When I found out that we would be going to Spain in September, Irina; Alessia & I decided that we should try visit Madrid, the capital of Spain seeing as though we would be right there. As soon as I starting pinning to my Wanderlust board on Pintrest about Madrid, the beautiful Crystal Palace kept popping up and I knew it was something I just had to see.
Madrid is the third-largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin. It’s architecture is so different to Barcelona’s. Madrid has a modern urbanization with regards to it’s architecture while Barcelona has held onto many of it’s Gothic styled buildings. It was interesting to note the contrast of the two Spanish cities.
So what did we get up to during our one night in Madrid? Well, let me start from the beginning. We thought we could just wing it and go to the train station to catch a train from Barcelona to Madrid, unfortunately our wallets took a beating and we paid for our mistake of not preparing properly. The trip cost us about €180.00 for a 3 hour speed train trip. Do I regret it? That would be a huge no! I got to see the beautiful Crystal Palace; experience a new city and I get to say I ate churros at the most famous churro restaurant!
We arrived in Madrid in the late afternoon and the heat immediately hit us as we stepped off the train, it veered between 38-43 degrees while we were there and we were sweating non-stop. We checked into our beautiful hotel, Exe El Coloso, which I would highly recommend for the location and plus it’s 4 star which doesn’t hurt ;).
We took a Hop-on Hop-Off bus which I’ve mentioned before is such a great idea as we were there for such a short time that we tried to get in as much as possible.
Hands down, one of my best memories of Madrid will be spending time at the Buen Retiro Park, which translates to “The Park of the Pleasant Retreat”. We strolled around a bit, took hundreds of photos and then relaxed on the grass eating ice lollies to try cool down. We then made our way to The Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace) and it was everything I imagined and more!
The Palacio de Cristal is a memorizing glass and metal structure located in the park. It was built in 1887 to exhibit flora and fauna, and was meant to be moved around for different exhibitions but has stayed in it’s place next to a lake ever since it was built. Nowadays it is used for art exhibitions.
While you’re in Madrid, don’t forget to pop by Chocolateria San Gines which has been serving churros sonce 1894! Nom nom nom nom!