I recently celebrated my one year anniversary of living in Madrid with a picnic in in Retiro Park with my group of girls, which prompted me to write about my favourite things to do in Madrid. It’s so funny when I’m just walking around seeing all of the touristic things and attractions and it all just seems so normal to me now, compared to a year ago when I never thought I would figure out how to get places, and now I almost know the city like the back of my hand. Madrid may not have something equivalent to the Eiffel Tower or The Colosseum, but what it has is character, a great atmosphere, so many cool places to visit and see, and of course all of the yummy food and drink. I definitely rate Madrid (not even bias).
- Let’s kick it off with what I just mentioned, Retiro Park. This is a huge park in the middle of Madrid, with lakes, fountains, statues and even a crystal palace. Retiro is great to just go for a walk in, go on a bike ride on the BiciMad bikes (electric bikes you hire from all over the city), have a picnic, check out the turtles in the lake by the crystal palace, row a boat in the main lake, have a gin and tonic and people watch and the list goes on!
- Watching the sunset at the Templo de Debod. The Templo de Debod was a gift from Egypt to Spain and it’s in the perfect location to watch the sunset from. One of my favourite things is getting a few friends together, some cheese and wine and just chilling out. This is especially good in summer, when the sun goes down after 10pm.
- Madrid is a relatively dry city, but on the rare rainy days, the best way to spend them is exploring some of the amazing museums, like the Reina Sofia, Prado or the Thyssen-Bornemisza (just to name a few).
- I love to have a drink on a rooftop with friends, it’s something we don’t really have in Auckland, but are spoiled with here in Madrid. My favourite is the bar at Mercado de San Anton, but a few other favourites are the Circulo de Bellas Artes (bit more pricey and costs to go up but such an amazing view of Madrid), Gymage and the Terraza de Sabatini.
- And of course, showing people my beautiful city has to in here. I’ve been lucky enough to have so many friends from home, and people I’ve met while travelling come to Madrid and I’ve had the pleasure of showing them around. I would say I’ve almost perfected my tourist route, and I’ve had good reviews thus far. I love when my friends fall in love with the city as much as I have.
I could rant on forever about how much I love Madrid and the best things to do, but I’ll just give you the taster, you’ll have to come here and see it for yourself. I’ve got 8 or 9 months left here so I’m going to continue enjoying this city and exploring the rest of Spain.