A love letter to Madrid
As part of our My City, My Story we’ve asked our cosmopolitan hosts to pen what they adore most about their cities, in a charming love letter. Madrid-based Miriam continues the series, with this endearing homage to Spain's capital...
Although I was not born in Madrid, I have lived here for 12 years. If I had to describe Madrid in a few words, I would say it is a lively, sunny and cosmopolitan city full of opportunities! My apartment is located in the traditional neighborhood of Chamberí, next to Canal, a large park, where I go to escape from the bustle of the city! During summer, my friends and I head there for picnics, and spend the afternoon sitting in the shadows soaking up the breeze! It’s also a great time to take pictures for my blog, or go for a run!
I must admit, my favourite place to visit is the Retiro Park. I usually buy some takeaway food (salads or sandwiches) at a nearby restaurant, and eat near the lake. My favourite part of the park? The crystal palace. It’s a building that’s more than a century old and, as its name suggests, it’s walls are made of glass! Combined with the trees behind and the lake in front, it’s like a dream.
I often visit Malasaña for it’s diversity, it’s narrow cobblestone streets and the dozens of restuarants and shops. There you can buy cool things like antique furniture, art and clothes! It’s an artistic and multicultural neighbourhood – truly a city that never sleeps! Not far from Malasaña is the Fine Arts and Exhibition Centre, which has a terrace with spectacular views on the rooftop.
On Sundays I like to head to La Latina, another neighborhood in the city center. It’s famous for its tapas, with a youthful, relaxed and open atmosphere. For shopping there are two great areas – the famous Gran Via street, running through the centre of the city. In addition to the busy shops, there are incredible houses, numerous theatres and cinemas, making it a really magical street. The other area is that of the exclusive neighbourhoood, Salamanca, where you can find famous boutiques. It has a myriad of chic and trendy restaurants serving up delicious food at places such as ‘Quintin’ and ‘El Paraquas’. Oh and the famous alley Jorge is ideal for a drink.
Last but not least, I have to mention the museums within Madrid. The city has wonderful exhibitions; the Thyssen museum, the Reina Sofia and the Prado.
Madrid is filled with art and with life. It’s synonymous with sleepless nights, summer parties in downtown hotels, walks in the sunset at Debot Temple, breakfast at the PIaza Santa Ana, and hot chocolate in San Ginés. Madrid is my city and I’m very lucky to live here.