So about a month ago I spent a long weekend in Espanyol with the fam – It was a trip we had actually planned to do the year before to celebrate my parents 30th wedding anniversary, but a couple of things cropped up with the family and we’d had to postpone the trip, but one year on we were once again booking flights and accommodation. I’d never actually been to Madrid before, but on first impressions its just as beautiful as any other southern European city – the colours and architecture were amazing, with the usual winding cobbled streets, tiled shop fronts and swifts screaming around overhead. To say we’d had a year to research and pull together a list of things to do, we did no planning whatsoever! Normally when I’m travelling to a new city, I will plan and research to the point that I know where we’re having breakfast every morning, where’s the best place to grab a coffee and sample the best local cuisine – but I have NEVER been so unprepared for a trip, and unfortunately it’s safe to say we didn’t really make the most on what Madrid had to offer! But whilst there, as usual my camera came everywhere with me, and I really wanted to share the images from the trip – so the below post is more of a photo-story, rather than an in-depth city guide – sorry!
The timing of the trip actually worked out perfectly; my sisters and I all live in separate cities, my parents are still in Brighton and its a rarity for us to spend a solid block of time together. And so we just spent the time chilling and enjoying each others company – It’s so easy as you grow older to get sucked into the daily grind of life, and spend less and less time with the people who matter, family. My little/not so little sister had just finished her final year at uni, and was due to fly out to the US for a season of Camp America a couple of days after we got back – and so as I said the timing couldn’t have been better!
Essentially, we just spent the weekend strolling around, eating and drinking to our hearts content. We stayed in a beautiful little AirBNB right near the Tirso de Molina, and great little square packed with small bars and local restaurants, perfect walking distance to the rest of the old town and easy access to the metro system. On the first night we went straight to a rooftop bar called El Viajero, for the finest patatas bravas and tapas mezze, and a view out over the town and the San Francisco el Grande Church for Sunset – a great location to soak up the vibe of the city on your first night, and enjoy your first glass of Sangria. On the second day we spent the morning exploring the Botanical Gardens – one of my favourite things to do in any new city, and Madrid’s didn’t disappoint. The gardens are placed on a hill and so it’s best to explore first thing, before the heat of the midday sun. On our last day we decided to visit the Royal Palace, honestly one of the most opulent I have every been to and well worth a visit if your into that kind of thing. Right, so a quick round up of some places you should check out when planning a trip to Madrid – If you find yourself in the Salamanca district, head to Fonty for a coffee and some of the cities finest pastries, and Aperol and maybe a light lunch. And then onto El Patio del Fisgón for dinner or a late brunch on one of their mystical garden themed terraces. Another place we’d heard about but hadn’t managed to make it to was El Tigre, a small busy and overcrowded bar – but wait for it – that serves free tapas with every round of drinks!