Madrid is situated in the center of Iberian Peninsula in the very center of Spain. The city was first built as the defense wall. A lot of water has passed – the city has changed a lot, blowing hot and cold. Today’s Madrid is famous of its magnificent palaces, glorious castles, ancient churches, parks and villas. Every second building looks like a real masterpiece. This is the first and main reason to start learning the city on foot. It is better to choose a good hotel in the city center – somewhere in the region of Atocha and Gran Via, stopping in numerous narrow streets.
Start with Breakfast
Start your morning with the tasty Spanish breakfast. If you like substantial breakfast, it is better to book a hotel with cold-hot table: cheese plate, sausages of all kinds, yogurts, fried eggs, fruits and vegetables. If your usual breakfast is coffee and buns, you can make a short walk toward the Puerta del Sol. This is the central point of the city, geographical center of the country. There were a massive defense wall on this place and central city gates. This is a metro station now – among the first to build.
Welcome to the popular cafe La Mallorquina, famous of its pastry and cakes. The first floor of the building is confectioners shop, the second and the third – cafe. The prices start from 1 EUR per one bun or 36 EUR per kilogram. You know, this is the tastiest place in Madrid. It is really difficult to find the bigger choice of sweets that you can meet here: buns, pies, marchpanes and many other things.
If you do not like sweets, follow the rule to visit Casa Granada. Actually, this is a secret restaurant because it is placed on the sixth floor of a usual building. The city views are amazing – Tirso de Molina Square is spread before the eyes. You coffee and sandwiches cost more than 4-5EUR.
Refreshing yourself, it is time to go to the Royal Palace, or so-called Eastern Palace. This is the official residence of Spanish monarchs. It is situated in the western part of the city. Actually, the king does not live there. He prefers visiting this amazing place just on the occasion of official events. The central entrance goes to the central square – Plaza de Armaz. This is the place, where all ceremonies are usually held, including changing of the guard.
There is a central Cathedral Church of Madrid – Catedral de Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena, just opposite Plaza de Armaz. The cathedral was built in 1993. As a matter of fact, it was built for the first glorious wife of Alphonse XII – Maria de Las Mercedes. The queen was dead and should be buried in the Palace. This is the place for riyal wedding now.
Leaving the Royal Palace, you should go to the eastern part of the city – Retiro Park. This is the largest park in the whole city. To get there you should pass by the central city square Plaza Mayor. By the way, you can visit popular Museo del Jamon, going to Calle de Alcala to admire chic fountains. Here we go – this is the grand entrance.
Time for Lunch
It is time for lunch. To save your time, combine the useful with the pleasant – learn the park territory and have a lunch here. There is a cozy restaurant El Palledero. You can taste excellent paella – Spanish national dish, made of rice. Paella can be different, depending on seasonable ingredients; vegetable, seafood, chicken, mix. The portion for one person costs about 12 EUR. You can order fresh juice or beer for drink.
Learning city in hot weather, it is the right time to walk through the park alleys, admiring the natural and architectural masterpieces, feeding squirrels, turtles and ducks. You can also sail the boat over the park lake. What a beautiful view and admiring nature!
Breathing the air in the park, you should visit Prado Museum. This is one of three museums, making so-called the golden triangle of arts. Another two museums are: Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. If you like arts, you may spend the whole day there. If you are not really interested in Picasso, Rubens, Goya and Dali, you, probably have enough time to visit Atocha Railway Station. It is situated next to museums. The real tropical jungles are spread on this place, full of exotic plants and animals. It seems to be cool!
It is Dinner Time
It is time for dinner! Welcome to the best-visiting tavern Captain Alatriste. It was named after the famous literary character of Arturo Perez-Reverte. Never miss your chance to meet the world-famous writer or just have a dinner. The restaurant menu offers a wide choice of Spanish dishes: octopus, ox tail, tortilla (Spanish omelete), Captain’s cutlets, and others.
The tavern is situated in the center of the city. So, you can easily get to your hotel on foot. If you still feel brave and active, you can walk through the main city street Gran Via. It is more than 100 years old. Take your chance to visit the central street of Madrid on holidays. It is overcrowded with dancers, singers and masquerade participants. This is the best emotional boost at the end of the travelling day.
The best way to finish your travelling day in Madrid is panoramic excursion. You may use car or special excursion bus on it. Planning to go shopping, it is better to rent car in Madrid. Learn modern city and historical city – the both parts of Madrid are worth your attention. Driving your car, you can visit all main city interests – you can comfortably stop to take pictures. Now, you can come back to your hotel with clear conscience and fresh impressions – you have been to Madrid!