Spain is relatively more affordable than any other parts of Western Europe. If you like long walks, you will surely love going around especially in Madrid. It’s best to visit the city during autumn, the temperature is cool at around 15 degrees Celsius during daytime so won’t get bothered with striding under the sun.
Fortunately, I was able to visit Madrid during the last leg of my business trip. I must say that this is one of the nicest cities I have visited. Madrid lived to my expectations. Despite of being modern, century-old structures were preserved very well which makes the city lively day and night.
One of the favorite places I have walked around is the Plaza Mayor. At the entrance of the plaza, there is this huge foyer where a lot of restaurants are scattered everywhere. Since rice was not served during my previous trips, I devoured a plateful of authentic seafood paella!
Going back to the streets, I saw this very interesting shop named “Geppetto” (named after the Pinocchio’s father). All the stuff that were being sold are made of wood –wall clocks, chandeliers, and toys. Although the item are a bit pricey, the details of the carvings make it a good buy.
After some long walks, I went to Parque del Retiro as suggested by my friends. With the lush of greens, I laid down at the grasses with feeling awkward. There are a lot of people who read, jog and stride at the park. The park has a huge lake where boats are available for rent. A picnic would be nice if I just had some company.
For the foodies, a must try is the Museo de Jamon. True to its name, they offer a very wide variety of hams that you didn’t know it even exist. You can have it served as a sandwich or as a tapas.
There are a lot of cheap accommodations in the city that can match the budget of a backpacker. I stayed at Analina Rooms and it cost me P1623.00. They offer a modest room with a lovely balcony ala Romeo and Juliet-style. It is situated at the middle of the city so all the city spots are just a walking distance.
If I will have a change again to visit the continent, I will make sure to have a stopover in the city or explore the livelier Barcelona. Their diverse culture makes it interesting as we derived most of ours from these country. If you plan to go there, make sure prepare your Spanish vocabulary or bring along a Spanish-English dictionary as I had a hard time dealing with this barrier.