Travel — Spain

Travel Diary: Madrid 2017

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 Madrid Travel Blog

Atocha Train Station

Turtles Atocha Train Station Madrid Travel Blog

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!

View Madrid AirBnB Travel Blog

The view from our apartment

Airbnb apartment Madrid Travel Blog

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. 

Santa Ana Madrid Travel Blog

Santa Ana

Lateral Santa Ana Madrid Travel Blog

Cocktails in Lateral, Santa Ana

Madrid Travel Blog

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!

Real Madrid Travel Blog

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!

Retiro Park Madrid Travel Blog

Retiro park Madrid Travel Blog

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

Royal Palace Madrid Travel Blog

Royal Palace Madrid

Plaza Espana Madrid Travel Blog

Plaza Mayor

Markets La Latina Madrid Travel Blog

Markets in La Latina

Markets La Latina Madrid Travel Blog

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...??? 

Lots of Love,


Travel Diary: Valencia April 2017

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.

Palm Tree Sunset Valencia Spain SassieDoll Travel Blog

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.

Westin Valencia Spain Lobby SassieDoll Travel Blog

Westin Valencia Spain Hotel Room SassieDoll Travel Blog

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.

Mercado del Colon SassieDoll Travel Blog Valencia Spain

Fountain Valencia Spain Travel Blog SassieDoll

Valencia Spain Streets Travel Blog SassieDoll

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.

SassieDoll Travel Blog Valencia Spain Couple

Valencia Spain Marina Yacht SassieDoll Travel Blog

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!

Valencia Marina Beach Club Spain Travel Blog SassieDoll Palm Trees

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,