It may be that when traveling we only have a few days to visit a city, but don't worry, if you make the most of your time and organize yourself in the best way, you can get to know the essential and even a little more.Madrid is one of the most important cities in Spain, so it is an unmissable stop on your trip through Europe, and although it seems overwhelming the amount of things you can do, here we make your life easier with this 48-hour tour to explore its most emblematic sites.
Day 1: Morning
Use your first day in Madrid to familiarize yourself with the most famous sites. Plaza Mayor is a must-see in Madrid and has been one of the most iconic and important places for Madrileños for years, so it's the perfect place to start our tour. Take advantage of the calm of the morning, because as the day goes by, the square gets more and more crowded. You can also visit the Mercado de San Miguel, "one of the main gastronomic markets in the world that allows its visitors to take a tour of the essence and flavors of every corner of Spain." (says on the official website of the San Miguel market). Start your tour on Calle Mayor. There you will find two of the best pastry shops in Madrid. The first is El Riojano, a legendary bakery opened in the mid-nineteenth century by the personal pastry chef of Queen María Cristina de Borbón, Dámaso Maza, a native of La Rioja, (hence the name), where you can delight yourself with the beauty of the place and try a delicious snack, worthy of royalty. The other iconic pastry shop is La Mallorquina, also founded in the 19th century and home to some of the best napolitanas in Madrid. Calle Mayor leads you straight to Puerta del Sol, another Madrid must-see. Here you will find the famous "bear and strawberry tree" statue, but before you get there, be sure to look for the Kilometer Zero plaque outside the post office building. This is the exact place from which the distances of the six national roads were measured, then walk along Gran Via, Madrid's most emblematic street, full of people, movement, stores and restaurants.
Day 1: Afternoon
After walking along Gran Via, you can have lunch in the Chueca neighborhood, home to the San Ildefonso Market and San Anton Market, perfect places to find something to eat. After your delicious lunch you can continue exploring the Chueca neighborhood and make your way to the Plaza de Cibeles, home to a beautiful gothic style fountain and the magnificent Palacio de Cibeles. If you continue walking you will come across the emblematic Puerta de Alcalá, which once served as the main entrance to the city, where you can take memorable photos, right next door is the Parque del Buen Retiro, what was once the private garden for Spanish royalty, is now one of the most famous and busy parks in Madrid, where you can take a boat ride across the lake.
Day 1: Night
In the neighborhood of Huertas you can dine on delicious tapas and to end your first day in Madrid you can see a flamenco show at Cardamomo.
Day 2: Morning
For the morning of your second day a great option is to visit one of the three museums of the Art Triangle, among which are the Prado, the Reina Sofia or the Thyssen-Bornemisza, each of them offers a unique experience, for example, in the Prado you will find paintings and sculptures by Velázquez, Goya, Boticelli, El Bosco, Rubens, among others. The Reina Sofia focuses more on modern art, there you can find the famous Guernica, by Pablo Picasso and works by Dali, among others. The Thyssen shows the best of both worlds, with works ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Any of the three museums is an excellent option, so choose the one that catches your attention.
Day 2: Afternoon.
For lunch, you can head to the Lavapiés neighborhood, a multicultural area where you can find food from all over the world, or to the La Latina neighborhood, famous for the tapas on Cava Baja street. After lunch, visit the Royal Palace, one of the largest in the world, with 3,418 rooms. It is one of the few official residences of Heads of State that is open to the public. You can opt for a guided tour or explore it on your own. You don't have to travel to Egypt to see some of the most impressive Egyptian treasures: The Temple of Debod. This was a gift from the government of Egypt to Spain for its collaboration in the rescue of the temples of Nubia. Inside, you can find information about Egyptian mythology and society, as well as interesting explanations about hieroglyphics. The temple is surrounded by gardens and many people take advantage of the location to have a picnic, practice yoga or relax on the grass. Additionally, it is one of the favorite places to watch the sunset.
Day 2: Evening.
To end your tour of Madrid, go to the Malasaña neighborhood for some delicious tapas and stay to enjoy the famous nightlife in this area, where you can find drinks, dancing, and partying until dawn. Other things you can do in Madrid if you have extra time include:
• Have lunch at Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world, founded in 1725.
• Visit the Casa de Campo park and take the cable car to enjoy the view of Madrid from above.
• If your visit falls on a Sunday, go to the famous El Rastro market.
• Visit the Usera and Palos de la Frontera neighborhoods.
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