This year I traded a delicious holiday meal with family for a bus, train and a plane; however, the final destination of Madrid made it worth the travel time. During my time abroad not only have I been able to travel all over Italy, but I have also been able to easily travel throughout Europe. So when a good friend suggested we spend Thanksgiving break in Madrid I couldn’t say yes fast enough!
This was by far one of the most memorable trips to date. We packed as much as we could into 3 days and I would say we got a great taste of Madrid! Keep on reading for my suggestions on how to make the most of a weekend in the beautiful capital of Spain.
1. Take a walk through Buen Retiro Park and visit the crystal palace. Fun fact: there was a picture of the Crystal Palace on the October mood board! Make sure to bring your camera along. This park is full of picturesque benches, steps and sculptures that you won’t want to miss.
2. Find small, out-of-the-way local spots to eat. We stumbled upon a cute café called Matilda that was just a couple blocks away from our AirBnb. While we waited for our food we were able to browse the cafe’s collection of antique polaroid cameras, comic books, photographs and art. We tried the traditional Spanish breakfast dish tortilla esapñola, which I definitely recommend to anyone planning a visit to Spain.
3. LOOK UP. Spain was filled with incredible architecture and color. As much as I love photography it is always refreshing to stop and look around without the viewfinder. On this trip I accidentally forgot my SD card (last minute packer probs) and it ended up being for the best. I was able to appreciate what I was seeing instead of worrying about getting the best shot.
4. If you go to Madrid and only have the time to do one thing, this is it. Visit the Royal Palace of Madrid. This was hands down the most beautiful place I have ever visited. It tops any palace, cathedral or museum I have seen during my four months in Europe. This palace is the definition of royalty. Warm gold covers every surface; the chandeliers in each room are dripping with crystals and the intricate patterns on the walls and furniture have been expertly designed down to the very last detail. Every time we walked into a new room our breath was taken away. This is a MUST do.
5. For the small price of €5.90 you can ride in the Teleférico cable cars. This was originally intended to be a ride in a theme park that was never finished, but lucky for us the cable cars still run. This ride gives you a beautiful panoramic view of the city. The skyline is dotted with cathedrals and the skirts of the city are met with expanses of trees and parks.
6. Have churros. There is nothing like being served a plate of fried sugary dough accompanied by teacups full of melted chocolate.
Madrid is such a colorful city that treated me so well. Of course, there is no way to see all it has to offer in just three days, but I think we did a pretty good job. Adiós amigos!