Finishing Our Trip With Art And Churros In Madrid
On this trip to Spain, we enjoyed four day stops in Seville and then in Cordoba. We finished up the Spain portion of our amazing adventure in Portugal and Spain with a quick stop for art and churros in Madrid.
This was our second stay in Madrid. On our first visit, we saw a lot of Madrid. On this visit we enjoyed the luxury of the Intercontinental Madrid and chose just a few spots to explore. We were away from home for almost 10 weeks and we needed to relax before a very long travel day back through Lisbon to Toronto.
A Luxury Stop In Madrid To Finish Our Trip
We enjoyed several luxury stays at the Intercontinental in Lisbon on the earlier part of this trip as we explored Portugal. When we headed to Seville and then Cordoba, we chose a European brand as we explored new options for points and loyalty. But when we headed to Madrid as our last stop, we splurged on a pampering stay at the Intercontinental Madrid.
Our Intercontinental loyalty status ensured we got a nice upgraded room. It was a relaxing refuge when we returned back from a busy day exploring.
The hotel was elegant and had a large lobby when we wanted to spend time out of our room. The breakfast included a massive buffet. And of course there was cava sparking wine for breakfast!
The Intercontinental Madrid was a great base when we explored for art and churros in Madrid!
Exploring The Local Area
As we found when we visited Seville and then stayed in Cordoba, it was very hot during the day. When we wandered we looked for tree-lined streets for shade. And took one of the collection of fans we accumulated. The sounds of water in a fountain drew us in. We sure wished we could take a dip!
Madrid was a pretty flat area so renting bikes was an option. We were delighted when we found a place that even rented electric bikes. On Sunday some of the roads in downtown Madrid were closed and we saw large groups rollerblading on the roads.
On our last visit to Madrid, we bought a multi-day hop-on-hop-off ticket and used that bus as we explored. This time, when we wandered further afield, the Metro was a good choice. The Madrid Metro was massive with over 300 stations. There was a station close to the hotel. And a stop close to everywhere we wanted to visit.
When we visited Madrid, we planned our transportation taking the heat into consideration.
The Beautiful Palacio de Gaviria
The Palacio de Gaviria construction started in 1846. In 1851 it was inaugurated at a ball attended by Queen Isabella II of Spain. When it was opened, the local newspaper La Nación wrote “no other equals its opulence and grandeur, its sumptuousness and refinement in Madrid”. While it was primarily used as a residence, over the years it served as a multi-purpose space. In 2017 it was launched as a major art exhibition centre.
While we visited the Palacio de Gaviria for the temporary Escher exhibit, we enjoyed the chance to see this beautiful building. In some places the ravage of time showed. But other places looked restored. We moved from exhibition room to room and never failed to look up! The ceiling paintings were done by a known painter of the time Joaquín Espalter y Rull.
When we visited Madrid, we were glad there was a temporary exhibition that also showed us the magnificence of the Palacio de Gaviria.
Interacting With The Art of Escher
David was a fan of Escher art, so we had fun when we checked out the temporary Escher exhibit in Madrid.
If you did now know the type of art created by Escher, it was immediately obvious when you saw the designs on the floor. The designs constantly shifted as we watched. The maze on the wall almost looked like we were drawn inside.
We moved through a series of interactive displays. Many of the pieces were mirrored so that we felt like we had entered the art pieces. The big room of mirrors was fun to pose in.
In another area of the exhibit, we saw examples of Escher’s work that was a bit more traditional. Scenes from about Italy showed the Villa Borghese and San Gimignano
On our first visit to Madrid, we explored several of the big art museums. But we always loved when we found temporary art exhibitions on our travels. The Escher Exhibit was a fun find when we looked for art and churros on Madrid.
Chocolate With Churros at Chocolateria San Gines
In Portugal we had Portuguese tarts every opportunity we had. In Spain, we found chocolate and churros was a staple and easily available. But on our quest for art and chocolate in Madrid, we had a specific destination in mind.
Chocolateria San Gines was established in 1894 to produce churros. It was the iconic spot in Madrid for chocolate and churros. The shop was open 24 hours a day every day of the year. Even with two floors of tables, it was often lined up out the door. We got lucky the day we visited.
Churros were simply fried dough made of flour, water, and salt. But the exact recipe was a well-guarded secret kept over the years. At Chocolateria San Gines, the churros were made in one big spiral and then cut into smaller pieces.
Traditionalists ate churros with nothing added. But there was powdered white icing sugar at each table for an extra treat. This reminded us a little of the beignets we loved when we visited New Orleans. As good chocoholics, we did not pass on the rich and thick dark drinking chocolate with our churros. And it worked for dipping too!
On our search for art and churros in Madrid, we were glad we visited Chocolateria San Gines.
We Finished Our Visit To Spain With Art And Churros in Madrid
We planned a relaxing and pampering final stay in Madrid on our visit to Spain. But when we wandered around, we looked for art and churros. And we found both!
Our visit to Portugal and Spain started with a stay in Lisbon. We then travelled through Portugal for 4 weeks. From there we visited Seville and then enjoyed our time in Cordoba. Madrid was the perfect final stop.
Have you found art and churros in Madrid? Did you have another choice for the perfect chocolate churros?
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I love the art in this post, however, and a big however, when Churros are shoved right in front of me in Spain, I forget the art and just want to eat. Dam, now I want Churros!!!! I know its not suppose to have anything with them, but like you, gotta have it with chocolate sauce. I am so making these tomorrow at home! 😀
Danik, And you can’t pass on churros with good dark chocolate! We were glad we could get into the iconic San Gines for our treat. Linda
Love that you were able to close out your explorations with a luxury stay. I have friends who are living in Madrid right now and they are also raving about the food. The churros have my mouth watering as I’m about to head to the kitchen now!
Chloe, I sure would love to return to Madrid. How great to be living there. The food certainly is a big draw. Linda
I just can’t wait for things to go back normal and for us to able to travel again. Few years ago a good friend of mine moved to Madrid and invited me over. I really want to visit her and see all the amazing places in that city. And I can’t wait to taste all the foods and wine there, and will definitely also try the churros too. She kept telling me that the churros sold here in California do not taste the same as freshly made churros in Spain.
Paula, I would have to agree with your friend. The dark chocolate and light churros were so much better in Spain! Linda
There are so many great things to do in Madrid and from your photos, I would have loved the Escher art exhibit! A stop at Chocolateria San Gines is a must do, watching the staff balancing huge trays was incredible. I ate a lot of these while in Spain and I am positive I will never have churros and chocolate that can compare to these.
Sherianne, There are some things worth having in a certain place. And chocolate and churros at San Gines is indeed one of those. Linda
I enjoyed the art venues in Madrid a lot. As a big Zurbaran-fan, I particularly liked the Academia. And yes, we did have churros, too – dipped in thick, hot chocolate…incredibly good!
Renata, On every visit to Madrid we have enjoyed the art. So many great options in the city. Linda
Wow those churros look amazing…I’ve been meaning to visit Madrid for so long having only been to Barcelona 7 years ago…
Annie, The chocolate and churros are definitely worth a visit to Madrid. Linda
What a vibrant and colourful city – Madrid never disappoints and top it off with churros + chocolate – totally my day!
Georgina, Madrid has been a great stop for us on every trip. And yes, every trip needs chocolate and churros. Linda
That churros look delicious. I missed visiting Madrid during my visit to Spain. Would love to explore it next day. Seems like really nice city to explore.
Saurabh, I hope you do get to see Madrid on your next visit. Linda
I have always heard Madrid is beautiful and a vibrant place. I have never been there till date. I also love churos and I enjoy them when I visit European countries. I had so many of them when I was there last time. I also love art and would be good to see the art galleries around the city.
Raksha, We loved the variety of things to see and do in Madrid. Definitely one for your Spain travel wish list. Linda
I’d love to head to Madrid, it’s been on my radar for a visit for a long time. I’ve passed through and it’s just stunning.
Nicole, We have been to Madrid a few times and each time is a new discovery. Linda
Thanks for the insight into the Madrid art scene. Its never been two things I’ve really associated together but I definitely will now! Plus the churros but I would have probably sniffed them out anyway!
Kerry, There were so many great options to enjoy art in Madrid. And who could pass on chocolate and churros? Linda
To be honest, I am currently having major chocolate cravings! The iconic Chocolateria San Gines holds my heart now. And now whenever I will be in Madrid, I will make sure to visit this place. Its good that you splurged on your last stop. We usually do this as well. I loved the art works. Madrid seems to be quite an interesting place!
Amrita, We did find Madrid interesting. But then we may have been in a chocolate haze 🙂 Linda
I miss Madrid. I was in this city only once for 4 days and I would love to come back. It has so many amazing attractions. I love churros and the Palacio de Gaviria.
Agnes, Since Madrid is a gateway city for us, we have visited a few times. Love to pick a few new things on each visit. We will definitely go back. Linda
Ceiling paintings always amazed me. Joaquin did a great job on the Palace. However, Echer’s floor made me a little dizzy. And the churros look so delicious. I bet it’s even tasted better when you dipped it in that thick and creamy chocolate.
Umiko, I must admit I was not a big Escher fan but David was. The churros made up for it! Linda
This looks like an absolutely amazing way to spend a day. I am not a huge churro fan, but something about this article makes me want to give them another chance in Spain. I guess they could be better than the overly sweet versions we have in the US!
Jacqueline, I would definitely try the churros in Spain. Good dark chocolate makes all the difference. Linda
The Escher exhibition looks amazing – I wish it was a permanent exhibit because I would love to see it. It was great to see how interactive it was. It looked like you became a part of the pictures!
When I was reading about the Churros, I was reminded of when I visited Spain and ordered a hot chocolate, they looked at me strangely and then served me the churros chocolate but without the churros! Now I know – just go straight for the churros!
We are always happy when we catch a special exhibit. And Escher is a fun one for interactivity. Hubby really just wanted the chocolate so he would have been happy with no churros. But in Spain they are worth the extra calories.
I would have loved the art. I would have loved the churroa dipped in dark, thick chocolate more. Thanks for the tip on where to find the best,!
I hope you get to visit Madrid one day and enjoy these treats.
Looks like you stayed in style, Linda. The room looks lovely and can’t go wrong with sparkly for brekkers, that’s a given.
Ellie & I like Escher.. it’s incredible how he only gained recognition towards the very end of his life.. bit like me, I hope haha… Your churros pics are among the best I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a lot of nice churros when I lived in Spain.
We do like some of the Intercontinental hotels in Europe. Especially when we had status! It was fun to use this as a base to find art and churros in Madrid. Always something new to discover.
Loved to see Madrid from a different angle. I am in love with Escher exhibit. I have been to Madrid but missed visiting the place. It’s very intriguing. Glad to know you enjoyed the churros while soaking yourself into the art of Madrid.
It was great to see a few different things on this visit to Madrid. A great city for art and food.
Thank you for all the wonderful art, and for a walk down memory lane with MC Escher, whom I was in love with at some point during university (his art, not him!) But much as I love art, you cannot expect to wave words like “churros” and have them ignored… I grew up in Madrid, and my father used to take me for churros every Sunday morning to a little stand a walk from our house. It was an old wood shack, and an old man stood behind his boiling oil, week in and week out. In would go the dough, then out would come the scissors to cut the churros down to size. It was a memorable experience. As an adult, the shack was gone, but San Gines often came to the rescue, especially in the early hours of the morning, when it is one establishment that is open. There’s no line-up outside at that hour! 🙂
I am so glad to remind you of churros with your father in Madrid. And that San Gines was your fallback to the local spot as well. We can’t wait to get back again. Linda
I missed out on so much when we had our weekend in Madrid, I never had churros for example, but I did have Italian food in Madrid 😀 😀 😀
Would love to go back and see some of the artwork!
I hope you do get to return to Madrid. They have some great art galleries that we visited on our first trip. And of course, churros can’t be missed. Linda
We also stayed at Intercontinental Madrid when we visited Madrid. It’s a gorgeous hotel – a real treat to stay at.
For us the location was great. There were fab restaurants & bars in the areas around the hotel and the city centre was a relaxing short walk away – the wide & tree-lined pavements on Paseo de la Castellana were well trodden by us.
The Intercontinental was indeed a great base for exploring Madrid. I do love being within walking distance of great sights and places to eat. It was the end of a very long trip so it was nice to just relax when we returned.
Those Churros look amazing! And I would definitely need to dip them in the chocolate! I’m not a big art person, but that maze on the wall is very impressive!
The chocolate in Madrid was definitely something you don’t want to miss!
What a wonderful way to spend your day, art and followed by churros. The interactive art looks interesting and fun. But I love the idea of spending a busy day in a café with coffee and local churro. I bet they were delicious.
There is always so much to see and do in Madrid. But an afternoon in a cafe is always a favourite.
So much to see and do in Madrid. It’s great to hear that the city is relatively flat, which makes walking or biking much more pleasant. I liked the photo of the roller skaters 🙂 The Art of Escher looked like a fascinating museum to explore. I enjoy art like that which is more interactive.
We found so much to see and do on our visits to Madrid. Easy to get around and fun options too. Linda
Whan did you lucky guys have the chance to visit Madrid?! I actually love it for the museums – and yes, the Churros. I simply don’t think about calories and dip them in this thick chocolate that’s almost like cream. By the way, I’ve seen the Escher exhibition in Milan a couple of years ago – he’s just amazing and I enjoyed this hands-on concept of the show a lot – you did, too, as I can see 😉
We were glad we have been to Madrid a few times. Each time is a new discovery. It was great to visit when the Escher exhibit was on.
It seems you had a great time in Madrid and it shows through why. I would have loved to see the Escher art exhibition. And of course, Churros are to die for. We went to the San Gines churreria almost every day, when we were in Madrid. After a day of walking and sightseeing we usually felt, that we deserved the calorie splurge.
We certainly would have loved to visit San Gines every day for that yummy chocolate and churros. With all the walking, it is a deserved splurge for sure.
I’ve actually never been to Madrid in all my trips to Spain but I am certainly tempted after reading this…especially about the churros! The art looks really interesting too & I love the kind of art that is fun & interactive. Thanks for highlighting & am going to add Madrid to my post lockdown list.
Madrid is a gateway for us (a bit like London and Rome) so we know were would get back again and again. Great to find a few treats on each trip. And art and churros were great on this visit. Hope you get to visit post-lockdown. The art museums are great.
It must’ve been quite satisfying to being and end your trip in the same city. The Escher exhibit looks like a lot of fun; I’ve seen his work before but never knew the artist’s name. I usually associate churros with Mexico but since they’re popular in Brazil as well, it’s not surprising that they originated in Iberia. Having them hot and fresh and dipped in hot chocolate sounds amazing!
We too have had chocolate and churros in different Spanish countries. Always interesting to see the varieties. But great dark chocolate made all the difference.
I loved my Madrid visit on a rainy day a few years ago. That art created by Escher – the maze looks amazing! We just spent a day and missed exploring the art in this city. Yes, I have tasted churros with chocolate dips and it is simply yummy! 🙂
We love to just wander in big European cities like Madrid. Always something new to discover. And tasty ways to get our energy back!
Your post on Madrid revive my Spain trip memories. I loved art in Madrid and also its food. But missed Churros. Now I have plan again for those delicious Churros. I would surely visit Chocolateria San Gines for tempting Churros.
You definitely need to plan to try chocolates and churros when you head back to Madrid. A great way to power all your walking in this beautiful city.
It seems you had a great moment in Madrid. Due to Covid-19, I didn’t plan anything to go as there are the major risk. Hope, it get fine soon.
This past year has been a challenge everywhere. We sure hope that things looks better soon so we can head out further afield again.
Art and churros. What more do you want in Madrid. The perfect was to finish off your Spanish trip.
We were happy we found sweet treats and art in Madrid!