This was a quick 4 day trip, taking advantage of an affordable round trip ticket to Madrid, and boy was it difficult to stuff Spain into 4 days, We opted to hit 2 cities, but prioritized Barcelona upon the recommendations of our Spaniard friends from Fjord.
We land in Madrid with a few hours to kill before taking the Renfe Train to Barcelona, just enough for a quick bite and some coffee.
There's something really special about all the trains and stations in Europe. Having spent a decent amount of time in New York's Penn Station, it feels a little shameful...
Our Airbnb was in a charming, residential plaza called Plaça de la Vila de Gracia. With kids running amok, and roughly 3 weddings a day, there couldn't a more idyllic neighborhood to spend our time in.
Our first night we hit the neighborhood hard, first stopping at the La Cava, the sister bar to a tapas restaurant called La Pepita. Trendy but not over the top, it was a great way to just get immersed by locals and start an amazing run of food.
We spend the next day scurrying between obtuse archeticuture at Park Güell and La Sagrada Familia, caffeine-ing at coffee roasters Onna Coffee and Satan's Corner, and wondering what stories the cobblestone of Barri Gòtic could tell (turns out not much has happened there it's just old..).
Because of our insane timeline, we headed back to Madrid for our last night in Spain. We were a little stunned, actually, at how much we enjoyed the city.
We stayed on the bustling Calle Cava Baja, nearby Plaza Mayor. Famous for their late night Tapas dining, we were living the life, getting to experience some local gluttony. If there's 3 or 4 of you. I highly recommend this Airbnb listing - Laren is an extremely friendly Boston native who's spent the last decade in Madrid. Great to get that perspective.
When we check in we immediately head out to catch the last of the sun to see some sights.
We were a little taken aback by Madrid - we got a lot of advice on how to do a quick 4 day trip in Spain and many recommended staying away from Madrid, but we found it completely charming and vibrant.
This was an insanely quick trip, and if we were to do it again I'd recommend sticking to 1 city for 4 days. 2 or 3 days is just enough to feel settled in, and with the constant traveling we were tired. Definitely an experience of a lifetime, but one we'll rarely do again :)