Thanks to low-cost flights from all over Italy that lead directly to the Spanish capital, you can spend a fast weekend in Madrid lasting two days. We left on Friday evening and returned on Sunday evening , and we have always moved on foot or by public transport, which work very well (especially the metro). This was our itinerary.
Landed in Madrid, we immediately headed to the Residencia Alvaro booked through Booking . We had a great time, it's a very comfortable hostel, in the city center, the private room was spacious and clean, and we paid pretty little (€ 25 a night each), so we highly recommend it.
To get to the center of the airport you can use both the metro and the bus expres . We chose the latter, which runs every 15-20 minutes (depending on the time) and costs 5 euros per person. The most convenient stops to get off are Piazza Cibeles or Atocha station.
After leaving our luggage in the hostel we headed to a typical place to eat tapas, of those who frequent the Spaniards, trying to avoid the local accalappia-tourists. We are literally smashed of food to El Tigre , a decidedly rustic restaurant where for 5 euros you get a beer and a whole tray of tapas! (We wrote an article about where to eat in Madrid HERE )
Wake up early and breakfast with the typical churros served with hot chocolate , absolutely unmissable. Then we headed to the Parque del Retiro , where we spent a lot of time to be able to see it all. The atmosphere is decidedly relaxing and it is not uncommon to meet street performers who perform inside. We were particularly impressed by a Hang Drum player and another who played glasses
Inside the park, the things we liked the most are:
- Palacio de Cristal, currently hosts contemporary art exhibitions
- Monument of Alfonso XII, impressive. It overlooks the largest lake in the park, which you can cross by renting a rowboat
- La Roselada, a botanical garden with thousands of roses
- Fountain of the fallen angel, dedicated nothing more than Lucifer!
- The oldest tree in Madrid, a Mexican cypress that is more than 400 years old. Located in a part of the park very well maintained and with many other beautiful plants
Near the park there are several museums, among the most famous certainly the Museum Prado and the Museum of Reina Sofìathat we would have liked to visit if we had enough time. If you are an enthusiast, we advise you to check the days and times in which the entry is free. Keeping in mind though that, being very big, if you stay only two days there will probably be very little time left to see the rest of Madrid.
Walking through the city
Madrid is a city that must be seen by walking, in our opinion. It's nice to get lost in its streets, and so we did. We passed by the Gran Via, in the heart of the city, then heading towards the famous Plaza Mayor. From there we went to drink one of the best sangrie ever covered market of San Miguel. Later we went to see the majestic Palacio Real, alongside the Plaza de la Armeria in front of Catedral de la Almudena.
Being Sunday morning, we could not miss the legendary market of Rastro, the oldest in Madrid. Some define it as a flea market, but we can say that in addition to many used objects, there are also new goods of all kinds. It's really big and you can find bargains. Highly recommended!
Leaving the chaotic market, we went to rest on the benches of the park next to the Basilica of San Francisco El Grande, from where you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the city.
Wanting to move to see the Puente de Segovia, we moved to another very scenic spot, which is at the beginning of the Jardin de las Vistillas. Then we passed next to the Muralla Arabe and finally we reached the bridge.
From there we returned from the parts of our hostel using the metro, and then move to the Atocha station. On the way we took the opportunity to look at the Puerta de Alcalà and take a ride in the streets near the Parque del Retiro. Finally we took the expres bus that took us back to the airport, where we had a flight in the evening.
In conclusion we can say that we liked Madrid very much. It offers a lot, both in terms of entertainment and culture, and if you want to visit completely two days are not enough, especially for the time necessary to visit the museums. But they are enough to see the main attractions and savor the particular climate that you live in these parts, so we can not help but advise you to pack your suitcase and leave immediately for a weekend in this fantastic city.