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Three Days In Madrid, Spain

I am guessing if you are reading this! You are ready to emerge in culture, history, and warm weather. I am here to provide you with a list of things to do, places I found to be great, and more.

History of Madrid

Madrid was founded in the 9th century by the Moors, who named it "Magerit" which means "place of abundant water" or "place of many streams," depending on the translation. It was later conquered by the Christians in the 10th century, under the surrender of Alfonso V of León and Castile. In 1561, King Philip II made Madrid the capital of Spain, and the city played an important role from the reign of the Habsburgs to the Spanish Civil War.

Madrid Food

Madrid is a city full of life and energy, celebrated for its dynamic culture, thriving art scene, and love of soccer (fútbol). But there's more to Madrid than just these well-known highlights. The city is also renowned for its gastronomy, boasting a diverse and delicious food scene that's not to be missed. Whether you're looking to try traditional local dishes or explore contemporary cuisine, Madrid has something for every taste bud. So, if you're visiting Madrid, be sure to sample the city's culinary delights and savor the unforgettable flavors of this vibrant city.


  • Cocido Madrileño - a hearty stew made with chickpeas, vegetables, and meat.

  • Nuevos Rotos - fried offs served with potatoes and ham.

  • Tapas - dishes served to share in a family style setting.

Traditional Foods:

  • Callos a la Madrileña - a tripe stew with chorizo and morcilla (blood sausage).

  • Churros con Chocolate - fried dough pastries served with thick hot chocolate sauce.

  • Bocadillo de Calamares - a sandwich filled with fried calamari rings that is often served with mayonnaise or alioli.

Day One:

When traveling to a new place, it's always a good idea to engage in a free walking tour through GuruWalk, which provides you as a tourist/traveler with the history, culture, and recommended areas that may not be too touristy. You can get opinions from real locals, which can be very helpful.

Enjoy Brunch:

To start your day in Madrid, head to a coffee shop and enjoy brunch. If you plan on doing the free walking tour, stop by HanSo, a Korean-inspired coffee shop known for its drinks like the black sesame latte and matcha cappuccino. They also serve tasty options for brunch and pastries.

Free Walking Tour:

After brunch, take the opportunity to participate in a free walking tour by GuruWalk through Viajes, which includes a fascinating free tour titled "The Madrid of Secrets." This tour takes approximately two hours and allows you to explore several prominent and historical locations throughout the city.

The tour takes you to Orient Square, where you can experience the vibrancy of Madrid's city life. You'll also see the breathtaking Royal Palace and the stunning Almudena Cathedral, which are both notable landmarks of Madrid. While in the square, you can visit the Cornisa viewpoint, which offers a panoramic view of the city's skyline. The Cornisa viewpoint recently opened up, and people are allowed to visit to see the view.

The tour also takes you through Calle Mayor, where you can appreciate the beauty of the architecture and learn about the history behind it. You'll have the opportunity to visit the Palace of the Dukes of Uceda, Plaza de la Villa, and the Old Pharmacy of the Queen Mother, which are all iconic and historically significant locations. The Old Pharmacy is known to be the oldest shop in Madrid, which is cool to see from the outside and inside.

The tour also takes you to San Miguel Market, another exciting destination on the tour, where you can immerse yourself in the local culture and taste traditional Spanish delicacies. The market is visited by many tourists, as it hosts more than 10 million visitors each year.

You'll also visit Las Cuevas de Luid Candelas Restaurant and Sobrino de Botin Restaurant, which are both well-known for their delicious food. Sobrino de Botin is actually known as one of the oldest restaurants in the world and holds a Guinness world record. Towards the end of the tour, you'll have the chance to explore Puerta Cerrada Square, which is rich in history and culture, and the famous Plaza Mayor, where you can appreciate the bustling atmosphere and admire the impressive architecture. Overall, this tour offers a unique opportunity to experience the hidden gems of Madrid, which are not always commonly known to visitors.

Engage In Favorites:

When it comes to food, Madrid has some favorites that you can't miss. Bar La Campana is known for its fried calamari sandwich, Casa Revuelta for its fried fish and beer, and Chocolatería San Ginés for being one of the oldest shops that sell churros and hot chocolate.

Afterward, take a stroll through Retiro Park, one of the largest parks in Madrid. Enjoy the beautiful gardens, fountains, and lake, and stop by the Crystal Palace, a beautiful glass structure that houses art exhibitions.

Visit the Prado Museum, one of the world's most famous art museums, which houses works by Spanish masters such as Goya, Velázquez, and El Greco. If you go after 7 PM, you can get in for free.

To end the day, head to La Latina, a trendy neighborhood known for its lively bars and restaurants. Enjoy some tapas and drinks at one of the many local establishments. You can check Google Reviews to find which places best fit your scene or food options.

Day Two:

To start off your day in Madrid, head to the bustling Puerta del Sol, a historic square where you can enjoy breakfast at a nearby cafe. If you enjoy art, you should visit the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, which houses a vast collection of works by renowned artists such as Picasso and Dalí.

For a taste of Madrid's creative side, explore the trendy Malasaña neighborhood, known for its street art, vintage shops, and chic cafes. At lunchtime, head to the lively Mercado de San Ildefonso, a food hall featuring traditional Spanish dishes and international cuisine.

After lunch, take a relaxing stroll to the Templo de Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple gifted to Spain and reconstructed in the scenic Parque del Oeste. Enjoy panoramic views of the city and admire the temple's architecture.

No visit to Madrid would be complete without experiencing the mesmerizing Flamenco dance and music. Catch a show at a top Flamenco venue such as Cardamomo or Café de Chinitas, while sipping on a drink or two.

And last but not least, end your day with a scrumptious dinner at the world-famous Botin Restaurant. Established in 1725, this historic establishment is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the world and serves up mouthwatering Spanish cuisine that will leave you craving more. Just make sure to make a reservation because for the two times that I have been, there has not been a chance for people to walk in.

Day 3: Take a Day Trip to Another City

If you're interested in day trips from Madrid, I recommend booking through the Omni app or Get Your Guide. Choose the best option for you and venture to one of these fascinating cities:

Aranjuez: Located only 45 minutes away from Madrid, this beautiful town is renowned for its stunning gardens and palace, built in the 18th century.

Ávila: Just 90 minutes away from Madrid, Ávila is a breathtaking medieval walled city, famous for its well-preserved city walls and stunning Gothic cathedral.

Chinchón: A beautiful town located just 45 minutes away from Madrid, Chinchón is famous for its picturesque central square, which is surrounded by beautiful buildings and restaurants.

Cuenca: A beautiful medieval town located two hours away from Madrid, Cuenca is famous for its stunning "hanging houses" and its Gothic cathedral.

El Escorial: Located just 45 minutes away from Madrid, El Escorial is a historic complex that includes a royal palace, a monastery, and a mausoleum. It was built in the 16th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Salamanca: A beautiful university town located two and a half hours away from Madrid, Salamanca is famous for its stunning Plaza Mayor, its beautiful cathedral, and its historic university.

Segovia: This ancient city is known for its impressive Roman aqueduct, which dates back to the 1st century AD. The city also boasts a stunning castle, the Alcázar of Segovia, and a Gothic cathedral.

Toledo: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Toledo is a beautiful medieval city located just an hour away from Madrid. It is famous for its stunning architecture, narrow streets, and historic landmarks such as the Alcázar and the Cathedral.

Each of these destinations offers a unique glimpse into the history and culture of Spain.

If you have some extra time in Madrid, here are some other activities you can enjoy:

  • Treat your taste buds to some amazing food at various restaurants across the city.

  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with a pastry from La Mallorquina, a famous bakery known for its delicious treats.

  • Shop until you drop in Gran Via, one of Madrid's main shopping districts.

  • Enjoy a meal and some great paella at La Barraca, a popular restaurant that's been around for over 80 years.

  • Visit a few coffee cafes such as Toma Cafe, Mision Cafe, Natif Coffee & Kitchen, Pum Put Cafe, and more, and indulge in some of the best coffee in town.

  • If you're a fan of cereal, don't miss Cereal Hunters, a fun cafe that offers a wide range of cereals and milk options to choose from.

  • Make a morning reservation at Brunch Club Cafe to enjoy a delicious brunch spread.

  • Finally, take a leisurely stroll through the Botanical Gardens of Madrid, where you can admire a vast collection of flora and fauna from all over the world.

I hope this information will be useful to you on your next trip to Madrid or Spain!

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