48 Hours In Madrid, Spain

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Hala Madrid!

For many of you, Madrid could be either be the starting point of your Spain trip or the end due to better and cheaper flights to and from the capital. In any case, don't miss your chance to visit Madrid. It's a city that's bound to steal your heart!

Madrid is not just the capital of Modern Spain, it also the centre of this popular European country. It is also the perfect balance of culture and tourism. Thus making it the second most visited city in Spain.

Don't let Madrid be your transit point alone, get going and explore this vibrant city!

To start with, buy yourself a Madrid City Card. This means- free unlimited trips on the hop on- hop off buses, free entry to museums and monuments, discounts at restaurants, souvenirs.

Day 1


Photo of Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain by Parampara Patil Hashmi

The numero uno spot in the capital, is Plaza Mayor. It's the busiest square in Madrid with close proximity to some of the major sights worth visiting in Madrid.

PS: You'll find a lot cafes and eateries here, to start your day!

Shop till you drop! That's the basic idea of the Gran Via street in Madrid where you'll find great shopping options and every possible international brand. Get ready to be spoilt for choice and to burn a hole in your pocket with all that exciting shopping!

This is also known as the 'Street That Never Sleeps' as the best of Madrid's nightclubs are centre here! What more do you need?

Sol means Sun and Puerto de Sol resembles the Sun with a street heading in each direction like the sunrays. Puerto De Sol is one of the most important points in Madrid.

Photo of Puerta del Sol, Plaza de la Puerta del Sol, Madrid, Spain by Parampara Patil Hashmi

When at Puerto De Sol, you're not just in the centre of Madrid, you're at the centre of the entire country of Spain. Along with a bunch of ancient beliefs by the locals, Puerto de Sol or Sol as they call it leads to some great food and shopping options.

There are also many casinos in this area for those who love and dare to gamble!

The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official palace of the Spanish emperors and has been inhibited by the royals for the longest time. However, today it only serves as the venue to state ceremonies. King Felipe and his family too do not live there, instead live in the rather modest Palacio De La Zarzuela.

Photo of Royal Palace of Madrid, Calle de Bailén, Madrid, Spain by Parampara Patil Hashmi

The contemporary style of architecture is this castle is a noteworthy aspect of this project.

Temple of Debod, an Egyptian temple in the Spanish capital was a gift to the Romans by the Egyptians. While this temple still stands high in glory, this spot is a must visit. Temple of Debod offers you the best sunset view in the city of Madrid. Hundreds of people-locals and tourists flock here everyday to witness the wonderful colors of sunset! With it's gorgeous view, it definitely is a treat to be be at.

All that Spanish food heaven, it's right here at the Mercado de San Miguel! Market of San Miguel is a small local market/complex with a variety of Spanish delicacies under one roof. Right from your Paella, Sea-food, Jamuns and Sangrias to the influenced food culture that has grown here, this spot offers a range of all. The food here is decently priced with a variety of food and serving options to pick from. Choose to snack or dine, make sure you visit here.

Nightlife

There's no such thing as waiting-for-a-weekend when it comes to partying in Madrid. The Spanish capital has the largest number of clubs and bars all over Europe. Everyday is your day to party! Don't be surprised if you're offered free entry into a club on a weekday. The party goes on all night!

Gran Via Street, is your go-to street, full of nightclubs it's called the 'Street that never sleeps'.

Day 2

This one is bang opposite the Retiro park, and is completely unmissable. Stand by and gaze at this beautiful structure of Madrid, it is regarded as Europe's first triumphal arch, even older than Arc De Triomphe in Paris, France.

You can start your morning by heading straight to the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid.

Photo of El Retiro Park, Plaza de la Independencia, Madrid, Spain by Parampara Patil Hashmi

Retiro park was owned by the Spanish Royals till the 19th century and is now one of the largest parks in Europe, in Spain. In the 19th century, the Spanish Royals gave control of this park to the government and it was thereon opened for locals and tourists. This park is home to many great sculptures, a lake and interesting sights consisting of parks within, crystal palace, peacocks. Many important events in the city are hosted at the Buen Retiro Park.

Photo of Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, Spain by Parampara Patil Hashmi

The Crystal Palace is one of the most exquisite site in Madrid, which is set in the interiors of the Retiro Park. It is made out of glass and metal and was erected in 1887 to display flora and fauna from Philippines which were in Spanish possession.

Museum Triangle

Madrid is a city of art lovers and it is no surprise that it is home to the best art museums in Europe. In fact, Madrid has what they popularly call the Museum Triangle. Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, Museo Nacional del Prado and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia are all nearby, in route that resembles a triangle.

This museum houses the masterpieces from European Renaissance from the 13th-20th century.

Photo of Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Paseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain by Parampara Patil Hashmi

The masterpieces of Goya, Velazquez, El Greco dating from the 12th to 19th century are available for display in this museum.

This sprawling Spanish museum stores some fine 20th century pieces of art by stalwarts like Picasso, Dali, Gris and Miro.

With the range of artists and timelines, these museums are a must visit especially for the art lovers while exploring Madrid.

Santiago Bernabeu indeed is one of the holiest places for football lovers. It's the home ground to the Real Madrid team. And it also holds the bragging rights of having hosted the European Cup Finals on multiple occasions and also the UEFA League Finals in 2010.

Photo of Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Avenida de Concha Espina, Madrid, Spain by Parampara Patil Hashmi

From getting a look at one of the best football stadiums, to actually walking past the same rooms and passages and having a look at the dressing room of your favorite places, Santiago Bernabeu is every football lover's place to be.

There's also a wide range of official merchandise to lay your hands on! So don't miss out.

Photo of el Rastro, Madrid, Spain by Parampara Patil Hashmi

Let the retail therapy continue at El Rastro, which is one of the finest shopping areas with flea markets and many branded options that offer great collections.

The reason why you need to come back to Puerto de Sol, is because this street becomes exceptionally vibrant post sunset. You will find a lot of street shopping options, street artists- dancers, gymnasts, performers who perform to large crowds gathering around them. Other than the regular nightlife options, this is one of the finest aspects of the nights in Madrid. Hence, this is your best bet at exploring the lesser known side of this city.

And although Madrid has so much more to offer, this city is best experienced by interacting with locals and exploring the lifestyle that this city has to offer. One way or the other, you will fall in love with Madrid!

Also read: Explore Barcelona in 72 Hours

I live in the movies (in my parallel world). I travel in search of stories. So I explore- experience- express my trysts with people, places, food, culture and their stories!

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