6 really special things not to miss when you travel to Madrid [Spain]
Madrid is a city with music in its soul and an unshakeable spring in its step, it is also one of the most open cities on earth and it doesn’t matter where you’re from you’ll find something to suit you here. It’s also a really easy to find vacation rentals in Madrid to explore the city from.
Madrid’s broad sweep of architectural history provides a glorious backdrop to city life, from medieval mansions and royal palaces to the glorious contemporary architecture. Also the city has evolved into one of the richest culinary capitals of Europe. From tapas in sleek temples to all that’s new to sit-down meals beneath centuries-old vaulted ceilings, eating in Madrid is a genuine pleasure.
Vacation rentals in Madrid can be found all over the center and you can often rent an apartment in the most stunning locations from which you can truly experience the ‘real’ Madrid.
1. Start your day the Spanish way
If you prefer to venture out of your apartment for breakfast and you feel like starting your day ‘Madrid style’ then have a tosta con tomate sprinkled with a little salt and olive oil, a café con leche and a glass of zumo de naranja natural (freshly squeezed orange juice) and enjoy the Spanish breakfast experience!
This small, light breakfast, may not fill you up for long but it’s ok because soon it will be time for the merienda (mid-morning snack) and of course lunch, the biggest meal of the day, is just around the corner. You can find toast with tomato at almost any Spanish restaurant, bar or café but here are some of our central Madrid favorites:
Café de la Luz – Calle Puebla 8
Bicicleta – Plaza de San Ildefonso 9
Toma Café – Calle de la Palma 49
2. Have lunch at Mercado de San Miguel
This incredible market is wonderful not only for the most succulent Jamón serrano ham we have ever tasted, but also for it’s colourful array of Spanish food and drink, from wine and tapas bars to colorful stalls selling all kinds of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood.
Established in 1916, Mercado de San Miguel is also one of the oldest markets in Madrid. With its stunning 20th-century glass walls, it could easily be considered among the finest examples of iron and glass architecture in the Spanish capital. This is without a doubt one of Madrid’s most exciting markets.
Make sure you take some delicious food and drink back to eat in your holiday apartment, as that is part of the fun when you are in staying in Madrid!
2. Go Museum Hopping
If you choose to rent an apartment in the center of Madrid you are close to some of the world’s best art museums, and even if you’re not an expert or a fan, you can still enjoy the Prado or Reina Sofia just for the incredible grandness and atmosphere
3. Contemplate life at Templo de Debod
If you are in need of a change of pace and atmosphere, The Templo de Debod is a really special retreat in the heart of Madrid. Here you can watch the sunset over Madrid’s Casa de Campo park and catch your breath for a while, it’s close to Palacio Real, yet away from the the hustle and bustle of the city center. The temple is actually a gift from Egypt transplanted in the heart of Madrid, its style a stark contrast to the traditional architecture of Madrid, making it a truly special and unique place. So if you’re in Madrid on a sunny afternoon and looking for something that’s a little off the beaten path this the perfect spot.
4. Relax at a rooftop bar
After a busy day sightseeing in Madrid, rather than heading straight back to your holiday apartment, the most relaxing thing to do is take in the view from one of Madrid’s stylish rooftop bars. They are perfect for an afternoon or evening drink, and always attract a great crowd and atmosphere. Here are a few to try:
Circulo de Bellas Arte – Calle de Alcalá, 42
Gymage – Calle de la Luna, 2
Room Mate Hotel Oscar – Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, 12
5. Eat tapas at one of the best tapas bars in town
Spain’s capital is awash with tapas bars but where to find the good ones?
Casa Gonzalez is the perfect place to start. The traditional façade is just what you might imagine a tapas bar should look like and the smartly tiled interior and moreish hoard of conserves, cheese and charcuterie looks like a scene from a romantic Spanish film. Try the jamón ibérico de bellota (acorn-fed Iberian ham, €10.10), cured manchego cheese (€6), and a spicy bottle of red and watch the light fade over the cobblestones outside.
If a tapas crawl is more your type of thing, the most famous street for tapas is just outside of the center on Calle Cava Baja in the La Latina neighborhood of Madrid. This little street has the most bars per square meter than any other street in the city!
6. Madrid for wine lovers
If you love wine, make sure your leave your apartment for an evening out because Madrid is the city for wine lovers but only if you know where to look. Almost every bar in the city serves a drinkable wine from Rioja, Ribera del Duero or Rueda but in order to enjoy some truly mouthwatering wine, head to the experts at the locally run vinotecas.
These specialist wine bars hand pick a quality selection of the best of Spanish wine, making it easy to taste a new gem every time. If you’re a wine lover in Madrid don’t miss tasting as many bold, dramatic reds and bright, energetic whites as possible. Here are some recommendations by a wine enthusiast
La Fisna – Calle Amparo, 91 in Lavapies – This rustic looking wine bar makes you feel like you’re in a century-old haunt of Spain’s wine greats.
Bodegas Rosell – Calle del General Lacy, 14 near Atocha – Excellent food and wine list , this traditional tavern is a favorite Madrid dinner spot.
De Vinos – Calle de la Palma, 76 in Conde Duque – Local wine dive which has an excellent rotating wine list and holds regular wine tastings.
Casa Gonzalez – Calle de León, 12 in Huertas– In the heart of the Literary Quarter, this bar-restaurant and gourmet shop is great for wines by the glass, cheese and charcuterie.
Vinoteca Vides – Calle Hortaleza, 11 near Gran Via – Probably the most extensive wine list in Madrid with over 60 Spanish wines to choose from and wines of the week.
Finding Vacation Rentals in Madrid
We would recommend finding vacation rentals in Madrid in the area of Opera so that you can explore all that Madrid has to offer by foot and if you want to venture further afield you can take the Metro. There are a huge range of Vacation Rentals in Madrid to choose from and many at very reasonable prices.
Resources for your trip: