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5 Things to Do in Madrid

By Sean Mahon

Posted: 17th March 2014 10:50

It is often said that Madrid is the most Spanish of Spain’s cities, home of its greatest football team and some of the best places to eat the legendary Spanish dish of Tapas, it is difficult to argue with that sentiment.  We have put together five things to do in Madrid that will really immerse you in this city’s way of life.

Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

Europe’s most successful team and perhaps the most well known sports team on the planet play here at the legendary Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.  It’s capacity of 85,454 means that it is just about large enough to contain Cristiano Ronaldo’s ego and the many spectators who want to see some of the world’s best players.  Named after the club president, Santiago Bernabeu, when it was built in 1955, it can be found at the crossroads between Avenida Concha Espina and Paseo de la Castellana.  Take a tour here which will include a panoramic view of the stadium, a visit to the dressing room, the tunnel, the royal box and more.  Tickets cost approximately 15 euros if bought at the gate, some tour operators can offer trips to Madrid which include tickets to a game for those who want to see Los Blancos up close!

Ride el Teleférico

Walking around a city can be tiring, we know, especially in Madrid so why not cut that corner and do something a bit different and take to the sky.  The cable car ("el Teleférico") was originally built for an amusement park and the journey starts out on the Paseo del Pintor Rosales street near the Argüelles Metro station and takes you over the River Manzanares and into the Casa de Campo Park.  Admire the city’s many famous sites such as the Parque del Oeste Park with La Rosaleda, the Torrespaña communication tower, the Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral and the San Francisco el Grande basilica.  The cabins reach a maximum height of 40 meters above the ground, and the entire 2.5-kilometer ride takes just over ten minutes from its starting point at the Paseo Rosales all the way to the Casa de Campo Park.  At the end of the journey there is a restaurant and bar complex with even more views.

The Rastro Flea Market

We love a good bargain and Madrid’s largest open air flea market, “El Rastro” is jam packed with goodies that you will be able to take home after your trip to Madrid.  Held every Sunday (as well as public holidays) in the historic centre of Madrid from 9am to 3pm locals and tourists flock to the market in search of goods new and old.  Its name allegedly derives from supposed trail (rastro in Spanish) left by cattle who were taken from Madrid’s abattoir to the nearby tanneries found next to the market.  It is said to be the largest flea market in Europe with up to 3500 different stalls, it was established in the Middle Ages and is centred around the Plaza de Cascorro which has a statue of the legendary soldier Eloy Gonzalo.

Eat Some Tapas

Madrid is passionate about all things Spanish and nowhere is this more apparent then when it comes to Tapas, Spain’s signature dish.  Embrace the tradition of “ir r tapear” (going out for Tapas) and head to the many Tapas bars that line the capital’s streets.  A number of eateries can be found within close proximity on the streets that surround the Plaza Mayor as well as the inner Madrid barrio of La Latina.  Mercado de San Miguel is also resplendent with delicatessen-style bars with stools offering you the chance to sample some wafer-thin slices of jamón, small toasts topped with seafood and much more.

Watch Flamenco

Flamenco is the Spanish version of folk music, just minus the beards. It has been a mainstay of Spanish culture since the early 19th century; many great artists have flourished here which has seen this art form flourish.  There are hundreds of dance academies such as the famous Amor de Dios in Fray Luis de Leon Street as well as many great flamenco shows in theatres.  As you sip a beer in a bar, tavern restaurant or “tabloa” as they are officially known means you are likely to be accompanied by the sound of Flamenco as you enjoy your evening.  The best flamenco in Madrid can be seen at the Corral de la Moreria "tablao". 

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