Travel Diary: Madrid 2017
Welcome back and Happy Monday!
I mentioned in my last travel diary that I've been to Madrid quite a bit as Darragh is a huge Real Madrid fan, so there is a lot I could talk about but I will try to keep this post as short and sweet as I can! Enjoy :) x
How we got there:
After flying into Madrid from Dublin and then getting the train from Madrid to Valencia (read all about our trip to Valencia Here!) we then got the train back to Madrid for two nights. Atocha train station it is the central station in Madrid and it is like a jungle. It is full of plants and trees and a pond full of turtles. It is definitely worth going to see even if you are not getting a train anywhere!
Atocha Train Station
Where we stayed:
We usually try to book the same hotel (Vincci Soho) each time we go to Madrid as it is in a great location, However, because El Classico was on that weekend, the prices of hotels in the city had sky rocket so we decided to try AirBnB for the first time. We were so pleasantly surprised with the whole experience. It was so easy and our host, Jorge, was so lovely and accommodating.
We booked a penthouse studio apartment to ourselves. Jorge met us at the entrance, helped carry our luggage up the 10 flights of stairs (the only negative about the apartment, haha) and then showed us around the boho style loft which included a roof top terrace with an amazing view of Madrid!
The view from our apartment
What we ate:
I have to say, being vegetarian in Madrid can be a bit of a task at times. We went to one of our favorite restaurants called ‘Lateral’ in Santa Ana. Santa Ana is a great square for nice restaurants and Lateral is one of our favorite tapas spots with a few veggie options to choose from such as Tempura vegetables, bruschetta and Spanish Omelette. You will never be stuck for somewhere to eat though, you will always find great tapas bars throughout the streets of Madrid where you get free tapas with every beer.
Cocktails in Lateral, Santa Ana
What we did:
Tickets to El Classico are extremely pricey so I decided to give this game a miss. Instead, I went to an Irish Bar called "The Irish Rover" around the corner from the stadium while Darragh went to the match. I met a lovely group of American girls who are living and studying in Madrid and ended up having a great time with them!
A little throw back to myself and Darragh at a Real Madrid match in the Bernabeu
Retiro Park is another must see when visiting Madrid. We went for a stroll around the park and came across a new roof top bar which was so classy and relaxing. You can also go out on row boats in the park which I would definitely recommend doing!
There is a lot to do and see in Madrid but I don't want to make this post any longer than it already is, haha! If you would like me to do a part two of things to do in Madrid or have any questions then let me know on social media @SassieDoll or message me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Palace Madrid
Markets in La Latina
I hope you enjoyed this and got some ideas if you are planning a trip to Madrid any time soon!
See you next time from...???
Travel Diary: Valencia April 2017
Can you believe it’s sunny in Dublin? I just stepped off a plane last week from 26 degrees into zero degree Celsius in Dublin and now the sun is splitting the stones. Better enjoy it while it lasts!
Myself and Darragh try to go to Madrid at least once or twice a year. Darragh is a huge Real Madrid fan so we like to go to a game or two in the Bernabeu whenever we can. I'm not the biggest football fan, but when I get to visit Madrid on a regular basis I’m not complaining. It is one of my favorite cities in Europe.
Anyway, I’ll save that for my next blog post all about Madrid. Today’s post is about Valencia. We decided to do a little detour this time round.
How we got there:
We had already booked our flights to Madrid, so we flew into Madrid as normal and then got the train from Atocha station to Valencia. The flight from Dublin to Madrid is roughly 2hrs 30mins and the train from Madrid to Valencia was 1hr 40mins! Our train tickets were around €50 each one way, we purchased our train tickets here!
Where we stayed:
We decided to treat ourselves and booked into the Westin Valencia for two nights. The hotel was stunning. The reception was comprised of marble and gold with sky high ceilings and chandeliers. Our room was almost as impressive with a HUGE king size bed, seating area, floor to ceiling windows and a gorgeous big bathroom with separate shower and bath. The staff on arrival were so helpful and advised us of all the best spots to visit on such a short stay.
What we did:
We spent our first evening strolling trough the city taking in the Spanish cobbled streets lined with palm trees. Our hotel was only a few minutes walk from the city center which was perfect. Most places close from 4pm to 8.30pm for Siesta so once it hit 8pm we were pretty hungry. We happened to stumble upon Mercado de Colón, a gorgeous market full of little pubs and restaurants where we spent the rest of the evening.
Breakfast wasn't included in our hotel stay so Darragh popped out to the local shop and picked up some bread, cheese, yogurts and pastries. After breakfast, we went for a jog in the Jardines Del Turia, a gorgeous park which runs through the city and was right beside our hotel. I would definitely recommend going for a stroll in Jardines Del Turia if you visit Valencia.
We then decided to walk to the beach, which was almost an hour walk from the Westin. After all the walking we popped into a really nice beach bar which I would definitely recommend. Marina Beach Club Valencia had a live DJ playing all day, a pool, and circular leather sofas facing the beach. The drinks were quite pricey though, a G&T will set you back around €12!
It was a very short and sweet trip but I will definitely be back!
See you in my next Travel Diary for part 2 of this trip in Madrid...
Lots of Love,
Travel Diary: Milan Feb 2017
Fashion, great food and beautiful culture. Milan is such an enticing city for so many reasons. It was the perfect place to celebrate my 8 year anniversary with my boyfriend, Darragh.
After landing in Bergamo airport, we go a bus to the central station which took about an hour. Luckily, our hotel was right across from the train station. We stayed in the Star Echo Hotel Milan and I would highly recommend this hotel. The location was great, directly across the road from the central station, metro lines and walking distance to Duomo square. The staff were lovely and friendly and our room was gorgeous!Oh and another great feature in this hotel, if you are trying to remain healthy while travelling, the hotel restaurant 'Orto Green Food & Mood by Eataly restaurant' offers lots of healthy options such as turkey burgers and mixed salads for lunch and the breakfast buffet had a wide choice of fruit, yogurt, nuts & seeds and even had an array of vegetables such as carrots and Brussels sprouts...I cant imagine eating brussell sprouts for breakfast but at least I had the option ;P
As you can imagine, there are so many great places to go for food and drinks in Milan. One spot that was recommended to us was Navigli. Navigli is a lovely area full of bars and restaurants along a canal. Unfortunately we only had time for 1 drink there as we were going out to San Siro stadium that evening to watch AC Milan V Fiorentina.
We had almost four full days in Milan, one of which we spent the day at Lake Como. As much as I loved the city of Milan, I have to say the best part was our day trip to Lake Como. Only a 40 minute train ride from Milan central station I could not recommend visiting Lake Como enough if you are ever in Milan for a few days.
The other three days were spent strolling around the designer shopping streets and visiting some of the main tourist attractions in Milan such as Duomo square (which is home to Milan Cathedral) and Sforza Castle. There is a lovely bar at the side of Duomo square where you can sit out on the terrace and have a cocktail with an amazing view of the Cathedral. We also stopped off for a cheeky cocktail break in the Armani Cafe.
I have lots of travel plans ahead so I hope you enjoyed this post! See you next month from Madrid...
Lots of Love