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.

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.

Enjoy Contemporary Art when Visiting Madrid

Known as a place of notable culture and history, Madrid is a great way to experience art. However, the way you are going to experience it and the epochs you are going to explore can completely reshape your travel and overall impression of the city. In this article, we are going to recommend you places where you can discover contemporary art in Madrid.

As always, renting an apartment in the center of Madrid is a very convenient way to begin your journey as all of these places will be near your accommodation in Madrid, or easily reachable with public transport.

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Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/exhibition-art-gallery-gallery-arts-362163/

 

Madrid galleries

We will start with art galleries on a journey of exploring contemporary art in Madrid.

Mad is Mad

This gallery is advertised as offering a new gallery concept, an ideal setting for exploring contemporary art in Madrid. It features an original setting inspired by the cosmopolitan spirit of the city including contemporary creations of the notable Spanish talents. The gallery is located in Chueca district of Madrid, a lively neighborhood typical of bohemian and artistic atmosphere. Works featured as parts of the exhibitions include different types of artwork such as photography, paintings, drawings, etc.

Location: Pelayo 48, 28004 Madrid
Hours: Between Tuesday and Saturday, the gallery is open between 5 and 9 pm.
Website: https://www.madismad.com/

 

Travesí­a Cuatro

This gallery was founded in 2003 by Silvia Ortiz and Inés López-Quesada with the idea to promote contemporary art. The gallery features both national and international artists, but this is also the place where you can find artworks form Latin America. This is how the gallery brings a combination of multicultural diversity and expands the influence art has beyond the borders of one country.

Location: Calle San Mateo 16, 28004 Madrid
Hours: From 11 am until 7 pm every day from Tuesday to Friday. The gallery is open between 11 am and 2:30 pm on Saturdays and it is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Website: http://travesiacuatro.com/eng/

 

Sabrina Amrani Gallery

Cultural diversity brings that special touch to art, as it allows artists to combine different styles, heritage and inspiration that is transferred into their work. That is also the case in this gallery, founded by a French woman of Algerian origin.

Location: Madera, 23, 28004 Madrid and Sallaberry, 52, 28019 Madrid
Hours: Between Tuesday and Friday from 11 am until 7 pm. On Saturdays, the art gallery in Madera street is open from 11 am until 2:30 pm, while the other one opens at 11 am and closes at 7 pm on Saturdays.

Website: http://www.sabrinaamrani.com/the-gallery/

 

Elba Benítez

Featuring contemporary artistic production with sculptures, photography, paintings, site-specific installations, and even performances, their mission is to offer different artistic expressions, especially in the form of interaction and experience exchange.

Location: Elba Benítez Gallery, San Lorenzo 11 28004 Madrid
Hours: The gallery is open between Tuesday and Saturday, from 11 am until 7 pm.
Website: http://www.elbabenitez.com/

 

Heinrich Ehrhardt

This gallery is founded with the idea to bring close the German style of art and introduce German artists to the Madrid audience. Even though it was founded in Madrid in 1980, the gallery was moved to Frankfurt in 1985. There, it was focused on projects with numerous artists, but it was not until 1998 when the Madrid audience got the enjoy their offer and exhibits featuring many emerging artists.

Location: San Lorenzo 11, 280004 Madrid
Hours: The gallery is open between 11 am and 7 pm, between Tuesday and Friday. On Saturdays, it is open between 11 am and 2 pm
Website: http://www.heinrichehrhardt.com/

 

Rafael Pérez Hernando

What started out is a small basement in the center of Madrid as a project that brought together those enthusiastic about contemporary art, turned into a notable gallery in Madrid. It puts emerging artists in the spotlight. They want to highlight the importance and brilliance of contemporary art and how it represents the modern world.

Location: Calle Orellana, 18, 28004 Madrid
Hours: From Monday to Friday the gallery is open between 10 am and 2 pm, and then again in the afternoon between 5 pm and 8:30 pm. On Saturdays, it is open between 11 am and 2 pm. The gallery is closed on Mondays, as well as during the month of August.
Website: http://www.rphart.net/

 

Museum of Contemporary Art

There are a lot of museums in Madrid you can visit. If you enjoy this form of art, you will actually discover that Madrid is a sort of a museum hub. Country’s rich cultural heritage and the fact that some of the greatest masters of art were in fact from Spain, provides an impressive collection of artworks the country so proudly displays in the museums all around the city.

When it comes to contemporary art, art galleries are very popular among those interested. Still, another recommended location for anyone who is interested in contemporary art is The Museum of Contemporary Art (in Spanish Museo de Arte Contemporáneo). It is one of the new museums in Madrid, and it was established in 2001. The museum was opened with two major goals in mind:

Create a forum which will continually offer an opportunity for cultural and exhibitions programs of contemporary art.

Complement the other museums and general offer the city of Madrid is so known for.

Both of these goals contribute to one overall goal, i.e. the promotion of contemporary culture to both domestic and foreign viewers.

Located in the historic barracks of the Conde Duque building, the museum offers two floors with over 22000 square feet of exhibition space. Currently, over 200 works are included in its offer featuring collections of paintings, photography, sculpture, etc.

Location: Calle Conde Duque, 9 28015
Hours: Between Tuesday and Saturday the museum is open between 10 am and 2 pm and again between 5:30 pm and 9 pm. On Sundays or during public holidays, this museum is open between 10:30 am and 2 pm.

 

Art Madrid – Contemporary Art Fair

Unlike other exhibitions and galleries we have mentioned here, which allow you to explore contemporary culture at almost any moment, there is an art related event, which takes place once a year. So in case you happen to be visiting at that time, this could be a perfect way to explore the city of Madrid and learn about its culture and modern art.

Art Madrid is an annual contemporary art fair. The event has a global character and brings together the artists and those who are fond of art within a global, multicultural event that above all promotes art. In the modern age, when technology has such a great impact on our lives and art is starting to take different, more digital forms, it is important that events like these do exist, and that they manage to gather people who are genuinely interested in art and able to recognize its significance.

Here’s a quick recap of this years’ event to figure out what you can expect from this event.

Art Madrid was organized from February 27th to March 3rd, 2019 in the Galería de Cristal of CentroCentro Cibeles. It gathered 50 galleries from 15 countries and almost 200 artists who were able to present their artistic vision to the audience. Besides its general program, the fair features other programs, solo/shows, and projects that enable them to support emerging artists. It is an amazing way to support the community and to help those who are still struggling to create a name for themselves. The program which was open for the public included meeting with the artist, workshops, debates, etc.

Website: https://www.art-madrid.com/en

 

Apertura Madrid Gallery Weekend

This is an annual celebration of art and culture organized by ARTE Madrid. It takes place in September and more than 40 contemporary art galleries simultaneously take part in the event. The weekend devoted to art takes place night and day, and the complete program includes a lot of activities organized by museums and art galleries. The event attracts collectors, experts and curators from all over the world as it features notable artists, as well as emerging artists, from the local scene.

It is a multicultural event that brings you closer to contemporary art and enables an opportunity to discover the world through the artworks of contemporary artists. Special programs, guided and private tours are also available, parties as well as special events organized by individual galleries.

 

What to expect from contemporary art in Madrid

Although the most prevalent form of art in Madrid is the art from the past, and artworks that have incorporated different artistic styles that have developed over the centuries, there are a lot of initiatives to promote and support contemporary art in Madrid. In fact, it is very important to continue to create art in a country that has given the famous creations of masters such as Picasso, Dali, Miro, Goya, etc. Thinking this way and working on establishing art in the life of Madrid is a necessary step to ensure that this rich cultural heritage lives on and that the city continues to be one of the most recognizable capitals of culture in the world.

Innovative Ideas to Have Fun in Madrid

Are you looking for innovative ideas to have fun in Madrid? We all know that Madrid’s cultural heritage is the most important asset the city has to offer. But, far from it being the only thing the city has to be proud of. In this article, we want to show you some alternative places, modern hubs where you will have the time of your life.

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Madrid escape rooms

Escape room is an entertainment form of an adventure game. It has become very popular in recent years, as an exciting way to solve mysteries and problems, and ultimately, to spend a great time with friends. It is often called an escape game as it consists of a series of puzzles, riddles, and hints that take you to the solution. As a participant, you need to form a strategy and to analyze the clues in order to solve the problem. There is a limited time set to discover the secret story and to solve the mystery. Sometimes the puzzle can be in one room, but escape rooms can also consist of multiple rooms, and the adventure takes the participants through each.

Here is the list of some of the most popular escape rooms in Madrid:

  • Action House Escape room – Turn into a detective with this 1-hour mystery and a mission to solve. Currently, only available in Spanish.

https://www.actionhouse.es/es/

  • Cubick Escape Room – Test your limits and problem-solving skill within 80 minutes of mystery time. Currently, only available in Spanish.

http://cubickroomescape.es/madrid/

  • Escape Room RK Games Madrid – Four rooms with different settings and 60 minutes to escape. Possibility to customize the game based on the players, their interest, etc.

https://www.escaperoomrkgames.es/

  • EXIT Madrid – This escape room takes you on a clue hunt through history with 5 rooms with different settings. Art Dealer room (1932), Death Penalty room (1962), Cold War room (1976) and Laboratory room (2010). Available in both Spanish and English.

http://exit-game.es/

  • Fox in a box Madrid – There are two groups of themed rooms. Infantas street with 2 rooms (The Bunker and The Zombie Laboratory) and the first floor has 5 more rooms (Two Prisons, two Zodiac Assassins and a Bank). Games offered both in Spanish and English.

https://foxinaboxmadrid.com/main

 

Rolling Dance

Grasp the spirit of the 1980s within a place that is designed to bring back skating. Regardless if you are planning to visit on your own or even take kids, this place is a perfect way to enjoy some fun time together. Even the food is completely adapted to the setting. The place offers a snack bar with burgers prepared in American styles, hot dogs, French Fries, desserts, etc.

The skating rink is more than 1500 square meters large. Facilities are designed in American style with skating rink taking up the major space. Local DJs are in charge of the upbeat music, of course, inspired by the 1980s. This makes it an ideal setting to enjoy, have fun and spend a fantastic time in Madrid, enjoying the roller world. The venue is popular for birthdays, parties, creative events, etc.

There is also skating school as a part of the center, and you can enroll to take classes from professionals.

Location: Rolling Dance & Burgers, Estación de Chamartín, s/n, 28036 Madrid, Spain

Opening hours: The venue opens at 5 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, at 3 pm on Friday and 1 pm on Saturday and Sunday. It closes at 11 pm (all days). The venue is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Website: http://www.rollingdance.com/

 

Autocine Madrid

Still keeping with this American, 1980s vibe, we get to another fantastic place to experience innovative ideas and have fun in Madrid. It is a drive-in cinema. The cinema is open all year long, and it does not depend much on weather conditions, as the quality of the image is not affected by rain. In case of rain, you will be provided with anti-rain visors, so you do not have to keep your wipers on. When the weather is nice, it is possible to watch the movie from a hammock area.

The place also has a diner and food trucks, so you can eat while watching the movie. Combined with this experience of watching a movie from your car, this truly brings back the spirit of the 1980s when this sort of entertainment was at its peak.

The offer of the cinema includes the latest movie hits, and unlike traditional cinemas, this is where you get to experience a unique setting and enjoy watching a movie from your car or from the outdoor area.

Location: Autocine Madrid RACE, Isla de Java Street 2, 28034 – Madrid

Opening hours: According to the schedule available on the website.

Website: https://autocinesmadrid.es/

 

Madrid SnowZone

If you thought that days of skiing and skateboarding are over just because the snow has melted, think again. Here is an impressive venue in Madrid that brings snow to you all year long. 365 days of snow to be exact. 365 days to enjoy all the fun activities in a winter wonderland.

Madrid SnowZone is an indoor venue with the main ski track 250 meters long. It has areas for skiing, snowboarding sleighing and enjoying the winter time. There is a ski lift as well as indoor zip-line. It is fantastic entertainment, an exciting adventure and truly a unique experience.

Location: Autovía de Extremadura (A-5) salidas 22 y 25. Centro Comercial Madrid Xanadú, Calle del Puerto de Navacerrada, s/n, 28939 Arroyomolinos, Madrid

Opening hours: The venue is open every day of the year from 10 am (9 am on weekends) and until 10 pm (11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays).

Website: http://www.madridsnowzone.com/

 

Cable Car in Madrid

If you want to enjoy an exciting ride that takes you above the city with an amazing view of the city, check out Teleférico – Cable Car in Madrid. El Teleférico, which is the name of the company organizing the ride, is the cable car system in Madrid. It offers rides which start at Paseo del Pintor Rosales and end at la Casa de Campo. Before starting a ride, or after finishing one, you will have access to the terminals on both of these locations with restaurants, cafes and parking lot for the visitors.

The system has two cables with 80 cabins. Each cabin can accept up to five people. The ride is 2.5 kilometers long, and the cable car ride lasts approximately 11 minutes. In that time, you will be crossing over the Manzanares River, you will see the Parque del Oeste, the Almudena Cathedral, the Royal Palace, and many other landmarks located nearby. You will also go over the residential area with lots of apartments in the center of Madrid.

Location: Paseo del Pintor Rosales s / n. 28011 Madrid.

Opening hours: The opening hours are between 7 am and 9 pm. Opening hours change due to weather conditions or due to the season changes during the year, so the best way to plan your visit is to check the official schedule on the website.

Website: https://www.telefericomadrid.es/index.html

 

Faunia

If you want to explore nature during your time in Madrid, here is an interesting location. It will fit into this theme of exploring innovative ideas to spend a day in Madrid. Faunia is a theme park with four ecosystems and 15 thematic areas. It represents a habitat for over 3000 animals and 300 different species. It is estimated that you will need around 5 hours to go through all the park and visit all its areas.

Location: Avenia de las Comunidades 28, 28032 Madrid

Opening hours: Usually the park opens at 10:30 am, and the closing time may vary between 5 pm and even midnight, which mainly depend on the time of the year and the day of the week. It is advisable to check the official website for the exact opening times for the period when you plan to visit the park.

Website: https://www.faunia.es/

Going to the cinema in Madrid

When going to a cinema in Madrid, or many other cities in Spain and Europe, you will soon realize that most movies are dubbed. This means that movies are not shown in the original language, but in the language of the local people. While staying in Madrid, you might find it impossible to watch a movie in the cinema if you do not speak any Spanish.

However, there are cinemas that show the original version of the movies which are mostly in English. In this case, there are Spanish subtitles provided, but if you speak English, you will be able to enjoy watching a movie in one of these cinemas:

  • Cines Manoteras 3D

Location: Avenida de Manoteras 40, 28050 Madrid

  • Renoir Plaza Espana

Location: Calle Martin de Heros 10, 28008 Madrid

  • Cines Golem

Location: Calle Martin de los Heros 14, 28008 Madrid

  • Cines Verdi

Location: Calle Bravo Murillo 28, 28015 Madrid

  • Cine Estudio Circulo de Bellas Artes

Location: Alcala 42, 28014 Madrid

  • Renoir Cuatro Caminos

Location: Raimundo Fernandez 10, Villaverde, 28003 Madrid

Before you organize your visit, make sure you check the website of the cinema so you can find out which movies are currently on.

 

Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Toledo

But if you are eager for more excitement and you want to explore the area beyond the city center, this ride just might be the activity you were looking for. The ride starts from Toledo or Segovia, both of which are about an hour from Madrid. Transport from Madrid may be provided for you, but alternatively, you can take the bus.

As you head for this exciting journey of exploring Spanish history, you will be amazed by the view of Toledo or Segovia, and the historical landmarks both of these cities offer. Take photos of a fantastic view as you go over the River Tajo, or the ancient Roman aqueduct.

Hot air balloon ride lasts for an hour. The flight is organized between 7 or 9 am. The schedule might be postponed or delayed due to bad weather conditions. The tour guide will be joining you to present some interesting information about Spanish history, in both Spanish and English.

As you can see, Madrid offers so many exciting opportunities to enjoy the city and have fun. Think beyond regular sightseeing and explore some of these options to spend a day of fun in Madrid. One thing is for sure – it will be a memorable experience.

The Traditional Drinks of Madrid

Apartamentos-Drinks-English

When you travel abroad there are many things to look forward to. You get to experience a new culture, new sceneries and to try out many exciting things. One of those perks is certainly a possibility to try authentic food and drinks.

If you choose to visit Madrid and spend your days in an apartment in the center of Madrid, you will get a unique opportunity to experience all those exciting places in Madrid. And most importantly, you will have a chance to visit some of the best places for eating and drinking. Plenty of city bars and restaurants are known to serve exquisite cuisine and the most delicious drinks you can try.

In fact, Spaniards are famous for knowing how to enjoy and appreciate their meals. And drinks are usually on the menu, especially at dinner times.

Here are the traditional drinks of Madrid you need to try.

 

Agua de Valencia

An amazing combination of orange juice, cava, vodka, and gin is what makes this drink so popular, ever since the 1970s when it started to be served as a part of the menu. Even though it is a Valencian cocktail, it is often on the menu in Madrid as well.

 

Sangria

Even though widely popular around the world, Sangria is known to have originated in Spain. Eventually, it was brought to the US from Latin America, where it gained wide popularity. The main ingredient is red wine and chopped fruit. Different fruits can be added, such as pineapples, apples, pears, nectarines, berries, peaches or melon. It is a very sweet mixture of ingredients. Orange juice or brandy are also added based on the traditional recipe. For someone who does not necessarily like the taste of wine, the sweet ingredients really reduce the taste of wine and make the drink rather sweet.

 

Sangria Blanca

It is a variety of Sangria which has recently been introduced. It combines white wine with the fruit. Again, the use of fruit in the drink can vary from place to places.

Both types of sangria are easy to make at home, unlike other alcoholic beverages or cocktails.

 

Cava

Cava is a type of Spanish sparkling wine. It can be white or rose. Only wines produced in the champenoise traditional method may be labeled “cava.” If a different process is used, it is labeled sparkling wine.

Cava used to be referred to as Spanish champaign, and it still is called like that among the locals. You can often hear the words champán or champaña in Spanish or xampany in Catalan. However, the name champagne has protected geographical status, so based on the EU laws it cannot be used to describe the traditional Spanish drink.

 

Horchata

This name is commonly used for a variety of plant milk beverages served in Madrid and the rest of Spain. Based on a different type of plant used to make this beverage, you can find:

  • Horchata de arroz – Rice milk
  • Horchata de ajonjolí – Made with ground sesame seeds
  • Horchata de melón – Made of ground melon seeds
  • Horchata de morro – Made from ground calabash seeds

Different ingredients can be added into the horchata drink, such as vanilla, lemon or lime zest, water, sugar, etc. Since the selection of plant used to make the beverage, as well as the extra ingredients, can be diverse, you can find a lot of different flavored types of horchata beverage to try in Madrid.

The drink itself is also used as a flavoring added to ice cream, sweets, cookies, smoothies frappes, and even alcoholic beverages or cocktails. This drink is perfect for vegans and vegetarians.

 

Coffee

Even though it is a universal drink, coffee is another drink worth tasting while in Madrid. Coffee has a strong taste, which is probably what most of you need in the morning to keep you going through the day, especially if it is proceeded by the sleepless night.

It is not actually simple to order coffee when you sit in a cafe in Madrid. There are many different types of coffee to choose from, and you need to be specific when ordering. Take a look at this short list of different types of coffees and the way they are called in Spanish.

  • Cafe solo – Espresso. It is a standard form of coffee in Spain.
  • Café con leche – This is espresso with milk. It is probably the most popular type of coffee in Spain.
  • Cafe cortado – Espresso with a drop of milk.
  • Cafe descafeinado – It is decaf coffee.
  • Cafe con hielo – Espresso coffee with a glass of ice, a perfect beverage for hot summer days in Madrid.

Some cafes offer varieties, so you can have coffee with interesting syrups and flavors added, such as cafe con leche with hazelnut syrup.

Of course, when it comes to coffee, you can find internationally famous ones, such as Starbucks or Costa cafe, but these could not really classify as traditional drinks in Madrid.

 

Queimada

Have you ever thought about cooking your drink? Well, if you choose Queimada, you will certainly see magic happen. The essential ingredients which include a mixture of orujo, lemon peel, sugar, and other spices are cooked. While those are cooking on the stove, brandy is poured into this mixture. It makes it stronger. There is also an interesting ritual related to reciting a spell during the cooking. Supposedly, the spell should transfer the special powers of the drink itself onto the person who is drinking it. Perfect for Halloween, don’t you think?

 

Rebujito

This is a very popular summer drink. It is a light, carbonated drink made with white sherry and lemon soda or sprite. This added flavor of lemon or lime makes this combination perfect for summer days. It is so refreshing.

 

Tinto de Verano

Here is another drink related to summer. The translation means wine of summer and it describes a refreshing beverage which is often referred to as “a poor man’s Sangria.” Like Sangria, it is made from red wine which is mixed with lemon juice or gas water. When making this drink at home, you can also add pieces of lemon to enhance the taste.

 

Clara de Limón

This drink is what many locals would describe as a girls’ drink. It is an interesting alternative to simply drinking beer. It is very refreshing and a perfect choice after a long day of walking around Madrid and exploring the city. Despite this stereotype of being girls’ drink, this drink is actually quite tasty. It is a mixture of beer with a lemon soda.

 

Kalimotxo

Here is another wine/soda mixture that you might have never thought about. It is a trendy drink, especially among the young people in Spain. It is made from red wine and a bottle of coke. It represents one of those cheaper alternatives of drink, and it is one that you can easily make at home. The drink has a sweet taste and tart flavor.

 

Beer

This is a universal drink which you are likely to have tried before, but when in Madrid, try to look for domestic brands that make this drink. San Miguel, Cruz Blanca, Aguila, Cruzcampo and Mahou are only some of those.

 

Orujo

Although it is mainly popular in the northern regions of Spain, you can find orujo in Madrid as well. It is a liquor made from the stalks, seeds, and skins of grapes. So, the basic ingredients for orujo are the residue ingredients from wine productions. The ingredients are heated in large copper kettles in a distilling process that takes six hours or more. The drink can be served on its own or it can be a part of another drink such as queimada.

 

As you can see, Madrid offers quite a selection of beverages. And the choices are quite vast. For example, if you stay in an apartment in the center of Madrid, you will be close to cafes serving these delicious drinks. This means that every evening out in Madrid you could be trying a new drink. Supermarkets offer bottled versions for most of these drinks if you prefer staying in your Madrid apartment. Some of these drinks are actually quite easy to make on your own, regardless where you live. Therefore, you can easily bring this spirit of Madrid to your home. Simply prepare all the ingredients and get on with mixing. Find your perfect combination of sweet and sour, balance out the soda and alcohol to get completely custom yet traditional drink of Madrid.

Fashion in Madrid: High Fashion Tourism

ApartamentosMadrid-Moda-English

As a niche market, fashion tourism has been on a rapid development across the globe, especially in countries that already have a recognizable presence in the fashion world and regularly host world-known fashion events.

The idea with this type of tourism is to provide an experience focused on fashion and usually shopping. It still is a form of cultural tourism, one gets to meet the local customs, tradition, but in a way that is more engaging for the travelers. Usually, travelers who choose fashion tourism are people interested in fashion themselves. They are creative, they follow current trends, and they enjoy shopping.

In fact, shopping is a special form of fashion tourism that promotes specific locations and places as a shopping paradise. It is not easy to reach such fame on the global level and encourage the visitors from across the globe to travel with the purpose of shopping, but it can be done, and shopping malls and wholesale retailers have statistics that prove this. Millions of visitors go through these shopping destinations, and a significant percentage of those are travelers.

When it comes to traveling Madrid, those interested in fashion and Madrid high fashion tourism will not be disappointed.

Costume Museum (El Museo del Traje) Madrid

The first destination we would like to suggest is Madrid’s Costume Museum (in Spanish El Museo del Traje). It is the perfect way to see the entire evolution of fashion and costumes dating from the ancient times to present. It is an impressive fashion experience and an opportunity to see how the trends changed throughout the history. The collection is extensive and offers a lot of diversity. Items include traditional and contemporary clothing from different periods, jewelry, accessories and traditional clothing that represents valuable cultural heritage. General admission fee is 3 euros but on some occasions or some groups of people do not pay admission.

Location: Avenida de Juan de Herrera, 2

If you are staying in an apartment in the center of Madrid, you will easily get public transport to reach this destination. Even though it is not in the central district of the city, there are plenty of ways to get to the museum using public transport.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 9:30 am – 7:00 pm

Sunday and Festivals/Holidays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Monday: closed

Fashion in Madrid

To understand the reasons for visiting Madrid as a fashion tourism destination, you need a little bit of context as to what makes this city so special and what it has to offer to the travelers looking for this kind of travel.

The textile industry has been an important part of the Spanish economy for a long time, and it grew so much in the latest decades that introduced brands that slowly became recognizable and famous worldwide. Just take a TV show Sex and City as an example, and you will instantly remember Carrie Bradshaw and her obsession with shoes. Well, little did you know that her favorite shoes actually come from Spain. Manolo Blahnik is a Spanish designer and a brand that has gained great respect and popularity in the fashion world. If you think of high-end fashion, this will probably be one of the brands you would think of. Other luxury, high-end brands from Spain include Delpozo, Loewe, Uterqüe, etc.

As opposed to these brands, we have high-street fashion which offers much affordable clothing. Most of these brands work with a mission to offer quality at reasonable prices. That attitude alongside opening new stores around the world and appealing to the young audience has contributed to the popularity of these brands. Perhaps the most famous one is Zara. The brand is owned by a company Inditex, which has several other clothing brands such as Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, etc. Other high-street brands from Spain include Mango, Bershka, Stradivarius, Desigual, etc.

Madrid Fashion Week

Perhaps the most anticipated and talked about event among those interested in high-end fashion in Madrid is the Madrid Fashion Week. Fashion Week in Madrid is organized by the IFEMA – Feria de Madrid Exhibition Centre, usually at the beginning of the year. This year’s show was organized in February, for the 65th time with 42 creators from Spain and over 50,000 visitors and professionals who were reporting about the event. It is a multicultural event attracting people from all over the world all in the purpose of fashion and creativity expressed through clothing and accessories.

The area to shop in Madrid

Now you must be wondering where to shop in Madrid. Knowing that Madrid fashion is certainly a segment you need to explore, you are probably thinking of how to organize a fashion tour or, simply put, go on a shopping spree in Madrid.

Your first stop should be the Gran Via street.

Gran Via Street in Madrid

As one of the best-known streets in Madrid, two main things distinguish this street from the rest. Firstly, it is the architecture that brings the combination of history and tradition, with a blend of modern style evolved during the beginning of the 20th century. The second thing the street is known for is shopping. It is the go-to destination for shopping lovers and those fond of fashion. There are plenty of high-street shops, especially the Spanish brands we have mentioned, such as Zara, Pull & Bear, etc. The Spanish department store, El Corte Ingles, is also in the area. Still, this part of the city is considered quite a prestigious part of Madrid, which is also the main reason why this is the place to find some of the high-end stores, including numerous foreign designers. Besides clothing, you can find a lot of jewelry and souvenir stores.

Salamanca

Here is another part of the city which is an excellent location to visit if you love fashion and shopping. This is a pretty exclusive district, so you will find prestigious restaurants, luxurious accommodation and, of course, a lot of high-end shops in Madrid. This reputation of Salamanca is why some commonly called this part of the city shopping district. When you visit this part of the city, you will need to visit these three streets: the Calle José Ortega y Gasset, the Calle de Serrano, and the Calle de Goya. All three of them are packed with shops one after the other, featuring both national and international labels. From home decor, beauty and fashion offered in El Corte Ingles, to Gucci, Hugo Boss, to local fashion specialist such as La Perla, Loewe, to watches specialist at Rabat, you will find such a wide selection of fashion items.

Regarding opening hours, it is worth mentioning that stores in Madrid usually open at 10 am and remain open until 8 or 9 pm. Some stores have a siesta in the middle of the day, but this tradition is mainly practiced by the restaurants and the cafes. Siesta hours are usually between 1:30 or 2 pm until 4 or 5 pm. Some stores are opened on Saturdays, but most of them remain closed on Sundays, so this is worth knowing when organizing your shopping spree in Madrid.

This fashion-oriented experience is focused on blending of the experience of meeting the city, getting to know the little streets and discovering all those small shops you may or may not heard of.

However, fashion tourism also includes a different kind of shopping experience which is focused on visiting shopping malls. Whether or not shopping malls are worth in cultural sense is debatable, but in terms of fashion, they do have much to offer. It is worth mentioning that high-end brands are not commonly sold in shopping malls. They are usually reserved to a specific part of the city, which we have mentioned earlier.

On the other hand, high-streets brands are usually located in the shopping malls, so this would be an excellent opportunity for you to explore what both Spanish and international brands have to offer.

Príncipe Pío

If you are looking to stay in the city center, this shopping mall is the right choice. Even though it may not be as grand as other shopping malls, it is quite convenient to visit it especially if you rent an accommodation in the center of Madrid. It is opened from 10 am until 10 pm every day. The Príncipe Pío shopping mall opens at 11 am on Sundays and holidays. High-street brands such as H&M, Zara, Accessorize, Springfield, etc. are all part of this mall, along with fast food restaurants and coffee shops.

Las Rozas Village

If you are looking for a bigger shopping mall, the best solution is to look for those located outside the city center. Most of them are located up to an hour ride from Madrid city center, and you will usually find buses taking you there in regular intervals. The main reason why these shopping malls are such a popular destination even for tourist is the fact that they offer a more extensive variety of shops, and they also include outlet stores. In Las Rozas Village, for example, you can find the outlet shops of the world famous brands such as Armani, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Guess, Tommy Hilfiger, etc. Visiting such a mall requires at least a couple of hours, if not an entire day. Of course, there are enough restaurants and cafes for refreshments during the day.

Madrid Xanadú

Finally, the biggest shopping mall in Madrid, and thus a shopping paradise for all those interested in fashion tourism, Madrid Xanadú comes with an impressive offer of stores, brands, and shops that will enable just about anyone to find items they want and need. It is opened from 10 am until 10 pm every day, and it is located 20 kilometers from the city center with regular bus lines to take you there quickly.

 

At the end of the day, the true beauty of fashion tourism is in the fact that you get to organize a really personalized travel experience, you get to focus on what matters to you and things you are genuinely interested in. Alongside, any type of tourism will imminently help you learn something about the country you are visiting. It might be the way to shop, it may be the fact that you are starting to memorize the foreign language, it might be some particular custom you are not familiar with. It can be anything that brings you closer to a new country and creates a memorable travel experience. After all, a beauty of traveling is having fun, enjoying life and creating memories that will last for a lifetime.

Turismo-enologico-Madrid-vinos-01

Wine Tourism in Madrid

Wine tourism is becoming more and more important as a branch of tourism. Countries such as Spain, which rely a great part of their economy on tourism, are particularly interested in exploring how this can contribute to their further development. It leaves a way to promote other landmarks and culture in general.

Wine tourism has become an innovative way to provide a unique travel experience. It is the way to present the cuisine and culture of one country to the travels whose great passion is wine. Exploring this area of tourism offers many opportunities for local manufacturers and entrepreneurs to discover ways to build their brand and reach global travelers who stay in Madrid.

Turismo-enologico-Madrid-vinos-01

For starters, it is worth mentioning the three types of wine tourists and what is common for their travel experience:

The Wine Geeks: Want to know everything. Wine is the sole purpose.

The Gastro-Tourist: Food and wine is an important element.

The Passing-By Casual (Wine) Tourist: “We’re in a wine region so let’s visit a winery.”

Source: Forbes

 

Take a look at these groups. Can you identify with one of them? What is the most important part of wine tourism for you? Is it all about the wine, or do you want to explore food as well?

Answering these questions will help you create a personalized wine tourism experience for you. It will give you a chance to plan your visit accordingly and choose the best way to experience Madrid.

 

Wine cellars and bars

One of the common ways to start with wine tourism is to explore local wine cellars and bars. The great thing about this experience is that with wine, you get to taste traditional Spanish dishes. If you are not up for a full course meal, traditional Spanish tapas would be a great choice. They are usually served with wine and provide a mixture of ingredients inspired by the Mediterranean cuisine.

  • García de la Navarra

This wine cellar (also a restaurant) offers the best selection of local wines. It is also a very nice place to eat, with delicious dishes and tapas to accompany wine drinking and create a perfect atmosphere.

Location: Montalbán, 3

 

  • La Chula de Chamberí

A trendy bar with high tables and areas for groups of friends is a very pleasant bar, in a sort of a tavern style. Besides wine, cooked dishes are available for all of those gastro-tourists who love to combine good wine with food.

Location: Fernando el Santo, 11

 

  • Taberna Arzábal

A traditional Spanish tavern with an amazing selection of tapas and wines is a perfect choice for a nice evening out in Madrid.

Location: Doctor Castelo, 2

 

  • Vinícola Mentridana

A budget-friendly option for all of the gastro enthusiast is Vinícola Mentridana. This interesting bar has a bohemian vibe to it with a fantastic wine list to offer.

Location: San Eugenio, 9

 

Wine shops in Madrid

Regardless if you are interested in buying a bottle of wine to bring to a friend’s dinner or you want to look for extraordinary wines to complete your collection, the best selection you can find in Madrid is in the wine shops. Here are a couple of places to explore:

  • Lavinia

Located in the Salamanca district, this place has a certain modern glow to it. It is a modern-looking shop, situated in the exclusive part of the city, alongside stores such as Channel, Louis Vuitton, and others. However, this store is more than a regular wine shop. It is an ideal hub for all the wine lovers. Wine shop downstairs with a top restaurant and wine-related events, it has become a place you must visit as a part of wine tourism experience.

Location: Calle de José Ortega y Gasset 16

 

  • Bodega Santa Cecilia

The best way to describe this one is to say that this is a wine supermarket. The complete design of the shop resembles a supermarket. It even has a supermarket checkout counter. Beautiful wine bottles arranged immaculately in the aisles, alongside wine gifts and books. The shop even has a carefully selected offer of traditional Spanish foods. Since food goes well with wine, you can basically purchase everything you will need to host a small dinner party for you and your friends. With Spanish wine of course. The shop also has a bar where they serve tapas with wine, so visiting a wine shop can soon turn out to be a wine tasting event.

Location: Blasco de Garay 74

 

  • Carlota Wine Shop

This one is a bit smaller shop than the previous two, but still offers a nice selection of different wines. The interior is quite stylish and homy. It is a family-run business so you can expect a knowledgeable shop owner to chat with you and tell you more about different wines. There is a private wine tasting available which is a perfect choice if you want a more personalized experience.

Location: Calle Libertad, 26

 

  • Enoteca Barolo

This shop offers a great assortment of wines mainly from Spain, but from other countries as well. It even has an online store to check out the product selection in advance. You can sort the selection by price and by wine type (red, white, pink, sparkling) as you explore their offer online. Still, visiting the actual shop is an amazing experience altogether. As you would expect, wine tasting is available, as well as other interesting wine-related activities.

Location: Calle Principe de Vergara, 211

 

  • Más Que Cervezas

Opened every day of the year from 11 am until 10 pm, this wine shop offers an impressive selection of wines and beer, as well as cocktail appliances.

Location: Calle del León, 32

 

  • Vinopremier

Extensive wine offer as well as gourmand menu make this vine shop an excellent choice for all the travelers who visit Madrid. Wine tasting is also available. Their store also has accessories section where you can find a lot of different things related to wine, such as glasses, sets, gift boxes, etc.

Location: Calle Valverde, 29

 

Vineyards of Madrid

Up to this point, the wine tourism in Madrid has been an experience that has taken you around the city area, mostly the city center. This is very convenient if you are staying in an apartment in the center of Madrid. It means that you can quickly reach your destination of choice, commonly on foot. Sometimes you can use public transport if you notice that there is a quick and easy way to get there.

However, exploring vineyards of Madrid is a completely different kind of experience. It will take you on a trip an hour or two from Madrid, but it can also turn into a real adventure of exploring the country and its hidden gems.

The first thing you need to know is that all of the vineyards of Madrid are grouped and listed on the website Vinos de Madrid. This makes organizing a trip much easier because you can explore vineyards online and choose the ones you want to visit.

The vineyards are divided into three regions:

San Martin

As you travel through nice villages and towns on your way to this winery, you will get to know the Spanish landscape. You will discover the charm of the life away from the city noise and crowd. The area is located in the South East of the country.

To visit San Martin, you can take the bus from Príncipe Pío Station. This station is very close to the Royal Palace of Madrid and the central area of the city. The destinations you are looking for is San Martín de Valdeiglesias. The buses leave every 30 minutes, sometimes even in shorter intervals.

Navalcarnero

This wine route will take you 30 kilometers to the south of Madrid. It makes Navalcarnero a perfect destination for a day trip nearby Madrid. Besides wine, the area also boasts with its gastronomic culture.

To reach the destination, you will again need the bus at the Príncipe Pío Station. This time, your final destination is Navalcarnero, and luckily, there is a bus that takes you directly there. The buses leave every 30 minutes.

Arganda

The largest wine communities of the three, it is the only one that is located in the north region of the country. Many Madrid vineyards are located precisely in this area. In fact, vineyards stretch all the way from the town of Arganda del Rey (in the north) down to Aranjuez (in the south).

Since the area is pretty vast, there are multiple buses you can take, depending on which vineyard you plan to visit. For example, to reach Arganda del Rey, you can use Metro Line 9. This one is perhaps the fastest way to travel in the city. To visit Aranjuez, you will need to go by train. The full list of vineyards with the exact address is available in the listing on the website Vino de Madrid. 

Madrid wine tours

As you explore what the city has to offer in terms of wine tourism, you get to the wine tours. The main benefit of these tours is that you will have a professional guide to help you enjoy this wonderful experience as you taste traditional Spanish wines. You will not have to worry about looking the places on the map, planning and organizing trips around the city or even to a different town. When you join a specific tour, most common things you can expect include:

  • Wine tasting
  • Winery or vineyard tour
  • Food tasting (in case the tour combines gastro experience)
  • Local expert guide to organize the trip and provide information about the places you visit
  • Transportation

 

If you love wines and find this to be a great passion of yours, you will enjoy exploring what Madrid has to offer. Depending on your personal preferences and the time you have to spend in the city, you will get to plan a trip to explore wine tourism and where this kind of adventure takes you. For your own convenience, it is recommended to find an accommodation with a perfect location. Most commonly, apartments in the center of Madrid are an ideal choice because you will be able to organize each activity with all of the transportations available nearby.

Easy Recipes for Typical Madrid Tapas

Are you on the lookout for the new quick and easy dishes to make? Do you want to taste the traditional Spanish cuisine, right there in your home? Then, this article is for you.

When tourists first visit Madrid, national cuisine is one of the first things they explore. Regardless if they arrive at the city on business, regardless if they travel alone, with family, stay in an apartment in the city center or choose other types of accommodation. They all want to experience the best of the city, to discover this famous tourist destination and what it has to offer.

At daytime, travelers will go sightseeing, looking for the nearest landmarks in the center of the city, but as the dinner time comes, all of them will start exploring Madrid’s best restaurants. Apart from traditional dinner menus, sometimes with multiple course meals, etc., travelers are enchanted by Madrid tapas. This snack food is traditionally served in bars and cafes, representing one of the most recognizable items in the Spanish cuisine. These delicious bites, which is how tapas sometimes are called, are served in Madrid bars and restaurants, usually with wine or other beverages.

Now, you can make your own Madrid tapas at home, using these easy recipes.

 

Spanish tortilla

Spanish tortilla, also known as Spanish omelette, is one of the most famous recipes from the Spanish cuisine, and yet it is quite simple to make. It can be served as breakfast or dinner, but it can even be cut into pieces and packed for a takeaway lunch. Some prefer eating it cold, while others prefer when it is served as a warm dish. It is all a matter of taste.

To make Spanish tortilla, you will need:

  • 2 cups potatoes (one large or two smaller potatoes), sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced onion
  • 7-8 eggs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Start by cutting the onions and potatoes. If you do not like the onions, you can even leave them out. Cook both vegetables separately, after which you will drain them before mixing them with the eggs. Put everything in a clean pan and fry, flip to fry from the other side until is all done.

Check out the full recipe here: Spanish Tortilla Omelette.

Other vegetables can be added, depending on what you like to eat. Here is an interesting Spanish tortilla recipe if you want to combine it with spinach: Simple Spanish Tortilla Recipe with Spinach Arugula Salad.

 

Croquetas de Jamón

These tapas require a bit more time, but they are also quite easy to make. They are perfect to be served as appetizers, and they can be made with a variety of different ingredients. Instead of ham, you can also use cod, chicken, mushrooms, shrimp, spinach, beans, etc.

croquetas-de-jamon

Basically, croquettes are fried breadcrumbed rolls with either mashed potatoes or bechamel sauce. Typically, the later one is used in Madrid tapas.

The ingredients you will need include:

For the “Dough”

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil Scant
  • 1/2 c unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 c milk, at room temperature
  • ¼ lb ham, diced into small pieces
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Salt (to taste — only needed if your ham isn’t too salty)

 

For Breading the Croquettes

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ – ¾ c bread crumbs

 

To Fry

  • Oil for frying

 

The actual process of making croquettes is not complicated. It is recommended to create the ham mixture a day earlier and let it rest in the fridge overnight. Check out the full process of how to make them in this recipe: Croquetas de Jamon (Spanish Ham Croquettes).

For a vegetarian version of the recipe which includes making the dough mixture with onions and spinach, take a look at this recipe: Spanish Spinach Croquettes.

 

Patatas Bravas

The popular version of potatoes which are either fried or baked is a super easy meal to make. It can be served as a tapa, or as a side dish with chicken, veggies, fish, etc. You can mix different spices in the sauce to make it spicier. You will need around ten minutes to prepare the potatoes, which is quite handy if you are in a rush. Baking time is around 50 minutes. Here is what you will need to make patatas bravas:

  • 2 Pounds russet potatoes diced (not peeled)
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 Pinch of pepper
  • 1 Pinch of salt

You can follow this recipe for the instructions: Patatas Bravas (Spanish-Style Roasted Potatoes).

The recipe also features a spicy sauce that can be served with these tapas.

 

Spanish Tomato Bread with Ham

This one is a popular type of tapa for summer months, as it involves no cooking. Also, the taste of tomatoes makes it a refreshing snack. It also looks quite nice served as party food. You will need a baguette, which will be the base for the tapas. The special touch that makes this unique Spanish treat is Jamon Serrano, internationally famous Spanish ham. These are all of the ingredients you will need:

  • Baguette
  • Tomatoes (chopped)
  • Garlic (finely chopped)
  • Serrano ham (sliced)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh basil or parsley

 

To make these tasty tapas, simply follow the instructions from this recipe: Spanish Tomato Bread with Jamon Serrano.

 

Banderillas

You simply cannot have Madrid tapas without olives. Olives are traditionally served as a part of the Mediterranean style of cooking. They add quality and freshness to the dishes. Olives are used in many different tapas recipes. They can easily be combined with vegetables or fish. The base of Banderillas recipe are olives, as well as tuna, onions, and pickles. Other vegetables you can use include pepper, carrot, etc. Basically, any vegetable you can combine well with these three will be perfect. You will need toothpicks to assemble the tapas. The full list of ingredients for this recipe includes:

  • 1 box round toothpicks
  • 1 jar gherkin pickles
  • 1 jar cocktail onions
  • 1 jar green olives (pitted & stuffed with pimento, garlic or anchovies)
  • 1 can anchovies
  • 1 can chunk white tuna (in oil)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (in water or oil, cut in halves)
  • 1 jar banana wax peppers (or pepperoncini)
  • Optional: 12 quail eggs (boiled)

 

With all of the colorful ingredients, these taps will look absolutely amazing on the table. Check out the full recipe and the instructions here: Banderillas Recipe.

If you love olives, here is another recipe you should try out.

 

Marinated olives

A perfect type of salad that can be eaten as a snack or served as one of the courses. It is very easy to make this one because all you need to do is to mix the ingredients together. The only thing is, this mixture should be made a day before. The best way for the olives to soak up all of the flavors is to leave the mixture in a glass container or a covered bowl overnight. The ingredients necessary to make marinated olives are these:

  • Black olives
  • Garlic
  • Red onion
  • Orange
  • Fresh thyme or rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Fresh mild red chili

In the recipe, you will find the exact amount of ingredients you should use: Marinated Olives.

olivas

 

Sauteed Eggplant with Honey

This type of tapas is an excellent choice for vegetarians. It can also be used as a side dish and be eaten with meat, or vegetable salad for example. To make the eggplant pieces taste delicious, you will need to marinate them overnight in whole milk. The ingredients you will need are:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3-5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Sea Salt

The full instructions on how to prepare everything and how to fry the eggplant is available in the recipe: Sautéed Eggplant with Honey.

 

Stuffed tomatoes

This is another simple recipe to make delicious Madrid tapas. Stuffed tomatoes look amazing arranged on the dining table, and they taste incredible. You will only need a couple of ingredients, and the cooking time is minimal. These are the ingredients you should prepare:

  • 8 small tomatoes, or 3 large ones
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
  • 6 tablespoons allioli or mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white breadcrumbs, if using large tomatoes

You can alter the stuffing and add other ingredients such as chicken, cheese, or different type of veggies. Find all the instructions in this article: Stuffed Tomatoes.

 

Cheese puffs

If you love creamy taste of cheese, combined with sweet honey taste, you will love this snack. It is made super fast. These cheese puffs are made from a mixture of cheese and honey, with other spices. Then they are rolled into sesame seeds and deep fried for a minute or two. Typically, they are served hot. Here is the full list of the things you will need to make them:

  • 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds for toasting
  • Additional sesame seeds for coating
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons of flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3 ounces creamy cows milk cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup grated cured Manchego cheese
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Honey for coating

Find the full recipe here with the detailed instructions: Homemade Cheese Puffs with Sesame Seeds and Honey.

 

Huevos rotos con jamon

Here is another traditional Madrid tapa. Unlike small bites and appetizers, this one can be served as a meal, usually dinner or breakfast. Translated from Spanish, the name huevos rotos con jamón means scrambled eggs with ham. Of course, Spanish ham should be your choice if you can find it in your supermarkets. The things you will need to make this dish are these:

  • 1 medium-sized potato, peeled and cut into slices (about 3 or 4 mm thick)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 or 3 slices of jamón – chopped. You could use bacon lardons if you like but don’t moan that it doesn’t taste Spanish!
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • A couple of tablespoons of olive oil for frying

For the detailed instructions, read this: Easy Spanish Recipe: Huevos Rotos con Jamon.

 

Calamares

Calamares means squid rings, which is a type of tapa that is deep fried. It is typically served with sauces, like onion rings. The cooking time is around 30 minutes, and it is best if calamares are eaten hot. Before you start, make sure you get everything ready:

  • 500 g (1 pound) squid cut in rings
  • 1 medium egg
  • Salt to taste
  • 150 g (1¼ cup) AP flour
  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) very cold water
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • 1 glug sparkling water (optional)
  • Plenty of good olive oil for deep-frying
  • 1 lemon for drizzling

The recipe for this tasty dish is available here: Calamares a la Romana, Fried Squid Rings.

 

Stuffed mushrooms

These small appetizers are perfect to eat with wine. You will use mushrooms as a base, and then you will create the stuffing:

  • 12 oz cremini or button mushrooms
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 2-3 oz whipped cream cheese
  • 1/2 TBSP fresh parsley
  • 1 TBSP fresh scallions or chives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian-seasoned panko (optional)
  • Olive oil, for drizzling (optional)
  • Balsamic glaze, for drizzling

These can be served with other tapas, or with tomatoes salad, spinach, etc. Check out the instructions in this article: Herbed Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms.

 

Espinacas con Garbanzos

A popular tapa dish, which is more commonly served in the south of Spain, has a rich flavor and is full of vitamins. It is a healthy meal, often a choice for vegetarians and vegans, who prefer to skip the ham and go on to the veggies. It is usually served hot. The ingredients needed for the Spanish spinach with chickpeas include the following:

  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 Bulb garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons of sweet paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon of hot paprika
  • 5 Cups of spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup of water
  • 4 Cups of chickpeas
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of wine vinegar

You will find the full recipe with the instructions here: Espinacas con Garbanzos.

Ten Things to Do in Madrid

When you first arrive to the capital city of Spain, you might face a great dilemma when it comes to which places to visit and what things to do in Madrid. Since the city is such a popular tourist destination, you might have some general idea on which places are the most visited in Madrid, but it is always helpful to have a quick guide to discover things you need to experience in Madrid.

As a provider of apartments in Madrid, we have met a lot of tourists from all over the world, coming to the city eager to explore it and learn about its culture and customs, and we have come to know the most popular places every tourist would love to see. We are going to highlight the most commonly visited places, and if you are visiting Madrid, this is a great list of the things you could do while in the city.

Visit the museums

Famous center of culture and art, Madrid is a place one could not leave without visiting at least one museum. The abundance of museums scattered around the city provides all sorts of exciting collections and exhibitions which will satisfy all sorts of travelers. The most popular area is certainly in the Paseo del Prado, with the Prado Museum being located there. As the most visited museum in the city, it stands out as the place most tourists are eager to visit. The main reason for this is the rich collection owned by the museum and displayed in an impressive interior as you are exploring different epochs and enjoy the works of art created by both local and international artists. Two other museum located close by include Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Together, all three of them make the famous Golden Triangle of Art, a common point of interest for all art lovers visiting the city. Convenient location and impressive collections make these three the most visited museums in Madrid, but the city has so much more to offer. If you are interested in more ideas on which museums to visit in Madrid, here are some suggestions: Museums to Visit in Madrid.

Have coffee at the plaza

Squares in Madrid are known as plazas, and they have historically been places of great interest for the local life. They usually were the places where local celebrations, fairs and other public events took place, but today they are still essential part of the city, where you will meet a lot of people, find a lot of shops and cafes. Nice weather and great company are enough reasons for you to decide to enjoy a cup of coffee in one of those cafes at the plaza in Madrid. While there, you will enjoy the view and perhaps plan some impromptu shopping adventure nearby.

Go for shopping adventure

Traveling is a great way to experience new places and meet new traditions, but for all shopaholics out there, this is also a great opportunity to scout some new stores and check out the latest items that have just found their way into the stores. When it comes to shopping in Madrid, the central area is the best way to start, as most stores are located in this part of the city. Of course, if you prefer indoor shopping, which is particularly recommended during the bad weather conditions, you might want to visit one of the shopping malls. While in Madrid, make sure you check out some of the famous Spanish brands, such as Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull&Bear, Sfera, etc. Although you might have these stores in your home town, it is always nice to visit the stores in the Spanish capital, where these brands originated from.

Walk around the Retiro Park

Although there are so many wonderful parks around Madrid, the Retiro Park is certainly the most famous one in the city. It is also the largest one, with so many activities for the visitors, which is the reason why we include this landmark in the list of ten things to do in Madrid. Walking around the park and enjoying the nature is an amazing way to spend an afternoon in Madrid. Of course, if you are up for some sightseeing, the Crystal Palace, the Monument to Alfonso XII and Rosaleda del Retiro are some of the places you will find worth visiting while in the park. Depending on the time of the year you visit, you might come across book fairs, exhibitions, street performances, fireworks and other entertaining activities organized for the park visitors.

 

Retiro Park

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/input-park-removal-madrid-door-1523566/

Enjoy the view from the cable car

It might be an unusual way to explore the city, but when in Madrid you will have a unique opportunity to see the city from the cable car going above the buildings and houses from the Paseo del Pintor Rosales street over the River Manzanares and into the Casa de Campo park. The cable car, called el Teleférico, was built as a part of the amusement park Parque de Atracciones. It reaches the height o 40 meters above the ground and this exciting ride takes around 10 minutes from start to finish, with the route being approximately 2.5 kilometers long. As you reach the top at the Casa de Campo park, you will get to enjoy panoramic view of the city, so prepare yourself to take lots of cool photos.

Try local specialties

When traveling to new places, one of the must-do things is embracing the local tradition and trying specialties that are typical for the cuisine of the country you are visiting. Madrid and the Spanish cuisine are well-known around the world, so you have probably heard about the dishes such as paella, tortillas, croquetas, huevos rotos, curros con chocolate, etc. Even though you might have tried these dishes, there is nothing better than visiting one of the local restaurants and coffee shops to taste dishes prepared based on traditional, decades-old recipes that actually created specialties that have been replicated in many restaurants around the world.

Information about which places to visit is available in this gastronomic guide, with tips and recommendations for choosing some of the best and the most popular restaurants, pastry shops and tapas in Madrid.

Explore the city on a bike

Hop on/hop off buses and similar city tours are part of every large city tourist offer, as they are popular and convenient way to explore large part of the city more efficiently. However, bike tours are growing in popularity, being a more eco-friendly solution, as well as healthier and more interesting option for travelers. If you are in a good shape, and if you are comfortable riding a bike for great lengths (usually up to a couple of hours, with breaks), exploring the city on a bike is a perfect choice for you. You can rent a bike and come up with your own route of famous landmarks, but it is more advisable to join a group of travelers exploring the city on their bikes, with a guide, knowing just which streets to avoid and how to safely reach a specific destination.

Admire the architecture

Wherever you go around Madrid, you will be able to see plenty of notable buildings designed under many art influences throughout the city’s rich history. Many of those centuries-old buildings are preserved nowadays as remnants of the turbulent past and city life that has been present in the central areas for centuries now. The Royal Palace of Madrid and the Royal Theatre are two architectural landmarks worth visiting as notable buildings of historic importance and great cultural value. The Gran Vía is also great place to visit when it comes to admiring the architecture as it showcases patterns ranging from Vienna Secession style, Plateresque, Neo-Mudéjar, Art Deco and other styles influencing the final outcome we know today.

 

Madrid - Architecture

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/spain-madrid-architecture-capital-985372/

Visit the Mercado de San Miguel

A covered market located in the central area of Madrid, the Mercado de San Miguel has become one of the greatest symbols of the city’s tradition and one of the places you need to visit when in the city. The food market is designed to showcase the amazing dishes of Spanish cuisine in pleasant surroundings. Variety of different specialties offered is what attracts so many tourists turning this into a landmark worth visiting.

Relax with a glass of sangria

Regardless if you would rather drink wine, or if you prefer the sweet taste of sangria, Madrid is the place to be for all fond of a glass of wine in the evening. When in Madrid, visit a cafe or a bar where you will be provided with the finest selection of local wines or sangria. In some bars, you will be able to order tapas with wine, making this a typical evening out in Madrid. Most popular places are located in the center of the city, which makes it very convenient to visit them. And since you are on vacation, relaxing with a glass of sangria or wine is what makes this visit even more complete.

Once you get back to your apartment in Madrid, you are left with a unique experience as you finished a fulfilled day of sightseeing. As the impressions start to pile up, you will get to sum up everything and plan the next day of your Madrid adventure.

Madrid Gastronomic Guide

If gastronomic tour is a part of your trip and you want to explore this side of Madrid, the guide we have here will be very helpful as we will share some of the best restaurants, tapas and taverns you can visit in Madrid. Most of the popular places are located in the center of the city, so if you are staying in an apartment in the city center, you will easily reach them. On the other hand, you can also use metro in Madrid as a very convenient and efficient way to travel around the city.

Restaurants

Casa Lucio

There is no better way to start gastronomic tour of Madrid than by eating at a traditional restaurant with authentic Spanish food on the menu. If you want to explore the rich tastes of Spanish cuisine and enjoy a bit formal atmosphere in a well-known restaurant in the Spanish capital, this is the place for you. Meals with meat, fish and veggies are popular items on the menu, together with seasonal meals and traditional dishes such as huevos estrellados. The best way to enjoy the meal is to accompany it with local wine. The restaurant is closed during the month of August.

Location: Calle Cava Baja, 35

Opening hours: Every day between 1 pm and 4 pm, and then again between 8:30 pm and
midnight.

Website: http://www.casalucio.es/en/ho/home.html

Restaurante Casa Lucio

 

Mercado de San Miguel

Here is another traditional restaurant in Madrid, one of the favorite places to visit for all the gourmands visiting Madrid. It is a remarkable gastronomic experience, making this place one of the major tourist attraction of the city. Being located near the Plaza Mayor makes Mercado de San Miguel even more convenient to visit. A great selection of high quality food includes variety of meat products, seafood, vegetables, cheese, sushi, as well as fruit, chocolates, wines and sangria.

Location: Plaza de San Miguel

Opening hours: From Sunday to Wednesday between 10 am and 12 am. From Thursday to Saturday open between 10 am and 2 am.

Website: http://www.mercadodesanmiguel.es/en/

 Mercado de San Miguel

El Restaurante Vegetariano

Even though traditional Spanish cuisine favors meat, you will still find a couple of restaurants for vegetarians, and in this guide we recommend El Restaurante Vegetariano. It is a perfect choice for vegetarians and vegans, as well as everyone who likes Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine. Dishes with veggies such as soups, lasagnas, pastas, as well as homemade desserts are something you can find on the menu of this restaurant. The restaurant is closed during the month of August.

Location: Calle Marques de Santa Ana, 34

Opening hours: From Tuesday to Saturday between 1:30 pm and 4 pm, and again between 9 pm and 11:30 pm. On Sundays between 1:30 pm and 4 pm. Closed on Mondays.

Website: http://www.elrestaurantevegetariano.es/

El_Restaurante_Vegetariano

 

El Sobrino de Botín

Sobrino de Botín was founded in 1725 and it is the oldest restaurant continuously operating in the world. With such rich history and heritage, this restaurant represents a true landmark of Madrid. Additionally, the food is of the highest quality and you will find some of the traditional Spanish dishes, prepared based on the recipes that have been around for generations. It is advisable to make a reservation, even up to a week or two in advance, as it can be very difficult to get a table during lunch and dinner time, when the restaurant is actually open.

Location: Calle Cuchilleros, 17

Opening hours: Every day between 1 pm and 4 pm, and again between 8 pm and midnight.

Website: http://www.botin.es/en

 

Pastry shops

La Mallorquina patisserie

This may be one of the most famous pastry shops in the city with a 100-year long tradition. Large seating area allows you to enjoy delicious pastries in the shop or you can order take out. Besides pastries, deserts and croissants, coffee is also recommended here. Have in mind that due to such great popularity among both tourists and locals, it tends to get crowded, especially during the breakfast time.

Location: Calle Mayor, 2

Opening hours: Every day from 9 am to 9 pm.

Website: www.pastelerialamallorquina.es

Pastelería La Mallorquina

 

 

Chocolateria San Ginés

A famous traditional sweet, churros con choloclate, is one thing you absolutely must try when visiting Madrid, which is why we recommend the most famous place in Madrid specialized in this particular treat, as a part of our Madrid gastronomic guide. The busiest time is around noun and in the evening, between six and eight. Although churros are specialty here, you can also have coffee and other types of cakes and cookies as well.

Location: Pasadizo San Ginés, 5

Opening hours: Open every day, 24 hours.

Website: https://chocolateriasangines.com/

 

Pastelería Nunos

If you love chocolate, this is a place for you. This is a modern restaurant specialized in delicious sweets and pastries, and they even make their own chocolate. Pastry chef José Fernández-Ramos guarantees the high quality of the pastries and sweets served here. His reputation and numerous awards support the fact that even though the shop might lack long tradition the previous two have, it certainly has the quality to become among the top places to visit in Madrid.

Location: Calle Narváez, 63

Opening hours: Every day between 9 am and 9 pm.

Website: http://www.pasteleria-nunos.es/


Antigua Pastelería del Pozo

While you enjoy exploring different options from out gastronomic guide of Madrid, we have to mention a pastry shop that has been in the city for over 180 years. In fact, this is the oldest pastry shop in Madrid, and as such it rightfully deserves to be included in this guide. Antique interior design, with handmade treats prepared and baked inside the shop are the qualities that make this pastry shop so special and unique.

Location: Calle Pozo, 8

Opening hours: Between Tuesday and Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm, and then again between 5 pm and 8 pm. It is closed on Mondays.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/antiguapasteleriadelpozo/

 

Tapas

El Tigre

This famous tapa bar in Madrid is one of the favorite places to go out and have a drink, a chance to try some of the delicious Spanish wines. However, just because you are in a bar it does not mean you will be hungry. At least that is the case in Madrid. Each drink is served with free tapas, which are a perfect snack when drinking and chatting with friends. There are a variety of different tapas to choose from. El Tigre brings this culture of eating and drinking which is common in Spain.

Location: Calle Infantas 30

Opening hours: From Monday to Thursday between 11:30 am and 2 am. On Fridays and Saturdays between 11:30 am and 2:30 am. Closed on Sundays.

Website: http://eltigre.delsurweb.com/
Sidrería El Tigre

 

 

Casa Pello

This tapa bar is a perfect choice for all those wine lovers. Spending an evening with friends in a relaxing atmosphere chatting over a glass of traditional Spanish wine is what some consider ideal way to end a day in Madrid. However, since this is a tapa bar, you can have a snack while drinking wine. This restaurant offers a great variety of tapas, including tapas with vegetable, meat or fish, or you could opt for a combination of these. Tortillas, croquetas and huevos rotos are other dishes you will find on the menu and since these are all typical Spanish dishes you must try at least one of those when visiting Casa Pello restaurant.

Location: Alberto Alcocer, 49

Opening hours: Every day between noon and 2 am.

Website: http://www.casapello.com/

 

Restaurante Casa Pello

 

Casa Gonzalez

Casa Gonzalez is considered a place which perfectly depicts romantic Spanish bar scene. Small restaurant with tiled floor and beautifully adorned interior deserves highest recommendation and has become one of the most popular tapas in Madrid.

Location: Calle León, 12

Opening hours: Opened every day from 9:30 am until midnight (from Monday and Thursday) or until 1 am (Friday and Saturday). On Sundays, the restaurant is opened between 11 am and 6 pm.

Website: http://www.casagonzalez.es/

 

Casa Gonzalez

 

La Castela

Renovated in 1989, this restaurant is actually founded on the grounds of old tavern that has been in Madrid since 1930s. Most travelers who visit this restaurant praise the good selection of food and great prices. Since restaurant has a separate bar and dining area, a lot of guests prefer starting with eating tapas and having a drink in the bar, then to be seated in the restaurant area for the full course meal. Reservations in advance are recommended as it may get pretty busy here especially on the weekend nights during the summer season. However, since the restaurant also has a bar, you can also wait there until there is room in the restaurant.

Location: Calle Doctor Castelo, 22

Opening hours: The bar is opened every day between 12 pm and 4:30 pm, and then again from 7:30 pm to 00:30 am. The restaurant is opened every day between 2 pm and 4 pm, and then again from 9 pm to midnight. La Castela is closed on Sunday evenings.

Website: http://restaurantelacastela.com/

Restaurante La Castela

As you can see the choice of restaurants, tapas bars and places to eat in Madrid is very vast, and this Madrid gastronomic guide features only a handful of those places you can discover as you explore Madrid and what it has to offer. One thing is for sure. Exploring gastronomic side of Madrid is very exciting and fun way to experience the city and local culture. It is a great opportunity to learn local customs, to try out new dishes you might have never tried before, and to enjoy wines Spain is so famous for. While you enjoy eating and drinking, you will get to experience the local friendly atmosphere, and with the sounds of traditional music you will slowly embrace that joyful feeling of life in Madrid.