From the amazing museums to the delicious paella, Madrid, Spain was one of my favorite places to visit during my time abroad. Even though I was only there for a weekend, I fell in love with the culture and scenery there. It was amazing!
During our stay in Madrid, we were in an AirBNB that was right on Plaza Mayor, a famous square in Spain that was always bustling with activity even though it was the middle November. Unfortunately, our it rained our first day their, but that didn't stop us from going out and exploring the beautiful city of Madrid.
Sights to see
Museo Del Prado
El Museo del Prado was filled with beautiful paintings from the 18th century. Artists such as Bosch and Goya have their works featured within this museum. It's truly an amazing place to go. Just the shear amount of art within that place is incredibly intimidating and honestly overwhelming, so I would strongly suggest maybe making del Prado a two-day experience. My friends and I spent a good couple of hours in the museum and I still didn't see all the paintings I wanted to. Another tip for visiting this museum is that they do NOT allow pictures their (which makes sense because all the works are incredibly preserved). But yeah, don't go in expecting to get all the pics, because guards will stop you and tell you to put your camera/phone up. And if you are going to take pictures...be sneaky about it.
Retiro Park and el Palacio del Cristal
The beautiful Retiro Park is an amazing 350 acres space in Madrid that houses galleries, literally all the trees, ponds, lakes, and a beautiful glass palace (Palacio del Cristal). The day we went was absolutely perfect weather for a stroll through the park, and you could look out over the lake and see people rowing boats on it (Europe defs knows how to make some amazing parks, but this one did belong to royalty so...). We were able to walk inside the Crystal Palace also and marvel at the whole structure.
Palacio Real de madrid
The Royal Palace of Madrid was incredibly beautiful, and also super strict on the photo taking policies, no photos at all can be taken. I'm just gonna assume it's because they want to preserve the art, and not because they want to ruin my chances of taking great pictures. But on the upside I was able to get some amazing pictures of The Royal Garden that's right next to the palace.
The Rastro flea market
The Rastro flea market is the largest outdoor flea market in Madrid and it has so many good deals, but it's also hella packed. Be aware of your surroundings here, and also take advantage of the awesome deals and fun items they sell ( I bought almost everyone's Christmas present here).
Food, food, food
Honestly if you go to Spain and you don't eat churros, did you truly experience Spain? We literally ate like 3 baskets of churros, and the chocolate dipping sauce was heaven in a mug. You can honestly get churros anywhere in Madrid and they will be amazing!!
Mercado de San Miguel
This food market is right next to where we stayed (Plaza Mayor) while we were in Madrid, and we honestly ate dinner there every single night. I ate so much Paella and I am not ashamed of it at all. Also the sangria was quality, and they had so many food stands to choose from.