Looking back at photos of 2016 something became quite clear – I am in love with Spain. Given a chance , I will love to go back there in a heartbeat. Yes it was in September 2016 that I went there but memories are afresh. If you have not seen my 2017 travel bucket list , I have posted some pictures on my facebook account. Try to guess them 😉 ? So coming back to my Spain rendezvous , after Barcelona and Seville , my last stop was Madrid. When I think about my 24 hours in Madrid my memories come back to me in swirls – riding the metro , enjoying tapas , sipping sangria , exploring the city on foot , soaking in art and history in museum and more importantly the liveliness of streets. So if you have only 24 hours in the capital city of Spain here is “24 hours in Madrid : Things to do”.
How to reach :
By Air : Needless to say , the capital city of Spain is really well connected with neighbouring cities and countries. Situated about 12 km from downtown , Madrid international airport is one of the busiest airport of Spain. There are 4 terminals in total and a 24 hour bus service free of cost that connects them.
Note : From airport you can take metro line 8 to city centre. It will cost max 5 EURO and will take 15 mins.
By Train : If you are travelling domestically e.g. from Seville to Madrid or Barcelona to Madrid, train by far is the most economical and the best way to go. We took train from Seville to Madrid it took us 2.5 hours and costed us 40 Euros.
Things to see :
Since I only had 24 hours in Madrid , I of-course could not see everything. But this is the best I could manage.
Royal Palace of Madrid : There is always an allure about a palace that stems from a long European history of being ruled over by splendour and riches. The largest palace in Europe, the Royal Palace of Madrid is beautiful. The Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real de Madrid) is the official – although not the actual – home of the Spanish royal family. Now used mainly for ceremonial and public functions, the Royal Palace of Madrid is open to the public as a museum of the building’s and the country’s history.
Cost: €10, or free Monday to Friday, 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm (October – March) and 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm (April – September).
Opening hours: October – March: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm; April – September: 10.00 am – 8.00 pm.
Cathedral de la Almudena : Right opposite to Royal Palace you will find Cathedral de la Almudena. The architecture of cathedral reflects a combination of classical Gothic and Romanesque design. It is tough to say which is more magnificent – the Cathedral or the Royal palace , but either ways you are sure going to enjoy your walk to the history.
Cost: Entrance to the Cathedral requires a €1 donation, whilst entrance to the museum inside costs €6.
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday: 09.00 am – 8.30 pm
Palacio de Cibeles : Originally intended as the headquarters of Spanish Post Office ( Yes , can you believe this) , Palacio de Cibels today serves as the headquarter of city council. This building is truly magnificent. A must see.
Cost: €2 per adult, or free on the first Wednesday of every month
Parque del Retiro : Fondly known as “Lungs of Madrid” , Parque Del Retiro has 140 hectares of well-maintained gardens. Make sure to visit the lake as it is the focal point of the garden. This garden has something for every season and for everyone – whether it’s to soak up the sun, enjoy the colors of the fall, feel the chillness of winter or the joy of spring. Best time to visit this park is evening.
Cost – Free
Prado Museum : Right next to Parque del Retiro is one of the best art museums Prado which has one of the world’s biggest collections of Renaissance and Baroque art. The museum can easily soak up your entire day as the collection is amazing , however you want to enjoy it for free , you can do it after 6.
Cost – 12 Euros before 6 PM. After 6 pm entry is free.
Plaza Mayor : The Plaza Mayor, a grand arcaded square in the center of Madrid is very popular and definitely a must see. Here you will find the oldest restaurant in the world( yes you heard it right) , Sobrino de Botin. The plaza is a symmetrical rectangular square and has bronze statue of King Philips III at the center . You will find many restaurants, gift shops , sovenier shops here. In the summer the Mayor square is full of tables. Take a seat in one during lunch or dinner and a waiter will arrive from one of the surrounding restaurants with a menu in hand. The square is often used as a central meeting location for tourist families and tourist groups.
Cost : Free.
Gran Via : The one street you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Madrid is the Gran Vía, a proof of early twentieth-century architecture. The lively street is one of the city’s most important shopping areas. But what makes this street so special is the architectural design of many of the large buildings. For photography lovers like me , visit this place in night time
Cost : Free
Mercado de San Miguel : Madrid equivalent of La Bouqeria , Barcelona is Mercado se San Miguel. It is an early twentieth-century covered market in the historic center of Madrid. The market hall is one of the most lively in all of Madrid with 33 stalls featuring a whole host of delicacies and carefully selected raw ingredients to reflect the multifaceted nature of Spanish gastronomy. Thanks to its long opening hours, it make an ideal place for leisure both during the day and by night, as it also has wine bars and bars serving delicious tapas.
Metropolis Building: The Edificio Metrópolis is one of the most famous buildings in Madrid. The eye-catching structure, decorated with numerous sculptures, is magnificient. For photography lovers , visit this place at when it is spectacularly illuminated.
While 24 hours were surely not enough to explore a city as interesting as Madrid , but it surely did give me one more reason to return back to Spain. Madrid was historic, hip , culturally vibrant and an architectural masterpiece. The Capital of Spain has its fair share of hustle and bustle, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on providing visitors with an authentic Spanish experience.
Have you been to Madrid ? How did you like it?
Do share your experiences in comment below. Thank you so much for stopping by.
PhotoCredits : PHOTOSTAINS