In Spain, children traditionally receive their Christmas presents not on Christmas Day, December 25th, but rather on January 6th, which is known as Three Kings‘ Day or “Día de Reyes” in Spanish. This holiday is highly celebrated in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries.
On the night of January 5th, children leave their shoes out, often filling them with treats for the Three Wise Men or the “Reyes Magos”: Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar. It’s a custom that children believe the Three Kings will visit their homes during the night and leave gifts or presents in or near the shoes. It’s similar to the concept of Santa Claus or Father Christmas in other cultures.
January 6th, the Day of the Epiphany, is a public holiday in Spain and marks the culmination of the Christmas season. Families often gather, and children eagerly wake up to find their gifts, following the tradition of the Three Kings bringing them presents. It’s a joyous day filled with gift-giving, family meals, and various parades or processions in many towns and cities, with the Three Kings often riding through the streets to greet children and distribute sweets.
Madrid is the heart of Spanish cuisine, and its rich and diverse culinary culture makes it a food lover’s paradise. With so many dishes, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. To help you navigate the best Spanish food in Madrid, here are the top five most important meals you must taste while visiting the city.
Cocido Madrileño is considered the traditional dish of Madrid and is a hearty stew made with chickpeas, meats, and vegetables. This dish is usually served in three courses. First, the broth is served as a soup, then the meats and vegetables are served together, and the chickpeas are served on their own. Cocido Madrileño is typically enjoyed on a cold day or as a Sunday family meal.
Huevos rotos, or “broken eggs,” is a classic Madrid dish that is simple yet flavorful. It consists of fried eggs over broken fried potatoes, traditionally served with jamón (ham). This dish is often enjoyed as a light lunch or a snack.
Callos a la Madrileña
Callos a la Madrileña is a tripe stew with chorizo and blood sausage from the Madrid region. This hearty dish is made by slow-cooking the tripe and other ingredients until it is tender and flavorful. It is typically served with crusty bread and is the perfect meal for a cold winter’s night.’
Paella is a traditional Spanish dish originating from the Valencian region of Spain. It is a one-pan dish made with saffron, garlic, olive oil, and a mixture of ingredients that can include chicken, rabbit, shellfish, beans, and various types of vegetables. The ingredients are cooked together in a large, shallow pan, called a paellera, over an open flame until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the flavors. Paella is known for its rich, savory taste and its yellow color, which is achieved through the use of saffron. It is a staple of Spanish cuisine and is enjoyed by people worldwide.
Churros con chocolate
Churros con chocolate is a classic Spanish breakfast or snack food. It consists of long, thin, fried dough pastry that is served with a cup of hot chocolate for dipping. The chocolate is thick and rich, making it the perfect complement to the light and crispy churros. This dish is a staple of Madrid’s culinary culture and is a must-try for anyone visiting the city.
Cochinillo asado is a specialty of the Castilla region, including Madrid. It is a whole roasted suckling pig that is cooked until the skin is crispy and the meat is tender. This dish is typically served as a main course and is often accompanied by roasted potatoes and a simple green salad.
In conclusion, these five dishes are just a taste of what Madrid has to offer in terms of cuisine. Whether you are looking for hearty stews, simple but flavorful dishes, or sweet treats, Madrid has something for everyone. So, when visiting the city, be sure to try these dishes and experience the rich and diverse culinary culture of Spain.
Madrid is a bustling city, rich in history, culture, and art. With its gorgeous architecture, vibrant nightlife, and delicious cuisine, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. From the world-renowned Museo del Prado and the Royal Palace of Madrid to the bustling street markets and fantastic parks such as Retiro Park, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or just looking for a good time, Madrid has it all. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top activities and attractions in this vibrant city, so you can make the most of your visit.
As you visit Madrid’s different attractions, parks, museums, and restaurants, the best way to explore the city is on foot. The city is easy to explore while walking and the distances are not big. If you want to use some other transport method, you can easily rent a bike, use the metro, travel by taxi, or with one of the many buses in the city.
Nine places to see and experience in Madrid.
Museo del Prado
The Museo Nacional del Prado is one of the world’s most famous art museums and a must-visit destination for art lovers visiting Madrid. It was founded in 1819 as the Royal Museum of Paintings and Sculptures and has been open to the public since 1819. The museum is located in central Madrid, near the Atocha train station. It has an extensive collection of over 8,000 works of art, including masterpieces by Spanish and European artists such as Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, Rubens, and Bosch.
Some of the most famous works on display at the Prado include Velázquez’s “Las Meninas,” Goya’s “The Third of May 1808,” and Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights.”
The Retiro Park, also known as the Parque del Buen Retiro, is a historic public park located in the center of Madrid. The park was created in the late 16th century as a private garden for King Philip II and was later opened to the public in the 19th century. Over the centuries, the park was expanded and redesigned, and various structures and monuments were added, including a lake, a glass palace, and a monument to King Alfonso XII.
The park has been an important gathering place for Madrileños for centuries and is considered a symbol of the city’s cultural and historical heritage.
Today, the park is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. It offers a wide range of activities and attractions, including boating on the lake, visiting the many monuments and sculptures, and relaxing in the numerous gardens and picnic areas.
Royal Palace of Madrid
The Royal Palace of Madrid is a historical palace located in the center of Madrid. It is one of the most famous landmarks in the city and a must-visit destination for tourists. It was initially built in the 16th century and has served as the official residence of the Spanish monarchs for centuries. It was also used as a political and administrative center during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The palace is a stunning example of Spanish baroque architecture and is renowned for its ornate facades, elaborate gardens, and grand halls. Inside the palace, you can see an extensive collection of art, furniture, and decor, including works by famous artists such as Velázquez, Caravaggio, and Goya. It is possible to visit the Royal Palace on guided tours daily (with a few exceptions).
Mercado San Miguel
Mercado San Miguel is a historic food market located near Plaza Mayor. It was established in 1916 and has been a popular destination for locals and tourists alike for over a century. This is a perfect place for a selection of Spanish tapas and culinary specialties, including fresh seafood, cured meats, cheeses, and more. In addition to its food stalls, Mercado San Miguel also offers a range of shops selling artisanal products, such as olive oils, wines, and souvenirs. The market is open daily, with a few exceptions.
Whether you’re a foodie, a shopper, or just looking for a unique cultural experience, a visit to Mercado San Miguel is a must-do during your time in Madrid. It provides a delicious taste of Spanish cuisine and a lively glimpse into the local way of life.
Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol is a historic square in Madrid. It is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and serves as an important gathering place for locals and tourists. The square is famous for its clock tower, a popular gathering place for New Year’s Eve celebrations, and its statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree, which is the symbol of Madrid.
You will find several stores and restaurants at the square, and it is a perfect starting point for an exploration day in Madrid. Puerta del Sol is also an important transportation hub, with several metro stations and bus lines in or near the square.
Whether you’re looking for a place to relax and people-watch, a hub for transportation and shopping, or a venue for cultural and historical exploration, Puerta del Sol is a must-visit destination in Madrid.
Templo de Debod
Templo de Debod is an ancient Egyptian temple. It was originally built in the 2nd century BC in Upper Egypt. It was gifted to Spain by the Egyptian government in 1968 as a token of gratitude for Spain’s assistance in saving important ancient monuments during the construction of the Aswan Dam. It is a stunning example of ancient Egyptian architecture with elaborate carvings, hieroglyphics, and towering columns.
The temple is considered one of the most important examples of ancient Egyptian architecture outside of Egypt and provides a unique glimpse into the history and culture of ancient Egypt.
One of the great things about Templo de Debod is that it is open to the public daily, and free admission! As a result, this is a place you must visit in Madrid.
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is the most famous football stadium n Madrid. It opened in 1947 and is the home of one of the world’s most famous football clubs, Real Madrid. It has a seating capacity of over 80,000 spectators, making it one of the largest stadiums in Europe.
If you want to explore the stadium, you can buy tickets for a Real Madrid match or attend a guided tour which allows visitors to explore the facilities, including the changing rooms, press room, and pitch, as well as see the trophy room and museum.
Whether you’re a football fan, a sports enthusiast, or just looking for a unique cultural experience, a visit to the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is a must-do during your time in Madrid.
Madrid is known for its shopping scene, offering a wide range of options for visitors to choose from. . Some of the most popular shopping areas in Madrid include Gran Via, the Salamanca neighborhood, and the El Rastro flea market. Would you rather buy some high-end fashion, Salamanca is the place to go, with its designer boutiques, luxury stores, and high-end shops. For unique local crafts and souvenirs, head to the El Rastro flea market, where you’ll find everything from handmade jewelry and ceramics to vintage clothing and antiques.
If you’re interested in experiencing a traditional Spanish market, check out the San Miguel Market (mentioned earlier in this article), a historic market specializing in local food and drink.
Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion, unique local crafts, or a fun shopping experience, Madrid has something to offer everyone. With its wide range of options and popular shopping areas, it’s the perfect place to find what you’re looking for and bring a little bit of Spain home.
Tapas are small, flavorful dishes that are served as appetizers in Spain. It can come in various styles and flavors, from savory to sweet, hot to cold, and simple to elaborate.
In Madrid, tapas are a staple of the local cuisine and can be found in most bars and restaurants. They are typically served in small portions and can be ordered individually or in combination with other dishes to create a full meal. Some of the most popular tapas dishes in Madrid include patatas bravas (spicy fried potatoes), tortilla española (Spanish omelet), and croquetas (fried balls filled with cheese or ham).
In Spain, tapas are more than just a way to sample the local cuisine, they are an integral part of the social and cultural scene. Going out for tapas is a popular pastime, and locals often spend evenings hopping from bar to bar, trying different tapas, and socializing with friends.
Spain will play their first match in the Euro 2020 qualifying stage against Norway on March 23rd. But, where will they play the matches? Will they play at the Real Madrid venue, or the Atletico Madrid venue? Or maybe at Nou Camp in Barcelona? The answer is no to those mentioned stadiums.
Spain is having one of the best national teams in the world when it comes to football. But, in the recent years they haven’t really succeeded in the big tournaments, and that is why it is important to show their fans and people of all nations that they are able to play samba-football again. But, it will not be an easy ride for them, because in their group they will play against Sweden, Romania, Norway, Faroe Islands and Malta. All these nations are capable of giving the Spanish players a hard match, and maybe especially Sweden, Romania and Norway.
Where will the “home-matches” be played?
When Spain will play at home in front of the local audience, the matches will be played at Mestalla Stadium in Valencia. This is the home field of the team Valencia, and it is quite a distance from Madrid. It is possible to do a day-trip to Valencia to watch a match, but I would probably spend the night in Valencia afterward, and then return back to Madrid on the next day.
Mestalla Stadium has capacity for more than 50,000 spectators, and hopefully, it will be packed with people cheering for the Spanish team, starting with their match against Norway on March 23rd.
But, the first match is also crucial if they want to win back the favor of the home crowd. If they get a draw, or even lose against Norway, then it will be considered a catastrophe in Spain. Now, Spain are clear favorites to win before the match, but with Lars Lagerback as the Norwegian coach, it is hard to consider the nation an easy opponent. Lars Lagerback managed to make Iceland an almost unbeatable nation in football while he was coach there, and after Norway won their group in the Nations League in 2018, they might look into a brighter future with the Swede as their coach. But, are they good enough to cause trouble for Spain?
Sweden is another tough opponent, and we all saw what the Swedes were capable of during the World Cup in 2018. Andreas Granqvist, the defender looking like a true viking, might be one of the biggest profiles on the team, together with the Manchester United player Victor Lindelof. But, one should not forget about Emil Forsberg, Marcus Berg, John Guidetti, and several other quality players on the Swedish team.
The easiest way to travel from Madrid to Valencia is by train. At www.renfe.es you will find a chance to search for trains and to purchase your ticket right away. The trains in Spain are looking really nice, and they are quite classy!
And, to make things better, to travel from Madrid to Valencia with a train will not take you more than 2 hours. In fact, the actual travel time with most trains are around 1 hour and 50 minutes, with some trains going even faster and finishing the ride in 1 hour and 40 minutes.
The price for such a train ticket will depend very much on how early you decide to buy the ticket, but two days before the match between Spain and Norway, the cheapest train tickets will cost around 35 Euro for one way. That isn’t bad, is it?
This ride will take you to the station Valencia Joaquin Sorolla, and from there the distance to the actual stadium is 3km. If you decide to make this distance on foot, you should prepare for a walk lasting 30-40 minutes. There are also local buses in Valencia that will take you directly from the train station towards the stadium, so there are lots of ways to get easily from the train station to the stadium if that is of your interest.
But, if you first get to Valencia, why not arrive early and spend the day in the city discovering its attractions, sights and whatever the city has to offer?
The Prado Museum is one of the leading art museums in the entire world. They host some of the most famous paintings, and it is one of the museums you just have to visit if you ever get to Madrid.
From September 21st till January 13th (2019), they will host a very interesting exhibition named the Twelve Photographers. This is a temporary exhibition, meaning that you will have to pay to enter, even if you should visit the museum during a “free period.” But, the exhibition is well worth the money. What is the exhibition really about?
12 modern photographers have made some exceptional works, based on what they have seen, experienced and felt inside the Prado Museum. The photos are therefore inspired by the actual works you can see inside the museum, but with a brand new touch of the modern man.
This is just a magnificent piece of art, isn’t it? – Source
Look at the picture above! This has got to be a great exhibition.
The picture above is an example of what you can see if you decide to check out this temporary exhibition in the Prado Museum in Madrid. The coolest is, of course, if you can see where the actual photographer has been inspired to create parts of the different photographers (meaning you recognize other paintings or parts of the museum in the paintings). But, if you are a layman when it comes to art, then these photos are so amazing, that you will enjoy them even if you have no clue about the surroundings that inspired the photos in the Prado museum.
Have you been inspired to pay Madrid a visit? The exhibition will open on September 21st and remain available until January 13th in 2019.
I have heard that it is free to visit the Prado museum on Thursday evenings. Is that so? Can you please give me information on when I can get free entrance to the museum?
The Prado museum in Madrid is one of the most famous art museums in the world. It has a fantastic permanent exhibition, and some very interesting temporary exhibitions at all times. That makes the Prado museum one of your “have-to-visit” places during your stay in Madrid. But, if you find the 15 Euro entrance fee to be a lot, then it might sound better to visit the museum for free. But, when can you visit the Prado museum for free?
Let us just warn you that during the free hours at the museum it is quite packed. You will, in other words, be disturbed by large crowds, meaning that if you dream of studying a masterpiece in quietness and piece, then you should pay the entrance fee and visit the museum during the daytime instead. The entrance fee is normally 15 Euro which will give you access to both the permanent and the temporary exhibitions.
When is the Prado museum open?
The Prado museum is open from 10.00 till 20.00 from Monday till Saturday, and from 10.00 till 19.00 on Sundays and other special days. The museum is closed on January 1st, May 1st and on December 25th. It has shortened opening times on January 6th, December 24th and December 31st (10.00-14.00).
When is the Prado museum free to enter?
If you want to visit the Prado museum without paying you will have to visit the Prado museum in the following timeframe:
Monday – Saturday: From 18.00 to 20.00
Sundays: Fram 17.00 to 19.00
We hope you will have a delightful stay at the Prado museum. For more information about the museum and temporary exhibitions, check this article.
Rubens is the most important artist in Europe when it comes to oil sketches. Few other artists have left behind oil sketches, while Rubens has left behind more than 450 pieces.
In this interesting exhibition, which is a cooperation between the Prado Museum in Madrid and the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, you will be able to 82 oil sketches and around 20 drawings made by the hand of Rubens. The paintings are there to help bring the context to the oil sketches and will make this a fantastic exhibition.
The exhibition will have its premiere on April 10th in the Prado Museum and will be on display until August 5th. After that, the exhibition will be moved to Rotterdam and it will be on display in the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum.
The price for this exhibition, which will also give you access to the permanent exhibition in the Prado Museum is 15 Euro for an adult.
Would you like to know more about Madrid and what the city has to offer, look around in our Madrid Guide!
Metallica will start their 2018 tour in Lisbon on February 1st, and it will continue in Madrid with concerts on February 3rd and February 5th. Would you like to be there at one of these?
Metallia will tour large parts of Europe in 2018, but not all cities are so lucky that they will have two concerts. The first concert in Madrid, on February 3rd (Saturday) will start at 19.00 in the WiCink Center. The Sunday will be a day to relax and maybe watch some Spanish football, before Metallica once again enters the stage in the same venue on February 5th (Monday). Would you like to be there at one of these concerts (or maybe both)? You can buy tickets for the concerts using the ticket link beneath. Once you visit the website do a search for Metallica, and you will find available tickets for all their concerts across Europe in 2018.
Would you rather watch a football match or do something else while in Madrid? You can read more about other activities, programs and activities in Madrid here in our Madrid Guide. If you would rather listen to Metallica in Lisbon, jump on a flight to Lisbon, enjoy our airport transfer service, and listen to the rock-band on February 1st in the MEO Arena instead.
Would you like to end the week with a boom? Come to Shakira’s concert in Madrid on November 19th, and finish your week with style.
November 19th is, as you might understand, a Sunday. That makes this a perfect way to end the week and a brilliant way to start the new week tired, but high in spirit, after totally enjoying a Shakira concert the evening before. The Shakira concert in Madrid will start at 20.15, and it will be arranged in the Palacio de Deportes venue, a very popular concert venue in the Spanish capital.
Shakira seems to enjoy Spain a lot, because not only will she perform in Madrid, but she will also perform in Bilbao, Coruna and Barcelona. That is probably the nation she will spend the most time in during her Europe tour in 2017, and there are lots of nations in Europe that will not be visited at all. After the concert in Madrid, Shakira will travel to Lisbon, before she returns to Coruna, and then to Barcelona.
Would you like to be there at one, or more, of the Shakira concert in Spain in 2017? You can buy tickets for all the events using the ticket link beneath.
On August 20th the new season of LaLiga football will start in Spain. Already on the first match day, you can come to Madrid to watch fantastic football.
We all know and love both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. If you come to Madrid on August 20th, you will, however, not be able to watch Real Madrid play. On that day they will play against Deportivo la Coruna in La Coruna.
The other big team in Madrid, Atletico Madrid, will not play in Madrid either. They will start the new LaLiga season in against Girona.
So, how can you watch LaLiga action in Madrid, already on the first day of football? The answer is a great football pub. And do not forget, those are much cheaper than tickets for Bernabeu and Camp Nou.
One week later, on August 27th, Real Madrid will have their first home match of the season. They will then play against Valencia, and hopefully, they will get a fantastic start on their season based on these first two matches.
Will Mbappe play for Real Madrid?
One of the big questions at the moment is whether or not Mbappe will play for Real Madrid in the upcoming season or not. The rumors have it, that he will leave Monaco to play for Real Madrid the upcoming season, but no official news has been given yet. The Royal team will probably do good without Mbappe as well, but if they manage to get the 18-year-old superstar to their team, then that will for sure strengthen their position in European football.
Would you like to watch Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid?
You can read more about the clubs here in our Madrid Guide. There you will also find information on how to buy tickets for the different Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid matches.
Do not forget to check out the beautiful attractions of Madrid while in town, especially if you come on August 20th and suddenly discover that neither Atletico Madrid nor Real Madrid will be in town on that given day.