MADRID IS THE THIRD LARGEST CITY in the European Union, and yet it feels like a relaxed barrio for the most part. With 21 districts and 128 wards or “barrios”, you’ll probably benefit from a quick guide to key areas. Once on the ground, Madrid is more than tasting tapas. It’s about taking 2-3 hours for a meal in which the best element is the conversation… it’s about walking around and failing to find an area that does not feel welcoming. In Madrid, you can meet people from all over Spain and both enjoy traditions (like outstanding flamenco shows) and celebrate new trends or ideas.
The experiences in here are suggestions to make the most out of your time in Madrid. These spots are all taken directly from travelstoke®, a new app from Matador that connects you with fellow travelers and locals. The app allows you to walk into a city and instantly have friends there, to build your global network of friends, and to even have more fun connecting with new people in your home city. Download the app to add any of the spots below directly to your future trips.
1. Get one of the best panoramic views from el “Círculo de Bellas Artes” while deciding which amazing museum you visit first.
2. If you are still craving from rooftops views, see the famous Gran Vía from the top of El Corte Inglés, while having a typical delicacy… an experience as ‘madrileña’ as it gets.
Calle Gran VíaMadrid, SpainFabulous roof to see Madrid main streets and monuments, where you can eat really well at the same time. Gourmet experience is inside the El Corte Inglés where you can go shopping too.
3. Interact with locals at El Retiro Park: street performers, cranky coffee ladies, old men trying to keep pace with their dogs, expats not as lost as you are, and parents sharing tree time with their kids…
4. Then use your “tourist” excuse card and take a selfie at the Palacio de Cristal.
5. Discover how broad the term “tapas” is at Plaza de la Cebada and surrounding areas.
6. Realize that Madrid’s cultural scene is not only about flamenco shows: musicals and comedy have a big presence in town.
7. On Sundays, get lost in the crowd at El Rastro open street market, and buy souvenirs you probably don’t need but will still cherish.
8. See for yourself how Calle de las Huertas can be great both for a quiet drink and for dancing all night long.
9. Simply enjoy a sunset at the Temple of Debod.
10. Try to figure out why all roads seem to lead to Puerta del Sol…
11. Live a day like a local hipster in the areas of Malasaña, La Latina, Chueca or Lavapies, shopping for vintage stuff while expecting to drink good coffee.
CentroMadrid, SpainThe neighbourhood of Malasaña in Madrid is the hipster part of town. Lots of independent coffee shops, vintage clothing stores and restaurants. My personal favourite is Meridiano 100. #coffee #food