Travel Diary: Madrid!

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Let's backtrack a couple of weeks to the 4 days I spent with my friends in Madrid. Yes, it's finally time to catch up on sharing all of my travel photos from the past few weeks. [P.S. If you missed my <strong><a href="" title="LONDON CALLING | Photo Diary" target="_blank">London</a></strong> or <strong><a href="" title="Christmas in Germany" target="_blank">Germany</a></strong> diaries, check them out!] Since I don't want to completely flood you with photos, I'll be sure to space out my travel catch-ups with other posts this week! Now let's go back to Spain...

The three of us stayed in an <strong><a href="" target="_blank">AirBnb</a></strong> apartment very close to the city center and some great food options. <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Check out our view here!</a></strong> We had 6 days to travel within Spain before heading to Rome, so we decided to stay for 4 in Madrid, and 2 in Barcelona. Looking back, we really wished we had more time in Barcelona, and I would recommend the same to you! Madrid is a great place, but there isn't as much to do there in comparison to Barcelona in my opinion. However, it was a great time filled with lots of paella, sangria, and exploring! 

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One of our favorite spots was this glass food market, <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Mercado de San Miguel</a></strong>. It was right around the corner from our apartment, and while it was a little fancier than Madrid's little corner restaurants, it was still really cheap and delicious. No joke, I probably ate paella for every meal of the day and this place had 2 different booths to choose from! The design of the space was also really intriguing. The glass was a modern touch, but the wood construction on the exterior was a nod to the archetypes of Madrid. 

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Another highlight was visiting Herzog de Meuron's <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Caixa Forum Art Museum</a></strong>! It was the perfect outing for us on a <em>really</em> rainy day. We saw an exhibit called Japonisme on the tradition of Japanese art in Spain, that turned out to be very good. 

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Next food recommendation: <strong><a href="" target="_blank">mmm_US</a></strong>. Shoutout to Alex for discovering this place for us. We were searching for good tapas places, and this one ended up being walking distance, yet again, from our apartment. It ended up not even having tapas...but it did have the best empanadas I've ever had in my life! Also a plus, the decor was super interesting and filled with lots of fun objects.

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One of the most culturally exciting things we did was check out this huge street market, <strong><a href="" target="_blank">El Rastro</a></strong>. We weren't expecting to come across something this huge. It ended up being a great way to witness local culture while browsing through items. 

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Which reminds me of this funny story...the only thing I picked up at the market was this Iron Maiden patch, which I thought to be cool at first. The vendor had so many to choose from, that I didn't look as hard as a should at it. Hours later I realized it's strongly supporting the confederacy...awkward. I'll definitely be altering this baby in some way before stitching onto a jacket, ha! 

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The other museum we checked out was the <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía</a></strong>. The main draw to this museum is to see Pablo Picasso's Guernica, amongst his other work. There were also a few Richard Serra pieces, who we've learned about for years, but lets be honest they were underwhelming. This museum was very large, and I imagine that the plaza in front of it is a fun place on a day with nicer weather. 

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Finally, the best food spot we checked out was the tapas restaurant, <strong><a href="" target="_blank">El Tigre</a></strong>. It was recommended by a friend who had stayed there before [thanks Antonia!] and was just, like, the most awesome place ever. We walked in to this crowded stand-at-counter place not knowing how to order. But no worries. The waiter seeks you out, asks what drink you'll each be having, and he takes it from there. They basically just provide you with enough food for everyone in your party.'s more than that, we couldn't finish it all! The drinks are huge glasses of beers and sangria, and the whole shabang only cost us 6 Euro each! Such a steal! 

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One last favorite place was this urban renewal public space we spotted while walking to the street market, which you may have seen on <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Instagram</a></strong> while I was traveling. It was such an intriguing spot that I'll actually get a whole new post up about it once I do a little research! 

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These are the last few nice shots from the trip! Lots of exploring, of course, but also quite a bit of time escaping the rain with coffee and playing cards. I think it's always a good thing to find some down time when traveling. 

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One last thing, I've linked all of these spots on my Pinterest board <strong><a href="" target="_blank">City Guide: Madrid</a></strong> which I have been creating for each city I visit, so you can easily locate everything if you find yourself in Madrid sometime soon! The new mapping option that Pinterest offers makes it so easy for me to create these guides for you guys super easily! Enjoy! 

x. Paige

Credits // Madrid map in cover photo created by <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Walk With Me</a></strong>