This post is better if you listen to this:
Madrid is a sparkling gem standing in the middle of the Iberian Peninsula. It’s a place full of history and culture, full of cosmopolitan air and a bustling dining scene and nightlife.
A few weeks ago, Angie and I spent a few days in the Spanish capital and through endless strolling and eating (of course!) got to indulge this beautiful many-faced place. So, lay back and let us take you to the places we went and the things we saw, thanks to Angie’s amazing photography!
We set off from Angie’s place at the hippie and buoyant neighborhood of Malasaña (a must-visit especially for drinks and snacks if you ask me!). We took a morning stroll around and then straight to Chocolateria San Ginés to try the traditional and most renowned churros of the city. I have to admit the hot chocolate was the best hot chocolate I have ever had!
Next, off to the most essential and most touristic of the city’s spots; Gran Vía – the ‘Spanish Oxford Street’-, a huge shopping district which is full of people even from very early on, Cibeles -the city’s city hall- till Puerta de Alcalá.
We then entered Retiro park for a quick rest by the pond opposite Monumento Alfonso XII to play with ducks and watch the boat rides. At this time of the year, Madrid can have a bit of a cold weather even though the sun keeps making frequent appearances. If you are sensitive to cold, then we suggest you visit in the warmer spring months. Next stop, still inside the park, was Palacio de Cristal, with incredible light for all you photography lovers!
By this time, and after a lot of walking around, we thought it was time for some lunch. We opted for some traditional Mexican cuisine and went for ‘El Chaparrito‘, pretty close to where we were at that time. The chimichangas and the tacos al pastor were to die for! (God we love Mexican cuisine!)
With our energy restored and our batteries full, we hit the city center. We visited the streets of Barrio de las Letras, where one can find legendary quotes taken from the works of great artists.
After a lot of pictures, we reached Puerta de Sol to enjoy some busking Mariachis, who were attracting hordes of people with their joyful show and sounds.
Next, we decided to take Calle Mayor to visit Plaza Mayor and the commercial streets around it while it was still bright and we were still hungry for more sights.
A final stop at Plaza de Callao and the prominent Edificio Carrión before we reach home. Madrid looks stunning in the city lights after dusk turns into night!
But we still didn’t call it a day. You know what happens when you see your best friend after a long time, right? Time is never enough to catch up! That’s why we hit Coconut Bar in Malasaña and ended the night with two fruity cocktails to match the tropical decorations. I still have to pinch myself when I bring in mind the prices of both drinks and food in Madrid! How does a 2,70euro breakfast sound? Or a 2euro beer?
The next day started in a grand way. Bruch at Ojalá! I opted for traditional Huevos Catalanes and Angie for Huevos Benedictinos and they did not disappoint! On top of all that, and in case you ever find yourselves in this place, we urge you to take a walk at the lower ground of the restaurant if you want to witness some magic or you want to be teleported to an island setting. Enough with words; we’ll let the photos do the talking:
Day 2 was on a Saturday so we decided to keep it slow, after the previous day’s blast. We took a relaxed stroll around the streets of Malasaña, spontaneously popped in any shop we felt like visiting, tried yummy cakes at La Cocina de mi Vecina (that Red Velvet cake, though!), and did some shopping around Gran Via.
At night, it was time to party. As faithful indie fans, we set for one of the most famous Indie clubs in Spain, Ochoymedio. With music ranging from Tame Impala to Rage Against The Machine, it was nice to unwind in a different way than the usual one, while at the same time watching the crazy Spaniards dancing the feet of nonstop!
Street art in Madrid is top-notch! But apart from the murals, we were lucky enough to find quirky ‘artistic interference’ in the most unexpected of places. Take for example this team, Υipi Υipi Υeah, and their unbelievable work on traffic signs. Talk about vision!
Or this amazing work on parking bollards at Calle Galería de Robles! It just makes your day!
Stay tuned for the second part of our Madrid journal coming up very soon!
Thanks for reading (such a long post)!
PS: All photography credits go to Angie and if you like to reproduce it, please make sure to have Angie’s permission first! ¡Adios!