A Travelers Guide To the Beautiful, Spanish City Of Madrid.
Who doesn’t enjoy a cheeky City Break? With Monarch now offering regular flights from Birmingham Airport to Madrid, the Spanish capital is easier than ever to enjoy. Packed with plenty to see and do, it’s the perfect city break destination for a well needed weekend getaway. We sent Lilith Hunt-Sheppard off to see exactly what this sophisticated Spanish city has to offer.
Although I have been to several areas in Spain and its islands I have never actually been to the capital, Madrid. Well known for its epic architecture, vast array of museums and great collections of art Madrid is ideal for culture vultures but foodies won’t feel left out either with an amazing food and drink market to the world’s oldest restaurant.
Here’s a few of our must do activities to make the most of your city break and the magic of Madrid.
HOW TO GET THERE
Monarch have made it easier than ever to get to Madrid and operate flights from Birmingham airport with fares, including taxes, from £39 one way and just £66 return. Visit www.monarch.co.uk to check flight schedules and get find the best prices.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at The Hotel One Shot Recolates which, situated in the heart of the city, was close to so many attractions of the city. Based in the Salamanca neighbourhood (the gold mile of Madrid) it is just a few minutes away from Serrano Street; a popular destination for avid shoppers, packed with luxury brands, national and international designers making it the go to shopping destination.
Each room is well equipped with everything you would need on your stay with a spacious bathroom and comes with or without a continental breakfast. For more information or to book visit them at http://www.hoteloneshotrecoletos04.com/
WHERE TO EAT
If you want to try your hand at cooking Spanish cuisine then why not try a Paella and Sangria masterclass at Restaurante El Arrozal. Get to experience the real taste of Spain as the head chef guides you through the masterclass. Once you’ve slaved away in the kitchen you can enjoy what you’ve made as you dine in the popular, local restaurant. Be sure to pre-book for either masterclass Visit them at http://elarrozal.com/ to find out more.
If fine dining is more your thing then try the roof top terrace of Palace Cibles Restaurant. Not only is the view spectacular, so is the food. Head chef Adolfo Munoz uses the latest culinary techniques combines with the best local produce to bring you a set menu to die for. Priced at 55 euro per person for a five-course menu it’s fine dining without the cost. For more information, visit them at http://palaciodecibeles.com/palacio-de-cibeles-restaurant.html
If you prefer something a little more causal then Saporem will be right up your street. Doubling up as a hostel for young travellers the venue is a hive of activity. Serving fresh, homemade Spanish tapas and described as the “most chic gastrobar in Madrid”. Saporem has everything a young travel enthusiast could ask for. For more information, visit them at https://www.facebook.com/saporemrestaurante/
WHAT TO SEE
Art lovers simply must visit the Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza , home to Europe’s largest private art collection. The former aristocratic home offers tours for individuals and groups guided by expert curators to take you through the many different art collections. Open daily and offering a variety of tours, for more information visit them at https://www.museothyssen.org/en/visit
Taking place every Sunday, El Rastro is a hugely popular street market in the heart of Madrid. The largest of its kind, the streets are lined with different stalls with many of the side streets packed with people selling an array of different antiques. The streets do get incredibly busy and allow plenty of time to have a look around as it really is the biggest street market I have ever been to. El Rastro is open weekly from 9am till 3pm and for more information, visit them at http://www.madridtourist.info/rastro_market.html
La Casa Encendida. is a managed social and cultural centre offering support to the many residents of Madrid. This eco building is an open space for people to meet, learn and get educational support. The centre revolves around four basic beliefs (arts, solidarity, environment and education) and is open to anyone. With talks and performance’s taking place regularly, La Casa is an open “house” for all to enjoy. For more information about all the great work they do visit them at http://www.lacasaencendida.es/en/what-casa
Madrid is fairly easy to navigate around on foot and gives you the opportunity to really take in the cities architecture. If you fancy putting your feet up a little as you take in the sights then why not take one of two different open bus tours that are on offer- one more modern, one historical.
For football fans why not hop on the bus and head to the home of Real Madrid FC and take a tour around Santiago Bernabeu. If you would prefer to explore some of the cities nature, hop on the bus tour to Retiro Park. The cities green oasis has 125 hectares and is home to over 15,000 trees something you wouldn’t expect in the middle of the capital. With a one day ticket, you can hop on and off either bus tour with extended route options available too.
For more information about all the things to see in Madrid, visit Destino Madrid.