Spain Snapshots: My Perfect Madrileño Day

Danny and I were on our third glass of vermouth in Malasaña when it dawned on me: Madrid had finally won me over.

Between the barrio life, the collision of old and traditional with new and different and the balmy late spring nights, La Capital is quickly becoming one of my favorite escapes in Spain.

Madrid isn’t as outright beautiful as Seville or as wildly gorgeous as the calas on Menorca. It’s not old and cobblestoned or dripping in Gaudí’s whimsical architecture. It’s a bit grandiose on one block, and a bit gritty on the next.

 Simply put, it’s a Spanish city that encompasses it all and is the epicenter for nearly everything in Iberia.

My most recent trip to Madrid was two-fold: I was coming back from an emergency trip to the US, and I’d be brainstorming and hamming in front of the camera for a project I’m working on with other social media darlings. But as soon as I’d touched down in Barajas, my jet lag dissipated, and I spent the day retracing my favorite madrileño haunts and finding new spots to love.

My perfect Madrid day, unfiltered: Strolling, snacking, meeting lifelong madrileños and other adoptive gatos who have decided to call Madrid home.

Like Madrid? Check out these posts: Mercado de San Miguel // The Saturday City // Casa Hernanz // Visiting Alcalá de Henares

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living among pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she wrangles babies at an English Language Academy and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

Comments

  1. Shana says:

    My heart hurts looking at these photos and reading your words about Madrid because duh I totally get it. Though to be fair, I can fall in love with pretty much anything after a few vermuts.

  2. Pedro says:

    love Madrid!..been there of course, sometimes because of a concert, Bernabeu stadium, etc

    it is a pity that Barcelona gets more attention, at least international attention, but here i am just to add my “granito de arena” in favour of Madrid, haha!

  3. I’ve been through Madrid a couple of times, and it’s not a bad way to be introduced to the rest of Spain. Given how “all roads lead to Madrid” (right up to the marker in the centre of town), I thought of the capital as my way of looking out to other parts of the country for me to wish and see and experience. Thanks for your post, Cat; oddly enough, it’s the Metro sign at Gran Via that made me feel longing for Madrid. :)
    Henry | @fotoeins recently posted..Fotoeins Friday: On the Boate in the Italian RivieraMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa says:

      You know what I long for in Seville? A metro as accessible and easy to use as Madrid’s! Thanks for commenting, Henry.

  4. Madrid’s not my favorite city in the world, but somehow I keep coming back here (thanks US Airways)…and loving it, too. The unique, slate-tiled pointy steeples everywhere, the tangible life in every street, and the variety that each barrio has to offer make me excited when the train rolls into Chamartín or Atocha. :)
    Trevor Huxham recently posted..Zaragoza, Spain: The Aragonese MetropolisMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa says:

      It IS hard not to pass through Madrid! I think having so many great friends there has helped me get past the touristy sections and more into the barrio life. Seville feels like a big town to me, so the excitement of city life gets to me all the time!

  5. tobyo says:

    yay!!! one of my most favorite cities in the world. glad it’s grown on you ;)
    tobyo recently posted..The Brauhaus Restaurant – Akeley, MNMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa says:

      It’s taken a few dozen trips and letting go of my aversion to big Spanish cities!

      • tobyo says:

        well, I can’t say that I was madly in love with it when I first arrived to spend my year there. It definitely grew on me too :)

  6. Liz says:

    I miss Spain!

    • Cat Gaa says:

      We’re here whenever you make it back! I just bought a house (not a flat, a HOUSE house) and have plenty of space for you!

      • Pedro says:

        congratulations for bying a house!… you make a good point by saying it is a house and not a flat, i mean, many people use the word casa to name any dwelling whether it is a flat or not.

        is your house semi-detached? or has it got yard or a small plot of land around it more similar to houses in the USA?

  7. Paige says:

    Love your pics of Madrid! I know it takes awhile for Madrid to rub off on you, but I’m glad it’s winning you over!

  8. Jonny Blair says:

    Such an amazing place to chill in! :D Awesome photos you got here as well :)

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