Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The best bits from my trip to Madrid, part 1

Now I know, I know. I've already told you about all the delicious things we ate in Madrid and the lovely hotel in which we stayed, but just wait a minute there, amigo - there's actually a hella lotta beaut stuff I want to share with you from the Spanish capital that does not involve food or hotel rooms. *gasp!* I know. So much, in fact that I can't fit it all into one blog post.

As her year abroad teaching English in Madrid (*sob* remember when I did that in Germany?) neared its conclusion, I knew I had to hop over and pay my sister Holly a visit before it was too late. And it all worked out rather perfectly because a) it was June ergo beautifully hot but not unbearably so, b) nine months down, Holls knew the city muy bien, c) it was the weekend of her 21st birthday, and d) 5SOS were playing the Madrid night of their European tour on the Saturday night.

Yes, I am 23 years old and yes, we went, and HELL YES, it was amazing. Like literally amazing. But this is not the post in which to spill my 5SOS overgrown fangirl tendencies. We're here to talk about beautiful, charming Madrid.
I feel a bit sorry for Madrid. It seems to me that Barcelona gets a lot more love. Granted, Barcelona (along with Florence, Rome and Croatia) is top of my European travel wishlist, but I think Madrid is underrated. Much like Lisbon - remember how gorge that one is? - I feel it's an up-and-comer. You should go.

The city is incredibly vibrant in every way possible - the beautiful architecture is extremely colourful and, particularly on hot summer nights, buzzing with life.

The best way to see Madrid, in my opinion - much like with the majority of European capitals - is by foot, and I felt so lucky to have my own personal tour guide in the shape of my sister. I figured the best way to show you the beauty of Madrid was to break it down into areas. So without further ado, welcome to Madrid...

The City Centre
The huge open square of Sol is the very centre of Spain (well, on an East-West basis). It's beautiful and it's definitely worth a visit, but it is unsurprisingly full of tourists and street performers.
To one side of Sol, you'll find this statue of the symbol of Madrid - or as Hols and I like to think, a bear eating broccoli. It's open to interpretation, I'd say.

Barrio de las Letras

Not far from Sol, you'll find this utterly charming, quirky neighbourhood.
Street art, bunting, city beaches, pop-up bars... It was all going on.
There were so many interesting things to look at - a real feast for the eyes, I tell ya.

Exploring is thirsty work though, so we made sure to sit down and replenish ourselves with a Tinto de Verano.
Purely red wine and lemonade, it's a simpler version of sangria and utterly delicious. Just the right level of sweetness and super refreshing. Yum!

Plaza Mayor

Possibly even more famous than Sol, Plaza Mayor draws in all the tourists.
Granted, it is beautiful, but I'm not sure it's the prettiest spot I saw in Madrid. In fact, just down the street there's an utterly charming mini square...
But before you wander down Calle Mayor, do pay a visit to the Mercado de San Miguel just off Plaza Mayor. It's this huge, fancy schmancy food market in the most beautiful wrought iron building.
^always make friends with the people serving champagne.

The Temple of Debod

It was after dinner (OMG that burger!) that Holls and I went for a wander round the Temple.
Whilst the temple itself is undeniably beautiful, one of the best reasons to make your way up there is for the incredible view.
Needless to say, it was pretty gosh darn spellbinding at dusk.

And in the above snap, you can see the stunning Palace of Madrid. But, my dears, you're just going to have to wait for my next Madrid instalment to see more of that. Well, I mean, you could totally google it, but where's the fun in that, eh?

Do come back, I've got LOADS more awesome Madrid-ness to share with you all. And do let me know your thoughts!


  1. It looks so beautiful - your lucky sister living there! I don't *think* I've ever been to Madrid, but if I have I was clearly too young to appreciate it. It's high on my travel bucket list, that's for sure! :)
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

    1. Thanks Jenny - I know, she was so lucky! Hope you get to go soon :) x

  2. I adore Madrid! I have only ever been with my friend who actually lives there so I'm yet to do some of the more touristy parts, but I loved the city so much, and actually experiencing it as a local was pretty great too. It is a gorgeous city, and most definitely underrated!!

    Suitcase and Sandals Blog XX

    1. Oh that's the best though, Hannah. Glad you agree and thanks! x


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