Tenerife, Marbella, and Playa Blanca – these are just three of the many Spanish isles that are touted as the most sought-after Iberian getaways, with millions of tourist from around the world visiting these island getaways.
But, if you’re a first time visitor to Spain, skip these prime destinations, and instead, go for its beautiful capital– Madrid. Not only does it offer loads of fun, but furthermore, it must be one of the cheapest European cities, if not the cheapest. That means, you get the most out of your hard-earned euro, whether it be food, visiting sights and attractions, or buying souvenirs.
What if you are given just a day to roam around and see Madrid. Honestly, it is such an amazing place that there is so much to see and do. It might take one more or less a month to experience and enjoy what Madrid has to offer.
Indeed, if you have only one day to see Madrid, here are the must-see sites and attractions to visit and relish:
Palacio Real de Madrid
The Royal Palace of Spain is first on your list of must-see sites, if you have only one day to visit the city. It is one of the grandest and most pompous in all of Europe, where every nook and corner is decorated with precious artwork and lavish furniture. And for only 11 euros, you have the chance to marvel at the Official Residence of the King of Spain.
Catedral de la Almudena
Perhaps, the most visited church in Madrid, Catedral de la Almudena is also the most popular since it is recognized as the seat of Catholicism in all of Spain. Just in front of the Palacio Real Madrid, most of the city’s religious celebration is celebrated in this cathedral. It is open 7 days a week, up until 8:30PM, and the entrance is free, although a small donation of 1 euro is requested, the money will be used for the continuing maintenance of the cathedral.
Parque el Buen Retiro is the official park of Spain, grazing a vast land in the middle of the city. Here you will find the gargantuan man-made lake or estanque, where the monument to Alfonso XII stands. Likewise, popular landmarks found within are the famous Crystal Palace, which was used as the venue for the 1916 exposition, and the Palacio de Velasquez.
Puerta del Sol
The Gate of the Sun in English, Puerta del Sol is a popular square of Spain, and situated within the heart of the touristy area of Madrid Centro. Be astonished by this plaza surrounded by boutiques of all kinds, restaurantes serving various Spanish comidas, and numerous souvenir shops offering trinkets, postcards,shirts, and various similar items that will help tourists remember Madrid by, In the middle of the square is the impressive fountain around which people gather and idle by, the equestrian statue of Rey Carlos III, and the statue of El Oso and El Madroño, one of the popular symbols of the city.
Museo del Jamon
Speaking of comida Español, the one that is nearest to these attractions is the Museo del Jamon, a popular restaurant that offers a great variety of delectable Spanish fare. Tourists should not leave Madrid and not pass by Museo, if only to have a taste of its bocadillo de jamon or camarones (squid). Paella, a traditional rice dish, is also a favorite dish among locals and tourists. Order the seafood or marinera paella — I assure you that its taste is heavenly.
Another popular square, Plaza Mayor Madrid is gargantuan in size, a sprawling enclave with main gates and arches at strategic areas serving as access points. Tourists troop to the modern Tourism office of Madrid, the headquarters of which is the Casa de la Panaderia, one of the buildings enclosing the plaza. Did you know that the Plaza Mayor once served as a bullfight stadium? And that the defeated bulls were brought to a nearby carneceria. Now, the place is home to a great number of businesses and establishments, making it a highly busy tourist spot of Madrid. Come the Yuletide season, the square is brightly lit with a thousand or so colorful Christmas lights, and the center area becomes the spot where the Nativity scene display is put up for everyone to see.
Photos courtesy of: http://letstalkmadrid.com/