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24 Hours in Madrid

With direct flights from many U.S. cities to Madrid, it’s an amazing place to fly through if you’re headed to European or African destinations. On my recent trip to Marrakech, we had a layover in Spain’s central capital and decided to extend it so that we could explore the city. Although we weren’t there long, we got to experience a lot of what the city has to offer. If you’re planning a quick trip or extended hour and have 24 hours in Madrid, here are the things you must not miss:

With direct flights from many U.S. cities to Madrid, it's the perfect place to fly through when you're headed to other destinations. Here are the things you can not miss if you have 24 hours in Madrid.

Feast on tapas: If you’re spending 24 hours in Madrid, make time for tapas! Most long-haul flights to Europe land before noon, so plan to have lunch at one of the many tapas spots throughout the city. Must-try tapas include papas bravas, croquetas, gambas al ajillo, and pimientos de padrón.

Check out the major sights: There are a few sights that you definitely should not miss, even if you do only have 24 hours in Madrid. Stop by the Royal Palace and check out Plaza Mayor, the perfect square for people watching while scarfing down churros con chocolate. Also be sure to visit Plaza del Sol, the city’s most well known and centrally located square. If you’re there during the holidays, there is a fabulous Christmas market in Plaza del Sol that you don’t want to miss.

Shop on (and around) Gran Via: If you’re anything like me, you’ll do whatever you can to squeeze in some shopping even on your shortest trips. The area around Gran Via is the perfect place to shop if you’re pressed for time. There are a number of boutiques and the Zara (which is actually a Spanish brand) is amazing.

Dine at Tatel: Dinner at Tatel is the perfect ending to 24 hours in Madrid. A fellow basketball wife recommended the restaurant to me, and the cuisine did not disappoint. The restaurant, owned by Enrique Iglesias and Rafael Nadal, is absolutely beautiful and has a chic vibe. They’re also opening a Miami location soon, so be sure to be on the lookout!

What would you do if you had 24 hours in Madrid?

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