- Valentina Solci
Moments in Madrid
In this article I will share all the details from my 3 day trip to Madrid, España. I went with my friend, Emma, and this was our very first time visiting this city. Hope you enjoy...
We arrived in Madrid at around 10AM, checked into our hostel, and headed straight to lunch! Our hostel was called TOC and was located in Puerta del Sol, one of the most famous plazas in Spain. This was our first time staying at a hostel, and we were very impressed with the service/cleanliness level. We slept in a room with 4 other females and were provided with large lockers.
For lunch, we went to a nearby restaurant called La Costanilla. Emma ordered a tostada, while I took advantage of their "deal of the day". The deal was 11.50 Euros and included: any beverage of your choice, water, bread basket, appetizer, main platter, and any dessert. Each dish was so flavorful and well cooked; I definitely would recommend dining here when in Madrid.
Next up, we walked over to Plaza Mayor, which was once the center of Old Madrid and built during the reign of Philip III. At Plaza Mayor, you can find plenty of shops and restaurants to hang out at.
Royal Palace of Madrid: This palace was once the official residence of Spain's royal family. Today, it is used for state ceremonies and visited by many travelers. It is the largest functioning royal palace, containing 3,418 rooms.
Catedral de la Almudena: Right next to the Royal Palace of Madrid is the Catholic cathedral of Almudena. Here, the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Madrid congregates and Pope John Paul II was consecrated in 1993.
Once the sun set, we walked through the Royal Palace's garden and headed towards Puerta del Sol to get ready for our night out.
That night, we walked along Calle de la Cava Baja and ate at Los Secretos de Lola. The vibe of this place was so lively, and well decorated with firefly lights and flowers. We both ordered Sangrias and tapas (fried calamari, tortilla Española, mushroom croquetas, and chorizo Argentino).
Origen de las Carreteras Radiales: At Puerta del Sol, you can find one of Spain's most acclaimed landmark called, Origen de las Carreteras Radiales (Origin of Radial Roads). This spot marks Kilometer Zero, where all the main roads of Spain originate. Thus, this is known as the literal center of Spain.
We ended up having breakfast at Pans, a cafe in Puerta del Sol. This place is great for quick service and low prices. I ordered a cappuccino and croissant with boiled egg, tuna, and lettuce. this meal was all under 4 Euros.
Palacio de Cibeles: This historic landmark was opened in 1907 and is home to the Madrid City Council. Visitors can explore most of the floors and have lunch at it's rooftop restaurant. This is an excellent community hub to visit as it faces one of Madrid's largest intersections.
Walking past Alcala Gate and into Buen Retiro Park, one can explore the garden areas, monuments, restaurants, and outdoor activities. When we visited the park it was raining so we didn't get to stay for long but I would love to go back on a sunnier/warmer day!
Barrio de las Letras, also known as the Literary Quarter, has a historical significance for having been an abode to some of Spain's greatest literary writers. Today, this neighborhood is a great place for pedestrians to explore the poetic quotes embedded along the streets, shop, eat, and enjoy a bohemian atmosphere.
After buying a few unique souvenirs at this lovely flower/fashion shop, Emma and I had lunch at La Cocinilla. Here, we ordered paninis and sangrias. This place has a nice all white, petitie interior and affordable prices.
We had one long night ahead of us, so we decided to kick it off at Mirador del Arco de Cuchilleros for some tea and tapas. I ordered some jasmine tea because I was cold and wanted a warm cleanse. Emma and I shared some chorizo Argentino and fresh salad.
Right across the street was La Taberna de Mister Pinkleton. Here, we attended an 11pm flamenco show. This was our very first flamenco show and was honestly the highlight of the trip! Of course, this is a very touristy experience, but it was sooo worth it to me. We were seated front row and, for just 35 Euros, we got to watch a 2 hour performance with a drink of our choice.
Later that night we went to Joy, a nightclub located only a block away from our hostel. Great location, decent entrance fee, diverse music and fun vibe....def a must.
By like 4am we left Joy and headed straight to Chocolateria San Gines. This is a 24/7 chocolateria which just so happened to be located one block away from Joy. We ordered hot cocoa and fresh churros...the perfect late night snack!!
sweet dreams Madrid
Our flight was scheduled to leave later that afternoon, so we decided to have breakfast at our hostel's buffet. We took it easy and enjoyed the all-you-can-eat meal before heading out to the airport.
Walking into this weekend, I did not expect to fall in love with Madrid as much as I did. I loved the calm but fun energy of the people, clean streets, fascinating history, delicious food, and lively culture. I liked it so much that I even told Emma that I could see myself living there in the future.....jaja you never know!
Love always and forever,