That was a greta 4 day trip to Madrid. Although it was mid december, except for some breeze and cloudy days, the weather is good and festive season helps bring up your spirits to shop and go crazy.
Day 1: Walk the Gran Via and its alleys
|Gran Via - good to walk|
|Xmas season at El Corte Ingles|
You have lots of options to eat ranging from international chains to creative cafes in the side alleys. The side lanes are definitely worth the detour.
Shop in the numerous El Corte Ingles stores, Madrid's biggest departmental store chain.
Day 2: Take in the Real Madrid ambiance
|Santiago Bernabeu Stadium|
Especially after 2014's tenth cup, Real Madrid celebrations are contagious and you can walk out feeling their spirit.
Evenings in Madrid are your golden hour to catch the flamencos dancing. YEs, catch the Flamenco dance performance at any of Madrid's favourite Flamenco clubs. We went to Cardomomo for the last and the longest show with their biggest troupe of 9 artists. It was a great experience. Not full house because of the low season but definitely a great experience to see the intense local art form.
I thought Flamenco was just a ladies dance, but there are men and couple dance performances too. Also music and song solos and recitals.
Day 3: Royal Palace, Buen Retiro park, a museum or two
While I liked taking a walk in the vicinity of the Royal Palace, the local park and greenery, I found it also slightly monotonous. The palace has a English look and feel to its facade with grays and longish architecture. I was expecting something more southern European and this kind of threw me off.
As the palace and cathedral are on top of the hill, the view from top of the palace entrance across the cityscape is a good one. there is also a monastery nearby to walk around to. I was there on a low season and closed day, but do plan visit there.
The most amazing fresh food market. It is better than any food court or food street in Madrid. This one place justified the trip to me.
Amazing sea food, tapas, paella, lots of iberian ham and desserts. Them all and lots of sangria stalls around the market. I loved the authenticity and the creativity of food here.
Day 4: Calle de Mayor - the area
The downtown area near Calle Mayor is filled with life. If you want the best churros in town, go to San Ginos as per the recommendation on all travel sites. Every street has a churro shop too many, but choose the right place and you got your best churros.
Don't forget the Tapas and Sangria!