Days in Madrid – The Palacio Real de Madrid, Plaza Mayor & San Miguel Market

Madrid was the final destination city in my trip to Spain, and although it didn’t compare to Seville, Granada, Valencia, or Barcelona that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of a visit.  It does have fantastic day trips like Toledo & Segovia but if you have a sunny day or two, I definitely recommend walking around the capital city of Spain.

If it’s a beautiful day take a walk or a jog in Retiro Park, a beautiful large city park that has a little peace and quiet for everyone.  There’s also plenty of museums to visit but I warn you that the lines will be long.  We skipped most museums due to long waits, the cost, and the fact that I was sick.

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Madrid, unlike Barcelona and any of the other large Spanish cities I visited is a concrete jungle.  The roads are boulevards and are easy to walk around and navigate.  Pick any main street off the park and I’m sure you’ll find something picture worthy.  After all, Madrid was built at a time when the Spanish Empire was at its glory.

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Another unique thing that I noticed in Madrid were these vertical gardens.  Pretty neat way to find some gardening space.

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One of the biggest tourist stops in Madrid is Plaza Mayor.  The Plaza Mayor has been the scene of multitudinous events: markets, bullfights, soccer games, public executions, and, during the Spanish Inquisition, “autos de fe” against supposed heretics and the executions of those condemned to death.

Madrid 105Now it’s just mostly municipal buildings with heavily armed security guards and overpriced cafes similar to NYC.  However, since coffee is only a few Euros, I recommend sitting with a cup and people watching.  You’ll see pretty much anything walk by in just half an hour.
Madrid 108 Right next to Plaza Mayor is the famous  Mercado de San Miguel, an indoor market of many eateries.  To hold me over for dinner I had a few bites with different seasoned fishes.  They were good but didn’t compare to the freshness and flavor of Barcelona’s Mercat de Mercats.  Plus on a late Saturday afternoon the market was so packed that trying to see your options or placing an order was a struggle.

Madrid 107On our last full day in Madrid, which also happened to be my sickest and rainest day, we went to check out the Palacio Real de Madrid, Madrid Royal Palace.  It was only about a 30 minute walk but with the rain we decided to take a ride on the metro instead.  As you can see, not even my own mother wanted to sit next to me.

We had this idea that because it’s rainy, no one else would wait in a line to go to the palace in the rain.  We were wrong.  We waited two hours in the rain to get inside because I was I was under the mentality of how much longer could the wait be.  Luckily Tony brought me coffee while I stood under my umbrella sneezing everywhere.  I was damn sexy.

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Due to the “delicate nature” of the royal estate apartments, we weren’t allowed to take photos inside.  I think it’s mostly due to a conspiracy to make you buy their books.  Just picture lots of old tapestry and gold, lots and lots of gold in giant ornate ceilings.

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Instead we had to take our photo shoot outside.  This is in front of the royal Cathedral.

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Yup by the end of the trip my mom and Tony have been best buds.

If I had to pick my favorite park of Madrid, it would be a bakery, a crazy busy bakery.

Madrid 111 La Mallorquina, in the Sol area of Madrid was my mecca!  This pastelería has been a local and tourist favorite since 1894. Its name derives from the original Mallorcan owner.
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I can vouch from the 5, 10, 20 things I may have tasted that everything was delicious

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