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Madrid Travel Guide

Madrid is one of my favorite cities. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit a couple of times and it’s always a treat. If you’re making a trek through Europe, you definitely have to stop here.

Stay

Chueca is the gayborhood and the surrounding area is booming with trendy bars, restaurants, and shops. Stay nearby.

Eats

Tapas tour – One of the most exciting things we did in Madrid was a tapas tour. Most places offer a free tapas plate when you order a drink. We started at Cerveceria Cervantes and basically went door to door from there having a beer or glass of wine at each stop.  

El Tigre – 7 euros bought us two glasses of red wine and a giant plate of assorted tapas. Sure it looked like a plate of scraps, but it was one of the most affordable meals of my life.

Museo del Jamón – On my previous trips to Madrid, I’d seen this chain but never stopped in. The name is so hilarious to me and I’d been dying to check it out. I finally got my chance when we stopped in for a glass of wine and some tapas.

Cocina del Desierto – After several meals of tapas, I was eager to revisit some of the Moroccan cuisine we had in Granada. It’s a cozy spot with Moroccan textiles and decor.

Antorcha Cafe – This trendy spot serves delicious gourmet burgers. There’s limited seating and it’s popular, but luckily you can grab a seat at the bar.

Lamucca de Pez – This restaurant is spacious and modern with plenty of seating at communal tables. They serve up pizzas, salads, and other Mediterranean fare. It’s another popular spot, so get there early or make a reservation to avoid a wait.

Chocolateria San Gines – Everyone knows I have the biggest sweet tooth and so of course I was ecstatic about having chocolate y churros in Spain. Every time we walked by San Gines, there was a line out the door. Luckily, it’s open all night and sweets are the perfect ending to an evening of drinking. But don’t be like me and maybe share your order with someone(s).

Drinks

Pub Rimmel – On the night we visited, the club played an all Rihanna soundtrack and offered up a super drink special: Each cocktail came with a shot of your choice. Can’t beat it.  

Gris – This queer friendly bar blasts plenty of Euro 90s indie hits. I can’t express enough how much I love grunge.

Cazador – Another queer friendly bar, this was one of my favorite drinking spots. It was crowded with hipster homos and played plenty of pop music.

LL Bar – This was my favorite of the traditional gay bars. We were squeezed into the bar for an amazing drag show. For a few euros, the queens will even let you sing with them.

Sights

Puerta del Sol – Madrid reminds me so much of New York and I’d say Puerta del Sol is like Times Square. It’s a busy plaza surrounded by shops and restaurants.

Palacio Real – Spain has one of the largest palaces in Europe. It’s so majestic you definitely have to make a stop here.

Museo del Prado – I’ve visited Madrid twice before and I’m always happy to stop into this museum. It has one of the best fine art collections featuring classical works from all over Europe.

Buen Retiro Park – On our last day in Madrid, we went for an afternoon stroll through the park. It’s a popular hangout for locals. There’s a small lake with rowboats for rent and entertaining street performers.

Palacio de Cristal – Buen Retiro Park also is home to a large glass building that houses some art installations.

Caixa Forum – The vertical garden at Caixa Forum is one of the best Instagram spots in Madrid. Get there early to avoid waiting for other visitors to clear some space.

Don’t forget to check out the video of my summer in Spain!

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