Our stay in Madrid was super short but we managed to pack so much in! Luckily, most of the things that are worth seeing are all condensed into one small area. So, we explored the beautiful city of Madrid to its fullest in just 3 days.
We started off in the city quite late so just wanted to get to our Airbnb to chill out for the evening. We were even told that one of the biggest surviving pieces of the old wall in Madrid was salvaged in the building we were staying in. To see that so much of the history is kept and revered in the city is really something special.
Our first night consisted of fresh seafood bought from the local market. Mercado de la Cebada which is a great place to get some fresh seafood and produce!
Cathedrals and Palaces…oh and then some chocolate
The first proper day started off with a bang with a walk to the Catedral de la Almudena. I cannot even describe how beautiful this building is on the inside. Bright and bold stain glassed windows decorate every alcove. Although it felt a bit more commercial than other cathedrals we had been too, it had its own charm!
Next, we took a quick stroll next door to gawk at the Royal Palace of Madrid. I must admit, I thought it would be a lot busier! Maybe going in the dead of Winter is a good idea. Even if it means your nose freezes off every day. The OCD freak in me did not like the fact that the palace was L-shaped and not symmetrical. Then I googled it and basically, it was to preserve the amazing view, which is the only reason that would make me happy.
Soaking in as much of the city as possible, we strolled slowly through the winding alleys. One thing I can say is, you should definitely take time to stop and look at all of the shops. You are sure to find a gem for you in any shape or form. We did have a goal though, we were stopping at San Gines. The legendary chocolate shop where locals stop for cafe and treats before heading out for the evening.
Should you ever stop at San Gines, order the churros and hot chocolate! You will never be disappointed! We were crazy enough to order a portion of 6 churros each which was a bit excessive so go on the side of caution. I left this quaint little chocolate shop really happy!
Plaza Mayor and Gran Via
Stuffed with churros and revived from the hot chocolate, we carried on walking. I will take this moment to say that we had no plan when in Madrid. We knew the things we definitely wanted to see but we had no planned routes or timetables. This lack of plan led us down the coziest roads and really taking in the tiniest details of the city. We stumbled on Plaza Mayor by complete accident on our way to shop on Gran Via – the famous shopping road in Madrid.
Plaza mayor had a cute little Christmas market that completely blocked all of the great photo opportunities in the square. However, it was still great walking around and taking a look at all of the little crafts on sale. After another stroll through the cobbled streets, stopping in at all of the crazy clothing stores on the way. We ended up at Gran Via and shopped ourselves silly.
I arrived in Madrid completely frozen and took this as an excuse to buy some Winter wardrobe items. Its safe to say, we were pretty exhausted. So, another dinner in was the only option. Luckily, the availability of fresh produce made for an amazing dinner and we got an early night for the last full day in Madrid.