HOW TO GET TO MADRID FROM BARCELONA
No matter how you adore a city or a country, you can't stay forever. So it's the time again for us to waive goodbye to Barcelona and hop on to the next city of Spain - Madrid, the nation's capital city. There are several options to get from Barcelona to Madrid; from plane to train and bus. Of course, the best way to travel between these two cities is by taking the AVE high-speed train. It's the fastest way to reach the destination in just under 3 hours with its modern and luxurious train.
#1: Barcelona - Sants Train Station, the main and primary train station in Barcelona
From where we stayed (Hostel LK Barcelona), it takes roughly around 10 minutes walk to Barcelona - Sants Train Station. There are two main stations in Barcelona but Barcelona - Sants is the main and primary train station serving for national and international arrivals and departures. Situated in the west of the city, it is convenient to reach here either by taking metro or bus. You'll find wide range of shops, restaurants and cafe at Sants station, including everyone's favourite McDonald's.
#2: AVE high-speed train
As for our train ticket, I pre-booked in advance from Spanish Railways at Renfe which you need to print the ticket at home. Booking usually opens at least two months ahead but Renfe is inconsistent in how far ahead they open bookings. Another downside of purchasing from this website is that there is no English language available. But fret not, cause I found it's not that difficult to book from Renfe tho the language barrier; like "Origen" stands for Origin and "Destino" actually means Destination. Usually for the route between Barcelona and Madrid, there are three different classes - Turista (2nd class), Turista Plus (premium 2nd class) and Prefente (1st class). We just took the Turista which is the 2nd class and it's pretty comfort and cozy for us.
After approximately of three hours train ride, finally we reach Madrid. I really love taking train, especially the high-speed type and this AVE high-speed train ride is kinda smooth and quiet, which somehow it reminds me of Japan's shinkansen (bullet train). In Madrid, we arrived at Madrid-Puerta de Atocha, the main train station for the city. For our Madrid's accommodation, I purposely book the one within walking distance to the train station cause we're going to the train frequently.
#3: Stunning architecture but not sure what's the name of this building
OUR STAY IN MADRID
Our second AirBnB booking for this trip and guess what, it's my favourite one cause it's has elevator facility. Remember the one we booked in Porto - it's was disaster where we need to carry all our heavy luggage up to 4th floor by staircases cause there's no elevator within the building. Although there's no proper bed for the third guest, but the sofa bed is pretty sufficient for me to have a rest and rejuvenate after coming back from a long-hour travelling day.
Apartmamentos Moratin Las Letras
Date Stayed: 16 October - 20 October 2018 (4 nights)
Room Rate: €370 for total of four nights
Since we will be spending 4 nights in Madrid, we plan to have a relax and easy trip on our first day in Madrid. We didn't do much sightseeing but more towards shopping instead cause we found Primark store is not far away from where we stayed. Roughly around 10-12 minutes walk and in between, we did stopby for few photo opportunities before going crazy over cheap shopping.
#7: Our late lunch and that's why we settled at Burger King because many shops closed after 3pm
#8: Madrid's official statue - The bear and the strawberry
#9: The central square of La Puerta del Sol
#10: Shopping at Primark, again! With 5 floors, the one in Madrid is one of the chain's largest in the world.
#11: Do you know that llaollao Frozen Yogurt ice-cream is actually originated from Spain? Here, we got to try the Pistachio sauce which is not available in Malaysia.
#12: Our shopping haul on first day in Madrid - It's incredibly cheap, hard to resist.