Paris has romance. Berlin has mystery. Madrid has food.
We spent 3 days in Madrid and before we arrived I was already nervous about every place we wanted to go to eat. Three days can be tough on your figure, but it’s very much worth it. The good news is that you walk A LOT so it helps compensate.
We started in La Latina, a colorful and pintoresque neighborhood, known for small restaurants and bars to go for cañas and tapas. We had lunch in the San Miguel market and tried different amazing tapas. After lunch we walked over to Chocolateria San Gines, a chocolate shop that has been around for decades and that is traditionally known for its churros and chocolate. Highly recommended.
We walked around Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor. It was very hot so we couldn’t stay long so we decided to go to a rooftop bar on the Circulo de Bellas Artes. It has an amazing view of the city and really good gin&tonics or tinto de verano. We hung around for the sunset, which was amazing but try to get there around 6-7pm to avoid long lines. The entry fee to the rooftop is 4 euros.
In the evening we met a friend that has been living in Madrid for 10 years and he took us to Platea. A relatively new restaurant that has live music and is in a market format. There are options from different restaurants and types of food (peruvian, mexican, asian, spanish, etc).
We started the day out late to recover from the day before. We had arrived in madrid at 8am, so our day had started really early and ended around 3am. We walked over to Ten Con Ten for lunch. Make a reservation with time, we did it the day before and were only able to get a table for lunch but probably it’s better to go for dinner. The food is exceptional. We had a delicious lunch.
Then we set out to walk off the lunch by walking to Puerta de Alcalá and then through the buen retiro park. By the time we crossed the park, it was so hot outside that we had to go into a cafe for a lemonade to freshen up. We were told that it was unusually warm this September but I would still recommend waiting until October to go so that the weather is nicer.
We continued our walk around the El Prado museum and then to the Malasaña district. We both loved this district, it reminded us more of Barcelona. It’s a hipster neighborhood that has a lot of small stores, bars and restaurants. We walked into the San Anton market in the Chueca district. It has a really nice rooftop bar and restaurant as well, worth checking out.
We returned to Malasaña in the evening for dinner at Lamucca de Pez. It’s has really good food and drinks. We had a really nice dinner. After we went to La Via Lactea bar for drinks. It had good music and a cool atmosphere.
La Latina neighbourhood is popular on Sundays for cañas so we went to a restaurant / bar called El Viajero. Really good place, nice atmosphere and good food. After two days of walking around in the sun and hot weather, we really needed to see water. In most european cities, there is a river that crosses through the center of the city or some type of water. We come from the coast of Peru and are really used to seeing the sea and after living in Barcelona, this need has become stronger.
We walked to the Manzanares river to see the river, Toledo bridge and Pasarela de la Arganzuela. Both bridges are very beautiful and the area is a big park along the river. The only problem is that the river barely had water because it was dry season.
We did not really party this time. I know that Madrid has an amazing nightlife, so maybe next time when it’s not as hot and we don’t have to walk as much as tourists. To me, the best part of Madrid was walking around the different neighbourhoods, eating and exploring different markets and shops.
- NH Hotel Madrid Principe de Vergara: close to the metro so it was easy to move around.
Restaurants & Bars
- Ten con Ten: amazing food. Reserve with time.
- El Viajero: cool place for tapas and cañas on a sunday.
- Platea: no reservation needed, it has a market concept but very lively with live music.
- Mercado de San Miguel
- Mercado de San Anton
- Circulo de Bellas Artes rooftop: nice for drinks at sunset.
- El Azul cafe: amazing lemonade.