[SPAIN] MADRID – Travel Diary

Madrid, what is the first thing that comes in your mind when you think of the city?? For us, it would be the capital city of Spain, for some of you football die hard fans it would be the home of Real Madrid Football club.






Known as the city that knows how to live, Madrid is indeed a lively cosmopolitan city with the combination of modern infrastructure as well as well preserved artistic heritage as the legacy of history. After visiting the charming old Alcala de Henares, AnakJajan moved to Madrid and stayed for 2 nights, here are some of the places that we explored.









WHERE TO STAY??
Hotel ME Madrid Reina Victoria
We stayed at Hotel ME Madrid Reina Victoria for two nights and the room was lovely with stylist minimalist design with wooden floor.

The hotel is located strategically near many shops (lots of famous brands like Zara, Stradivarius, etc are located nearby the hotel), cafes, and restaurants within walking distance. You can also walk Puerta Del Sol, a super famous and busiest public square in Madrid filled with lots of shops and restaurants.

Address:
Hotel ME Madrid Reina Victoria
Plaza Sta. Ana, 14, 28012 Madrid, Spain


WHERE TO GO??

Puerta Del Sol
Just a few minutes of walking from our hotel, there’s a public square known as Puerta Del Sol located in the very heart of Madrid. It’s one of the busiest part of the city.


Here you can find countless of shops, cafes, and restaurants, it’s surrounded by number of well known sights such as the Kilómetro Cero plaque located at the north of the old Post Office building. The KM 0 plaque serves as the symbol of the center of Spain.


Puerta Del Sol certainly is an exciting destination both for shopping, eating, checking city sights or doing our favorite activity, people watching👀. A must visit indeed!

Address:
Puerta Del Sol
Plaza de la Puerta del Sol, s/n, 28013 Madrid, Spain


Prado Museum
Prado Museum is considered to have one of the world’s finest collections of European art with Velazquez, Goya and El Greco masterpieces in vast 12th to 19th century collection.

Address:
Prado Museum
Paseo del Prado, s/n, 28014 Madrid, Spain


Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Located next to Prado Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is an art museum with interesting collection of 13th to 20th century European masterpieces, from Renaissance to Pop Art. If you’re an art enthusiast, you probably going to love it there.



Address:
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Paseo del Prado, 8, 28014 Madrid, Spain


La Azotea del Círculo de Bellas Artes
Located 56 meters above Alcalá Street, Azotea del Círculo rooftop has one of the most awesome and best city views of Madrid. You can purchase the entrance ticket to the rooftop at the reception of the building.




Other than that you can also enjoy cocktail and meal just like us, AnakJajan had a few of tapas, the food was nicely executed, enjoyable and well seasoned. It feels nice to enjoy the food accompanied by breezy rooftop air and spectacular views, don’t forget to bring your camera and capture the awesome city views.




Address:
Azotea del Círculo
Calle de Alcalá, 42, 28014 Madrid, Spain


Buen Retiro Park
It’s always fun to have an afternoon walk at park. Here in Madrid, there’s a large 19th century park called Buen Retiro Park which is free to visit.



The expansive park has a lush greenery with water fountains, statues, and lake. Visitors can enjoy riding boat in the lake as well. AnakJajan glad that we managed to visit the park, we felt refreshed thanks to the lush greenery and fresh air.




Address:
Buen Retiro Park
Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain


El Corte Ingles
El Corte Ingles is the biggest department store group in Europe and ranks fourth worldwide. AnakJajan visited their flagship store, it’s totally a pure heaven for shopaholic!! If you’re looking for designer labels, it’s a must visit. There’s a gourmet supermarket and excellent selection of food as well.

Address:
El Corte Ingles
C. C. Castellana, Calle de Raimundo Fernández Villaverde, 79, 28003 Madrid, Spain

Just within walking distance near El Corte Ingles, there are fashion stores like Zara, Mango, Pull & Bear, etc, the price is certainly much cheaper than in Indonesia with more complete collection.



Santiago Bernabeau Stadium – Puerta57 Restaurant
HALA MADRID!! Any football fans here?? One of the most popular sights in Madrid has gotta be Santiago Bernabeau Stadium, the home of Real Madrid Football club, at the stadium, visitor can get guided tour inside.


Our dinner venue luckily is located just inside the stadium, facing directly to the football field. We had Paella for dinner, a typical Spanish dish from Valencia, the eastern part of Spain where they cook the rice with saffron and broth on a large pan and usually with toppings like seafood, chicken, etc. It was yummy and certainly a must try! The deep fried anchovies were also memorable, served with lemon, it was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, fresh, savory and addictive.





Salamanca Neighborhood
Located just above Buen Retiro Park, Salamanca is an upscale district or you can say the most fancy neighborhood in Madrid. Walking tour to the neighborhood could be a nice thing to do since it’s the home of finest fashion stores, restaurants, bars and real estate.









La Bola Taberna
If you search “typical food in Madrid” on Google, the search result will recommend you to try Cocido Madrileño, it is one of the traditional food that Madrid is famous for.


Basically it’s a chickpea-based stew dish with meat and potato, gladly AnakJajan had a chance to try it at one of the most famous restaurant for Cocido Madrileño, La Bola Taberna.

The stew was very yummy, warm and comforting altogether. The rich broth was full of umami, we gotta say that it’s one of the most memorable dishes we had throughout the trip. Inside the restaurant you will also feel the warm hospitality typical Spanish restaurant, the waiters there are very attentive and humorous❤️


Address:
La Bola Taberna
Calle de la Bola, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain


Royal Palace of Madrid
Another must see spot in Madrid, the magnificent Royal Palace of Madrid, official residence of the Spanish Royal.


Address:
Royal Palace of Madrid
Calle de Bailén, s/n, 28071 Madrid, Spain


Catedral de la Almudena
Located next to Royal Palace of Madrid, you can easily spot the majestic Almudena Cathedral, a Catholic church known for its colorful chapels.

Address:
Cathedral Madrid
Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena


Monumento a Don Quijote y Sancho

Address:
Monumento a Don Quijote y Sancho
Calle Mayor, 48, 28801 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain


Chueca Neighborhood
Chueca distric has gotta be one of the hippest neighborhood in Madrid. We walked passed by so many hip and quirky looking shops. There’s a street dedicated for shoe lovers where the whole street filled with shoe stores.





Another highlight of the area is Mercado San Anton, an indoor modern market filled with fresh local produced as well as gourmet food market and rooftop bar.





If you spot any shops that has this kind of plague in front of the shop, it means the shop has been established over a hundred years.

Address:
Chueca
28004 Madrid, Spain


TAPAS BAR HOPPING!!
A visit to Spain wouldn’t be complete without having tapas and there are tons of exciting bars in town to explore. AnakJajan and our travel mates skipped dinner and had tapas bars hopping instead and it was fun!! You should totally try it!

La Casa Del Abuelo

La Casa Del Abuelo

The first tapas bar we visited called La Casa Del Abuelo and their tapas is totally one of THE BEST AND MOST MEMORABLE for us, they have the best Gambas al Ajillo, it’s basically fresh shrimp cooked over high heat with olive oil, butter and garlic, best enjoyed with a glass of wine or beer.

Gambas al Ajillo at La Casa Del Abuelo

Los Galayos

Other than that, we visited several bars located nearly; Los Galayos, Restaurante Sideria Casa Parrondo, and Cantina la Traviesa, each bar has their own specialty of tapas and drink.

Cantina la Traviesa

Cantina la Traviesa

Restaurante Sideria Casa Parrondo

Restaurante Sideria Casa Parrondo

One thing that we love from Spanish bar is the way they socialize and interact with each other, they’re so friendly and expressive, it warms my heart also it inspires me to leave all the gadgets and be more active in socializing❤️



Overall, Madrid is a hectic cosmopolitan city but it has its own charm with interesting places to explore, tons of hip streets and cafes, amazing shopping scenes, home of important museums. Te amo Madrid.

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