Before going to Museo del Prado, map out the pieces of work you want to see to avoid the masses and to make the most of your time.


Sunny days and blue skies at the Parque de Retiro in #Madrid. #Travel #Spain

A photo posted by Monica Wong (@_monicawong) on

The first thing I ate after landing in Madrid was a burger and fries from Burger King. I was hungry and didn’t want to waste time having a sit down meal. Feeling guilty, I took a long stroll through the Parque del Retiro, the most popular park in Madrid. It’s dotted with beautiful fountains and filled with lush green gardens. It even has an artificial lake, called the Estanque del Retiro, street performers for the children and rowboats, which can be rented during the weekends.

The Museo Del Prado is near the Parque del Retiro. It’s home to some of the most famous pieces of art in history. To avoid the masses and wasting time, I mapped out all the pieces of work I wanted to see so I could do them in clusters. The Museum Del Prado currently holds:

I was feeling ambitious and decided to visit the Museo Reina Sofia to see Picaso’s Guernica. Even though I was exhausted, jet-lagged and reeked of that stale airplane stench, I stood in front of the painting and stared at it for at least half an hour. It is now forever branded in my mind.

Guernica shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. This work has gained a monumental status, becoming a perpetual reminder of the tragedies of war, an anti-war symbol, and an embodiment of peace. On completion Guernica was displayed around the world in a brief tour, becoming famous and widely acclaimed. This tour helped bring the Spanish Civil War to the world’s attention. – Wikipedia

At the end of the museum visit, I walked across the street to the Atocha train station, bought round trip tickets for Toledo and called it a day – a very long day. As I got ready for bed that night, that last thought that popped into my head before I fell asleep was, “Oh man, this is only day one. Yes!”

Monica reflects on her travels by sharing her thoughts on A Cup of Moca. She writes about her journey as she experiences the destination to encourage others to marinate in the moment instead of just checking things off a bucket list.