Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Olé Madrid!

Mark and I spent our first four day holiday weekend of the year traipsing through Madrid, enjoying the Spanish culture of art, architecture, tapas and flamenco! Follow along below as I take you on our tour through the city.

Puerta del Sol is in the center of Madrid and is a meeting place for a lot of residents, as well as a popular spot for celebrating New Year's Eve in the city.

El Oso y El Madrono - The Bear and the Strawberry Tree
Madrid's famous statue representing the large amount of bears that used to live around the forests of Madrid.

I love walking through big, old cities like Madrid that have amazing architecture on every corner! The building above is now the Bank de Espana.

View of the city as we start out on our trek around town.

Madrid not only has great art and architecture, but numerous beautiful statues around the city.

Neptune fountain in the center of a traffic round-about

One of Madrid's most famous museums, The Prado, known for housing one of the greatest collections of European art. Two of the most famous artists with work exhibited here are Diego Velazquez and Francisco Goya. This is a musuem that should not be missed! To avoid long lines, I recommend booking tickets online in advance which allows you to pick a time to enter the museum.

Statue of Velazquez in front of the Prado

Entrance to Parque Retiro

Parque Retiro is a beautiful park not too far from the Prado, and made for a good spot to sit on a bench and relax for a few minutes after our museum visit!

One of my favorite spots in Madrid, we lucked out to be in Parque Retiro on a beautiful, warm day. The lake area is a great place to hang out and many people were in the park enjoying a picnic. I recommend going early if you want to rent a boat on a nice day...the line was way too long by the time we arrived!

Hangin' out lakeside!

Enjoying a Spanish-Italian fusion meal at La Mucca

Palacio Real - The Royal Palace

Another place I recommend going to very early. We went there twice over the weekend, but the long lines deterred us from going in!

The Palace is another great example of amazing architecture in Madrid.

Outside of Reina Sofia, home to Picasso's famous "Guernica"

Plaza Mayor, another of Madrid's most well-known squares (yes, that's Winnie the Pooh in the background!)

Mark in Plaza Mayor

One of Spain's great treats, churros y chocolate

For our second dinner, we enjoyed a tapas meal in the Latina district

Ham and croquettes tapas, yum!

After dinner, we went to Corral de la Moreria for a wonderful flamenco show! (I posted some video at the end of this blog post.) Flamenco, which is Spain's native music and dance, is a must-see when going to visit the country. The show was amazing and is one of the city's most famous flamenco spots, but note that some tables like ours had a partially obstructed view due to the building posts.

Mercado San Miguel is a great place to eat! Wonder through the aisles to check out all your options before selecting something. There are many items to choose from!

One of the food counters in Mercado San Miguel

We went with tapas and wine for lunch!

Madrid's cathedral

Plaza de Espana

On our last night in Madrid, we ate at Casa Botin, on record in the Guinness Book of World Records as the word's oldest restaurant, founded in 1725. The cellar room downstairs is a great place to eat with a neat ambiance. The restaurant's main dish is the roasted suckling pig, which was delicious!

Plaza Santa Ana

Before heading back to the airport, we did one more walk around town and said Adios to the Madrid's bear! It was an incredible weekend and I can't wait to go back for more Spanish culture! I hope you enjoyed this tour through Madrid!


  1. Beautiful pictures V! Can't wait to go someday and take some of your good advice =)

  2. It looks wonderful. Churros and chocolate sound amazing.