Where do I begin?
I’ve wanted to travel to Spain for years. My aunt went many years ago and shared about Seville and Barcelona. This time around I didn’t make it to Barcelona but I couldn’t pass up a deal of a lifetime.
Europe has always been placed on the back burner because the flights can be super expensive. I hadn’t been to Europe since 2016, on my infamous trip to study abroad in Berlin,Germany (even that I crowdfunded for). To be honest, I didn’t think I would make it back for a while. One day my friend showed me a flight reduction she found on twitter. The Norwegian flight, roundtrip to Madrid, was priced at $300, I couldn’t say no.
Spain was LOVE; refreshing, homey, filled with culture, mind blowing, comical and nurturing. I got to experience two beautiful cities with my two favorite people. I met amazing locals, one being our first Airbnb host, Mariangel and our bartender Antonio, from The Second Room was EVERYTHING.
Spain OVERVIEW/ EXPENSES
Madrid is the capital of Spain and the largest municipality in both the Community of Madrid and Spain as a whole. The city has almost 3.3 million locals.
Seville is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia. Southern Spain.
Duration: 1 week
Language: Spanish; Majority know English but meet people where they are. Try to speak it if you know it.
Cost of Trip: ~$800-850 per person includes flight, train and Airbnb.
Norwegian (JFK- Madrid): ~$300 (promotion found on twitter, low-fare, food was not included)
It was my first time flying Norwegian. Our flight was delayed going—annoying but we got there safe and the seats weren’t too uncomfortable. I slept the entire flight. Over night flights are the best, it allows you to adjust to the time change. Spain is 6 hours ahead of the US.
Simple, made easy and fast. I’d recommend doing this instead of a flight, you get to see the country side. Get a first class ticket you’ll get free lunch, wine, dessert etc.
Airbnb- $350 per person; We choose Super host and homes in the center of the city. Both Airbnb’s included pools/jacuzzi’s. This is what we choose to spend the most of our money on. This can be cheaper.
Money: Euros, I exchanged at the ATM in the airport. Exchanging is best at banks and credible ATMs. I took out a total of $400 which rounded out to 375 euros. I wouldn’t recommend using the exchange carriers in the airport, they charge too much.
Madrid is the city. Some parts reminded me much of Times Square— on Gran Via, you can find all the stores you love, Zara, Primark etc. There is a lot of hustle and bustle. People from all over the world are in Madrid. Everyone was friendly. Some food spots and monuments were closed due to the time of year but not too many where you can’t see the city. Madrid likes to party, the days seem longer because it stays light for hourssssss—Sun sets at 9pm, take advantage of the sunlight. I noticed a lot of co-working spaces, which could be good for someone looking to work remotely in Madrid for long periods of time. The perfect time to go to Madrid is in May. There was just enough tourist, not too crowded, but from prior research it can get extremely packed and overwhelming in the summer.
Mariangel (the host), is the sweetest. She gave us simple tips and let us know all the places to visit. This was my first time staying in an Airbnb and I couldn't have asked for a more attentive host. Mariangel even made sure we made it to our train. We'd stay there again, no questions asked. It is the perfect location with accessibility to night-life, food and the main attractions. We walked everywhere. Uber and cabs were unnecessary.
Where did we go? What did we see?
Museo Nacional del Prado : The Prado Museum is the main Spanish national art museum. It is widely considered to have one of the world's finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century. The most amazing museum I’ve ever been to.
Plaza Mayor: It was once the center of Old Madrid. It was first built during the Habsburg period of Philip III's reign.
Puerta del Sol: Is a public square in Madrid, one of the best known and busiest places in the city.
Mercado De San Miguel: A must see market with some of Madrid’s best authentic foods.
Plaza de Ciebles: Is a square with a neo-classical complex of marble sculptures with fountains that has become an iconic symbol for the city of Madrid.
Gran Via: We called it Zara! It was the main/large street where you can always track yourself back to. SHOPPING! SHOPPING!
Royal Palace of Madrid: is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family, although now only used for state ceremonies, the palace contains 3,418 rooms. (BUY TICKETS BEFORE)
Lamucca del Carmen: Best food we had in Madrid. The Sangria was AMAZING. Try the cod fish fritters and potatoes.
Cafe de La Luz: Loved the breakfast here! Cheap
Café Federal: The chorizo was great! This spot reminded me of soho, very hipster breakfast spot.
Tiki Taco: Some of the best margaritas out and the quesdilla was so fire.
The freshly squeezed orange juice in Spain is A1. All of the food was amazing.
Awesome spot to be in Sevilla. Is it worth $800, I don’t know, only because the pool wasn’t being kept well. The host for this Airbnb was super helpful and responsive but we didn’t get to meet them. I figured they don’t live in Sevilla. One amazing thing was the balconies that covered the entire airbnb—I loved this feature. We got to see a religious festival from the balcony that was absolutely beautiful.
Where did we go? What did we see?
Plaza de Espana : is a plaza in the Parque de María Luisa (Maria Luisa Park), in Sevilla, Spain, built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929.
Real Alcanzar: Three words, Game of Thrones. A royal palace in Sevilla, Spain, built for the Christian king Peter of Castile. (BUY TICKETS BEFORE or get in line before 12 pm)
Cathedral Catedral de Sevilla: We saw Christopher Columbus tomb, for 10 minutes we took a seat and chatted about what it meant to see him being idolized but
Giralada: Climb 17 flights to see a birds eye view of Sevilla, it is worth it.
AIRE Ancient Baths Sevilla: Just a few steps away from the cathedral, in an alley named Aire in the neighborhood of Santa Cruz, you will find AIRE Sevilla, at a magnificent Mudéjar-style palace that embraces more than 5 centuries of history. This was the best spa I’ve been to hands down! GO! GO! GO. There is an Arab bath spa in NYC, I wanted to do this for my birthday, but my bday came early in Sevilla.
Gago 6: Try the croquettes!!
El Pintón: Cute place to go if you want to get dressed up.
Azotea: Breakfast anyone?
La Abuela: Oh man I miss this ice cream already!
The Second Room: The best drinks/ bar!
Alfalfa: The best food we had in Seville. It’s tight and hard to get a seat but it is WORTH every penny.
This was one of my favorite trips! I am blessed to have experienced a week in such an amazing country.
$ 26.00 USD