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72 Hours in Madrid: Historic Charm

I was so excited to take my first walk through the vibrant streets of Madrid. For too long, this energetic city has been on my list of cities to visit – it’s where every corner is a new discovery, has incredible food, and a historical story.

In just 72 hours, I immersed myself in the rich culture, history, and flavors of Spain’s capital city. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, a shopper, or simply a curious traveler, you will quickly see that Madrid has something for everyone.

Join me and my wife on this journey as we unveil the best things to do, places to eat, where to stay, and how to make the most out of your 72 hours in Madrid.

Madrid’s Rich History

Madrid has a rich history. It’s proudly on display at the  Royal Palace of Madrid, a majestic architectural building that offers a glimpse into the opulent lives of Spain’s royalty.  For an appreciation of the rich art history, head to the Prado Museum – it is home to a remarkable collection of European art, including works by Goya and Velázquez. And to appreciate the cultural history, be sure to explore the historic streets of Madrid’s Old Town, where centuries of stories are part of the cobblestone’s history.

Savor the Flavors of Madrid

Spanish cuisine is an absolute feat, so this would not be a good time to start a diet.  NOt in any way will you be dissapointed in the food in Madrid. I highly recommend a journey journey to the Mercado de San Miguel, a food lover’s paradise where you can sample an array of tapas, from jamón ibérico to mouthwatering patatas bravas. For a traditional Madrid dining experience, reserve a table at a cozy taberna and savor a plate of cocido madrileño, a hearty chickpea stew.

But don’t stop there as you must try Spanish desserts. Head to Chocolatería San Ginés, an iconic café that has been serving churros dipped in thick, velvety chocolate for over a century. For a modern twist on classic sweets, visit La Duquesita and savor their delicious pastries. And don’t forget to try tarta de Santiago, an almond cake that’s a slice of heaven.

Where to Stay

Choosing the right accommodation can greatly enhance your Madrid experience. For a touch of luxury, stay at the Westin Palace Madrid, known for its exquisite service and central location. If you prefer a boutique experience, opt for the Only You Hotel Atocha, a stylish retreat near the city’s major attractions. Budget travelers will find comfort and convenience at the Generator Madrid hostel.

We stayed at the luxurious Hotel Palacio Del Retiro, Autograph Collection. It’s located right next to Retiro Park and close to transportation. This 20th-century palatial home is a historical building and eludes luxury in every way.

Top Sights in Madrid

El Rasto Market – Unfortunately only on a Sunday, but it is well worth ensuring that your stay in Madrid falls over a Sunday. There are more than 1,000 street vendors with everything ranging from food, clothing, antiques, plants, and just about every souvenir you could imagine.

El Retiro Park – This huge park centers the city and is well worth spending a relaxing time enjoying the stunning trees, gardens, and water structures.

Museo del Prado – the extensive works of both permanent and temporary artworks could easily have you spending a day at this spacious neo-classical building.

Discover Madrid’s Hidden Gems

While Madrid’s iconic attractions are a must-see, don’t forget to explore its hidden gems. Stroll through the lush Retiro Park, where you can row a boat on the lake or simply relax under the shade of centuries-old trees. Wander through the colorful streets of Malasaña, a hip neighborhood filled with street art and quirky shops. Explore El Rastro, Madrid’s famous open-air market, and hunt for unique souvenirs.

How to Get There

Getting to Madrid is a breeze. The Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport is well-connected to major cities worldwide. From the airport, you can easily reach the city center via taxi, metro, or airport shuttle. Once in Madrid, the city’s efficient public transportation system, including buses and the metro, makes it easy to explore.

It’s time to visit Madrid

Madrid, with its rich history, delectable cuisine, and hidden treasures, is a city that beckons travelers to explore its vibrant streets. In just 72 hours, you can create memories that will last a lifetime. From royal palaces to bustling markets, this Spanish gem has it all. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, book your ticket, and embark on a 72-hour adventure in Madrid that you’ll cherish forever. ¡Viva España!

We hope our trip has inspired you to make the most of your 72 hours in Madrid. Share your Madrid experiences with us and fellow travelers, and don’t forget to soak in every moment of this incredible city.

If you are traveling in Europe, be sure to see the posts on spending 72 hours in Paris and 48 hours in Porto.

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