Hola! I have just come back from my four day city break to Madrid so while it is fresh in my head I thought I would upload some photos and talk about the past few days.
Honestly, Madrid wasn't my number one destination. Me and my friend were booking for October and we thought the likes of Barcelona or somewhere with a beach would be disappointing if it was a bit colder. Madrid is a city that me and my friend hadn't been to before so we thought we would give it a go! We were not disappointed. Oh and the weather was still beautiful in October.
The first thing that sold this trip to us? The cheap flights plus the nicest, hippest and helpful hostel we ever did see. This trip made me discover that hostels are the perfect places to go to when you want to meet new people and have a great time - for half the price. I 100% recommend The Hat hostel in Madrid, which is also known for it's vibrant rooftop bar.
Me and my friend Jess headed to The Hat after a early flight and some Metro confusion. We checked in, had a bit of a refresh with a change of clothes and headed out for lunch. Me and Jess are both vegetarians and Madrid is quite difficult for veggie options. Seafood and meat everywhere! We found a cute place and had pasta and of course started the afternoon with Sangria.
The first thing we did afterwards? We went shopping obviously.. Zara come at us.
We had a bit of a siesta and headed out for dinner. Tapas, more sangria and then headed to an ice cream parlour with this cool basement seating area. Afterwards we sat on the rooftop bar above the place we were staying at. Some Aussie guys came over to chat and we made more friends as we headed out to the bars and had a few too many Sangria's mixed with tequila shots... Not good at all.
I wake up majorly hungover, of course. We got breakfast at a quaint pastry cafe and then headed to the Flea Market, El Rasto.
The metro line we needed wasn't working so we decided to follow a map and walk to the contemporary art gallery that we wanted to see. We stopped for churros and sunbathed at the Retiro Park while browsing through Spanish vogue we bought on route. Clearly just browsing through the pretty pictures as my Spanish is so poor!
We grabbed lunch nearby, got a taxi back, then decided to do some more shopping before heading out for dinner with the new friends we made. I had my very first veggie Paella.... yet I still don't understand the hype. Everyone seems to love Paella? We then bought some sweet treats (Macaroons!) from the food market.
We had breakfast at The Hat before venturing out to find information on areas we could explore on the outskirts of Madrid. Jess was determined to find a lake of some kind. The weather was lush and we needed somewhere to chill and maybe swim! We were heading to an area called Embalse de san Juan and we grabbed a coach to get there. It took over an hour and we ended up missing our stop! We ended up in some local town where nobody really knew English that well, and well like I said, we were not the best with Spanish. We made it to our destination in the end by getting directions and doing lots of walking on dusty roads and hills. Totally winged it.
The getting lost was all worth it in the end. We were surrounded by water, sand, rocks and boats. It was bliss, as was the weather. We swam and sunbathed.
We headed back to the city and got ready for our Flamenco evening!
We started the morning off grabbing churros from Chocolateria San Gines which was recommended to us. Apparently the best churros in Madrid? We then headed to do some more exploring and went to see the Almudena Cathedral and the Royal Palace of Madrid. We then got the metro to the other side of Madrid and grabbed some lunch at the prettiest restaurant called El Patio Del Fisgon. I had a truffle mushroom Pizza and honestly it was the best pizza I have ever tasted.
Around the area were all the higher end shops, Saint Laurent Paris, Prada etc, plus other monuments that we went to see. (Museums, fountains etc). We went to the Retiro Park again where this time we rowed a boat and enjoyed the sunshine and chatted about life and goals. (Seriously who needs boyfriends for these moments!) We then went to see the Crystal Palace and sunbathed in front of a beautiful fountain. So relaxing.
We headed back and headed out for Tapas at a restaurant called Tapa Tapa which was a place we spotted that did the most vegetarian tapas options. Hot peppers, Asparagus and brie, veggie croquettes, sesame seed coated brie (Yup we like brie)... just so good.
We met up with our Aussie friends and their German friend for a drink on the rooftop bar as it was our last night. Me and Jess had cocktails in bags.. yes that's apparently a thing. Followed by more sangria..
Sleep, an early morning, breakfast and it was back to the airport!
All in all, Madrid is a beautiful city with more to see and do then I thought. There are some cool cafes/restaurants and places to stay. It was definitely better then I expected it to be.
Hopefully I have helped anyone else who may be planning a visit there in the future. Especially any veggies now I think I have sourced out some of the best places to go...
This trip also inspired me to learn a new language. I would like to know more Spanish but I want to visit Italy next year. My goal is to learn Italian (not completely fluent, but enough to get by!).