Introducing our itinerary for…
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COUNTRY FACTS FOR SPAIN
Time Zone: Central European Time Zone (GMT +01:00)
Weather by season: Winter (high 50’s), Spring (high 50-60’s), Summer (high 70’s), Fall (high 50-60’s)
Exchange Rate for the USD: 1 USD = 0.82 Euro (upd. Feb 2018)
International telephone dialing country code: +34 for Spain
Food they’re known for: Tapas (appetizers), Iberian ham
Drinks they’re known for: Cava (sparkling wine), Sangria
Tipping Expectations: 7% Tip is already included at restaurants but if you want to tip more do only 5-10%
Popular Shopping Goods: Ceramics, Espadrilles (shoes with rope soles)
Common Shop Hours: 9am-2pm and 4pm-8pm for an afternoon siesta (nap!)
Taxi Information: There’s no Uber but download the “MyTaxi” app to call a taxi with similar technology
Hotel/Accomodation Recommendations in Madrid
Here are the top five accommodations in Madrid that are in a convenient location to all the action, have a romantic ambiance, and are good enough for our fine readers. They are listed below from most budget-friendly to least. Take a quick glance at them, book one, and download our Organized Travel PDF so you can write the booking details in your “Organize the Essentials List”.
|Name||Avg Cost per Night||Stars||Address, City (Neighborhood)||Check In Time||Checkout Time||BOOK|
|Gran Melia Fenix||$226||5||Hermosilla, 2||3pm||12pm||BOOK|
|Barcelo Emperatriz||$202||5||Calle de Lopez Hoyos, 4||2pm||12pm||BOOK|
|H10 Villa de la Reina Hotel||$212||4||Gran Via, 22||2pm||12pm||BOOK|
|7 Islas Hotel||$165||4||Calle Valverde, 14-16||2pm||12pm||BOOK|
|Silken Puerta Madrid||$96||4||Juan Rizi, 5 (outside city center)||2pm||12pm||BOOK|
If you are looking for a more affordable option, an apartment rental is the way to go. Using Airbnb you can rent an apartment anywhere in the city. You typically don’t get the amenities of a concierge, breakfast, gym, pool, etc so you can get your stay for less than half the price of a hotel. You’ll want to book far in advance to get a great place with good reviews. Get $40 off your first booking here: BOOK AN AIRBNB
Destination Dorworth is a participant in affiliate links for Booking.com and Airbnb. These links are of no extra cost to you, and simply go towards the costs of keeping our site running! Thanks in advance for your support.
Transportation Recommendations in Madrid
Here are the sources we recommend you use to book transportation within the city. In Madrid we recommend you walk when possible, ‘app’ a taxi when needed, and use trains from city to city. Renting a car is stressful and difficult in a country where the language and signage is different.
|Type (rental car, taxi, train)||Company||Website|
|Taxi||MyTaxi||https://us.mytaxi.com/index.html (download the app on your phone)|
In the itinerary charts below, you’ll notice we mention “book now” or “book later”. If it says “book now” you truly must book tickets now, months in advance, as it’s a popular thing to do that sells out at peak times. If we say “book later” you could book it just before leaving or you could even just show up to the location and buy tickets that same day.
Trip Overview for Madrid, Spain
2 DAY TRIP
DAY 1 Feel like a royal and stroll along the main street of the city before checking out a Flamenco show
DAY 2 Enjoy some parks, a little art, and the sport of bullfighting
DAY 1 AT A GLANCE
Today’s Goal to Crush: Feel like a royal.
This morning should start with a tour of the Palacio Real. It’s the Spanish royal palace that is lavish and over the top (but who’s complaining). With 3,418 rooms, you get to tour through parts of the palace with an audio set to learn about the architecture and the theme of each room. Buy your ticket online the night before to skip the outrageously long line outside. The time and money it must have cost to build this palace is incredible. You can literally spend hours here because the details in each room will light up your eyes! While here, checkout the Armeria Real or the royal armour room that has old armour and weapons and is included in the tour. The royal family no longer lives here but they do hold ceremonies here occasionally still.
Once you’ve taken in a bit of history and seen how it is to live like a royal, take a stroll down the main street of Madrid: Gran Via. You’ll pass by many shops and restaurants, including some good souvenir shops. Part way down the street, you can make a detour to the Plaza Puerta del Sol which is the center point of Spain (called the “Gate of the Sun”). Look for the bear statue here which is their symbol of the city. Take a break for some people watching in the Plaza de la Villa which is home to the town hall or Plaza Mayor nearby. Or grab some food at some of the many options along the way. We found a lovely Italian restaurant called DiBocca for a romantic dinner because we needed a break from a week of all Spanish food.
When you need a snack break, stop at the Chocolateria de San Gines which is famous for their chocolate churros. They are basically sugary churros you dip into a mug of warm chocolate. Yes, it’s super yummy and worth searching out!
After a long day of exploring, wind down the day with a flamenco show at Tablao Flamenco Las Tablas. They have the most incredible dancers and musicians there that you will leaving feeling more alive than ever! And possibly even attempting some of their dance moves- emphasis on attempt.
>>Today’s Google Map<<
DAY 1 DETAILS
|Palacio Real||10am-6pm||Calle de Bailén||8-10E||WEBSITE
[BOOK NIGHT BEFORE]
|Armeria Real||Mon-Sat 9am-6pm and Sun 9am-3pm||Calle de Bailén||Included in the palace entrance above||Same as above|
|Gran Via (main street/broadway)||–||Gran Via||–||–|
|Plaza Puerta del Sol (main plaza)||–||–||–||–|
|Plaza de la Villa (square)||–||–||–||–|
|Tablao Flamenco Las Tablas||8pm or 10pm nightly||Plaza de Espana, 9||29E||WEBSITE
Oh So Tasty Food Options Nearby:
|Restaurant||Hours||Type of Food||Address||Price||Website|
|Chocolateria de San Gines||Open 24hr 365 days a year||Chocolate with churros||San Gines, passage 5||$||WEBSITE|
|DiBocca Gran Via||12:30pm-11:30pm||Italian||Gran Via, 59||$$||WEBSITE|
|Cerveceria 100 Montaditos||Sun-Thur from 9am-8pm; Fri-Sat from 9am-2am||Sandwich shop||Gran Via, 63||$||WEBSITE|
|Taberna La Bola||Open 1:30pm-4pm and 8:30-11pm; Sunday afternoons only||Spanish||Calle de la Bola, 5||$$||WEBSITE|
|Restaurante Sobrino de Botin||Open 1-4pm and 8pm-midnight||_ (oldest restaurant in the world)||Calle Cuchilleros, 17||$$$$||WEBSITE
DAY 2 AT A GLANCE
Today’s Goal to Crush: Act like a local and dress up for a bullfight.
Today you are heading to the East side of downtown Madrid to visit one of the top museums in the world: Museo del Prado. It is a Spanish national art museum with the best collection of Spanish art in the world which brings many people from all over the world to see it.
Then cross the street and head to the oh-so-grand Retiro park! The Estanque Grande del Buen Retiro is like New York’s Central Park in a way. You can stroll through the park for hours to see all it has to offer. From a gorgeous lake with row boats to street musicians, it’s truly a magical place. Especially once you walk inside the Palacio de Cristal which is a gorgeous all metal and glass structure: a piece of art. PS- look for the tree that looks like monkey bread!
If you have extra time, checkout the Plaza de Cibeles city center area that has fountains which have become an iconic symbol for the city. They’re gorgeous!
After a relaxing day in the museum and the park, it’s time to freshen up for a bullfight at La Plaza de Toros de las Ventas. Hopefully you’re visiting from March-October when it’s bullfighting seasons (otherwise spend a night out on the town). The locals take their bull fights seriously. They dress up and are extremely supportive of their local bullfighters. The stadium holds over 23,000 people so arriving early is important as there are large crowds of people. Be sure to buy your tickets early and splurge when you get there on the seat cushions.
After the fight, grab some dinner and drinks out. We highly recommend catching a ride over to El Jardin Secreto for an intimate dining experience. First off, this restaurant has some of the most unique decorations ever; like mini hot air balloons hanging from the ceiling, vines growing on the walls, mini twinkling lights, and even a swing! Just wait until you see the menu though. It’s very extensive but everything we ordered was amazing. Save room for an “orgasmic” dessert! Their dessert menu is the longest we’ve ever seen and worth every single calorie.
DAY 2 DETAILS
|Museo del Prado||Mon-Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 10am-7pm (free 2hr before closing)||Ruiz de Alarcon Street, 23||15E entrance; 4E audio guide||WEBSITE
|Estanque Grande del Buen Retiro||Sunrise to sunset||Between C. Alfonso XII and Avenida de Menendez Pelayo||Free||WEBSITE|
|Plaza de Cibeles||–||Cibeles square||Free||–|
|La Plaza de Toros de las Ventas||Fights typically at 6pm||Calle Alcala, 237||14.20E+ depending on shaded/sun seats||WEBSITE
Oh So Tasty Food Options Nearby:
|Restaurant||Hours||Type of Food||Address||Price||Website|
|El Jardin Secreto||Open 6:30pm-2:30am||Spanish, European, Desserts||Calle Conde Duque, 2||$$||WEBSITE|
|Bazaar||Open 1:15-4pm and 8:30-11:30pm||Modern European||Calle Libertad||$$||WEBSITE|
|La Finca de Susana||Open 1pm-11:30pm||Spanish, Modern||Calle del Principe, 10||$$||WEBSITE|