May 20, 2019
Madrid for Foodies: Best Brunch and Breakfast Spots

Madrid for Foodies: Best Brunch and Breakfast Spots

May 20, 2019
luxury hotel brunch madrid orfila restaurant breakfast spain
Summer is in the air...Days are longer, temperatures are raising...It's the last few weeks of spring before summer gets here. At this time we feel the urge to spend as much time as possible outdoors enjoying the great weather and that is often accompanied by great food as well. This is our favorite time of the year to go out for brunch. 

You know that Spain is well-known for its impressive gastronomy. Tapas are great but there's so much more to try! Even though brunch is not a Spanish tradition, it has become very popular in big cities in recent years and, right now, one of the best things to do in Madrid this spring and summer is to try one of the many wonderful brunch spots in the capital of Spain.


Brunch menus in Spain are similar in general, they offer natural juices and smoothies, coffee and tea, cereal with granola or muesli and a main dish which can be savory -like quiche, eggs Benedict, avocado toast, breakfast bowls or sandwiches- or sweet -waffles, carrot cake, pancakes... Some places allow you to build your own menu, others offer a set one.

Here is my complete guide to the best brunch and breakfast restaurants in Madrid. It includes all the info you need and a map at the end.

ABOLEA
If you are looking for healthy 100% homemade brunch, Abolea restaurant is the place to go. Their homemade granola was delicious but their breakfast bowls are the true star here. Best thing we've ever had! They are just perfect: pretty, delicious and healthy food, can you ask for more? They make their own bread and cakes as well. The set brunch menu is 15,95€, the most affordable we've had so far.
abolea brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain homemade healthy
abolea brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain homemade healthy
abolea brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain homemade healthy breakfast bowl
BENDITA LOCURA
Sunday brunch is not enough for you? No problem! Bendita Locura offers brunch every day of the week. This is the latest brunch restaurant we've been to and it's already one of our favorites. The experience was perfect: fast and kind service, great food and reasonable price. The offer a full brunch for 21€ and a smaller one for 16€.

Bendita Locura is a place we will go back to, now we want to try their lunch and dinner! It's a small cafe and constantly buzzing so make reservations if you don't want to wait. 
bendita locura cafe brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain
bendita locura cafe brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain
bendita locura cafe brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain
bendita locura cafe brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain
BRASSERIE ANTOINETTE
All the charm of a Parisian cafe in the center of Madrid. We loved the ambiance at this French restaurant near Callao. The decor is stylish and the music really nice, it feels cozy and relaxing. They offer a full brunch menu for 23€ and a separate menu to order whatever you want. The food was good but the service was terrible. The ladies who waited on us were very kind and attentive but they need to work on their organization skills. We were alone inside the restaurant -the outdoor area was full- and it took ages to order and in between dishes. We had to ask for basic things like plates or butter and jam for the croissants. Then, we had to wait 45 minutes for the main dish because they had lost our order. As I said, they were very attentive and compensated with a free smoothie.

We know that these things happen and we can't judge them having been there only once so we still recommend Brasserie Antoinette.
brasserie antoinette french parisian brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain
brasserie antoinette french parisian brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain
brasserie antoinette french parisian brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain
brasserie antoinette french parisian brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain crepe
EL JARDIN SECRETO DE SALVADOR BACHILLER
A secret garden in the heart of Madrid. Located on the roof top of the Salvador Bachiller store, this hidden gem is one of the trendiest restaurants in Madrid. The decor is impressive, there are plants all around, even the placemat is a giant leaf! It's like you left the concrete jungle to be in the real jungle. 
jardin secreto salvador bachiller brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain
FRIDA
This was the first brunch we ever had in Madrid so talking about it brings back a lot of memories. Located in the trendy neighborhood of Chueca, Frida is where all the cool Madrileños hang out. Highly instagrammable and delicious food, I think that sums it up pretty well. Frida is one of the trendiest places in Madrid at the moment so if you like that kind of spot be sure to make reservations before you go.
frida grupo larrumba brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain
HOTEL ORFILA
This was a brunch to remember. We had brunch at Holet Orfila last summer to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. It's the most luxurious brunch we've had to date and one of our favorites both because of the quality and the fact that we were celebrating such a special occasion. This is one of the most elaborate weekend brunch in Madrid, it doesn't consist of a menu like the previous ones, it's a savory-and-sweet self-service buffet and the price is 59€.
Read the full post about Hotel Orfila
luxury hotel brunch madrid orfila restaurant breakfast spain
luxury hotel brunch madrid orfila restaurant breakfast spain
ON MY LIST
We are always looking for new brunch and breakfast restaurants to try in Madrid. Some friends have recommended the following and we can't wait to try them ourselves!
MAP
OUTFITS FOR BRUNCH

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hotel brunch madrid restaurant breakfast spain
May 13, 2019
Day Trips from Madrid: All You Need to Know About Toledo

Day Trips from Madrid: All You Need to Know About Toledo

May 13, 2019
parador toledo spain cafeteria views vantage point
Toledo is one of Spain’s most popular cities. In 1987 it was named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations because of its wide variety of historical monuments, most of which are religious and show the city’s cultural diversity over the centuries. Being only one hour away from Madrid, Toledo is an essential day trip from the capital of Spain.

We took advantage of the recent Bank Holiday to revisit breathtaking Toledo and on this post I'm telling you all about it. This is the ultimate travel guide to visiting Toledo. Here you'll find all you need to know about this Spanish city to plan a day trip. It includes a brief history of Toledo, things to do and see, a review of the luxurious Parador hotel, tips on the best gifts to buy and advice on getting there.
parador toledo spain cafeteria views vantage point travel outfit europe
A BRIEF HISTORY OF TOLEDO
Toledo is one of the most important cities in the history of Spain. It's often referred to as the City of Three Cultures: Islamic, Jewish and Christian. In this melting pot these different cultures left their footprint in various ways. One of the most famous examples of cooperation was the creation of the School of Translators in the 12th century, which helped to preserve a significant amount of knowledge.

The origins of Toledo can be traced back to Roman times. In the 6th century the city converted to Catholicism and became the capital of Hispania (Spain). In the year 712 AD, Toledo was conquered by the Moors. That is the same year when Jewish people are believed to have arrived. In the year 1085, Toledo was retaken by Christians but many people from the other cultures chose to stay. All three cultures lived in harmony until 1492 when the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, expelled the Jews from Toledo. Moorish legacy began to fade in the 15th century as well.

In 1519, under the rule of Charles V, Toledo became the most important city in the world, known as the Imperial Capital. This period was brief but very beneficial for the city in terms of heritage. Finally, in 1561 King Philip II decided to move the court permanently to Madrid.
church basilica religious heritage toledo spain landmark history travel guide tourism day trip itinerary
architecture mudejar moorish islamic toledo spain landmark history travel guide tourism day trip itinerary
EL GRECO
Doménikos Theotokópoulos a.k.a. El Greco (The Greek) is one of the most important painters in Spain. He moved from Greece to Spain in the 16th century and in Toledo he produced his most famous paintings. He was ahead of his time and gave a personal and unique touch to Rennaisance style.

In Toledo you can visit El Greco Museum and see his best-known work, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, in Santo Tome's church.

EL PARADOR HOTEL AND VANTAGE POINT
If you follow the blog, you know about our passion for luxury hotel chain Paradores. They are much more than hotels, they are landmarks and in Toledo's case, also a vantage point.
parador toledo spain cafeteria views vantage point travel outfit europe
Parador de Toledo is far from the Old Town which allows it to have the best views of this beautiful city from its cafeteria. We started our day in Toledo by having a snack there before having a wonderful meal at the restaurant.
parador toledo spain hotel luxury restaurant vantage point
Paradores never disappoint. We loved the restaurant with its private social club vibe and nature inspired decor. The food was delicious too and the staff couldn't be kinder and more professional.
parador toledo spain hotel luxury restaurant vantage point
parador toledo spain hotel luxury restaurant vantage point restaurant
parador toledo spain hotel luxury restaurant vantage point restaurant food menu
parador toledo spain hotel luxury restaurant vantage point restaurant food menu
parador toledo spain hotel luxury restaurant vantage point restaurant food menu
parador toledo spain hotel luxury restaurant vantage point restaurant food menu
parador toledo spain hotel luxury restaurant vantage point restaurant food menu
parador toledo spain hotel luxury restaurant vantage point restaurant food menu
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN TOLEDO
Toledo’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with heritage from all three cultures: Jewish, Islamic and Christian.

These are the best things to do in Toledo:
  • Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes: commissioned by the Catholic Monarchs, this monastery houses the most beautiful cloister I've seen so far. 
monastery cloister san juan reyes toledo spain landmark history travel guide tourism day trip itinerary
monastery cloister san juan reyes toledo spain landmark history travel guide tourism day trip itinerary
  • Iglesia de Santo Tome: the architecture of this church has both Islamic and Christina influence while being located in the Jewish Quarter. Here's where you can see the Burial of the Count of Orgaz painting by El Greco.
  • The Cathedral: this example of Gothic cathedral was built on what used to be a mosque, like many other Christian churches across the country.
cathedral toledo spain landmark history travel guide tourism day trip itinerary
fortress palace alcazar toledo spain landmark history travel guide tourism day trip itinerary
  • Plaza de Zocodover: Toledo's lively main square.
  • Alcazar of Toledo: alcazar is an Islamic word that means palace or fortress of Moorish origin. The one in Toledo is the highest point in the city and it was meant as a royal residence for Charles V. Nowadays it houses a public library and the army museum.
  • Visit El Greco Museum
  • Don't forget those jaw-dropping views from El Parador!
WHAT TO BUY
Toledo has been known for sword-making and steel-working for century. One of the most popular things to buy in Toledo are swords and steel figures.

If you are not a GOT fan, but have a sweet tooth, you should know that marzipan from Toledo is very famous in Spain. We usually eat it during Christmas but here you can find it all year long.

Our favorite place to buy sweets are convents and in Toledo we fixed our cravings thanks to Convento de San Antonio de Padua.
shop antiques sword steel toledo spain landmark history travel guide tourism day trip itinerary
shop sword steel toledo spain landmark history travel guide tourism day trip itinerary
GETTING THERE
There are buses and trains going from Madrid (see Google Maps), however the fastest option is by car. The problem is parking, as usual. The best thing to do is to use one of the parking lots outside of the Old Town. There's a free one opposite the bus station called Safont but gets full quickly on weekends and holidays so go there as early as possible. There's a car-park attendant at the gate and you are expected to give him a few coins but you don't have to pay anything else.

GET THE LOOK
You can find my shorts here and me sneakers here.

I hope you enjoyed this guide with all you need to know about Toledo. If you liked this post, spread the love by pinning and sharing it!
views vantage point mirado toledo spain landmark history travel guide tourism day trip itinerary
May 6, 2019
Instagram Worthy Places in Budapest

Instagram Worthy Places in Budapest

May 6, 2019
liberty bridge budapest instagrammable instagram worthy spot photography
Opulent architecture, beautiful cafes and thermal baths, the Danube river and many vantage points..., Budapest is a photographer's dream. With so many hidden gems, it was only logical to make a list of Instagram worthy spots in Budapest.

This is the last installment on the Budapest series. On my travel guide to 48 hours in Budapest you can find travel tips to plan your itinerary to Hungary’s capital and on Budapest for Foodies you can find the best restaurants. Now it’s time to share the most instagrammable places in Budapest, hopefully these photos will help you plan your trip or inspire you to travel there soon.
 budapest instagrammable instagram worthy spot photography yellow tram parliament building
 budapest instagrammable instagram worthy spot photography parliament building
This first instagrammable spot in Budapest is one of its most important landmarks: the Hungarian Parliament. Take a look all around, explore it 360º, you'll find endless photography possibilities. The building is gorgeous from every single angle! The yellow trams are another Budapest classic which you can capture around the Parliament building. 
The Parliament is located by the river which means you can get spectacular views of Buda as well.

Photography tip: cross the Danube to Batthany ter to get a great view of the whole building. Go there in the afternoon to have the sun on your back.

Check out our itinerary on this map
 budapest instagrammable instagram worthy spot photography danube river views
 budapest instagrammable instagram worthy spot photography vantage point views gresham four seasons hotel chain bridge stephen basilica
 budapest instagrammable instagram worthy spot photography fisherman bastion
fisherman bastion budapest instagrammable instagram worthy spot photography
Fisherman's Bastion: the fairy-tale towers make it the #1 Instagram spot in Budapest. On the same place you can find Saint Matthias, one of the most spectacular churches I've ever seen. Apart from the beautiful architecture, this is a vantage point so you can see breathtaking views of Pest.

Photography tip: if you want to get a dreamy photo, channel your inner #dametraveler and feel like the queen of the castle, skip that beauty sleep and wake up as early as possible. Fisherman's Bastion is open 24/7 and gets crowded fast so be the first one there to have the place to yourself.
matthias church budapest instagrammable instagram worthy spot photography
When it comes to restaurants, Budapest is a city of contrasts. On the one hand, you have classic cafes with beautiful frescoes like New York Cafe or Cafe Parisi. On the other hand, the kitsch ruin bars. Despite the contrast, both are Instagram worthy.

new york cafe budapest instagrammable instagram worthy spot photography
szimpla kert ruin bar budapest instagrammable instagram worthy spot photography
The world famous thermal baths in Budapest are a must if you a) love pools, b) have an Instagram account. We visited Szechenyi Thermal Bath and loved every minute of it.

Photography tip: photography is allowed in the baths, but keep in mind that not everybody likes to have their photo taken, especially in a swimsuit. Try to take general photos where you can't see individuals very well. They advise you to leave expensive photography equipment in the hotel, use your phone with a waterproof case or a GoPro instead. 
szechenyi thermal baths budapest instagrammable instagram worthy spot photography
If you need more ideas...
  • Vajdahunyad Castle is another dreamy spot in Budapest. This replica of a Transilvania castle will get you the perfect Instagram photo. 
  • Liberty Bridge (first photo) is one of the most beautiful bridges that crosses the Danube. The green structure is the perfect setting for a few Instagram worthy snaps. Other beautiful bridges are Chain Bridge and Margaret Bridge.

I hope you enjoyed this guide to Instagram worthy places in Budapest. If you have an Instagram account, leave it on the comments below, I'd love to check it out!

WEAR THIS HERE

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fisherman bastion budapest instagrammable instagram worthy spot photography