On my most recent trip to Spain, I discovered the country’s capital city is one of the coolest places in Europe.
The people are fuckin’ cool.
A city is made up of its people, not buildings and monuments, and the residents of Madrid are kind, unpretentious and good-looking. Walk down any street and you’ll see many gorgeous Madrilenians, both men and women, enjoying their day and being generally fabulous. I saw very little of the north-European grumpiness inherent in other cultures, and even in a random, non-touristy part of town, most of the city’s folks are happy to engage you in conversation, they don’t care if you mange their beautiful language and they love to laugh. True, you can find this in most other places too, but the Spanish have a way of making the act of enjoying life seem so easy (Almost as well as Aussies).
Ripper food & drink bloody everywhere.
My taste in food & drink is fairly simple: I either like the stuff in front of me or I don’t, and to me, there are always two choices: take it or leave it. My favourite beer in Madrid is Mahou, the one with the red label all the locals drinks because it’s cheap and delicious, and my favourite way to spend my time in Madrid was to hop from bar to bar, order a caña (the smallest size of beer glass, typically 200 ml) and play the tapas lottery. The beer is cold and refreshing, and out comes a small plate of something delectable such as a piece of jamón, some fishy nibbles, a rude dish of potato bits, or some super-tasty olives. The bar-side sojourn provides enough time to survey the goings-on of the citizens, nosh the tapa and empty the caña. Then it’s time to move to the next bar and repeat the process. I’m someone who likes a lot of variety in all things, so this way of spending an evening really appeals to me a lot.
Oh, and a caña (including the tapa) can cost as little as 90 cents. Oh yeah.
Awesome Public Transport.
Madrid has a vast network of subways and buses to transport you to any of the cool locations around the city. The city’s ticketing system is simple and cheap, and you don’t have to read pages and pages of bullshit about prices, concessions, whether or not you can carry a small dog for free, weekend tickets, specials and whatever else they have in most European capitals. Seriously people, I just fuckin’ wanna go somewhere, not spend an hour working out how much it costs to get there! What’s more, the bus drivers (and I’m talking to you here, arsehole bus drivers in Berlin) don’t slam the doors in your face when you’re a few seconds late, bonus! Everyone in Madrid is just so goddamn nice!
Art, history and grouse weather.
Spain has gone through more ups and downs than most nations in the world, it’s been at different levels of world influence and power, from super-power to bankrupt cripple, and has produced art, literature and culture filling museums rivalling those in London and Paris. Its history, science and economics has had a large effect on the planet, both negatively and positively, and Spanish is widely spoken throughout the world. However, since Madrid is also one of the sunnies bloody capitals in Europe, with 70% more annual sunshine hours than most of northern Europe (Really! I looked it up on Wikipedia, and Wiki never lies.), most residents don’t stay indoors much and prefer to spend some time enjoying the parks and other green spaces around the city.
There you have it, my opinions about this awesome European capital. Do yourself a favour and go there now. Have I left anything out? I’m sure there are more than 4 awesome things about Madrid, so please feel free to comment below…