72hrs in Madrid

Madrid.jpg

De Madrid al cielo (from Madrid to heaven) is a popular proverb we have heard time and again outside of Madrid, Spain. It means that after having seen Madrid, the next nice thing one will see is heaven! We wouldn't want to live by that quote but we do fall head over heels for the capital every time!

There are classic cultural celebrations about the city that do not make the travel guides. As a local you can sometimes overlook the singularities of your surroundings but for those visiting, some of these local points are what distinguishes your trip:

Las ovejas de la Casa de Campo (Sheeps of the House in the country) is the largest urban park in Europe, maintaining its own flock of sheep. The sheep are traditionally used to keep the ground clean of chaff to avoid possible fires in the outskirts of the city. The herd of little whites are happy to be photographed all while you keep a little distance. Also, as in most big cities, you can view broad screens on the street Preciados. As the major TV networks have their headquarters in Madrid, street Preciados has an inexhaustible amount of images portrayed with cameras focusing on everyone on the walk ways. Be careful as your face may be on the backgrounds of national news for any reasons given to news broadcasters discussing polls, results of studies, etc. The Matadero Contemporary Art Center is the greatest freely accessible activity you can do on any day of the week. Most of the exhibitions and activities take place in the evening and on weekends, however the Calle (street) Matadero is open to pedestrians everyday from 9am to 10pm. This hotspot is specifically aimed to give artists from Madrid or living in the city to show their creations. 

La Puerta de Sol is the most famous square known in Madrid, if not all of Spain for its entertaining aspects and historical features. There is a spot in this square that is called the Kilometre Zero (Kilómetro Cero), marking the centre of Spain's roads (despite experts saying it isn't really the centre of the peninsula). From this point you can count your mileage as ¨0¨ and start counting the distance as you walk away from the square. La Puerta de Sol is very representative as well for having the symbolic televised clock that is watched as the TV presenters bring in the new year. Also in the square is the famous bear and tree which symbolises the community of Madrid.

We especially loved our walks through the neighbourhood of Chueca, which is a trendy spot that combines both originality and the avant-garde. On the streets closest to Fuencarral and Hortaleza streets is the answers to all your shopping prayers. The Fuencarral market for instance is the alternative to your average department store. The interiors are colourful and psychodelic, and the shops form narrow corridors. The market accommodates special skilled craftsmen and women, designers and small traders from all over Spain, with such original products that you are not allowed to photograph. Take for instance the Borough Market area of London, or the Borne neighbourhood of Barcelona, you will easily get drawn into the hipster scene with loud music playing from top DJs and the buzzing atmosphere pervading the market acts. We had our best bites for dinner at Taberna La Carmencita, the second oldest tavern in Madrid.

Our favourite strolls were around Malasaña, as we delved head first into the San Ildefonso Market, which is a street food initiative that has been working really well in the local neighbourhood as more curious people are making their way into new cuisine to adore. Neat nooks and crannies seem to come up at every street of Malasaña, like little hand-made products from Olula, or coffee haven HanSo Café. Basing ourselves in Dear Hotel, we had no excuse as to not pass the backstreets every day.   

Madrid is well known for having some of the best museums in the country. If we had to pick any three to visit on a weekend it would go something like this 1) Museo Nacional del Prado (Has the largest and most important collection of Spanish painting in the world) 2) Museo Nacional Centro de Reina Sofia (Be sure to gaze at Picasso's Guernica - one of the most celebrated antiwar painting) 3) Museo de Arte Thyssen-Bornemisza (With over 1,600 paintings the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection was once the second largest private collection in the world after the British Royal Collection). 

Scroll your cursor over the images to read more about our 72 hours itinerary in Madrid. Click on hashtag #TandLMadrid for our Instagram feeds in the capital.

Temple of Debod is worth the wait in line for. How random is it to see an ancient Egyptian temple that was dismantled and rebuilt only to be presented in the city!? 

Temple of Debod is worth the wait in line for. How random is it to see an ancient Egyptian temple that was dismantled and rebuilt only to be presented in the city!? 

The oldest square in Madrid, home to the main market of the town when the Muslims lived during the early medieval times, has three notable buildings. The main one is the Casa de la Villa (which hosted the Town Hall), style Castilian-Baroque work of Juan Gomez de Mora in 1630. The Casa de Cisneros, however, was built as a palace for a relative of the great Cardinal Cisneros in 1537. Restored in 1910, now houses municipal offices.

The oldest square in Madrid, home to the main market of the town when the Muslims lived during the early medieval times, has three notable buildings. The main one is the Casa de la Villa (which hosted the Town Hall), style Castilian-Baroque work of Juan Gomez de Mora in 1630. The Casa de Cisneros, however, was built as a palace for a relative of the great Cardinal Cisneros in 1537. Restored in 1910, now houses municipal offices.

The architecture of Madrid has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets despite its modern infrastructure.

The architecture of Madrid has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets despite its modern infrastructure.

This was a free-access exhibition inside the Architects School. We later had our lunch at Bosco de Lobos located inside the garden of the Architects School.

This was a free-access exhibition inside the Architects School. We later had our lunch at Bosco de Lobos located inside the garden of the Architects School.

If you make your way up to the Paseo de Pintor Rosales, you can get a teleferic that takes you over the Parque del Oeste, the M30 and the Manzanares river until you get to the Casa de Campo. 

If you make your way up to the Paseo de Pintor Rosales, you can get a teleferic that takes you over the Parque del Oeste, the M30 and the Manzanares river until you get to the Casa de Campo. 

In the heart of Madrid´s cultural district lies one of the city´s greatest museums,, the Caixa Forum.

In the heart of Madrid´s cultural district lies one of the city´s greatest museums,, the Caixa Forum.

The Prado museum (or Museo Nacional del Prado) is the city's main point of attraction, and one of the world's best museums. It displays the works of great European masters such as Velázquez, Goya, Raphael, Rubens, and Bosch (among other major Italian and Flemish artists), is housed in an 18th-century Neo-Classical building that opened as a museum in 1819.

The Prado museum (or Museo Nacional del Prado) is the city's main point of attraction, and one of the world's best museums. It displays the works of great European masters such as Velázquez, Goya, Raphael, Rubens, and Bosch (among other major Italian and Flemish artists), is housed in an 18th-century Neo-Classical building that opened as a museum in 1819.

Hot chocolate with churros are the best in Madrid: T&L Top 3 1) San Ginés – Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5 (Metro Sol) 2) Valor – Póstigo de San Martin, 7 (Metro Callao) 3) Chocolat – Santa María, 30 (Metro Antón Martín).

Hot chocolate with churros are the best in Madrid: T&L Top 3 1) San Ginés – Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5 (Metro Sol) 2) Valor – Póstigo de San Martin, 7 (Metro Callao) 3) Chocolat – Santa María, 30 (Metro Antón Martín).

The enduring architectural symbols of the city with new builds makes this a very eye gawking experience. Don't forget to look up!

The enduring architectural symbols of the city with new builds makes this a very eye gawking experience. Don't forget to look up!

The Royal Palace is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. If you are lucky, you can catch the changing of the guards and horses as they used to do back when Alfonso XII was in power, with 100 marching guards and their horses.

The Royal Palace is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. If you are lucky, you can catch the changing of the guards and horses as they used to do back when Alfonso XII was in power, with 100 marching guards and their horses.

Rooftop views from our room in Dear Hotel. 

Rooftop views from our room in Dear Hotel. 

Turtles in the old Atocha train station. It is the same station where we got the AVE (fast-speed train) to our next destination.

Turtles in the old Atocha train station. It is the same station where we got the AVE (fast-speed train) to our next destination.