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Madrid, Spain: A great surprise!

Beginning of this month I went for a city trip to Madrid. I knew Madrid was the capital of Spain, but that I would like it so much as I did was a great surprise for me! In this blog I will give you the ins and outs of my trip!

Madrid is only a 2,5 flight from the Netherlands, so that is very easy to do. I went on this trip with my parents and sister to celebrate my parents anniversary. They are married for 35 years! How cool is that?!

Puerta del Sol, Madrid

The First Day

We arrived in Madrid in the morning on a Friday, which was very nice so we could spend the whole day in the city. From the airport, it was a short trip in the subway to our hotel. We had a very lovely hotel right on the corner of the big shopping street in Madrid: ‘Gran Via’. It’s called ‘Petit Palace Triball’. So if you’re ever looking for a hotel in the centre, this is certainly a recommendation.

Gran Via, Madrid

I loved the good weather by the way. It was around 25 degrees celsius when we were there, a perfect summer ending! It was also very nice to see so many people outside enjoying the weather, even if it was October already.

On our first day we went to do some exploring on foot. Because our hotel is so central, it was very easy to walk to several hotspots. We saw the beautiful square of Puerta del Sol, which is one of the busiest and well known places of Madrid. The buildings are very beautiful and all the well known stores are also here. We went further into the shopping street and ended up on Plaza de Santa Ana. A smaller square with some nice restaurants to have lunch outside. We had tapas which was really nice! Another famous square we visited was Plaza Mayor. I had never expected that the architecture and buildings where so beautiful in Madrid. It looked really nice!

Puerta del Sol, Madrid
Plaza Mayor, Madrid
Plaza Mayor, Madrid
In the neighbourhood of Plaza Mayor, Madrid

Bike Tour

On Saturday we had booked a bike tour to go through all of the highlights of the city with a guide. It’s quite getting used to cycling in Madrid because there are no bike lanes like we have in the Netherlands. So in Madrid, you just ride on the lanes where the cars are also driving =O. Luckily we all survived without any damage =P. We saw some beautiful neighbourhoods like MalasaƱa (known as the gay hipster neighbourhood) and Salamanca (one of the most prestigious neighbourhoods in Madrid). We also went to the Royal Palace of Madrid and saw several parks. Madrid is very green which I didn’t expect at all! It was a great way to explore the city.

At the Royal Palace of Madrid with my sister
On the bike in one of the parks
At Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid
In a park with a beautiful view of the Royal Palace in the background

Toledo

On Sunday we went to Toledo, which was originally the capital of Spain until Madrid took over to be the big city of Spain. However, the culture and history is much more present in Toledo. From Madrid it’s only an half hour by train, so certainly doable! Once there you can go to the centre of the city with a bus.

It is a beautiful city with a lot of historic buildings, cozy streets, lots of nice places to eat and also some beautiful views of the nature surrounding the city. One of the highlights must be the cloister we went it. It was so beautiful with the inside garden and all!

Driving to the city you can enjoy a beautiful view of it
Toledo has some beautiful streets
Inside a cloister in Toledo
At the cloister of Toledo
It was a bit touristy in the more popular streets
Enjoying the view

Last day in Madrid

On our last day we still had some hours before we had to go to the airport to fly back. We decided to go to the Parque del Buen Retiro again, where you also have the Palacio de Cristal. A beautiful glass building in the centre of the park. We also did some walking in the park since it is such a big park. A great way to have some peace in all the busyness of the city.

At Palacio de Cristal, Madrid
In Parque del Buen Retiro
On our way to the Parque del Buen Retiro
Just outside the Parque del Buen Retiro

Another fun thing of Madrid which I liked was that they have these electric scooters everywhere (you can see them in the above image if you look closely). They are just standing there, and you can take them if you want to go from A to B. Of course, we had to try that =P! It was really fun and now I want one for myself haha. Unfortunately they are not legal in the Netherlands yet. I did some digging and they seem to become legal in the Netherlands soon so that would be great.

To come to the conclusion: Madrid was a great surprise for me! I loved the city with all that it has to offer. If you’re planning a city trip soon, then I would strongly recommend Madrid. Hope you enjoyed my blog, and I will see you in the next one!

Twan

Also follow my adventures on Instagram

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