Madrid represents the perfect destination for a city trip for me. Why? Because it is more relaxed than Rome. There are more cute, hidden cafés than in Paris. The weather is better than in London. It is a food heaven. The people are friendly and open-minded. And the Spanish flair automatically transforms you into a holiday mood – even if the sea is missing. Today I’m going to give you the latest insider tips for Madrid which you won’t find in your travel book.
Walk through pink almond blossoms in Parque Quinta de Los Molinos
This park turns into a pink wonderland in spring. In February and March, the huge amount of almond trees bloom and turn the whole park into pink colour. Originally the park was supposed to become a vacation Finca with agricultural fields for visitors to be educated about cultivation. Today it serves as a park located in the east of Madrid, between the centre and the airport. The park consists of various different tree species such as olive, pine or eucalyptus but is mainly dominated by the extensive amount of almond trees.
How to get to Parque Quinta de los Molinos:
Metro 5 to Suanzes
Say hi to the turtles of Atocha train station
Atocha railway stations houses a little urban jungle within the station in order to give travellers a little glimpse of nature when passing through Madrid. But what many people don’t know is that this jungle has become a refuge for homeless turtles the last years and houses approximately 300 turtles today. The animals were abandoned by their owners due to various reasons, e.g. kids lost interest in their turtle, it grew too big or people couldn’t care for it anymore and the Spanish train company decided to give shelter.
Lately, the turtles of Atocha grabbed the headlines due to cannibalistic turtles who kill other turtles. Especially the „Pont slider“ or „Florida turtle“ which is forbidden in Spain in Europe seems to be very aggressive against their fellows. For more information see http://www.abc.es/espana/madrid/abci-alarma-tortugas-canibales-jardin-tropical-atocha-201601222129_noticia.html.
How to get there:
Metro 1 to Atocha, go to the direction of train departures
Soak up the Spanish way of life in a hidden rooftop garden
Madrid, especially the districts Malasaña, La Latina and Chueca offer plenty of beautiful cosy cafés, chocolaterías and breakfast places. But especially in spring we want to enjoy the first sun rays and sit outside to soak up vitamin D. Some cafés in Madrid house little terraces on the rooftops which are a) green b) a little retreat off the mass in the middle of a huge city and c) cozy and a perfect place to chat with friends.
My absolute favourite latest insider tip for Madrid is the hidden rooftop garden Jardin Secreto de Salvador Bachillers is in the centre of Madrid, as it is a green calm oasis within the busy centre of Madrid. It is located very close to Gran Via metro station and is the perfect place to go for a little shopping break and to escape the crowds.
But this wonderful place has way more to offer. There is another terrace on the 3rd floor and a restaurant on the 2nd floor – also in green and calm atmosphere. Originally this place is a shop with many many beautiful things to buy, like beach accessories, decoration for your home or plants. If you are looking for good quality souvenirs or presents, this is the place to go!
How to get to Salvador Bachillers:
Address: Calle de la Montera, 37, 28013 Madrid
Metro 1 or 5 to Gran Via, from there it is just 150 meters to walk
Have a break at this relaxed rooftop terrace: real insider tip!
A real secret among my latest insider tips for Madrid, is the rooftop terrace of „The Hat Hostel“ Madrid. Even if you are not living in this hostel, which is super stylish and a bit downgraded by the name „hostel“, you can just drop by and enjoy a drink or coffee there. Close to Plaza Mayor is represents a welcoming get-away during your busy sightseeing tour.
How to get to the rooftop of „The Hat Hostel“:
Address: Calle Imperial, 9, 28005 Madrid
Metro 1 to Tirso de Molina or metro 1,2 or 3 to Sol
Watch the sunset at Temple de Debod
This ancient Egyptian temple is located in the middle of Madrid in Parque Oeste, close to Plaza España. There is something magical around this temple especially for sunset and at night time when the temple is illuminated. The reflections of the sky and the temples in the water contribute to this special atmosphere. The temples were originally located in the south of Aswan in Upper Egypt and served as a one-room chapel dedicated to the god Amun. After Spanish archaeologists of Unesco saved the temple from rising water of the lake Nassar the Egyptian state brought the temple piece by piece to Madrid after 1968 as a present to honour Spain’s help.
How to get to Temple de Debod:
Metro 3 or 10 to Plaza España or Metro 6 to Princípe Pío
Address: Calle Ferraz, 1, 28008 Madrid
Enjoy the view on Madrid city from Parque de las 7 tetas
Madrid is huge. The whole size becomes visual from Parque de las Siete Tetas in the southeast of the centre. You can come here if you need a break from the hustle bustle of the centre, for a picknick or a bottle of wine in the evening. But don’t expect too much – Madrid isn’t characterized by a typical skyline as other cities like Paris or New York. Still, you’ll get a feeling of the size and on sunny days you can even catch a glimpse of the mountains in the north of Madrid. For me definitely one of the latest insider tips for Madrid.
How to get to Parque de las Siete Tetas:
Address: Calle de Benjamín Palencia, 1, 28038 Madrid
Metro 1 to Buenos Aires or Bus 143 to Pio Felipe – Benjamin Palencia
Eat you through Madrid’s best tapas at Mercado San Anton
My latest insider tips for Madrid are not complete without tapas! Tapas are available everywhere in Madrid. If you want to try as many things as possible and if you attach great importance on a stylish ambience and high-quality food then Mercado San Anton is your place. San Anton Market is a stylish market hall with different floors and a rooftop restaurant and bar. You can buy fresh fruits and other ingredients on the ground floor and eat your way up through the second and third floor where all different kinds of tapas, desserts and wines are offered.
How to get to Mercado San Anton:
Address: Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24B, 28004 Madrid
Metro 5 to Chueca
Enjoy Madrid’s best view
„El Metropolis“ is THE landmark of Madrid. One of the best (and most economical) view you can glimpse from the rooftop bar of Circulo de Bellas Artes. A small fee of 4 Euros brings you up to the roof and you can either have dinner in the restaurant, have a drink at the bar or lounge area or just enjoy the great view. Especially at sunset or night time in warm summer nights, it is a great place to be. There are plenty of other rooftops around, like at the Principal hotel or Iberostar Las Letras, where you will have to pay a high entrance fee and have a minimal amount of consumption in the bar. So Circulo de Bellas Artes is definitely the best and cheapest pick.
How to get to the rooftop of Circulo de Bellas Artes:
Metro 2 to Banco de Espana or Sevilla or Bus 5, 9, 51, 52, 146 or 150 to Circulo de Bellas Artes
Stroll through Parque de Retiro – the classic
This is not a latest insider tip for Madrid, but a must-go place: Parque de Retiro. The only thing which is really missing in Madrid is the sea. But at least there is Parque de Retiro instead for running, taking a walk, having a picnic, sipping a coffee of just observing people. Don’t miss this crazy roller blader which is often practising at Fuente de la Alcachofa.
And there are so many more things to do, like visiting the Palacio de Cristal where always changing exhibitions take place. Originally it was built by Velázquez Bosco and meant to become a botanical garden with tropical plants.
How to get to Parque de Retiro:
You can enter the parc from various directions
From the north with metro 2 at Retiro station, from the east with Metro 9 to Ibiza and from the south with metro 1 getting of at Atocha
How to get to Palacio de Cristal:
Address: Paseo República de Cuba, 4, 28009 Madrid, Spain
Take Bus 20 to Hospital Nino Jesus
Have you recently been to Madrid? Share your latest insider tips for Madrid with me! Just drop a comment below! And don’t forget: Never stop exploring!
10 thoughts on “Latest insider tips for Madrid – from a madrileño!”
Enjoyed the blog! Could you tell me about the source for the following sentence? “The only thing which is really missing in Madrid is the sea.” I remember hearing this when I lived in Madrid, and Ernest Hemingway used the phrase back in the 1950s, implying that he was quoting someone. Do you know the source of the quote? I’m working on an unpublished Hemingway manuscript, and I’d love to pin this down.
Thanks for any help you can offer!
Hi Carl, thanks a lot, happy to hear that you enjoy reading my blog! Unfortunately I can’t help you with the source. The sentence “The only thing which is really missing in Madrid is the sea.” is my personal opinion. However when I used to live in Spain many people who visited Madrid said that, not because they were quoting somebody, but because many people have this impression. Good luck for your research!
Thanks very much, Maria!
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