I am going to Madrid at the end of April and today I am sharing with you some tips on how to plan a trip.
BUT… I am also asking for YOUR help… As Madrid is unknown territory for me, I would like to ask each and everyone of you for some good, fab and lovely Madrid tips!
How to start planning a trip?
A good way to start planning a trip is to ask yourself the obvious questions: where, when, how, who with, what, why, how much,…
This, for me, is the base to start planning any trip or holiday! So here we go…
Our destination is Madrid 🙂 It will be my very first visit to the Spanish capital and it’s been over 25 years since I’ve visited Spain! I am so looking forward to this trip, you can imagine!!
If you don’t have a particular destination in mind, you could think of the things you like to see and do: are you more into culture and history or are you more into fun and sun? How long do you want to travel? How much time do you have? That way you can narrow down your options. Take all of this into account when choosing your destination!
Who will you travel with? Are you travelling with your partner? Your family? A couple of friends? Your sisters? Your children?
Whoever you’re travelling with, make sure to plan your trip accordingly so everybody will enjoy themselves.
I will be travelling with my youngest daughter (15) and a friend of hers (16), so I will be travelling with two teenagers. I know I will have to be prepared to do everything myself as they will rely on my knowledge!
As I’m travelling with teenagers, I will adjust my program to them. Teenagers are bored easily, so I know I will have to make our trip as versatile as possible!
A citytrip to Madrid can be done any time of the year. In the midst of summer it might a bit hot, but we”re going at the end of April, so I guess that’s a good time to visit the city.
Make sure to check the weather of the city you will be travelling to. You might be surprised at how cold/hot it is at the time of your trip! It will also give you an indication on how to pack your suitcase 🙂 (for more tips on how to pack, see this post!)
We will be going by plane and we will be arriving at about 8.30 pm.
I won’t bother with finding out how the public transport is working that evening. It’s a city I don’t know myself, we’ll have our luggage and I’m with two teenagers… no, we’ll take a taxi which will drive us to our appartment in no time 🙂
Look up where in the city you will be arriving. Airports can be quite far from the city centre, so make sure to check how to get to your accommodation. In Madrid it’s quite easy: there’s a fixed taxi price from the airport to the city centre (30 EUR) so you know what to expect!
When going on a citytrip, you might have a special reason to visit this city: perhaps there’s an event, or there’s a particular exposition or museum you want to visit? Or do you just want to stroll around and soak up the overall atmosphere of the city?
One of the reasons for our trip is a visit to the Bernabeu Stadion as my daughter is a major Real Madrid fan. I’m not so much into football, nor is my daughter’s friend, but we will join her on the stadion tour of course. And I have already done some research: what are the opening hours? How much does a ticket cost? Do we have to by a ticket beforehand?
And that’s my advice… do your research… be prepared to avoid disappointment!! If you reallyl want to visit something, look up whether you have to book your tickets in advance or not, check the price, the opening hours,…
Where to stay
We will be staying in an appartment I have found on Airbnb (read about our first encounter with airbnb here!).
We have a kitchen, so we will be able to make our own breakfast and make a picknick for lunch. That way we can keep our trip as budget-friendly as possible!
There are plenty of options of course… Madrid has heaps of hotels, studios, appartments, hostels,… just bear in mind your budget when planning your accomodation.
What will we be doing during our 4 days?
As I’ve already said, I will adjust our programme to the two teenagers I am travelling with but I have warned them that I want to do one cultural thing a day! I won’t bother them with a visit to the Prado as that will take up too much of their precious time 🙂
I will try to find cultural things to do that won’t take up too much time and that even might interest them as well! And then of course they can also give me a list of things they want to do or see!
In order to prepare myself a bit, I have read some travelguides and I have looked up some blogs about Madrid. I have also listed some tips my eldest daughter Charlotte gave as she’s been in Madrid on several occasions. The pictures from Madrid you see in this blogpost, are taken by her… I hope to take some nice ones myself really soon 🙂
I am also reaching out to all of you. If you’ve got some interesting tips on what to see and do in Madrid, please share them in the comments below!! I am forever grateful 🙂
How much money are you willing/able to spend? Set yourself a budget and try to stick with it!
I have already written a post on how to watch your budget whilst travelling. Check it out as I give you plenty of tips. You can find the post here.
Other things to bear in mind
Local habits: in travel guides you will find information on local habits. Read that bit! It’s how I found out that the hours of breakfast/lunch/diner is so different in Spain then in Belgium! Having diner at 7pm will be impossible… so I know we will have to adjust our daily routine when in Madrid!
Public transport: it might be a good idea to look up a thing or two about the public transport. Most cities have a travel/tourist card so it might be worth checking that out.
Currency: check which currency is used at your destination! I won’t have any problems as in Madrid they also use euro, but when we travel to England, we have to order our Pounds in advance!
Tips: every country has its own habits on giving tips. You can find that information in a travelguide or online.
Well I hope I have given you some tips for when you want to start planning your own trip and remember… any Madrid tip is welcome 🙂
PS: thank you to my daughter Charlotte who kindly let me use her pictures from Madrid!