Madrid, Spain | 36 Hours

When my friend Kayla and I were in the airport on the way to Iceland, I mentioned offhandedly that we should look at flights to mainland Europe, and seven minutes later, we’d booked flights to Madrid. We were only there for 36 hours but had the time of our lives exploring the city. If you’re going to Madrid, buy this book or at the very least, check out their website for some of Madrid’s best hidden secrets. :)

Some highlights from our trip below:

Food:

+ Mercado San Miguel — The coolest indoor food market where you can buy snacks and drinks from tons of different vendors

+ El Mezcalito — We ate Mexican food in Spain which seems silly, but when happy hour lasts until 9pm, margaritas are $2.50, and the guacamole comes with pomegranate seeds, it’s worth it.

+ Bar Galleta — We didn’t get a chance to go here, but it’s a more upscale restaurant on my list for next time.

+ Granier —Local bakery with delicious pastries and cappuccinos

+ Generator Hostel — We stayed at this hostel for 16 euros a night and loved it and their restaurant is great!

+ El Tigre — Hole-in-the-wall traditional Spanish food. You get a free *huge* plate of tapas for every sangria you order.

Culture:

+ Parque de Retiro — Beautiful park in the city with restaurants, statues, and pedal boats for rent

+ Palacio de Cristal — An incredible glass castle in the middle of Parque de Retiro with free entry

+ Plaza Major — Historic plaza downtown

+ Royal Palace of Madrid — Speaks for itself :)

Shopping:

The Malasaña district is apparently the trendy creative area in the city and our hostel was right in the middle of it. We died at every store we walked into on this stretch— all incredibly unique, small batch stores with beautiful artwork, products, and Spanish culture.

+ El Moderno Concept Store — One of the coolest stores I’ve ever been into in my life. Beautiful architecture, especially in the basement which lies underneath the streets. Lots of gifts and art!

+ Alphaville — Cool and quirky vintage clothing store

+ Karibu — Unique gifts and trinkets

+ DOOC — Home goods and gifts

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TravelLydia Kerr