Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Madrid, Spain: A Travel Recommendation

In September, with Hannah and John, we flew to Madrid for 3 night visit. While Madrid is a big city and the small cities are really my favorite, Madrid was a nicer big city than I was expecting. Not nearly as clean and eco-friendly as Stockholm, but it did offer a lot to do and see - a 3 day trip (with a 1 day side trip to Toledo) was perfect - enough time to see the sites, eat the food, drink the wine, and experience the night-life.

Must Eat: Sangria, Paella, Jamon Iberico, Spanish table/house wine, and Tapas including Manchego Cheese (seriously delicious) and stuffed peppers (yum).

Must See: Prado Museum, Royal Palace, Puerto del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Cathedral, Plaza del Toros (cool from the outside - just not when there's a bull fight going on inside..), a Flamenco Dance (Seville is known for Flamenco, not Madrid, but there are lots of Flamenco clubs in Madrid), and Mercado de San Miguel (by far the very best thing in Madrid - like a shaken up and way better Farmer's Market).

Mercado de San Miguel: Basically, a beefed up Farmer's Market. While fresh produce, bread, pastries, etc. were available for purchase, San Miguel offered so much more. It was an outdoor, yet indoor space with lots of booths set up throughout. Some booths sold produce to take home, while others sold tapas to eat there, wine to drink there, pastries to eat there, some tables - lots of socializing - like a gourmet farmer's market plus nightlife. Hard to explain, but awesome to experience. MUST GO!

Must NOT See: a Bull fight - definite NO GO, trust me (see previous blog post).

The best thing in Madrid deserves two pictures.

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