Madrid is a city that really knows how to live. The Spanish laugh, dance and dine like every day is their last and the energy this city exudes is intoxicating. I spent just 48 hours in Madrid (10 of those hours at a 50th & 70th birthday party that went from 8pm to 8am!) and in that short time I fell head over heals in love (with the food) and can’t wait to go back to eat and dance my way around the city (again).

We stayed at AC Santo Mauro, a well priced 19th century palace hotel on the outskirts of Madrid’s city centre, offering a perfect combination of old world charm combined with updated modern rooms. The beautiful private garden with shaded dinning patio and charming library dining room were two of the highlights. Beyond the hotel and the party we had no plans so my friend Chandni, who grew up in Madrid, created a list of what to do and see. Below is her Spanish Girl’s Guide To Madrid. Enjoy!

AC Santo Mauro, Madrid, Vanessa Rivers

AC Santo Mauro, Madrid

AC Santo Mauro, Madrid

AC Santo Mauro, Madrid

FOOD (ALWAYS the most important thing to start with!)
- Casa Lucio: Virtually everything is good there, especially the pan con tomate.
Ten con Ten: Booked solid on the weekends so make a reservation well in advance!
Meson Xtistu: Don’t sit at a table. Sit at the bar. It’s cheaper and much better service. Also, real tapas are eaten in a bar with high stools!
– Plaza Mayor: It is compulsory to have a bocadillo when you go to the plaza mayor. A bocadillo is basically a sandwich. The calimari ones are the most popular.
– Mercado San Miguel (behind the plaza mayor), is a glass building with many food stalls. My favorite place to go when I’m hungry.
-Los Huevos de Lucio: For huevos rotos, eggs mixes with potatoes and ham or chorizo -Amazing!!
-Chocloteria San Gines: The best churros in the world!

- Ramses: In the center, they make good cocktails.
– Hotel Me Santa Ana: Can get chavvy at times but a beautiful view of the plaza Santa Ana and Madrid.

- Gabana
Teatro Kapital: 6 floors, crazy!

- Parque Retiro: My favorite park in the world.
– Reina Sofia Museum
– Prado Museum

- Gran via
– Calle Fuencarral
– Calle Serrano

-ALWAYS be careful of your bag!
-Take a cab ride around the center of Madrid at night. It’s magic. Pass by Cibeles.

Casa Lucio, Madrid, Spain


Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Vanessa Rivers

Sangria, Paella, Madrid, Spain

Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Chocolateria San Gines. Madrid, Churros, Vanessa Rivers

Chocolateria San Gines, Madrid, Spain, Vanessa Rivers