Madrid may not be as popular a tourist hub as Barcelona, but it is not without its own unique and very interesting attractions. The layers of history intertwined with modern facilities create a breathtaking mural that will have even the most hardened hearts melting.
Relax At Jardin Botanico
After strolling through the art galleries at Prado, you may find it heartwarming to rest your tired feet in Madrid’s finest botanical garden, Jardin Botanico. If you have been there before and need a change, then the much larger yet less famous Parque del Buen Retiro may serve just as well.
View a Flamenco Performance
You can attempt to master the rasgueado or enjoy a frisky salsa dance, but you have not truly enjoyed Madrid if you have not witnessed a flamenco performance. The hours past midnight are the best as it is the time the best dancers, lyricists, and guitar players emerge. Visit a Madrid tablao (restaurant that hosts stage performances) for an authentic flamenco performance.
Indulge in Tapas
Tapas are small sized food delicacies often served in pubs. Bar-hopping or pub-crawling is a part of the tapas culture. Sunday lunches are also accompanied by hacienda el vermut as the meal’s aperitif.
Watch a Bullfight
Bull fights are highly popular in Madrid and tickets are usually sold out many months in advance. When making your travel plans, ask your tour guide to get you tickets well in advance.
Madrid is one of the biggest producers of leather products. There are many shoe factories dominating the Alicante and Valencia areas. The Augusto Figueroa is the city section where you will find shoe factory retail outlets while Salamanca is the high-end leather goods destination for the discerning consumer.
Have Some Montecado
Holidays come with temptations and one of the sweetest to indulge in is the aniseed and almond cookie baked in animal fat by the Convento de las Carboneras nuns. The closed order bakes some of the sweetest confectionaries you may ever come across.
Eat At El Sobrino De Botin
The world’s oldest restaurant is the 300-year-old El Sobrino de Botin and serves the most delicious cochinillo and cordero. You could also eat some tasty cocido at another old restaurant, La Bola Taberna or some duelos y quebrantes at the Casa Marta.
Ride the Metro
The Madrid Metro Subway is the sixth longest in the world and one of the fastest growing. A ride on the metro is made all the more exciting due to the many differences between the new spacious stations and the old compact ones.
Visit Convento De La Encarnacion
Each year on July 27, this 17th century convent hosts thousands for the feast of Saint Pantaleon. The pilgrimage is made to witness the liquefaction of the phial of blood which signals the coming of good fortunes for all those who witness it.
Ride On a Teleferico Cable Car
If you enjoy heights, then the 2.5km ride over the Parque Del Oeste and the Casa de Campo will be a real treat. Watching the city skyline and the park can give you a new perspective about Madrid. An alternative perspective can be had by climbing the Faro de Moncloa 92-meter radio tower.
Do Some Wine Tasting
Madrid has some of the best vintners in Europe and there are many famous vine yards all around the city which arrange wine tasting visits. The City’s bodegas (wine shops) also arrange regular tasting sessions. Some other wine tasting venues include Mariano Madrueno, Lavinia, Bodegas Santa Cecilia, and the Reserva y Cata.
Visit the Parquet Del Oeste
The rose garden in Arguelles is one of Madrid’s most beautiful spots and the venue of an annual international rose competition. The park hosts an Egyptian ancient temple and the Temple of Debod.
Tour the Centro De Arte Reina Sofia
Guernica, by Picasso, is the major attraction here amid other very important art pieces by celebrated European artists. These include other works by Picasso, Joan Miro, and Salvador Dali.
Sit At the Plaza Mayor
The outdoor tables at the elegantly structured Plaza Mayor are a favorite for young madrilènes. One can sit there for hours marveling at the beauty of the city and its people.
You can spot the mischievous works of Francisco Goya at the magnificent Prado museum. It is also the home of one of the largest and finest art collections of 12th century to 19th century European art.
Soccer is a national sport for the Spanish people and Real Madrid Football Club is one of the most successful and richest soccer clubs in the world. When in Madrid, visit the Santiago Barnebeu or watch another great club, Atletico Madrid at Estadio Vicente Calderon.
Madrid is a dream tour destination full of captivating history and a robust night life. A flamenco performance at a local tablao as you nibble on tapas and down it with wine provides a great end to a nice day anytime you are in the city.
About the Author: Bienvenida Santos is a frequent traveler to the beautiful city of Madrid and loves to write about her journeys to Spain and other European countries. She has also previously been to Australian, Asian, and South American destinations.