My friends and I decided this weekend to stay in Madrid but also do something different from the busy lifestyle of Sol and Grand Via. We decided on the El Escorial Monastery which was like an hour from the city center.
The ride to El Escorial was very nice and quiet, no street performers and no crowded train. That kind of set the mood for the El Escorial Monastery. Arriving there it was quiet and very different from the busy city center.
El Escorial sits beautifully on a hill and very unique from the usual Spanish architecture. It is free to look around, but you have to pay to get inside the monastery. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was eager to take a long walk around the Monastery. Fun fact; the El Escorial Monastery is a UNESCO heritage site and I can see why. It is a really calming atmosphere once you start your journey to the beautiful garden. The garden is filled with well-trimmed short trees and small pools of water. The design of the garden really resembled a maze.
It was the perfect place for my friends and I to walk around and have a break from the city and catch up on our new life in Madrid. However, we found it hard to locate somewhere to eat. There are a lot options to eat near the monastery but all the restaurants close/ go on a break right around the same time. Fortunately, we were able to find a little restaurant that was about to close, but they were nice enough to let us have lunch.
This is another place I would love to go to again and will recommend for a quiet get away from the city. It is not also crowded by tourist like the busy center.