My husband and I have had the opportunity to visit Madrid, Spain many times in the past. Recently, we had the opportunity to visit this city on a Sunday. Usually, our past visits were only on weekdays. The day we were there, the weather was beautiful. The temperature was in the seventies and the sky was perfectly clear. The city was bustling and it seemed like pre-pandemic times.
We usually stay at the Marriott at the Madrid Airport, and we did this time as well. This particular Marriott Hotel is the largest Marriott in Europe. It has an indoor/outdoor pool and a massive buffet breakfast. In past stays, we would take taxis and Ubers downtown. This time we decided to test the mass transit system from the hotel. The bus to the subway is very efficient, along with the Metro itself. The Metro makes a stop at the famous Puerto Del Sol, which is in the center of the city. Everyone on the buses and subways was wearing masks. In addition, it is possible to walk from the Puerto del Sol Station to the many highlights of the city.
The Mercado San Miguel is very worthwhile to see. It has various Spanish specialties, including a wide selection of wines, beers, tapas, cheeses, meats, fruits, and vegetables, all beautifully presented. On Sunday, it was very crowded. Near Puerto del Sol there is the equally famous Plaza Mayor. All these locations have excellent outdoor cafes and great atmospheres.
Since this was an excellent weather day, we walked to the Parque del Buen Retiro. This park is very similar to Central Park in New York. There is beautiful foliage, historic statues, and a lake where there are rowboat rentals. There are many outdoor cafes that offer food and beverages. The Museo del Prado is very close to this park. It is worthwhile visiting, and we have visited it a number of times on our past trips.
Another worthwhile place to visit for fashion enthusiasts is the Desigual Department Store. This is the flagship store and the fashion there is very unique and different.
There are several noteworthy day trips via the train from Madrid. Segovia is only 28 minutes via high-speed train and is a beautiful city to visit. Toledo, a beautiful medieval city, may also be visited via a high-speed train and the travel time is 30 minutes. Toledo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. San Lorenzo De El Escorial is another very worthwhile day trip and is about one hour by train. This city features the Real Monasterio De San Lorenzo De El Escorial and it is a highlight of this village.
Once again, we had to comply with the Covid testing requirement to travel back to the United States. After we checked into the hotel, we proceeded with our CDC-authorized Zoom tests. With our negative tests in hand, we had a wonderful day in Madrid. Since we took this trip, negative Covid tests are no longer required in order to return to the USA, but a landing card for Spain may still be required for entry into Spain. Please remember that health requirements are changing every day.