You know a day’s going to be good when it starts out with a free breakfast.
Seriously, nothing gets me out of bed faster than free food, even if it’s simple hostel fare. That’s how my last day in Madrid started: nice and early, with free breakfast. After that, I set out to see some of sights I’d missed the previous day, with no clear goal in mind and a whole bunch of time to kill before my overnight bus to Lisbon.
I eventually stumbled across the Temple of Debod, an Egyptian temple that was built 2,000 years ago but reassembled in Madrid in the 70s. It’s a 15 minute walk from the Royal Palace, and is located on the grounds of Rosaleda del parque del Oeste, or the Rose Garden of Parque del Oeste, which I subsequently explored.
The Rose Garden is calm in the morning, and gorgeous with the spring blooms and garden installments. Entry is also completely free! I know I say this about literally every garden, but it’s a wonderful place to take a stroll.
Lunch was at Mercado San Miguel. If you’ve been reading this mess of a blog for a while, you probably know that I’m obsessed with food markets. If not, well, now you know. San Miguel is a covered market with a wide variety of Spanish fare on display. This paella was especially delicious.
I ended up with some mini empanadas, which were actually pretty mediocre. I’ll stick with the paella next time.
Of course, one of the reasons I’d come to Madrid in the first place was to try Chocolateria San Gines. This place, which is famous for its chocolate con churros, has multiple locations across the city, although the original store is probably the prettiest. Basically, they give you a plateful of churros and a cup of melted dark chocolate and you eat as much as you can. The store’s been up and running since 1894 and is extremely popular amongst both tourists and locals alike I got lucky and didn’t have too much of a problem with lines, but if you go and find that it’s really unbearable, try another location or a different restaurant. Just get some freakin’ churros in your mouth, ok.
Since I still had time to kill, I ended up in Atocha station again to stare at the turtles and contemplate my life. And… That was pretty much it, until I left at around 6 PM to catch that 8 PM bus to Lisbon. Portugal, here I come!
Royal Palace of Madrid: Calle de Bailén, s/n, 28071 Madrid, Spain
Temple of Debod: Calle Ferraz, 1, 28008 Madrid, Spain
Rose Garden of Parque del Oeste: Calle Rosaleda, 2, 28008 Madrid, Spain
San Miguel Market: Plaza de San Miguel, 3, 28005 Madrid, Spain [Paella Y Olé]
Chocolatería San Ginés: Pasadizo de San Gines, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Atocha railway station: Plaza Emperador Carlos V, 28045 Madrid, Spain
What are some of your favorite things to eat in Madrid?