My first trip to Spain – Madrid & Sandeman’s FREE walking tour


My twin sister talked a lot about Spain – the friendly people and the wonderful art so I was naturally very excited to go to Spain. Not long after I a spent a week and a half in London and spontaneously booked a ticket to Madrid without any knowledge of it and no accommodation booked.  A friend from Boston – Beau – whom I met from Sandemans London Tour was staying in Madrid at the time and was kind enough to meet me at the airport at night.

Puerta Del Sol

My view of Puerta Del Sol from my friend's place the next day.

I was really grateful because I’m all alone and my travel buddy went to Belgium instead.  We took the Metro to Sol which took about 30min to get to from the airport.  Ticket fare wasn’t too bad, it was 2 euros I think and the Metro was quite comfortable, clean and looked rather new and spoke English and Spanish.  Thank goodness!!

When we arrived at Puerta Del Sol, it was busy and everyone was pumped for a great night out.  I was tired but Beau introduced me to his friend and we went out for some tapas, drinks and a bit of dancing.  It was fun but at that time, I wasn’t really a night owl.  If you’re in Spain, they have a different time.. it’s called “Spanish Time”.  What this means is that people here don’t have lunch until 4pm and dinner at 10pm!  In the morning it’s quiet and in the afternoon they have siesta time (they take naps and close the shops).  It’s terrible, but in Madrid, it wasn’t too bad.  Where I stayed was quite touristy so I didn’t noticed much besides the late nights……..

Puerta Del Sol

All the streets around Puerta Del Sol looks quite similar.. don't be fooled, I went in circles many times looking for my hostel...

Sandemans FREE Madrid walking tour

If you’re like me and decided to spontaneously go to a city/country you know little about, you can never go wrong with Sandemans free walking tours.

Plaza Mayor

Look for the tour guides wearing red t-shirts at Plaza Mayor! You can't miss them! They have 11am or the 4pm sessions.

First thing in the morning I went straight to the man in the red uniform.  My tour guide’s name is Ian and he can speak English and Spanish.  The turn out was quite large but he managed us professionally. (FYI, there is a tourist information centre nearby of the waiting area.)

All over Europe you'll will find locks on fences and anything you can lock it on with names of couples. I was told people do this to lock in their love forever.. hmm

World's oldest restaurant

World's oldest restaurant right in Madrid! It's got a Guinness World Record certificate on display.

Plaza de Puerta Cerrada

Plaza de Puerta Cerrada

Plaza de la Villa

Plaza de la Villa

Madrid’s bear and madroño tree

Madrid’s bear and madroño tree

Church of San Ginés

Church of San Ginés

Catedral de Almudena

Catedral de Almudena

If you want to see more you got to go to Madrid!  To be continued….

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