Friday, 6 September 2013

Travel Journal: Madrid

I've just got back from a trip to Madrid. I went to Barcelona back in 2010 but had never been to, or heard much about, the Spanish capital. With my iPhone weather forecast showing temperatures in the 40s for most of the summer all I expected was for it to be extremely hot! By the time late August arrived, the temperatures had dropped to a more bearable 36 degrees and Madrid turned out to be a gem of a city - great food, not too many tourists and lots to do.

For art lovers, the Museo Del Prado is a must-visit - its huge (and mercifully air-conditioned). Walk along the tree-lined boulevard to the beautiful botanical gardens and then onto the Parque Del Buen Retiro - a beautiful place to escape from the city. Hiring a rowing boat on the lake was really fun, even if my rowing skills and spacial awareness were not up to much. I had wanted to go to the Reina Sofia to see Picasso's Guernica but unfortunately this was the only place that we encountered a huge queue so we skipped it in favour of making the most of the sunshine and checking out some impressive street art. The centre of the city is great for people-watching and markets - we visited the El Rastro flea market which was full of bargains, the San Miguel food market which was a great way to try some local foods and the Shoreditch-esque Malasana neighbourhood. For another escape from the city the cable car over the Casa de Campo park was great fun and the views were amazing. Football fans should check out the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu - the tour was fun and provided some great photo opportunities. Shopping is a holiday activity wherever I go - Zara, Mango and Berksha are in abundance in the city and are Spanish brands so its practically your tourist duty to help the Spanish economy recover, right?

There are loads of hotels to pick from - we stayed in the H10 on the Gran Via for the first night which was a great central base for exploring the city. We then re-located to a hotel a short metro ride out of town which had the added bonus of a pool to relax by in the afternoons, much appreciated in the heat and nice to have some chill out time - I often come back from city breaks more tired than when I leave for them. A four night break was plenty of time to see all the sites in my guidebook at a relaxed pace.

My favourite Spanish food - churros and chocolate! Its a well known fact that food eaten in another city has no calories.
The Palacio Real. "Real" means Royal in Spanish.
The beautiful Plaza De Oriente.
 I've stayed in a couple of other H10 hotels so blagged us free cocktails on our first evening in the city.
Had to do a double take at these ridiculous mannequins.
The botanical gardens. This may or may not be a pineapple tree. #bloggerswearpineapples
Have you visited Madrid?
Share:

4 comments

  1. Madrid is on my never ending list of places to visit and now I want to go there even more!
    Sophie
    X

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gorgeous pictures the food looks amazing too!! Looks like an amazing place to go to i went when i was younger for a day trip but didnt get to see much and cant really remember it.

    Carrieanne x

    http://beautiesunlocked.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  3. Madrid looks amazing. I've recently come back from Barcelona and definitely want to explore the rest of Spain.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Madrid looks amazing, I definitely want to visit!

    Maria xxx

    ReplyDelete

I ♥ comments. Questions? It's probably easier to Tweet me (@LilyLippy) as I'll reply faster.

© Lily Lipstick | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig