My family calls Madrid "The center of the universe", that is how much we love this city! This Spanish city is by default our first stop when traveling to Europe from our home Puerto Rico. With an easy nonstop flight, every time I travel to and from Spain, I use Madrid as a “layover” this is what I do:
10:00am: Arrive in Madrid.
10:30am: Hotel check-in or AirBnb. I recommend staying at any location by “Puerta del Sol, “Plaza Mayor” or “Palacio Real”. These are the best locations to help see the city by foot.
11:30am: Snack and beer time at “Casa Labra,” this over the counter restaurant serves the best cod croquets or fried cod dish you will ever taste. Cod is a classic Spanish dish and “Casa Labra” is famously known for making the ultimate best. After the snack, take some time to walk around “Puerta del Sol” and enjoy the street performances.
12:30am: Walk to see the “Palacio Real” from the outside. The Royal Family Castle is impressive from the inside and the outside. If you have only 24hrs in the city I recommend just seeing it from the outside. If you have a little bit more time, touring the inside takes about two hours.
1:00pm: Visit “Museo Nacional del Prado”. This museum is home to famous paintings like “Las Meninas” by Diego Velazquez, many Francisco Goya paintings like “La Maja Desnuda” and my personal favorite “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch. The museum visit can take from 1-3 hrs, but If you select the most important paintings you can visit it in one hour or less.
3:00pm: Very close to the museum is the famous “Parque del Retiro” probably the most important park in Spain. I recommend you walk around the park for about 45 min, enjoy the beautiful sight, have refreshment and a snack.
4:00pm: By this time you have seen a lot of the city, if you want to take some time to do some shopping, I recommend “El Corte Ingles” (major department store in Spain) or Serrano Street were you will find stores ranging from Zara to Prada.
5:00pm: Get ready to watch the sunset at “Circulo de Bellas Artes” with 360 degrees views of the city it is a perfect setting to sip on a cocktail (Sangria or Gin Tonic are my fave!) and relax before dinner.
6:30pm: Dinner time! Try the famous food market “Mercado San Miguel;” on your way there make sure to stop at “Plaza Mayor”, most famous plaza in the city and then get ready to indulge in typical Spanish cuisine. “Mercado San Miguel” houses 33 stalls of the best food you will find in the city. From fish, to ham, olives, oysters, you will find amazing quality ingredients at an affordable price and a lively environment. I usually choose to stay there the rest of the night having a few drinks and indulging in amazing cuisine.
9:00pm: Return to the hotel or go out for a few more drinks, whatever you decide!
This is how I spend a perfect day in Madrid!