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How to have a good day in Madrid

Madrid is a fantastic city, but she doesn’t show her charms to everyone. Here are the ins and outs for how to have the perfect day in Madrid, including culture, unique food destinations, and the best places to grab a drink.

After you’ve scored a dirt cheap flight to Madrid it’s time to keep the bargains coming. The hottest value ticket in Madrid also happens to be the new kid on the block: Madrid Street Art Project.

Still a local phenomenon, you’ll find Spaniards in huddled masses mulling the streets to admire street art in their own city. This is the Urban Safari, held on weekends and in Spanish (to make you feel ultra-cultured) rain or shine.

Your tour will begin in front of the Reina Sofia Museum, so arrive early and spend time in one of the world’s greatest museums before getting your modern day art infusion.

first things first: style

On the street tour, you will see everything from quirky sign changes (that you would have walked right by) to strong statements about the current economic situation.

i remember walking for hours, talking with my friends about our lives on these streets


After two hours of walking the streets, you’ll be beat and want to refuel your body before cruising the streets some more. It’s what we do in Madrid: walk.
From LaGaleriaDeMusica where the Safari ends, you will go through Puerta de Sol (KM 0 and the starting point of all roads in Spain) to the Gran Via, one of our biggest and main streets.


Window shopping along Calle Fuencarral is a wonderful way to wind yourself at the Mercado San Anton, in barrio Chueca, our lively and vibrant gay district. The Mercado has tapa offerings from places around the world: if you’re craving Souvlaki from Greece, or a Mythos – you’re in luck. If you want to grab a leg of jamon serrano and gnaw on it (the local past time) you’re also in the right place. Of course, if you want to ogle beautiful, boisterous Madrileno men and women while sipping a delicious Rioja, you’re also in the right place.


Enough indulging, it’s time to get on your feet again. Madrid’s historic buildings are beautiful and provide lovely scenery as you pace your way back towards the center, and the Plaza Mayor. This is the perfect spot to people watch, and make sure you raise your eyes up to admire the lovely murals decorating the plaza.

checking out wares.
why’s that kid creepin on me?

Check out the street artists selling their wares in the SouthWest corner, and take the (almost hidden) stairs down onto the motherlode: Cava Baja. This street is renowned for having the best selection of fresh tapas, crumbled napkins, and shouting Spaniards at all hours of the night.
Check out a few menus, and (if you’re not there during siesta) treat yourself to delicious manchego and pepper tapas, Champinones a la plancha (grilled mushrooms = to.die.for) and a cana (small beer). Note the places of interest for later in the night, and head back to your hostel (or, if you’re a grown up, check out these Madrid Hotels to get your siesta on.)

Madrid is all about the night life, so make sure to relax in the afternoon, you’ll likely be out to 3 or 4am if you have a proper night out. Here are my best tips for a fun and funky night out on the town in Barrio Malasana, girls guide to Madrid, as well as 5 free things to do in Madrid.


Love the sound of this day and wanna visit for the weekend? Please write me and we can meet up to hit a few other secret spots. The cheapest way to get to me is definitely Skyscanner, it saved my life in Spain! Have you been to Madrid– did you have a good time?



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Brandy Bell loves adventuring around the world. She's been a solo female traveler since 2006 and has visited over 25 countries, made countless international friends, and now writes to inspire you to travel in a sustainable and responsible way.

'How to have a good day in Madrid' has 1 comment

  1. May 7, 2014 @ 6:27 pm willrickards4

    I appreciated your comments on the Prado and the Sorrolla house. I was there last summer and found it a great place to be for a couple of hours. I will return to Madrid next month, and I am also looking forward to the National Museum of Archeology. I have been waiting to see the Dama de Elche for a few years, but missed it because the museum was closed for renovations when I was there.

    You have created quite a site here and I look forward to frequent visits.


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