You Gotta do it All in Madrid


My trip to Spain was honestly very good. This was because I arrived at the airport in Paris around 5 am and landed in Madrid at around 9 am, so I had all that time to take multiple small naps. Unfortunately, my Airbnb was not going to be available until 2 pm, so after arriving in Madrid, I took my sweet time eating breakfast at a café, and finally took the metro to where my Airbnb was. However, it was around 11 am when I got to the right location, so I had a few hours to spare. Luckily, this Airbnb is a five-minute walk from the El Retiro park, which is one of if not the most famous park in Madrid. Afterwards, I walked to the city center and bought some souvenirs for my family back home. I was super excited to see the city and somehow someway I managed to spend three hours walking around. Once the Airbnb finally became available, I went over and was finally able to see my home for the next couple days.

After the owner left and gave me the keys, I went to the bedroom and took a long nap. After all, I had been up since 4 am and had just walked around for three hours, so you must understand just how tired I was. After waking up, I took a shower and changed my clothes. Then, I went out again to explore more of the city center. First, I walked through the park again which was massive. Towards the center of the park, there is an extensive pond with many small boats only big enough for two people. There was also a large glass building which was called the Crystal Palace. After walking through the park (and taking pictures, of course) I ended up in the city center. I went down the street known as the Gran Via. This is arguably the most famous street in Madrid. I saw many shops here and many more tourists. Just like in Paris, I went to Zara and did some quick shopping because wow, the heat in Madrid was INTENSE and I did not bring the right clothing for that. After this, I felt super exhausted, so I went to a restaurant for some dinner and headed back to the apartment. I watched the new Thor movie on the television and watched some episodes from my favorite shows. I realized that sometimes it is ok to spend the night indoors, even when you’re on a trip. Having that alone time was so relaxing and that night I slept like a baby.

The following morning, I got up and went to a café for breakfast. I got a really good cinnamon roll and a turkey and bacon sandwich. On this day, I went to the royal palace of Madrid. The palace was beautiful on the outside and even more stunning on the inside. The entrance to the palace was gorgeous and I spent some time there just taking pictures. The only downside to this experience was that you were not allowed to take pictures inside the palace (once you got past the foyer). This was quite unfortunate because there were some rooms I would have loved to have taken pictures of, but the rules are the rules and I decided it was in my best interest to not try and break them.

Later that afternoon, I met up with a Spanish friend I had made here in Amsterdam. He too was done with his studies, so he went back to Madrid. While we were out, we went to a new part of the city center I hadn’t seen yet, and this was Puerta del Sol. If I thought Gran Via was crowded, then I was blown away by the sheer amount of people at Puerta del Sol. We went to a chocolate restaurant where they sold the most delicious churros I have ever had. You take the churro, and you dip it in molten chocolate. It is like taking a bite out of heaven. After this, he took me to see some of the more famous landmarks of Madrid. These included Plaza Mayor, which is the most famous plaza in Madrid, an Egyptian construction, which turns out is the only thing Madrid has from Egypt, and a good view of the entire city from a hilltop park. I must say I wasn’t planning on seeing most of these things during my stay, but I am so glad I went because they were some of the most breathtaking sights ever.

The next day, I went to the Museo del Prado, which is one of the most famous museums in Madrid. I will say that the paintings in this museum were one of a kind. They were so exquisite and detailed, and I found myself taking a lot of time on each painting and reading the description on most of them. If you have read past blogs of mine then you might know that I am not too keen on museums, but for whatever reason, I was compelled to spend so much time at el Prado. In fact, I spent almost five hours walking around and reading. However, just like the royal palace, I could not take pictures here. The works of some of the world’s most famous painters were on display here, and I couldn’t help but to marvel at the beauty of most of them.

After this, I went to IKONO Madrid, and immersive and interactive experience. There was a ball pit, a cannonball shooter which only shot confetti, rooms with many lights and sounds, and rooms that created optical illusions. This was a small but fun experience, and I am glad I did it, because it also took me to a new part of the city which I got to explore a bit. As this was my last day in Madrid, I had to head back home and pack my bags. The next morning, I got up early to go to the airport, took my flight to Nice, France, had a four-hour layover, and then finally flew back to Amsterdam. I loved going to Madrid. Not only did I go because I wanted to see a new country, but I also went because I was considering Madrid as a possible study abroad option if I decide to do it again. So, who knows? Maybe I’ll be writing blogs from Madrid next spring.