Madrid: Save or Splurge

Hasta pronto! ______________________________

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The Spanish capital is one of the best European cities to visit as it offers both
low-budget backpackers and luxury travellers to fully experience the city. I recently spent 24 hours in Madrid, a city I go to at least twice a year because of what it has to offer: museums, football, food, shopping and great weather (most of the time).

This post will provide you with a Madrid mini-guide for those who are looking to get a bang for their buck :

On a budget:

Where to sleep:  The Hat, Madrid

If you don’t mind sharing your space with other people, Madrid is a hostel paradise! Not only are many hostels a more affordable version of hotels, but they also offer private rooms for those who don’t want to deal with snoring for most of the night. The Hat Madrid is modern, clean, perfectly located, and social!

What to Visit: Museums and Walking Tours

The two most famous museums in Madrid are the Prado Museum and the Reina Sofia. You don’t need to put a dent in your wallet in order to check out the massive collections on display for art lovers or travellers (like me) who aren’t very art savvy but would like to add a culturally-sound aspect to their weekend. You can visit both museums for FREE! 
The Prado Museum: Monday- Saturday 17:00-19:00
Reina Sofia: Monday – Saturday 19:00-21:00, Sunday 13:30-19:00

Free Tours Madrid: Would you like to see the city while being guided by highly informed, friendly, and bilingual locals? Book a tour here. You decide the price of the tour! At the end of the visit, participants can tip their guides based on what they are able to afford (The average is 10-15 euros per person). These tours are offered not only in Madrid, but in several major cities see here.

A drink with a view:   Food & Drink Terraza,
The Principal Hotel, Madrid

The Principal Hotel is a luxury 5 star hotel. Although I would like to include this hotel in my next post that focuses more on a “Where to Sleep If You Are Looking to Splurge in Madrid” they also fit the bill if you are looking to have a couple of drinks with gorgeous views. The hotel has a terrace on the top floor that overlooks Madrid. The bar offers both drinks and snacks (beer: 5 euros). The prices are reasonable, the staff is very friendly, and it provides a unique view of the city that you won’t get to see anywhere else. Book a table on the official site here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

48 Hours in Valencia

Valencia is one of my favourite cities. Not only can you find the beach in the center of the city (less than a 30 min tram ride!) the weather is awesome, the people are friendly, and it is the home of paella!

So what can you do in Valencia in 48 hours? 

  1. Discover the City with Locals!

    Valencia Free Tour is a group of absolutely lovely people who offer free tours around the city that are about two hours long. Free?! Yes, free! Well, technically. One of their expert guides will tell you everything you need to know (I mean EVERYTHING) in their morning or afternoon tours. They are all licensed guides and you can choose a tour in English or Spanish. When the tour is finished, there is an open tip that you can offer based on what you can afford and how much you think the tour is worth. The tour is fantastic so you should just throw your money at them. We were led by a young lady called Victoria (Spanish tour) and we paid her 15 euros each, and booked the afternoon tour with her as well. From what I could see the average tip was between 10-20 euros per person. They also give you time att the end of the tour to ask about restaurants, bars, and museums that you may be interested in. Check them out here.

     2. Eat a delicious and shockingly cheap dinner!

    I promise you I am not receiving bribes to express my excessive enthusiasm about Restaurante Blanquerias. It is almost always full for dinner, so book in advance. Unless, of course you prefer to eat at normal human time around 8-9pm and not Spanish time at 10:00pm. In that case, you will find a free table like we did! I am usually skeptical about food that comes in small portions with a creative set-up. I am not too into spending tons of money and leaving the restaurant hungry enough to order a pizza afterwards. Restaurante Blanquerias was not like this at all. Not only are the staff extremely polite, the food is fantastic and filling! All for 20 euros per person. There is a fixed menu, so you can’t choose what you want to eat, but believe me, it doesn’t matter.

    3. Lounge in a bathtub in the middle of the room.

    YES, that’s right. At San Lorenzo Boutique Hotel you can have a shower in the bathroom, or a bath in the bedroom. It doesn’t need to be practical to be amazing after a long day of walking. You can open up a bottle of wine and have a bubble bath in front of the terrace that is right above one of the main streets in the historical city centre. Everything you need to see in Valencia is about 10 min away on foot, and the metro is close by if you want to check out the City of Arts and Sciences. As far as location goes, you can’t find anything better, especially for this price range! The rooms are very clean and you can get a nice breakfast at the cafe next door.