Just last month, I spent a few days in the sizzling heat of Madrid to catch up with a good friend who’d come all the way from Canada to Spain for our wedding. We both used to live in the bustling Spanish capital, where we spent most of our time roaming the streets, partying, meeting new people and discovering local haunts and secret corners.
After being away for two years, we wanted to relive those good ol’ days. This time, we didn’t want to stay in hostels or hotels and feel like an outsider. Madrid was like home to us, and we wanted to experience it like a local again.
We decided to try out short-term apartment rental with Wimdu, a new travel website that is a cross between couchsurfing and hotel-stays. It gets travelers away from stuffy hotels and into locals’ homes and apartments. Instead of crashing on someone’s couch, we got the privacy of our own apartment and at the same time, tips and advice from our host.
All of Madrid’s attractions were right at our doorstep. The majestic Palacio Real stood metres away from our apartment, while the crowded Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol were just a five-minute walk away. We were literally in the heart of the city.
Throughout our four days in Madrid, we walked everywhere: from the main artery of the city, Gran Vía, to the Sunday flea market el Rastro in the eclectic La Latina district. Thanks to the convenient location of our apartment, we could easily hop back for a siesta after lunch and then pop right out onto the streets to people-watch come sunset. We didn’t even take the metro, which I’m not a huge fan of (after years of commuting to work at peak hours and facing depressed 9-to-5ers on a daily basis).
Located in a semi-circular plaza lined with alfresco cafes, our apartment had a view that opened up to the colorful Cabo Noval gardens surrounding the Royal Palace. As it was summer, the massive terrace was shrouded by trees, which blocked out a view of the palace, but in exchange offered us privacy. The building that housed our spacious apartment was a classic Renaissance-style edifice featuring high ceilings and old-school mechanical lifts.
The interior design and decór of the apartment was beyond our expectations: Featuring aged hardwood floors and timber beams, the stylish apartment combined the rustic look with slick lines and futuristic furnishing. Enormous floor-to-ceiling glass windows separated the terrace from the split-level living room, opening up to plenty of natural light.Supporting the timber beams were polished steel structures which represented an important design feature in this space, as did the steel staircase leading to the second bedroom. The apartment was extremely spacious, with plenty of room for four persons. With the well-equipped kitchen, we could also cook and prepare our meals, saving us food expenses.
All in all, it was an excellent experience, and considering the value for money, renting an apartment was definitely a cost-effective way to travel. I’ll be writing more about short-term apartment rentals. In the meantime, have you used short-term apartment rental during your travels? Share your experience here!
This apartment costs €205 a night and accommodates up to four persons. There’s a wide range of Madrid apartments to choose from on Wimdu, with prices as low as €45/night for a comfortable studio apartment. Click for more information on the Madrid Plaza Oriente apartment. Book travel through wimdu.com and receive 1 night free –worth $70. We have 500 travel vouchers to give away. Click on this link to get yours!
Our stay was made possible by Wimdu, but all opinions are my own.