Living and studying in Madrid for five months was an incredible experience. When I first arrived at the end of August in 2017, I had no idea that I would become so comfortable in a city I had never been to before. However, once my study abroad experience ended and I returned home to California in January, there was an overwhelming amount of things about Madrid that I began to miss. Luckily, I was given the opportunity to return to Madrid in the summer for an internship at Be Madrid and could therefore begin to enjoy the things I missed most once again.
Although I live in California where the Mexican food is amazing, part of me still missed going to Takos in Madrid. This place had, by far, the best tacos I could find in Madrid, so whenever my friends and I were craving some Mexican food we would head over to Takos. It became a place that would satisfy my taco craving and remind me a little bit of home.
Another thing that I really missed about Madrid was Retiro Park and the colorful trees all over the city. One of my favorite things to do in the park was to go on the canoes on the lake and just relax. I also loved going to the area of the park where the Peacocks were because there’s nowhere in California that you can go and see peacocks roaming around freely. I’m also not used to experiencing Fall and colorful trees since I live by the beach in California, so seeing the trees change color in the parks was truly amazing.
Something that’s really popular in Madrid that we don’t have a lot of in Los Angeles is rooftop bars. They’re all over Madrid and the views from them are insane. I loved going to the rooftop bars just before sunset to enjoy a few drinks with some friends while watching the sunset.
This picture was taken from a terrace called Circulo de Bellas Artes
One thing that I really missed about being in Madrid was how easy it is to travel around the rest of Europe. Flying to Europe from the states is insanely expensive, so I took advantage of how much cheaper it is to fly around Europe once you’re in Europe. I visited a new city the majority of weekends and some of my favorites were Amsterdam, Lisbon, and Munich.
Lastly, the thing I missed most about Madrid while I was home was the incredible friends I made during my study abroad experience. I’ve had pretty much the same group of friends back in California since I was 5, so coming to a new country and making all new friends was a great experience. I made friends from all over the world and was able to learn so much about different cultures. Unfortunately, most of the friends I made are no longer in Madrid, but I’m happy to be back here and making new ones all over again.
Luckily, since I’m back in Madrid for the Summer, I have two months to re-enjoy all the things I missed most about this wonderful city 🙂
By Hannah Starkey, intern at BeMadrid from California