That world where we could freely roam around the world is beginning to seem like a lost utopian dream rather than the last year’s reality. As a passionate traveler, addicted to new passport stamps, the inability to travel without worries has truly been a tough one. Especially because I had planned out the most perfect trip to Madrid for my birthday in 2020. A trip that is now canceled.
A careful planner such as myself starts browsing for places to check out and restaurants to go to months and months in advance. Don’t get me wrong, there is always room for improvisation and spontaneous activity, but this trip – my long lusted visit to Madrid – was everything I could think about in the last year.
If you’re getting a sense that I’m giving up on this idea, that’s not happening. I’m still as hung up on exploring the lively Madrid inside out as soon as I get a chance. However, with the purpose of sharing the findings of my meticulous research, I will tell you about my must-do list for visiting Madrid.
Spain in general is a country whose passionate people, rich history, and melodic language have made me fall in love with it in a heartbeat. I took Spanish classes while I was in college to lay my groundwork. I also spent a year studying abroad in Barcelona.
I’ve been reading and learning about Spain for years but my deepest desire has been to experience the spirit of the city known as Madrid. The baroque architecture, the parks, the boulevards, the museums – there is an endless list of features that got me craving to walk the streets of Madrid.
Madrid is the capital of Spain and it perfectly mixes the traditional with the modern. To be completely honest, I did meet people whom Madrid failed to impress. And I’ve heard stories about how amazing this city is. For example, Andy Perkins, a traveler and contributor writer for custom term paper writing services shared that
“rarely which city makes me feel like a tourist and local at the same time. But Madrid made that happen. The people, the music, and the breath-taking sights create the most perfect mosaic of this unique culture.”
In any case, I wanted to assess this city’s nature on my own. Maybe I can’t tell you my impression of the city, but what’s it worth even if I do? You are to make up your own idea of Madrid, what I can do is to help you plan out the trip.
Now, I’ve created my Madrid itinerary a long time ago and I’ve been holding onto it restlessly. However, it is time to share my plans with my fellow travelers. Maybe one of you will get a chance to recreate this trip before I finally set sail to Madrid. Let these plans serve you well and give you all the travel-induced joy whenever you get the opportunity to head to this city.
Absolute musts for my visit to Madrid
First of all, my glorious plan was to dedicate four full days to Madrid. I did my research and consulted with Madrid-traveling veterans which led me to the conclusion that for my introductory trip, four days will work just fine.
In terms of the stay, I was aiming for Puerta del Sol. The Puerta del Sol is a public square and the center of bustling crowds. I want a place where I could safely walk back to at night and Puerta del Sol can give me that.
The main reason why I wanted to be situated in Puerta del Sol is that tons of metros run from that place. That means that I could easily go wherever I want, whenever I want.
I had already set my eyes on B&B Hotel Madrid Centro Puerta del Sol. My close friend was very pleased with this 3-star hotel and reviews also go in its favor. So, if you need a recommendation for accommodation in Madrid, here’s one.
Aside from living on tapas and drinking wine, I had several other plans in mind. Here is the list of absolute musts for my visit to Madrid:
- Plaza Mayor – Whether you like touristy places or not, you can’t miss out on this. The origins of the Plaza go way back to 1576.
- Mercado de San Miguel – An indoor market near Plaza Mayor, built-in 1916. It is a vibrant market and one of the oldest ones in town.
- El Retiro – Taking a boat ride in this beautiful park is definitely on my itinerary.
- Royal Palace – When in Madrid, you have to look inside the official residence of the Spanish royal family.
- The Plaza de Cibeles – One of the symbols of the city graced with neo-classical architecture and marble sculptures.
- Prado – A famous museum founded in 1819 that I was simply dying to go to.
- The Reina Sofia Museum – Another museum I can’t miss.
- Temple of Debod – If you can, go to Temple of Debot to watch the most beautiful sunset.
- Real Jardin Botanico – I’m a sucker for flowers and botanical gardens so I slipped Real Jardin Botanico into my to-visit list.
- La Latina – Apparently it is a great neighborhood for grabbing drinks at night and eating delicious tapas.
My Madrid itinerary
It may seem like I put too much on my plate, but believe me, I could manage to juggle it all in four days. Are you ready to be introduced to my itinerary? Here it goes:
- Day 1: I like to go all out on the first day, so I reserved it for Plaza Mayor, Mercado de San Miguel, El Retiro boat ride, and Plaza de Cibeles. It may seem overwhelming but these are all neighboring sites.
- Day 2: The next day I want to dedicate to The Reina Sofia Museum, walk around the streets of Madrid, and breathe in that lively atmosphere. When the sun sets, I want to top it off with grabbing drinks in the La Latina neighborhood.
- Day 3: Museum number two (Prado) is the next target followed by Real Jardin Botanico which is only a few minutes away.
- Day 4: The last day is reserved for the Royal Palace and like a cherry on top, a mesmerizing sunset at Temple of Debod.
If organizing a trip isn’t your favorite thing to do, this plan can hopefully be of some use to you. In addition to these must-see places, if I have the time I would also like to check out Madrid Zoo Aquarium, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (European art from 13th to 20th centuries), and Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
Of course, there is so much more you can see and do in Madrid. However, I’ve picked out the places that evoked my curiosity the most.