Travel Diary: Madrid

Hi guys! I have been dying to share a recap of my recent trip to Spain and Israel with you all and I am finally sitting down to do just that! Life has been extremely busy since I got back last month so I apologize for the delay in sharing this recap with you! If you are new to my blog and have no idea what I’m talking about, you may want to skim through some of my Instagram photos from last month or take a peek at my Summer Uniform in Spain post and this Off the Shoulder Dress I wore out in Barcelona for a little peek at my trip!

Over the next month I will be sharing multiple travel diaries with you and today I am starting with Madrid…

Madrid was the first stop of the adventure my husband and I were on and we completely fell in love with this historical and architecturally stunning capital! There was something so special about the air there that I can’t describe. For such a busy city there was something that seemed so calm and peaceful about it. Perhaps it was part jetlag and excited to be in vacation mode on my part, but it really felt special to me. Every building has such unique and intricate details and almost always included some sort of wrought iron detail that just screamed Spain for me.

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When we landed in Madrid, we had no hotel booked or arrangements for a place to stay. I’m sure for some of you this sounds ridiculous or a little risky, but for my husband and I this is pretty normal. Unless we’re booking an all-inclusive trip somewhere like Mexico, we’re not booking our hotel ahead of time. For this short stay in Madrid we used the Hotel Tonight App to find a place right next to Puerta Del Sol (walking distance to many tourist areas). If you remember the last time I told you about Hotel Tonight when I booked my trip to Chicago, you’ll remember they have a geo-tag feature that drops the price when it notices your location is either in a highly populated area of hotels or in an airport. We ended up staying in the coolest boutique hotel in Gran Via called H10 Villa de la Reina that was walking distance to almost everywhere for a really great price. Added bonus was being greeted by a man in a tuxedo handing me a glass of Cava when we checked in. YES.

Since I barely slept at all on the flight (how does that happen when it’s a 9+ hours flight?!), we crashed in our room for a few hours before we headed out to do some sight-seeing. After a quick nap we headed to Puerta Del Sol and the Royal Palace…

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once we reached the Royal Palace we continued walking to the Sabatini Gardens…

Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-1911 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-1920 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-1934 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-1944 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-1954 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-1963 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-1969 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-1970Towards the end of the gardens we stumbled upon another historic site: an Egyptian tomb and the most beautiful views…

Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-2002 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-2004Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-7543On our walk back towards the Royal Palace we came across a gorgeous cathedral. Side note: cathedrals are EVERYWHERE in Spain and they are ALL breathtaking.

Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-7496 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-7494 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-2036 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-1979 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-2027 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-2018 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-2020After all of the walking we were dying of thirst. Naturally we grabbed glasses of sangria (don’t worry we got some water too) at an outdoor market near the center of Madrid. I LOVE these types of markets where you can walk around, drink in hand, sampling fresh food and checking out different vendors (stay tuned for when I cover Barcelona’s incredible market, La Boqueria). I think this stop in the market was meant to be because we came across a woman selling tickets to a Flamenco show. Seeing Flamenco in Madrid was an absolute must for me so it was nice to learn a little more about this particular club and show before we bought tickets. After we bought tickets and finished our sangria (which was only 3 euro! SO cheap!), we headed back to our hotel to shower and change for the rest of the night.

Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-2055 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-2044 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-2047As we made our way to the show by foot, we realized we were beginning to walk in some pretty sketchy areas. Luckily we found the club before wandering too far off the beaten path. Our tickets included a pitcher (yes, pitcher) of Sangria along with a couple of appetizers. I loved how intimate the club was making the Flamenco experience that much more special. The dancers were unbelievably talented to the point where their feet were moving so fast it actually was blurry (I promise the blurriness was not from the sangria…)!

Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-7518 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-7511 Spain-Travel-Blog-The-Fashion-Hour-7524After the show we headed back towards our hotel which was conveniently located next door to a casino. It was almost midnight which meant it was almost my birthday! It also meant I had only slept about 5 hours in the last 48 hours, but who’s really counting when you’re on vacation? To kickoff my birthday festivities we headed into the casino for a little blackjack and two of the biggest gin and tonics I’ve ever seen! I could not believe there was an entire menu dedicated to different types of gin and tonics (which were all the size of my head), so if you make it to Spain, Gin and Tonics are a must!

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Outfit Details Crop Top: Urban Outfitters $9.99 // Skirt: Nordstrom Rack (designer find purchased on clearance!) // Heels: DSW (old) // Purse: c/o Sears

Travel Tip: either change your money ahead of time or change it at the airport. DO NOT change it in a touristy area “Change” place. They will completely rip you off. We had already changed money in the airport but decided to change a little more while walking around Puerta del Sol. The employee helping us told us the rate which was pretty good so we went ahead and changed $100. Big, amateur mistake. Based on the rate we should have gotten around 87 euro. What did we get? 57 EURO. I about had a heart attack. She explained that there is a 10 euro fee no matter how much you change along with a 20% or so fee. Ridiculous, right? Needless to say my husband and I were not very happy.

Another Travel Tip: if you plan on visiting a Casino while overseas, change your money there. They don’t take commission and give you a great rate!

**GUESS WHAT? I am such a fan of Hotel Tonight that I have teamed up with them to offer you a discount code for $25 OFF your stay! You can use this wherever and whenever you want! Just simply add the code “FASHIONHOUR” and you’ll get $25 off!**

Stay tuned for my next Travel Diary where I recap my birthday in Spain! Thank you for reading!!

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19 Comments

  1. Monday, October 5, 2015 / 1:11 pm

    Your trip looked amazing! I can’t wait to read the other travel diaries. Loved following you along on Instagram too. Now to get my boyfriend to take just as stunning photos as your husband did of you. He only catches me with food in my mouth.

  2. Monday, October 5, 2015 / 2:21 pm

    Beautiful photos! One day I’d like to visit Spain too. And oh, we use Hotel Tonight app as well. They have so many good deals on gorgeous hotels. Love it!

  3. Monday, October 5, 2015 / 6:11 pm

    David and I are planning our travels for the next few years and goodness your pictures definitely bump Spain up on the list. So beautiful!!

    • Natalie
      Tuesday, October 6, 2015 / 11:46 am

      Thanks Sevi!! It is definitely a gorgeous country that I’d love to go back to!

  4. Tuesday, October 6, 2015 / 4:07 pm

    What an AMAZING trip!!! Gorgeous photos. I LOVE that red cross body bag too!

  5. Briana Anderson
    Tuesday, October 6, 2015 / 5:57 pm

    This post kills me… It’s SO beautiful there!! I’ve always wanted to travel to Madrid! Looks like you had a great time!!
    xx Bri
    http://www.Neutral2Neon.com

  6. Tuesday, October 6, 2015 / 8:45 pm

    I am absolutely drooling over all of your pictures because they are incredible. You saw a lot of amazing stuff. Madrid is definitely one of the places I would 100% love to go if I had the opportunity or if it was a place that my boyfriend also found interesting. I’m just amazed at all of your photos. Jealous & can’t wait for more recaps! xx, adaatude.com

  7. Wednesday, October 7, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    Beautiful post! Loving all the images! Looks like you had fun – Ive always wanted to visit Spain!

    Sportsanista

  8. Victoria
    Wednesday, October 7, 2015 / 12:19 pm

    These photos are beautiful! Several of my best friends are studying abroad in Spain next semester and if I get to go visit…I might die of happiness!
    xx, Victoria
    memphismadeblog.com

  9. Thursday, October 8, 2015 / 6:57 am

    The architecture looks so stunning. It’s fantastic that you and your husband are able to travel the world together! That’s going to be so special when you look back on it. These trips sound so fantastic. Let’s grab some sangria here in Dallas sometime soon. 🙂

    Cameron Proffitt

  10. Thursday, October 8, 2015 / 1:47 pm

    What a dreamy vacation!! Your photos are magnificent!! And you look beautiful in them (as always!!!)

    Thank you for sharing!!

    xo, Christina

    Fashion & Frills

  11. Hannah Shanae
    Friday, October 9, 2015 / 11:38 am

    Wow! All these photos are stunning. Looks like you had a lovely time. 🙂

    Hannah Shanae
    hannahshanae.com

  12. Shamira West
    Tuesday, October 13, 2015 / 2:22 pm

    The photos are gorgeous! It looks like you had an amazing time.

  13. Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / 2:19 am

    I am going to Madrid in January and this blogpost has gotten me ecxited! Lovely pictures and nice blogpost girl 🙂

    Lots of love,

    Sjerun
    https://emplicity.net/

    • Natalie
      Wednesday, December 7, 2016 / 8:51 am

      Oh thank you!! I LOVED Madrid and can’t wait to go back to visit. Have so much fun and feel free to reach out if you have any questions! 🙂

  14. Ron
    Sunday, March 26, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    Thank you, Natalie !

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