Last summer, I spent 5 weeks in Spain along with many other Conard students. Following a week-long excursion with stops in Santiago, León, Bilbao and San Sebastián, we spent a month with our Spanish families. Some of us traveled with our families, whereas others got to spend the entire time in Madrid.
Here are a few of my favorite places and restaurants from Madrid:
Parque Retiro, which is the “Central Park” of Madrid. In my opinion, it’s cooler than Central Park because it’s filled with free workout stations for the elderly and people practicing rollerblading tricks.
Madrid Río, Mr. Grudzien’s favorite place in the world, is a beautiful park that was uncovered by the removal of a highway that had previously cut off the views of the city. Although its 3 “playas” are merely circles of fountains and sprinklers, it’s still a fun place to visit.
VIPS, pronounced “beeps”, is the Spanish equivalent of Friendly’s. It’s the perfect place to visit when you are craving milkshakes, fries, and other American foods.
Here’s some Spanish slang to help you bring out your inner Spaniard :)
Majo/a: nice/fun to be around
Tio/a: way to address a good friend
Vale: ok/cool/got it
Mola mucho: it’s really cool
Me da yuyu: it creeps me out
Overall, I had a fantastic experience and 10/10 would recommend. This summer I even went back and stayed with my Spanish family again! If you have any Intercambio related questions feel free to shoot me an email at