I can finally say that I’ve stepped foot into Spain! We took a nice city break holiday to Madrid a few weeks ago, with a day trip (on a high speed train!) to a smaller city called Segovia. Thankfully, the weather gods were nice to us and let the sun shine during our time there. (It had literally rained the entire week leading up to our arrival.)
Some highlights included:
Puerta del Sol
This is one of the busiest areas in all of Madrid. We stayed quite close to this area so we were there every single day to take the metro or train to another area of the city. A few of the days, we would come back in the afternoon and there would be full on celebrations (or protests?) and just mobs of people everywhere.
Royal Palace of Madrid
Appearing like a Spanish Buckingham Palace (if you will), the Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. We only gazed at it from the outside, but it was quite stunning.
Casa de Campo
This is a humongous park – the biggest in Madrid, in fact – to the west of the city centre. As we tend to enjoy a mix of nature and city sightseeing, we wandered into the massive park for a nice afternoon stroll. Inside the park, there is an amusement park as well as Madrid’s zoo aquarium.
Teleférico de Madrid
As we walked through Casa de Campo, we noticed cable cars in the distance. This happened to be Teleférico de Madrid, which takes you above the park and river and includes views of the Royal Palace.
El Templo de Debod
If you want to see an Egyptian temple in Spain, then head to El Templo de Debod. Originally built in 200 BC, it is an ancient Egyptian temple that was dismantled and then rebuilt in Madrid. There are actual hieroglyphics (that you can touch!) inside and it is free to enter.
Aqueduct of Segovia
The major attraction of Segovia, a historic city northwest of Madrid, is the ancient Roman aqueduct that stands tall and proud in the centre of the city. Naturally, it’s been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is one of the best preserved ancient monuments left in Iberia. It certainly is something that I’ve never seen before, and indeed very impressive.
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Home to the Real Madrid CF football team, this stadium seats over 81,000 spectators and definitely worth the price to get inside. It is one of the most prestigious football stadiums in the world, and for €19.00 per adult, you can view everything from the dressing rooms (where Cristiano Ronaldo gets changed 😉 haha) to the presidential box to the dugout and press room. We likely spent about 2.5 hours in the place before we finally had enough.
Circulo de Bellas Artes
This is actually a cultural organisation in Madrid, but they provide access to the roof of the building for €4.00 a head, which offers lovely views of the city. There is also a rooftop bar (which I suspect is typically very busy) in which you can just relax and drink your troubles away.
Overall, I would say our time in Madrid was well spent, and we would love to explore other areas of Spain (like Barcelona!).
Feel free to browse through some of my Madrid photos in my portfolio 🙂
No holidays booked for June but Belfast and the Northern Ireland coast will be coming up in July!