Madrid: little black travelbook
28th October 2015
Having lived in Madrid for 6 months, made this city one of my favourite citytrip destinations. Do you feel like travelling to MADRID with me?
// Sleep //
Praktik Metropol: A standard double room in this minimalistic design hotel costs you €90. Their rooftop terrace is to die for, bring your own drinks and snacks and enjoy the views. Want to read more? Click here! (Calle de la Montera 47, www.praktikmetropol.com)
The Hat: One of the most beautiful hostels I’ve ever slept in. They have cheap dorms (from €20 pp/night), but also romantic double rooms (from €70 for 2 persons per night). The Hat’s interior design and cool branding makes you forget you sleep in a hostel. (Calle Imperial 9, www.thehatmadrid.com)
// EAT //
Act like a local! Eat lunch after 2PM and dinner from 10PM on.
Don’t miss Mercado de San Miguel (Plaza de San Miguel, www.mercadodesanmiguel.es). Touristy, yes, but definitely one of the best places to go for an apero. I can spend hours sipping cava and trying jamón ibérico over there.
San Ildefonso (Calle Fuencarral 57, www.mercadodesanildefonso.com) in the Chueca neighbourhood brings great foodtrucks together. Croquetas, taco’s, … they have it all!
BREAKFAST – BRUNCH – LUNCH – COFFEE & CAKE
Ojalá: Breakfasts from all over the world. (Calle de San Andrés 1, www.grupolamusa.com)
Federal Café: The place to be for coffeelovers. (Plaza de las Comendadoras 9, www.federalcafe.es)
Harina: Great cakes! (Plaza de la Independencia 10, www.harinamadrid.com)
Chocolatería San Ginés: Eat churros in an authentic setting – ideally as a midnight snack after dancing the night away. (Pasadizo San Ginés 5, www.chocolateriasangines.com).
Mistura: The best homemade ice cream in Madrid you’ll find at Mistura. After choosing which taste you’ll go for, you can add white chocolate chunks, fresh fruits, nuts, … They chop it right in front of you in between the ice cream. Jummie! On a diet? They also sell fresh juices. (Calle Augusto Figueroa 5 & Calle Ciudad Rodrigo 6, www.misturaicecream.com)
Delic: Without doubt one of my favourite places in Madrid. You can go to Delic all day, but I especially love to pass by for their carrot cake in the afternoon and for sipping cocktails between the locals in the evening. (Costanilla de San Andrés 14, www.delic.es)
Bocadillo de Jamón y Champan: Great cava and Spanish ham toasts. (Calle Fernando VI 21, www.bocadillodejamon.com)
Magasand: Yummie salads and bagels. Ask for a takeaway lunch and go for a picknick in the lovely Retiro park. (Calle de Columela 4 & Travesía de San Mateo 16, www.magasand.com)
Lateral: Come here if you like tapas. They have different restaurants, the one on Plaza Santa Ana brings back the best memories for me. (www.lateral.com)
La Musa: My all-time-favourite restaurant. Order Guacamole – to be prepared from scratch by yourself – and carpaccio. Their Bomba is also fingerlickin’ good! Go for cocktails to Delic, which lies next to it. (Calle Costanilla de San Andres 12, www.grupolamusa.com)
La Mucca: Thin wood-fired pizzas & jummie cocktails. (Calle Prado 16, www.lamucca.es)
La Pescadería: For fish, visit La Mucca’s sister La Pescadería. (Calle de la Ballesta 32, www.lamucca.es)
Bar Tomate: The Tragaluz group – which owns also restaurants in Barcelona, remember Pez Vela?! – never disappoints. You can come here all day, but I like the atmosphere at dinner time most. (Fernando El Santo 26, www.grupotragaluz.com)
Cava Baja: Head to Cava Baja – a street in the La Latina neighbourhood – for traditional Spanish tapas restaurants. Eat in between the locals while standing up at the counter. During summer months the street is packed which creates a fantastic atmosphere.
// SHOP //
There are 4 main shopping areas in Madrid. Between 2 and 5PM some of the smaller boutiques are closed (siestaaaaa).
-> Chueca en Malasana: cute little streets with unique boutiques
Do Design: The owners of conceptstore Do Design have impeccable taste. Their interior design selection makes me wish I would have brought a bigger suitcase. (Damn you, Ryanair!) (Calle Fernando VI 13, www.dodesign.es)
Pez: 2 stores right in front of each other, one for men and one for women. I could buy everything over here. Seriously! (Calle de Regueros 2 & 15, www.pez-pez.es)
NUD: Cute clothing shop. (Calle del Barquillo 42 & Calle del Prado 7)
On Calle Fuencarral, the heart of Chueca, you’ll find chain stores. Get lost in the small side streets.
-> Gran Vía: The place to be if you want to shop in the big Spanish clothing chains.
I always pass by Zara and Oysho (their lingerie and nightwear collection is great) as the prices are much lower than they are at home.
-> Salamanca: Salamanca is the upscale shopping neighbourhood of Madrid. If you’re looking for designer shops (Loewe, La Perla, Prada, …) this is the place to be.
Masscob: In a cute little alley you’ll find Masscob, my favourite Spanish brand. Every season again I am totally in love with their collection. (Puigcerdá 2, www.masscob.com)
Isabel Marant: They have a very own Isabel Marant shop over here!!! (Callejon de Jorge Juan 12, www.isabelmarant.com)
-> Conde Duque: Upcoming, alternative neighbourhood
Sportivo: The place to be for some serious boyfriend restyling. The same owners also run the men’s boutique ‘2 store’. (Sportivo: Calle Conde Duque 20 / 2 Store: Calle Justiniano 14, www.gruposportivo.com)
Mint Marché: If you like girly stuff, this place is shopping heaven for you. (Calle Conde Duque 14)
// SEE //
There are 3 main museums in Madrid. The Prado is a gigantic museum with paintings dating from the 12th to the early 19th century. You’ll find pieces of Rubens, Velazquez, Goya and Rembrandt over there. Although it is an impressive museum, I rather like to visit Thyssen Bornemisza (for the paintings of Dalí, Chagall, Gauguin and van Gogh) or Reina Sofia (to stare at Picasso’s Guernica for hours). (www.museodelprado.es – www.museothyssen.org – www.museoreinasofia.es)
Stroll from Palacio Real (the Royal Palace, what a building!) to Jardines Sabatini (the Royal Gardens). End at the Templo del Debod – an Egyptian temple – at sunset for an apero with a view (bring your own bottle of cava).
I used to go to the Retiro park for jogging, a picknick on Sunday or to escape the city buzz and read a book on a bench. If the weather is nice you can rent a small boat over there. Don’t miss Palacio de Cristal, my favourite spot in the park.
And of course go shopping in the neighbourhoods mentioned above. And pass by Plaza Mayor on your way to Mercado San Miguel.
Buen viaje! x
Want some recommendations on other destinations? Email me ([email protected])!