After an adventurous layover in Amsterdam, we were on our way to Madrid! We landed at Madrid Barajas Airport. We found the Metro to be relatively inexpensive and took the Metro de Madrid to Chueca. For directions, the information desk is at the bottom of the stairs when entering the Metro. If you prefer to get there on your own, download the mapway Madrid app for real-time directions on your smartphone. This was our go-to transportation guide during the trip. Thanks to T-Mobile, when I am overseas I always have service.
Directions: The 8 Line to Nuevos Ministerios. Transfer to the 10 Line to Alonso Martinez. Lastly, transfer to the 5 Line to Chueca.
When you exit the station into Plaza de Chueca. The streets are lined with tables that are in front of the many restaurants and bars in the area. Walking through the neighborhood gave us our first welcome to Madrid moment. It was colorful, exciting and filled with so much life.
Our first stop was to pick up the keys for the Airbnb. The loft was in a great neighborhood, close to transit and a really interesting nightlife.
At 11 pm in New York, small restaurants are closing their kitchen but in Madrid, that’s actually when most people come out to eat. Our first bit of Spanish cuisine came from Le Coco Resto Bar. They started us off with some of the warmest bread ever with butter in a basket centerpiece which was a new one for me. We had the “pizza fina de setas y trufa” which is pizza with mushrooms and truffles and a glass of house wine (this would become a theme). The food is so good you would want to try the entire menu.
After dinner, we had no plans and nowhere to go, so we followed the people. No matter the time, the streets of Madrid always feel alive. We made our way to Puerta De Sol, one of the busiest squares in Madrid. We caught a few live performances. From there we walked to Club Dream. There will be guys promoting the club on the streets, that’s a good way to get into the club quicker and at a better price than walking directly to the door. (I’ve always wondered what is their commission on sales, can anyone answer this?) Next was the Moondance club (best club in Madrid) We partied until the lights went on at 6 am and then enjoyed a relaxing walk home.
Breakfast was at the “Mercado de San Miguel” (San Miguel Market) From the loft it was a 20-minute walk. The market was unreal. All of the best Spanish dishes, foods, drinks, snacks, cakes, and delicacies all in one place. Now a crab burger and sangria is not my idea of breakfast but there's a first time for everything. Next was tapas and wine.
Plaza Mayor was an impressive sight. Here you can shop, relax and take pictures with traditional Spanish clothing. Here we picked up souvenirs and just took in Spanish culture at its best. The next stop was Retiro Park. It was a good walk, we stopped in the Cortes District to get a few bottles of water to absorb the heat before finally making it to the park. After walking around the park and capturing its vast array of flowers and waterfalls, we rented a boat and rowed around the lake. (cost €7.50 each for 45 mins). What a workout! I must say after that exercise, we sat in the park and relaxed. Then we took the train from Retiro to Chueca (€1.50each).
At Chueca, we did a little shopping and tried the tapas at the San Anton Market. We had dinner at the “Restaurante Libertad 26”. They hands-down served the best paella I ever had. The restaurant also has a €29.99 deal - Paella for two with a bottle of the house wine. After dinner, we painted the town red! Tonight the clubs were Joy and a second appearance at Moondance. As usual, after clubbing all night, we had the urge to eat, in which I took the opportunity to try a Frankfurt (Hotdog pizza). Then we sat in Puerta De Sol and ate the pizza before returning home.