I thought I would take some time, out of the kindness of my heart, to blog to you lovely people about the lovely city of Madrid. Sitting here in the blazing sunshine looking up at clear blue Madrid skies it’s not a hard task to wax lyrical about this awesome city. I mean what’s not to like? That would be a much harder blog to write. But instead of going on and on, in fear of some non-sensical blathering and off on a tangent veering, I’m going to sum up why I and many other awesome people, love Madrid. So if you’re sitting comfortably I shall begin….
Madrid things to do.
First there’s the buildings. This may seem like a simple statement but the buildings here are beautiful. They have a regal, old time feel to them, towering above you reminding you that this is the thriving, continually bustling centre of Spain. You can tell that a lot of hard work and more importantly hard partying goes on in these here buildings. The areas between them are beautiful as well, with small parks and decorative fountains springing up and keeping things cool. It reminds me of some of the nicer parts of London. With sunshine. There are old, higgledy piggledy streets and large ope boulevards and shops to rival Oxford Street. There’s even my personal favourite, Topshop!
Madrid things to do: Mad People
I can’t possibly go much more into this without talking about the Madridonites, Madrideons? The people of Madrid. They are super friendly, which can be a surprise in a city. Asking for directions, lending a helping hand, and wishing you ‘aproveche’ (bon appetite – I wonder why we don’t have an English phrase for that?! Too busy drinking I guess) they are always ready with a smile. And being a capital city of 6 million people there’s never a shortage of easy on the eye men and stylish hotties.
Madrid things to do: Moreish Munch
So, you’ve walked around taking in some of the stunning architecture, checked out some of the many, many fitties on show, now it’s time to eat. Eating is something Madrid does very well. There are tons and tons of great restaurants to suit all budgets. I always recommend the local restaurants and Spanish food as it’s much better value than anything else and tastes so good! If you’re peckish take a seat for a bocadillo de calamares (squid ring sandwich – sooooo tasty!) and a portion of patatas bravas (spicy potatoes) is always a good, quick, cheap, hangover cure. And if you’re a fish fan boquerones (fried whitebait) go perfectly with an ice cold glass of sangria. If you don’t fancy a sit down meal in the evening then you can do what myself and my friends did and book a wine & tapas tour. This worked out brilliantly as we got to see and know an area we hadn’t been to before, tasted some amazing riojas and tapas that were recommended to us by our really friendly guide.
Madrid things to do: Flamboyant Flamenco
In the true spirit of Madrid and something you can do with wine and taps, see how I linked there and didn’t go off on a rambling, vague tangent?, is a Flamenco class. Flamenco is a pretty spectacular dance. All stamping feet and passionate twirling. It’s great because you don’t have to be a dance pro or follow loads of regimented dance moves as its so expressionistic. You can book one as part of a package too, so you can have a lesson then go for dinner with a flamenco show, which makes for a really good, colourful, lively, typical Madrid day and night out. Booking things together you’ll get a better price too.
Madrid things to do: Magic Madrid
Being a capital city there are no shortage of great bars and clubs to go to. The only issue I had before getting to know Madrid was where to go and how to get there! Madrid is big. Really big. And like most places there are pockets of areas to go out in. This is the part where I really hammer home the need for a guide. Working out where to go can be loads of fun. Actually finding the area/bar/club can be not so much. Plus you never know if you can trust the reviews (this blog is not included in that last point obviously). If you head out with someone who actually lives in Madrid he or she can actually tell you first hand where’s hot and where’s not and get you there. And Madrid is a constantly moving and changing city so to be really in the know a local guide is the way to go. Having said that you can of course just go to one of the super clubs (Shoko and Joy are my personal favs). Heels on. In a cab. Job done.
So there you have it. A little taster of Madrid’s awesomeness. And it really, really is. Enjoy.