Last week I spent 4 days in Madrid. Going to the Reina Sofia Museum and watching an exceptional Dali exhibition plus the famous Picasso’s painting El Gernika, was one of the highlights of my breakaway to Madrid.
Last weekend I saw the temporary exhibition of Dali at the Museo Reina Sofia. That was cool. In an hour and a half, I had the opportunity to get an overview of Dali’s works during his life. I learned lots of new things about this surrealist artist. Totally recommended.
I paid 2 more Euros, and had the opportunity to visit the rest of the museum. And one of the most impressive Picasso’s works: El Guernica.
Madrid tourism: Things to do in Madrid
Before getting inside the museum, I went to the “Brillante” bar at the square outside the museum. That’s one of the most popular bars among locals for having a ‘bocadillo de calamares’ (squid sandwich), a very popular sandwich that ‘madrileños’ (locals from Madrid) enjoy having on Sunday noon for lunch.
Enjoying good tapas is something you must do in Madrid. You’ll find lots of good bars for having tapas in the capital of Spain. My favorite neighborhoods are Chueca, Huertas and La Latina. Just start walking around their nice streets and you’ll find little squares where people are having a ‘caña’ (beer) and few olives or good ham or a nice ‘bocadillo de calamares’. Honestly, the social life and the nice atmosphere of people enjoying nice weather and a beer with a free tapa is a unique thing in Madrid and something that I like about the city, something that you’ll not find in Barcelona.
I would recommend visiting the second floor at the Mercado de San Anton in Chueca. Good quality, beautiful tapas there and good price too.
La Vinacoteca, also in Chueca, is a nice bar where to have good tapas and a glass of good Spanish wine too.
Having a picnic in El Retiro
There’s a big beautiful park in Madrid, called El Retiro. Is one of those big parks that we see in nice big cities, like Central Park in NYC or Hide Park in London. Locals love going there in the weekends and enjoying a picnic there. Go there for having a nice meal while enjoying good weather or maybe, if you are like me, someone who loves jogging, put on your sneakers and join other runners at El Retiro park.
How to get to Madrid from Barcelona
Barcelona and Madrid are the two main cities in Spain. Hence those two cities are very well connected.
Barcelona – Madrid by car: good highway, though a long drive. It will take you 6 hours to get to your destination.
Barcelona – Madrid by train: my favorite way to get to Madrid. Take the high speed train (called AVE) at Sants Estació in Barcelona and get to Madrid-Chueca station in just 3 hours. Prices are around 70 Euros – 180 Euros (round way)
Check out RENFE’s website for getting prices and time tables Barcelona-Madrid by train.
Barcelona to Madrid by plain: Check out Vueling website which is the most popular and good price airline connecting Madrid and Barcelona.
Barcelona to Madrid by bus: you’ll have to be patient to get to Madrid by bus. You’ll spend approximately 8 hours on the road, but it is the cheapest way (from 34 Euros one way) to get to the city from Barcelona.
How to move around Madrid
Traffic in Madrid can be awful. I would recommend you taking a taxi only at nights to avoid traffic. During the day, I normally go everywhere walking or taking the subway (metro). This time I bought the 10 trip ticket for just 12 euros. You will be able to catch the buses with that card too.
Download Madrid metro map on pdf version.
I leave you with other nice pictures that I took in Madrid
Contact me if you need some help for planning your trip to Spain. I’ll be happy to help you!