I really loved Madrid. It was colourful and lively and had some amazing green spaces in the middle of the city. The days were long and HOT – it wasn’t getting dark until about 11pm (at which time it was still around 32 degrees….). I really didn’t want to leave and would go back in a heartbeat.
I stayed in a beautiful AirBnB (see the pink and purple photos!) that was super handy and an easy 10 minute walk to the centre city.
By some stroke of luck Amy and Adam were in Madrid at the same time. When I arrived I met them for a drink (sangria, what else) and then checked out Plaza Mayor, one the big town squares, and Mercado De San Miguel for dinner – an indoor tapas market that was absolutely HEAVING until midnight.
The next day we did a bike tour of the city. It took 3 hours and was so worthwhile – saw a lot and was great to have a guide explaining what we were looking at, talking about Madrid’s history and giving us local restaurant tips! It included many of the city plazas, palaces and parks – it was lovely to ride through the beautiful gardens.
After the tour I went back to El Retiro park to visit the cactus gardens and the Crystal Palace. I visited the Museo Reina Sofía afterward to see Picasso’s Guernica – an incredibly moving piece about the Spanish Civil war. Can’t you just see the grief on their faces! The rest of the evening was spent wandering the streets, eating tapas in the square and drinking copious amounts of juice in an attempt to cool off.