June 25, 2018
The Most Instagrammable Places in Madrid

The Most Instagrammable Places in Madrid

June 25, 2018
plaza mayor madrid spain travel outfit
Madrid is full of photographic opportunities. From its monuments to its trendy eateries, there's no shortage of Instagram material. One of my favorite things to do is grab my camera and wander around the city looking for the perfect pic, and I can assure you that I always come back with interesting shots. That's the beauty of big cities: variety.

Without further ado, here are the most instagrammable places in Madrid.

Landmarks
There's not doubt that a city's landmarks is the best way to start your InstaTour. Plaza Mayor (pictured above) is one of them. Bustling any time of the year, you can have drinks outdoors in summer or visit the Christmas market in winter.
posada del peine hotel madrid landmark
Posada del Peine, a 1610 building which is the first hotel in Madrid.
Sabatini Gardens Royal Palace Madrid landmark
Sabatini gardens and the Royal Palacetemple debod summer madrid
Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple that was dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid. Come here at blue hour to get the perfect shot.4 towers skyscrapers eurostars hotel madrid
The 4 towers, Madrid's skyscrapers

Cafes and restaurants
Perrachica trendy restaurant Madrid
Perrachica, the trendiest place in town where all the pretty people hang out.
El Perro y la Galleta trendy restaurant Madrid
El Perro y la Galleta, a dog friendly restaurant.
Cafe de Oriente Royal Palace Madrid
Cafe de Oriente, an iconic cafe facing Palacio Real.Jardin Secreto Salvador Bachiller Madrid trendy brunch restaurant cocktails
The best food markets
Frida trendy restaurant brunch fashionable Madrid
Frida, a fashionable brunch spot from the owners of Perrachica.wanda cafe optimista madrid instagrammableWanda Cafe Optimista. The food in this cute cafe is just ok but it's great to sip coffee while you work on your computer.

Shops
Madrid is the best city for retail therapy in Spain. You can read my complete shopping guide here. 
Brownie calle Hermosilla shopping guide Madrid
Brownie, a beautiful alley hidden in calle Hermosilla.
margarita se llama mi amor Madrid floristeria shopping flower shop
Margarita se llama mi amor, a beautiful flower shop.

What are the most instagrammable places in your city?
xo Cristina

Pin it!

TRUDGE ALL AROUND THE CITY IN THESE COMFY ROMPERS

June 18, 2018
What to do in Madrid this Summer

What to do in Madrid this Summer

June 18, 2018
retiro park madrid summer dress travel outfit city guide
The weather is wonderful, you've got more free time and the city at your feet. So you wonder: how to make the most of it? Worry no more, I've got you covered. Today I'm telling you the best places to be in Madrid this summer.

If you follow the blog, you know that I'm obsessed with eating al fresco. It's my favorite summer time activity and I've been waiting for months to do it again so imagine how excited I am! Most of my suggestions below involve eating out so if you are a foodie this post is perfect for you.

Let's get down to business, shall we?
summer madrid mama campo restaurant healthy food madrid olavide
summer madrid mama campo restaurant healthy food madrid olavide
summer madrid mama campo restaurant healthy food madrid olavide
summer madrid mama campo restaurant healthy food madrid olavide
Eat light and healthy at Mama Campo
With high temps traditional hearty meals like cocido madrileño are not an option anymore. Mama Campo offers healthy delicious food made with ingredients bought from local farmers. Sustainability is their main goal, which can be seen in the wooden furniture and organic products. Next door you'll find La Cantina where they have healthy organic tapas and a similar decor. Mama Campo is located at Plaza Olavide, a favorite among locals to hang out on sunny days and a great place for people watching.
Nice to Meet You restaurant Madrid views terraza 360º dear hotel summer
Nice to Meet You restaurant Madrid views terraza 360º dear hotel summer
Nice to Meet You restaurant Madrid views terraza 360º dear hotel summer
Nice to Meet You restaurant Madrid views terraza 360º dear hotel summer
Nice to Meet You restaurant Madrid views terraza 360º dear hotel summer
Lunch with a view
Nice to Meet you is the rooftop restaurant in Dear Hotel located in bustling Gran Via. This place has a 360º panoramic view of Madrid, from here you can see landmarks like Plaza de España and Palacio Real. The food is as good as the views -look at that scrumptious salad, perfect brioche bun and the cheesecake, yum!- but the restaurant manager was the rudest we've ever encountered which totally spoiled our meal.travel guide madrid summer mercado motores market museum railway ferrocarril
travel guide madrid summer mercado motores market museum railway ferrocarril food truck
travel guide madrid summer mercado motores market museum railway ferrocarril food truck
travel guide madrid summer mercado motores market museum railway ferrocarril
travel guide madrid summer mercado motores market museum railway ferrocarril
travel guide madrid summer mercado motores market museum railway ferrocarril
Get your engine started at Mercado de Motores
In this railway museum you can see the evolution of train engines through history while looking for vintage treasures or buying gourmet food in the cutest market. You can also grab a bite at one of the food trucks outside or in a period carriage inside. The entrance is free.summer madrid ice-cream gelato
madrid summer ice-cream gelato
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream!
Summer wouldn't be the same without milkshakes and ice-cream. For mouth-watering creamy Italian gelato, da Roma is the place to go. Their secret is using fresh milk and the best ingredients. It's located in Santa Engracia, a long street full of great restaurants and bars. If the gelato leaves you wanting for more, they have styrofoam containers to take your favorite ice-cream home.

What's your favorite summer activity?
xo Cristina

Pin it!
travel guide madrid summer restaurant museum activities
EASY-BREEZY BEAUTIFUL SUMMER DRESSES
June 11, 2018
Memories of Split

Memories of Split

June 11, 2018
split croatia europe dalmatia adriatic cruise
While organizing my photos the other day I came across these pics of Split, Croatia, and I realized that I had never shared them with you. It's a shame because it's a trully beautiful place. Two years ago we embarked on a cruise that took us around the Greek Islands but first we visited Venice and Split.split croatia europe dalmatia adriatic cruise seafront promenade riva
When I think about Croatia the first place that comes to mind is Dubrovnik. It has become a favorite among summer vacation destinations in recent years. However, when I found out that our cruise was stopping at Split instead I was intrigued. I had never heard about this city but I was happy to avoid the crowds in Dubrovnik. I tend to do the opposite of most people: if a place becomes popular, I prefer to go somewhere else.
split croatia europe dalmatia adriatic cruise diocletian palace unesco world heritage
Split did not disappoint. We fell in love with the mixture of ancient and modern history. It's actually the second largest city in Croatia, after Zagreb. Its #1 sight is Diocletian’s Palace, a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments. The Palace was built in the 4th century as a military fortress. The narrow streets around it lead to courtyards and passageways where you can see locals hanging their laundry to dry or people watching amused by the increasing number of tourists that visit Split.split croatia europe dalmatia adriatic cruise diocletian palace
split croatia europe dalmatia adriatic cruise
split croatia europe dalmatia adriatic cruise diocletian palace
The magic and charm of Split lie in its old town full of cool bars, cafés, lovely restaurants and shops amidst Roman walls. It is also surrounded by the most beautiful landscape with mountains as a backdrop and the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea on the waterfront.
split croatia europe dalmatia adriatic cruise restaurant beautiful
split croatia europe dalmatia adriatic cruise old town
split croatia europe dalmatia adriatic cruise restaurant old town
The seafront promenade, Riva, is the other place to be. There are plenty of outdoor dining areas to sit down and enjoy a drink for hours.

Trg Republike (Republic Square) is another great spot to sip a coffee while people watching. The square, constructed in a Venetian style, is a well-renowned gathering point. Concerts and festivals are celebrated here.
split croatia europe dalmatia adriatic cruise trg republike republic square venetian style
split croatia europe dalmatia adriatic cruise trg republike republic square venetian style
There's also an interesting underground market called Podrum which is an old prison underneath Diocletian's Palace.

Finally, the Grgur Ninski Statue which honors the bishop that opposed the Pope and introduced the Croatian language into Catholic services. It is said that rubbing his toe brings good luck.
split croatia europe dalmatia adriatic cruise grugur ninski statue rub foot good luck
Split is not very big and you can see it on foot. My advice is to get lost among the stone-walled buildings to explore the city and find all the hidden gems.
xo Cristina

Pin it!
split croatia europe dalmatia adriatic cruise beautiful restaurant pinterest
GET THAT MEDITERRANEAN STYLE...
June 4, 2018
Chinchon: A Day Trip From Madrid

Chinchon: A Day Trip From Madrid

June 4, 2018
chinchon madrid pueblos bonitos plaza mayor travel outfit
Chinchon is considered one of those Pueblos bonitos de España, a disctinction given to the most beautiful villages in Spain like Vejer de la Frontera, Santillana del Mar or La Alberca. It's only a 50 minute drive from Madrid and a great idea for a day trip from the capital of Spain. Chinchon is well-known for its Plaza Mayor (town square) and its typical products: garlic and anisette liquor.
chinchon madrid pueblos bonitos plaza mayor
We left Madrid on a gloomy Saturday morning, storms were forecast but the expectation of photo opportunities and delicious food kept all worries away. In the end, not a single drop fell so it was a perfect spring day.

The first place we explored was Plaza Mayor. The green wooden balconies reminded us of those we had seen in Almagro last Easter. Even though it's called "square" it's actually round. It was built in the 15th century and has served many purposes including theater and bullfighting ring.
chinchon madrid pueblos bonitos plaza mayor burros
On a side note, I feel sad when I see animals being used for entertainment purposes, although I know children love donkeys. It's not the same but this reminded me of something really upsetting I saw in Santorini: poor donkeys carrying people through a steep pathway in hot temperatures.

One of the streets from the plaza takes you to the clock tower, from that area you can get great views of Chinchon.vista aerea birds eye chinchon madrid plaza mayor castillo pueblos bonitos spain
At the tourist information office we were told that we could buy sweet treats at Convento de las Clarisas. Nuns make the best sweets and pastries, so if there's a convent in town we always buy sweets there. We were impressed by the garden that leads to the shop in the convent, it was beautifully arranged and kept. A lovely place to sit down and read a book on a summer afternoon.
convento clarisas dulces tipicos chinchon madrid
convento clarisas dulces tipicos chinchon madrid
Our next stop was another landmark of Chinchon: the castle. You cannot go inside, just see the remains of the castle from outside which transport you back to its glory days in the 16th century.castillo castle chinchon madrid pueblos bonitos spain
We had lunch at El Parador which apart from a hotel is also a must-see in Chinchon. It used to be an Agustinian monastery back in the 15th century. I fell madly in love with the cloister, the gardens and the decor: blue and white predominate in the indoor common areas with beautiful tiles all around. 
parador chinchon madrid pueblos bonitos spain travel outfit
parador chinchon madrid pueblos bonitos spain restaurante
parador chinchon cafeteria pueblos bonitos spain
restaurante convento parador chinchon madrid spain
We had an amazing meal. For starters we had crostini with roasted peppers and chicken and a beautifully presented lettuce salad with smoked salmon. Apart from tasting delicious food, I love going to restaurants to get inspiration for food presentation. I'm definitely going to be making that salmon salad at home!
restaurante convento parador chinchon madrid menu
restaurante convento parador chinchon madrid menu
Then we had fish: hake with squid and cod.
restaurante convento parador chinchon madrid menu
restaurante convento parador chinchon madrid menu
And then we had a yummy cheesecake.

Spanish people like to have their coffee after lunch and here it is usually paired with their most famous drink. If you go to Chinchon you must order anisette liquor with your coffee, you can't leave the place without trying it! They have been producing this type of drink for centuries and it's so famous that people in Spain often call it chinchon.
restaurante convento parador chinchon madrid menu
Finally, we explored the beautiful gardens at El Parador. Ah, there's nothing better than sitting al fresco and enjoying the wonderful weather and beautiful surroundings. This is the life.
outdoor garden jardin externo parador chinchon madrid
outdoor garden jardin externo parador chinchon madrid
outdoor garden jardin externo parador chinchon madrid
There are more beautiful villages a stone's throw from Madrid. Other wonderful day trips include Aranjuez and Alcala de Henares.
xo Cristina

Pin it!
chinchon madrid pueblos bonitos plaza mayor
CHANNEL YOUR INNER 💃 WITH THESE DRESSES