A Travellerspoint blog

Flight over to Madrid

Prado museum and Mercado de San Miguel

We booked an early flight out of Porto to head to Madrid via plane. We regretted this decision because it meant a 3am wake up time but it was necessary for logistics and money purposes. We were able to schedule an Uber that came promptly at the scheduled time. The airport recommends 3 hours prior to your flight but I think we could’ve gotten away with 1.5 hours as the line to check in wasn’t too long and neither was security given it was an inter-Europe trip. They also don’t post your gate until about 1 hour prior to departure but make sure you get close to the gate because they move fast and we didn’t even notice our gate had switched to our flight.

We flew Ryanair for convenience sake and paid extra to have a guaranteed check bag. This was still one of the cheapest options and you definitely can tell when you are on the plane. It feels much dirtier and less comfortable than other airlines. We were able to check our rolling luggage and walked onto the plane with our large backpacks without issue.

We landed in Madrid and had no issues grabbing our bags and did not even need passport control given our origin country was Portugal. We hopped on to the metro which is ~7.50 euros just to go to city center and only 8.50 euros for a whole day pass (this is what we bought). It was easy to take the airport metro to the line we needed for our airbnb and finally made it to Salamanca to check in early. Walking around Salamanca and the metro, you could immediately tell how much bigger and metropolitan Madrid was than where we went in Portugal. The sidewalks are larger and wider and so were the streets.

We popped some laundry into the washer and headed to Mercado de La Paz, as it was a 5 min walk away. There we opted to buy meat, cheese, and some bread for a quick charcuterie board and stopped at the grocery store below our airbnb for a nice red wine and a 0.75 Euro wine (that I just had to try out of principle and was gross…lol). We bought entirely way too much food because unlike the mercado in Porto, the merchants didn’t really help us with showing us how much 100g or whatever amount is, so we ordered like 100g of each 3 different meats and like 1 lb of 2 cheeses. It was all delicious and my favorite slice was definitely the lomo but I think the ibérico jamon was tastier at Bolhao market in Porto.
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After lunch, we headed to explore the Prado Museum. We had no problem buying tickets there but given how quickly we were able to walk through the museum we probably should’ve waited until 6p since entry fee is free for the last 2 hours of operation. We finished in about 2 hours, admiring the Goya, Velasquez, Rembrandt paintings. (Pro tip: don’t try to take a picture in here because it is apparently not allowed…)
Puerta De Alcalá
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Outside Prado museum
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Afterwards, we went to Vicens, a Spanish chocolate shop with many locations, and tried their hot chocolate (DO NOT get this) and this chocolate sold by grams (we had pistachio and salt and IT WAS DELICIOUS).
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After resting our feet for a bit, we decided to go seeking for food and landed at Mercado de San Miguel. This market was probably my most favorite market of the trip. My aunt had said everything here is good and she was not wrong. The hard part is fighting off strangers for a free table. I held down a table while Nick went to forage for food. We had a plethora of things including fresh uni, barnacle clams (which are so good and worth trying), razor clams, oysters from Normandy, France, an olive/anchovy tapa, a mixed plate of fried seafood (only get the octopus and the anchovy here). We also had an aperol spritz and a Campari to wash it all down. I HIGHLY recommend the oysters at Daniel Sorlut because they were super tasty with some briney taste and a sweet after taste. The uni was also super fresh and buttery and didn’t cost that much for 5 small ones.
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We then walked next door to Plaza Mayor and found a random restaurant to drink some sangria and a delicious pina colada so that we could people watch and enjoy the nightlife. After the drinks, we decided to try the McDonald’s chicken wings and Mcshaker fries prior to slumbering. The wings were yummy but I think I like my fries better plain (it was like a ranch Parmesan powder that you shake onto your fries.)
Plaza Mayor
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McChicken Wings (Alites)
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Mcshaker Fries
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Posted by E.M.N 22:13 Archived in Spain Tagged museum san prado madrid de plaza mercado miguel mayor

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