Madrid is full of amazing food, art, and beautiful gardens! Definitely a must-see location in Spain! I mean really... look at that ceiling!
What to Eat?
Okay - typically I will always start my travel blogs with what to do or see, or where to stay. You know... the "important" things. But honestly - Madrid had some of the absolute BEST food that has ever graced our tastebuds.
I absolutely fell in LOVE with their breakfasts - if I lived in Spain I would be as big as a house. One of the most traditional Spanish breakfast foods is a tostada. You can almost always find a tostada con tomate, y jamón for anywhere from $1-$3. First - spread the tomate, then drizzle olive oil, a dash of salt, then the jamón. I would seriously have a minimum of 2 of these each morning.
Literally everywhere we went - it was all our favorite things. And when I say all - I mean ALL. My mouth literally waters as I look at those photos below. We had jamón ibérico (prosciutto), fresh tuna tartar, fresh mozzarella, goat cheeses, olives, avocado and truffle EVERYTHING! That photo in the top right corner... IS THEIR MCDONALDS!! Can you believe it? Top Left is a Truffle Tortilla - and was paired with the bars house-made IPA (literally divine).
The majority of the below photos are from SAN MIGUEL MARKET. If you don't listen to anything I say - GO HERE & GO HUNGRY! You can easily spend hours here, eating your way through all the booths. There is local wines and spirits to pair with all of your tapas!
The one things we didn't eat (which I'm embarrassed to say) is paella. But it is literally a combination of everything Harrison hates (rice and spices) or things I can't eat (shellfish). Everyone goes CRAZY over it - so definitely find a place to try it! It just wasn't our cup of tea.
What to do/See?
*Royal Palace- That photo up top.... the ceiling of the palace. This was absolutely UNREAL. Crazy to think that people have such talent to be able to create the furniture, ceilings, wallpaper, and decor that is on display here. I would say - this is the 1 thing you need to do if you go site seeing in Spain. It has something for everyone. For the manly men, there is a Royal Armory (which is really cool), full of armor, guns, swords, and other "things used to fight". Definitely take a stroll through the gardens on the way to the Temple of Debod!
Temple of Debod - Definitely cool. Egyptian things fascinate me. Also - how modelesque does my husband look in front of it? You only need about 30 minutes here to take some great photos. However - the inside wasn't open when we went... so if it is - factor that in! This is within walking distance of the Royal Palace and the Gardens - so do these together!
Art, Art, Art & did I say Art? Harrison was in heaven. Have I ever mentioned he LITERALLY has to read every single plaque/description, listen to every number on every audio guide, and listen to every in person guide he can stalk in every museum. As a matter of fact - I didn't mention we paid two locals - to personally guide us through the Palace Royal and a "special" Skip the Line: Prado Museum Private Tour. Honestly - both tours were amazing and I highly recommend it. I think the guides have never felt more connected to a tourist than with Harrison.
Prado Museum - world's finest collections of European Art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century. Honestly - for me... I could have walked through all the floors and every room in about 2 hours. The art was impressive - they have a large collection of Fransisco Goya (which honestly freaked me out - Click Here to see why). However - this is just something you HAVE to do. You can't go to Madrid and not go to the Prado Museum. So if your me - just suffer through.
Museo Reina Sofía - I actually enjoyed. You can walk here from Prado Museum. This museum had a large collection of Picasso (who I think is overrated - gasp!) and Salvador Dali (who I loved). This was a much smaller museum - we were able to do this with just the audio guide.
El Retiro Park & Crystal Palace - I wouldn't recommend if you do A LOT of walking on your Spain trip. It is quite a hike - and its just a crystal palace and a park. I didn't think it was anything remarkable. Need to kill time - sure. If not... just eat more tapas!
Uber, Metro, Bus, are the easiest ways to get around! There were also taxis - but we found that most people in taxes didn't speak any English - making it harder to get where you wanted to go unless you could show them a map!
We walked most places - and only took an Uber to get to our first location and to take us home!