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48 hours in madrid | city guide

48 hours in madrid | city guide

An insider’s guide to the Spanish capital

Phrases by Emma Tiernan
April sixth, 2018

The Spanish capital has all the time been overshadowed by its extra well-known neighbour Barcelona, nevertheless, no different city feels extra alive than Madrid. Recognized for its famend artwork galleries, beautiful structure and killer nightlife, Madrid is likely one of the richest culinary capitals in Europe. This city actually is aware of how you can stay, and as an insider, I’m going to share a few of the locations I’ve found all through my time right here which are value a go to.

What to See

Madrid will be the third largest city in Europe however when you might have been right here for a when you realise simply how walkable the city is. Nearly all of sights are all inside strolling distance from the city centre, Puerta del Sol, which additionally occurs to be the geographical centre of Spain.

photograph: Emma Tiernan
Puerto del Sol

photograph: Emma Tiernan
Almudena Cathedral

Beginning off in Sol, which is the busiest plaza in Madrid, you possibly can stroll down in the direction of Plaza Mayor, an enormous sq. all the time bustling with individuals. Outdoors the plaza, you can see Mercado San Miguel, a shocking glass constructing full of food and drinks stalls. San Miguel is an ideal spot to seize a fast chew or a drink later in the night. From there it is just a brief stroll to the Almudena Cathedral and Crypts. Almudena is a comparatively new constructing, solely accomplished in 1993. Due to this, the Cathedral has a Neo-Gothic inside which is uniquely trendy. The cathedral is true beside the Royal Palace, which is the official residence of the Spanish royal household.

photograph: Travis Grossen
Royal Palace of Madrid

Willian Justen de Vasconcellos
Temple of Debod

After wandering the grounds of the palace, make your method over to Parque de la Montana the place you can find the traditional Egyptian Temple of Debod (it was a present to Spain from the Egyptians and rebuilt in Madrid). The park additionally has nice views overlooking the city.

For the final leg of the journey, stroll in the direction of Plaza de Espana and as much as Gran By way of which is the primary purchasing road in Madrid.

One other unmissable sight is Buen Retiro Park. As one of many largest parks in the city, strolling round right here is one in every of my favorite issues to do. It’s an awesome place to flee from the city and has loads of ‘instagramable’ places dotted all through.

The primary entrance of the park is situated in the Salamanca district, the place you will notice Puerta de Alcala. This arch is taken into account the primary post-Roman triumphal arch constructed in Europe and is older than the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Buen Retiro Park


Madrid is residence to quite a few museums, together with three of the most important in Europe. An insider’s tip: until you want spending all the day at a museum you will get free entry into a lot of the museums in Madrid at sure occasions every day. That is usually two or three hours earlier than they shut however ensure that to examine their respective web sites for extra info.

The three main artwork museums are Reina Sofia, Museo del Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. When you solely have time for one then I might advocate the Reina Sofia which holds works of a few of Spain’s most well-known painters corresponding to Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.

Pablo Picasso – Guernica in Reina Sofia

The place to Eat

Brunch & Lunch

Carmencita Bar – First up is the preferred place for brunch, Carmencita Bar. Providing up secure brunch favourites resembling Eggs Benedict and French toast, it’s straightforward to see why this restaurant has turn out to be a go-to. Nevertheless, my favorite a part of brunch right here is the €1 mimosas- sure, you learn that appropriately, €1! To not point out they’re very beneficiant with the champagne. Observe that since it’s the preferred place for brunch, it is best to ebook in advance. You’ll be able to e-book straight from their web site so no have to name and attempt to make one in Spanish. Additionally they do brunch all through the week, so that you gained’t miss out in case you are not right here over the weekend.

Calle San Vicente Ferrer, 51, 28015

Federal Café – One other common vacation spot, this Australian café has an awesome number of brunch dishes. Right here you must choice to take a seat outdoors in a stunning little plaza so it’s good when you go to in good climate.

Plaza de las Comendadoras, 9, 28015 | Plaza del Conde de Barajas, three, 28005

photograph: Emma Tiernan
Federal Café

photograph: Emma Tiernan
Federal Café

Celicoso – A gluten-free restaurant and bakery that’s good for each brunch and lunch. Should you’re in search of a fast chew to eat seize one among their coffees and a cupcake however should you’ve obtained the time, I extremely advocate coming right here for lunch. Additionally they supply loads of vegan choices too.

Calle de Hortaleza, three, 28004 | Calle del Barquillo, 19, 28004


Lateral – Should you’re on the lookout for conventional tapas then Lateral is to not be missed. Fortunately, they’ve quite a few totally different places all through the city. Their patatas bravas are the perfect however I might additionally recommend making an attempt the salmon avocado tartar and the vegetable tempura.

Plaza Sta. Ana, 12, 28012 | Calle de Fuencarral, 43, 28004 | Calle de Velázquez, 57, 28001

Yokaloka – I’ve had difficulties discovering nice sushi in Spain however stumbled upon Yokaloka and the sushi is just superb. Yokaloka is situated in one of many conventional Spanish markets, which is certainly well worth the expertise. It opens for dinner at 7:30 pm however I might advise getting right here early as locals begin to reach after eight pm, and it may refill fairly shortly.

Mercado de Antón Martín, Calle de Santa Isabel, 5, 28012

Lamucca de Prado – Once more, a tapas restaurant however when in Spain, proper? Lamucca is a sequence of eating places dotted round Madrid with a wide array of dishes. Lamucca de Prado and La Carmen each have an amazing environment, making them my favourites to go to.

Calle del Prado, 16, 28014 | Plaza del Carmen, 5, 28013

The place to Drink


Acquolina – One of the best discovery I’ve made in Madrid is certainly this espresso store. The espresso is sweet however it’s the desserts you keep for which I’ve to say are the most effective desserts I’ve had in an extended whereas. The cake menu is up to date with new flavours day by day however I might advocate the Oreo cake (it’s virtually all the time there) or certainly one of their cheesecakes. At €three a slice, you actually can’t go mistaken.

Calle de Velarde, 17, 28004

Toma – Toma is a espresso store in the hip neighbourhood of Malasaña. Having been the primary espresso store in Madrid to start out doing specialty espresso, it’s no secret amongst espresso lovers. The espresso right here is unbelievable and undoubtedly value your time in case you are strolling via.

Calle de la Palma, 49, 28004


HanSo – One other espresso store in Malasaña, that’s value visiting is certainly HanSo. The espresso is nice and it’s an ideal place to seize a light-weight breakfast or lunch.

Calle del Pez, 20, 28004

Cocktails & Beer

Chinaski Lavapies – Situated in the Lavapies space of Madrid (which is a superb space for an evening out) is Chinaski, a craft beer bar with a wide selection of varied beers to supply. In case you are a beer lover, then that is the place for you!

Calle de la Fe, 19, 28012

Circulo de Bellas Artes – Not only a cocktail bar, the rooftop of this arts and cultural centre has one of the best views overlooking Madrid. There’s a €four entrance charge to entry the roof however the view is value it!

Calle de Alcalá, 42, 28014


Madrid is a really trendy city; Spain is, in any case, residence to a few of the largest manufacturers comparable to Balenciaga, Paco Rabanne, Zara and Mango. There’s something for everybody’s style, be that prime road shops, designer outlets or native boutiques, Madrid has all of it.

Gran By way of

Salamanca District – You could be tempted to remain round Gran By way of and store, however it’s the busiest road in all of Madrid so as an alternative, I might recommend going as much as the Salamanca District. It’s presently probably the most sought-after space to reside in and it’s straightforward to see why. Salamanca has lovely structure, nice eating places and is away from all of the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Salamanca has a road generally known as “Fashion’s Golden Mile” the place you can find all of the designer and excessive road shops. The shops are additionally a lot quieter, making it simpler to buy. Persist with the streets Calle Serrano (the Golden Mile), Claudio Coello, Calle Lagasca and Calle Hermosilla.

Malasaña District – One among my favorite areas in Madrid, Malasaña is a mecca for fashionable boutiques and classic shops. That is one space to not be missed when visiting Madrid.

Chueca District – One other younger and stylish a part of Madrid, Chueca is true subsequent to Malasaña and is one other great place for boutique purchasing. Certainly one of my favorite streets is Calle del Barquillo, the identical road Celicioso is on!

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