Madrid: the ultimate Autumn getaway
With scorching summer temperatures returning to humane levels, autumn is an ideal time to travel to Madrid. This southern European capital enthrals all who visit with its big green spaces, regal palaces, and winding streets, making Madrid the perfect autumn getaway.
Madrid’s natural beauty
The city is host to a number of natural oases, of which the 1.4km2‘Retiro’ is the jewel on the crown. Historically the exclusive reserve of the royal family, the park now offers locals and holiday makers alike the ideal place to unwind and relax amongst more than 15,000 trees. In autumn ‘El Parque del Buen Retiro’ (its full name) reveals a must-see pallet of green, orange and yellow colour, which can be enjoyed from a gentle boat ride in the park lake. Oh, and chances are that despite being autumn the gardens can be enjoyed in the comfort of a t-shirt, with Madrid’s autumn temperatures averaging between 12-20 degrees.
Fancy staying close to el Retiro? Take a look a the Petit Palace Lealtad Plaza hotel
Away from the natural beauty of El Retiro, Madrid offers plenty of manmade delights. A mixed but nevertheless imposing architectural mix will leave travellers in no doubt as to the city’s role in the country’s history. As the world’s first global colonial power, Spanish Monarchs across the ages have been eager to showcase their power and riches, and as such have indulged in lavish architectural projects. The unmissables are: the Palacio Real and the adjacent cathedral Santa María la Real de La Almudena, the Teatro Real, La Plaza Mayor, La Plaza de Cibeles, La Puerta del Sol, and La Puerta de Alcala. A hop-on-hop-off bus ride is the easiest way to tick these (and many other) sites off – although there are plenty of easy bicycle rental options for an eco-friendlier tour … and walking shouldn’t be written off either, especially in an autumn getaway.
The plush exteriors of Madrid’s buildings are but signposts for the gems found within. The globally renown Museo del Prado, which this year celebrates its bicentenary, is par excellence. Holding thousands of artistic works, from Velasquez to Rembrandt, to Caravaggio, van Dyck, Raphael, Rubens, Goya, and countless more, el Prado leaves all who enter in a state of awe, and must absolutely be paid a visit.
*top-tip: pre-book your entrance tickets online to avoid unnecessary queuing*.
Food in Madrid: give your taste buds a treat
Hungry for some authentic ‘tapeo’? Well, unsurprisingly Madrid, as the tapas capital of the world, will not disappoint. Much the opposite, Madrid makes dinning in true Spanish style exciting, enjoyable, and effortless. In fact, one needn’t venture beyond Calle Cava Baja, whose exuberant assortment of tapas eateries and bars are encased within brightly coloured building facades, making ‘el tapeo’, a multisensory experience.
Staying on tapas, the ironclad Mercado San Miguel, just next to Plaza Mayor is well worth a visit.
CHECK OUT NUSTAY’S HOTEL DEALS IN MADRID
Words: Jeremy Sacramento