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.


 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.

Amusement Parks in Madrid: Fun for the Whole Family


There are so many ways to have fun. And as you get older, your life habits changes, and so does the way you travel. What is unique about amusement parks is that they are a great way to have fun, regardless of your age and your interests. People love spending time in amusement parks. The number of activities and their diversity ensures you have a great time regardless of how old you are. So, if you are traveling with your family, this is probably the place for all of you to spend a fantastic day in Madrid.

Here are some of the most popular amusement parks in Madrid, what they have to offer and when you can visit them.


Parque de Atracciones

Perhaps the most famous amusement park in Madrid, Parque de Atracciones is a wonderful day to spend a day in Madrid with your family. From extreme to family-friendly activities, with so many attractions, cartoon-inspired sets, and shows, you are bound to have fun. The only thing you need is to choose what you want to see and plan your visit accordingly. Park attractions are divided into several groups:

Extreme – If you are up for a more demanding and exciting adventure, with spectacular rollercoasters and the thrill of height, you will love activities such as La Lanzadera, Vertigo, Tifón, etc. Obviously, these activities are not for small kids.

Exciting - This group of activities consists of exciting rides. Unlike the previous group where height has a major role in the whole excitement thing, this group is all about rides. Los Fiordos, Los Rápidos, are some of the water rides that are an ideal group activity.

Family – These activities are for the entire family and include a variety of things to do in the park, starting from Tiovivo, the carousel, to Zeppelin ride, and even a theme trip by boat, La Jungla.

Nickelodeon Land – Finally, no trip with the kiddos is complete unless they get to meet their favorite cartoon characters. These rides are designed for kids and inspired by the activities and settings of the popular children shows, such as Dora the Explorer, street ride with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc. Nickelodeon Express is the train taking you through the entire journey of exploring the world of cartoons.

Here is some useful information about the park that will help you with planning:

  • Location: Casa de Campo s/n, 28011 Madrid, Spain
  • Getting there: If you use public transport, you should take bus lines 33 or 65 to get to the park. If metro is your choice, then you will need to take line 10.
  • Opening times: During winter, the park is usually open on weekends form 12 pm to 7 pm. Also, some attractions may be closed during the winter time. This is why it is best to consult their online schedule when planning the visit. The schedule shows the activities for the upcoming 60 days. You can also buy the tickets online.


Parque Warner Madrid

Inspired by Hollywood, Parque Warner brings the most popular cartoon characters and exciting attractions in the vicinity of Madrid. Attractions are divided into three groups:

Mild – Cinema torus, Scooby-Doo adventure, carousels, and many others are attraction suitable for younger children as well. These are the activities in which the entire family can enjoy.

Moderate – If you are up for more excitement, activities such as haunted hotel, Yogui and Bubu bear park, Gotham City, waterfalls, and many other activities can be a perfect choice. Other characters you can see her include Tom and Jerry, and family roller coaster with Coyote and Road Runner.

Intense – No amusement park is complete without rides and roller coasters which combine the excitement of speed and height. Revenge of ENIGMA is the highest attraction in Europe. Then there is the Coaster Express, the longest and the tallest wooden roller coaster in Europe. Batman and Superman rides, along with Stunt Fall, are all the rides that will take your breath away.

This amusement park also has wonderful theme areas, inspired by Hollywood and movie world. You will be able to visit Hollywood Boulevard, Super Heroes World, Old West Territory, Cartoon Village, and Movie World Studios.

When planning your visit, here are helpful things to have in mind:

  • Location: Highway A-4, exit 22, 28330 San Martín de la Vega, Madrid
  • Opening times: The park is usually open on weekends and during the public holidays when most people have days off work. It opens at 11:30 while the closing time differs based on the season and time of the year. The best way to plan the time and dates is to check the online schedule which is updated regularly.



Here is an amusement park that combines leisure and educational activities. It includes an indoor space which represents a city where children can have fun and learn at the same time. It is made to replicate a real city enabling the kids to explore the area. They can also take part by performing activities and trying out different occupations. Besides learning about city life, children also get to learn about teamwork and cooperation through activities with other children. Having in mind that it is an indoor city, it is perfect to visit it regardless of the time of the year.

Activities in Micropolix are divided into groups based on the child’s age and some of those include:

MicroTV – If your child would like to try working as a TV host, a cameraman or in an audiovisual team of a TV station, here is the perfect activity to try.

Fire tower – A lot of kids love playing with fire trucks, but only the guests of Micropolix will have the chance to actually try out how it looks like to be a fireman, to learn how to use safety equipment and work in a team.

Aviation school – Giving your kids an opportunity to try to fly a plane is definitely going to be an exciting adventure for them. The roles they can play within this activity include being a pilot, co-pilot, flight attendant, and passenger.

Road network – The best way to learn is through playing. The road network allows children to learn about traffic and how driving exam looks like. There is an area for them to drive a mini car, pay attention to traffic lights and signs.

Dance Academy – If your child loves dancing, here is a dance school for them to show off their talent. They take up the role of dancers and get to try different dance styles.

Other activities include dubbing study, theatre, glass recycling, town hall, microcircuit, cruise, supermarket, newspapers, hospital, bank, etc. All the kids have a dream of what they want to be when they grow up, so this could be an excellent opportunity to allow them to try these jobs.

Parents can also take part in some of the activities, including quadventure, magic close-up, dance exhibitions, or they can enjoy the tour of the city.

Here are the things to consider when planning to visit Micropolix:

  • Location: Calle Salvador de Madariaga, S/N, 28702 San Sebastián de los Reyes, Madrid
  • How to get there: When using public transport, take the metro line 10, or buses line 152 C, 103, 161, 166, 171, 181, 185.
  • Opening hours: Weekends and Fridays are usually reserved for the general public, and anyone can visit the venue during the opening times. The rest of the week is usually reserved for pre-booked visits. When you determine your dates for visit, check the online schedule to confirm the hours, as sometimes the venue is open the entire day, and sometimes only for a particular part of the day.


Diversion en la Granja

While not as big as the other amusement parks mentioned here, it is also worth to mention Diversion en la Granja, as an excellent outdoor park for kids and entire families. The attractions include a mining train, mini formula, mini express, flying puppies, Noria, and Children’s farm.

  • Location: Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid)
  • Opening hours: Changeable during the year so it is best to check the website before planning the visit.


Madrid SnowZone

If you want 365 days of snow, and you enjoy winter activities, check out Madrid’s SnowZone. It is an indoor venue where you can snowboard, ski, go sleighing, and enjoy the winter wonderland any day of the year. The main track is 250 meters long and 55 meters wide. There is a ski lift, lower slopes as well as tracks for those who are still learning. You can even try the world’s largest indoor zip-line with a track 200 meters long with an approximate speed of 50 km/h. All of these make this amusement park a very exciting place to visit with lots of exciting activities to do.

  • Location: Autovía de Extremadura (A-5) salidas 22 y 25. Centro Comercial Madrid Xanadú, Calle del Puerto de Navacerrada, s/n, 28939 Arroyomolinos, Madrid
  • How to get there: Bus lines 528, 534 and 539 from Madrid (Príncipe Pío Station) take you to the Centro Comercial Madrid Xanadú.
  • 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). If you are interested in taking lessons at the School of Madrid SnowZone, or if you are interested in activities such as glacier mini golf and zip-line, have in mind that those activities may have a different schedule and may not be open the entire time during which the actual venue is open. Always make sure you check the schedule of the activities on the official website.


Parque de Europa

Replicas of famous landmarks create a unique scenery of this park. You can visit all of the most important European landmarks from the London Bridge to the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. Monuments in the park include The Eiffel Tower, Fontana di Trevi, Little Mermaid, the Plaza de España, Puerta del Alcalá, Brandenburg Gate, etc.

The park also offers numerous activities, which are especially perfect for families and groups of people. Boat rides in the park, boats for children, zip-lining, archery, horse riding, children train, ice rink, and bike riding are some of the activities you can find in the park.

  • Location: Calle Cañada, s/n, 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain
  • Getting there: The circular bus line of Torrejón de Ardoz L1 stops at the roundabout at the entrance to the park.
  • Opening hours: The venue is open from 9 am during the year and the closing time differs based on the time of the year. This is why it is advisable to check the schedule on the website before planning the visit.

Regardless of which theme park you choose to visit, you will certainly enjoy your time in Madrid spend in any of these locations.



Fashion in Madrid: High Fashion Tourism


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.


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.

Sociocultural Events of the Winter Season in Madrid

Winter holidays are an amazing opportunity to explore the cities of Europe and enjoy the festive atmosphere as we are approaching Christmas. In Spain, it is typical for this atmosphere to extends to January as well. It is a completely different experience to visit Madrid during winter because numerous sociocultural events hosted in the city of Madrid create a scenery which you cannot find any other time of the year.

Also on the plus side, Madrid’s climate is quite moderate, which means you will be quite comfortable exploring the city and attending the outdoor events. Multiple clothing layers and comfortable boots are enough to keep you warm as you wander around the city during the most magical time of the year to be visiting the city. It can get a bit chilly at night time, but when it does, you can quickly go back to your cozy apartment in the center of Madrid, and enjoy watching a Christmas movie all tucked up under a warm blanket.

It is advisable to do your Christmas shopping earlier, to avoid crowds and make sure the items you want are in stock. As the holiday season approaches its peak, there is less time to pick up gifts for your loved ones. Still, it is not too late. Besides plenty of stores around the city, the biggest Spanish department store El Corte Inglés S.A., and Gran Via, the most famous shopping street in Madrid, popular places to shop during winter are Christmas markets.

Many of the markets are set up as pop-up markets, which means that you can find them exclusively during the winter holidays. Most are open throughout December, up to the New Year’s Day, but you will see a couple of them staying up until the first week of January.

Sociocultural Events of the Winter Season in Madrid

Christmas market with festive stalls

Christmas markets in Madrid

Christmas Market Plaza Mayor

Watch as the most iconic square in Madrid turns into a Christmas wonderland with hundreds of log cabins and stalls that offer a variety of Christmas and winter related products. You will instantly be infected with this festive atmosphere as you step to the square.

Open: From the 1st of December to the 31st of December

Hours: Monday to Thursday, from 10 am to 10 pm

Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 11 pm


Christmas Market Plaza de Callao

Plaza de Callao is the place where you will find lots of decorations and Christmas-related items. The setting is installed by El Corte Ingles, with a traditional Christmas tree which is almost 20 meters high.

Open: From the 1st of December to the 6th of January

Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm


Christmas Market Plaza de la Remonta

Here is another market worth visiting this winter in Madrid. You will find lots of Christmas ornaments, figures and other products such as toys, gifts, etc. This market also has an ice rink so if you are interested to try out ice skating this winter, check out this place in Madrid.

Open: From the 5th of December to the 6th of January

Hours: Monday to Sunday from 12 pm to 22 pm


Christmas Market Mercadillo del Gato

A lot of travelers will be visiting Gran Vía street anyway, so it is quite convent to visit a market placed on this street. The market offers a lot of fashion items, accessories, jewelry, art, children clothing, crafts, etc.

Open: From the 15 of December to the 5th of January

Hours: Monday to Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm


Central Courtyard of Matadero Madrid

This is known to be the most international market that celebrates Christmas and winter holidays in Madrid. It represents the unique way to enjoy the local atmosphere, to buy gifts, taste international dishes, and attend activities and events organized for the entire family. Yes, you will find lots of exciting activities for the young ones, such as dance classes, decorating dishes, creating toys, etc.

Open: From the 15 of December to the 29th of December

Hours: From 12 pm to 8 pm


Events of the winter season in Madrid


Crystal Gallery

Enjoy this magnificent winter landscape which is a perfect day to spend a day in Madrid. Besides the lovely tour of the place, you can also spend time on different games or skate in an ice rink. The entrance is free.

Open: From the 21st of December to the 6th of January

Hours: From 11 am until 9 pm, except on special days (December 21: 4 pm to 9 pm, December 24 and 31: 11 am to 6 pm, December 25 and January 1: 5 pm to 9 pm, January 5: 11 am to 2 pm)

Location: Calle Montalbán 1, Madrid


Harry Potter – The Exhibition

They say there is something magical about spending winter holidays in the city such as Madrid. When you add the tour of the Harry Potter’s world, the magical experience is guaranteed. Discover the world of the famous wizard as you enjoy the exclusive Harry Potter™: The Exhibition. You will get to see the objects and props used in the movies, costumes and popular movie sets, such as Gryffindor™ bedroom, classrooms, Quidditch™ field, etc. The exhibition in Madrid is the only one in Europe. The entrance fee starts at € 16.90 (plus €1 management fee) for adults.

Open: From the 18th of November until the 2nd of April

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

Friday and Saturday, from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm

Location: Ifema – Feria de Madrid


Christmas lights in Madrid

This one has indeed become a tradition typical for Madrid. Christmas lights are set up in the late November, and they decorate the city until the 6 of January. The lights are on from 6 pm each day, until 10 or 11 pm. On the 24th of December and the 5th of January, the Christmas lights stay on until 3 am. On the 25th of December and the 1st of January, they are on until midnight, while they are on throughout the night until 6 am during the New Year’s Night.

The Christmas lights are placed along the most prominent streets of Madrid, which is where you will do most of your sightseeing. Here is a suggestion of the Christmas light walk, that will take you from the Calle Serrano to the Plaza Mayor as you explore the most prominent Christmas lights ornaments in the city.

Source: http://www.madrid-traveller.com/madrid-christmas-light-walk/

It’s a great guide for you to discover the streets with the Christmas lights and make sure you do not miss excellent places to take photos of the festive atmosphere.


New Year’s Day in Madrid

Traditionally, the last day of the year is the day when the popular 10k race is taking places. With decades-long tradition, the San Silvestre Vallecana is one of the most important sporting events in the city. The route might vary from year to year, but it is always located in the center of Madrid. This year, there will be two races. SSV’17 Popular race is a running party where 40,000 are expected to join the amazing experience. The second one is SSV’17 International, and the best world’s athletes are announced to participate.

When: The 31st of December

Hours: SSV’17 Popular starts at 5:30 pm. SSV’17 International starts at 7:50 pm

Location: The Square of the Sacred Hearts, Madrid


New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve, known as Noche Vieja in Spanish, is the big celebration organized on multiple locations around the city. Besides hotels and clubs that organize parties, those celebrations include streets parties as well. The main event of all street parties is the celebration at the Puerta del Sol, where the Real Casa de Correos clock strikes twelve times at midnight. Traditionally, 12 grapes are eaten at midnight, for each strike of the clock. It is believed that this brings good luck for the upcoming year. It is also a tradition that people staying at home do as well. The old year ends with spectacular fireworks, confetti and light show.

The day after New Year’s Eve is a public holiday, which means that most of the shops and other establishments will be closed. It is a day that is typically spend indoor, with family and friends, resting from the big celebration the night before.


The Day of the Three Kings

Typically, the holiday season in Madrid lasts until the 5th of January, because of the Día de Los Reyes Magos (The Day of the Three Kings), one of the most anticipated holidays, especially among children as they wake up the next day with gifts left by the Three Kings. This holiday has even more significance for the Spaniards than Christmas. The city celebrates the arrival of the Three Kings with the parade organized on the 5th of January. People gather on the city streets to watch the parade on its route that is organized to promote peace and solidarity. Giant puppets, lots of colorful costumes, dances and acrobatics are some of the highlights that are typical for this parade.

Details: The parade starts at the Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz, it goes along the Paseo de la Castellana, and it ends at the Plaza de Cibeles. It starts in the evening, at 6:30 pm and it lasts approximately two hours.


No matter which events you choose to attend during your stay, you will definitely enjoy winter season in Madrid. It is the perfect city to spend your holidays and welcome the New Year.

76th Madrid Book Fair

Visiting Madrid in spring is such a perfect time to experience the city. It’s quite warm to spend an entire day out enjoying sightseeing, and yet it is not too hot for you to constantly look for the nearest shade. According to most tourists, spring is an ideal time to visit Madrid. You could choose any period between the beginning of April and until the beginning of June and you will love it outdoors. Since Madrid has a lot of places to visit, as well as some amazing parks in the central area, most notable being the Retiro Park, there will be plenty of things for you to do during your visit.

If you love spending time outside and you love literature, then Madrid Book Fair is a perfect event for you. It is traditionally held in the Retiro Park and this year it is organized for the 76th time. This is one of the most popular events organized in the park during spring as it brings out the literature to the people, to the place where a lot of locals and tourists spend their days anyway. The event in a way overtakes the spotlight, so the park is not the main focus anymore. Instead, all the attention is aimed at the booths presenting hundreds and thousands of books. This way, the main purpose of the book fair as an event that nurtures the importance of books and literature is accomplished.

76th Madrid Book Fair

Madrid Book Fair is a place to explore books and enjoy cultural events accompanying the fair


About the Madrid Book Fair

The first ever book fair in Madrid was held back in 1933 as a part of the Cervantine Week events. It was held at the Paseo de Recoletos with booths placed along the avenue. The writers of the period also participated in this event that was created in celebration of literature.

In that time, it was a modest event, organized on a local level, but the tendency to grow was present from the early days. The next year, the phrase “National and Hispano-American” was added to the name of the fair. This immediately meant the fair is going to expand its influence and the selection of books offered at the fair was going to expand significantly. Two more fairs took place, before the outbreak of the Civil War, which was later followed by the World War II.

The fair was reinstated in 1944 when the booths were once again placed in the Paseo de Recoletos. That year the fair was renamed to the National Book Fair. It was not until 1967 that the fair was moved to the Retiro Park, where it still is held to this day. The main reason why this location was chosen was the fact that the fair kept attracting more and more visitors. Booksellers and publishers, as well as the readers, from the country and from abroad all wanted to participate, and the Paseo de Recoletos was simply not large enough to accept all of them. This way, a small local event turned into a large-scale book fair, attracting visitors from many different countries which meant that the new location was needed. It was decided to move the festival to the Retiro Park. Since 1982 the fair is known under the name the Book Fair of Madrid and it was the year when a new tradition was established. Each year, one of the members of the royal family opens the fair by taking a walk between the booths on the first morning of the fair.

76th Madrid Book Fair

This year’s Madrid Book Fair will be held from the 26th of May to the 11th of June. Each year there is a guest country, so the year 2017 is no exception. The guest country this year will be Portugal. Here are some basic information you need to know if you decide to visit the fair:

Location: Pº del Duque de Fernán Núñez

Jardines del Buen Retiro

Get there by metro: Príncipe de Vergara (Lines 2 and 9), Retiro (L2) or Ibiza (L9)

Get there by bus: Lines 2,20,26,28,63,152,C1,C2,N6 y N8 (C/ Menéndez Pelayo)

Lines 1,9,15,51,52,74,146,N2,N3,N5 y N7 (Puerta de Alcalá)

Get there by car: Parking available in the following streets

C/ Velázquez, 16

C/ Doctor Castelo, 10

C/ Montalbán, 6

Contact information: info@ferialibromadrid.com

Website: http://www.ferialibromadrid.com/

Phone number: +34 915338836

To keep up with the upcoming itinerary and other information related to the fair, it is best to follow the official announcements on the website or social media channels.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/FeriadelLibroMadrid/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FLMadrid

This year the fair is organized for the 76th time and it is expected to feature more than 360 booths with over 400 exhibitors. Booksellers, distributors, and publishers from the entire country, as well as some from abroad, will attend the fair, which means that this is a great opportunity to look for rare books and editions that are not widely available in the stores during the rest of the year.

Events and activities during the fair

During the fair, there is a special discount available on certain books, which is an excellent opportunity to purchase some books at special prices. This period is also a great time to meet the writers in person and even get signed copies of their works. In fact, book signings are scheduled for each day, so every day you could meet one of the greatest names in the contemporary Spanish literature. The entire list of book signings, as well as other activities organized during the fair, will be announced in the days before the fair starts so you can plan your visit accordingly.

Besides writers, each fair also features other artists, including graphic designers, illustrators or musicians. It is a true cultural event that brings together people from the cultural life of Spain, making the fair an excellent opportunity to really enjoy. Occasionally, you will see live performances, concerts and other events organized. Even though the literature is the main focus of the event, there is still place to learn more about local art, including music, dance, and theater. This is the main reason why the fair has become such an influential event in the cultural life of the city.

Workshops are also organized, especially those for kids, which is a great chance to engage the little ones and get them interested in literature. Through this event, the goal of bonding family is also achieved this way, as this becomes an event for the entire family. While kids enjoy spending time outdoors, watching the performances organized for them and participating in craft workshops, the parents get the time to browse their favorite books as they walk along the park.

The official map of how the booths are placed is usually available in advance. So if you have a specific publisher or author you want to find, without the need to spend much time going through booths, you can do that by checking the map. The organizer will also be announcing the schedule for all the activities that are planned, including workshops, public readings, etc.

Where to stay during the Madrid Book Fair?

For all of those staying in the center of Madrid, this event is perfect if you want to spend an afternoon or an evening out. When you rent an apartment in the center of Madrid, these kinds of events are a great chance to meet the locals and truly enjoy the city. This is why it is recommended to look for accommodation in the center, instead of focusing on neighborhoods of Madrid that are far away and require more time to navigate around.

The Retiro Park is also a place where you will find a couple of notable Madrid landmarks including the Monument to Alfonso XII, the Paseo de la Argentina as well as the Crystal Palace. The festival is a unique blend that mixes together the culture and literature in a way that you get a multicultural event, popular by locals as well as by tourists.

When you stay in the city center, not only are you close to the Retiro Park, but you will also be near other most remarkable landmarks in Madrid which are all worth visiting. Regardless if your stay is short-term, or you are on a long-term stay in Madrid, make sure you check out all the events and landmarks that are available to you in the central area. Madrid is a metropolitan city and as such it strives to provide rich cultural life and diversity so that everyone can enjoy their visit.


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.