2024 - Spain


 Photo: mytravellinglens.com

Madrid Spain

As with our previous trip to Madrid, we will be staying just off the Puerta del Sol. It is one of the most famous squares in Madrid. The square is also home to the statue of the bear and the strawberry tree, which is the symbol of Madrid.

Not far away is the Plaza Mayor, a beautiful square surrounded by historic buildings and is home to several cafes and restaurants.

Plaza de Santa Ana

Plaza de Santa Anna in Madrid, Spain

photo: mytravellinglens.com

Named after the Santa Ana Monastery that stood here in the 17th Century, we fondly remember our previous time in this Plaza. The monastery was demolished in 1820. Work on the plaza started but was not completed until 1880. The plaza has monuments celebrating Spain's "Golden Age" writer Pedreo Calderón and poet playwright Federico Garcia Lorc. On our 2015 visit we loved the restaurants in this plaza.


 Madrid Digs

Our accomodations in Madrid place us right in the centre of things

For us, our accomodations are an important part of the travel experience. Karen has worked hard to find us a great apartment just off Puerta del Sol.

Palais Royal

photo: mytravellinglens.com

The beautiful arcades of the Palais Royal in Madrid. This was the official residence of Spain's Royal Family, now primarily used for state ceremonies. No photos can be taken inside the palace but it is impressive to visit. The sights inside include:

  • The Main Staircase
  • The Porcelain Cabinet
  • Chamber of Charles III
  • The Throne Room
  • Royal Chapel
  • Stradivarious Hall


photo: mytravellinglens.com

The town centre, the cathedral and the Monasterior San Juan de Los Reyes are all stunning and great reasons for a revisit of Toledo. It is just over 30 minutes by fast train from Madrid to Toledo. The 7:45, 8:30 train would arrive in Toledo by 9:30 am in the morning leaving lots of time for a good day trip. The Madrid train station (Estacion Madrid - Peurto de Atocha. It is a 35 minute walk from Puerta del Sol to Puerta de Atocha (2,8 km). Or, walk to the Sol Metro statiion and take a train to Atocha Station.

Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial

The Royal Monastery,  built in 1563 to 1584,  served multiple purposes:  a burial place for Holy Roman Emperor Charles V; a Hieronymite monastery; and a royal palace.

On-Line Tickets 

Located about an hour from Madrid (by car or by Bus or train. There are about five trains a day. Leave from the  Atocha Station or Chamartín Station you have to take the Cercanías line C3A, with a frequency of every hour, and it will take you about 65 or 50 minutes to get to El Escorial. then a 15 minute walk.     

 Matadero Madrid

Matadero Madrid Spain

 In 2005, the site, the previous Municipal slaughterhouse, was converted into a cultural centre. The site became a testing ground for architectural experimentation.

Centro de Creación Contemporánea
Plaza de Legazpi, 8

Metro: Legazpi (líneas 3 y 6)

Parada permanente de taxis: Plaza de Legazpi 




Museum of Illusions

The museum has mind & eye-tricking exhibits. Should be easy to find, Google says it is a fFive minute walkfrom Plaza de Sol. Ha! hasn't that been wrong in the past.

 Temple of Debod

Temple of Debod - Madrid Spain - Glenn Marcus My Travelling Lens

photo: My Travelling Lens

I  really enjoyed photographing the Temple on our 2015 visit to Madrid. It is best in the early evening. I have this earmarked for a return visit.  The ancient Egyptian ruins are found in the west side of the city in pretty Parque del Oeste.

Lavapiés, Malasaña, and La Latina

A more local experience and more affordable prices. The streets of Lavapiés to peruse the outdoor murals that add to this neighborhood’s alternative character. 

Barrio de las Letras and Calle Cava Baja

TRAVEL + LIESURE notes these neighborhoods are where you’ll find the most authentic version of Madrid, “where avant-garde and tradition create the perfect fusion.” In Barrio de las Letras, you'll find all the attractions of Spain’s literary quarter. And in the most traditional area of the city, La Latina, is Calle Cava Baja, “full of bars and taverns reminiscent of the oldest Madrid..

Gran Via

photo: mytravellinglens.com/spain

One of Madrid’s most famous streets, Gran Via is home to several historic buildings, theaters, and shops. 


Pen, Paper Stores

Papeleria Debod
Calle Ferraz, 24
28008 Madrid

Estilográficas Carranza

Papelería Rey
Avada. de la Ciudad de Barcelona, 144
28007 Madrid,

Estilográficas Sacristán
C. Mayor, 27,
28013 Madrid

Iguana Sell
C. del Conde de Aranda, 24, Salamanca, 28001 Madrid,
Pens and watches, some inks.

Espacio Montblanc El Corte Inglés Preciados
C. de Preciados, 3, 10,
Centro, 28013 Madrid,

Papeleria Coplan
Calle Marcenado, 34
28002 Madrid

Papeleria Salazar
Calle Luchana, 7-9
28010 Madrid
Said to have a good selection of pens and ink.

Papeleria Tecnica Sancer
Calle Fermando el Catolico, 77
28015 Madrid
From low to high end pens


Parque del Retiro

Parque del Retiro, mytravellinglens.com

photo: mytravellinglens.com/spain

Plazza Della Indipendecia, 7

Covering over 125 hectares and comprising more than 15,000 trees, El Retiro Park–recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site–is a green oasis in the heart of the city.

Mercado de San Miguel

photo: mytravellinglens.com 

Oh how much Karen and I enjoyed the Mercado de San Miguel. In 1916 it was a wholesale food market and today is is a gourmet market. The beautiful cast-iron structure is the last remaining iron market hall in Madrid. Enjoy the tapas bars, seafood stalls, artisan bakeries, quality butchers, and an array of booths selling other fresh ingredients.  

Cibeles Palace and Fountain

photo: mytravellinglens.com

A beautiful square in the heart of Madrid, Plaza de Cibeles is home to several historic buildings. 

 Fundación Canal

 Rotating exhibitions of art, archaeology & history are featured in a spacious parkside setting.

 P.º de la Castellana, 214,
28046 Madrid, Spain