Having lived there, I have to say that Madrid is one of the most vibrant, lively and fun capital cities. You’ll find that as the Spanish capital, Madrid is the perfect city break, jam-packed with places to explore, history to soak up and local dishes to tempt you back! If you aren’t lucky enough to stay as long as I did, here’s an insider’s view to the best places to visit and some travelling tips, so you can make a beeline for the best of Madrid…
For getting round Madrid cheaply, hop on the Metro. Great news for young adults and students, in Spain you can get reduced rates for most tickets, including the Metro - as you’re still considered a concession up until 25! II bought a monthly Abono ticket because I was living there, but if you’re only staying a few days, I recommend buying a ten-trip ticket because it works out cheaper overall.
You can’t visit Spain without heading to Puerta del Sol and wandering around the main streets such as Gran Vía and the Callao area. Home to famous monuments such as the symbol of Madrid “el Oso y el madroño” (the bear and the strawberry tree), Sol plaza is worth visiting. Head down Gran Vía and browse some of Madrid’s oldest boutiques and high street stores as you go. At Callao, there’s a great cinema that shows both Spanish and international films (in English) too.
Salamanca district is great for window shopping in the designer boutiques, or if you like a great bargain, I'd recommend El Rastro market for hippie finds and quirky one-offs. Centro Plenilunio is not far on the metro if you want a choice of bigger shops, outlet stores and a hypermarket.
It’s obvious why some of the best holidays in Spain are those spent in the capital, and I have to say it’s one of the best places I’ve ever been to. With great weather, culture, parks and plazas, Madrid’s well worth a trip for the best snapshot of Spain.
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By Aine Callaghan - Marketing Intern at icelolly.com