10 hotspots in beautiful Madrid
Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a paradise for culture and food lovers. Because hey, you're in the land of flamenco, fresh tapas, siesta and dozens of sights to feast your eyes on. So getting bored is really a no-go when living and working in Madrid. If your must-visit list could still use some input, take note of these 10 hotspots in Madrid! Vamos a Madrid!
Madrid is one of Spain's most beloved cities. The Spanish metropolis has over three million inhabitants and yet Madrid's city centre is intimate and cosy. The city breathes history and has countless sights. From green parks and impressive palaces to cosy barrios (neighbourhoods) and long shopping streets: Madrid has it all.
1. Mercado de San Miguel
The Mercado de San Miguel is Madrid's most impressive indoor market. If you're looking for delicious tapas, this is the place to be! For food lovers, this is a must-visit. At this market, you can taste the culture of Spain. The Mercado de San Miguel is located behind one of Madrid's most famous squares: Plaza Mayor. This location and its authentic atmosphere make the Mercado de San Miguel one of Madrid's biggest attractions. A Madrid hotspot not to be missed!
2. Templo de Debod
The story behind the Templo de Debod goes back centuries. It is an Egyptian temple dating back from the 4th century BC. This temple was threatened by rising waters in the Nile River. As a result, it was taken apart and eventually donated to Spain by the Egyptian government. The temple was reassembled stone by stone in 1971 in the Parque del Oeste park. This park offers fantastic views of the entire city. Definitely worth enjoying this view! At night, the temple is beautifully lit, so you can also visit the Templo de Debod in the evening.
3. (Del Buen) Retiro Park
The Retiro park is centrally located in Madrid. It is the largest park in Spain. Among the inhabitants of Madrid, it has the name 'Del Buen Retiro park' (meaning: pleasant seclusion). The park is the city's garden and truly a place to unwind and enjoy the greenery of this metropolis! Locals come to the park to exercise, walk, have a picnic or relax. The Retiro Park is the perfect spot to enjoy homemade sangria with fresh tapas!
4. The Palacio de Cristal
One building that catches the eye in Retiro Park is the Palacio de Cristal. This is a huge glass building; a kind of greenhouse. This greenhouse was meant to house exotic plants. Nowadays, various exhibitions are held in the palace! The palace is impressively beautiful so you should definitely have seen it if you are in Retiro Park.
5. Palacio Réal
Another impressive palace in Madrid is the Palacio Réal. This is Madrid's royal palace. The Palacio Réal is one of the city's biggest attractions. The palace is huge! It has an area of up to 135,000 m2 and more than 3,400 rooms! This makes it the largest palace in the world. The palace is still used as a workshop by the king of Spain, and you can actually visit the overwhelming palace! BUT... unfortunately, there is a small chance you might run into the king himself. 👀
6. Explore Madrid's squares
Madrid is known for its beautiful squares. If you are going to work in Madrid, one square you should not miss is Puerta del Sol. This is one of the city's most famous squares. It is a centrally located square in Madrid. Another well-known square is Plaza de la Villa. This is one of the oldest squares you can find in the city. Located on this square is Madrid's old authentic town hall. What you should also visit is Playa Mayor. This square is surrounded by fantastic coloured houses with cute balconies where you can find a lot of cosiness. A fun place to do a colourful photo shoot!
7. Plaza de la Paja
Plaza de la Paja is a lovely place to unwind on the terrace. This square has an authentic, peaceful atmosphere. This is partly because there is no traffic. Here you can hear the birds singing. Because of the quietness of Plaza de la Paja, you won't realise that you are in one of the busiest cities in Europe. Since there are no cars, there is plenty of space for cosy terraces. Here you can have a nice lunch or enjoy delicious tapas after work. Working in Spain, who wouldn't want that?
8. Discover the best neighbourhoods in Madrid
When you think of hotspots, don't think only of squares, monuments or activities. Think about the different neighbourhoods a city has. Madrid is known for its diverse neighbourhoods with many different atmospheres. Chueca, for instance, is a very alternative neighbourhood. This is one of Madrid's liveliest and trendiest neighbourhoods. You can also look for the best tapas in La Latina. Have a look in the colourful Lavapiés district or just head to Malasaña. Here you will find several shops to score your vintage goods!
9. Almudena Cathedral
The Almudena Cathedral is the city's Catholic cathedral. The cathedral is not as old as you would think with most cathedrals. Plans for its construction were already there in the 16th century, but construction was delayed for centuries. In 1879 the construction finally started, but wars halted it again. Finally, the cathedral was completed in 1993. This cathedral is so special because of the many bright colours in its beautiful ceilings and domes. Because the cathedral has not been open for very long, everything is still in very good condition. Many tourists come to visit this breathtaking cathedral. The entrance is even free, so it is definitely worth your visit.
10. The extraordinary Atocha train station
Atocha train station is Madrid's main railway station. It is the largest station in the whole of Spain. It is often crowded here with people coming to work in Madrid, but many people also come for something completely different. In fact, Atocha station is very special because the station houses a huge tropical garden. The garden is as big as 4,000 square metres with as many as 260 different tropical plants! This garden is home to various tropical animals, such as turtles and fish. Many people come specially to Atocha station to take a look at this fantastic garden.
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