My name is Aby (@sunkisseday), and I am a postgraduate Business student. I am originally from Madrid, where I have lived all my life with my family (until I obviously decided to move to England to pursue my education and later decided to settle here). Madrid is a very cosmopolitan city; student life is excellent and there are literally a million things to do. There is always something to do in Madrid: New Restaurants, Clubs, Art Exhibitions, Museums, etc.
Probably what I miss the most is public transport: it is so cheap and takes you anywhere, even the mountains. I also love the fashion! As Inditex is a Spanish company, Madrid is the perfect place to come shopping: you can find Zara, Mango, Bershka, Stradivarius, literally anywhere. It is also home to more sophisticated and high-end fashion brands.
What is a typical breakfast and where would you go?
A typical breakfast in my household would be “tostada con tomate y aceite de oliva”. It is basically a piece of toasted baguette topped with extra virgin olive oil and crushed tomato. Some people would add “jamon serrano” (Iberian ham), but I am vegetarian so only tomato and olive oil for me. Also, at home, we would typically have a coffee or freshly made orange juice to go with it.
You could literally find this breakfast at any restaurant or even at your local bar. A place I recommend could be Churreria Madrid 1883 where you can find the breakfast I recommended and also churros!
The address is: Calle del Espíritu Santo, 8, 28004 Madrid, España
Where is your favourite place to grab lunch?
Definitely 100 Montaditos! On Sundays and Wednesdays anything the entire menu costs only 1 EURO! My friends and I love going there, grabbing a few “montaditos” and sitting outside in the terrace, especially during the summer. A montadito is basically a tapa-sized roll of bread similar to a baguette filled with different ingredients: tortilla de patatas, fresh vegetables… endless options! You can also get a large pint of Sangria or Beer for only 1.5 EUROS! Bargain!
100 Montaditos is a chain, so you can just find the nearest one to you.
What is the ideal afternoon activity in a city like Madrid
Catching the Sunset at Jardines de la Rosaleda. I think this is a secret place that pretty much only “Madrileños” know about. Located in Parque del Oeste De Madrid, this garden is home to different types of flowers and particularly roses. It is absolutely stunning and very relaxing. After visiting this Park, my friends and I like walking to Centro Comercial Principe Pio (a shopping centre) and grabbing a LlaoLlao, which is a Spanish chain for frozen yogurt. It is literally anywhere!
Where are the best places for dinner?
Tapa-Tapa! It is a restaurant located in the heart of Madrid. They have plenty of tables outside, where you can enjoy a glass of wine (or sangria) as you people watch.
Their address is: Calle de la Montera, 47, 28013 Madrid, España
In the evening, what is the city like and where do you find yourself?
Something that my friends and I enjoy doing is going to Circulo de Bellas Artes, where you can find many exhibitions. It has a rooftop terrace, where you can see all of Madrid. The rooftop terrace has a bar and a DJ, so you can enjoy a cocktail with your friends as you catch the sunset. Access to the roof terrace is 4 EUROS.
In a busy city, is there anywhere to chill?
Get lost in Malasaña, the hippest neighbourhood in Madrid and discover new coffee places. Here there are also plenty of vegan restaurants and vintage shops!
“Tribunal” metro stop (LINE 1), will bring you here. The area doesn’t get much traffic, so walking is very lovely.
What is there to do for something fun and different?
Plan a day trip to the mountains! You can get there in less than two hours, and it is perfect for a little city gateway. Don’t worry about not owning a car; public transport will take you there!
In Winter it usually snows in the mountains, so the view is absolutely stunning.
Since Madrid does not have a beach, you will find plenty of natural swimming pools by the mountains! It is the perfect Summer plan to go with your family or your friends. You could even organise a barbeque and a picnic.
My favorite natural swimming pool: Piscinas Las Berceas, Cercedilla
Where is the best area to stay/sleep for young travellers?
Retiro is very quiet at night, maybe more suitable for families. Close to the royal palace and walking distance from the heart of Madrid. There are so many parks, museums, restaurants etc around and you can walk literally anywhere from there!
Salamanca is a VERY posh neighbourhood. Perfect for people coming shopping, spas, luxurious hotels, and very nice restaurants/cocktail places (maybe recommended for couples)
Chueca is a gay neighbourhood in Madrid. Also a very popular party area among uni students
Malasaña has a very hippie and grunge atmosphere! So many live music venues, independent boutiques, vintage shops, vegan restaurants etc.
Moncloa is the official neighbourhood for university students. It’s where most unis are, so there’s massive parties every weekend. However, it is for local UNI students, not really for tourists!
What season would you recommend visiting?
People think the weather in Madrid is always Sunny, but that is not the case! We have the four seasons, and to me the best time to visit Madrid is early Summer, around May & June. The weather during this time is lovely, very warm but not “crazy hot”. I would recommend avoid visiting Madrid during late July & August since they are the hottest months of the year!
Is Madrid best for family holiday/friends holiday/couple holiday?
Madrid is for everyone! If you are coming with your family, there are plenty of amusement parks, escape rooms, gardens, etc. Nightlife in Madrid is totally awesome, so if you are coming with your friends/partner you will not get bored!