Hidden Markets in the City

Shopping is one of the favourite activities chosen by tourists when visiting a city. Walking and visiting several important places and buying new things are essential for visitors. Therefore, it is very important that a touristic city can count on different interesting and attractive areas available for all kinds of public.

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In that sense, Madrid is a great city for a shopping day. However, it is not necessary to keep only traditional stores or large shopping malls in mind. Throughout the city, there are several markets, some well-known and others perhaps more hidden, that keep their secrets and offer unique experiences. Some of the most important markets located in Madrid will be described and highlighted below.

 

Design Market

It is the ideal place for fashionistas. It was created in 2013, and it has had great success since then, bringing together all the members in the realm of fashion and design. It is organized by the Design Central unit and it is located mainly in Matadero Madrid, although it may change the location on occasions. It takes place on the first weekend of the month, and the next edition is expected in March. Tickets are two euros, while children under 12 are admitted free of charge.

 

As expected, in this market there are important emerging and veteran designers, who offer their products to distributors, professionals and the public in general. One of the main ideas is to promote potential entrepreneurship on sustainable fashion, together with the generation of awareness of responsible consumption.

Unique pieces of decoration, jewellery and fashion can be found on more than 150 stands from different designers. Since its first edition, this market has hosted thousands of visitors. In addition to fashion, many other options such as: concerts, a varied gastronomic offer and other recreational activities can be found.

 

Salesas Village Festival

In Plaza de las Salesas, in the neighbourhood that bears the same name, this event takes place: it is one of the most important street markets in Madrid. The main business industries and establishments in the neighbourhood go out to show and promote their products to all visitors. The next edition will take place in February.

Promoted by ACOTEX merchants association, this festival is part of the “Madrid Capital de Moda” initiative. Campoamor and Santa Teresa streets are transformed during the 9 hours it lasts, with a large diversity of activities and experiences throughout its more than 40 stands, which include: fashion, jewellery and beauty, decoration and art, gastronomy, leisure and recreation.

 

Motor Market

In the old train station, today the Railway Museum, located in Paseo de las Delicias 61, an interesting market is held. Every second weekend of each month it opens its doors with free admission to all audiences.

In this place you can find a variety of products, which are offered by professional and also private sellers. Some of the objects that can be found include different kinds of furniture with creative or retro-style designs, vinyl discs, original bicycles, second-hand fashion items, among others.

After a long shopping day, people can sit, rest and enjoy a snack at the different food, beverage and coffee shops. It is an ideal place for the family, since it has recreational activities for children, and even a nursery for pets.

 

Frogs Market

In Barrio de las Letras, there is a market created by the Association of Merchants, which organizes events with different themes, focused on the cultural, commercial and artistic variety of the neighbourhood and designed for audiences of all ages.

The market operates on the first Saturday of each month throughout the year. Admission is free for all visitors. All commercial establishments become part of it, and they seek to offer and highlight the commercial, cultural, gastronomic and cultural characteristics of the neighbourhood. Additionally, hotels join in, by providing special offers, discounts and distinctive menus to visitors.

The event is named after Cantarranas Street, which runs along the entire Las Letras neighbourhood. The Merchants Association initiative to encourage people to visit the area and help the local business is a success. More than 260 establishments take part in the market, along with the support of the hotel sector and the collaboration of Madrid Town Hall.

 

GastroCat Market

Nowadays, this is one of the most successful and biggest markets in Madrid. It focuses on the world of fashion, and takes place during a weekend per month. The calendar for the first part of 2020 is already set; the next date will take place from March 12th to 15th, repeating in April, May and June.

The venue for the event is the Westin Palace, located in Plaza Cortes, 7, which corresponds to Paseo del Arte touristic area. Admission is free. This market is characterized by its elegance; it has more than 60 stands, which offer unique pieces and products from different areas, such as fashion, cosmetics, accessories, jewellery, crafts, decoration, gourmet, children’s fashion and items for collectors.

Each edition is a unique experience, since the objects and products offered on the stands vary entirely in the following editions of this “pop up” market. In addition to the stands, the place has a gastronomic area, run by the Westin Palace Hotel. It’s called the GastroCat  -GastroGato-, and people can relax after shopping, while enjoying a quick meal and a drink. Additionally, they can buy some exclusive products in this area.

Gastronomic events in Madrid

One of the most important factors in a touristic city is its gastronomy. Having a strong gastronomic presence and variety serve to capture tourists’ attention. We are not only talking about the city’s food or restaurants but also about different gastronomic events.

In Madrid city, different gastronomic events are organized and available for the locals as well as for visitors. We are going to describe the most important ones.

Farmers market

The market Madrid Productores is located in Plaza Matadero de Madrid, during the last weekend of every month. There, about 90 artisan producers related to the gastronomy of Madrid Community are gathered. The products have a relation producer-consumer and they are also of high quality, handcrafted and ecological.

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Within the different types of food which can be found in this place, the best vegetables, cheese varieties, meet from “Sierra”, olives, honey, virgin olive oil, sourdough artisan bread, wine, vermouth, craft beer and many others stand out.

In this place, apart from finding goods, there are shows, talks, tastings of products and many other gastronomic activities. In addition, there is an area in which people can enjoy the products they buy, with tables and chairs.

Apart from being an attractive touristic point, the market contributes to the development of rural areas, helps small producers with the selling and promotion of their goods and brings awareness about the consumption of healthy food with the environment.

Madrid Exquisito

This gastronomic event suggests top level menus at reasonable prices for all kinds of public. The brand Freixenet is in charge of this event and there are many restaurants which are incorporated each year. People can try delicious dishes in emblematic buildings of Madrid like in a terrace in front of Palacio Real, in a tabern or in a table of a trendy pub in the city centre. The next edition will take place in April 2020.

Each of these gastronomic dates offers the chance of enjoying a luxurious sample with different seasonal goods. The prices range from 25 to 45 euros. Besides, 1 euro from each menu is destined to charity, more precisely to charity canteens which are managed by Mensajeros de la Paz, an ONG of Madrid.

Mercado Municipal de Productores

Another farmers market is carried out in the intersection of Planetario Avenue and Meneses, together with Parque Tierno Galván, near IMAX. Here, the focus is on green food products of a nearby regions. The market is available once a month.

The slogan of the place is the promotion of responsible, conscious and sustainable consumption. It is composed by 36 small producers who have their working place 120 km away from the capital. There, oils, vegetables, meat, fruit, natural juices, cheese, honey, preserves, eggs, fresh pasta, snacks, among others can be bought. Everything is focused on the ecological and handcrafted production.

Due to the growing demand of consumers to get food directly with the producers, Dirección General de Comercio y Emprendimiento del Área de Equidad, Derechos Sociales y Empleo promoted the creation of this space. It serves to boost the economy of these small producers, the handcrafted and sustainable consumption of food and the care of the natural environment.

MadrEAT

This food market is characterized for being outdoors and having more than 20 stands. It offers different products and tastes of high quality, ideal to satisfy any need because they cover the Spanish gastronomy as well as the gastronomy of other parts of the world.

This street market has more than 20 proposals in which craft beer, selected wins to drink in cups, coffee from different parts of the world, fusion cuisine, international menus, hamburgers, crepes, Galician pies, artisanal goat cheese, cookies and many others can be enjoyed. Each person’s palate will be satisfied.

This place has the participation of many well-known chefs like Estanis Carenzo, Iván Domínguez, Luis Arévalo and Mario Sandoval. The MadrEAT takes place the third weekend of each month.

Cortezo Yatai Market

Decorated as if it were an Asian Street market, this gastronomic space is in Atocha Street. The decoration and smells of this place serve to illustrate cities like Tokio or Hong Kong.

Here, Asian street food can be enjoyed in its yatals, the name street food stands receive. Along both bars, sushi, beam, Vietnamese snacks, poke bowls and many other food items of the east, south and southeast of Asia can be tried and enjoyed. There also are two stands of traditional Asian fusion cuisine.

The place is open during the whole week from 12pm to 1 am. The average price is between 10 and 12 euros which covers one consumption.

Calle Gourmet

The first gastronomic market of street food covered by a roof is found in the mall La Ermita. It works during weekends and it has a high quality offer.

The place has 500 square metres and it is located in the mall’s hall. It is formed by a drinks bar in the middle and 12 varied gastronomic stands. All of the menus are prepared at the moment and they include: ceviches, crepes, perritos and snacks, sushi, Chilean pies, stuffed potatoes, barbecue ribs, Brasilian and Venezuelan food and many others. Also, there is a great variety of desserts and pastries. This offer can be complemented with the tasting of cocktails, crafted beverages, different coffee options and even gourmet popcorn.

The place is open from Friday to Sunday during all the month from 12 to 00 during Friday and Sarturday while on Sunday, people can visit it from 12 to 6.

Shopping malls in Madrid

One of the most visited places in Madrid is shopping malls. These big buildings are very attractive for tourists not only because of their architectonic structure and visual beauty but also because of the different activities that can be done. The strong point of these malls is shopping in a wide variety of shops and spending a great afternoon. Besides, there is also a food court to rest and enjoy food.

Luckily for visitors, there are different shopping malls in Madrid to visit and meet. Next, the most outstanding ones are presented.

ABC Serrano

The first one is ABC Serrano, which receives its name because it is installed in what used to be an old headquarters of the ABC newspaper, with the neo plateresco style of the 19th century. Its address is 6128006 Serrano Street and it is the reference of the commercial hub between Serrano and Ortega y Gasset Streets.

The interior design is mainly avant-garde and it combines with the architecture of the outside of the building. In total, infrastructure makes 14.000 square metres surface and focuses on obtaining natural light through its innovative skylight. In the interior, there are more than 50 shops of high level. On one side, the fashion stores which can be found have the most exclusive and high quality brands, with the last tendencies available. On the other side, there are gastronomy shops, with different offers to satisfy all kinds of public. Lastly, it has a beautiful terrace to sit and rest.

The shopping mall is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 21 pm.

Príncipe Rio Shopping Mall

The Príncipe Río shopping mall is located in the city centre and it is based in a historic building of great interest. It is about the Del Corte Train Station whose construction dates back the 19th century. This shopping centre is directed to fashion and leisure as their main offers.

The location of the place, near Plaza de España, Palacio Real and Madrid Rio gives it a great advantage to attract tourists through easy access. From any side of the city, they can go to the place, either by the underground, bus or car.

Here, people can spend their shopping day in the different first brand stores. As regards leisure, there are different restoration services and the possibility of enjoying a good film in 3D cinemas.

The address of the place is 6128006 Serrano Street and it is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 22 pm, while on Sundays and holidays it is open from 11 am to 22 pm.

Moda Shopping Mall

This shopping centre is located in Paseo de la Castellana, next to Santiago Bernabéu stadium (Real Madrid house). It has more than a hundred stores for shopping a great variety of big products.

As a distinctive characteristic, this place has a library of 300 square metres, ideal for reading and literatures lovers. As regards gastronomy, there are six food options which give the possibility of an outdoor terrace. In addition, this shopping mall has an area prepared for culture: congresses, seminars and other types of similar events can be organized.

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The direction of the place is 6128006 Serrano Street and its opening hour is from 7 am to 1 am during the week and during weekends from 10 am to 1 am. However, the schedule of the stores is reduced: from 10 to 21.

La Vaguada

This shopping mall has the right to be called the first shopping centre in Madrid. It opened in 1983 in Pilar neighbourhood. Its building was in charge of Cesar Manrique –painter, sculptor and architect, who designed all the building.

Currently, it became one of the most important meeting points for Madrid citizens and for tourists. Its comercial offer as well as its leisure activities are very wide. For example, here many different things can be found: Fashion stores for women, men and children; food, pet, beauty cosmetics stores. There are also photography, mobile phones and gastronomy stores and restaurants, cinemas, among others.

Within the services which can be enjoyed, there are free phone calls to taxis, free renting of baby carriages and wheelchairs, free WIFI zones and a sector for lost objects.

What is more, there are contests and prizes for clients and visitors and a charity area for ONG (non-governmental organizations) which are dedicated to social work and committed to environmental care. Green areas promote activities like the collection of batteries, used mobile phones and smoke free zone for example.

Plaza Rio 2

This shopping centre is one of the most recent ones and it is located in Madrid Rio, opposite Matadero Madrid. It has more than 160 stores of local and international origin, together with different gastronomic and leisure offerings. When visited, it is highly recommendable to go to its terrace, from where different panoramic views can be enjoyed from the city and the river.

This building has more than 40.000 square metres distributed in 4 floors. The first 3 are exclusively dedicated to shopping stores. These include the most remarkable brands and the last tendencies in women, men and children; beauty, home, culture and food stores.

On the fourth floor, called “Mirador de Plaza Rio 2” all the gastronomic offerings can be found in the outdoors terrace and the best beautiful sights of the river and the city can be appreciated. This floor has 3000 square metres.

Artistic Exhibitions in Madrid

One of the main touristic attractions that the city can offer is the art in all of its variations. In Madrid, artistic and cultural exhibitions are carried out to delight the visitors. These are constantly renovated and new works are presented. The lastest updates are presented hereunder.

Las llaves del Reino

The musician and plastic artist Hassan Khan exhibits his last creation this year which is organized by Reina Sofía museum. Its motto is the current populism, imagining a landscape of slavery and explotation. The work takes many different artistic expressions and combines them. Among them, music, sculpture, fixed and mobile image, text and other surprises can be found.

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Hassan Khan is a renowned artist who has won many recognition awards in his career like El León de Plata en Venecia during 2017. In addition, since 2015 onwards, his work has allowed him organize individual exhibitions.

The exhibition will be available from October, 17th onwards and it can be visited up to March, 1st of the next year. It will be presented in Palacio de Cristal and the entrance is free.

Intangible, a digital exhibition

Espacio Fundación Telefónica presents an exhibition which will be carried out for the first time in the world: it will be totally digital. There won’t be a physical presence of the work, something unprecedented to the moment.

To carry out this exhibition, nine of the best artists of the history were selected, among them: Pablo Picasso, Paul Delvaux,  Roberto Matta and Antoni Tapies. In turn, different technologies were used like generative art, 3D impressions, mapping, virtual reality and photogrammetry. The objective is to reflect on the impact that the digital revolution had and also to enjoy the best art.

This exhibition is interconnected with exhibitions of different Latin American countries, which will be intertwinned in real time, thereby sharing content. Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Perú, Ecuador and Chile are the countries which participate jointly in this experience.

The exhibition is available in Espacio Fundación Telefónica, with a free entrance until February, 23rd of the next year.

Photography and Impressionists

In the National Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza, there is an exhibition which looks for explaining the impact that photography had on great impressionist painters like Manet and Degas. Its objective is to reflect about the reciprocal relationship between photography and painting.

The exhibition in charge of Paloma Alarcó who is the head of the preservation of modern painting in the museum and it is divided into eight different themes, among them the forest, water and the portrait.

The exhibition is already available and can be visited until the 26th of January of the next year. The schedule is from 10 to 22 from Tuesdays to Saturdays and from 10 to 19 during Sundays. On Mondays, it remains closed. The general entrance is €12 and the reduced ticket is €8. For more information, the oficial website can be visited.

Terraces in Madrid

After a long day of tourism activities, nothing better than relaxing in the best possible way. Rest is a vital part of the tourist experience especially after extensive walks, shopping days, sports and attractions.

Terraces are an ideal place to relax when the sun is overwhelming and weariness strikes. These are found around the streets or in hotel rooftops and emblematic buildings. Either to rest or eat and drink something, listen to some good music and chat with friends or family, there is a great variety of terraces for all people and all tastes.

Hotel Riu Plaza España Terrace

Hotel Riu Plaza España is one of the most luxurious buildings of the city. It is located between Gran Vía and Princesa Street. It has 27 floors and more than 580 rooms being all of them of top quality. In the upper floor of the eighth highest building of the city, there is Terrace 360°. It gets its name because it allows for panoramic views of Madrid, in 360 degrees. In addition, it has a glass walkway over which people can walk safely.

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The ticket for the terrace costs 5 euros in the morning and until the afternoon and 10 euros at night. It has a direct entrance from the street even though due to its popularity and beauty, there is generally a long queue. A drawback is that it does not have a restaurant. Only snacks are served.

Radio Terrace

This terrace is in Me Madrid Reina Victoria Hotel which is located in Plaza de Santa Ana. It is a very modern pub which offers different beverages and cocktails prepared by the bartender on call. Also, high quality tapas are prepared so that all guests get the most enjoyment from the place.

For the complete relaxation of people, there are diverse comfortable sofas with cushions and wood furniture as well as great lighting. Besides, beautiful city views can be appreciated. In the interior, there is a long bar to enjoy food and drinks and a VIP area.

Urban Terrace

On the roof of the luxurious Urban Hotel, there is a beautiful terrace. It can be found in 34 Carrera de San Jerónimo Street. It offers great views, a relaxing environment, different tapas to taste and an ample food and cocktail menu. In it, gin stands out. It is an ideal place for calm summer evenings.

Sabatini Terrace

One of the terraces with the best views of Madrid centre is found in the rooftop of Aparto suites Jardines de Sabatini. In Cuesta de San Vicente Street, opposite Palacio Real, this place can be visited and it is highly recommended to relax and spend a great evening. International tapas can be tasted and there is an ample menu of cocktails.

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Considering its decoration, it has artificial grass and tables with chairs of gardening style. Its fame for having the best views is justified by Palacio Real which is directly opposite the Aparto suites. Next to these facilities, the splendid Monte del Pardo can be observed.

Queen’s Terrace

Terraza de la Reina is located in Chuecas neighbourhood, more precisely in Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, near Gran Vía. This place is characterized by its great gastronomic offer which is very varied and it is available during the whole day.  Here, people can have breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The menú is very ample. For early birds, different types of menu can be chosen. On weekdays, a midday menu is offered.  All kinds of tastes are addressed because the menu includes tapas, hamburgers and pizzas in addition to different beverages. A characteristic of the place is its decoration due to the fact that every six months, all the place is modified to represent the current season.

Matadero Terrace

This terrace can be visited only in summer. It is located in Plaza Matadero and more specifically in the open patio of Matadero Madrid. In the cultural space, between apartment blocks, there is a mobile terrace. It has different green spaces so that kids can play and adults can relax in the shadow while they have a drink.  Every summer, this terrace is built. It is accompanied by other art facilities to encourage activities of this kind, together with music so that it can be transformed in an ideal place to enjoy summer days.

Other outstanding terraces

Throughout the city, there are other terraces which are worth visiting. In the interior of Atenas Park, on Catedral de la Almudena, a beautiful terrace can be found. It offers cocktails and gins of high quality, privileging a calm and relaxing environment with a lot of nature.  El Café del Espejo offers a terrace with an Art-Nouveau style whose atmosphere resembles cafés of the beginning of this century. It is a classical place, a historical point of artists, businessmen and intellectuals. It remains open throughout the year and it is located in Paseo de Recoletos Boulevard.

El Viajero, a classical restaurant of La Latina neighbourhood, has a beautiful terrace on the third floor from which food and beverages can be enjoyed, together with the best views of the city. On the ground floor, the actual restaurant is found, where barbecued meats, a bar and a café stand out.

On the rooftop of Círculo de Bellas Artes, one of the most prestigious terraces is found, considering one of the best viewpoints of Madrid with a very important gastronomic Project. In its restaurant, there are plenty of classical Spanish dishes not only in food but also in tapas. The cheff Javier Muños-Calero is in charge of their preparation. To access this place, it is necessary to pay for a ticket.

The extravagant night of Madrid

Madrid is one of the most complete tourist cities with options for different kinds of public which satisfy all types of needs both during the day and at night. Precisely in the evening, the city offers the typical outings to well-known restaurants and conventional discos. However, there is also a hidden side which has varied attractions in which the kitsch style prevails. It is important to know how to find them.

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The kitsch style works under the motto “more is more”, that is to say, the opposite to minimalism. There is a predominance of colors and shapes with many outstanding elements. It is an extravagant style which includes bubble gum pink, apple green, red and sky blue as standards. But not everything has to do with aesthetics; kitsch is also connected with ways of enjoying without prejudice and inhibitions. It just seeks absolute fun with the company of other people.

Uñas Chung Lee

One of the trendiest discos of the best possible level in Madrid is Uñas Chung Lee. This place is located in 38 Hilarión Eslava Street in Moncloa zone. Here, everything is enhanced with the Asian continent and its customers enjoy a crazy night transporting themselves to an Eastern country. Among its offers, there is a nail spa with fluorescent make up and a manicure service, shows inspired by the Eastern culture, a Korean karaoke and the Manicure Experience. These are just some of its attractions. Once inside, there are more surprises. The origin of the name comes from the artist Chung Lee whose characteristic phrase is “The best nails are painted at 3 AM.”

Destellos

Destellos is the name of one of the kitschiest pubs which can be found in Madrid. It is in 99 Galileo Street. The decoration exemplifies this style perfectly well: it is very heterogeneous with still life paintings which mix all kinds of elements like lemons, oranges and theatrical masks. In the middle of the dance floor, there is a golden horse. In this place, pop music sounds with the best Spanish hits. People can enjoy beer and try delicious tapas like vinegar anchovies, tuna with peppers or sweets and conguitos. Here, it is very common to come across many artists because Sala Galileo is very close to this disco. After introducing themselves, they tend to relax and drink something.

Medias Puri

In number 1 of the Tirso de Molina square, a clandestine shop can be found with a capacity for a thousand people. It is called Medias Puri and it is gaining popularity increasingly in Madrid’s night. It has three dance floors. The first one is Sala Central which offers live performances and local dj’s presentations. The second is known as Sala Negra with exclusive music of the 1980s. Finally, Apotheka  dance floor which is a mistery and it can only be known by visiting people.

Medias Puri is open on Fridays, Saturdays and on the eve of the end of the year’s celebrations. As regards dancing, there are salsa, techno music, rock indie, among others. Chevi Muraday, who obtained the Dance National Prize in 2006, is in charge of the dance show. Felype de Lima, winner of the Max Prize in 2015 for the best costume design, deals with the clothing.

Medias Puri has two curiosities: the first one is that in it, people can buy socks of all kinds of colors. The second is that the promotion of the place is carried out by Lets Go, the same producer of the shows managed by Uñas Chung Lee.

Mauna Loa

This is a historic place in the night of Madrid, and it is more than 45 years old. Many generations have gone to this place. Its main attraction is its Hawaiian volcanos. As its name suggests, it is about cocktails with the Hawaiian style which are served on volcanos that emit smoke and can be shared among many people. Also, they offer other drinks and food of the same style. Pineapple and coconut prevail in Mauna Loa. To meet this place of three floors with a tropical environment, you have to go to Santa Ana’s Square number 13.

Programme of Accessible Guided Visits

Madrid is full of guided visits and tours around the city as a way of making its history known for tourists. However, one of the doubts which generally arises is if disabled people can participate in these visits. The answer is yes, and not only that: Madrid designed a special programme for differently abled people.

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The programme of guided visits for people with different abilities and their attendants will be carried out between July and September of 2019. Within the programme, four different options are included, which are centered on the most important subjects of the historical center of Madrid, like for example Barrio de las Letras in the tour Miguel de Cervantes. In addition, a tour is done in homage to women of greater relevance in the history of the city.

This tour provides the company of professional guides during the whole visit, from the beginning to the end, without exception. The programme schedule is from Thrusdays to Sundays, in Spanish and with a maximum of twenty people per group. The duration is of two hours approximately and it is worth mentioning that four of the options are free.

To participate in these visits, it is necessary to sign in in advance. The enrollment can be done in two ways: sending an e-mail or face-to-face in Centro de Turismo Plaza Mayor.

El Madrid de Cervantes

The first tour is related to one of the most important writers in the Spanish history. It starts in Plaza Mayor, and then it continues visiting the surrounding streets. Then, you arrive at Barrio de las Letras, where the author of Don Quijote de La Mancha and other great writers of the Golden Century lived and died. During the tour, you will see taverns, churches and other interesting places. The visit is carried out on Sundays at 10 am and it lasts for two hours.

Historical Madrid

This tour starts in Plaza Mayor and finishes in Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales. Through this visit, different types of historic buildings of the city are seen like for example traditional shops, palaces, theaters, churches, mesons and nunneries. It is an ideal tour to know the history of the city. You can participate on Thursdays at 6 pm and it lasts for two hours.

Monumental Madrid

This tour revolves around the most remarkable monuments of the city, and it also focuses on how the Bourbons dynasty altered the buildings and streets. From Plaza Mayor to Plaza Cánovas del Castillo, different fonts, palaces and gardens can be observed, in addition to the historical monuments, museums and libraries. The visit is programmed for Fridays at 6 pm.

Outstanding women in the history of Madrid

This visit is specially destined to those women who had an important role in the history of Madrid. Through a tour around the city, there are different representative places where these women lived and spent most of their lives. This visit can be made on Saturdays at 10 am.

For more information, visit this page: https://www.esmadrid.com/visitas-guiadas-por-madrid

Alternative touristic attractions in Madrid

Madrid is an amazing city for tourism. It has beautiful landscapes, historic monuments, and structures which were declared a world heritage site. Options are almost infinite, that is why it is impossible to get bored in Madrid, even if people go more than once. Nonetheless, there are places and sites of great touristic value which go unnoticed, as if they were hidden.

They are alternative tours and visits in the city which have a great cultural and touristic value. Madrid offers a wide range of options for tourists, even for locals who do not know all the secrets of the city.

Temple of Debod

It is an Egyptian temple originated in 2nd century after Christ and it is currently found in Parque del Cuartel de la Montaña, an area which is close to Plaza de España. This monument was donated to Spain by the Egyptian government to avoid its flooding during the building of the Asuán dam.

Temple of Debod

The building of the temple was carried out by Adikalamani king, which ended up being a chapel dedicated to the Amón and Isis gods. A few years later, kings of the Ptolemaic dynasty built new stays next to the original building. Finally, when Egypt was incorporated to the Roman Empire, the emperors Augustus and Tiberius finished building and decorating the temple.

When Nubia converted to Christianism, in the 6th century, the temple was abandoned. When the dam was built during the 20th century, the Egyptians decided to give the building to Madrid. In order to do so, it was carried stone by stone and reconstructed in the same way. It was finished in 1972, the year which it was opened to the public. Inside it, many audiovisual materials are displayed, together with videos and models, to show the details of its decorations and meaning.

Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida

This historical place was built in honor to San Antonio de Padua, by order of Carlos IV. It was built by Francisco de Fontana and it has a central space with a big dome which is illuminated with a lantern. However, this monument achieved greater importance because of the historical ensemble made by Goya in the 18th century.

In 1905, the building was declared a National Monument while in 1928, it was decided to build an identical temple by its side to preserve the original as Museo de Goya. It has always been a priority to preserve this place. Precisely, the original temple serves to keep the painter’s remains since 1919.

Parque El Capricho de la Alameda de Osuna

This green space belongs to the artistic-natural heritage of the city. It is located in Alameda de Osuna and it is highlighted for its beauty and for being little known. It was created in 1784, by María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso Pimentel duchess. The most prestigious gardeners of the period worked there and it was visited by well-known figures.  However, with the death of the duchess, the park began to decline until it was almost forgotten. In 1974, the Council of Madrid bought this green space and started its restoration which was finished in 1999. The park recovered its beauty and has a high level of botany, sculpture and art. Inside it, pavilions and chapels can be found as well as fonts, plazas and the dukes’ palaces.

The garden has three different styles: firstly, the French garden, which extends from the west of the garden. Secondly, the Italian garden, located in the lowest and oldest part of the place. Finally, the English landscape, which extends along the park.

 El Ángel Caído

Madrid City can claim that it is the only one which has a monument to the devil. More precisely, it is about a statue which represents the moment in which the fallen angel was expelled from Eden.

The font is found in Parque de El Retiro, and it was acquired by the Council of Madrid, which ordered a pedestal design from the architect Francisco Jareño. The original work is from Ricardo Bellver. The font was inaugurated in 1885 and it is located 666 meters above the sea level.

Búnkeres de la Guerra Civil

Parque del Oeste has a surface close to 100 hectares. In one of its zones, more precisely in an area located between Seneca Avenue and Paseo de Ruperto Chapí, elements of the dark past of Spain are found. There, three bunkers for machine guns used during the Civil War can be found. During those times, twenty bunkers were built, but only three remain.

Panteón de Hombres Ilustres

In the cloister of Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Atocha, Panteón de Hombres Ilustres is found, a place where politicians and personalities of the 19th century remain buried.

The historic architecture and the funerary sculpture, two of the most present elements at the end of the 19th century, are found in this building. Renowned sculptors were in charge of building the graves for those important figures of the Spanish political and military history. Some of the most distinguished names which rest inside this place are: Palafox, Canalejas, Ríos Rosas and Cánovas, among others.

Botín

The oldest restaurant in Madrid, it is located in Cuchilleros street in the heart of Madrid. This place was founded in 1725 by a French cook called Jean Botín, together with his wife of Asturian origin. It is recognized as the oldest restaurant in the world in the Guiness World records.

Currently, this restaurant is administered by the fourth generation of the González family who are the successors of the founding family. The environment of the original inn is kept up until today since it is reflected in its wood-fire oven which was used at the moment it was founded, almost 200 years ago. The restaurant is an enormous place; it covers the four floors of the building.

Unusual libraries in Madrid

After a long and noisy day in the city, finding and visiting a library is an experience that every visitor should have. The calm and relaxing atmosphere of a library cannot be compared to anything. Luckily, in Madrid, there is a great variety of them.

In libraries, people cannot only enjoy reading but also other activities like cafeteria, wine tasting, reading club, art exhibition, among others. Even though technology keeps on advancing and is part of daily life, reading from books is still one of the richest and most relaxing activities. Let’s take a look at the most peculiar libraries you can find in Madrid.

Main libraries

In the huge variety of available libraries, there are four which are the most outstanding and popular:

  • “Tipos infames”: is located in San Joaquín, 3. It is characterized by its mixture of books and wines. Every day, it has an assembled audience either for a book’s presentation or for a wine tasting, cultural exhibition, workshop, etc. It specializes in independent literary narrative which turned this library in one of the biggest literary meeting places of the city.
  • “La Central”: this library is located in Postigo de San Martin, 8. Its most distinguishing characteristic is connected to its building: it is a beautiful house-palace of three floors which contains a cafeteria and restaurant called “El Bistró”. Its wooden stairs and decorated yard give this mansion an old library distinctive touch. Its philosophy is to keep reading as a means of attaining essential culture. It also has local and international bibliography. Finally, it includes an event schedule and courses destined to encourage reading.
  • “Arrebato Libros”: is a traditional library with a strong focus on buying and selling books. It is located in La Palma, 21. It has literary latest updates and headings of its own publishing house. It is inclined towards poetry and it organizes the festival called “POETAS” which will be carried out on October 12.
  • “Cervantes y Compañía”: is a nice library, in Pez, 27, Metro Noviciado. It has a wide variety of books and it has a peculiar characteristic: its basement is designed in such a way that it can host literary birthdays, writers’ presentations, courses, and workshops. It is a cultural place within the same library but it cannot be seen from the outside. It has a kind of “hidden function” only known for those who come inside the library.

 cervantes

 Libraries for children

The great number of libraries in Madrid enables the possibility of a variety of options in the sense that each person can find one which matches his/her own interests. For those parents with children who want to share a cultural moment in family, there are four libraries. First, “Tres Rosas Amarillas” is full of “pop up” and foldout books, Chinese shadows, and cardboard theaters. It is meant mainly for little children. Secondly, “Ciento volando” specializes in children and young people since it has storytellers and workshops specially designed for this audience on the ground floor. While children enjoy reading, adults can have a coffee on the upper floor and they can also enjoy a book; all kinds of publics are welcome. Third, “La Mar de Letras” is an entertaining space designed to encourage children’s creativity with storytellers and workshops. Finally, “El Dragón Lector” is a passionate library with children’s literature, activities like songs, storytelling, and poetry in both, Spanish and English. A characteristic which distinguishes it from other libraries is that writers and illustrators are given a prize which is called “Premio Editorial”, “Dragón Ilustrado” and “Pequeño Dragón”.

Social libraries

Nowadays, social movements are very important and affect every aspect of society. That is why it isn’t strange that there are libraries with a strong social presence focused on a particular social issue. Within this category, the most popular are:

  • “Librería de Mujeres: located in San Cristóbal, 17. As its name suggests, it is a place dedicated especially to spread women’s literature together with its feminist reasoning and ideology. In addition, conferences are also organized with feminist activists and thinkers, theater, workshops, poetry recitations, among others. Crafts made by women can be bought.
  • “Traficantes de Sueños”: is located in Duque de Alba, 13. Besides working as a library, is a space for screening, presentations and different workshops related to social movements. It specializes in the essay and politico-cultural narrative.
  • Tuuulibrería: is about a library which focuses on solidarity and it works under the motto “Tu decides el valor de los libros” (You decide on the book’s prize). It was created with the idea of preventing book’s destruction and encouraging reading in the lower sectors of society which not always have access to first hand books. This library encourages all people to donate books they don’t read anymore.

Language libraries

Madrid is a city which receives people from all over the world. For that reason, it has libraries which have texts in different languages. “Pasajes” is an international library of great reputation. In the year 2016, it was awarded by Financial Times and Sello de Calidad de Librerías as one of the best 5 multilingual libraries of the world. It has more than 70.000 books which are ideal for those who love languages. “Desperate Literature” is a trilingual library which mixes Anglo-Saxon, Francophone, and Latin American literature. Its owners also have libraries in Santorini and Brooklyn. This place proposes an intercultural exchange: texts are published in a bilingual magazine and events and literary awards are celebrated.

Definitely, the literary offer in Madrid is very extensive. For book fans or visitors who want to relax after a day of tourism, literature is available along the city.

Madrid: a city with world-class sports

Madrid is a city in which sports are present at all times. It has a great variety of disciplines and first class tournaments are held there. This makes the city even more attractive for sports fans and tourists in general. Great sportsmen get together every year at Madrid to take part in prestigious sport competitions. Let’s see some of them.

 

Football

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world, and the city of Madrid is lucky to have two of the best teams of the whole planet: the Real Madrid and the Atlético Madrid. This does not happen very often, so it is nice to go visit the city to get to know both teams.

The Real Madrid is one the most famous ones in the whole world. It has won more matches than anyone else in history, and without doubt it is one of the most popular ones. They are Stadium is the place in which the play most of their matches, and it’s called Santiago Bernabeu. Such a stadium was opened in 1947 and today has capacity for 81.044 fans. In addition, it has 245 VIP seats and four restaurants inside of it (La Esquina, Puerta 57, Real Café Bernabéu y Zen Market). If you happen to be at the city at the same time that Real Madrid’s match is taking place during the Spanish league or the UEFa Champions League, you should enjoy this world-class spectacle which any football fan should see.

real-madrid

In case you cannot attend a match, then you might want to experience the Bernabéu tour. It is a visit guided by professionals which takes visitors so that they can get to know every part of this wonderful stadium. Some of these sections are the presidential box, from where the authorities sit down to watch the match, the football pitch, the seat in which the trainer sits and even the changing room in which the players prepare for the event.  To finish with this, people can enter the Club’s museum, in which they will be able to appreciate every trophy they have ever won, and thousands of other objects such as t-shirts, balls, pictures and other important documents. In addition, there are interactive screens with audiovisual content such as the room that features the Best Club in history and another one called “Sensaciones Real Madrid”. By visiting these places you will truly get to know the history of the team.

As regards the team Atlético Matrid, we all know it is the eternal rival of Real Madrid. In the last few years, the former has taken their play to the next level. Today, they are quite known as quality players. Together with that came some structural changes. For example, they left their traditional stadium, Vicente Calderón, and moved to another one: Wanda Metropolitano. This one is quite new in comparison, and is very comfortable and safe. It is a very 21st century stadium. 67,000 people fit in there. Thanks to the technology “Phillips Arena Experience”, it is capable of delivering a nice spectacle. It has more than 330 projectors that give more than 16 million colors. That is why this stadium is used to host big sport events and even musical concerts. Indeed, this 2019 it will host the final match of the UEFA Champions League, the most important tournament in the continent.

atletico-madrid

This team usually takes places in three tournaments every year: the Spanish league, the Copa del Rey, and the Champions League. That is why fans will surely have the chance to see those matches live. In turn, there is also the possibility of going on a guide tour along the stadium. The Wanda Metropolitano Tour takes their visitors to meet different zones, like the locker rooms, the pressroom, and the mixed zone. They are also allowed to go to the pitch using the same tunnel that the players use. Lastly, they can visit the club’s museum, where they can see all the trophies, titles and many valuable objects that they own, like historical t-shirts.

 

Tenis

Not everything is about football in Madrid. The city also hosts one of the most important tennis tournaments as well: The Mutua Madrid Open, that is part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000, together with other 8 world-class competitions. This one has been taking place since the year 2002 in the Caja Mágica, a place built by the French architect Dominique Perrault. The best female and male tennis players get together every May at the city to play this tournament, which is very useful for other slike Roland Gaarros, the most important one of the year. Another opportunity to enjoy great tennis and see top-notch players in action.

Another of the most prestigious tournaments will also take place in Madrid this year. The International  Tennis Federation (ITF) chose it as the host of the new phase of the Davis Cup, both in 2019 and in 2020. This competition has 118 years of history, and it is played in teams. It will take place in November, and 18 of the best teams in the world will be present. They will be divided up in 6 groups of 3 teams each. Every tennis fan will be paying attention to this great sporting event!

 

Basketball

Basketball is also very important in the city of Madrid. Some of the teams that take part in the same category of the ACB are Real Madrid, Estudiantes y Fuenlabrada. In addition, Real Madrid also plays in the Euro liga, an European competition in which the most reputable teams play. The local matches are played in the modern stadium WiZinkCenter. This is a place wholly dedicated to sports and shows, and it’s also very modern in terms of technological advances. This year, it will host the Supercopa Endesa, a trophy that 4 teams will try to win: the champions of the ACB League, the ones of the Copa del Rey, the local team and the one that classifies the best in European competitions.