So the girls and I decided that we needed an October getaway on a budget.
We managed to get flights to Madrid from Dublin for €70 return! For some reason the Spanish capital is really reasonable to fly to.
We aren’t fussy when it comes to accommodation because we never intend on spending long in the actual room so we opted for a hostel.
As for eating and drinking, we always like to try local cuisine so as you can imagine tapas were a firm favourite.
Flights: Ryanair fly daily to Madrid
Getting Around: We arranged a taxi from inside the terminal to our hostel – only €22 for four of us. Madrid is so accessible that everything is in walking distance.
Hostel: We stayed in Room 007 which is in a super location, walking distance to everything and on a quieter street. There were four of us and we got our own private room with a shower and bathroom to ourselves.
** There were only light sheets on the beds so bring warm pj’s
To-Do: I much prefer walking around without a map and going with the flow. But there is an option of the hop on hop off bus if you aren’t that keen on walking. It stops at all the major sights and gives commentary on all the history.
Royal Palace of Madrid: It’s stunning to see and the gardens are picture perfect. There are also some nice churches to visit along the way.
El Retiro Park: This place is a must see. It’s stunning and there is a lake located in it where you can rent boats for 45 minutes costing only €8. Afterwards you can sit outside any of the restaurants and have some food and drinks.
Shopping: Madrid is amazing for shopping with all the usual high street stores but Stradivarius and Bershka being the most reasonable. There are also plenty of street markets dotted around the city.
Markets: We accidentally came across a really cool indoor market – Mercado San Miguel – which offered every tapas going, sweet and savory as well as loads of wine. A great way to sample the local cuisine and grape. You can buy tapas from different stalls and wander around with a glass in hand. It’s a free for all with regards tables and chairs so keep the eyes peeled.
Food: When in Rome as they say! The first night we ate in the restaurant below our hostel. Prices were very similar to home but it was handy as we landed in late.
The next night we ventured out to a place called Lateral. Located in the Santa Ana square this place provided outdoor seating where we could soak up the Spanish atmosphere. It was also reasonably priced for its location. They also had bottles of Rioja from €13 not to mention amazing cocktails from €7. And the staff were lovely. This place was so delicious we went back another night.
Night Life: Madrid has plenty to offer from cocktail bars to disco bars and not to mention Europes largest night club – Kapital. We ventured here one of the nights. It is a little more expensive. Entry was €17 and included one drink. Once it inside, there are seven floors to choose from so something for everyone. Just don’t get split up!
** Don’t forget a European adapter