Best insider tips for Madrid Part 1
I’m often asked for tips in Madrid and I always try to do my best and share the things I think are worth to visit, see or try. Now, I’ve put together my best tips while in Madrid and I’ll share them with you in two different articles. In the first part I focus on how to move around in the city, what to see and what kind of day trip options there are. The second part will be more about food, rooftop terraces and shopping.
MOVING AROUND IN THE CITY:
Metro works in Madrid very well. Also, city trains (Cercanias) are useful if you need to get a little further away for example to Las Rozas Village, outlet city from which I will tell you more next week.
When using metro, first you need to buy a metro card which you can do when you buy your first ticket. Don’t lose the card because you can and should use it every time you use metro and you can charge one trip or more. Trains (Cercanias) work still without card and you can buy normal single tickets when needed.
About taxis, I highly recommend Cabify which is Uber kind of service but local one. It’s very convenient and inexpensive and works in Madrid so well. What I love about it is that you don’t need to explain anything if your Spanish isn’t that good ?. Just order a ride with your phone and introduce the place where you want to go. Wait the car to arrive and just hop in and enjoy the ride. Driver is always wearing a suit and super professional asking if you like the temperature in a car and what kind of music / radio you would like to listen. After you reach your destination, the charge goes automatically from the credit card you’ve entered to your profile beforehand and you’ll get a confirmation message right away.
And like I already mentioned, Uber is also quite big in Madrid, but I prefer Cabify, like most of my friends here.
PLACES TO VISIT AND SEE:
About the sights then, the entire center of Madrid is full of post card look alike places and sights, such as the Royal Palace, the Madrid City Hall, etc. and you can reach them easily by walking. The Madrid City Hall is a big white building, which is often seen in pictures if taken from Madrid. The square called Sol is also a very legendary place with the Tio Pepe sign. Many metro lines are crossed there too.
Also, Retiro Park is worth to mention and very beautiful place to wonder around during the sunny day. In the middle of the park you can find a nice pond where you can hire a boat and row a bit if you want. In the park you can also find “Palacio de Cristal” (glass palace) which is also very visited and popular. If you want to have a drink or snack while in Retiro, I highly recommend you visit a place called “La Terraza de Florida Retiro”. Super nice terrace and great atmosphere.
Plaza Mayor is also one of the most visited sights in Madrid. Most likely you’ve seen it in many photos and it’s that huge square surrounded by the big red building. Worth to visit definitely and even have a drink in one of the many restaurants.
In addition to these, the stadiums Santiago Bernabeu and Atletico’s new Wanda Metropolitano are very popular among Madrid visitors. Both can be reached by metro and several tours are organized daily (game days excluded). The Bernabeu is the second visited attraction in Madrid after the Museo del Prado. Atletico’s legendary Vicente Calderon is still in place, but unfortunately it can’t be visited anymore and there’s no tours held. Most likely it will be taken down in the summer 2019. But if you are football lover, it’s worth to visit because it has quite central location and you can still smell the spirit and history of Atletico de Madrid.
If the big city starts to bore, I would definitely recommend jumping into train and to visit either Toledo or Segovia.
Both places are full of history with cobbled streets and old, beautiful buildings. You can read more about these places in my previous posts:
Both Toledo and Segovia can easily be reached by train, and travel time from Madrid is about 30min by express train (Ave). There are several train stations in Madrid, so pay attention from where your train leaves from. The main train station is called Atocha.
Trains can be found from here: http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html
So, here’s the first part of the most frequently asked questions with my best tips. If there is still something that you want to ask, please leave a comment below!
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