Heading to Spain!

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{Madrid’s Gran Vía}

I’ve mentioned a few times in the past several months that my husband, Fabian and I are planning to go to Spain in celebration of my 30th birthday. We will be heading there this Friday and we couldn’t be more excited about it! We will be spending time in the Castile and Leon region of Spain, splitting our time between the gorgeous medieval town of Salamanca and the bustling metropolis of Madrid. My first trip to Spain a few years ago was actually to these two cities and I couldn’t be more excited about sharing the sharp contrast between Salamanca and Madrid with Fabian, who has experienced the Catalán side of Spain when we visited Barcelona last summer. Visiting Salamanca is like stepping back into time, with its beautiful, old, limestone buildings and its rich history. Madrid is a fast-moving city that never sleeps—a little like New York with a Spanish accent. It’s also one of the most beautiful cities I’ve visited—elegant with lush greenspaces throughout.

{Salamanca’s Stunning Plaza Mayor}

We are really looking forward to some time to get away from it all. I’ve visited most of the noteworthy museums and sights in the region and we’ll probably do a few on this trip, but we really want the focus this time around to be on the culture, food, and people. I’ve read design*sponge’s Madrid Travel Guide along with Rick Steve’s Guidebook, but I would appreciate any tips or recommendations you might have. The best tips always come from friends! ¡Mil gracias!

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  1. A great day trip outside of Madrid is to the town of Toledo. Interesting, winding streets. Priceless art. The most beautiful Cathedral I have ever seen! Namely, the ceiling. The image of looking through the upper reaches above the alter, through sculptures to glimpse the blue sky…

  2. How perfect to find your blog post today: we usually spend the holidays in Salamanca with my in laws and this time, I am determined to get out and explore the city. Looking forward to see what you find!!

  3. I’m here in Madrid now… Bring your tall boots, jacket, and scarves! Even though the highs are in the 60s, the Spanish really bundle up and tall boots are definitely in every Madrileña’s uniform.

    As for what to see, do, and eat, check out guiadelocio.com for events and suggestions in Madrid.

  4. I absolutely love Spain! Oooh for the food! I haven’t yet visited Madrid or Salamanca. Is Salamanca famous for it’s suckling pig? I took two short trips this year, to Andalucia and the Basque region and had the best times! Have a great trip! and Happy 30th!

  5. Go get sangria at La Tosta on Calle Victoria off of Puerta del Sol! The best sangria I had during my semester in Madrid! Tapas at Lateral, and drinks at The Penthouse!

  6. A day trip to Toledo is an excellent idea! The cathedral, el Greco’s painting, and the sword factories, if you’re interested in that … I didn’t find the swords very fun.
    As far as food in Madrid, in Plaza del Sol there’s a really neat underground restaurant that I highly recommend! I can’t remember the name, but I think it was on the south side, on the west end. And of course lots of hours spent in H&M and el Corte Ingles.

  7. You should check Le Cabrera, the coolest tapas and cocktails bar, and the decor is to die! also in the Barrio de las Letras is where all the hip vintage furniture shops are now. Casa Lucio of course for old school spanish food, and if you dont have a reservation go right infront to Los huevos de Lucio (from his sons).I was born in Madrid but I live in Andalucia,whenever Im back I cannot leave with out a visit to the bonatical garden, El Rastro and without having churros for breakfast!