Don’t get me wrong. Madrid and Barcelona are both very cool cities, both of which would be great places to live. But if you’re looking to study abroad and truly get to know Spanish culture, then you might want to reconsider these cities.
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If you’re planning to go to Madrid, there’s tons to do there, so much so that it might feel a little overwhelming. Here are some of the things I enjoyed in Madrid, in order of my favorite to least favorite (although they were all great!).
1. El Mercado de San Miguel
If you do anything in Madrid, you have to go to El Mercado de San Miguel! Described as a gourmet tapas market, this place has everything – empanadas, jamón Ibérico, croquetas, Madrid’s famous bocadillos de calamares, French pastries, sangria and more. This place seems to be busy at all hours of the day (Note: the hours are Sun-Wed, 10 a.m. to midnight; Thurs-Sat, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.). It’s a great place to try all sorts of different Spanish foods and for a good price too. If you’re in Madrid, I’d check this place out for lunch every day! You’ll find this market right next to the Western side of the Plaza Mayor along Calle Mayor.