9.27.2011

{guest post} - chartreuse and a twist.

Hello! I am Brynn from chartreuse & a twist. I couldn’t be more excited to share my own personal Madrid guide with you all…and especially you, Jillian…you lucky, lucky Spanish traveling girl! I have been a bit lucky myself…I have been fortunate enough to travel to Madrid twice in my lifetime so far ~ once when I was 12 and again 16 years later. I definitely don’t know it all, but I am happy to share some of my favorite things {as well as some things I have not been able to see but really wanted to!} about this completely amazing city…there is definitely a piece of my heart that remains in Madrid!

 Calle de Alcalá via

Parque de Retiro ~ personal photos, Museo del Prado via, Palacio de Cristal via

Chalkboard, wine & olives, tortilla & paella ~ personal photos, tapas via, mahou via

All images  via

B & W ~ personal photo, flamenco dancer via, salsa club via


Turtles at Estación de Atocha ~ personal photo

The Breakdown:
1> You must visit all of the goods that Atocha {Center} has to offer…yes, it is touristy and yes, you will see all of this in your guidebooks, but I just wanted to emphasize this as a key area to explore because it is just too gorgeous to miss! :)
ROW the lake or take a siesta under a tree at El Parque de Retiro…
SEE the gorgeous Palacio de Cristal and
STROLL through the Museo del Prado {ranked as one of the best and largest collections of European art in the world}

2> I don’t know about all of you, but for me eating is a BIG part of traveling. I love to just dive right into the culture and experience it to the fullest. In Madrid, some of my favorite food & drink are as simple as…
A glass of RIOJA and some mighty fine Spanish OLIVES…
Or a MAHOU {you will typically find only one beer on tap in Spain, and in Madrid Mahou is it…and it is served ice cold!} and a TORTILLA {not what you think – a Spanish tortilla is considered as the “best of all omelets”…it is a pretty simple recipe of eggs potatoes and onions seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked in olive oil in a pan…the tortilla is standard bar food in Madrid, often served complimentary with your drink}.
On the less simple side is the gorgeous Spanish dish, PAELLA…this is a must in Madrid! {so long as you are not vegetarian, vegan or allergic to shellfish!}
Last, but certainly not least on the favorites is proper Spanish TAPAS…and when I say proper, I mean going out to tapas for dinner at 11:00 at night…when in e-spain, I find it most fun to pretend to be-spanish! {and late night tapas is what those lovely Spanish people do!}

3> Shopping…Madrid is a major shopping mecca…and I can not, can not, can NOT say enough about Spanish shoes!!! The styles are fantastic and {usually} so are the prices! Depending on your style, Madrid has plenty of different shopping areas…
For INDIE boutiques, Chueca is where it is at
If lucky enough to be in the city on a Sunday, hit up El Rastro in the historic center – Madrid’s and Europe’s largest OUTDOOR MARKET {just beware of pickpockets!}
If feeling a little SWANKY, shop the boutiques in Salamanca…apparently the Centro Comercial ABC Serrano, “an elegant shopping center with high quality stores” is the happening spot…there is even a rooftop terrace restaurant with a gorgeous city view! {hmmm…something to check out next time}

4> When in Madrid…you DANCE! Not only is this city a mecca for shopping, I think it is even more so for nightlife. Madrid is known as one of the liveliest night cities…so, put your party pants on, head out for those late night tapas and then strut out to the nearest dance floor and get your groove on…and don’t plan on stopping until the sun is rising!!!

5> Something kind of random, but one of my favorite memories of my last trip to Madrid is when my friend took me a little off the beaten path to show me one of her favorite spots in the city – the turtles at the rail station…the inside of the station has a very large pond and loads of greenery…and 1000s {literally} of turtles! 

xo, 

16 comments:

  1. Thanks again, Jillian, for having me :) I hope you are having an amazing trip so far!!! xoxoxo brynn

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  2. I was lucky to spend a summer living in the fabulous city of Madrid. It's a must see for sure! I couldn't agree more with your picks. :)

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  3. Fantastic and thorough post! I'd love to visit and eat all that yummy food and see those cute turtles. Never thought I'd ever want to visit Spain but you've certainly changed my mind.

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  4. Wow! I went to Madrid once for a very brief 48 hours. I was visiting a friend who lives there but just for the weekend. I want to go back so badly and do all these cool things! We went to the park, hit up el rastro, and ate at a lot of restaurants in a short period of time. It was such a cool city. I definitely need to spend more time there!

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  5. LOVE tapas and the idea of flea markets and dancing sounds great too! Great guide Brynn!

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  6. Spain is such a magical country! I had the chance to live in Sevilla Spain for 7 months and it was so wonderful. Tapas, flamenco, side trips to Granada, Cadiz, Barcelona, Valencia, San Jose, and many other small towns really made my stay there an unforgettable one! I can't wait to go back some time very soon!!!

    fashiontruffles.blogspot.com

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  7. Tapas and paella and a glass of Alhambra? My mouth is in Spain even if my body is at home!

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  8. It looks like a wonderful place! Eating is a big part of what I do when I travel too. The dancing sounds sooo fun!

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  9. love this post!! i lived in madrid during college and i agree with all of your choices!

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  10. Great guest post, Brynn! I've yet to visit Madrid, but now I'm totally inspired to go and it has moved to a top spot on places I must visit within 5 years. Dancing, eating, shopping, history, more dancing and turtles. YES!

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  11. *sigh* this makes me miss home! I was born in Spain, and it's so hard to get homesick since it's not really just a bus ride away. It is such a wonderful country and I'm glad to hear that you loved it! It's so great to hear different peoples' experiences there.

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  12. great tips as I am going to Madrid next week for a girls-weekend!! looking even more forward now :)

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  13. Thanks so much for the tour Brynn! I'm bookmarking this post for future travels.

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  14. Yes, I will add this to my list for when I one day go to Spain.

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  15. Any recommendations on places to stay in Spain? Itinerary is not yet established, and I'm just currently gathering possibilities for lodging. Thanks!

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mucho thanks for the blog love! xo