Madrid! The City That Never Sleeps…

Madrid

Rioja wine

Rioja wine

Tortilla Espanola

Tortilla Espanola

Paella

Paella

Tinto De Verano

Tinto De Verano

Flamenco Dancer

Flamenco Dancer

Churros San Gines

Churros San Gines

Hello everyone who loves to travel and explore new places, in different cities.

I would like to write about Madrid where I lived one year. It is a nice city to live and it is full of activities. There are huge parks like Retiro and Casa del Campo pubs, coffee shops and night clubs. Madrid is crazy for tapas and drinks, when you go out at night, you see families, young people, elder people having fun until the sun rises.

Sol Square is one of the centers in Madrid (the historical one), from Sol to Plaza Mayor you can find a lot of Tapas places you can choose according to your budget. There is a place called Cien Montaditos that in some days of the week, everything is 1 Euro. If you are in Madrid don’t miss it, try Tinto de Verano it is red wine with Gaseosa (something like Sprite) and ice. I recommend you to drink during summer time. In Sol Square, on the corner behind the metro station, there is a bakery called “La Mallorquina”, all the pastries and coffees are delicious. If you are close to Plaza Mayor this means you can taste churros and hot chocolate in San Gines, but there is a tiny problem that there is always a line so I never had the chance to taste. If you want to taste you need to wait for a while.

“Sobrino de Botin” is the oldest restaurant in the world which is still running and it is close to Plaza Mayor, but you need to make a reservation at least 10 days before, because it is so famous that it is hard to find a table.

You can visit the Palacio Real which is 10 min walk from Plaza Mayor. You shouldn’t miss sunset from the Temple Of Debod. And Gran Via starts from there to almost until Retiro Park. Gran Via seems like little Times Square, NYC. It is always full of people with a lot of light and ads on the buildings. For shopping, Gran Via is also one of the best places but if you want to shop from design stores or second hand shops, you need to turn left and you will be in “Malasana” neighbourhood. In Malasana all stores and restaurants are different than Sol Square. Here you will find new restaurants, dog friendly places and people.
If shopping means Gucci or Prada to you, you need to take a cab or a metro to “Calle de Serrano” and again you will find yourself in another world. This part is more sophisticated than other parts of Madrid and Serrano is much more calmer. There are really good restaurants here, too. Madrid is the city which has the most bars and restaurants in Europe. For Madrileños food and social life is really important.

Every sunday in La Latina, there is a market called “El Rastro” second hand clothes, painting and street food is what you can find there but you need to go early in the morning because they close the market around 14:00. By the way for Madrilenos, morning is from 9:00 to 13:00. Lunch time is at 14:00 and until 18:00 is afternoon. From 18:00 to 22:00 is evening time for tapas, they eat after 22:00. First months I was having difficulties to understand this timing, but in summer I got it. During summer from 15:00 to 21:00, it is so hot and the sun goes down around 21:30, in summer eating at 22:30 makes sense.

If you want to buy traditional souvenirs like mugs, tiny flamenco dancers or bull figures you can find stores around Sol and Gran Via, if you like paella there are Paella boxes with all ingredients inside ready to cook. Rioja is the best red wine to buy, the brand can be different but the type of the grape, Rioja is easy to drink with lots of flavours. Like all the other Mediterranean countries Spain is also famous with olive oil, cheese and wine.

If you like sea dishes you will love being in Madrid, even Madrid doesn’t have any coast to sea or any river, sea dishes are really fresh and common. I almost was going to forget the most famous dish in Madrid, it is Tortilla (Spanish Omelette). In each Tapas Bar they will serve you Tortilla, if you like it and you would like to bring it with you for your family or friends to taste in your home country, you can buy cooked Tortillas from the supermarkets.

And the museums, Prado and Arte Reina Sofia you can see the best Spanish painters art pieces like Picasso’s Guernica, El Greco, Velazquez’s paintings.

Madrid lives 24 hours except sundays, Sunday is the day to go to park and have some Tapas in the evening. If you go to Madrid enjoy being there, you can walk from one point to another, it is a safe city all day long. Drink good wine, eat good food and bring some memories back to your home country and share with your friends or family.

Dilara Dagli – Lived one year in Madrid, Spain
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