My bestie and I have managed to get away every summer for the last few years, for some much needed girl time and time off life. This year we couldn’t decide where to go at all, so left it down to the days we wanted to go and the most reasonable flights. Finally, we decided on Madrid, as it all worked our perfectly and it was somewhere neither of us have been. We have this new pact that we can’t go anywhere that we have been before as there are so many places in the world to see. In fact, this is also a pact that I have made with myself no matter who I go away with. My one exception may however be Venice, as I have never been to such a beautiful place in my whole life. It was honestly like being in a giant movie set. Anyway, back to Madrid, the amazing capital of Spain.

I think my favourite thing about Madrid had to be the architecture. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but it certainly exceeded what I thought it could be like. The Palace was one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen.

Our aim for the holiday was not at all to explore the whole city and tire ourselves out by walking around all day everyday – that is just really not our thing. We both needed a rest from work and life, to enjoy the sunshine, some good food and lots of cocktails by the pool. We are very good at eating and drinking our way through a trip. Obviously we wanted to see the city, so we tried our best to get the balance right, but as we are both on the same page it always makes life much easier. Which was, in our true style, after a very generous lie in each morning. I never get to sleep all night and until late in the morning nowadays, so it honestly did feel like I had died and gone to heaven every time I woke up!

Situated just about 20 minutes from the airport, and a 30-euro taxi ride to the hotel, it was a very easy transition into the city. We booked a hotel right by the Plaza de España, the giant palace home to the Spanish royals, that boasts a handy 3,000 plus rooms. Imagine all the space! ‘Dear, Hotel’ is a handy city boutique hotel, with generously sized rooms all decorated in a light and Scandi style interiors. Just my cup of tea. Overlooking the popular street named Grand Via, we were in the best location, with restaurants and shops all around, as well as slow walks around to explore the city. The hotel also has an amazing roof top bar and plunge pool, which let’s be honest, is the main reason I booked it. We decided that we simply couldn’t be in 38-degree heat without an outdoor pool. The hotel was convenient, peaceful and had all the facilities you could wish for on a relaxing city break. Although, one drawback being the extreme road works going on, on the main street meaning that the sound of drilling was very apparent for the duration of our stay. Not a deal breaker, and by no means the hotels fault, just a little annoying when you’re trying to sleep!

As we wanted to use these few days away to rest, we used the rooftop quite a lot, once for a whole day, then a few afternoons when it just got too hot to be walking around. The girl time was just what we needed, sitting and chatting for hours with drinks, soaking up the sun and getting through a book or two. I never have time to get through chunks of my book, or even talk about half the stuff we got to, so it really has made me feel like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It was also really nice, as one day we got there early before anyone else, so had a good opportunity to get some gorgeous photos of the pool with that amazing view! When Abby and I get going with the camera, there really is no stopping us!

One of my favourite things about traveling is taking pictures and being able to document the memories that we have made. Obviously, having an aesthetically pleasing photo for Instagram is a bonus, but having this bank of photos to reflect on is one of my favourite things.

If I’m being completely honest, we didn’t get too far walking through Madrid, however on our first day we did make it to the Plaza de España, strolling through the gardens, stopping for a cocktail and enjoying some Spanish tapas. It was so gorgeous just to sit and see the world going by. My first impression of Madrid on that day was how up together the city is. The gardens are perfect, everything is clean and it feels very safe with an extensive number of police every time you look around. Everyone was polite, and as you would expect from a European country, the fashion was on point. There is something about how people dress in Spain, France and Italy, that just isn’t like the UK. Everyone has such a beautiful sense of style and are very poised in their stride.

On the Friday, before we left as we had a late flight, we decided that we hadn’t seen enough of the city so we only had one option left. A city bus. This is my go to in every city, as you really see everything and get all the facts that you don’t get from just walking around by yourself. We got on right by the whole town and did the whole hour and a half tour around the entire city. We saw absolutely everything and could appreciate everything the city had to offer. In a way, by the end of this, I felt like we had seen absolutely everything we need to and had made the most of a new place. We learnt so much in that short space of time, and really got to understand the history behind the capital.

Overall, I absolutely loved Madrid and would definitely go back if given the chance. It was so nice just to go somewhere new and enjoy a proper rest from work and the stress of life. As well as some quality time with the bestie, which is always needed as we now live about 4 hours away from each other 

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