We were so surprised by Madrid in the most pleasant way possible. This is the city for you to visit if you love to wander art museums, find local coffee shops and bars, and stroll through beautiful parks. For us, Madrid was our landing and departing city and on both occasions, we found gems that made us want to go back. Charming buildings, streets, and people made our short stay memorable.
We were in the Madrid airport three times: arriving from Amsterdam, leaving for Mallorca, and heading home back to Amsterdam. Easy to navigate - arrive at least 2 hours before departing.
We'd suggest getting an Uber from the airport to your hotel. We used the train - but in the end, the time it took was much longer than we had expected.
Because we were in Madrid at the front and end of our trip, we stayed at two different hotels - different neighborhoods, different vibes, but both great options.
The Madrid Edition - is the hotel for you if you're looking for a modern place to land in the heart of the city. It's close to popular tourist attractions like the Royal Palace of Madrid and Plaza Mayor. The rooms are spacious and the staff were friendly.
The Westin Palace, Madrid - is the hotel for you if you're looking for a place close to museums, Retiro Park, and a more local feel. We loved our stay here! We were in a newly renovated room and everything was plush and cozy.
Mercado de San Miguel - after landing in the late afternoon in Madrid, we decided to head to this market for dinner. Great food stalls with lots of options. Close to The Madrid Edition.
Dabov Specialty Coffee - delicious flat white in a neighborhood with lots of locals.
Feliz Coffee Madrid - one of our favorite coffee shops in Madrid with simple delicious toast and jam and a rich cup of coffee.
Jack's Library - a fun cocktail experience at a secret bar - make a reservation and find this hidden bar behind a flower shop facade with a passcode to get in. A cozy hideaway with delicious snacks and decent drinks.
Solo Coffee - right outside Mercado de la Paz was the perfect spot for a caffeine pick-me-up. A coffee counter with great service!
UNFLTRD Coffee - amazing coffee and really tasty food. A recommendation from a coffee barista at Solo Coffee - this place did not disappoint.
Indian Accent Madrid - we found this via Google Maps and honestly it was so delicious and just what we needed on a cold day. The service was awesome!
Colmado de Bienes - a ecológico grocery with great options right across the street from Jack's Library. Stock up on snacks and fresh fruit!
What to See
Royal Palace of Madrid - we walked through the palace area on a sunny morning and wished we had more time to explore.
Plaza Mayor - a square to walk through and soak in the rich history of Madrid.
Reina Sofia - a modern art museum featuring Picasso's Guernica. We also ate at El Jardín de Arzábal - which is a restaurant below the museum.
Museo Nacional del Prado - this was a great art museum to wander from room to room.
Retiro Park - is probably our favorite spot in Madrid. It reminded us a bit of Central Park - a green space with trails and trees and ponds and beauty.
There was also lots of shopping with familiar stores and new local faves like @realfabrica.
All in all, Madrid is worth a visit!