If your life revolves around food and wine like mine, Spain is the place to be! I recently had the opportunity to explore the streets of Madrid, the capital of Spain. I was looking forward to an over indulgence in Tapas, wine and bottomless cava and this city did NOT disappoint. With a bit less than 12 hours to explore, deciding where to go was hard. A day in Madrid is not enough, so a second visit is definitely needed. This is what I decided to do during my visit…
Spanish Omelette at Plaza de la Independencia
I started my morning with a wholesome Spanish breakfast at Plaze de la Inependencia. I decided on ‘Market Cafe’… an inviting little place adorned with bistro lights. The aroma of coffee lured me in and the alfresco seating offered great views of the bustling plaza. For 8,50 Euros I relished on Spanish omelette with ‘pata negra ham,’ including a coffee and fresh orange juice. This is a ‘self-order-restaurant’, something I am still trying to get used to. The portion offered was enough to fuel me up for the day ahead.
Crystal Palace in ‘Parque de El Retiro’
After breakfast I sprinted of to Parque de el retiro to find the Crystal Palace. For those of you who believe in fairy tales, “Palacio de Cristal” is a ‘must-visit.’ This extraordinary structure is tucked away in “Parque de El Retiro.”
The palace was built in 1887 and designed by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco. Made out of glass set in an iron frame and adorned with detailed tiles. Today the palace is being used as an exhibiting space for modern art. Unfortunately during my visit, the Crystal palace was closed due to interior renovations.
Retiro Park features a lot more than the Crystal Palace and could easily take up a few hours of your day. For visitors going for a longer time the park will be perfect for at least an entire morning. With limited time I decided to run of to the next stop on my list.
Get a Garden view of The Royal Palace of Madrid
From Plaza de la Independencia I made my way Plaza de Espania, central Madrid. This area has a lot more tourist moving around and pick pocketing can ruin your day. The metro can become extremely crowded and a few interesting characters might want to get their hand in your pockets.
I caught up with two friends on their way to The royal Palace of Madrid, next to Plaza de Oriente Square. We decided to stroll the gardens of the palace and took a breather in this Neoclassical style park. The park featured Weeping cypress trees framing mirror ponds in a symmetrical style. The views of the palace were exquisite and for a Instagram fanatic, definitely worth the visit.
The public can access certain areas but unfortunately on the day access to the Palace was closed for an official ceremony.
Buy Spanish Jamón
When it comes to buying traditional Spanish produce, jamón is at the top of the list. This dry-cured Spanish ham is perfect for summer salads, home-made tapas or on top of toasted rye and cream cheese.
Jamón shops are common in the tourist areas and usually offers a variety of cheeses as well. Almost all shops offer tastings on request, making it easier to decide which ones to buy.
Feast on Spanish tapas and wine at Mercado de San Miguel
After incredible sights and countless pictures, it was time for FOOD! Mercado de San Miguel is a must visit in Madrid, located close to Plaza Mayor. This indoors market place, boxed in glass walls and iron detail offers a variety of stands selling tapas, sangria, wines and even more tapas. The atmosphere was lively. A murmur of content voices chatting over plates of food.
With an ice-cold Cava in hand we endeavoured on our taste journey, trying flavourful bites and rubbing shoulders with fellow foodies. You can spend an entire afternoon in this festive atmosphere relishing in Spanish delicatessen.
You can visit them from Monday to Sunday:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday: from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.