Best Things to See, Do and Eat in Madrid, Spain

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While you're in Madrid for TechEd Europe 2013, take advantage of the opportunity to experience the historic Capital city. A good place to start is the convention and visitors bureau.  More ideas and information on the city can be found here.

Must-eat foods and where to get them:

It's all about the food, right? When in Spain, you eat tapas! By reputation, the most outstanding areas for tapas are in the old town, such as Sol, La Latina, Plaza de Santa Ana Square, Cava Baja and Cava Alta, and Plaza Mayor Square.

If you're looking for a traditional Spanish experience, Madrid is packed with old-world restaurants and bars where you can experience history while you enjoy great food! Visit the oldest restaurant in the world, Casa Botín, founded in 1725 and located in Cuchilleros Street, near Plaza Mayor.

We would be remiss if we didn't mention the many Madrid restaurants that boast Michelin stars: Santceloni, La Terraza del Casino, Sergi Arola, Ramón Freixa Madrid, Diverxo, El Club Allard, Zalacaín, Kabuki and Kabuki Wellington.

Take in the Paseo de la Gastronomía (Gastronomy Route). This is a large area at the Casa de Campo Exhibition Centre. The Casa de Campo is Madrid's largest green area, with ten restaurants situated in buildings that are replicas of Spain's traditional, emblematic regional architecture. Here you can enjoy the best Mediterranean cuisine, as well as typical dishes from Galicia, Asturias and the Basque Country, surrounded by gardens. Join us at the Casa De Campo for Country Drinks on Wednesday, 26 June from 20:00-23:00!

Join the discussion with other attendees on where to eat, and share your own ideas and tips on the TechEd Europe Forum.

Culture and Activities:

If you're planning to extend your stay in Madrid, you'll find plenty to do. The city is teaming with museums, historical sites, activities, and tours.

The Art Capital of Spain

Discover Madrid's famous "Art Route". There is nowhere else in the world with as many masterpieces in such a small area. The Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía National Museum are the stars of this unique route, where you can also enjoy such emblematic landmarks as the 18th-century Cibeles and Neptuno fountains, the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Astronomical Observatory.

The International Photography and Visual Arts Festival, PhotoEspaña, runs through July 28. This is an incredible opportunity to see the latest works from leading national and international photographers. Visit  for location and details.

Sites and Monuments

The architecture in Madrid is truly extraordinary, with plenty to see.  Learn more about historical sites and plan your itinerary. Don't miss the royal palace.

Another highlight (and possibly the most visited museum in the city!) is the tour of Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (home to Real Madrid). Visit the gift shop, take the tour, and eat at one of three restaurants.

More to do in Madrid:

Remember, transportation is easy and inexpensive on the metro! You can buy your tickets onsite at IFEMA in Hall 2.

While you're enjoying Madrid, please keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Do not wear your TechEd badge outside or in transit from the IFEMA
  • Whenever in public places try to stay with a friend or colleague
  • Do not carry large quantities of cash with you in public places
  • Do not visit an ATM after dark and always use one in a busy area
  • Consider toning down any jewelry and other such articles when socializing
  • Do not carry a rucksack on your back when in town, it can easily be unzipped and emptied
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and leave your passport in the room or hotel safe
  • Try not to use TechEd or Microsoft merchandise whilst out and about in town
  • At all times when away from TechEd (especially late at night and or alone) be aware of your surroundings and try to use a busy, well-lit route
  • Taxis: only use a taxi that is obviously licensed and never share with strangers
  • When using public transport always choose the busiest part of the bus or metro
  • Make sure you know where you are staying and whom to contact—as well as how to contact someone—in an emergency

The Discussion

  • User profile image
    Heather Newman

    Great post Denise! See you there soon.

  • User profile image

    I only do a remarks for the safety picks.

    - The great problem are pickpockets in the subway or in zones with great people agglomeration like Sol or Carmen Street. Having this in mind you have not problems, I use in subway e-readers or my Samsung Smart Pc in all sites and I carry my rucksack in town everywhere. In subway I take care carrying in one shoulder in order to put hard pickpockets can unzipping it.

    - The Taxis are clearly identified, in Spain are forbidden do this this work to particular cars. In this case the most common is that the driver do a "free" touring for extend the ride (and obviously charge more cash). In Madrid taxis are white cars with a red stripe in the front doors and a green light in the roof.

    Guys, this Teched is in Madrid, Spain, Europe, see an atlas or Wikipedia. In the city exist security problems and exist bad neighborhood but the bad neighborhood are not comparable with equivalents in the US or  South America.

  • User profile image

    Hi everybody
    I am from Madrid. It is true there are pickpockets in the most tourist areas, especially in the "Rastro", an old and crowded market.
    Taxis use to be secure and serious. Always ask for the ticket. A taxi from the Airport to the center of Madrid is about 30-35 €.
    About the bad neighborhoods, forget it. There are not security problems in Madrid (except the pickpockets). I am pretty sure you will enjoy the city, our museums, bars, historical buildings....and night :-)

    About the safety tips, they are excessive but accepted as recommendatios when you visit a any country. Same for Paris, London, Roma....
    Have a nice TechEd :-)

  • User profile image

    It's the same anywhere in the world in the bigger cities. You just got to be vigilant, sensible and enjoy yourself. I'm looking forward to visiting Madrid for the first time and can't wait to do the point, smile and nod...with a bit of Afrikaans just to confuse the situation a and nod again.

  • User profile image

    Yes, safety consciousness is a responsibility for all concerned.

  • User profile image

    Thanks for the great tips. Having a great time here at TechEd 2013.

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