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in     by Sophie Patman 05-06-2018
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Whilst doing my internship in Madrid, I have been lucky enough to make the most of my weekends and do a fair bit of travelling. I would highly recommend this, working everyday throughout the week can make it dangerously easy to spend all your weekend sat at home hungover and watching Netflix. Yet if you be proactive, organize your days off and take into account bank holidays, you can surprisingly fit so much into your weekends. Here are a few of the favourite places I have had the chance to visit: 

Cordoba/ Granada/ Seville

I was extremely lucky to be able to combine a visit down South to all 3 of these towns during the long ‘Semana Santa’, which is the Easter Weekend in Spain. We had two bank holidays on the Thursday and Friday, so we left straight after work on the Wednesday and got back late Sunday night. It may sound slightly overwhelming fitting three towns into a four-day trip but if you time the transport well, it is perfectly manageable! I would highly recommend this layout; you only need a day in Granada and Cordoba (we didn’t get chance to fit in the Alhambra but make sure you book in advance if you want to go) and a day and a a half In Seville was beautiful. We got the chance to try some typical southern food, see some Andalusian flamenco and experience the madness that is Southern Spain during Semana Santa with all the religious processions going on (make sure you research these before you go as they can cause a bit of chaos!).

Valencia

Valencia is such a gorgeous city and with only being two hours away from Madrid on the train, it seems pointless not to go. Additionally, and most importantly, it has a beach (something us city-bound Madrilenians start to crave as the summer months creep upon us!). Hire bikes to get around the city and visit the historical center, the incredible city of art and science and then head your way to the beach and try some traditional paella (Valencia is the home of paella).

Barcelona

I had been to Barcelona a few times previously yet managed to find some cheap flights and wasn’t going to miss out on the chance to go again. With everything from architecture, shops, and the beach to musical performances at Park Guel, the city no doubt has it all. Do your research and try to avoid that tourist paella on Las Ramblas (like we made the mistake of doing) and enjoy seeing some of the most amazing art Spain has to offer.

Toledo

This little hidden gem is a super easy day trip to do from Madrid. Being able to get there for free with your monthly student transport card in less than two hours, it is definitely worth the trip. Explore the ancient charismatic streets of the city surrounded by a little stream and indulge in the tranquility of the ‘pueblo life’ away from the chaos that can be Madrid at times.

Manzanares el Real

One thing I had been desperate to do since arriving in Madrid was going on a hike in La Sierra, the mountains that surround Madrid. It was one of them things that I could easily not have done yet I set aside a bank holiday in May and made the most of it. Once again, the transport card meant I could get a bus for free and it was surprisingly easy! We arrived at a little town called Manzanares el Real and the tourist office gave us a variety of hikes to choose from and off we went. Definitely worth the day trip with amazing views and enjoy the fresh air!

Thanks for reading!

This is my last blog post as I am now finishing my year abroad, I hope you have enjoyed reading these and that they will be of use in the future!

Sophie Patman

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