We arrived at Madrid Atocha station after a quick train ride from Barcelona. We grabbed a taxi, dropped off our bags at our hotel and headed straight to Retiro Park. Outside of the park, we were introduced to the female sculptures that adorned the city. The four outside of the park gates may have been my favorite – the back drop is absolutely stunning.
After a stroll in the park, we grabbed lunch at The Spanish Farm before heading to the Prado. The food was outstanding.
The Prado is typically on a must-see list for the area due to the sheer depth of Spanish art on display. The Hieronymus Bosch exhibit was outstanding; hands down my favorite on display.
After the Prado, we headed over to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum which was much more my speed. We checked out the two temporary exhibits before viewing the museum’s permanent collection. The first temporary exhibit, titled, “Sorolla Y La Moda” provided a glimpse inside the fashion of Joaquin Sorolla.
The second temporary exhibit featured a Louis Vuitton time capsule.
The main galleries included works from some of the most well-known artists including: Renior; Picasso; Lichtenstein; Rothko, O’Keeffe, Pollock, Dali, Mondrian, van Gogh and Goya. While the collections weren’t deep, it was quite a treat to see so many of these artists on display in one museum.
After getting our fill of art, we headed to Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to watch Real Madrid take on Leganes. As soon as we got within eye shot of the stadium, we immediately began to feel the energy. There were thousands on hand to cheer on the home team. We expected a little more energy inside the stadium. Maybe the lack of energy was due to the lack of alcohol being served at the game. Regardless, it was an amazing time!
We ended the night at Burnout Burgers before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.
The next morning, we decided to take the train to Segovia. It’s a quick 40-minute ride and we were excited to see the city’s crown jewel, the Aqueduct. We knew it would be cooler in Segovia than Madrid but we weren’t expecting to see snow upon arriving at the train station. We weren’t quite dressed for the occasion but didn’t let that slow us down one bit.
We arrived back in Madrid with plenty of daylight so we headed over to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte – Reina Sophia and then walked around the city for some sightseeing.
After a couple of hours of sightseeing, we headed to Cardamomo Flamenco Show to take in some traditional Spanish entertainment. We were completely blown away by the female stars. They were amazing. I was actually surprised how much I liked it.
After the show, we grabbed some food at Cacao Restobar and hopped around to a few different bars before stopping into Coquette Blues Bar. It was completely packed but I think that’s what made the atmosphere really fun. We learned that it was traditionally a locals only place. Of course, with social media and blogs tourists too find out about the good places.
The next day, we headed out for a half-day wine tour. We stopped at three family-owned wineries each with their own charm. It was really interesting to learn about the wine making processed used at each one. We were completely fascinated with the clay pots used during the fermentation process.
Once we were back in Madrid, we grabbed a quick bite to eat, made a quick stop at Plaza Manor, and Templo de Debod before heading to Madrid’s famed market, Mercado San Miguel.
We enjoyed some craft beer at Bee Beer before heading to InClan Brutal Bar, which was hands down our favorite restaurant in Madrid.
With our Spanish adventure winding down, spent our last day leisurely exploring Madrid. We did some last minute sightseeing before grabbing lunch at Oven Atocha. I loved the décor in this restaurant. Plus, we were able to get a bottle of Rose for about 15 euro so all around it was a great choice.
Next, we decided to check out the Andy Warhol exhibit at Caixa Forum. We purchased tickets online when we saw how long the line was which was a great move. It saved us I would guess about 45 minutes to an hour. The mechanical exhibit was great and had to have been the largest Warhol exhibit we’d seen under one roof.
After getting our fill of works by Warhol, we headed to the rooftop bar Azotea del Circulo. This place was great. It had a super cool outdoor lounge and the views of the city were fantastic.
We ended the trip by taking a Tapas tour. It was a great way to meet other travelers and learn more about the food, drinks and customs of Madrid.
The next morning, we headed back to Atocha station for our two hour train ride to Barcelona. The train was a great way to travel – the Spanish countryside is quite stunning.
Madrid was an unexpected highlight of our trip to Spain. The city itself was absolutely stunning. The architecture, food, wine and art museums are all things we will associate with Madrid for years to come.