RED WINE AND CHEAP TAPAS: A weekend in Madrid

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We went to Madrid to meet up with a couple of friends who were travelling around Spain. We arrived on a Friday right after lunch and, after taking the metro to the city centre, we set off exploring.

Our first stop was 100 Montaditos, a tapas chain where each of the 100 varieties of little sandwiches costs just 1€.

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We then made our way to Retiro, a beautiful park where crowds gather to watch the sunset over the lake. It is a massive place where you can spend a few hours wandering around and taking nice photos.

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For dinner we went to trendy vegan place Vega, where the food was just amazing. You really need to book in advance though, because the place is small and gets quite busy. Dinner for two including drinks and tip cost 50€.

We ended our night at San Gines, a popular churros place where all you order is some hot chocolate and a massive plate of churros to dunk (6€). It was really nice, but portions are huge so it’s best to share.

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We started our second day in the city by walking to Museo del Prado. They have an amazing collection, including Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights which was great. Tickets cost 14€.

After exploring the museum for a couple of hours we stopped for lunch at Piccolino della Farfalla which served nice homemade Italian food.

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We then headed to the Royal Palace, wandering around the streets of the city centre along the way. Everywhere you go there are lots of nice cafes, bars and restaurants serving cheap tapas and good wine, and in the evenings they all get really lively and busy.

Near the Royal Palace is the Temple of Debod, an Egyptian temple which was rescued from flooding and rebuilt in Madrid. Admission is free.

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After resting at the hotel for a bit, we had dinner at Taberna de Lucio, which is famous for its fried eggs with chips. It was nice, if not particularly veggie-friendly.

We finally stopped at Naturbier brewery for a nightcap before heading back to the hotel.

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We started our last day in Madrid visiting Picasso’s Guernica at Reina Sofia museum. It’s a great place for seeing masterpieces by Dali, Miro and Picasso. Tickets cost 8€, but we got in free as there were national elections on.

Before heading to the airport we stopped at San Miguel market for lunch. This is a great and popular place for trying lots of local dishes. We had veggie paella (7€), a generous portion of mixed olives (3.5€) and wine (3€ for a glass) and then it was time to head back.

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Madrid is the perfect place for a chilled city break!


  • Go: We flew with Norwegian as they had the cheapest options, but there are plenty of other alternatives. Flights from London take about 2h.
  • Stay: We stayed at Room Mate Alicia because my friends were staying there. It was good and centrally located. A room cost £76 per night for two.
  • Transportation: Madrid has a good metro network. Tickets start from 1.5€, but you can also buy different types of passes. There is a 3€ surcharge to go to the airport (the journey there takes about 40 minutes from the city centre). Around the centre most places can be reached on foot.

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