Europe, Offbeat, Photo Essays, Solo Travel, Spain
Comments 29

Te Quiero Madrid: A Photo Essay.

Madrid best things to do, Madrid attractions

I’m not a big fan of cities, but Madrid was almost love at first sight. Maybe because it was just the start of spring, or maybe because the city is just that beautiful! I spent most of my time by the River Manzanares in Madrid, strolling along the parks and squares of Madrid, exploring Madrid’s markets and cafes, and discovering its quirky neighborhoods. In this photo essay, I share a roundup of some of the best unusual things to see and do in Madrid, including local hangouts and relatively secret places, that are sure to make you fall in love with this Spanish city too.

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1. STROLL ALONG THE MADRID RIVER
called Manzanares, under the shade of cherry blossoms, watching the locals fish from the fishing decks and nodding at the evening walkers. The closest metro station to get here is Principe Pio.

Madrid photo gallery, places to go in Madrid, things to do in Madrid

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 2. PEOPLE WATCH AT THE CHARMING SQUARES
that Madrid is known for. These little squares are meeting points, most with a tiny cafe or restaurant lurking around the corner. Unlike Barcelona, I found the locals of Madrid more easy going, and much easier to strike up a conversation with.

Madrid squares, living in Madrid, life in Madrid

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3. VISIT AN ANTIQUE BOOKS MARKET
down the road from Paseo del Prado, the only one of its kind in Madrid. Most of the books are in Spanish, but there’s something just so romantic about browsing through their old, worn out pages whose stains speak their own stories.

Madrid markets, Madrid antique books market, Madrid fun things to do

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4. EAT AT A COSY NEIGHBORHOOD CAFE
or bar, that might not necessarily be a Tapas bar. These tend to be less busy and more intimate, giving you a chance to get to interact with the owner and the others at the cafe. I loved sampling Mexican food at the colorful Tacos Chipotludos bar, and chatting up Juan, its friendly owner.

Madrid cafes, Madrid secrets

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5. OBSERVE THE CULTURAL CURIOSITIES
of a city as diverse as Madrid. I spotted on the streets, under the cherry blossoms, this march in solidarity for Slovenia.

Madrid photo gallery, Madrid what to do, life in Madrid

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6. WELCOME SPRING AT THE PARKS
of Madrid, which are wide open spaces, often with lakes and mini forests within them. Unlike most parks I’ve visited, they hardly feel landscaped or curated. From what I gathered, parks in lesser known neighborhoods, like Parque El Capricho, also seem to be favorite hangouts among the locals of Madrid.

Madrid parks, parks in Madrid Spain, Madrid what to do

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7. FIND VIEWS THAT MUST’VE INSPIRED HEMINGWAY
though he would probably flip seeing a laptop replace the good old pen and paper! I stumbled upon this gorgeous view at Dalieda de San Francisco, while having lost my way in the city.

Madrid Spain pictures, living in Madrid, life in Madrid Spain

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8. READ BY THE RIVER
because it’s just so gorgeous, you can’t get enough of it. Madrid might not have a beach, but what better place to read, or contemplate life than this “By the river Piedra I sat down and wept” sort of setting?

Madrid best things to do, Madrid attractions

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9. EXPLORE MADRID’S QUIRKY NEIGHBORHOODS
like Malasaña, off the Tribunal Metro, which is an alternative neighborhood with funky graffiti and quirky stores, and seemingly the hangout of choice among the city’s hipsters.

Madrid neighborhoods, best neighborhood in Madrid, Madrid attractions

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10. PHOTOGRAPH MOMENTS
that you wouldn’t expect to spot in big cities!

Madrid river, river through Madrid, beaches in Madrid

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What are (were) your impressions of Madrid?

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My trip to Madrid was in partnership with the Tourism Office of Spain. Opinions, as always, are my own.

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Also Read:

Life in Ibiza: A Photo Essay

First time to Spain: 10 Travel Tips to Get You Started

Other travel stories from my travel adventures in Spain.

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Join The Shooting Star on  Facebook and Twitter for more travel stories, tips and photos.

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29 Comments

    • Thank you! There were so many sights I should’ve captured in retrospect, but then again, got to leave enough to tempt you to visit yourself 😉

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  1. I simply have to visit Spain now 😛 Lovely lovely pics ! What I like about you Shivya is that you have an entirely new perspective towards travel and the places you see !

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    • I can’t wait for you to, I’m sure you’ll love it. Thanks Ruchira, I do make a conscious effort to find little known things in the places I visit, and to be honest, that’s the side I enjoy most too 🙂

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  2. I felt Madrid was the old heart of Spain. I too loved the parks and the inclusive feel of the neighbourhoods. I cannot think of Madrid without thinking of it’s squares, San Miguel and Empanadas, and our tiny bedsit in the wrong part of town 🙂

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      • We stayed in an Airbnb apartment in La Latina, which was great, but the street we were in was quite a long way from the metro station and the further we walked from the Metro the rougher the neighborhood became. After five days we had made friends with the local fruiterer and baker and started to feel at home in the street.

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  3. Colleen Brynn says

    Love this… am working on a series of ultimate guide posts on Madrid at the moment. Madrid is easily one of my favourite places in the world. I’m glad you love it too!

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  9. Madrid seems to be just my kind of city – serene, picturesque, friendly, with a bit of quirk. 🙂 Would love to visit some day…

    Loved that pic of the cherry tree by the river!

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  10. I’m excited to discover this web site. I need to to thank
    you for your time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it and I have you
    book-marked to look at new stuff on your web site.

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