I’m back in Barcelona after traveling for 2 weeks through Spain, and have made my way through Madrid, Seville, Málaga, Granada, and San Sebastián. It’s been crazy hot temperatures, especially in the south areas of Andalucia.

So, let’s talk Madrid! As a city girl, I love the big city feel that Barcelona has, which is part of what attracted me to it. Well, Madrid has that plus more! Being August, I know that the city was actually more quiet than the rest of the year, as August in Spain is typically when residents and businesses take vacation. Even so, there was a hustle and bustle and sophistication that swept me off my feet.

I took a 7am train to ensure two full days and I stayed close to the main train station, Atocha, which is pretty central (more on my accommodations a little later). Since I visited Madrid, Seville, and Málaga for two days each, my first day is usually a full and fast paced day, usually walking about 20,000+ steps. The system worked quite well, where I would make my way to as many sights as I could (while still enjoying them) on Day 1, and stopping at any coffee shops or restaurants on my list on the way throughout the day. I save all sights and foodie spots in Google maps, so that I can easily navigate my way around to them (those yellow stars make it so easy to plan!). Then Day 2 allows me to get to any sights I didn’t make it to, and time to explore, discover, and wander the city.

First was a stroll down Paseo de Prado and over to Plaza Parterre for some stunning views and taking in all of the greenery.



Next was Palacio de Cristal – a stunning sight both inside and out.


{El Retiro Park}


Followed by a stroll through El Retiro Park, which is basically right next door.


The buildings are so stunning, I couldn’t stop snapping photos of everything!


A stop at the Royal Palace is a must!


(And the garden views)


I usually always make an afternoon stop for a second coffee of the day. La Bicicleta coffee shop is adorable, has a lots of space, and the tables have built in chargers – the perfect place to get a jolt of caffeine and re-charge my phone.

{La Bicicleta coffee shop}

Day 2 started with a quick photo op at this gorgeous wall outside of the CaixaForum Madrid museum.


Then a coffee from Loreto Coffee Bar followed by brunch at Ojalá, where I was meeting up with a fellow travel girl. I’m a part of a girls travel Facebook group which has over 80,000 members. It’s an amazing resource for inside info on cities, or to meet up with other girls from all over the world who are either traveling to the same city, or local to the area!



{An inside peek at a busy brunch at Ojala}

The coffee shop and Ojalá are in the Malasaña neighborhood, which has a cool trendy and hipster vibe.


After some more wandering in the heat, I headed to Mercado San Ildefonso to look around and have a cava break on the little rooftop terrace…895f888f-3a49-45f1-9182-c7529de11590


{upstairs terrace at Mercado San Ildefonso}

After a little more wandering and snapping of street art, I headed back to my hotel to rest a bit before a very memorable dinner…

{How cool is this street art?!}

For my last night in Madrid, I decided to head to El Sur after reading amazing things about them. I got there at just the right time to be able to nab a little table for myself. About 20 minutes after I got there, a mad rush of people came in and they had a queue of people who were told it was now a 30 minute wait. Even with this, I never felt rushed to finish eating and leave, which speaks volumes about their service. My server was extremely friendly (and adorable), and he was really patient as I asked questions and decided what to order. I decided to go with the musaka, which was just as delicious as it looks…


You can tell that everything is fresh is made with quality ingredients. Everyone around me had other dishes that looked equally amazing, and they seemed just as thrilled with the food and service. I ended with a piece of homemade carrot cake para llevar (take away), which I took back to my hotel.

I really loved Madrid, and I would definitely return back to continue exploring the city, food, and culture!


  1. WOW! I’m going to be spending New Years in Madrid – so stoked! I’ll have to check these places out!

    • Absolutely! I also have some other places I didn’t have time to make it to, so let me know! 🙂

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