I’ve heard that the best place to start is the beginning. So here goes…
The first city on my trip was Madrid, which remains one of my favorite cities globally. I know most people fall in love with Barcelona, but I am one of the few who would much rather revisit the royal city of Madrid.
The Palace as seen from the royal gardens.
I flew in from Toronto and stayed at the amazing Cat Hostel downtown. It was the perfect place to explore the city and meet people from around the world to explore the city with at night.
I had a list of things to experience: visit the world class museums in the city, the beautiful parks, and the royal palace.
My favorite museum was the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza – the art was incredible, as was the space itself. The museum has a number of Rodin’s (my favorite sculptor), Monet’s, Degas’, and Pissaro’s (my favorite painter). I also really enjoyed the massive paintings of the King and Queen of Spain.
Which leads me to the Palace, which has all of its furnishings, tapestries, and wall coverings intact. I highly recommend taking the time to stand in the courtyard and take in the Palace and cathedral next door. I also recommend taking in the view over Campo del Moro and Casa de Campo, a massive forest inside the city centre.
Perhaps the best part of Madrid was the two informative (and inexpensive) tours run by the city. Numerous tours are on offer, from historical walkabouts to bike trips around the city and parks. I enjoyed learning about the city and the parks from locals (who spoke excellent English!). Highly recommend looking into the tours should you find yourself in Madrid – they leave daily from the Plaza Mayor.