It’s my 2nd time in the city of Madrid and already the 1st day there made me feel right at home. I’ve recognised the city very easily and the location of cat’s party hostel was great–you couldn’t ask for more, really in the centre of everything that you’d want to experience in Madrid. As I’ve already seen most of the museums in the city on my trip before, this time the plan was to enjoy, maybe do some little shopping and try all the delicacies in the local markets.
As always the mercado de San Miguel near plaza mayor was wonderful. And I got back there at least 2 times to try different food from their stands as well as home made vermouth.
One evening I spent in the latina part of the city where one of the streets called calle cava baja has the most amount of bars all offering the local delicacies and tapas. And it was still a walking distance from the hostel. It’s a perfect street to do a sort of bar crawl, trying caña and exciting tapa in each of them. It would take you some time but definitely it would be entertaining.
First day I spent lazing around the city park retiro where I could read my book and just chill out and hide from the weather. But truly, after the heat of Córdoba, Madrid didn’t seem hot at all. Warm yes, but very bearable and windy at some points.
Other day I walked towards the Royal Palace and Almudena cathedral and then to sabatini Gardens.
Food wise, besides wonderful tapas in the mercado, I also tried porres with chocolate – the other famous pastry besides churros that you need to dip in chocolate.
Also I’ve visited minibar where they have one of the winner of the best tapa in Madrid which is melted goat cheese with caramelised onion confiture .. Should I say more?
And other food discovery recommended to me was sumo fusion on Grand Via where during the buffet you could try more sushi and Asian food that it’s actually possible. I think I overstuffed myself but as I don’t eat as much sushi as I wish, it was a wise decision 😉
Last and not least, my final evening in Madrid I spent in local tavernas near the hostel trying the wine and was surprised to see that in one of them the tradition of free tapa prevailed and I had quite a scrumptious tasting of jamón ibérico with each glass. And when I wanted to leave as I had an early morning train, the bartender pretended not to listen to me and I got another glass of wine and tapa on the house… Really, great example of Spanish hospitality which I see here on almost everyday basis.
Overall, Madrid felt like visiting an old friend, some things changed – there was actually a lot of construction and noise when I was there, some places stayed exactly as I’ve remembered which helped orientating myself in the city. It’s one of those places that I’m always happy to come back to. Be it for shopping in one of the bookshops – my favourite is casa del libro although fnac is also not a bad choice, discovering new tapas in mercados or in Latina or simply recharging in one of the city parks. Also, the fact that the city is so walkable that you don’t need to use metro as much as for example in Paris, makes it even more appealing. Actually, I’ve used metro once on the way to Chamartin Station where I caught the train to San Sebastian but all about that is coming soon 😉