The recent restrictions have made all holiday enthusiasts seek out different ways to get their travel fix, from dusting down that old scrapbook and flicking through the stamped pages of your passport to thinking back to all kinds of other memories from yesteryear.
Social media is a great way to gather inspiration for trips near and far, with Instagram full of pretty pics from all around the world, which is why we want to take you on a virtual tour of a destination you’re sure to love.
Spain opened back up again to tourists recently and we’ve picked out a number of stunning shots from its fabulous capital city, Madrid, so sit, back, relax and enjoy the virtual Instagram tour.
Our first stop is Puerta del Sol (or Gate of the Sun in English) which is Madrid’s main public square and one of its most well known and busiest areas of the city. You’ll find numerous shops and delicious eateries for a real taste of the Spanish capital, as well as many entertaining street performances by locals who aim to impress wandering tourists as they go about their exploring.
It's also home to a famous clock, which rings twelve times on New Year’s Eve to signal the traditional consumption of Twelve Grapes, one for each month of the upcoming year in the hope that it will bring luck and prosperity.
Once the centre of old Madrid, Plaza Mayor is a major public space right in the heart of the city that has been present for hundreds of years. In similar fashion to Puerta del Sol, you’ll find locals and tourists alike shopping, eating, drinking and generally having a wander around – so it’s great for a spot of people watching.
It’s officially a Spanish Property of Cultural Interest and well worth a visit, even if it is only a virtual one!
One of the most famous football venues in the world, the Santiago Bernabeu is also home to arguably the most famous and successful sports club across the globe, Real Madrid. The mightily impressive venue has hosted a number of high profile fixtures in the past including European Cup finals and matches at the European Champions in 1964 and 1982 FIFA World Cup, including both competitions’ finals.
It’s easily accessible via Madrid’s metro system, with tours starting from around £20 per person, allowing tourists the chance to catch a glimpse of renowned memorabilia and walk into the dressing room, which has been home to countless soccer stars over the years.
Another spot to have been officially named a Spanish Property of Cultural Interest, this monument was built way back in 1926 and hosts countless exhibitions and activities ranging from visual arts, music, film and the stage to literature, science philosophy and poetry.
Whilst that may not be your bag, the supreme setting certainly will be, which offers visitors the chance to experience panoramic views of Madrid from its incredible rooftop. For a small entry fee, you can head up high, grab a drink, take a seat and enjoy a full 360 degree sight of all that is situated around – a fantastic way to relax after a day of strolling around this amazing city.
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One of the largest parks in the whole of Madrid, Parque del Buen Retiro (which literally translates as Park of the Pleasant Retreat) has been enjoyed by all since it became a public park in the 19th century. Perfectly placed at the edge of the city centre, it's walkable from most other areas of the city or very easily accessible via the metro system and gives a feeling of quaintness and relaxation in an otherwise bustling and frantic European capital.
Get yourself an ice cream, take a stroll and remember to bring along your camera because the views you’ll set eyes upon really are something to behold.
So you love chocolate (let’s face it, who doesn’t!), and want to try a sweet treat popular with the locals in a naturally charming setting? Chocolateria San Gines is the place for you. Literally translated as the ‘San Gines Chocolate Shop’, it's hidden away in a small passage close to the vibrant Puerta del Sol and so something you may not ordinarily just stumble across, but it has to be on your Madrid itinerary.
Its principal menu item is a warm, strong and thick pot of melted chocolate with the popular Spanish deep fried batter snack, churros, which are freshly cooked and ready to dunk, whilst coffee and cakes are also available to buy.
Is Madrid on your holiday hit list? Or perhaps you’ve already been? Tweet @icelollyholdday and tell us your recommendations!