Q: What can you see in Madrid in a day?
A: A lot!
With so much to do and so much to see in Madrid, how was I ever going to choose what with my one full day in Madrid? First thing first, you go for chocolate con churros in one of Madrid’s well known Chocolaterias, San Gines. This was purely to help keep my strength up for the day ahead, you understand. The amount of hot chocolate and plates of freshly made churros stacked up on the waiters’ trays as they dashed around to keep up with the demand was unbelievable. It was definitely worth the short wait in the queue, to get in.
After the churros I was ready for anything and eager to see more of Madrid. So I decided that the only way I was possibly going to get to see everything was to get a ticket for the Madrid City Tour bus for the day. This was definitely one of my better ideas as I quickly boarded the next open top bus that came along, sitting on the top of the bus in the sunshine. I had gone from pedestrian to a sunbathing tourist on the move in the space of about 5 – 10 minutes – it was glorious.
I joined the route at the Puerta del Sol and admired the architecture of the city listening to the commentary (in Spanish no less). It was great to hear the snippets of history and information of the city as we went past and I learnt a lot as I went round route 1 of the tour. There are so many stops that you can get off at and I was tempted most of the time, but with more to see, I resisted. One of the stops was the Museo Nacional del Prado, where I did decide to get off and visit. Many people know of the Prado and ask about it, but to be honest I have always slightly confused the name with Prada and had visions of a museum filled with handbags. I was way off, instead of handbags I was presented with a grand collection of European art from the 12th – 20th century – Oops!
Soon I was back on the bus listening to more about the city, buildings and history until I came across an Egyptian temple built in central Madrid, El Templo de Debod. Sadly there was no time for me to queue to get in so I carried on towards the Catedral de la Almudena, a magnificent building next to the Palacio Royal.
It was then time to change to route number 2 to see other parts of the city missed by the first route. On this tour I got to see sights such as the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu and some other interesting museums. Sadly I did not have time to get off at every stop and visit everything on offer but I now have a very long list (no longer a mental list because it got too much to remember) of places I want to go back to.
Without a doubt a hop on hop off bus tour is a great way to see a city and get around. Just remember to take plenty of water and suntan lotion/hat in hot weather!