It's starting to sink in that my 'Madrid life' is over... But I know I will be back one day :) So in the meantime, I've rounded-up 8 things that I will miss from Madrid. Everything from food to fashion ;) And I've included recommendations, so you'll want to read it all if you're thinking of heading to Madrid one day!
1. The People
This obviously includes the people from Madrid, but mainly the other international students I met while living there. For 4 months, I was surrounded by the happiest people, because we were all travelling and had no worries at all. I will definitely miss them, there were truly great people. There were many of us and as we were living in a city just outside Madrid called Getafe, we called ourselves the Getafe Crew. I've mentioned them many times in articles.
Needless to say I've made friends for life :)
2. Speaking/Learning Spanish
I've loved learning to speak Spanish with locals and friends. I love being able to get around in a new language, it is a really cool feeling. Unfortunately, there isn't much Spanish around me in Montreal. I will have to be creative and find new ways to practice my Spanish!
3. The Food
One thing about Spain is you can eat really cheap and good. Some typical Spanish foods include patatas bravas, tortilla, churros, bocadillos, tapas, paella... I will forever miss the cheap bocadillos de jamón serrano, the tortilla bravas and cheap sangria (cheaper than water, and is the best in the world).
For tapas: 100 Montaditos
For anything 'bravas': Las Bravas
For churros: Chocolateria San Gines
P.s. One place I recommend is Las Bravas. They make 'tortilla bravas', which is in the picture below. It is a potato omelet with a spicy sauce on top. It is to die for!!
You're welcome ;)
(Are you even surprised that I'm posting three pictures of food?)
4. Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol is the center of Madrid. It has a big train/metro station and two fountains and many many shops around. I love the energy there, all the people walking around, all the tourists... I just loved going there, getting a tea (or iced chai latte from Starbucks when I felt like spending a lot of money) and sitting on the fountain. Every now and then, strike up a conversation with a Spanish local to practice and just relax.
Unfortunately, I could only find this picture of the place, and it doesn't represent well, so you'll have to google it ;)
5. Cheap Public Transport
I always found that public transport was expensive in Montreal, but never really knew how expensive until I spend this much time in Europe. Even in the most expensive cities in Europe, a metro ticket will cost max 1.85 euros, which is about $2.78. In Montreal, we pay $3.25. Who knows, maybe that has gone up again since I left in January.
In addition, I had a monthly pass in Madrid that included all buses, metro lines and trains for... 20 euros a month! $30!!! I'll never pay so little again..
6. Best Sangria Ever.
Never thought I would say this. Anyone who knows me knows I don't drink alcohol. Ok, like twice a year. Maximum. And it will barely be one drink. But given that sangria is cheaper than water in Spain, I started drinking more of it and now I truly enjoy it.. :) The sangria in Spain is like no other sangria I've ever tasted, which means... I go back to no drinking in Montreal ;)
The sangria below is from 100 Montaditos, a restaurant you can find at almost every corner in Madrid! This one costs 1.5 euros! A coke would be 1.80 euros for a smaller glass.
7. Clothing Stores
There are so many cheap clothing stores in Madrid, where you can buy awesome pieces for low prices. It is so easy to walk in and spent a lot of money... Not a good thing for my wallet!
So I've listed below some of my favourite stores in Madrid, which can usually be found across Europe :)
These can all be found on Gran Via, the main shopping street in Madrid.
8. Easy (and cheap) Travel
Obviously, I'll miss everything from Madrid, but this is the last of the top 8: easy/inexpensive travel.
When you live in Spain, travelling between European countries in very easy. You can fly, take buses, or trains. One could fly to Paris in 2h for 50 euros round trip, depending on your availabilities and airlines chosen.
I had originally planned on travelling much less, but when I realized how inexpensive it was, I was able to travel more. I love how accessible travel is. Given that the countries are all between 1 and 3 hours away by plane, you can easily visit another country over the weekend. Meanwhile, in Canada... it takes me 5h30 to go to the other side of the country and will cost me hundreds of dollars.
I will definitely miss my weekend getaways. I'll have to book some camping trips to keep myself busy this summer ;) Tents and mosquitoes, who could ask for more?