Ortega y Gasset Street

Known as La milla de oro (The Golden Mile) Ortega y Gasset Street is the most exclusive shopping street in Madrid. Armani, Channel, Dior, Dolce & Gabana, Escada, Hermés, Hugo Boss... all the best design companies have their stores there.

If you don't have enough with them you always can go to Serrano street, perpendicular to Ortega y Gasset, or to other streets like Castelló, Goya, Velázquez, Jorge Juan or Príncipe de Vergara, all of them located in the Salamanca district and full themselves of designer stores.

The street is named after Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955).

El Rincón

By Ali Abramson

For those of you with an appreciation for candy, El Rincón should be right up there with the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) and the Museo del Prado (Prado Museum) for places to see when visiting Madrid. El Rincón ("The Corner") is a self-serve candy store with multiple locations around Madrid. Whether you're just craving some old familiar sweets like gummy bears and chocolate-covered peanuts or you want to try some candy native to Spain like gummy ham hocks (pata de jamón) or cream-filled licorice (regaliz con nata... my personal favorite), this is the place to go. If you're more of a savory snacker, they also have all sorts of nuts, chips, and trail mixes that you wouldn't normally find in the States... all self-serve so you can pick-and-mix to your liking. Just want to pick up a fresh baguette and a cold drink to go? Yep, they've got that too.

El Rincón is the perfect stop to get you through a long day of sight-seeing. And consider it a cultural experience... as I doubt you'd find gummy ham-hocks anywhere outside of the Iberian peninsula.

Cien Montaditos

By Chuche

If you're looking for a quick, cheap, delicious little bite to eat... Cien Montaditos is the way to go. Montaditos are mini-baguette sandwiches (about 4 inches long). And Cien Montaditos has over 100 varieties of these little sandwiches. Each of them vary between 1Euro>1.75 Euro, and worth every centimo.

 They give you a menu to fill out at your table and you bring it up to the counter. I usually get about 4 montaditos to fill me up... but you can always order more. And they are accompanied by a hefty pile of potato chips. Yum!

 My faves: Salmon & Filadelphia (cream cheese), Tortilla de Patatas & Queso Brie (spanish tortilla and brie cheese), Carne Mechada y Mojo Picón (some kind of slow-cooked beef with a spicy sauce). I guess this is considered fast food in Spain, but you don't walk away from there feeling like you do after a Big Mac.

They've even started to have healthier options, and offer pan integral (whole wheat bread) with all sandwiches. There are multiple locations throughout Madrid and the good thing is they are open all day long, in case you're like most tourists looking for someplace to eat outside of the normal Spanish meal times. Enjoy!

Statue of Felipe III, Giambologna and Pietro Tacca (Plaza Mayor)

This monument to king Philip III of Spain (1578–1621) is at the Plaza Mayor in Centro district in Madrid. This bronze equestrian statue was started by Giambologna (1529–1608) and finished in 1616 by Pietro Tacca (1577–1640).

Photo I Wikipedia

Plaza de España

Don´t try to find any similarities with Piazza di Spagna in Rome. This one is a different plaza. It´s flanked to the east by Edificio de España (1953; 117m -384 ft) and to the north by Torre de Madrid (Madrid Tower; 142m -466 ft), two big and tall buildings but not very charming.

In the centre of the square you can find one of the favourite tourist spots: the statue of Cervantes (1927); at his feet, his two most inmortal characters: don Quixote and Sancho. Getting taken a picture there is mandatory!

And now some History: It was one of the locations where the French firing squads execute the madrileño rebels after the May the 2nd uprising in 1808. Francisco de Goya painted that scene in one of his masterpieces.

You can easily get there since Metro lines #3 and 10 have stops right in the plaza.

Foto I Wikipedia