Since Madrid was my home for several years, I have chosen this city to be the big opening to the new series, as it is one of the places I know the most. It is also one of my favorite cities.
Disclaimer: "This is not a list of the most important places. It is a list of the most important places that are close enough to each other to help you see as much as possible in little time."
Madrid is a big city if you have the opportunity to visit it for a much longer time you will be able to experience this beautiful city's personality and most likely fall in love with it. Since we only have a day, this is how to do it.
We are going to start our little excursion In Principe Pio. This point is easily accessible either by train, bus, or cab. I recommend you bite the bullet and spend the money traveling in a taxi.
Here is some info about the taxi system, a trip from the airport and to the airport has a set price of 30€. It will get you there in about 25-30 mins. Keep in mind if it is rush hour, it will be longer but still worth it since using the Metro or buses can take you about 1h, that is not including the waiting time for the train.
If taking the Metro, go to Principe Pio station, and once there take the exit that will take you to the Temple of Debod, here is where we are going to begin our adventure, keep in mind that you will be walking quite a bit.
Here is the list of the places we will get to see in their right order:
Templo De Debod: Egyptian Temple that was gifted when Spain pitched in to save the monuments that were going to be affected by the new construction of a High Dam built across the Nile in Egypt. See more information here.
Plaza De España: Is home to the statues of Don Quijote, Sancho Panza, and Miguel de Cervantes.
If you like Indian food, right in this area is where my favorite Indian restaurant is, the food there is delicious, the restaurant's name is Mogul.
Plaza De Callao: It is where Cine De Callao is. Cine de Callao is where all the movie Premieres happen. With frequency, many famous Spanish artists walk the Red Carpet here. It is also where the Iconic Schweeps sign decorates the facade of the Vinci Hotel, which contains some of the most beautiful views of the Gran Via street.
Gran Via: Is One of the most Iconic Streets of Madrid, host to some of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Walking down these streets you will not only see stunning structures, but you will also be able to do some shopping here, La Gran Via has shops of all kinds.
La Plaza De Cibeles: Home to Banco de España as well of the Cibeles Fountain, it is not only where the Real Madrid team celebrates their victories. Banco de España is where the Spanish Kingdom keeps the country's gold. Some say that if someone broke into the bank, the water from the fountain would drain towards the vault 35 meters down where the gold is, submerging the money vaults making it impossible to scape with the money. If you have ever seen the Netflix TV Series called Money Heist ( Casa de Papel) This is the bank that in the second season the team of thieves manages to break into.
Retiro Park: This used to be one of my favorite places to chill when I lived in Madrid. This park is home to the Crystal Palace, The Rose Gardens, El Parque del Recuerdo as well as the statue of The Fallen Angel, which is the only monument in the world dedicated to the Devil. Side note: it happens to sit 666 meters above the level of the sea.
Plaza De Santa Ana: Here you can find a good deal on Tapas. It's neighbor to buildings like the Teatro Español, which is the oldest theater in Madrid, on the opposite side is the Hotel Me, which has a great rooftop that lights up at night.
Plaza Del Sol: This is where the biggest New Year party of the city happens, which also is where they play the 12 bells in the last twelve seconds of the year. You can find here the Kilometer Zero to the Radial roads as well as the famous statue of the Oso Madroño. Plaza del Sol is also where you can find the most fun nightlife.
Plaza Mayor: This is probably the most Iconic places in Madrid. The structure dates back to the 15th century.
It has many amazing restaurants and cute little shops. It is a great place to find traditional Spanish food. By the way, just around the corner in one of the exits, you can find the oldest restaurant in the world, serving customers since the early 17 hundreds.
The Royal Palace: A beautiful castle stands proud and tall, surrounded by majestuous gardens and sculptures, guarded by the royal guard as well as the Spanish police. There are bars and restaurants nearby that you can sit at with views towards the castle. Walking or sitting by is the perfect way to end the day.
I hope you guys find this information helpful and get to enjoy Madrid in a quick but special way.