I fell in love with Madrid in under 2 days.
I’m going to start incorporating travel into my blog as I love to explore new places. I find that exploring a new place can really inspire, teach you new things and obviously it’s an excuse to eat all of the food. So I thought I’d kick the travel posts off by bringing you an instagrammers guide to Madrid. If you don’t instagram/social media the sh** out of your holiday, did you even go?! Jokes a side, I thought this type of post would be an easy way to show you some of the most beautiful places in Madrid that I discovered (including a hidden garden with peacocks). I will be doing a few other posts of Madrid, there’s already a foodies guide to Madrid sat in my drafts and maybe even a vlog, but here’s the first instalment of my travels to Madrid.
Parque del Buen Retiro also known as El Retiro – “The park of pleasant retreat”
One of the largest parks in the city of Madrid, it can be found in the area of Retiro (nearest metro stations are Retiro or Ibiza). A huge park full of beautiful gardens (including a rose garden), lakes and a few hidden gems that I randomly stumbled across, see below! Retiro Park is also located near several major Madrid landmarks (Puerta de Alcalá, El Prado Museum and the Atocha Train Station), making it the perfect place to visit.
Inside El Retiro: Palacio de Cristal – “Crystal Palace”
Found in the centre of El Retiro park, Palacio de Critical is a pretty glass dome surrounded by trees and situated next to a pond. Make sure you take a look at the tiled detail on the outside of the palace and it’s also free to go inside.
Inside El Retiro: Jardines de Cecilio Rodriguez
In my opinion, the best part about El Retiro is the Jardines de Cecilia Rodriguez. A beautiful garden which is home to peacocks just casually strolling around. Honestly such a beautiful place! It’s situated along the back of El Retiro, along the street Avenida del Menendez Palayo.
Atocha Train Station
Not only is it the largest train station in Madrid, but it’s also one of the most beautiful train stations I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I know, I never thought I would say that either.
Now I know what you’re thinking, this girl is some sort of weird trainspotter. Well you’re wrong, I wasn’t there for the trains! There is a tropical garden in the centre of the concourse. Not only does it have amazing palm trees but there are loads of turtles just chilling in little pond.
Plaza Mayor and surrounding area
Madrid’s main square is not only easy on the eye but full of tapas bars and street performers. I know this is obvious on city breaks, but pick pockets are even more prevalent in this part of Madrid, so be careful! Don’t miss out on venturing down the back streets, you’ll find some fab little bars and great street art.
Other places near Plaza Mayor
Extremely close to Plaza Mayor is the famous food market called Mercado de San Miguel, which can only be described as tapas heaven. It does get super busy, especially around 1 – 3pm but all the food I tried, which was obviously a lot, was incredible! More detail on Mercado de San Miguel will be included in my foodie guide to Madrid.
You have to try bocadillo (or bocadillo de calamare), a local favourite of calamari in a roll – super yum.
Or once you’ve finished people watching, take a stroll down to Círculo de Bellas Artes which has an amazing rooftop bar, that provides spectacular views of the Madrid city.
Another area worth a visit is Malasana, which is also referred to as the hipster or edgy part of Madrid. Full of amazing street art, perfect cafes for brunch, lots of independants and street food!
The Royal Palace of Madrid
Next to the Cathedral de la Almudena, is the Royal Palace of Madrid. The building is beautiful and whilst I was visiting they had the most beautiful sign up “refugee’s welcome”.
Explore all of the beautiful street art
I have a thing for graffiti, so was massively impressed with how many hidden graffiti gems there were in Madrid. Although this may not be everyones favourite thing to look at, some of the piece are so detailed and beautifully made. A few spots to visit if you’re into street art:
- Malasana – A quirky part of Madrid, which features lots of brightly coloured graffiti.
- Tabacalera area in Embajadores (used to be a tobacco factory but now covered in street art)
- Plaza de Matute – Features the amazing “Love what you do” quote – an instagram dream!