Madrid Visit Like Locals: (Enjoy Madrid like a Madrid Local)
Madrid is a Wow city! I was so excited about getting away for a few days to Madrid that l committed the cardinal sin! I did not check the dates to make sure it was feasible. You see, l had booked our Budapest trip weeks earlier. For some reason, l thought that was happening in April. I’m sure you can guess what happened. Yep! I overlapped the days. I was in a panic as l would have to pay outrageous sums to change the flights. It would probably have been cheaper just to cancel one trip and lesson learned.
I did what l normally do in instances like this – Nothing!!! I didn’t even mention it to my husband. As the dates drew closer, l was still undecided, and then lo and behold, the gods smiled upon me. I received an email from Ryanair informing us that our departure flight had been cancelled. We could either reschedule for the Saturday flight or get a refund. I was gob smacked! We got back from Budapest on the Thursday and the Madrid departure was supposed to have been on the Wednesday. I was delighted as we didn’t have to pay extra and could still make the trip, albeit a couple of days shorter, but that still gave us plenty of time to enjoy the city.
In order to fully appreciate the wonderful city of Madrid, you have to bring the right attitude and it definitely enhances your Madrid visit to live like a local. Here are some must do in Madrid pointers:
BRING THE RIGHT ATTITUDE:
Madrilenos are fun! They love to have a good time, and it seems they do it all day. There seems to be something going on all the time. I have visions of Pedro Almodovar type of life happening. We stayed in central Madrid and some of the clubs were open till 5AM. There was a club that people were still going into at 8AM, complete with a big bouncer at the door when we were heading out for the day. Amazing!
EAT LATE, BRING YOUR APPETITE AND EAT WELL:
No dinners at seven in the evening here! This isn’t Florida. Madrilenos do not go out for dinner till 9PM or much later. If you want to stick out, go for dinner at 8PM (like we did the first day, l was hungry!) and you’ll see how empty the restaurants are. The other few patrons will be tourists just like you.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR NATURAL VISTAS:
The city is huge, the buildings are huge, the parks are huge and lovely. Visit one of the parks like the El Retiro Gardens, bring your lunch, eat it on a park bench and people watch, like we did.
Related Reading: El Retiro Park
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LOVE FOOTBALL WITH PASSION!
Football, (futbol) as in soccer that is. No hand touching here, unless you want to get called for a foul! Pick your team and love them to death. Your big teams are Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid. Be prepared to talk endlessly about them too. We struck up a lot of conversations on the buses just by asking what team people supported. It was a great way to meet people and others usually joined in, one even got off the bus with us at the stop on the day we visited the stadium to make sure we found it okay, even though it wasn’t his team. Real Madrid has it’s own stop on the train by the way called the Santiago Bernabeu.
Here’s his little video of the stadium if you’re interested.
HAVE A BIT OF CULTURE:
Madrid is full of museums, with names like Prado, Thyssen, Reina Sofia and Caixa Forum. Very impressive they are. Be sure to check out what times are free at the museums, even though you have to wait in long lines, but it might save you a euro or two. Visit the Crystal Palace if you get a chance, its free entry.
SHARE YOUR LOVELY CITY:
You have to share with the rest of the world. Share the beauty, the love, the kindness, the good food, the great drinks, share everything! They’ll love you for it!
Related Reading: 24 hrs in Madrid
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How about you? Do you have any other tips to share about Madrid? I wonder if it will be the same as mine? Would you think of a Madrid visit like locals?