133. TRAVELGUIDE: MADRID

7:29:00 AM

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The perfect city to relax...
There was no better idea than going to Madrid the weekend before the opening of our Zara flagship store in Brussels. Madrid is full of energy and great vibes. The food is delicious and there are no better shopping streets than in the center of Madrid.

About Madrid:
During my visit to Madrid for work in February (to discover the Zara SS15 collection), I fell in love with the city. 
It felt like a second home. And as a (50%) Spanish lady, I appreciate their culture so much that I miss it when I'm back in Belgium. Even Barcelona wasn't so relax or didn't feel like my second home. I'm in love with the city, I am.

We almost spended all our time outside sitting in the sunshine and enjoying some nice drinks and Tapas. 
The weather was just perfect (26°C) and we even got a little tan. Yay! The city is really all about simplicity and enjoying life. No stress and no rush. Just heaven...

About the food & drinks:
We choose to go outside for breakfast too, taking a hotel with breakfast included is a no-go for me when you really want to discover the streets and beautiful places. In the luxury shopping street, Calle de Serano, you have le Pain Quotidien and even though it's not typically Spanish, it was one of the most delicious breakfasts I've ever had. Pancakes with Belgian chocolate and fruits. Hard boiled eggs and some nice yoghurts.

First we went to Puerta del Sol (the most well known place in Madrid), the plaza has so many little streets and once arrived at Plaza Jacinto Benavente, we stopped for our first round of Tapas at 'Café y Tapas'. A great diversity of different tapas, small portions and big ones for those whom are very very hungry. We took a little bit of everything and ended with a waffle with chocolate. Yumm!

During the evenings we went to Calle Barcelona, also near by Puerta del Sol (this place is really the center of everything when you travel with the Metro). This street 'Calle Barcelona' has only Tapas bars and great places for a drink in the evening. We stayed their 'till midnight in a tshirt and with some cocktails. We had tapas at 'Tapas y Mas'. Big portions for a small price. Even some Gambas were on our table! Sounds so good isn't it? And it was.

About shopping:
Two streets to keep in mind: Calle de Serrano for the luxury brands and for one of the top Zara stores in the world. The second one is Gran Via. Where you find Stradivarius, Lefties, Bershka, Oysho, H&M,... Actually a street full of Inditiex, haha! But heaven for the ones in Europe as you can get the items for less expensive prices as here. And when you continue shopping on Gran Via and discovered his small streets, you can go back to Puerta del Sol for a Topshop and Sephora. 

About traffic in the city:
We did everything by Metro and most of the time we just walked. Don't go on high heels to the city. Just some relaxed sneakers and a comfy look (that's the reason why you don't see a lot of outfits of the trip. For me it was more enjoying the beauty of the city in a comfortable look than only taking pictures of my looks.). 
For a weekend there (3days) we took a 10-trip metro card for 12€. Much cheaper than a taxi and there are metro's going everywhere in the city every 5minutes. So you don't even have to wait for hours. Very practical isn't it? Madrid looks like a very big city, but you can do everything by walking, just as we did. In one day we walked around Madrid and all their special places (Plaza del Angel, Jardines de Sabatini,...)


I don't know when I will go back, but I can't wait though to book a new trip to Madrid. And tomorrow I'm leaving for work to Paris, so it will be a busy week again.


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