My boyfriend and I went for a long weekend in Madrid for our 3 year anniversary. I hadn’t been before and was lookin forward to seeing a side to Spain which didn’t involve holiday resorts and beaches.
I won’t go through everything we got up to – I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.
Madrid has no shortage of squares, or ‘plazas’. You have plaza del sol, plaza mayor, plaza de celebras and so on. The architecture is beautiful and I really think Madrid, like most other European cities, trumps London on this front.
Parque del Retiro is stunning! You can tell it has a lot more to give when summer comes but I’ve always been a sucker for parks and this one is among the best. Firstly it is huge, second there are birds everywhere and thirdly, different parts of the park have a completely different feel. Oh, and they had a gym area for old people with pedals by benches – adorable!
The city is always bustling with people. No matter what time of the day you find yourself out and about there will always be a busker providing the soundtrack to your holiday, a market stool offering you tempting trinkets or simply crowds of locals making you feel like a tourist. I highly recommend the Flea Market – its the biggest I’ve ever seen. They even had an area where children and adults alike gathered to trade Pokémon and football stickers!
One word: Flamenco! I did the obvious thing and googled ‘top 10 things to do in Madrid’ and, ignoring the football, they all said you had to watch flamenco. I was a bit put off at first by the price (a show cost anything from €30-€60), but we listened to Google and booked it! We did not regret it! The show was totally improvised and memorising (and a little scary – they pulled some strange faces).
There isn’t much as far as ‘sights-to-see’. Unlike most other European cities where there is a list as long as your arm of sights that you must see, in Madrid there’s only really the one cathedral and the royal palace (unless you’re into art museums, in which case you better book a week off work). That said, as sights go, they’re quite good!
There’s a lot more to do and see than what I’ve noted here, but my last words will be: Madrid is a home from home. Its like London dressed and ready for flamenco. It’s safe and feels like an old friend. I will definitely be coming back. Mucho gracias Madrid por una perfecto fin de samana! And last, but certainly not least, happy anniversary Andy, te qiero!