I woke up early on the day of my flight to Madrid so that I could finish packing and get some breakfast before I checked out. My flight was at 12:15 PM, but I didn’t want to have another Milan experience, so I made sure I was on the Aerobus by 9 AM. I got to the airport early enough that I was even able to sit down and enjoy a sandwich before my flight.
All the other flights that I had booked in Europe left in the afternoon and got to their respective locations in the evening, but the flight from Barcelona to Madrid was really quick and I was already in Spain’s capital by 2 PM. Madrid-Bajaras Airport thankfully has its own metro station, so it was relatively easy getting to my hostel. I bought a five-day metro transport card for €26.80 (~$28.34 USD) since I’ve been using the subway in all the other cities I’ve been to so far. Here’s a tip: YOU DON’T NEED THE PASS! I learned quickly that a lot of the key sights in Madrid are not that far to walk between. I probably only needed to take the metro from the airport to the hostel and back. I did use the metro a couple times in the city before I knew how close everything was and when I just wanted to get somewhere quickly, but if you have time and are not lugging a bunch of stuff around, walking is the way to go.
The hostel that I was staying at, OK Hostel Madrid, is actually much more than OK. In fact, it was pretty fantastic and by far the nicest hostel I stayed in during my trip. Rather than using a key card to enter the room, like most of the other hostels I stayed at, OK Hostel Madrid uses a bracelet that you can scan at your door. It makes it hard to lose since there isn’t really a need to take it off, but it also makes it an interesting fashion choice and some of the other hostelfolk and I joked around how our new “Apple watches” were all the rage.
I had a six-bed room that included a desk and an adjoining bathroom with a bathtub! I always showered in Europe, but it was awesome to know that I could even take a bath here if I really wanted. The whole place was pretty spacious and even the locker underneath my bed had so much room. I think the only thing that would have made it perfect is if the beds also had their own privacy curtains, but I’m glad we had our own power outlets.
Nobody else had moved into the room yet when I arrived, so I unpacked my things, sat on my bed, and looked at the map I was given at the reception desk to get an idea of what I should do during my stay. Viviana, the woman who checked me in, was going to lead a walking tour the next day that covered a significant area of the city, so she suggested that I explore parts that weren’t going to be in the tour first.
Since it was already the afternoon, I figured that a lot of the museums would be closing soon, so I decided to head somewhere where I was confident that it would still be open for a while; I went to the park.