3 Days in Madrid: what to see, where to eat


Back in 2010 I did a semester of ERASMUS in Madrid and I fell completely in love with the city – in my opinion the only thing Madrid is missing is the beach. So in February my mum asked me to go to Madrid with her to renew her passport, so imagine my excitement!

We went for three days at the end of February from Sunday morning till Tuesday evening. We flew from Málaga airport, so it was a short flight of about 1 hour. As I’m quite familiar with Madrid, we didn’t really make any plans about what we wanted to see or do, so we took it very chillaxed.

The Hostel

We arrived at the hostel around 14:00 Sunday afternoon. Nice place right in the center (a sideway to Gran Vía), so it was walking distance to everything. The hostel is based on the 3rd floor of an old building, which is still using a super old elevator – Really charming.

As it was February, we both did fear the cold a bit and especially if it would be cold at the hostel. To our surprise it was really warm in the rooms, which is great when you have been out walking the whole day in 4 degrees 😉

Also we had a private bathroom – luxury or what (considering that it is a hostel) 😉

The staff at the hostel were friendly and recommended places to eat in the area, which we made use of…

What did we eat?


The staff at the hostel recommended to have breakfast at a small place just on the other side of the street – Mu! El Placer de la carne. It’s a small but cosy place and they serve things like toast, croissants, coffee and juice. I think they have a lunch and dinner menu as well, but we only went there for breakfast. It’s definitely a place I would recommend to have breakfast if staying at the hostel, as it’s close, easy, good and fast.

Madrid Mercado de Ildefonso de Madrid


We had lunch different places every day – some places familiar from earlier and some new places as well. I’m not going to include all places, just the places I enjoyed and that I would recommend if you are going to Madrid.

We went to 100 montaditos on Calle Mayor, close to Puerta del Sol. This is a franchise restaurant that is to be found everywhere in Spain. The concept is very easy – you fill out a piece of paper with the mini-sandwiches you want as well as drinks, salads and/or french fries. You pay, get your drinks and give your name. When your name is called your food is ready. Very simple and easy.

The sandwiches are small and cute and all of them (at least the ones I have tried) are really good. One of my favorites is the one with chocolate inside – It’s amazing 🙂

So if you’re in Spain and you need a bit of lunch or something quick to eat – I can highly recommend 100 Montaditos.

On the last day, we went to Mercado de San Ildefonso to have some lunch – OMG! That was the best crepe I have had in Spain – We tried 3 different kinds and all three were amazing! Like seriously AMAZING!

It’s basically built up as a food market filled with street food. They offer things like tapas, sushi and crepes. The building is really cool and rustic as well.


The hostel recommended a mexican restaurant right around the corner of the hostel, so we decided to go there one night to try it out. I’m soo happy we did!

The place is called Takos al pastor and they serve all sorts of tacos and fajitas. We tried several different ones and oh boy were they good – all of them! So if you are in the mood for some Mexican food, I recommend you to try this place – I guarantee you will love it!

Madrid Nice to meet you

What did we see?

As both my mum and I already know Madrid pretty well and we’ve already seen all things, we took the whole sightseeing very chillaxed. We managed to visit most of our favorite places in Madrid thou…

Plaza Mayor

Beautiful plaza, where there is always something happening. The street going from Puerta del Sol up there, is beautiful – Make sure to make a stop at the candy store 😉

Puerta del Sol

Probably the most famous plaza in Spain. It is always filled with people, artists and music.

Parque Retiro

One of my favorite parks in Spain. It is beautiful all year around and it is perfect for bringing a book and spending the day chillaxing.

Palacio de Cristal inside Parque Retiro

One of my favorite parts of El Retiro is the glass palace. It is beautiful both inside and outside. There is always some sort of exhibition or something going on inside, so make sure to go in and have a look.

Gran Via

This is one of the streets that are an absolute MUST to take a walk on, when in Madrid. Here you find shops, restaurants and theatres. And the great thing about Gran Via is that it really gives you the big-city-feel.

Nice to meet you

Nice to meet you is a roof terrace on top of Dear Hotel Madrid. At the end of Gran Via, you find Dear Hotel Madrid, where you take the elevator up to level 14. Here you find the restaurant with terraces al around, which gives you a 360 degree over Madrid – it is absolutely stunning! And better yet, they have a roof top pool, from which you can enjoy the view of Madrid 🙂

Madrid Gran Via

How did we get around?

We got around with the metro – In my opinion it’s the easiest and fastest way to get around in Madrid. At first is might be a bit confusing with all the numbers and colors, but once you get a hang of it, you are probably going to think that it’s pretty smart. I normally just follow the colors. Should you by accident take the metro in the wrong direction, it’s not the end of the world – you just jump off at the next station and take the train going the opposite way.

Madrid is one of my favorite city in Spain – It has soo much to offer from food, culture, architecture, etc. I love that there is always some kind of festival or concert going on in Madrid. The only thing missing in Madrid is the sea – in my opinion.

2 thoughts on “3 Days in Madrid: what to see, where to eat”

  1. Hi, Alicja–
    Enjoyed your blog! I’m especially interested in the sentence at the end: “The only thing missing in Maris is the sea.” This is a quote, right? But from where? I’m a scholar working on an unpublished Hemingway manuscript, and he uses this same sentence — but he implies that he’s quoting someone. I’d just like to know who. Thanks so much for anything you can tell me!

  2. AlicjaKeyz

    Hi Carl,
    Happy you enjoyed it 🙂
    I wasn’t aware that it was a quote – haven’t heard it before…
    I did a quick Google search and didn’t find anything about it, thou I can see that several bloggers agree with me that the thing missing in Madrid is the sea, none of them refer to a quote.
    If you do find the answer to your question, please let me know.
    Good luck in your search and happy Sunday 🙂

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