my name is Maya and I’m a young Italian traveler! In fact, in August 2020 I decided to undertake my first solo trip. Direction Madrid!
At the beginning it wasn’t that easy, for Covid I changed the plan trip thousands of times. But in the end I left, and it was one of the most beautiful and intense adventures of my life. If you want to visit the Spanish capital as I did, here are some useful tips to survive in this wonderful city!
I have experienced firsthand that it’s a safe place, even for solo girls travelers, but a few tips are always handy!
The vibe of Madrid will involve you as soon as you arrive, as will the people.
1) Bring a small Spanish vocabulary with you. Spanish people love to chat but not everyone speaks English!
2) If you’re passionate about art, a stop at the Prado Museum and Thyssen is a must! There are in fact preserved very famous paintings, including the works of Goya and Degas. At the Reina Sofia look for the room of Picasso’s Guernica. The emotion is guaranteed. I even cried! If you are under 25, ask for a student ticket, it’s often free. Otherwise, go to the museums on Sunday, there is no entrance fee.
3) If you are looking for some rest outside, away from the hustle and bustle of the center, El Retiro park is for you.
A green and airy place, full of tree-lined paths. In the center there is a small lake and not far away you will find the Palacio de Cristal, my absolute favorite place in all of Madrid. No spoiler!
4) To see breathtaking sunsets, I recommend you to go to the Madroño hill, behind the royal palace. Or at the Talbod temple.
5) For accommodation, if you want to spend little, feel at home and be in a convenient location in the city, the Sungatehostel in Puerta del Sol is highly recommended, where I was lucky enough to meet two nice girls with whom I spent the evenings.
6) Food issue. Madrid is quite expensive but there are some tricks to save … During the day the real lifesaver is the famous “menu del dìa”, a full meal for around 10 euros, available in any bar! For a drink with friends, El Tigre is what you need: a mug of sangria and you will have free tapas!
7) For tasty tapas I recommend a visit to the colorful Barrio la Latina or go to the Casa del Abuelo and ask for a plate of gambas al ajillo! Also try the chocolate with churros at San Gines, the oldest chocolate shop in Madrid, and the savory delicacies at Mercado de San Miguel.
Madrid is a combination of lights and life, it conveys a strong joy and warmth.
I hope my advices will be useful if you ever have the good fortune to go there, as it was for me.
Hasta la vista chicos!