Monday, September 17, 2018

#621 : Madrid - Spain Diaries


Having talked about the food and the people, it's time to focus on the places I got to explore in the very little time that I stayed in Madrid. Work was quite hectic and left us with just some time in the weekends to explore. Since I was put up in a hotel which was a 2 minute walk from the San Cristobal Industrial station, I found it quite easy to explore. In spite of having a car, I preferred to take the train as it was less of hassle and quite a cheaper option too. 

Pro tip here - Finding a parking space in most places in the Madrid city can be daunting. Parking in the wrong slot or not displaying the parking ticket can attract a heavy fine. One of my colleague ended up paying EUR 90 twice for parking in the wrong spot.  More over, if you are used to left hand driving, navigating around with a map can be tricky as Spain follows right hand driving - this means round about and exits which are easy to miss and hard to follow if your navigation skills are poor. Not being withing speed limits and drunk driving are pretty heavy offence too. Ditch the car, take a cab or the metro or the subway trains. 

Fact File : 

Madrid (My Spanish colleague insisted on pronouncing it as madhreedh) is roughly 604 km sq in size and has a population of 6.5 million. It is the capital of Spain and is a literal melting pot of people and culture. It's the ninth most densely populated city in Europe. It is home to beautiful churches and elegant boulevards, expansive, manicured parks such as the Buen Retiro. It’s renowned for its rich repositories of European art, including the Prado Museum’s works by Goya, Velázquez and other Spanish masters. The heart of old Hapsburg Madrid is the portico-lined Plaza Mayor, and nearby is the baroque Royal Palace and Armory, displaying historic weaponry.

Places to visit in Madrid : 

La Puerta del Sol - It's the central spot of Madrid. It's the place to be to experience Madrid and shop for anything - Clothes, Food, Fashion, Souvenirs - you name it, it's there. Well connected by trains, you can't possibly miss this place. Beware of your belongings during weekends and festival times as the crowd can be a bit overwhelming. The local cops do a through job of managing the crowd and helping the tourists. Lookout for local performers who do a great job, nothing like witnessing a lovely dance/music performance live. 

Sol Square, Before Christmas

San Miguel Mercado - Must visit place for a food. It's a short and pleasant walk from Sol square. Live music, tapas food (Spanish finger food) and great wine - This place is a dream for a foodie. It's a stunning 20th century building  glass walled building constructed in 1916.

San Miguel on a Sunday

Barrio de La Latina - La Latina has two sides to it - The nigh life side and the flea market side. A detailed post about this place coming up later some time. 

Plaza Mayor - Beautiful square with intense architecture by Juan de Villanueva. The square is home to a thriving antique flea market on weekend. Coins, stamps, old dairies, antiques - you get everything for dirt cheap prices. 

Círculo de Bellas Artes -  This is basically a museum with a rooftop restaurant with breath taking views. I'm not really inclined to art so I skipped the museum and hit the rooftop. You can literally see all of Madrid. There was a photography exhibit on the restaurant when we visited. Good food, breathtaking views - it's slightly crowded though on weekends.

Buen Retiro Park - This is the place to be if you want to escape the daily din. Spread over 350 acres of lush greenery the park is home to a beautiful lake and manicured gardens. 

Royal Palace of Madrid - A beautiful place to be if you are into history. I skipped this and visited the other palace in Aranjuez. The space outside the Palace is really picturesque and is a great place for pictures. This place is almost always crowded and has a lot of street performers doing various things. 

Palacio de Cristal - Remember the beautiful glass palace in the famous Rajinikant movie - Sivaji - that's this place - glory in glass and metal! 


Las Ventas - I didn't get to watch bull fighting as I returned before summer. Mind you, Spanish bull fighting is not for the faint heart. Unlike the Indian version - Jallikattu - the bulls here are killed. Las Vantas is the bull fighting ring in Madrid. 

Museo Nacional Del Prado- I'm not a museum person, but the Prado museum is quite famous and is a place must visit if you love art. 

Almost all the mentioned places are quite well connected via the Spanish Metro/train system. 

Lookout for more posts in the series about shopping and various other places to visit. Read the first post in the series here.

PS. It's my first season with the fantastic blogger campaign #MyFriendAlexa. This post is a part of it! #WriteAway

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114 comments:

  1. Looks like a lovely quaint place..

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  2. Very nice sharing. Some must visit spots.

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  3. I visited Barcelona in May and it was fabulous. Madrid also seems to be a lovely place, may be sometime later, will plan. Thanks for the detailed post.

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    1. Thank you! I missed visiting Barcelona. Next time may be!

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  4. Breathtaking visuals, accompanied by a brilliant write-up. How I wish I could Spain soon!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, it is a must visit place! Do plan!

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  5. Thanks a lot for sharing the details of Madrid in post, Thank god for right hand drives at least we Indians are use to that. Amazing pics

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  6. I visited Spain 3 years ago, and though my stay in Madrid was short we still managed to pack quite a bit. Puerta del sol, parque del retiro, royal palace, mercado and also parque del oesto where templo deldebod is are fascinated Your post refreshed those lovely memories.

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    1. I missed the Templo! Ought to take a trip once again! I fell in love with the city!

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  7. Seems like a very good place to visit, place for foodie

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    1. Totally. Trust me. The Spanish love their food and it's good for a foodie that way :-D

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  8. A must visit place for sure! 😍
    Thanks for sharing your experience.
    #MyFriendAlexa #AditiReads

    aditikapur.com

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  9. Spain has witnessed the rise and the fall of civilizations which makes it an interesting place to visit for history buffs like me. someday!

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    1. Indeed. Spain is a melting pot of cultures - Jews, Muslims, Christians - All of them have their own little part in the country's history.

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  10. Ugh! Spain is so on my list of must-visit places!

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  11. Nice information and I had added Madrid to my bucket list now

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  12. Madrid is such a beautiful city with so much culture and grandeur. We had a great experience there

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    Replies
    1. Agree with you totally. I loved living there!

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  13. I have read so many novels wth backdrop of Spain , that it's top on my must visit country . Your Madrid dairy with exciting information, pro-tips and lovely pics have made me more enthusiastic to visit it sooner. #MyFriendAlexa #SujatawdeReads

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  14. That's such a nice detailed blog with all the essential information & travel tips at one place. Bookmarking this post for reference. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you :) Don't hesitate to ping me. You can reach me via the mail ID on the blog. Will be glad to help plan things!

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  15. Superb post. The traveler in me couldn't afford to miss it. Liked reading it.

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  16. That's a beautiful post for a beautiful place. Hope to visit someday.

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  17. How lucky to be working at a place that lets you travel to such beautiful destinations. Also, I love the layout of your blog. It's clean and very well put together. Best of luck with the Alexa campaign! :D
    [@samantha_rjsdr] from
    Whimsical Compass

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  18. A lovely post with brilliant pics and great info about Madrid, Spain. Will surely follow you.

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    1. Thank you :) That's so encouraging to hear!

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  19. Spain has been on the must visit list for a long time now.. thanks for sharing this! really helpful!

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    1. Please do visit. Don't hesitate to ping me when you plan a trip. Will be happy to help!

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  20. Very detailed and informative post. Would definitely be helpful for those visiting Madrid

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  21. Madrid appears to me a good mix of old and new both. It was a pleasure to have a round up of Madrid through your post.

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  22. Thanks for taking us on a tour de Madrid.
    #manreadsfrom http:www.orientalafterglow.com

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  23. I've never visited Spain nor Madrid and your post intrigued me about the city, madrid.

    https://www.rohankachalia.com/2018/09/payback-part-4/

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  24. Now I want to visit Madreedh...Always wanted to visit, your post has piqued my interest further.

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  25. Enjoyed this virtual tour with valuable info.

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  26. Never been to Madrid or Spain but would love to explore it some day. Great detailed post with helpful pointers.

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  27. Loved reading about Spain. Will definitely add Madrid on my traveling list

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  28. Even though I speak Spanish and I know all about the Spanish culture I have not as yet visited the country. Looking forward to going there coming year. Bookmarking this article for future reference. Well written!
    Cheers!
    Dipali ( https://www.spoonsandsneakers.com/ )

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  29. Having been to Madrid, I totally endorse this piece. Well researched and put!

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  30. Super post, Madrid is on my list, having been to Barcelona already and your itinerary looks good.

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  31. Nice description of Madrid. I didn't know that bulls are killed during bullfighting. I'm surprised that it's still allowed there.

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  32. Thank you for sharing this with me, this is in my list for visiting

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  33. I always like to visit palaces of every place I visit. I like your list of places to visit in Madrid. Really helpful.

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  34. I personally liked Barcelona way better - you?

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    1. I spent 4 months in Spain yet had no time for Barcelona :'( Next trip may be!

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  35. Saving your post !! Very helpful for planning the trip. Thank you

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    1. Thank you! Don't hesitate to ping me when you do! Would be happy to help!

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  36. Thanks for the information....wonderful post.

    #MyFriendAlexa #ilaenjoys #Blogchatter

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  37. Madrid was never on my bucket list until now.. Thanks for sharing your experience

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  38. wow looks like a great place..you had shared all details very well. #surbhireads #Myfriendalexa

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  39. Spain has a rich culture and truly beautiful.
    MothersGurukulreads #Myfriendalexa

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  40. Spain is on top of my bucket list but I have yet to visit it. Your post has made me more anxious to visit it as soon as possible. :)
    #readbypreetispanorama for #MyFriendAlexa

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    1. Thank you! It's a beautiful place! Do visit!

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  41. Thanks for the detailed list. Being in Europe planning a trip to Spain soon. This is definitely going to help.

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    1. Please do! Don't hesitate to ping me if you need any help with that! Do reach out to me via my mail ID on the blog! :)

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  42. This is a beautiful blog and the post is so detailed ad helpful.

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  43. Would have loved to see more pictures, but thanks for the information!

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    1. Will make it a point to upload more pictures next time. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  44. Spain is on the top in bucket list and Enrique Iglesias is the obvious reason 😁 but yes your post motivated me too.Thanks for sharing Shree.

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  45. Quite a detailed post on Madrid.. I have visited Switzerland and many cities there and loved the experience in Europe. I am not a museum person but am interested in trying out various cuisines and wine.

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  46. Love the architecture part and it is on our list thinking around Christmas when everything is do beautiful and everyone in the festive mood.

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  47. Spain has always been our must visit places. The way you've described it seems so amazing!

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  48. Madrid sounds an exiting place to visit. #myfriendalexa #mommyinmereads

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  49. Thanks for the article. Madrid is a very beautiful place

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  50. Heard a lot about Madrid. Never know that so many places to explore in this beautiful city. Would definitely take place in my travel bucket list.
    #dewreads
    #myfriendalexa

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  51. Your post makes me want to pack my bags and leave for Spain right now. Love the way you have described the practical details like the parking costs and fines. Keep writing. #MayuraReads #MyFriendAlexa

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  52. I have been to Barcelona and Ibiza, this one surely makes me cover Madrid and the rest of Spain.
    #MyFriendAlexa #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

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  53. Your post is a perfect list for people visiting Madrid. Lovely captured clicks.

    Cheers
    MeenalSonal from AuraOfThoughts
    #MyFriendAlexa #MeenalSonalReads

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  54. I have missed Spain by a whisker a couple of times buddy but your post almost makes me ensure I don't miss it the next time :)

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  55. Loved reading your travel experiences.

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  56. Europe in general has a quaint charm to it surrounded as its by centuries of history and castles. Good post

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  57. I will add Barcelona with Madrid, whenever that happens. They both are different! modern vs historic!

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  58. very nice post with some crazy travel destination clicks

    #poseinstylereads #myfriendalexa
    www.poseinstyle.com

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  59. A very detailed post, watching local performances and enjoy local delicacies is a great way to know a place.

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  60. Omg ! There is lot to see in this world .
    Beautiful clicks

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  61. I love the colors of spanish carnival

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  62. I have heard about parking problem in the whole Spain not only Madrid. Moreover you have described the places really well with much needed tips.

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  63. That's a nice virtual trip to Madrid. Would have enjoyed more photos.

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  64. Madrid is on our list of cities to visit! I can't wait to experience these places. Bookmarking this post!

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  65. Thanks for taking me to the virtual trip of Madrid..

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  66. My wishlist for places to visit is ever increasing... Madrid was missing... Now with your elaborate writeup I have already started visualizing the beauty of the place... It is definitely on my wishlist now!

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  67. This is so much of a viryual tour of the place!! Very interesting.

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  68. I really love this place Spain looks so good quaint place

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  69. Amazing and beautiful post. Spain is so beautiful and peaceful place to visit and enjoy. Great thoughts.

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  70. Amazing and beautiful post. Spain is so beautiful and peaceful place to visit and enjoy. Great thoughts.

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  71. Spain has been on my wish-list since forever. Your post makes me want to go :)

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  72. Your blog describe your love for place and your enjoyment of visiting it. Surely its a beautiful tourist desination

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