First thought: These two newlyweds are beyond adorable. Second: Gallivanting around the streets of Madrid soaking up the gorgeous Spanish architecture with Jimena Roquero? Officially, my new dream honeymoon. This post-wedding prettiness intrigued me so, that I just had to steal a few bits of travel recs from Jimena and Lizzie for a mini-guide. Best idea ever.
Where to eat?
There are some restaurants considered a MUST in the city, such as Restaurante Botin where you should try their suckling pig. Also, Casa Lucio a well-known restaurant, where their speciality "Broken Eggs" have been tested by many celebrities. If you are visiting Madrid in the fall or winter, you can try a Cocido Madrileño, in Restaurante L'hardy. For a lighter meal, I recommend Restaurante Triciclo, in the fun and cultural Barrio de las Letras. They offer a gourmet, yet affordable menu and the atmosphere is more informal and hip.
Of course, you should definitely try some "tapas" with cold "cañas" (beer) or wine in the neighborhood La Latina. Walking the Cava Baja Street stopping in the different bars and tabernas trying different and delicious Spanish dishes, such as "calamares a la romana" (fried calamari), Spanish jamón, pimientos de Padrón (sweet and hot green peppers), tortilla de patata (Spanish omelet) etc... A good place to start is Restaurante La Chata but there are more amazing bars and restaurants on that street than you can imagine!
Another special place that's worth a visit is the taberna La Venencia, a genuine sherry house, opened more than 80 years ago. They only serve sherry and a a few small "tapas" at an incredibly low price. Finally, I would suggest to stop by the Mercado de San Miguel, a renovated old food market, now turned into a very popular gourmet tapas spot. The perfect place to get some oysters and seafood with a glass of white wine.
Where to stay?
The Westin Palace, the Ritz Hotel or the Villamagna Hotel are probably the most emblematic places to stay. Also, Me by Melia, a very centric, recently renovated hotel, is a good option, too.
What do to?
Walking around the city is the best way to explore Madrid. It's a very vibrant city with streets full of people from early morning to late at night! Apart from visiting some Museums, maybe a Flamenco show or a soccer game, there are a few areas in the city that I would highly recommend to visit: The Barrio de las Letras or also known as Huertas, is a charming and fun neighborhood to spend an evening. You'll find plenty of bars and cafes, like Matute or Tandem to have a coffee or a cocktail. You'll also find a good amount of small art galleries here if you are looking for a cultural route. La Fábrica gallery is probably one of the most important ones as it also has a nice cafe and an art bookstore.
Malasaña neighborhood is a good option for people looking for a hip and young vibe. Tons of bars and cafes like La Bicicleta, or La Realidad are good to have a drink at night in one of the most popular areas to hang out until late hours.
Prado Museum, Reina Sofia Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Plaza Mayor & Puerta del Sol, Puerta de Alcala, El Retiro Park, Atocha Train Station, Matadero Madrid, Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Círculo de Bellas Artes (you can go up to the roof to see the views of the city for 1€), Mercado de San Miguel, Barrio de La Latina, Barrio de Las Letras, Barrio de Malasaña, Barrio de Chueca.
The flea market "Mercado de Motores" at the Museo del Ferrocarril (an artist flea market held in the Train Museum where you can enjoy and purchase beautiful things from local artists while you see some amazing old train wagons, enjoy some live music and you get some foodies at the backyard). It's only once a month so you'll have to check whether or not it is happening the days of your visit.
Matadero Madrid, a cultural and eclectic space that's worth the visit, even just to know the original renovation of an old slaughterhouse, turned into a huge cultural center that holds a theatre, a library, an art space, a restaurant and many other things.
If you have a car, you can visit some of the oldest cities of Spain, which you'll find only one hour from Madrid: Toledo, Segovia or Avila are charming and interesting destinations worth to spend a day with great gastronomic and cultural offers.
What to wear?
Madrid is fun and vibrant, and maybe not as sophisticated as other European cities but it has great charm and great weather! Unless you're visiting in the deep winter months, you'll be able to wear light clothes and summer outfits, so take advantage of that! Get colored! July and August are VERY hot months, so be prepared for that, but the rest of the year it's a lovely city to enjoy.
From Lizzie, the bride… wear comfy shoes! The main/touristy parts of Madrid are all walkable from one end to the other, but you want to have good shoes to do it! Madrid was the best place to shop and eye all the latest fashion. I had serious window envy walking along Gran Via.
From the beautiful Bride… A lot of people joke with us, “Don’t you have enough pictures of yourselves?” But the truth is, we don’t think you can! During our engagement and wedding, I loved working with different photographers to capture every detail of our special day. So when it came time to plan our honeymoon, I wanted to once again capture the love, happiness and memories of our time spent in Madrid, Spain. To achieve this, we called on a native to Madrid, Jimena Roquero.
Working with Jimena was not only amazing because of her breathtaking work, but we truly felt like we were gallivanting around town with an old friend – who also shared some local recommendations to ensure our honeymoon was perfect. For this shoot, didn’t want an engagement style where it’s all about us. We wanted to look back at these photos and be able to soak in the Spanish architecture and relive the afternoon spent together under the sun.
One of the favorite things we saw was a flamingo dance/dinner show at Cardamomo. We also loved visiting Plaza del Sol (city center), El Rasto (marketplace), and Museo del Prado. We took a lot of these photos in the Plaza Mayor, La Latina and walking along Gran Via. All were so romantic and beautiful! Parque del Retiro is another lovely place for honeymooners to stroll along the gardens and fountains together.