Things to do in Madrid – Spain Travels Day 2

On our travels, we like to rest early and start our day early. On day 2 of our trip to Madrid, we did just that. In this post, we’ll show you some of the best things to do in Madrid!

Things to do in Madrid – El Retiro Park

Palacio de Cristal - Crystal Palace
Palacio de Cristal – Crystal Palace

We started with a morning walk from NH Atocha to El Retiro Park – a vast 19th century park with monuments and fountains. This walk was perfect. Taking in the fresh air, enjoying the gardens and listening to the songs of the birds was refreshing and rejuvenating. Our first stop was at the Palacio de Cristal (also known as Crystal Palace). It earned its name because of the glass walls that surrounds the whole structure. Today, it is an art installation. If you take a walk inside, you’ll be able to hear sound installations that echo throughout the installation. That is why silence is observed within.

Monumento Alfonso XII
Monumento Alfonso XII
El Retiro Park
El Retiro Park
Puerta de Alcala
Puerta de Alcala

We headed towards the pond, also known as Estanque grande del Retiro – the main body of water in the center of the park. There, you’ll be able to find the monument of Alfonso the 12th (former King of Spain). We sat by the water and took in the sights as families enjoyed the sun and day out in the park. Across the road from El Retiro Park is the Puerta de Alcala – a monumental gate in the middle of Independence Plaza.

Next stop – Tom’s favourite venue in Madrid…

Things to do in Madrid – Santiago Bernabeu Stadium Madrid

2bearbear @ Santiago Bernabeu Stadium Home of Real Madrid FC
2bearbear @ Santiago Bernabeu Stadium Home of Real Madrid FC

Being the home of Real Madrid FC, the Bernabeu Stadium has always been a place that Tom wanted to visit ever since he was a kid watching Champion’s League. Thanks to Kate’s awesome planning (remember she’s an excellent googler?), we were able to do just that. We were also able to see the interiors of the stadium by dining at the Real Cafe. This method turns out to be the cheapest (and fastest) way to see Bernabeu Stadium Madrid! Follow the link to find out all the details of our visit to Bernabeu Stadium and Real Cafe!

2bearbear at Bernabeu Stadium as seen from Real Cafe
2bearbear at Bernabeu Stadium as seen from Real Cafe

After Tom’s wish in Madrid was met, it was then time to meet Kate’s…Shopping in Madrid!

Things to do in Madrid – Shopping in Madrid

Calle de Preciados - one of the many shopping streets in Madrid
Calle de Preciados – one of the many shopping streets in Madrid

Kate got some great deals at Desigual who released some really cool reversible bags. We also had a quick tour in Primark Gran Via which offers fast-fashion at affordable prices. The coordinated LED screens inside Primark was something unique to see…


Primark Gran Via

We then visited 2 of the busiest squares in MadridPuerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor. While on the Wamos flight from Cancun to Madrid, a fellow passenger told us to enjoy sangria at Plaza Mayor – that we did…


Plaza Mayor


Puerta Del Sol

What to eat in Madrid – Sangria, Tapas and San Gines Chocolate con Churros

Sangria in Plaza Mayor Madrid
Sangria in Plaza Mayor Madrid

According to our friend, besides enjoying sangria and tapas, the other top thing to do would be have chocolate and churros at San Gines (pronounced as “hee-nes”)…

San Gines Chocolate con Churros
San Gines Chocolate con Churros
Entrance of San Gines Chocolatier
San Gines
Garlic Chicken Tapas
Tapas
Paella
Paella

San Gines is a chocolatier in Madrid that has been operating since 1894. This time, we had the chocolate con (with) churros for 4 euros. We must say that the chocolate was excellent. Paired really well with the churros. Probably not as good as E. Wedel in Warsaw (whose chocolate is alot richer) but for the purpose of pairing with churros, it was great. The churros on the other hand was crispy but was salty? Something that we could not comprehend. Other churros we’ve tried thereafter in Madrid were not salty but of course did not have as good a chocolate as San Gines. We also had paella (pronounced as “pah-eh-yah”) and tapas while we were in the vicinity of Plaza Mayor. Suddenly, we felt like a local!

We also found out from a local that there is no tipping culture in Spain as waiters and waitresses are paid in full salary for their work. Savings – cha ching! 😉

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We hope you have enjoyed our post about the things to do and food to eat in Madrid. Next week, we will talk about our trip to Barcelona!

Related Posts

Top Things to do in Madrid – Spain Travels Day 1!

Things to do in Madrid – Spain Travels Day 2

Things to do in Barcelona – Spain Travels Day 3

Things to do in Barcelona – Spain Travels Day 4

Things to do in Madrid – Spain Travels Day 5

Things to do in Madrid – Spain Travels Day 6

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