Just a map of Madrid. Our hotel was by the Plaza Mayor (toward the left in purple) and we went to most of the museums/parks/important places labeled on it.
Right as we arrived in Spain I noticed lots of differences. All of the cars were tiny and people drove like maniacs. The European guys looked different in a very good way. We took a taxi-van to our hotel "Hostel Macarena" near the Plaza Mayor in Madrid
. Except our taxi driver smelled like alcohol and parked on the sidewalk to ask someone for directions to our hotel. AWESOME. We actually arrived 8 am Spain time....meaning I had been up since 8 am the previous morning EST and it was now 2 am EST. And we had a full day of walking and tours ahead of us. We walked down one very large and busy avenue to get to El Parque del Buen Retiro and other sights. The hostel we stayed in (actually a hotel, but called "hostel") was amazing! The first night we stayed in it our room had a gorgeous balcony overlooking a small but busy square, which filled with music during the night. When we returned to that hotel a few days later our hotel room had two balconies - one in the bedroom, one from the bathroom. It was gorgeous!