A Weekend in Madrid: What To Do & Eat

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Last weekend my friend Marie and I rushed out of the office at 5pm on Friday and hopped on a plane to Madrid to surprise our friend Isaure for her birthday. We didn't have much time when we were there as most of it was filled with birthday celebrations (food, partying, drinks) however we managed to fit in some sightseeing and traditional Spanish food, so if you're in Madrid for a weekend, or even a day, here are some top must-do things whilst you're there!

Walk around the Parque del Buen Retiro and hire a rowing boat

Literally "the Park of the Pleasant Retreat", it's one of the largest parks in Madrid, not to mention how beautiful it is. The park was actually owned by the Spanish Monarchy until the late 19th Century, but you can now have a stroll through it in between sightseeing. 

And you can rent a rowing boat, which is exactly what we did. For only 8 euros for 45 minutes at the weekend, it's definitely worth doing and will induce lots of laughter, especially as you are a bunch of inexperienced rowers like us...

Visit the Palacio de Cristal

aka the "Crystal Palace". It was originally built in the 1880s to show off flora and fauna from the Philippines (basically a massive, pretty greenhouse) but it's now used for art exhibits. 

Try authentic churros at Chocolatería San Ginés 

When in Spain you have to try their local speciality - churros. It's essentially a deep-fried pastry which you can dip in a variety of yummy things such as hot chocolate and dulce de lece (a kind of sweetened milk?!). I had never tried them before so we went to the most famous place: Chocolatería San Ginés. 

It's been serving churros and hot chocolate since 1894 and is supposed to be the best. You can buy 6 churros for 4 euros, although I would recommend going for more than just six as they're so good. There's quite a long line so queue up and order before sitting down (they won't let you if you don't have a ticket!)

The café is located in Pasadizo de San Ginés 5 and is open 24/7 - what more could you want? You can have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drunk snacks, anything really.

Visit the Plaza Mayor

One of the main squares in Madrid, absorb the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the views of some of the most beautiful buildings.

Eat your way through the Mercado de San Miguel 

They have mostly traditional food like tapas and jambón (ham), pictured below but they also have oysters and other types of seafood like authentic calamari. Basically, a food lovers dream. 

The mercado is always super busy so be prepared to battle your way through it to get your hands on some yummy Spanish food, and it's located in the Plaza de San Miguel. It opens at 10am and closes at 12pm (2am on weekends)!

Visit the Templo de Debod 

aka the Temple of Debod. If it doesn't initially strike you as looking very Spanish, you're right because it's actually an ancient Egyptian temple from 200 BC which was donated to Spain in 1968.

You can find it at Calle Ferraz 1.

Just have a wander, get lost!

It's my absolute favourite way to discover a city and you find so many beautiful things along the way...

Although don't get too lost because you have to make it in time to this rooftop bar...

Drink a cocktail ontop of the Círculo de Bellas Artes

This is honestly one of the coolest rooftop bars that I have ever been to - and you get really beautiful views of the city. Try to go at sunset, you won't regret it. 

The queue is massive (because it's just that popular) so try to get there early and you have to pay an entrance fee of 4 - but it's worth it, I would recommend their mojitos!

It's located at Calle de Alcalá 42 and if you are interested in some other rooftop bars in Madrid feel free to check out some more here. 

Oh and before you leave make sure to touch the bear 

Touching the statue of the bear and the strawberry tree will mean that you will return back to the city! I'm not sure if this is actually true but we went along with it because why not... apparently there aren't many people who even know why it's there in the first place. 

You can find the statue in the Plaza Puerta del Sol.

Adios Madrid, you were very good to us (and super sunny, thank you).

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  1. You have just sold Madrid to me in one blog post! I love your photos! Everywhere looks so pretty and the food looks delicious! :) x

    1. Thank you so much that's so sweet! The food was very good - especially those churros dipped in hot chocolate, YUM! x

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed Madrid! It's one of my favorites cities of Spain! The park is sooo beautiful:D kisses xx


  3. Great article ! :)
    I definitely wants to know more about Spain (only visited the south ...) that's why I planned a trip to Barcelona !

    Kenza from https://travelwithkenza.blogspot.fr/

    1. I really want to visit Barcelona again! Have fun on your trip x

  4. Wow, these photos are amazing and you crammed so much into your trip! Looking at the pictures I would have no idea this is Spain. I've always wanted to visit Madrid myself. Thank you for your comment on my post, it wouldn't let me reply. You don't need to attend blogger events you little Jetsetter! :)
    Jaz xoxo

    1. Aw thank you so much - you should definitely go one day! x

  5. I've never had churros... I know, I'm missing out big time!
    Aleeha xXx

    1. I had never had them before going to Madrid on this trip! x

  6. I really want to visit Madrid this year so this is a fabulous post to come across, thank you for sharing!


    1. Ooh if you have time definitely do some of the things that I mentioned in this post - especially the rooftop bar!! x