Checked off another city in Spain! I wish I could have spent a few more days in Madrid since there is so much to see. FYI I am currently typing on a Spanish keyboard so my apologies if I have a few typos…
I woke up at 6am on March 18th to get to Madrid from Sevilla at around 9am. We got off the Renfe train and headed to the metro to get to Gran Via– four stops from the station. Once Kelsey, Jackie, and I got to Gran Via we found Hostel Machin. It was very easy to find, but not my favorite hostel I’ve stayed at in Europe.
Wellllll, it was EXTREMELY hot. Pablo showed us where the extra blankets were and we stayed very far away from them. Instead, Jackie found a fan. This hostel wasn’t the most student friendly place. Pretty ironic since it’s a hostel, but there were a few families who kept shushing us. Pablo felt bad when he had to ask us to quiet down a little, cause he’s a nice guy.
Jackie and I went to the Palace, acted like we didn’t know we needed tickets for the Cathedral, stopped by el mercado and a few other small shops, and later went to an adorable little bookstore.
What’s up with this bookstore in Madrid??
We were exploring the calles of Madrid and stumbled upon a little chalk board sign that read something along the lines of “books and whiskey 3 minutes down”. So of course us three were like okay cool, let’s check it out! We walk into this tiny hole in the wall bookstore that just opened recently and were greeted by a French lady with the biggest personality. She was most definitely the jefe (boss).
The walls were covered in murals and there were sections for each type of book. “Erotic literature, French, Spanish, Poetry, Child’s Corner, etc.”. They recently had a designer come in to paint “Where the Wild Things are” on a wall in the Children’s Corner. My favorite French jefe was very excited and proud of her new masterpiece. We talked to her for about 45 minutes and she quickly sold us on each buying a short Spanish-English love story after offering us free Belgian chocolate. One side of the page is in Spanish and the other is in English. I really like it because I think it’s a great way to practice your Spanish. Plus it’s a good short story :). I also picked up a newly published Spanish dictionary that fits in a small bag/purse perfectly. Next time you’re in Madrid, stop by Desperate Literature. The French jefe will also tell you some of her favorite hang out spots close by.
So, what’s there to do in Madrid?
My Big gave me a big list of things to do such as:
- “You absolutely have to go to Retiro” she said. I didn’t make it to Retiro Park and I have no clue why. El Retiro Park is the green oasis in the center of Madrid. There are many gardens and an abundance of trees along with a variety of sculptures and fountains such as a monument for Alfonso XII. It’s FREE to enter and you can also rent a little boat or take a guided tour around the area.
Museo del Prado
- The main Spanish national art museum. It was about a 10-15 walk from my hostel in Gran Via. This museum features European arrt from the 12th-19th century. El Prado is one of the most visited places in the world! If you have a student ID you get in for FREE.
- Personally, this museum was not my favorite. It’s not really my style of art
- I liked this museum a lot. Reina Sofia is FREE for students as well and is located at Calle de Santa Isabel, 52, 28012 Madrid, Spain. It is Spain’s national museum for 20th century art. This our story building was once a hopsital, but was remodled into a museum in 1992. The 20th century most famous painting, “Guernica” by Picasso is featured here! http://museoreinasofia.mcu.es/
- Most photographed place in Madrid
Palaceo Royal and Plaza Mayor
- This was one of me and Jackie’s first stops in Madrid, after she almost puked in a bush from bad food. This palace was absolutely gorgeous with dozens of elaborate rooms dating back to the mid 1500’s. Jackie and I debated on if one of the rooms was indigo or violet. It was clearly indigo- let me know what you think. For more information of the Palace check out their website!
- Plaza Mayor is within the Palaceo. It has a bunch of open space and one statue in the middle. It’s really pretty, check it out.
- Is a resturant. There are a few of them in Madrid. When you walk in you go to a bar style table and there are no seats, so you stand to eat dinner. The waiter asks what you want to drink and it’ll be 6 euros. I got a beer. Then the waiter will bring out two dishes, but you don’t have to order, he just brings your group food. It’s cool, different, and layed back.
- 7 story club where each floor is a different DJ theme. If you pay online before it’s a 17 ticket with two mixed drinks. At the door is 20. Make sure you bring a form of ID and dress nicely, they’re really strict here.
- Right outside of Kapital is this super dank burrito restaurant that we went to at around 3am. I don’t remember the name, but you’ll see it when you walk outside after a long night at the discoteca :).
Plaza de Oriente, Plaza del Sol, Plaza de La Villa, Mercado de San Miguel, Despeate Literature
My spanish friend, Cesar, came and met up with us in Madrid for a few hours. Jackie, Cesar, and I grabbed a drink at an adorable bar about 15 minutes (walking) from our hostel. I need to try to remember names of places, but there’s just so many!! We drank a bottle of red wine and ate some aceitunas (0lives) while speaking in Spanglish ;). Despues, nostros fuimos un restaurante cerca de el centro con amiga de Jackie! **You can also call Jackie “foups”, that’s her favorite.
Unfortunately, my friends and I only had two short days in Madrid, but I would love to visit again!