26 ene. 2017

A Short Stay in Madrid

With Madrid offering so many amazing cultural, historical and gastronomic activities it can seem impossible to figure out what you want to squeeze into a short stay. Here we have devised a list of what we think are the best that this city has to offer and the perfect sites to see if you only have limited time in this beautiful city!

1. Royal Palace and Plaza de Oriente
2. Mercado de San Miguel
3. Plaza Mayor
4. Parque Retiro
5. Gran Vía

Royal Palace of Madrid 

The Royal Palace
Dating back to the ninth century, the Royal Palace of Madrid is widely considered to be one of Europe’s most impressive palaces. Still today it is used for state functions and banquets despite the Spanish Royal Family living in Zarzuela Palace, located on the outskirts of Madrid. The interior of the palace boasts a wide variety of rich materials, for example; Spanish marble, stucco and mahogany although the decoration of the palace has changed a lot, complying with the varying artistic trends of the times.

Nearest metro: Opera

Opening hours: October – March: 10.00-18.00 and April – September: 10.00-20.00

Entry cost: General admission 11 Euros, reduced admission 6 Euros
Mercado de San Miguel


Mercado de San Miguel

The San Miguel Market offers a huge variety of food and drink to suit everyone’s tastes. From traditional Spanish plates such as paella or croquets to international cuisine such as pasta and cheese bars, the San Miguel Market offers something for everyone. There is a lot of space available at bars, tables and chairs so you can enjoy your food and soak up the atmosphere of the market at the same time.

Nearest metro: Opera

Opening hours: Mon-Wed: 10.00-00.00, Thurs-Sat: 10.00-02.00 and Sunday: 10.00-00.00

Entry cost: free


Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor is one of Madrid’s most famous sites and was built between 1598 and 1621 during Felipe III’s reign. Its outside is surrounded by a variation of traditional Spanish shops whilst inside the main plaza it holds a whole host of restaurants serving traditional Spanish dishes. Whilst you’re in Plaza Mayor, make sure to get a bocadillo de calamares, a very famous sandwich in Madrid and Plaza Mayor is home to some of the best and most famous restaurants that serve them. Sit and eat your bocadillo de calamares in Plaza Mayor with a beer and watch the world go by!

Nearest metro: Opera

Opening hours: always open

Entry cost: free

Parque Retiro

Parque Retiro on a beautiful day!
Parque Retiro is a stunning 125 hectare area of green space offering various sporting activities for everyone. There is a large lake with rowing boats and endless open space to run and roller skate, as well as gym equipment! Retiro also boasts a whole range of gardens, most notably the Jardín de Vivaces, the Jardines de Cecilio Rodríguez and The Rose Gardens. It is also home to some stunning palaces, such as the Palacio de Cristal which used to be used for housing exotic plants, however is now used to showcase exhibitions.

Nearest metro: Retiro (line 2)

Entry cost: free


Gran Vía

Gran Vía is Madrid’s main street, located right in the centre of the city. It is one of Madrid’s most famous and important shopping areas, as well as the home of many hotels, cinemas, theatres and restaurants. Whilst in Madrid you have to walk down Gran Vía and admire the amazing architecture as well as check out some of the shops! If you keep walking down until the end, you’ll reach Calle Alcalá, another one of Madrid’s largest streets and also home to the impressive town hall.

Nearest metro: Gran Vía (line 1 and 5) and Callao (lines 3 and 5)

Entry cost: free

Having read all this, you may be thinking to yourself that you’d love to come but you don’t speak Spanish. This doesn’t have to be a problem! Check out all the different courses that AIL Madrid offers here – you’ll definitely find one that fits your schedule!


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