’s sunny you have to be quite lucky to catch a free spot to sit, everyone’s on the hunt for a seat. On the weekend there are some artists that have shows in the middle of the plaza and during most of the nights there is also some kind of program. From Puerto del Sol it’s easy to reach most of the other attractions by foot.
Faro de Moncloa
Faro de Moncloa is a huge tower from where you have a nice view over Madrid. It’s located directly near the Metro Station “Moncloa”. The entrance fee is 3€. The signs said that you aren’t allowed to stay for more than 30min. up there, however since it wasn’t busy we stayed for an hour. We went just before sunset and watched the sun set ofter Madrid and all the lights going on. Luckily it was full moon that night so we could also see the moon rise above the city later.
Templo de Debod & Parque del Oeste
The Templo de Debod is located close to the Palacio Real. Usually there’s water in the basins around the ancient building but as we went there in winter, it was all empty. Around the stones is the Parque del Oeste were we spent around 2h. You have a nice view over Madrid and there’s also a botanical garden. And as the weather was quite nice we used the afternoon for a sunny power nap in the park.
Calle Gran Vía is probably something like the 5th Avenue of Madrid. One of the main and most famous streets of the city. Especially the combination of modern technique with old architecture gives the street its charm. There are many famous clothing brands, other shops and restaurants. However if you’d like to eat cheap, rather move away from the crowded places. It’s nice to just walk along the street, during the day and especially also at night – the atmosphere is quite special.
Stroll around & get lost
There’s so much to see in Madrid but I’d still recommend to just walk around without a plan and see where it takes you. Sometimes it can just be a 10min. walk and suddenly you’re away from all the tourist masses.
If you’re looking for cheap and quick food, I can recommend “100 Montaditos”. It’s a restaurant chain that has pretty nice but cheap Spanish food. On wednesdays and sundays they have specials when everything is cheaper. Definitely also go out at night, there are some really nice pubs and bars in the city centre.