Madrid: Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Gran Via & Botin

And here I am back, with more about my trip to Madrid. In this post, I’ll tell you all about our first day in Spain’s capital.

After having checked in in our hotel, we were on the road around 1pm, and our first stop was of course; lunch. As we had no idea yet where to eat, we just set out in the direction of Plaza Mayor which we had planned to sightsee first. Along the way, we passed a little restaurant called “La Potente“, which immediately caught our attention. It’s situated on the intersection of Calle de la Cava Baja and Calle del Humiladero. We all got ourselves a toast with toppings, to get in the tapas atmosphere. It was delicious.

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With our bellies filled, we walked to Plaza Mayor. Unfortunately the entire square seemed to be under construction. The buildings were being restored and in the middle they were setting up what looked like a christmas market. Hence we didn’t spend a lot of time there.

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A bit disappointed, we headed for Puerta del Sol, and the sight there immediately made us happy again. I think this square must be one of my favorite places in Madrid. It’s really beautiful. On the square, you have the”point zero” of Madrid, Tio Pepe and – of course – the symbol of Madrid: The Bear and the Tree. There are also many brand stores, such as the Apple Store (which made me happy) and Sephora (which made my friends happy).

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While we were in the neighborhood, we quickly passed by the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, which is -shocker- a monestry. Unfortunately, every tour for the rest of the day was fully booked. We opted to go back the day after, hoping that we’d get in then.

We then proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon on Gran Via and in the neighbouring shopping streets. It’s a really architecturally beautiful shopping street. So while you’re there, take some time to look up to the beautiful buildings surrounding you. Some are really magnificent.

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For dinner, we had made reservations in the world’s oldest restaurant; Botin. If you want to have dinner there, you definitely have to make a reservation, as the restaurant is always fully booked. We used this website to make our reservations. It was really easy.

The food wasn’t typical of Spain, but it was really good. And the desserts were to die for (look at my chocolate cheese cake!). Definitly recommend it. And it’s also one of the few places in all Madrid where they speak English. (Because yes, Spanish people tend to only speak Spanish as it seems. Really frustrating!)

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So yeah, our first day in Madrid was a definite success.

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

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