So at the end of April I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to Madrid for 4 nights. The trip was for a friends Hen Party, I was so excited when this city was announced as I have been here once before and loved it, and one of my best friends actually lives there too, so it was a great chance to catch up with her.
We were super lucky with the weather over our long weekend there so managed to fit in so much with 4 full days.
I love to get away and travel and city breaks are great ways to see new places.Depending on what you fancy doing when you’re away, Madrid has many different things to offer. You can visit the Kings Palace and the stunning Cathedral near by, head to the Retiro Park for a sunny picnic and row on the lake, or head to some of the city’s terraces for a refreshing beer. I love that Madrid has tourist places to see, but even these are not “typical tourist” places as they are stunning and full of history, but I also love the independent side to Madrid, there are so many bars, restaurants, shops and markets around that you can just fill your days with boutique browsing and tapas trips! I want to share with you some of the highlights of my trip and maybe give you some ideas of places to try out if you are heading to Madrid soon, or trying to decide on a city break destination.
The Hen Party side of the trip was planned perfectly by the Bride To Be’s, Maid of Honour, so each place we went to for something to eat had been reserved for us. We ate out for breakfast (more around Brunch time), and evening dinner each day and there was a mix of upmarket and quirky cafes. These are my favourite places we went to.
This restaurant was amazing. The food was so delicious, the starter was a selection of dishes from salted fish, cooked veggies, and a strange but tasty goats cheese dish. The main course was a choice of salmon or chicken, I had the chicken with a side of rice and it was gorgeous! But the tastiest part, as always for me, was the desert, it was a chocolate biscuit and mousse cake, with a hollow chocolate sweet on top, this went down lovely with my fave, Strawberry Daiquiri. This restaurant would be perfect for a special occasion or romantic meal out during your trip.
The Toast Cafe
I actually loved this place, I went with all the Hen girls and then went back with my friend Emma who lives out there. It’s such a cute and quirky little cafe that does american style food, it’s the type of place that if it opened up in Liverpool it’d be on Bold St or Lark Lane. This place attracted travelers and locals, the staff there could speak amazing English too, and I think word must have spread through the blogging world about this place, as otherwise I don’t know how you would find out about it. When I head back to Madrid I will definitely go back here.
Tea with Emma at ‘Marieta’
Another fancy tea out was at Marieta, this was recommended by my friend who lives in Madrid, so I knew it would be good, and it was. We had sushi to start, shared a delicious pizza for a main and had another amazing dessert of a chocolate sponge and sauce cake! It was so lovely to spend the evening here relaxing and chatting over a lovely bottle of wine. The restaurant was swanky but really cool.
If you’re heading to Madrid it’s good to know that a Terrace isn’t just a Roof Top bar, it’s actually like what we would call a Beer Garden, or just a bar out on the street. When the weather is good, these are the places to be, and they are everywhere. As you’re walking round and fancy stopping off for a drink and bite to eat, you won’t have to look far.
This area of Madrid was one of my favourites, there are bars of all different kinds everywhere. They’re typical Spanish bars, that aren’t posh, but authentic, a bit like a local pub. There’s also a flea market there, small boutiques and restaurants too. We spent a good few hours just sat chatting in the sun and enjoying a beer or two, I don’t even like beer, but somehow sat in the Spanish sun I acquired the taste for it.
Plaza Mayor is beautiful. It is one of my favourite places in Madrid. It is a really popular tourist spot, but that’s because it is beautiful. There are so many terraces and restaurants around the square, and the buildings are three or four stories high and they’re all residential apartments, it is so idyllic, imagine living in one of them and looking out on to the square.
You can see that people just come to the square to relax, have a sit down or stroll around. Just off from the square are more fantastic looking streets that you can sit out on. We all sat out at a cute Spanish tapas restaurant on a street that looked like the inside of the Venetian, it was so pretty that it didn’t look real. Walking round Madrid you just find places like this.
Tourist Spots to check out
There are so many fab places to check out in Madrid but these places are definitely ones to go to if you are visiting for the first time.
Retiro Park (Parque del Retiro)
This park is huge! And it is beautiful! It is so well looked after and so clean and grand! It is lovely to just walk around, or you can head to the large lake and hire a rowing boat. This is super fun, and in my opinion must be done. I’d also be sure to head to see the Crystal Palace in the park, it reminds me of the Sefton Palm House, the lake in front of it has terrapins swimming in it, they’re adorable.
We got to rowing and refreshed with Ice Cream – so much fun had in the park.
River Walk and the Kings Palace
It’s a really lovely long walk, and you would never know you had just come out of the bustling city, plus on a hot day you do get a bit of a breeze. The walk we did was through Plaza de Opera, towards the palace. The next day we did a similar walk down to the river and up a big hill towards La Latina, in the river walk you are below the King Palace, so still get lovely views and can walk up to it that way.
There is honestly just so much to see and do in Madrid that I could write a whole lot more, but I don’t want to make this too long. I haven’t even touched on where we stayed but it was Madrid Central Suites in the Tribunal area, so you can check it out. The Tribunal area is a good central location for staying in, it’s within walking distance to bars, restaurants, shopping and metro station. If you fancy nightlife, Gymage and Kapital nightclubs are good fun. Kapital is expensive to get in, but it has 5 floors of all different music. Plaza de Opera and Sol are bustling spots to check out. For major shopping you have to visit Gran Via, all major stores are along there, and the Primark is huge and mega. I’ll finish with a few extra pics of the trip.
I also have to say thanks to Natty for having me on her Hen Party, it was so so much fun. Can’t wait to see you be a beautiful Bride!!
Thank you for reading this, and I hope it has given you some good insight and ideas for visiting Madrid. I’m hopefully going back again soon, this time taking the hubs to see Real Madrid play. Let me know if you like this, or have any more questions.
Until next time,