Favorite Places in Madrid

I had the chance to visit the beautiful capital of Madrid this May, and I have to say I really loved bits and pieces of it. Unfortunately, me and my friend (Reni) were only there for two short days, so we had to see a lot in very little time, and on foot (we only took the metro for big distances), so it was a bit tiring, but still worth it! Luckily, we managed to see most of the sights we initially planned. Here are the ones that I really loved:

1. Parque del Retiro 

This park was absolutely mind-blowing! It was the middle of May, the heat was unbelievable and it increased among the large buildings of Madrid. Reni & searched for “shelter” and a place to relax, and this park was the perfect choice. Not only does it have a lot of trees-where you can hide under their shades, benches-as a place to rest for the tired traveler, beautiful lakes-where you can even go rowing, and Spanish guitar music that catches your ear, but it also holds in itself impressive Palacios and Museums too!

Parque de Retiro, Madrid

Parque del Retiro, Madrid

Retiro

Retiro

Retiro, Madrid

Retiro, Madrid

2. Palacio de Cristal

This palace is in Retiro Park and was initially built after the model of London’s Crystal Palace, and was used to house exotic plants. Today it is mostly used to host art exhibitions.

entrance of Palacio de Cristal

entrance of Palacio de Cristal

Palacio de Cristal of Retiro

Palacio de Cristal of Retiro

inside the Palace

inside the Palace

3. Templo de Debod

A fascinating temple and complex of ancient arches, originally built in Egypt, but rebuilt in Madrid. It is a sign of gratitude, a gift from Egypt if you like, because Spain helped save the temples of Abu Simbel. It is one of a kind in the country.

Debod from outside

Debod from outside

inside Debod

inside Debod

Debod, Madrid

Debod, Madrid

4. Atocha Metro Station

When we first read in the guidebook that Atocha metro station has a mini botanical garden (with not-so-mini palm-trees), we didn’t really believe it. But since we had to get on a metro anyway, and Atocha station turned out to be the closest, we said we’d check it out. We didn’t find it at first, but we started asking around and a lady pointed us into the right direction. We were awe-struck. The air was so tropical, hot that you could barely breathe, and those plants were so amazing in the crowds of people that we couldn’t take our eyes off them. Check out for yourself:

plants in Atocha Metro Station

plants in Atocha Metro Station

Atocha Metro Station, Madrid

Atocha Metro Station, Madrid

Atocha, Madrid

Atocha, Madrid

5. Plaza Mayor

Every city I’ve been to in Spain has its own “Plaza Mayor” (Main Square), where there are a lot of people, and where festivals and outdoor performances are mostly held. You should check it out in any Spanish city, because although they are all square-shaped, every one of them is different.

Reni & I in Plaza Mayor

Reni & I in Plaza Mayor

6. Palacio de Communicationes

I thought it was a really beautiful and majestic building, one I will remember for sure!

in front of Palacio de Communicationes

in front of Palacio de Communicaciones

Palacio de Communicaciones

Palacio de Communicaciones

7. Gran Via

The Big Street. For all you shopping-lovers, I’ll have you know that it’s one of Madrid’s most important shopping areas. There are also a number of cafes and restaurants, hotels, theaters and cinemas. Although we didn’t buy a thing, we still strolled around, because the mixture of architectural styles among the buildings is something you don’t see every day. (at least, we don’t).

Gran Via, Madrid

Gran Via, Madrid

8. Palacio Real 

The official residence of the Royal Family in Madrid. Although we didn’t go in, I still think that it is a must-see in Madrid! And the garden in front of it is just dashing!

Palacio Real

Palacio Real

Gardens of Palacio Real

Gardens of Palacio Real

How did you like these places? What other places would you recommend to someone that’s traveling to Madrid for the first time?

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