Your bags are packed and ready to go, you have your airport essentials to help you with your flight, and yet you don’t know that much about Madrid, Spain. You tried looking on YouTube and Instagram to help you learn more about this city that never sleeps but unfortunately came up short. Well have no fear, I am here to give a glance at what Madrid is all about, from the rhythm of life, to the PDA and not forgetting the eclectic cuisines that make your taste buds run wild. Madrid is a city that captures the essence of locals’ warm characteristics and its cultural achievements that makes Spain a great country to visit.
Before I came here I wanted to know everything and anything about what makes Madrid, Madrid? Being that this is my first time out of my country and I am currently on an internship here, I really needed to know more about Madrid. Though I could only find a broad amount of information through the internet and word of mouth, being able to come here and experience this city for myself was and still is a life changing experience.
Rhythm of Life
When you first come to Madrid you will experience a different type of feeling. You’re in this new city that has so much to offer and so many things to see. And the first thing you will notice around here is the rhythm of life. Spaniards typically live a slower paced life than us Americans do. The breakfast is quite light which consists of coffee or expresso and delicious pastries. At mid-morning around 11am, locals here like to take “coffee breaks” to help them get a boost of energy until lunch. Lunch is very important here, Spaniards generally eat between the hours of 2pm-4pm and during the hours of 2pm-5pm small businesses will close for workers to eat lunch. Some can even go home and take a nap, or siesta, afterward. Monica Rodriguez, a first-time traveler, stated that “I honestly wish America would have siesta because it would cause Americans to not be as stressed over work and other parts of their lives.” Dinner is eaten between 9pm-11pm and is usually lighter than lunch and it is not as important as it would be in the U.S.
In my first week of staying in Madrid, I noticed quite a lot about the locals in this city when it comes to intimate relationships. To be blunt, I was practically floored by the amount of PDA this city exudes. When you are exploring this city, you will see numerous people showing much affection towards their significant others from the young teenagers to the elderly. For example, I was waiting in line to go to a rooftop outing with my friends and there was this cute couple that was showing so much affection towards each other, it was like no one was watching them, as if they were the only two in the world. I saw another couple in the Fuencarral area standing almost in the middle, embracing each other, showing how much they loved each other. It made me smile and think, Madrid will definitely show you what love should look like.
Spain offers a wide range of powerful native dishes and there are numerous Spanish signature foods that you can find throughout this city which include: tortilla española (potato omelette), paella (a rice dish), various cheeses, chorizo and morcilla (pork sausages), and churros (string donut). For being on my first time overseas, tasting these new foods definitely made my heart melt, being able to experience how churros melt in your mouth, or how the tortilla española tastes like hash browns but creamier. You can also find food at least in Madrid, the capital, from around the world, such as from Thailand, Italy, the United States, and many more places. There are also some amazing restaurants and bars here in Madrid that I was able to sit down and eat at, such as El Tigre, Raw Coco, Gioko Grill, Steakhouse Burger, and my favorite – Mozza Bar. Mozza Bar is located on Calle del Conde de Peñalver 64, and they serve Spanish, Mediterranean, European, International cuisines and I was able to have the opportunity to interview one of the waitresses at this restaurant. Maria Montilla, 19, is from Venezuela and she has been living in Madrid for six years. One of Montilla’s favorite dishes is the jamón, panceta italiana and champiñón pizza which consists of ham, Italian bacon and mushrooms. Mozza Bar’s famous dessert that many locals tend to get is the pineapples with cinnamon sprinkled on top. “Our hours are from 7:30am-1:00am Monday-Sunday, make sure you guys come and visit to enjoy our delicious pizzas, pastas, desserts and more.” Maria said.
All in all, whether you’re a first-time traveler or a traveling professional, Madrid should definitely be one of your stops when you book your next flight.