Self Guided Walking Tour of Madrid are Free and Fun.
We all of a sudden had some free time on our hands because both of our temp jobs ended so we decided to go to Madrid. We had been considering going to Madrid for a while since the flights are fairly cheap out of Birmingham airport and we had heard lots of great things. On top of that, we had met some bloggers 'Alternative Travelers' online that were living in Madrid so they were saying we could meet up if we came to Madrid. They gave us a hand in planning our trip with their 'Short guide to Madrid!' Check out their guide to Madrid for main sights that are free and cheap.
We headed to Birmingham airport which is a short train ride away and we started to wonder why we ever fly out of London. If only there were more flights out of Birmingham.
Be sure to check out our guide if you are planning a trip to Madrid!
We had some comments asking us why we stopped doing Vlogs so we decided to do a vlog again and see how it goes. The flight was only about 2 hours and before we knew it we were in Spain. There is a 24h airport express bus that goes from the airport to the city centre of Madrid for €5. We could have taken a bus and the metro to our hotel for cheaper but it was less direct and then we would have to transfer. We decided to go with the express bus.
We were pretty hungry when we got there so we wanted to find some food to eat. First we got settled in to our hotel. The WiFi really sucked at first but we got it sorted out. We looked on Happy Cow and found a great looking place called Botanique in Mercado de Antón Martín which was nearby. It ended up being closed as I think we were trying to find food at the worst time. It was 4pm or something which is when a lot of restaurants shut down. We weren't aware of this.
How it works is that restaurants are open from around 12:00-4:00 and then from 8:00-Midnight.We ended up going to Urban Orchard which had some excellent smoothies and vegan cakes but unfortunately not much in the way of substantial lunch food. They did have a couscous salad.
The next day we headed out to explore the city. There doesn't seem to be a lot of breakfast places so we decided to just get a snack somewhere. We aren't huge breakfast eaters and breakfast doesn't seem to be a big thing in Spain. We went to Planeta Vegano to see what they have. They have a good selection of fridge and freezer food and stuff. We got some muffins there that were honestly pretty disgusting but they tided us over breakfast wise. We figured we'd get food later when we met up with Alternative Travellers at this gluten free bakery that has vegan stuff.
Alternative Travelers arrived. We had some coffee and then we ended up going to a Chinese place close by called Shi-Shang which was all you can eat for €8.95 which is a steal.
Alternative Travelers we parted ways and went to the Temple of Debod which we were told is best to see at sunset.
We made it to the Temple just in time to get some great pictures of the light reflecting off the water around the temple. It was busy with other tourists. All of a sudden everyone around us was speaking English with America accents. I don't think we heard one British accent the whole time we were in Madrid, all the tourists were from Canada or the US.
This one guy was getting a memento the hard way and drawing the view. There were many people hanging out in the surrounding park. A group of guys were slack lining so we stopped to watch them for a little while.
Madrid looks great at night as well when all the lights come out. Unfortunately our pictures at night never turn out that great so you are just going to have to go to Madrid yourself to see.
The following morning, we had some coffee and tea and oranges for breakfast and then got ready to go out on the town. We headed in the direction of Rayen Vegano to see if we could get a table. It was 1:15 by the time we got there. We would recommend that you make a reservation for lunch rather than just showing up. Luckily enough Rayen Vegano had enough room for us and we both got the Menu del Dia which is a multi course Lunch they do at all restaurants in Madrid.
We had a bit of a mishap where we tried going to the Cable Car as it said it was open online. When we got there it was shut down. The cable car was only running on weekends. Why was this not listed online? We decided to wander around the Malasaña/Universidad neighbourhoods which have a lot of character.
Sometimes we look at signs to figure out where the hell we are exactly. It can be easy to loose track if your tourist map doesn't show all the street names.
We heard that it was the hipster part of town which felt right once we started seeing vintage clothing, record stores and tattoo parlours.
We went to B13 Bar to meet them for dinner. We tried some Torilla, Calamares, Patatas Bravas with Meat Balls, and the Doble Hamberguesa.
We ended up going to a small bar somewhere to see some more of the unique Madrid night spots and then calling it a night early since we had to catch a flight early the next day.
We had to get a nice picture together before saying goodbye. Our hotel front desk guy was happy to take the photo for us. The decorations in our hotel are pretty bizarre. I think they are trying to compete with the Reina Sofia museum next door. Nice try guys.
We also made a little vlog while on our trip in Madrid:
Thank you for reading. If you would like to read more on Spain check out our post: "Exploring Cartagena by Foot"