My friends know that I am a die-hard FC Barcelona fan, so I was hesitant about visiting Madrid. Not a fan of Real Madrid…but I couldn’t let that stop me from visiting all the other great things in this city! One thing that let me know I was in Real Madrid territory was that as soon as I stepped onto the airport, I was smacked in the face with the team players posters on all walls. Still had to take a pic next to Sergio Ramos.
Our Airbnb was an eight-minute walk to the Atocha train station. It was small but in one of the best locations. I recommend staying around the area we were in. The Reina Sofia museum was right across the street! There were a few metro stations nearby and a beautiful park called “El Parque de Retiro.”
The first thing we decided to do is visit the Real Madrid stadium “Santiago Bernabéu.” We strolled around it, which seemed small, but the stadium actually goes underground a bit. We visited the gift shop and bought a few souvenirs for friends back home. I shall say it again, VISÇA BARCA! I have to say, for being a rival team, I’m glad I visited the stadium because it gave me some perspective on still showing much respect for their own achievements that they earned throughout the years they have been active at the same time as your own favorite team. Didn’t see Sergio Ramos though!
We then caught a metro to a shopping area of Madrid where we stopped to look at a similar Gaudí style building on a corner. I found out I like taking pictures where a person is the main focus and is surrounded by noise.
I got some jewelry and we got really hungry. We discovered that very fancy McDonalds exist around the world, and ended up in a secret tea garden. It felt like you were entering a speakeasy but to have tea. What a posh moment. Around 8 p.m. (normal Spanish dinner time) we headed to La Gastrobar and had some eclectic and delicious tapas!
I was drinking tea like there was no tomorrow, partly because I got sick and I had to make sure I was hydrating and taking warm fluids. Sophia fell in love with Buratta. We took another metro to get some gelato and headed back to our Airbnb to rest up for the next day.
I woke up feeling really sick at 7 a.m. and headed to a nearby pharmacy. Tip: Pharmacies in Madrid are very helpful and the pharmacist on hand will give you exactly what you need to survive sick vacation days. They’re located almost on every corner. We then headed to visit Plaza del Sol, Plaza Mayor, and El Gran Palacio.
Sophia and I had a photo shoot near the place we got our churros, Chocolateria San Gines.
On our way to the royal palace, we took a lunch break and had the most delicious avocado chicken sandwich I ever had. We wandered around the area for a bit and then visited the Royal Palace to snap a few quick pics.
The Reina Sofia Museum is a must! There is so much to see here. If you’re into art museums you’d probably fall in love here. I showed Sophia some Dali and Picasso art that I had wanted to see ever since I visited the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida earlier this year. I fell in love with the photography exhibition. I felt so much emotion from all the photos and was inspired for my future photo shoots.
We decided to use the last amount of energy, and phone battery, to visit the crystal palace located in the park nearby the museum and our Airbnb. This place is a photographer’s dream. I felt like I was in a fairytale. I was a princess waiting for my prince, or just pretending like I lived there.
By 8:30 p.m. we managed to find our way back to our Airbnb with no technology… and rested for a bit after devouring some burger king. For months we were told to go to El Kapital, and prepped to go, only to find out it was closed because it was a Wednesday night… We ended up finding an 80s themed bar in the Bilbao area where we sipped on some Whiskey Sours, eavesdropped foreign conversations and talked about life till 2 a.m. An interesting fact about Spain is that even though bars close at 2 a.m., they let you pour your drink into plastic cups so that you can finish the drink that you paid for when you leave. Love it! I have to get my money’s worth!
We woke up at 9 a.m. the next morning to catch our train to Sevilla!