Do you have two weeks in Madrid and don’t know what to do? Here are some of my favorites.
1. Shopping in the Gran Vía
The Gran Vía is the main avenue of the capital and, without any doubt, the most famous one. With its length of 10,5 kilometers, it is one of the longest avenues of Spain. It’s known for its theaters and cinemas, but also for the shops. Here you can find H&M, Zara, El Corte Inglés and even more. If you are shopaholic, I suggest you to make sure that you have a looooot of money in your bank account before going there!
Recently, an enormous Primark has opened; entering there on Saturday or Sunday is a struggle, so if you can, come during the week. Between one shop and another look up at the splendid Art Nouveau and Art Deco facades of the buildings that line the street. If you prefer alternative shopping, check out this article instead.
Metro: Gran Vía, Plaza de España
2. Night out: Kapital
Of course, you shouldn’t miss the nightlife of the city. “Si Nueva York no duerme, ¡Madrid no parpadea!” (if New York doesn’t sleep, Madrid doesn’t blink!) say Madrid’s people.
The city is full of clubs and pubs: the choice is yours! I recommend Kapital that, with its seven flours, is one of the largest clubs in Europe. Karaoke, Hip Hop, R&B… Kapital supplies music for every taste! It was a former theater and the ambiance is fascinating. It opens on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 00:00 to 06:00. The entrance is about 20 €.
3. Take a selfie with the symbol of the city in the Puerta del Sol
Maybe you don’t know that the symbol of the city is a bear with a tree, a strawberry tree to be precise. For those who love football, it’s the bear that appears in the Atlético de Madrid’s logo, to be clear.
The Puerta del Sol hosts a statue of the symbol of the city. There is always a queue of tourists waiting for having a photo with the emblem of the capital. So, before leaving the city, take a selfie with the bear!
Another tip: after taking a photo, give yourself a sweet break and taste the products of one of the most famous bakeries of the city, La Mallorquina.
4. Museums: Prado and Reina Sofia
Madrid is a city rich in art; there are many museums that you can visit for free (have a look at my article to discover more). If you have time and you love art, you should visit as many as you can, every one of the museusm hosts masterpieces of inestimable value.
Yet, two weeks are not much time. So, I recommend you to visit the Prado and the Reina Sofía. In the Prado you can admire canvases of Velazquéz, Tintoretto, Rafael and Goya. The Reina Sofia houses one of the most famous works of art of the XX century: Guernica. It’s enormous and moving. The collection of contemporary art exhibited there is one of the best in Europe.
Metro: Prado – Recoletos/ Reina Sofia – Atocha
5. Visit the Royal Palace
Do you know that the royal palace isn’t actually the official residence of the King of Spain? Nevertheless, it worth a visit! The building is one the finest palaces in Europe. Admire the Plaza de Oriente and the Sabatini Gardens situated around the Palace.
I truly recommend to enter and see the interior of the Palace. Pay attention: when a ceremony is held you cannot visit it. So make sure that it’s open to the public before going there. Have a look of the official website of the Palacio Real. From Monday to Thursday the European citizens can enter for free from 16:00 to 18:00.
Metro: Ópera and Principe Pío
6. Rent a boat in the Retiro Park
This park is the perfect place to chill out or have a picnic on sunny days, or also running if you prefer sport. You cannot leave Madrid without visiting it and, in particular, you should rent a boat and row in the largest lake in the park. I must inform you that rowing isn’t a joke, you are going to work hard, but at the same time have a great time.
7. See the sunset in front of the Temple of Debod
Are you aware that there is an Egyptian temple in the centre of Madrid? This city never stops to astonish! It’s located in the West Park and you can enter for free. From there, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city. In particular, seeing the sunset from there is something special. Take a romantic date with you!
Metro: Plaza de España
8. Take a stroll on the river banks
Almost every important city was founded on the banks of a river. The one of Madrid is not as famous as the Thames or the Seine, but taking a stroll on its banks is an unmissable experience. In particular, you should visit Madrid Río, a large area recently created. Renting a bike is also a good idea. There are some available for rent at the Matadero cultural centre.
Metro: Principe Pío, Puerta del Ángel
9. Look for second hand clothes: El Rastro!
This flea market is held in the district of La Latina every Sunday and it’s the most popular market of the capital. There you can find a huge range of products. It’s part of the history of Madrid: It was held for the first time 400 years ago!
Metro: La Latina, Lavapiés, Embajadores
10. Visit the best square of Madrid: Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor is situated in the heart of the old part of the city and the most charming, as far as I’m concerned. It’s portico lined and, without any doubt, is the best square of the city.
Metro: Tirso de Molina, Sol