Just over a week ago, my dear friend Clarissa and I headed out for a weekend trip to Spain’s capital, Madrid. It was a somewhat spontaneous decision that took no more than an hour to plan, mainly fuelled by Clarissa’s longtime desire to visit the city. I can’t say it had been on top of my must-visit location list, but as always, I was eager to explore one more new place. As I’ve explained before, traveling has become one of my priorities these days – in an attempt to make up for all the previous years of minimal traveling – hence the recent build-up of trips.
So far, Madrid falls under my list of favourite cities visited – from the stunning architecture, lively atmosphere and cultural locations to the delicious cuisine, I can pretty much say I enjoyed every bit of it. In fact, it is one of the few cities I could see myself living in. I’ve put together a few places I would recommend visiting if you’re in Madrid for a short stay:
Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía
Our hotel was part of what made this trip so enjoyable. We came across this hotel when searching for Madrid’s most popular, and we sure were not disappointed. Located in one of the city’s main streets, the hotel is surrounded by an array of shops and restaurants – a somewhat concerning characteristic when budgeting – and comes with its own picturesque rooftop pool. If you do choose to book this hotel, try pick a room overlooking the Gran Vía, you will not regret it!
Located in Calle de Alcalá, this restaurant is an exceptional dinner location. I feasted on squid ink croquettes and chicken cannelloni, as well as a glass of Sangria. Treat your taste buds and feast your eyes on the visually appealing interiors, as it really is quite the experience. However, do not accept the seemingly free serving of bread and olives if you aren’t willing to pay for it.
Situated in Calle de Génova, Habanera is the ultimate brunch spot. Not only is the tropical atmosphere a must-see, but their Eggs Benedict is one of the best I have tried. Brunching at this place will likely set a good tone for the rest of your day.
Our stop at this restaurant was quick, but enjoyable nonetheless. Located in Calle Reina, this eatery is ideal if you’re craving French cuisine. The atmosphere is cosy and romantic, while service is particularly efficient.
Mercado de San Miguel
This food market is a must-visit when in Madrid. If you’re eager to try out a variety of tapas and traditional dishes from different vendors at one go, this place is ideal. I did struggle to get around as it is rather packed, and I’d advise you keep a good eye out for pickpockets – but otherwise, you’re bound to feast on some of your favourite food here.
I’ve saved the best for last! This fantastic restaurant was situated in our hotel itself, making it an optimal place to grab dinner before checking out. Clarissa and I each enjoyed Sirloin steak cooked on a Himalayan salt cooking block and topped with truffle butter. Hands down the best meal I have ever consumed – I have honestly been dreaming of it since and would undoubtedly feast on it again if I ever revisit Madrid.