Not too long ago we went for a long weekend to Madrid. I have been to Barcelona before as well as Ibiza however I had always fancied Madrid, so as the weather was getting chilly here we thought we might head of and catch some last minute sun as well as take in some wonderful tourist destinations.
As it was September it was surprisingly warm, by the late afternoon it was getting to 30°C which is pretty hot! But it was still fine all we had to do was fine a nice café, sit under a parasol and enjoy a cool drink, juice for the kids and sangria or beer for me and my husband. With city breaks I always find you do a huge amount of walking, we were staying in the Salamanca district so not right in the centre, it was a quieter area with a few restaurants around. We had a metro station nearby which meant getting around was pretty easy even with two kids in tow!
One of the places we visited was the Royal Palace, The Palacio Real de Madrid which is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family, however they only use it for state ceremonies now. It’s a huge palace, however you don’t get to see all of it, but there are some wonderful rooms and interesting artefacts.
As you can see the building itself is very grand and domineering with wonderful gardens around the building and brilliant views across Madrid.
On the Sunday, we spent the day at the Parque de Retiro, which is a wonderful park with plenty of street performers, artists and a boating lake to enjoy. It’s a great place to take the kids, especially on a sunny day.
We went for a boat ride on the Estanque which in the sun was quite relaxing!
We also walked to the Palacio de Cristal or the Crystal Palace as it’s also know. Which is a wonderful glass and iron structure used to exhibit exotic plants.
If you’re looking for a breakfast or brunch spot then I would suggest the Plaza Mayo, every town and city in Spain has one, it’s a central square, cordoned off to traffic, its home to buskers and street entertainers, with cafes around the edge. Just be aware of your belongings when eating though.
We really enjoyed Madrid and would defiantly return one day, I can’t decide whether I prefer Madrid to Barcelona though. I really enjoyed the food and drink in Madrid, which might be the tipping point!