Football lovers often hear the name Madrid. Many may also think that football has introduced Madrid to the people of the country and abroad. But apart from football, the city of Madrid is steeped in history, tradition, and a touch of nobility, which have been introducing Madrid for ages to the world’s people. Just looking at the map of Spain shows how geographically advanced Madrid is. Madrid geographically is located in the middle of Spain, and Madrid’s communication system made Madrid necessary geographically. According to its geographical location, it has been used as the capital of Spain for a long time. This province of Spain has been granted the status of a semi-autonomous region. Madrid is the most populated city in Spain. But not only in Spain but in terms of population, the position of Madrid is after central London and Berlin in the European Union countries. The Manzanares River flows to the west and south of the city, and the pine-clad mountain range of Guadarrama surrounds it to the north. In this part, I will try to present my experience of traveling to Madrid.
I had planned almost the entire trip to Europe over a month before on the Internet. In this plan, almost everything, including plane tickets, train tickets, and hotel fares, was pre-paid online through my credit card. So I left for Madrid with a kind of unfinished feeling from Barcelona. It took over two and a half hours to travel by bullet train for about 600 km. Just as Italy is a verdant natural paradise, Spain is the opposite, where the train from Barcelona to Madrid is a vast expanse of rocky terrain—most of the hilly areas. A lot of cattle farms can be seen here. Farms are made up of extensive areas with provisions for cattle to walk within that area. After a while, the enormous turbines of the wind power plant came into view. Here the Spanish artificially irrigated some areas and cultivated wheat. They also grow grass which is dried and stored as fodder for cattle.
I arrived in Madrid looking through the train window. Then got off the train and left the station straight to the hostel. I usually stay in a dormitory room of any hostel when I tour alone, and the rent is generally between 35-45 dollars. However, for my stay in Madrid, I searched Agoda and booked for a lower fare. Finally checked into the hostel and saw the proverb “Cheap and nasty” in reality. The hostel was about 5 or 6 kilometers away from Madrid city center, the rooms were tiny, and the bed condition was horrible also. Of all the hostels I have stayed in different countries during my travels, this hostel in Madrid was my worst experience. Since it was a matter of two days, what else to do but adapt?
From the mid-sixteenth century, under King Philip II, Madrid was the capital of Spain, the seat of the Cortes of Government, and the official residence of the monarchs. Also, Madrid offers countless places to explore and places to get lost. Madrid is also rich in architecture. Apart from thousands of historic buildings, various cathedrals and houses have a touch of art. From lesser-known architectural feats to unique natural wonders and vast landscapes to rich historical pasts, traveling to Spain is an endless experience for visitors. The soul of Spain lies in its awe-inspiring charm. The extraordinary cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the tapping sounds of flamenco dancers, the vast expanses of sun-kissed Mediterranean beaches, the opulence of the caliphate palaces, and the vibrant street life make Spain a land of passion. It’s fantastic to see past and present blended.
Enchanting landscapes, rich historical heritage, well-preserved natural sights, favorable Mediterranean climate, and exciting nightlife make it a popular tourist destination. In addition, various historical museums and theaters also attract visitors worldwide to visit Madrid. The buildings full of beautiful sculptures and crafts will catch the eye of anyone. Apart from this, the open spaces at a certain distance from the city are kept during various festivals. Another major attraction of Madrid as an open space is Puerto Del Sol, the Gateway to the Sun. This square is also called the heart of Madrid. Madrid has over 40 urban parks, and Buena Retiro is the largest park in Madrid. The most stunning cities in the world have a tremendous artistic and cultural heritage, where the modern business center miraculously combines medieval architecture.
It goes without saying how famous Madrid tourism is. Everywhere you look in Madrid, you will see beautiful buildings. The second-largest city in the European Union is dotted with spectacular monuments, sculptures, and architectural structures. The royal palaces, churches, monasteries, and government buildings here are over four hundred years old. Most of them are hundreds of years old, but the regular maintenance of the Spanish makes them look like they were built a few days ago. As a result, even today, the city is full of traces of old traditions and art.
Moreover, Madrid’s museums are full of artistic artifacts. If you are looking for one of the best art exhibitions in Europe, visit the Prado Museum in Madrid. In addition, unique works of art are preserved in the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid. The head office of the United Nations World Tourism Organization is also in Madrid. Many landmarks, including museums, libraries, gardens, and aesthetic buildings, have given Madrid a wide reputation as a tourist destination.
When talking about the buildings of Madrid, the first item that comes to mind is the Royal Palace of Madrid. About two million tourists visit the Royal Palace of Madrid alone each year. It has been said that your trip to Madrid is in vain if you see Madrid without visiting the Royal Palace. The palace was constructed of precious marble stones, bricks, glass, and iron which traditional horses and modern technology guard. Although open to visitors throughout the year, the castle is decorated differently on official festival days. Some distance away from the central city, this palace, built on 135 thousand square meters of land, was once the residence of the King of Spain. Nowadays, it is used exclusively for receptions and official functions as it is the residence of the monarchs at the Palacio de la Zarzuela. It is surrounded by the Campo del Moro Gardens, dating from the Middle Ages, and the Sabatini Gardens, built in the 20th century. Campo del Moro can also be visited during the day. This palace is a beautiful example of history, tradition, and nobility. This vast palace is the product of the creativity of an Italian designer. This palace is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful palaces in Western Europe.
The Plaza Mayor, a historic gem at the heart of Madrid, is a testament to the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. With its grand architecture and bustling atmosphere, this iconic square has been a focal point of Madrid for over four centuries. Constructed in the early 17th century during the Habsburg period, the Plaza Mayor has served as a marketplace, a venue for royal coronations and bullfights, and a vibrant center for social gatherings. Its symmetrical layout, enclosed by magnificent red-brick buildings adorned with balconies, creates a harmonious and captivating ambiance. The Plaza Mayor symbolizes Madrid’s enduring spirit, blending history, culture, and tradition into a remarkable space. It captures the city’s essence, inviting all who visit to experience the vibrant soul of Madrid in one great square.
The people of Madrid are huge football fans. Two big clubs, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, were established in this city. Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is the home ground of Real Madrid Football Club. It is a very well-known ground in the football world. The field is one of the largest in Europe. Currently, around ninety thousand spectators can enjoy the game simultaneously on this ground, although initially, it could hold about one and a half lakh visitors. The home ground is the heart of the city of Madrid. Millions of people gather around this stadium on the day of a UEFA Champions League or La Liga match.
The hostel I stayed at in Madrid was $25 a day for a seat. Madrid’s metro service is fantastic, being the second largest in the world. A 10-Trip Ticket is available here for 12.20 Euros for metro travel. A single ticket is also available for a single journey for €1.50. However, the price will be 2 euros if the journey crosses five stations. Food prices in Madrid are much lower than in Barcelona. I had rice with beef for 7 euros at a Bengali restaurant, whereas in Barcelona, it cost 15 euros. Entrance fees to various museums range from 6 to 15 euros, depending on age and guide availability. A tour of the entire Royal Palace will cost around 30-35 Euros with separate tickets for each section. However, the general entry fee is 10 euros which is 5 euros for children. Entry is free for kids under five years, disabled and unemployed people.
Some Essential Tips for Madrid Tour:
- If you come to Spain with SIM roaming from Bangladesh, especially Robi-SIM net is unavailable.
- Avoid the cheaper hostels if you want to spend the night peacefully sleeping after a long day of sightseeing.
- Before booking a hostel online or any other way to stay in Madrid, check and understand all the facilities.
- The best time to visit Spain is May, June, and September because these months are warm and dry. There is no rain here during the summer, sometimes leading to wildfires during intense heat.
- Buy single-trip or multiple-trip tickets according to your plans in Madrid, saving you some money on transport costs.
- Always keep some water, fruit, and a sandwich in the bag, which helps keep your food costs down.
- Try to avoid restaurants in tourist areas and always search for local places. Searching in Madrid will turn up some fantastic local restaurants for cheap food.
- Finally, wherever you stay or roam, please do not pollute the environment by littering here and there.