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El Retiro park used to be part of the monarchy’s estate, belonging to Queen Isabela I and King Ferdinand. The park has since been place under the hands of the public. The park is beautifully decorated with marble statues and monuments.
On the park grounds you’ll also find the Crystal Palace which is certainly a sight to marvel at. The green expanse is also home to the monument of Alfonso XII. This is the perfect place to relax during the Spanish afternoon siesta.
Every Sunday streets of residential areas are turned into an open air flee market. The stalls are an eclectic labyrinth of handmade and vintage goods. The buzz of the market is especially live and is certainly popular with the locals. You should definitely spend your morning browsing the stalls and experiencing this unique and expansive market. Get lost amongst the streets and hopefully you will find some gems worth purchasing.
This temple was gifted to Spain by Egypt and is over 2200 years old. You’ll find the temple in Parque del Oeste. This is a truly remarkable place to watch the sunset over the city. It can get crowded so get there with plenty of time to spare before the sun goes down. Perhaps take the opportunity to explore inside the temple as well.
Plaza Mayor is the main square of Madrid and rightly attracts a swarm of crowds. It was once home to an expansive market and even hosted bullfights. Though this destination is popular with tourists, it is not one to be missed. The square is a unique sight with in such a tightly packed city as it is such an immense open space. The surrounding buildings are painted in vibrant colours and are well worth a photo.
The Plaza is a good starting point for further exploration. From here you can find Mercado de San Miguel. As well as Corpus Christi Monastery which is a good location to purchase homemade cookies from the resident nuns. Plaza de Oriente is also not far from Plaza Mayor. The square is decorated with ornate statues of Visigothic kings and is a truly marvelous sight.
This market is one of the oldest markets in Spain and as such has plenty of Spanish character. Since its first build the market has been modernised and the entrance is now a wall of glass inviting passers by to come in a taste the delicious food inside.
This museum is home to the most famous 20th Century Spanish painting, Picasso’s Guernica. Though this is the major attraction in the museum, its walls are covered in stunning art. Take some time out of your day and wonder the halls and marvel at the artist’s handiwork. Despite an array of permanent exhibitions, collections in the museum change regularly. Make sure to check out who’s work it is that is displaying when you are there.
The best neighborhood for tapas bars is undoubtedly La Latina. Streets around Plaza Santa Ana have the best lines of tapas restaurants and bars to visit. If you are a seafood lover then visit La Casa del Abeulo. This restaurant is most well known for its various shrimp dishes. Taberna La Concha is also popular. Here sip on an expertly sweet vermouth cocktails and taste their salmorejo.
Do not come to Madrid without experiencing their churros. San Gines is a chocolate lovers heaven and has been since the 19th Century. This small but bustling café deals exclusively in rich chocolate and sugary churros. The portion sizes are very generous so we’d recommend sharing.