At 6.30 we were supposed to leave for the airport. At 6.15 the airport shuttle we reserved was already in front of the house! So, a bit of stress. A quick run to the bathroom, no time for breakfast (well, time enough at the airport!). And we were on our way, 45 minutes later we’re there. No long rows for us, because we checked in online! Thank god for internet.
After the passport and security check, we had some time to browse in the shops. And before we knew it, it was boarding time. Madrid, here we come!
Arriving at Madrid Airport, I made a quick stop at the information booth to ask for the best way to get to the city center By the way, Madrid Barajas Airport is a beautiful, modern airport, very clean and spacious. Alternatively, if you are part of a group, a taxi can work out quite cheap if you split the cost.
The lady told us, we could either take the Madrid metro or a taxi. Because a taxi drive would cost easily 40 euros she said, we decided on taking the metro. (The bus that drives into the city, stopped too far from our hotel, so it was easier to take the metro.)
You can take a single ticket for 1 euro, plus a fee of 1 euro. Everybody has to pay as an airport supplement going from, but also coming to Madrid airport! We decided, because we were with 5 people to take a 10-way ticket for 12.40 euros (7.40 euros for the ticket, plus 5 euros airport fee). You can buy your ticket at an automatic ticket machine before you take the metro.
If you want to travel from Madrid airport into the city center, you first have to take line 8 (starting in the airport) until the end, Nuevos Ministerios. Our hotel was located closest to Gran Via metro station, so for us, we had to take line 10 (direction Puerta del Sur) and change at Tribunal station to line 1 (direction Valdecarros). You can also take this line to Sol (Puerto del Sol), which is the city centre of Madrid. It took us an hour to get to Gran Via.
We checked in at our hotel, Hotel Regente, it’s a 3-star hotel, located on Gran Via. (I’ll let you know tomorrow how the beds were and the breakfast) After a quick bite, we chose to just walk around and take a stroll in the city.
We walked by Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Opera building,… The Plaza Mayor is a big square and has a great ambiance You can have a drink on a terrace and enjoy the street performers.
On our way to Plaza Mayor, we discovered a cute little shop, called La Cure Gourmand, with cookies and candy. You can buy a beautiful decorated metal box (empty) and fill it up with the cookies you pick! (not cheap, but you can spend as little as you want or just walk in and have a look around).
For dinner we went to a nice restaurant called Méson Don Carnal, located at Calle Cava de San Miguel 6. You should definitely try their paella! It was delicious and for 15 euros we had a starter (salad), paella and a garrafa(=pitcher) of wine. Also the staff is really friendly, even though they don’t speak much English, they make you feel welcome!
After this we had a nice walk back to the hotel, through the city with the beautiful illuminated buildings!
* Prices were accurate at time of publishing