A brief guide about city of Madrid and why I think many people find it boring
Madrid is an enormous city. It’s quite dynamic and it bursts from majestic buildings, statues and overall extraordinary architecture. This city is rich and cosmopolitan and that is the first thing you will notice about it. In fact, it is not only the capital city of Spain, but the richest city in the whole country. You can spot its richness almost everywhere (apart from a few poor areas and bus/train stations).
Salamanca is the queen area of wealthy vibes. The grand 19th-century boulevards of Salamanca that are filled with fine-dining restaurants and designer boutiques, especially along the “Golden Mile.” Madrid’s Golden Mile is the high end shopping district. If your pocket is shallow like mine, you will feel like a total gypsy there. Trust me, been there – done that. 🙂
However, Madrid has a lot more to offer than wealthy shops and fine-dining restaurants. I could spot plenty of city parks that are well decorated and big enough for almost any outdoor activity especially runners and dog walkers.
I was in Madrid 3 times and each time I was there just for a day or a few hours. That is why I cannot speak very deep about the city as I did not explored it long enough, but what I can say for sure is this (sorry Spaniards): Madrid did not provoked that “wow” word in me. You see, there are certain places in this globe with which you feel that “click” right away! It’s the same with people you meet in everyday life or your potential great friends and partners. You feel the vibe, or you don’t – as simple as that.
Like any other city in the world, Madrid shines with unique vibe too, but perhaps its vibe and that captivating “wow” word does not come to the fore due to all those enormous buildings all around. Perhaps it’s too big that its greatness swallowed its amazing spirit and left it with that “boring” adjective. I am still thinking what was the exact reason, but I know I will give Madrid another chance, hopefully for a much longer stay.
SO…IS MADRID A DULL ONE?
Personally, I wouldn’t say Madrid is boring because I believe that boredom is a state of a boring mind. If your mind is not dull, you can always find something interesting, fun and exciting to do wherever in this world, don’t you think!? For example, these are my interesting things to see or do in Madrid:
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN MADRID:
1. Madrid Book Fair (Feria del Libro de Madrid)
I run into this book fair by accident and I loved it. The folks were so generous and funny and they had a wide range of books for quite affordable prices! You can find it near the Buen Retiro Park. There is also a tourist information center and the lady speaks English which is not so common in Spain (not even in the capital city!). The lovely lady gave me some free books and guides all on English!
2. San Jerónimo el Real de Madrid cathedral
I saw this Roman Catholic church by accident and I only observed it from the outside. I found it is from the early 16th-century and has undergone numerous remodelings and restorations, which you can clearly see once you are in front of it. I did like it and I used my TRIPOD with a Bluetooth Remote Shutter to make some photos (in case you are wondering who was the photographer)
3. The Puerta de Alcalá
This neo-classical gate stands near the city center and just a few meters away from the main entrance to the Parque del Buen Retiro. The gate is majestic with many sculptures but I didn’t approach to close because there is a main road and I had no time figuring out how to get there closer.
4. The monumental sculptures “Día y Noche” (Day and Night) by Antonio López
These two sculptures are installed in the Atocha train station. They are huge: three metres high and weigh 2 tons.
5. The Prado Museum
The Prado Museum is a Spanish national art museum. The actual name is: Museo Nacional del Prado. Unfortunately, I did not have the time to go inside, so I just took one photo from the outside. It is quite near the Retiro park and the cathedral.
6. Get an electric bike, electric scooter or electric car
If you ask me, this is the best way to explore the city (if you still want to get the sense of its streets and neighborhoods). Don’t forget, Madrid is huge! Car2go can be a great option if you have a driving licence and you want to get faster to other side of the city.
7. Take a ride with one of the fastest trains in the Europe
Alta Velocidad Española (AVE) is a of high-speed rail in Spain run by Renfe, the Spanish national railway company. Believe it or not, it can reach the speed of up to 310 km/h and it extremely fast. This trains is able to link Madrid and Barcelona in just two hours and a half (around 500 kilometers or 313 miles)!
To be frank, if you are not a car driver, AVE trains are the best option to travel across Spain as they are super fast, clean, comfy and efficient with many services to offer. I used AVE services a few times and I love to use them + they are more sustainable way of travelling! It is true that the tickets can be pricey, but heeey, you pay to have some extra time once you reach the desired destination.
TIP: You can buy your tickets online like a month (or more) prior to your trip and get their card, so the final price will be much cheaper!
Madrid, Spain is planning a 74km forest belt around the city with walking & bike paths, play areas, & biodiversity/wildlife corridors, to clean & cool the air, absorb carbon & improve quality of life. Part of its anti-pollution strategy.— Brent Toderian (@BrentToderian) October 26, 2020
Via @WEF pic.twitter.com/l08cdDe0Ty
8. Eat some traditional food, but avoid eating in the city centre
The golden rule of every traveler – do not eat in the city centre! The prices are much higher and the quality of food and service is usually lower. I went to Taberna de la Daniela on a bad recommendation and I was quite disappointed with the quality, service, the food and the price. One of the dishes I tried was Cococha (Kokotxa) – a traditional Basque fish stew which is made from stewed fish throats and cheeks served with a white wine, garlic, flour, and olive oil sauce. The dish itself is special (some people like it and some hate it) but it wasn’t even prepared on the right way. So….big thumbs down for this place!
Every place on this planet has something interesting, pretty or fun to offer! You just have to open all your senses and look for it. In some places, for a bit longer. 🙂
Have you ever been to Madrid or not!? Does Madrid seem to you as a boring after reading my post? I would love to know your thoughts below! Thanks for reading! 🙂
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