During a recent 36-hour visit to Madrid, my travel buddy Allie Sheehan and I were surprised by just how balmy the weather was for the end of January. I was dressed in a deeply uncomfortable ensemble: black tights and a thick wool skirt, while Allie, at least, had the sense to go tight-less and in a floaty dress! Although it was a busy work trip, we managed to carve out some time to people-watch on a beautiful cobbled street in Madrid, sipping Fanta Lemon to cool off.
We couldn’t stop soaking up the street style—loose trench coats, loafers, and fisherman jumpers that looked like they came straight from the Arran Islands. However, in the context of being tucked into chic baggy jeans with flat shoes on Spanish women, they took on a chic appearance. This made them look less like Banshees of Inisherin and more like Penelope Cruz on a down day. Unlike us, the Spanish women seemed perfectly comfortable in knitted jumpers, despite what we Irish-blooded girls considered warm weather!
We managed a brief traipse down Gran Vía, but it was just a tease of the beauty and culture Madrid holds. Both of us are huge fans of Barcelona but agree that, with Madrid being just a two-hour flight from Dublin, the capital city will definitely be revisited for a proper weekend soon. On our list for the next visit:
Spain’s top art museum in a neo-classical building constructed in 1785, featuring iconic works like ‘Las Meninas‘ and ‘The Third of May 1808’. The recent expansion includes a controversial cube-shaped building for temporary exhibitions.
Part of Madrid’s Art Triangle, this contemporary art museum has a striking façade with glass and steel lift towers. The 2005 extension added 30,000 sqm, showcasing Picasso’s ‘Guernica’, a powerful piece commemorating the 1937 bombing during the Spanish Civil War.
Madrid’s renowned flea market is held around Plaza Cascorro every Sunday. Over 1,000 vendors offer a diverse range of items. We imagine hitting the market early for a café con leche after shopping, then relaxing with a cold beer and snack in La Latina’s nearby bars.
Ride the Teleférico
The dual cable transport system features 80 cabins, each of which seats six people, and it travels a distance of nearly 2.5km (1.5 miles). If we can brave the vertigo (big if for me!), the Teleférico reaches a maximum height of 40m (131ft) and offers spectacular vistas of the city and the Casa de Campo parkland below.