Sunday 12 November 2017


I have been so excited to write this post, and I have finally found a few hours to sit down and get writing. I am not sure how we ended up in Madrid really! This was a holiday with three of my best friends, we wanted somewhere where the sun would shine and there would be things for us to see and do. We found good flights with a lovely hotel, and within the space of an hour it was all booked.

We flew out with RyanAir on their first flight of the day at 6.45 to Madrid from Manchester. We always get early morning flights on the way out so we get a full first day there. We went to Barcelona in the summer, and public transport was easy to navigate. In Madrid it was a completely different story, from the airport we needed to get an underground tube but there were lots of different maps, and Google maps also sent us on the longest journey ever. It took no exaggeration 25 minutes to walk from our terminal to the train/tube stops in the airport. The airport is absolutely huge, one of the biggest I have ever been in. After being on different tubes for 45 minutes we were all frustrated and made a group decision to skip the public transport and get a taxi. It turned out that the underground was going to take another 30 minutes with multiple changes, and then a 10 minute walk. In the taxi it took less than 10 minutes and cost us 5 euros for the journey. Next time, we would definitely just get a taxi from the airport, we did this on the way back and it was just 30 euros for the entire 25 minute journey.

We were so happy with the accommodation we had chosen, which was the Aspasios Calle Mayor Apartments. I am not afraid to say that it was a total bargain, for the 4 of us to stay for 3 nights it was 120 euros each in total. It was located in Calle de Mayor, which a central part to the city right near Sol. We were super happy, and all weekend we kept complimenting how well we had done choosing it. It had modern decor and looked bright and new, we actually all enjoyed having a little kitchen and a little bit more room than your standard hotel room.

Once having the small battle with public transport, we decided we would spend the entire afternoon shopping. However, first we were all starving and we stumbled across the Mercado de San Miguel which was a 5 minute walk away from our apartment. It had the most amazing food ever, it was a huge food market and it was great as everyone walked around with plates getting different tapas from all of the different stalls, like an all you can eat buffet! I loved the market so much I have written a dedicated post about it here. It is definitely a must visit when in Madrid.

We then headed to the main area of shops, and we were not disappointed. They have every high street shop you could think of or want. They also had a flagship Zara which was huge and we spent ages in there! We all planned to buy a lot as it is always cheaper in Spain, but we were a little disappointed. The shopping trip literally took us the entire afternoon, and then we went back to our hotel before getting ready to go out. On this night, we really struggled to find somewhere to eat. We had found a few different tapas restaurants which we fancied, but the menus contained too much fish for us. We ended up after looking around for literal hours in a tapas bar right near where we were staying called Taste Gallery. The food was actually really tasty, and the portions were huge we did slightly over order which never happens with us as we all love our food. They also sell a fantastic cava sangria, which was definitely 99% alcohol!

The next morning, we decided we would get on one of the site seeing buses which actually turned out to be a great decision. The city is pretty big and there were two lines that the buses offered. We had planned to go to the royal palace and cathedral, so we got off the bus there. The palace is absolutely huge, but also stunning with all of it the original architecture. The absolute star of the show which you might not realise is tucked away behind some trees is the cathedral. I cannot even explain how breathtakingly beautiful it was. We all felt a little taken a back, with how stunning the stained glass windows and the detailings and designing of the roof.

After stopping for dinner we decided to get back on the bus and head to Retiro Park. We had read about it, but this is one of the best, if not the best, park I have ever been to. It was just so beautiful, partly due to the leaves falling off the trees. On this day the temperature was 28 degrees, therefore the sun was shining and the views were stunning. There is one part of the park where there is a huge greenhouse that looks over a lake, which has a fountain as a centre piece. We also hired a boat and spent the hour on the boating lake, and we had so much fun.

We had wanted to go to a roof top bar whilst within the city as we had read that there were many amazing ones dotted around the city. We had been trying to find a particular one for ages but we were struggling to find it. We had read about one called The Roof at the ME hotel, however we knew it was very expensive. We decided that we would go and take a little look and see if we fancied treating ourselves to a fancy cocktail or two. The door men had to take you to the lift in the hotel to get to the roof. When we got up to the roof and we asked me a menu, they stated there was only one menu for the entire bar. It was 18 euros each for a cocktail! The view was not exceptional as they had grids up, and we very much felt as though we were being judged by the staff. It was nothing special in the slightest, we decided we would much rather spend our money somewhere else so we swiftly left.

We already had a table booked at a restaurant, so we decided to order a jug of sangria in a little square we stumbled across until it was time to leave. The restaurant we had booked was called Tacos and Tapas, it had great reviews on TripAdvisor and we were glad we had booked a table as they were turning people away. We got the nachos to share to start with and they tasted incredible. I then ordered chicken tacos which I enjoyed, and there was not too much on the plate.

As we were determined to visit a roof top bar, and after a quick google search we decided go to The Hat. This roof top bar was actually located on the top floor of a hostel right in the city's centre. The cocktails were not particularly cheap and it took at least 30 minutes to take our order. I did enjoy our drink once it finally arrived, however we were not aware that the place closed at 12 o clock so we had to take our drinks home with us!

On the Saturday morning, we had made plans to go to this little creperie which we had seen on the first day. It was great as they did both waffles and pancakes. I had a pancake with sugar, lemon and strawberries, with a hot chocolate and it all tasted great. Everyone enjoyed their food, and it was a lovely start to the day.

We decided we would visit the National Archaeological Museum of Spain. I am very much into visiting historical sites and museums whilst I am on holiday. I have to say this did not disappoint and I think it is a must visit museum whilst visiting Madrid. It was massive, it had five floors and we must have been in there a good few hours. We were all really surprised at just how big and the amount of displays that they had from the different ages.

We decided to fit in a little bit more shopping, and then we stopped in one of their huge department stores called El Cortes. On the top floor they had a roof top bar, (yes we were still on the search for the perfect one!) and this one was great. It overlooked the city, you could have both food and drink, the sun was shining, and there was such a relaxed, chilled vibe. We all ordered cocktails and just enjoyed that true feeling of being on your holidays.

On the last night we went to a burger restaurant called Bacoa which did offer delicious food, however the concept was very strange. You ordered your food before getting a table, and despite the time being past 10pm it was so busy. We then had to wait in this crammed area to be assigned a table, there was some spare benches around the outside of the restaurant and we managed to grab a seat. I had a very tasty burger called the Australian, which was a beef burger with cheese, bacon and beetroot. It was very tasty, and it made up for the chaos of the ordering and seating situation.

Due to RyanAir cancelling our flight back to Manchester three weeks before the holiday, we literally had no other option (except cancelling the holiday) than to get a flight back to London. This was not only inconvenient due to it be at the other end of the country, but this flight was at 11am and our original flight was at 9pm. We had planned to go to this little cafe for some mid morning breakfast called La Rollerie. It was a little cafe right near our hotel which we had walked past everyday during the holiday. I had a lovely pot of english tea with a hot pain au chocolate.
It was then time to head back to the airport for our flight home. All round I had an incredible time in Madrid, it was great as we really did not know what to expect from the city and there was nothing but smiles on our faces the entire time we were there.


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