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October 2, 2017

Epic Three: City Trip to Rome, Barcelona and Madrid

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Posted on TravelDudes.org

What makes travel so exciting?

For me it’s about exploring new destinations, meeting new people, tasting new food and… getting lost.

I’m so glad that I live in Cologne, Germany. With only a 1-2 hours driving I can reach 3 different countries and also different regions in Germany itself. With 2 hours flying, I can pretty much reach most countries in Europe.

I’ve used this opportunity extensively so far and I have seen many destinations in Europe. I’ve used the car, train or the plane to do so.

And still, there are 2 major cities, which I haven’t been to yet… actually a few more… but 2 who I finally will see more off and not just the airport or train station.

I’m going to explore Rome and Madrid with Monograms.

I’ve added a third city, as I fell so much in love with it on my last visit and it simply fitted nicely to the other two. So I am also going to visit Barcelona.

Each city is a kind of similar and still so different. That’s at least what I expect.

 

I want to dive into each destination, get lost, but also still see its highlights. A friend approached me and introduced me to Monograms. It’s a kind of a typical tour operator and then it’s not the typical one. Sounds weird, right?

So a few days ago I got my itinerary. And that’s where you see the difference to many other tour operators. My itinerary is not packed with organized tours. It’s a kind of a construction kit. I’m staying in each of the three cities for about 3-4 days and for each city I’ve chosen 2-3 tours, which each of them last about 3-4 hours. So that’s going to be 1 activity per day. As the tours are not the full day, this give me the option to explore the city myself as well.

And that’s what I love!

So I do get the inside information of the tours and I can get lost in each city myself and have my own experiences. I usually travel in a similar way, though with the difference, that I was looking for day trips and tours when I arrived in each destination. Now that part is already done upfront and I have saved that time and can go out exploring.

 

Here is my itinerary for Rome, Barcelona and Madrid:

Itinerary Rome:

  • Guided sightseeing of the Vatican Museum , the Sistine Chapel, view Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment, see St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. cross the Tiber River, visit the Colosseum and the Roman Forum
  • Underground Rome: Tiber Island and St. Nicholas in Prison
  • The Magic of Rome Including the Catacombs
  • Unforgettable Highlights of Rome
  • E-Bike Tour through the Ancient Appian Way, Catacombs & Aqueduct Park 

Itinerary Barcelona:

  • start at Plaza Catalunya, drive along elegant Passeig de Gracia, see La Pedrera, visit Gaudi’s Casa Battlo. exploring the central Eixample district, finally make it into the Sagrada Familia Basilica
  • The Mont Juic & Panorama Tour
  • Montserrat
  • Photographic Tour

Itinerary Madrid:

  • visit Prado Muesum, stroll on Plaza de Espana, Parliament, Cibeles Fountain, Orient Square, Royal Palace, relax at Parque del Buen Retiro and see the Neoclassical Puerta de Alcala monument
  • Arab Bath & Relaxing Massage
  • Traditional Dinner in the Heart of Madrid
  • Bike Tour

These are just a few highlights and I’m sure I’ll see many more, taste different dishes at markets and little restaurants and of course have tapas on little squares, not to forget to taste the local wines and beers. Then I’m looking forward to see what each city makes it so unique to each other.

Sometimes you are in a district and you simply have no idea which the next best cafe is and you would like to ask a local. Sadly my Spanish or Italian is not really existing. I can order a cafe, but can’t have a conversation and ask for an insider tip. That’s where Monograms got a local expert on hand, who I can text a message at any time and who is there to help me…. And I’m going to give it a try. So if I’m looking for a bar or restaurant tip or simply have no idea which bus or metro to take back to the hotel, I’ll send my personal local expert a message.

You can follow me on this trip. Check out: #MonogramsInsider

I’ll be sharing some photos from each destination and share my experience with you.