The final stop on my Spanish road trip was Madrid and it’s the last post in my Spain travel guides! By the time we got to Madrid we were a little touristed out after driving all around the south. But we had sites to see and museums to do! Although Madrid was really nice I think it was probably our least favourite city because it was just less picturesque compared to the other cities, but it did have a beautiful park and botanical garden!
What To Do in Madrid
Museums galore! The big three museums in Madrid are the Prado Museum where you’ll see famous works by Velazquez, Goya, Bosch and Rubens. After years of studying these works in school is was so cool to see them in person. But the rest of the museum felt very repetitive so although I’m not usually one to recommend the highlights I kind of have to for this museum otherwise it’s just exhausting. Next up is the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Spain’s national modern art museum where you’ll see Picasso’s incredible painting Guernica. The permanent collection here is great and it gives you a great overview of 20th century art movements and introduces you to many Spanish modern artists. Finally, there is the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, which was my favourite museum in Madrid. It gave a great overview of the history of art without being overwhelming and even if you aren’t interested in reading about art history the museum is organized really well and there are some really great works of art. You can buy an Art Pass to visit all three museums to save some money.
In addition to the many museum there are also great urban parks in Madrid. Buen Retiro Park is lovely to walk around with interesting site to see. This is where you’ll see the Crystal Palace and the big reflecting pool where you can rent little row boats. The Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid is also really nice, especially when all the flowers are in bloom. You can also visit the beautiful Royal Palace of Madrid but be sure to buy tickets in advance as the lines can get long. Although it was nice to visit it wasn’t as impressive as other palaces I’ve visited in Europe.
Although we didn’t have time for it you can also do a nice day trip to Toledo from Madrid. There are frequent and inexpensive train to Toledo that can get you there in less than an hour.
What To Eat in Madrid
By the time we got to Madrid I was kind of tired of tapas and jamón so where we ate wasn’t necessarily traditional Spanish like in some of the other cities.
Pum Pum Cafe – this became our go-to brunch spot, we went twice and probably would have went a third time if we could. It also had a great playlist that I wish I could have Shazam-ed more of!
Brew Wild Pizza Bar – this is another place we went to twice because I was just so tired of tapas and the pizza was actually really great and the had a cool selection of craft beer from Spain and Europe.
Federal Cafe – is a nice spot and they had a patio. We went for lunch but it probably would have been better for breakfast/brunch.
Casa Alberto – is a atmospheric old bar and we drank vermouth with the locals squished in at the bar.
Hola Coffee – is a little gem we discovered on our last day where we had the most amazing scones covered in jam and cream. I wish we had found it earlier in our stay because it was so good!
Mur Cafe – is a cute little place we went to of brunch with a nice patio and good food.
Mercado de San Miguel – is a cool but pricey market to get tapas and drinks, great for a light lunch or dinner.
La Rollerie – is a nice and convenient French cafe with multiple locations in Madrid. Great for a take away sandwich, breakfast or even dinner. I’ll admit that I had a burger here on our last night because like I said, so tired of tapas. There is one close to the museums making it a great lunch option.
Chocolatería San Gines – this place has been making churros since 1894 and there are lines out the door for a reason. Touristy but a must.
Thanks for reading my Madrid travel guide and stay tuned for more travel guides from other places I’ve visited! Be sure to check out my past Spain travel guides for Barcelona, Cordoba, Seville, Granada and the Alhambra Palace!