Finally, I went to Madrid! This city has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. I was continually put off by how expensive it was to actually get there from Seville, it’s about 120€ on the train and about the same to fly. But, last week, I bit the bullet and booked it. Hannah and I headed off at a disgusting hour on Friday morning after very limited sleep.
Very conveniently our friend Alex lives in Madrid so we stayed with him saving us loads on AirBnb fees but he couldn’t meet us until 3pm so we have 4 hours to kill after arriving at 11am with suitcases so, we wasted no time and started to have a little wander. We got the metro straight to Plaza de España and just walked.
I must admit, I was so impressed with Madrid straight away. There was something about this city that I just loved, it just didn’t give me those “city” vibes. I was expecting something along the lines of London in terms of ambience and feel but it just didn’t have it. Imagine London with half the people on a Bank Holiday Monday.
In the little time we had before meeting Alex, we checked out Plaza de España, Templo de Debod (which I didn’t really understand but that’s okay), Parque Oeste (which has a lovely little viewpoint) Jardines del Campo del Moro (which were beautiful!) and the back of the Palace (which we will revisit later)
After a spot of lunch and going back to the my friends place, the rest of the day was very very chilled. We didn’t really do anything else apart from heading to a really nice Italian for dinner and then crashing out in bed – for some reason we were all dead to the world. The Italian was however really nice. Alex models the free little starters in the picture to the right (they were so good) and my carbonara was amazing, and not too expensive either. I would definitely recommend it if you’re ever around in that area. La Taberna de Veneziano‘s nearest metro stops are Canal or Islas Filipinas.
The next day was our main “tourist” day and I was once again very pleasantly surprised with Madrid as a city. It was a Saturday and the weather was beautiful yet no were seemed packed, no one seemed to be in a rush, everything was just so calm and nice. The first thing we did was head to Parque Retiro to have a little wander around and of course to rent a little boat on the water for half an hour. At just 8€ or so for a boat, it’s relatively inexpensive if you’re a group of 3/4 like we were. I was a little hungover from the night before (drinks in the flat escalated) so being on a boat when it’s hot isn’t the best mix. But anyway, Parque Retiro was beautiful.
A nice little building which is also in the park which I would recommend having a gander at is the Palacio de Cristal which is actually a venue for art exhibitions but actually a really beautiful building.
After a very chilled out walk around the pack and stopping off for a coffee at a café, we headed to Mercado de San Miguel which was the highlight of my trip. I’m a massive massive foodie so this place was my actual dream. I was so overwhelmed with the amount and the variety of food which they had on offer. You can probably tell how much I loved this place just simply by the amount of photos that I’ve included here. It was filled with fish, meat, cakes, Spanish food, Japonese food, wine, vodka, anything you could ever want. Surprisingly also, it wasn’t overly expensive. There was something there for everything – some lower cost items and some much more expensive items. I will 100% be heading back there on my next visit.
After that, we head to Plaza Mayor which is just opposite for another sit down and relax (I don’t know if you’ve realised yet but this whole trip was very very relaxed). I had a vermouth (which I hadn’t had since I was back in Barcelona for my TEFL course so it was a nice little throw back) and we just sat and relaxed and chatted for a while. We went to Museo del Jamón which is apparently one of the cheapest to drink at in Plaza Mayor, according to Alex who lives there. Handy tip in case you don’t want to get ripped off.
After that we made a very quick trip to the Palace and the Cathedral (although we didn’t go inside because the queue was so long, and I hate queueing to pay money for things). Other friends of mine have been inside the Palace and have said that’s it amazing and well worth the visit but when I went, it just wasn’t happening.
Straight after that, we decided to finish the day with a cocktail. We had seen online that the rooftop at the Círculo de Bellas Artes building was a really cool and we really wanted to check it out. When we arrived there was a massive queue at the door which very nearly deterred us but Hannah made us go in and I’m glad she did as the queue did end up moving very quickly. This place isn’t cheap though – 4€ just to enter the building and then 10€ for a mojito. My justification was “I’m only in Madrid once, I love viewpoints and I love mojitos”.
That concluded our main sightseeing mission for Madrid as we spent the rest of Saturday night at home, not really wanting to go out. After a very lazy start to Sunday and before our 10pm flight, we decided to one more thing before we left. We headed back to Parque Oeste to have a ride on the Teleréfico which was just 5.95€ for a round trip and provided some great views. I wish we had had time to get off at the other end and have a wonder around but we had to had to get to the airport for our flight. So, never mind, another time!
That concludes our trip to Madrid. I loved it, it was such an amazing city and I really want to go back and explore everything else it has to offer. I’ll just leave you with some other random photos I got of the city, maybe they’ll tempt you to go.
See ya x