Travel Diaries: Madrid, Valencia, and Barcelona Spain All in ONE Week!
We had originally booked a South Africa trip for this past June for my friends wedding and had bought the airline tickets but when the wedding was called off, we got a refund, which is the long story short. We were shocked we got offered a full refund since airlines don't do that but that allowed us to now do TWO different trips for the year instead of just that one. We chose to do Punta Cana in June (post about that here and vlog about that here) and then Spain in October. We bought the trip via Gate 1 Travel which pretty much booked our airfare, hotel, and trains all for us and we paid one price for it all. We also got the opportunity to fly premium economy on Air France which I had never ever been past economy/coach so that was such a nice experience. I can only imagine how business class feels!
Linked my clothes below and also check out this to shop my insta.
FIRST STOP: MADRID
HOTEL: H10 Villa de la Reina
SUNDAY: We arrived around 2 PM, met up a friend of mine from high school that lives there to teach and another friend of mine who is from there! We went to La Maruca for a drink and with every drink you get a little sample of food during aperitivo time (which is just a pre dinner meal or drink. Then we walked to Marieta to have some tapas at around 4PM which was very yummy. We then went to El Paracaidista rooftop to grab another drink and then headed over to Siete Tetas Park which is these 7 hills that overlook the whole city for sunset. It was so beautiful and only a walk away from a train stop! That night we were pooped! Took the train back to our hotel, stopped at a kabob shop, and went to sleep!
MONDAY: We woke up around 10 AM went to Frida for breakfast which is SUCH an instagram worthy spot. They only had an spanish omelet, toast, and a jamon sandwich to choose from but it was good and enough food to start walking around the town! This is the day we hit up SO many rooftops! I don't know why but I love seeing new towns from rooftops because you get the see the whole city and it's so fun to have a drink up there! We went to Azoteo (tartan roof) which was 4 euro to get in but it's so worth it. We also found even beer was so cheap at these nice places. Only 4-6 euro for beer. We then walked around to all the popular monuments, stopped for some food and drinks, then hit up 2 more rooftops. The Iberostar hotel has a pretty quaint rooftop and then we went to Hotel Oscar which was so nice! They have a pool there in the summer and it was so nice for the sunset. We did La Musa for dinner. I HIGHLY recommend this place! Order the empanadas, the tacos, the chow mein, ugh just order everything! It was so good! And a cute little seating area outside too.
OUTFIT BELOW (AND LIPSTICK:)
SECOND STOP: VALENCIA
TUESDAY: This morning we had to catch a train to Valencia and it only took 2 hours to get there. We got to the hotel a little outside the city but still accessible by train and bus. (we didn't get to pick our hotels when booking though Gate1 but we were pretty happy with them all.) We went into the city center and toured around ourselves and ate at a super touristy place. Won't even share it with you.. not worth it! :) The food we chose wasn't so great here because we were hungry each time and we didn't do our research. The one thing Colin researched was a famous churros place called Horchateria. We then took a bus to Malvarossa beach and checked out that area. Wasn't so busy in October but decent. We went to Marina Beach Club for a drink and that was a super nice location.
WEDNESDAY: We did Federal Cafe for breakfast which was so good but I think it's because I got to have an eggs Benedict. I missed American food only a little! HA. We went to the beach again and had a lunch reservation at La Pepica. The only good place on that strip over there! Definitely make a reservation when you go. We got paella and patatas bravas which are so good. Then we headed back to the city center and visited the City of Arts and Sciences which is totally an instagram worthy place! Cool architecture with a garden inside. Then we got drinks with Colin's friend who is teaching there and actually marrying a Spaniard! She met him while studying abroad, how amazing. We then had maybe the best dinner yet and it was at Tora. They don't have an English menu so I will tell you what to get! Just tell them, Gyoza Mixta empanadas (we had the meat ones and the veggie ones), the yakisoba chow mein, and Karaage fried chicken. We only paid 20 euro for that entire dinner and were perfectly content!
THIRD STOP: BARCELONA
HOTEL: ABBA SANTS HOTEL
THURSDAY: Took the train to Barcelona (3 hours long) and arrived at our hotel at around 2 PM. We changed and went to Park Guell but forgot and didn't know you should get tickets prior to going! It only costs 7 euro each and you basically pay for a picture. :) But still cool to see. Buy tickets beforehand! It was currently on construction so it was a mess to get a picture but still glad I went. Then we went to Da Greco for dinner and it was recommended by Colin's brother who studied in Barcelona. I also read online after we went that it's a place Beyonce and Jay Z have been before. It's a good Italian place, we had truffle ravioli and lasagna and the cool thing is is they give you a sampling of eachothers plate which was a pretty large sampling. We were stuffed after that dinner. You also have to ring the doorbell to get in so keep that in mind!
FRIDAY: We got breakfast at Alsur Cafe and spent the day going to Sangrada Familia, and Casa Battlo. We then walked to Soho House Barcelona since I'm a member and we hung out on the roof/pool for a bit and checked out the house. We got a sandwich at Bo Da Be down the street which was so good! I don't know why it's so good because it looks like a regular sandwich but we got a chicken sandwich to split since we had dinner plans that night. It's a super popular place among the Americans which is kind of annoying! haha. Afterwards we walked by the beach and went to Opium for a drink and met up with my friend who teaches in Valencia who randomly was also going to Barcelona too with his friends! We then went to this amazing restaurant called Sensi Bistro and had the Tuna Tartar, potatas bravas, mussles, and pork loin. Writing about all this good food from this trip makes me so hungry!! Best food yet that we've had on a trip. Then it was back to NYC then Chicago!
Let me know if you have any questions- !!
Part 1 of vlog below!