EMILY JONES gives her top tips on how to have the perfect weekend in Madrid. We can definitely tell she’s a foodie!
This has to be at the top of the list. Sangria is my all time favourite drink and if you’re going to Spain it is a must. The best sangria in Madrid for me has to be at Ojala, it’s a restaurant in Malasaña (an area in the centre of the city). They have red or white sangria and some super tasty tapas. The basement of this restaurant is also home to an indoor beach! Just in case you’re missing the sand while you’re landlocked. If you’re after something stronger head to Platea, this restaurant is located in an old cinema building and their sangria is made with vermouth and is very tasty, although strong! The tapas bars and restaurants inside this massive food hall are worth the visit too.
Not all tapas in Madrid is made equal, some tapas are the equivalent of old Bombay mix or peanuts on the end of a bar back home. The cheapest option is El Tigre, which is very close to the centre. I will warn you, don’t go to El Tigre for the service and make sure you take cash with you. The beauty of this restaurant is for every 5-euro pint of beer you order you get a massive plate of tapas for free! The best way to do this place is with a group; last time I went was with 5 other people so between us we got 5 different plates of tapas to try.
You have to try churros while you’re in Madrid; even if you’ve had them in England they’re so much better here. The best place for them has to be San Gines, tourists come from all over the world to try these churros so try and go before 1pm, or better yet go after a night of clubbing, as they’re open late. A plate of the scrumptious desserts along with a thick hot chocolate to dip them in isn’t too expensive and needs to be on your to-do list.
4. Secret Nun Cookies
Now I’m not going to tell you too much about this one because half the fun is trying to find them. But with a quick google, you’ll find some photos to help show you the way. In the centre of the city, there’s a secret door which nuns use to sell the most amazing cookies. There’s a list of types and you put your money into a little revolving door and out comes your cookies. Be warned they are not cheap but you do get a lot of them and they taste delicious. Who doesn’t want a side of intrigue with their dessert?
5. El Rastro
Every Sunday a huge market takes over part of Madrid. El Rastro can be found at La Latina station and it’s just a huge hodgepodge of people and stuff. Most of it you don’t really need but it’s a good place to pick up cheap jewellery and souvenirs. If you do go make sure to stop at one of the cafes in the nearby streets and pick up a boccadillo de calamaris, it’s basically a huge sandwich stuffed full of calamari and it only costs between 3 and 5 euros!
6. The best sunset
There are a few good sunset spots in Madrid; the Temple of Deblod is a common one. But the best spot without a doubt for me is Tio Pio Park. It’s just a short uphill walk from Buenos Aires metro station. It’s the best view in the city. You can see for miles including the mountains just north of Madrid. My advice is to grab some Spanish tortilla and a bottle of wine and climb one of the little hills in the park an hour before sunset.