If you consider yourself a nomad as many of my friends, you will find yourself googling your next adventurous destination. Since I moved to Europe in 2015, one of the countries on my top list to visit has been Spain. I am a lover for accent and certainly for Spanish accent. There is something about the way their tongue roll that makes me go ‘’aww... I am in love.’ But hey, that’s another blog.
When I travel, I want to feel part of the community I am visiting, but comfortably staying in a good Hotel or Hostel. ‘2060 The Newton Hostel’ was the hostel my friends and I chose to spend our week in Madrid. A great option if you want to stay in the city centre for an affordable price, clean accommodations and amicable staff. Oh, and I almost forgot, churros and hot-chocolate as breakfast!
Staying in the city centre, gives you the possibility to be walking distance of the main tourist attractions. Without further ado, let me break down the 5 things you should do if you’re visiting Madrid for the first time as I was.
1. FOOD – “Un estomago vacío, es un mal consejero”
You can’t go to Spain and not have a traditional ‘Paella’ plate or tapas. So, I am making your decision easier by giving you two places where you should go during your trip. ‘Inclan brutal bar’ and ‘Rosi la Loca’ are two places without doubt you should pay a visit. Not only for their extremely good food but for their fabulous, elaborate, and over the top cocktails! Just a tip, if you’re planning to visit ‘Rosi la Loca’ make sure to make a reservation way ahead, this place is always full.
2. ‘I’m not a fan, but here we are.’ – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Approximately 30-minutes-away from the city centre is located the famously home stadium of the world well known football/soccer team, Real Madrid C.F. If you are a fan of the Real Madrid or football in general, I would recommend this tour; you will learn more about the history, check out the hall of fame with trophies, old uniforms, stadium locker, press room etc. A Real Madrid fan would appreciate this tour more than I did, honestly.
3. The official city tour of Madrid
Even though we stayed in the centre of Madrid, we wanted to make sure to see as much as possible. The hop-on-hop-off city tour was the best way to get an overall view of the beautiful city. Having two lines that divided the historical part and the more modern part of Madrid.
4. The Royal Palace of Madrid – ‘Visiting my cousins...'
Taking advantage of your hop-on-hop-off tour bus, make sure to get out on the ‘Royal Palace’ stop. Even though ‘The Zarzuela Palace’ is the residence of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain and their family, The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family at the city of Madrid, which is used only for state ceremonies. According to sources, the Spanish palace is the largest functioning Royal Palace and the largest by floor area in Europe.
5. El Parque Retiro – ‘breathe in the fresh air’
One of my favourite places I visited on this trip has to be ‘Parque de El Retiro’. Before being open to the public in the 19th century, the park belonged to the Spanish Monarchy. During your walk through the park you will find the most beautiful fountains and monuments; including The Glass Palace. In front of the monument for Alfonso XII, there is a large lake where you can rent a rowing boat. One of the most beautiful and green parks I have seen in Europe.
Unfortunately, because of an ear infection I was unable to check out the nightlife in Madrid. That's why clubs didn't make the cut on my list. However, don’t be surprised at the amount of people who will try to reach out to ask you if you’re looking for bars and/or restaurants. They try to get you to the club by offering free shots but at the end they try to sell you a ‘promotion’.
Oh Madrid, you were definitely a good experience, 8.5/10. I can’t wait to visit again and this time take over the night-life. If you have more ideas of what I should visit in Madrid next time, don't forget to let me know. Chao chaval! x
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Phryme Magazine.