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visiting Madrid- sights to see

January 23, 2018

Hola! I joined Tom on a quick trip to Madrid last week and wanted to share my experiences and finds. I am a big researcher when it comes to trips! I love it! I always spend a ton of time on Trip Advisor and was hoping I would see a review from a friend but came up with nothing! I ended up reading all sorts of blogs and even looking it up on Pinterest which was very helpful- so I have decided to put this on my blog to help any of you who may travel there in the future.

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The Principal Madrid

 

First, let’s begin with the hotel – I went around in circles trying to find “the one”. We like small, boutique hotels in a location where we can walk to all the sights. I settled on The Principal Madrid and we loved it. They arranged a private walking tour for me on the day I arrived (Tom was working that day) and it was perfect. I worked with Rosa- she was an awesome guide! We walked for three hours and ended our tour by the Royal Palace with some hot chocolate – which really is a whole cup of warm chocolate and a spoon. Ideal! Rosa’s email is rosariorosam@hotmail.com and if you go to Madrid, book a tour with her! She was incredible.

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Rosa, my guide

The first day I was there, we walked through many neighborhoods and saw many of the big sights. This helped me get the lay of the land so when Tom and I explored later, I had a sense of where I was!

One of my favorite sights were the Mercado de San Miguel  – not only is it a stunning glass building, but the food was displayed so beautifully. You can grab anything quick here or enjoy a glass of wine and stay awhile. It is next door to Plaza Mayor.

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Plaza Mayor

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Artist in Plaza Mayor

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Mercado de San Miguel

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Mercado de San Miguel

Many blogs told me to visit Circulo Belles Artes for the view over Madrid. We had an amazing rooftop on our hotel but I figured I should still go check it out. We laughed when we put the location in our phone and it was across the street! Didn’t seem necessary to pay the euros to cross the road and look the other way so we didn’t. I imagine that in the summer, that’s a good bar and a good view to visit!

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Our view from The Principal Madrid at night (Metropolis Building)

Tom and I walked through Retiro Park and through the neighborhood of Salamanca. I thought Retiro Park was beautiful, especially the Palacio de Cristal.– WOW! madridretiropark

This picture really doesn’t do it justice. When I told Tom we were going to walk to the Crystal Palace, he joked that it could be like Star Wars, but this is all Sound of Music. You can walk in but the line was LONG and let’s just put it out there- Tom didn’t seem as excited as I was!

When Tom and I travel, we like to exercise and eat. I find that I have many pictures of the food from this trip! YUM! Our favorite things to eat and drink in Spain are the iberian ham, pan con tomate, wine, sangria, and tortilla espanola – we actually took a cooking class and made it in Barcelona- I wrote about that trip here– ! Ham sandwiches are everywhere, and I got one everyday. Get yours “caliente” and you will love it! I bought mine at OINK (seriously, that is the name) which was near our hotel. We also enjoyed a great meal of roasted chicken over pistachio risotto at Lobby Market near our hotel one night.

The picture on the left is a very small part of our hotel breakfast buffet which was very hard to resist from a calorie standpoint. The lunch on the right was at the ME hotel– we really liked Ana La Santa– so much we had two glasses of sangria and we left without paying the bill! This was remedied when the waiter found us outside in the plaza still wandering around 5 minutes later!

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Churros from Chocolateria San Gines, open 24 hours!

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Our hotel restaurant, El Atico- gorgeous!

Our favorite food and view was … wait for it- from the 9th floor of El Corte Ingles! They have The Gourmet Experience and the food and views are AWESOME! When I told Tom I wanted to go to this big department store for food, I can tell he was suspect! Well, one visit lead to a second one the next night, suggested by… TOM! Definitely go up there- they have all sorts of food from all over the world and excellent wine and outside rooftop which you can see all over Madrid.

Other stops included the Prado Museum (free at 7 pm on Mondays) and the Palacio Real- something you cannot begin to imagine size wise- it’s Europe’s largest Palace. Next to the Palace is the Cafe de Oriente, where I had hot chocolate with Rosa which was like being invited into someone’s well decorated home. Cozy and chic!

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The Royal Palace is behind this statue. It is even bigger than you can imagine- this photo doesn’t show the size!

We also walked El Rastro market which is very boho and wasn’t exciting like I remembered it. When Tom and I visited it about 15 years ago, there were many antiques and cool stuff that I wanted! Not sure if we hit the wrong streets this time, but most of what we saw was tourist stuff. It is on Sundays, 10- 3 pm.

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Love all these old doors around Madrid. This was right outside Chocolateria San Gines

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This was the old post office. My guide, Rosa, told me Spain accepted 2000 refugees. Loved the sign. This is where REAL Madrid celebrates their victories after a game!

I think that’s it- I put together my must-do list from searching madrid on pinterest and really loved Lauren on Location blog. 

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Selfie in front of Tom’s favorite building- The Metropolis

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One last parting shot! View from our breakfast at The Principal Madrid

Hope this helps some of you plan a great trip to Madrid! Adios!

 

 

 

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