Planning a brief trip to Madrid for the weekend before heading to another city? Madrid is a historic, yet trend city filled with fun and beautiful attractions easily seen within a short weekend! My husband and I flew into Madrid from Marrakesh, Morocco on Ryanair and it was a really quick and inexpensive flight! We decided to take the train into the city from the airport to save a little on an Uber. However, the airport metro machines charge an additional six euros per person to transfer from the airport into the city on top of the metro ticket. This setup is similar to the AirTran at the JFK Airport. Unlike NYC, an Uber into Madrid from the most central airport is less than $25.
Most Trendy And Central Area In Madrid To Stay
We booked an Airbnb in the Malasana neighborhood. Luckily, Malasana is a trendy part of town teeming with street art, local restaurants, and independent shops. Additionally, this part of town also provides walk able access to large parks and tourist attractions. Besides, taking the metro from the airport into the city, we didn’t use it again and instead walked everywhere! We ate almost every meal in this part of town as the exciting and trendy choices were endless!
Top Five Attractions to Visit During a Short Weekend in Madrid
The Crystal Palace
On the first day we visited the The Glass Palace, a stunning glass and iron building located within the Retiro Park. We visited The Glass Palace on a weekend day in late May and the park was very lively! Since The Glass Palace is free to visit, I was worried it might be too packed for photos! However, even though there are a lot of people circulating the conservatory, there are plenty of photo spots! All you have to do is wait for your tourist free moment! We came prepared to use our tripod to take couple photos, but security quickly told us we couldn’t use it. Luckily, we found two girls taking turns snapping photos of each other and we asked if they could take a few photos of me and my husband together!
Within Retiro Park is a large pond where locals come to sunbathe and rent small boats to row. Although we didn’t get a chance to do this, I definitely recommend it! If we had started our day earlier, we totally would’ve done it and had a picnic too!
On our walk back to our Airbnb from The Glass Palace, we took a route that led us along the Grand Via, a long street lined with both both expensive and inexpensive retail. Along this beautiful pathway are interesting architectural pieces and a giant Spanish flag! Of course, we snapped a few photos with it!
Royal Palace of Madrid
On our second day, we decided to check out the Royal Palace of Madrid. Before heading to the the palace, we stopped by Crepes and Waffles, for an early lunch. We enjoyed the Thai Chicken and Goat Cheese crepes then finished lunch off with a banana and ice cream dessert crepe! Afterward, we headed to The Royal Palace and navigated our way there using offline Google Maps! Jason downloaded the directions ahead of time as well as the city map. Throughout our three months traveling Europe, we used this method in every city as we didn’t want to rack up daily data charges.
Once we arrived to the palace we purchased our tickets for ten Euros each. By the way, if you’re a student the admission is half off and if you’re a teacher, entrance is free! Since we arrived in the late afternoon, the outside area wasn’t too touristy!
Before heading back after checking our The Royal Palace, we decided to walk through Plaza Mayor! Such a fun area to check out! Big open square outlined with open-air restaurants! Most of the menu prices are pretty expensive due to the touristy area, but it’s for sure worth a causal walk through!
Five Delicious Restaurants And Rooftop Bars In Madrid:
- Oven Mozzarella Bar – Trendy Italian style restaurant with pastas, salads, and pizza!
- Steak Burger – At the time I was really craving comfort food and this place did the trick! Delicious burgers with thick cut steak fries!
- Serafina Cocina Bar – Stopped by this place to rest for a bit after visiting The Royal Palace. Low key with excellent craft cocktails and great appetizers!
- La Azotea rooftop bar – Amazing rooftop bar you can’t miss! Incredible views and such a fun atmosphere! There is a cover charge of less than four Euros, but it’s for sure worth it!
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