This is a little travel guide of how my family and I spent three days in Madrid. This will be a three-part series as we stayed in three different cities in Europe over the course of 10 days. With the six-hour difference, we spent the first couple of days trying to adjust. We did not do as many things as I had originally hoped for; so I will include a few things I wish we had been able to fit as well.
A great way to have an enjoyable but relaxing trip is to book a few things in advance. My favorite thing to do is plan one thing per day of your trip. When traveling with a big family, though, this can be difficult. Instead, I planned one thing per city and this worked perfectly for us!
We stayed in 60 Balconies Urban Stay. This was a great location for us because it was a five-minute walk to the train station. The location was perfect because we had a train leaving at 6:45 am on our final morning. This was the most spacious place that we stayed in. There were three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a full kitchen and living room area with daily cleaning service included. However, we arrived in Madrid at 7 am and we were more than ready to drop off our luggage and find breakfast, but the “hotel’s” office did not open until about 9 am so we did not have anywhere to leave our luggage. This was slightly disappointing but overall, this stay was great!
While waiting for our room to be ready, le fam and I visited my mom in her Airbnb, located in the Lavapiés area. This was about a fifteen-minute walk for us. This area was super hilly, which made a great exercise for us.
Afterward, we went to the hotel and freshened up in time for a late lunch. The area we went to was called Lalatina. We went to a little bar that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend, but it was a beautiful area next to a school. When the school was let out, it was so nice to hear the nostalgic sounds of kids playing outside. This was all for the first day as we went home at about 6:30 pm from pure exhaustion.
This was our special tour day! We took a two-hour tour on the Tuk Tuk and absolutely LOVED it. We could pick the places we wanted to see, so we knew we would be interested in every sight. This was such an enjoyable way to see the whole city while still feeling the sun and breeze on your skin! We got out of the tuk tuks to take pictures of monuments and different views which was a big plus. This tour was a great way to learn about Madrid’s history and important historical moments.
After our tour, we went to Starbucks, and on a total side note, everything was a lot less sweet! I loved it because I feel things in the States can be overly sweetened. I give 5/5 stars for this Starbucks run!
From Starbucks, which was right in front of the Four Seasons, there was a ton of great designer stores. So the fam split up for a little shopping. Antonio went with the girls to Zara while hunny buns accompanied me to a few designer spots because when in Europe😛… A big thing for the ladies who are coming ready to swipe those credit cards and collect some designer items, get your shopping done in a bigger city like Madrid. I waited to buy some things in Lisbon, Portugal, and I thoroughly regretted this decision because the options there were extremely limited.
For lunch, we went to a gorgeous little spot called Las Cuevas de Luis Candelas. It was tucked away in a little alley so it was more quiet, and the food was absolutely delish! We sat her for quite a while, enjoying the scenery and company. This restaurant is super close to San Miguel Market, which is also a must to visit while in Madrid, but it was loud and crowded for lunchtime so I recommend going early to be able to enjoy!
After this, we went to a spot that we were told was great for watching the sunset…
I should have taken this with a grain of salt because there were absolutely no sunset views! It was still fun and more for a young crowd, the rooftop was gorgeous and great for a happy hour, worth making a stop El Viajero Madrid. We later said goodbye to my mom and her friends then off to bed.
Our final day in Madrid started out at Scarlett. This little spot was right next to our hotel and was absolutely delicious, we visited a couple of times. They had great smoothies to counter the drinks and tapas and so many different and healthy breakfast and brunch options.
In the afternoon we paid a visit to El Prado Museum, it was lovely, but after The Louvre I must confess it’s hard to be impressed. The art was exquisite and someone was playing the piano in one of the rooms which enhanced our visit so much!
Bella and I stopped at El Corte Ingles for some shopping. In the same neighborhood of Callao, you can find a ton of designer shops and beautiful buildings, and restaurants to check out. That’s where I got my Bottega bag (which I’m reviewing right here) e ate a simple Italian dinner for our last night (totally bummed I didn’t find the tag/place!). We could have done another night of Spanish cuisine, but the fam was craving something simple, and this place was so flavorful and comforting.
There are a few things I wish we had done in Madrid but due to the final day being a rainy one, and the whole family still adjusting to the major time difference, we were unable to get to these places.
The Royal Palace of Madrid, which is the second largest palace in Europe, twice the size of Buckingham Palace and Versailles. This will be on my list if I were to go back. This palace has over 3,400 rooms and a gorgeous view of Madrid. It would definitely be a super interesting afternoon activity.
Picnic on Retiro Park would also be on my to-do list. This is a beautiful park with a view of Madrid, and the perfect place to watch the sunset (recommended by our Tuk Tuk guides).
We hear that we must eat Tapas when in Spain all the time and everyone gives a different explanation to what Tapas are. So we got the scoop!! Tapas are simply “left-overs” or appetizers that restaurants have in plentiful in their kitchens that they bring to your table whenever you order an alcoholic beverage.
The types and amount of Tapas they bring will vary from place to place, but it’s usually olives, peanuts, bread, fried pork, and other yummies. The story goes that the Spaniards liked to drink a lot and would get pretty hammered back in the day. As authorities tried to understand why people would get so drunk, they realized is because they don’t eat. So they made it a RULE in Spain that anytime an alcoholic beverage is ordered, some kind of tapas must be served to the table! We like that 🙂
I hope this was helpful and a little fun read for you!