One of the coolest aspects of living abroad is having ample opportunities to travel. It’s nice to spend a weekend relaxing in Sevilla, but I’ve also enjoyed traveling to other Spanish cities, many of which are easily accessible by train or bus. This past weekend, my roommate and I visited Madrid and we had an awesome time exploring!
We had the opportunity to visit two incredible museums- Museo del Prado and The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. Both museums house incredible collections of art and each has a completely different vibe. The Prado houses a vast collection of works spanning from the 12th century all the way to the 20th, including ample paintings of the Spanish royal family and nobility and depictions of biblical and mythological events. The Reina Sofia is a modern art museum featuring works from the 20th century, including an extensive collection of works by Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. I really enjoyed the opportunity to see famous works I was familiar with such as Las Meninas by Diego Velasquez and Guernica by Pablo Picasso. The museums are massive and with so many galleries to explore, I discovered plenty of new artists and paintings that interested me. The best part of our visit to the museums was that as university students, admission was free!
We also had the chance to explore the beautiful Parque del Retiro. Even though we’ve now entered the month of November, Fall still hasn’t arrived in southern Spain. While I can’t complain about the warm weather in Sevilla, it was nice to experience some Fall breezes in Madrid.
The views throughout the park were gorgeous, but I especially enjoyed seeing the Palacio de Cristal and the Monument to Alfonso XII that overlooks the lake.
We also made an attempt to visit the Palacio Real, which is the Royal Palace of Madrid. We arrived too late to view the inside of the palace, but the view from the outside was still pretty impressive. We also ended up getting caught in a giant rainstorm, and learned the importance of always bringing along an umbrella, even if it seems sunny at first!
Not only were the sights great, but the food was equally great. Since dessert is my favorite food group, I would have to say the highlight of my eating experience was chocolate con churros. It was definitely a delicious way to end our time in Madrid.
I can’t wait to explore more cities, both in Spain and throughout Europe, as the semester continues!