Madrid

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Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain, as well as the capital of the autonomous community of the same name (Comunidad de Madrid). The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million with a metro area population of almost 6.5 million. Madrid is best known for its great cultural and artistic heritage, a good example of which is the El Prado museum. Madrid also boasts some of the liveliest nightlife in the world.

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Points of Interest in Madrid

Landmarks and architecture

  •    Puerta del Sol (Metro: Sol (lines 1, 2 and 3)). This plaza is the heart of Madrid and one of the busiest places in the city - a hub for the local transit system, a favorite meeting spot for locals, a visible area for festivals or political demonstrations, and a opportune location for tour guides, street performers, pickpockets and anyone else looking to take advantage of all the tourists on hand. In the center of the plaza sits the Statue of King Charles III on horseback, facing the Royal Post Office (Real Casa de Correos), the red-and-white building adorned with a clock tower on the plaza's south side. Originally the building served as Madrid's first post office, then the police headquarters under Franco before being transformed into it's current use as the office of the President of Madrid, the head of the regional government. The clock tower is noteworthy for being the center focus of New Year's celebrations every year, which are broadcast across Spain and mark the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes (one for each ring of the bell) and the beginning of a new year. In front of the building is Kilometer Zero (Kilómetro Cero), a plaque showing the point where the measuring of national highway system begins. On the east side of the plaza is the famous Bear and the Madroño Tree Statue, a bear climbing a madroño tree, which is the symbol of Madrid, and on the west side of the plaza is the Mariblanca statue, a white marble goddess of at least the XVII century. Nearby the giant neon Tío Pepe sign sits above the plaza and is a famous fixture of this area.
  •    Plaza Mayor (Metro: Sol (lines 1, 2 and 3) or Opera (lines 2, 5 and R)). Perhaps the best known plaza in Madrid, this impressive square is now one of the main stops on any tourist visit. Originally built outside the city walls, this enclosed square has played host to bullfights, markets, symphonies, tournaments and executions. Today it is ringed with tourist shops, cafes and restaurants. The statue of Philip III sits in the middle across from the Casa de la Panadería, a beautifully painted building with two towers on the north side of the square (not to be confused with the other building with two towers on the opposite side) which once served as the headquarters of the bakers' guild and now houses a tourist information office. Access to the square is via one of the many arcades which connect to the surrounding pedestrian streets.
  • Mercado de La Cebada (Metro: La Latina (lines 5)). Once a glass and iron market of the late XIX century, it is now a vaulted concrete building which still serves as a neighborhood market. Where it used to stand an annexed public swimming pool and sports facilities, it lies now an empty field, used and managed by a neighbor association.
  • Mercado de San Miguel (Metro: Opera (lines 2, 5 and R)). Near Plaza Mayor is this indoor market, identifiable by its ornate iron posts. Built in 1913, it's full of a wide range of high quality food. Even if you're not buying anything, it's worth entering for the sights and smells of dried ham, fine wine, freshly baked goods and other treats from the vendors inside.
  • Plaza de la Villa (Metro: Opera (lines 2, 5 and R)). The main square during Middle Age, as Calle Mayor (High Street) was the main street as well. It houses the former City Hall, the former Academy of Fine Arts and the Archbishopric.
  • Palacio Real, Calle Bailen (Metro: Opera (lines 2, 5 and R)),  +34 91 4548800. M-Sa 9:00-17:00, Su and holidays 9:00-15:00, closed occasionally for official ceremonies. The Palacio Real (Royal Palace) is an enormous palace, one of the biggest in Europe, with scorching plains of concrete around it. Though it is the official residence of the King of Spain, the royal family does not actually reside here and it is generally used only for state ceremonies. The Royal Palace is considered to be one of the most emblematic and beautiful buildings in Madrid, not only for its location on a bluff overlooking the river valley but also for its architecture and the artistic treasures to be found in its rooms. A simple one-way tour of the palace (both self-guided and guided are available) takes you up the grand stairway and through the lavishly decorated state rooms with their elegant tapestries, frescoes, porcelain, carvings and added decor like china, silverware, medals, etc. From the courtyard you can access the Farmacia (Pharmacy), which contains hundreds of bottles of early medicines and a reconstructed laboratory, and the Real Armorial (Royal Armory), a two-story collection of medieval weapons and armor. Explanations in the armory are in Spanish only, so do not expect to understand much unless your know the Spanish names for all that medieval weaponry. The lines to get in are very long, especially on Wednesday when the place is free - try to go early. Photography inside the palace is not allowed. Entry €10; Guided tour €11; Students and children €5; free W for EU citizens.
  • Catedral de la Almudena (Metro: Opera (lines 2, 5 and R)). This massive cathedral faces the Palacio Real. Finished near the end of 20th century, it is where the Princes of Asturias Felipe and Letizia were married in 2004.
  •    Plaza de España (Metro: Plaza de España (lines 3 and 10) or Noviciado (line 2)). A prominent square on the northwest side of central district, adjacent to two of the tallest buildings in Madrid: the Torre de Madrid (the taller, white one) and the Edificio España (the red and white one). The square contains a large fountain and a sculpture of Cervantes and his famous Don Quixote and Sancho Panza characters.
  •    Gran Vía (Metro: Banco de España (line 2), Gran Via (lines 1 and 5), Callao (lines 3 and 5), Santo Domingo (line 2), or Plaza de España (lines 3 and 10)). Literally "Great Way" (better translated as "Broadway"), Gran Vía is one of the busiest avenues in Madrid. Running from Plaza de España to Plaza de Cibeles, it is the location of the cinema district and a number of shopping malls and is lined with large billboards and lights. There's a constant buzz of traffic and life - 3-4am early morning traffic jams are not unusual.
  •    Plaza de Cibeles (Metro: Banco de España (line 2)). A massive roundabout at the intersection of Calle de Alcala and Paseo del Prado, this plaza houses one of Madrid's emblems, the Fountain of Cibeles, which portrays the Roman goddess of fertility sitting upon a chariot pulled by two lions. On the southeast corner dominating the Plaza is one of the world's most beautiful city halls, the Palacio de Cibeles (formerly the Palacio de las Comunicaciones), an impressive structure with a jaw-droppingly spectacular façade. Inside, the building holds a cultural center with changing art exhibits and info on Madrid, and you can climb to the upper floors for some excellent views out the window. On the southwest corner of the square sits the imposing Bank of Spain (Banco de España) building, while the northeast corner is home to the Palacio de Linares, which holds the Casa de América [6], a cultural center with an art gallery of Latin American works.
  •    Plaza de Castilla (Metro: Plaza de Castilla (lines 1, 9 and 10); Bus line 27). On the north side of the city and bisected by Paseo de la Castellana, this plaza is in the center of Madrid's skyscraper district. A tall obelisk sits in the center of the plaza while the Gate of Europe (Puerta de Europa) towers, two slanted towers which frame the boulevard, are situated on the north side of the plaza. Taking the #27 bus, which runs along Paseo del Prado and Paseo de la Castellana and ends at Plaza de Castilla, will take you pass several Madrid highrises. North of the Plaza is the Four Towers (Cuatro Torres), four sleek new skyscrapers which are the tallest in Spain.

Museum Triangle

This is Madrid's museum district, named for the three major art museums clustered along Paseo del Prado east of the old city: the Museo del Prado, one of the finest art museums in the world, the Thyssen-Bornemisza, a baron's collection of classical art, and the Reina Sofia, Madrid's modern art museum. However, a couple of smaller museums also occupy the neighborhood which are well worth seeing as well.

  •    Museo del Prado, Paseo de Prado (Metro: Atocha (line 1) or Banco de España (line 2); Bus lines 9, 10, 14, 19, 27, 34, 37 and 45),  +34 90 2107077. Mo-Sa: 10AM-8PM, Su: 10AM-7PM. Closed and reduced hours on some holidays.. One of the finest art collections in the world and the best collection of classical art in Madrid. It includes many different collections: the Spanish (El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya), the Flemish and Dutch (Rubens, van Dyck, and Brueghel), Italian (Botticelli, Tintoretto, Titian, Caravaggio, and Veronese) and German (Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach, and Baldung Grien).
    Some highlights not to miss at the Prado:
    The Bosch masterpiece The Garden of Earthly Delights, The famous Velázquez piece Las Meninas, The Black Paintings and The Third of May 1808 by Goya, Adoration of the Shepards by El Greco, and David with the Head of Goliath by Caravaggio. Be sure to walk along Paseo del Prado, a pedestrian walkway full of fountains and trees near the museum. Nice affordable restaurant on the main floor. Adults: €12; Students free with ISIC etc & children: €4; Free: Tu-Sa 6PM-8PM and every Su 5PM-8PM.
  •    Reina Sofía National Museum and Art Center, Santa Isabel 52 (Metro: Atocha (line 1)),  +34 91 7741000, fax: +34 91 7741056. M, W-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 10AM-2:30PM. Houses Madrid's best collection of modern art. It includes many of Pablo Picasso's most revered works including the renowned Guernica. The Reina Sofía also houses masterpieces by Miró, Kandinsky, Dalí, Bacon, and more. €6, students with ISIC etc free, free Saturday from 2:30PM till 9PM, Sunday from 10AM till 2:30PM, and Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 7PM-close.
  •    Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art, Paseo de Prado, 8 (Metro: Banco de España (line 2)),  +34 913 69 01 51. Tu-Su 10AM-7PM. The ticket office closes at 6:30PM. The Museum is closed all day on 1 Jan, 1 May, and 25 Dec. Contains a large art collection including masterpieces by Monet, Goya, Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh, Picasso, Mondrian, Bacon and Lichtenstein. Adults: €8; Students: €8; Children under 12: Free.
  •    Caixa Forum, Paseo de Prado, 36 (Metro: Atocha (line 1)). A private museum of contemporary art and culture that is particularly well-known for the "vertical garden" by Patrick Blanc installed on a wall in front of the museum, as well as the quite special architecture of the building itself. The vertical garden can be seen from the street outside, just a block south of the Thyssen-Bornemisza and across from the Prado. Inside the museum has free exhibitions and functions.
  •    Naval Museum, Paseo del Prado 5. (Metro: Banco de España (line 2)). Beautiful museum with vast interesting collections about Spanish sailing. Free on Saturdays and Sundays..

Other museums

  • Museo de América, Avenida Reyes Católicos 6 (Metro: Moncloa (lines 3 and 6). Easy walk to/from Museo del Traje.),  +34 91 5492641 and 91 5439437. Tu-Sa: 9:30AM-3PM, Su 10:00AM-3PM, Closed Mondays, Jan 1, May 1, Dec 24, 25, 31. An excellent museum that many tourists miss. Houses thousands of artifacts from the Americas. The exhibit displays objects from many native cultures from before European conquest to colonial times and beyond. Don't miss the Tesoro (Treasure) de los Químbayas, a collection of gold objects that was given as a gift by the Colombian government. Also of interest is the Tudela Codex, an Aztec law book from the 1500s. Beware: most explanations to the objects on display are in Spanish only. Adults: €3, students €1.50, free Su, free for seniors and children.
  • Museo de la Ciudad (Museum of the City). Closed permanently. Some of the collection was moved to the Museo de San Isidro and the Museo de Historia de Madrid.
  • Museo de San Isidro, los Origenes de Madrid (Museum of San Isidro, the Origins of Madrid), Plaza San Andres 2 (Metro: Latina (line 5)),  +34 913 667 415. Mo: Closed Tu-Su: 9:30am-8pm. This is a museum of two parts. One part is dedicated to Saint Isidore the Laborer, while the other part is dedicated to the paleontology and archaeology of the region of Madrid from prehistory to 1561 (when Philip II made Madrid the seat of the court). Most of the exhibits are explained in both Spanish and English. Entry is free.
  • Museo de Historia de Madrid (Museum of History of Madrid), Calle Fuencarral 78 (Metro: Tribunal (lines 1 and 10)),  +34 917 011 863. Mo: Closed, Tu-Su: 9:30am-8pm. Previously the municipal museum of Madrid, it is dedicated to the history of Madrid from 1561 to present. Exhibits from the Museo de la Ciudad were moved here after its closure but as of March 2013 most are still in the warehouse and it is unknown when they will be put on display. Entry is free.
  • Museo de Lazaro Galdiano, Calle Serrano 122 (Metro: Gregorio Mariñon (lines 7 and 10)),  +34 91 5616084. W-M: 10AM-4:30PM. Closed: Tu; Jan 1; Easter Thursday and Friday; May 2 and 3; Nov 1; Dec 6 and 25.. This museum houses the stunning collection of Spanish entrepreneur José Lázaro Galdiano (1862-1947) and is considered to be one of the best private collections in Spain. Not only will you find works by Goya, Velázquez, El Greco and others, the museum is also filled with jewelry, furniture, sculpture and ceramics. This is an excellent museum that is usually not crowded and well worth the price of admission. €4, free on Sundays..
  • Museo Sorolla, General Martínez Campos, 37 (Metro: Iglesia (line 1) or Rubén Darío (line 5); Bus lines 5, 7, 14, 16, 27, 40, 45, 61, 147 and 150),  +34 91 3101584. Tu - Sat: 0930 to 2000 - Sun 1000-1500. This museum is in what was the impressionist painter's house and features fine furniture and porcelain as well as his paintings. €3.
  • Museo del Traje (The Costume Museum), Avenida de Juan de Herrera 2 (Metro: Moncloa (lines 3 and 6) or Ciudad Universitaria (line 6). Easy walk to/from Museo de América.),  +34 91 5504700. Tu-Sa 9:30AM-7PM, Su 10:00AM-3PM. Closed 1, 6 Jan, 1, 15 May, 24, 25, 31 Dec. Offers a wide selection of historical and more temporary costumes (from the early 1200s to now) which shows the aspects of different cultures and Spain. The museum also organizes many activities and events. The building itself won some architectural awards in the 1970s. The restaurant underneath the museum is fairly good. The museum is surrounded by sprawling gardens, replete with well maintained lawns and fountains, are a pleasant place to relax.
  • National Archeology Museum, Calle Serrano 13 (Metro: Serrano (line 4)),  +34 91 5777912. Tu-Sa: 9:30AM-5PM, Sun and Holidays 9:30AM-3PM. Closed: M; Jan 1 and 6; May 1 and 15; Dec 24, 25, and 31. (Holidays: Apr 5 and 6, May 2, Aug 15, Oct 12, Nov 1 and 9, Dec 6 and 8.. Don't let the sound of it frighten you. This well designed museum houses an incredible collection of archaeological finds from across the peninsula. It leaves the visitor with a sense of the chronology of civilization in Spain (Iberian, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Visagoth, Arab, and into the modern age). The famous Dama de Elche, an Iberian (pre-Roman) fertility goddess statue, is in this museum. There are also a few pieces from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. It is currently undergoing renovations and is open with limited exhibits. €3, Free entry Saturday after 2:30PM and Sundays.
  • Real Academia de Bella Artes de San Fernando, Calle Alcalá 13 (Metro: Sevilla or Banco de España (line 2)),  +34 91 5240864. Tu-Fr: 9:30AM-7PM, Sa-M: 9:30-4:30PM.. Highly impressive art collection with paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints. Several Goya masterpieces. Adults: €3, students €1.50, free W, free for children and seniors..
  • San Antonio de La Florida Hermitage. This small church is famous for its murals, painted by Goya. It's also the mausoleum of the painter.
  • Planetario de Madrid (Planetarium of Madrid), Avenida del Planetario 16 (Metro: Mendez Alvaro (line 6) or Arganzuela-Planetario (line 6)),  +34 91 467 34 61. Mo: Closed, Tu-Fr: 9:30am-1:45pm and 5pm-7:45pm, Sa-Su: 11am-1:45pm and 5pm-8:45pm. Features several exhibits related to space exploration, two screens playing documentaries, an interactive area and, of course, the planetarium. Projections last 45 minutes each. Different ones play on different days so check their website. Note that all the exhibits are explained in Spanish only and the projections in the planetarium are also in Spanish. Entry is free but the sessions in the planetarium each have a cost of €3.60 for a regular ticket and €1.65 for a reduced ticket (children and seniors).
  • Museo de Ferrocarril de Madrid (Railway Museum of Madrid), Paseo de las Delicias 61 (Metro: Delicias (line 3); Renfe Cercanias: Delicias),  +34 902 22 88 22. Mo: Closed, Tu-Th: 10am-3pm, Fr-Sa: 10am-8pm, Su: 10am-3pm. Museum with four railway tracks, exhibiting a large number of steam, diesel and electric locomotives used in Spain in the 19th and 20th century. Also on display are several model railways. Exhibits are described in Spanish only. Regular ticket price €5.09, reduced ticket price €3.56 (children, students and seniors), on Sundays €2.04.
  • Museo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (National Museum of Science and Technology), Paseo de las Delicias 61 (Metro: Delicias (line 3); Renfe Cercanias: Delicias),  +34 916 037 401. Attached to the Railway Museum of Madrid, this is a museum dedicated to the history of science and technology, exhibiting scientific instruments and consumer products from the last few centuries. Exhibits are described in Spanish only. Entry is free.
  • Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (National Museum of Natural Sciences), José Gutiérrez Abascal 2 (Metro: Gregorio Marañón, Nuevos Ministerios; Renfe Cercanias: Nuevos Ministerios),  +34 91 411 1328. Contains a large collection of fossils and minerals, plus educational exhibits (some are described in English but many are in Spanish only). Has two parts open to visitors with separate entrances. The ticket is purchased at the main entrance and to visit the other part you need to exit from the main entrance, turn left and follow the building until you reach the second entrance. Your ticket will be checked again there so don't lose it. Regular price €6, reduced price €3.
  • Museo Geominero (Geo-mining Museum), c/ Rios Rosas 23 (Metro: Rios Rosas),  +34 91 349 5759. Part of the Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining, this museum is dedicated to Geology (with a focus on Mineralogy) and Paleontology, containing an impressive collection of fossils and minerals discovered on the territory of Spain and abroad. Also contains educational exhibits, although all are described in Spanish only. The interior of the building is just as impressive and may be worth a quick tour even if you are not particularly interested in Paleontology and Mineralogy. Free.
  • Museo Nacional de Antropologia (National Museum of Anthropology), Alfonso XII, 68 (Metro: Atocha Renfe; Renfe Cercanias: Atocha),  +34 91 530 64 18 or +34 91 539 59 95. Mo: closed, Tu-Sa: 9:30am-8pm, Su: 10am-3pm. Small but interesting museum with artefacts and models from the indigenous people of Asia (mainly the Philippines, former colony of Spain), Africa and America. The exhibits are described in Spanish, however on each floor there is a leaflet in English explaining all sections. Regular price €3, reduced price €1.50, free on Sat after 2pm and on Sun.

Parks

  •    El Retiro Park (Metro: Retiro (line 2), Ibiza (line 9) or Atocha (line 1)). The main park of Madrid, the perfect place to take a rest during a sunny day, or take part in the drum circles around the statue of Alphonso XII on summer evenings. There is a large boating lake where one can hire a rowing boat - great fun for the children! There is a monument to the victims of the Madrid 3/11 terrorist bombings, the Forest of the Absent, and the Crystal Palace, a large structure entirely made of glass. Sunday afternoons in summer are a treat in the park, where young hippies play bongos and dance.
  •    Royal Botanical Garden (Real Jardin Botanico) (Metro: Atocha (line 1)).
  •    Parque del Capricho (Metro: El Capricho (line 5)). Open on weekends only, as of Sept., 2013. One of the most beautiful parks in Madrid. Built in 1797-1839, it has a strong Romanticism influence. Declared as an Historic Garden, its lakes with swans and ducks, labyrinths, palaces, squares and fountains makes this a lovely place.
  •    Templo de Debod, Paseo del Pintor Rosales 2 (Metro: Plaza de España (lines 3 and 10)),  +34 91 765108. Tue-Fri: 10AM - 2PM and 6PM - 8PM, Sat-Sun: 10AM- 2PM, closed Mondays and holidays. An Egyptian temple, located in one of Madrid′s most beautiful parks. Near the Royal Palace and Plaza de España, it was a present given by Egypt to Spain for its role in saving the temple of Abu Simbel from the floodwaters of Lake Nasser following the construction of the Aswan Dam in southern Egypt. A great place to watch the sunset. Free.
  •    Rosaleda del Parque del Oeste, Calle Rosaleda 2 (Metro: Principe Pio (lines 6 and 10)). 10AM - 7PM. The rose garden of Madrid, located in the same park as the Templo de Debod. If you like roses and are in Madrid when they have flowered, definitely worth a visit. The garden holds an international competition yearly. Entry is free.
  • La Casa de Campo (Metro: Lago, Batan (line 10) or Casa de Campo (lines 5 and 10)). The park at the rear of the Palacio Real which used to belong to the Royal family. Much of the park has been taken to smaller activity parks such as the Zoo but in general it's peaceful. From Moncloa you can take a teleferico across into the park.
  •    Zoo Aquarium Madrid (Metro: Casa de Campo (lines 5 and 10); Bus line 33). See the Pandas. Pet the Lemurs. Watch the Dolphin show. Enjoy the Bird show. Adults €18.65; Children: €15.
  •    Faunia, Avenida de las Comunidades 28 (The nearest metro: Valdebernando). Zoological park. Different sections of the park include animals from different locations (Africa, Antarctica etc..) Adult 25,75e.

Joy Madrid

Convent de las Descalzas Reales

Plaza de Oriente

Royal Palace

Almudena Cathedral

Royal Monastery of the Incarnation

Plaza de Isabel II

El Oso y el Madrono

Puerta del Sol

Teatro de la Zarzuela

Museo Naval

St. Michael\'s Basilica

Plaza de Cibeles

Royal Botanical Garden

Prado Museum

Plaza de Espana

Sabatini Gardens

Spanish Senate

Santa Ana Square

San Isidro Church

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Popular events in Madrid in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Madrid

Climate

The climate of Madrid is continental; mainly dry and quite extreme at times. Madrid sees perpetual sunshine and a characteristically hot and dry summer, and a fairly cold winter with frequent frosts during the night and the occasional snowfall. Spring and autumn are mild with the most rainfall concentrated in these seasons. Spring and autumn are definitely the best times to visit, especially the months of April, May, June, September and October. There is very little rainfall during summer and also less rainfall during winter. During winter snow occurs sporadically; however, snowfall usually lasts only for a few days, but there is abundant snowfall in the adjacent mountain ranges nearby.

Activities

There are a number of free, English language periodicals that you will find in bars and restaurants that are a great source of event information. PopGuide Madrid is Madrid's premier English and German lifestyle magazine and features the best Madrid has to offer and the latest in film, fashion, music and art. The monthly InMadrid newspaper [7] has a number of articles and information about events around town. Aimed at the 20-35-year-old crowd, European Vibe has listings for concerts, exhibitions, bars, restaurants, parties and other events happening in Madrid as well as articles about living in the city. Check the websites for current distribution points.

  • Circulo de Bellas Artes, Calle Marqués de Casa Riera 2 (Metro: Banco de España),  +34 91 5225092. A non-profit cultural center located a short walk from Sol, the CBA offers up a wide variety of events and shows including film, music, art displays, dance, theater and more. See the website (in Spanish) for a list of activities.

Flamenco Shows

  • Corral de la Moreria. One of the most famous flamenco tablaos in the world. It′s right in the heart of the city, and you can enjoy a full fledged Spanish meal while you watch performances by renowned international flamenco music and dance artists.
  • Las Tablas, Plaza España, 9 (Walk from Plaza España metro),  +34 915 420 520, e-mail: info@lastablasmadrid.com. A very popular Tablao located near the Plaza España metro station. The package consisting of a Flamenco show (at 9 or 10 pm) with a candle-lit dinner and a glass of Sangria wine is truly a treat.
  • Tablao Flamenco Cardamomo (Cardamomo Flamenco Show), Echegaray 15. Authentic Flamenco show in the center of Madrid, one of the gratest tablaos flamencos all over Spain, typical spanish food during the performance.
  • Cafe De Chinitas, C/ Torija, 7-28013 (Walk from Santo Domingo metro),  +34 91 559 51 35, e-mail: chinitas@chinitas.com. A great show lasting about 90 minutes. Unbelievable amount of energy and passion put in by the performers. There is an option to have dinner as well but that is a separate package and costs more. 25 Euros without dinner / drinks.

Concert Venues

  • Sala Heineken, Princesa 1 (Metro: Plaza España),  +34 91 5476680. National touring acts for rock and pop music.
  • La Riviera, Paseo Bajo de la Virgen (Metro: Puerta del Angel or Principe Pío),  +34 91 3652415. Another large venue for touring rock and pop bands.
  • Gruta 77, Calle Cuclillo 6 (Metro: Oporto),  +34 91 4712370. Concerts everyday; pop, rock, punk

Classical & opera

  • Spanish National Orchestra. Performs every Fri, Sat and Sun at the Auditorio Nacional on Calle Principe de Vergara. The Auditorio Nacional is also the main concert venue for the symphonic concerts of the Community of Madrid Orchestra and the Madrid symphony Orchestra and the main venue for touring classical artists and orchestras.
  • Teatro Real (Royal Theatre), Plaza de Oriente (Metro: Opera). The main opera theatre in Madrid.
  • Teatro de la Zarzuela. The Spanish version of the Operetta (Zarzuela) is performed here.
  • Orquesta de Radio Televisión Española. Performs every Thu and Fri at the Teatro Monumental on Calle Atocha.
  • Auditorio 400 of the Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. The main venue for contemporary music.
  • Cuartel del Condeduque.
  • Foundation Joan March Auditorium.
  • Banda Municipal de Madrid. Performs in El Retiro Park in the summer.

Sports

Football

Four teams from Madrid play in La Liga (Spain's premier division). The matches between Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid are known as "El Derbi Madrileño" (English: Madrid Derby).

  • Real Madrid. For football fanatics, a trip to the Santiago Bernabeu, the home of local club Real Madrid is not to be missed. Real Madrid is the most successful football club in Spain and Europe, having been crowned Spanish champions a record 32 times and European champions a record 9 times. Their biggest rivals by far are FC Barcelona, with which it contests matches known popularly as El Clásico at least twice a year. The rivalry between the two sides is by far the biggest in Spain and one of the most intense in the world, and stems from the longstanding traditional rivalry between the Spanish and Catalan speaking parts of Spain. As such, tickets for such matches often sell out very quickly. In case you arrive in Madrid on non-match periods, you can take a self-guided tour of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. It includes tours around the field, the dressing rooms, the Press Room and the Real Madrid Museum where the trophies and other memorabilia are kept. Without a loyalty card, the typical fees for adults is €16. However, a few days before a match, the chances are you will not be able to take the full tour, but only a part of it, with at least the Real Madrid Museum, at a reduced price.
  • Atlético de Madrid. Plays games in the Vicente Calderón stadium. The club is one of the most successful in Spanish League history, having won both La Liga and the Copa del Rey on nine occasions, including a double in 1996. They also won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1962, were European Cup runners-up in 1974, Intercontinental Cup winners in 1975 and more recently won the UEFA Europa League both in 2010 and 2012.
  • Getafe Club de Fútbol. Plays games at Coliseum Alfonso Pérez in Getafe, one of the dormitory cities of Madrid.
  • Rayo Vallecano, plays games at Estadio Teresa Rivero. A popular team from the Vallecas area in Madrid, known for its alternative culture and left-wing ultras.

Bullfighting

  • Las Ventas Bullring (Metro: Ventas). The birth place of bullfighting. Unless you find this spectacle distasteful, this is a must see if you visit Madrid during the bullfighting season (May, during San Isidro). Tickets may nevertheless be expensive and hard to get for the more important corridas. Anyway, it usually is used as a venue for shows and concerts.

Basketball

There are two major teams, Estudiantes and Real Madrid. Both play in Palacio de los Deportes every other weekend during the season.

Tennis

  • Madrid Tennis Master 1000, Camino de Perales (Metro: San Fermin - Orcasur; Bus numbers 23 - 78 - 123). Held in mid-May at La Caja Mágica.

Movies and film

There are a number of cinemas offering American and British films in English (along with films in other languages). These original films are denoted in the listings by a designation of "V.O." which stands for versión original. Cinemas in Madrid will sometimes have días del espectador (viewer days) with cheaper ticket prices, usually on Mondays or Wednesdays. Some of the V.O. theaters to check out are:

  • Yelmo Cineplex Ideal, Doctor Cortezo 6 (metro: Sol),  +34 91 3692518. Probably the best known V.O. theater in Madrid, it offers the largest selection of movies and is only a short walk from Sol.
  • Cine Doré, la Filmoteca Española, Calle Santa Isabel 3 (metro: Anton Martín),  +34 91 3691125. This is a wonderful, old Spanish theater dating from the 1920s. It has three screens and shows mainly "art-house" and critically acclaimed films in V.O. In the summertime, they screen movies on the roof. From €2.50.
  • Princesa, Calle Princesa 3 (metro: Plaza de España),  +34 91 5414100.
  • Renoir, Calle Martín de los Heroes 12 (Metro: Plaza de España),  +34 91 5414100.
  • Cines Golem Alphaville, Calle Martin de los Heros 14 (metro: Plaza de España),  +34 91 5593836.
  • Renoir Cuatro Caminos, Calle Raimundo Fernández Villaverde 10 (metro: Cuatro Caminos),  +34 91 5414100.
  • Renoir Retiro, Calle Narvaez 42 (metro: Ibiza),  +34 91 5414100.
  • Cinesa Proyecciones 3D, Calle Fuencarral 136 (metro: Quevedo),  +34 902 33 32 31. This is a great movie theatre showing all of the latest movies. It has both 3D movies and normal movies. There is also a shop in the movie theatre where they sell all kinds of candy, drinks, and popcorn. Great for children! 7.60€(on working days),7.60€ (on weekends and festives), 6.00€ (reduced priced). Note: an additional 2.50€ will be charged for 3D movies.
  • Cinesa Dreams Palacio de Hielo, C/ Silvano, 77 (metro: Canillas),  +34 902 88 82 00. This cinema is located in a shopping mall know for its ice-skating ring. It is a great place where teenagers can hang out since the mall also has restaurants, bars, and shops. 7.50€.
  • Kinepolis, C/ Edgar Neville s/n, Ciudad de la Imagen, Pozuelo de Alarcon (metro ligero: Ciudad del Cine (ML3)). Outside the city, in the suburb of Pozuelo de Alarcon. The largest megaplex in the world by number of seats. Has 25 screens. The offer of movies shown in their original version is increasing.

There are also a few movie theatres in Madrid where they show the original version of the movies subtitled in their original language. The list is provided below.

  • Alphaville, Calle Martin de los Herros 14 (metro: Plaza de Espana),  +34 91 559 3836. 6.50€ (on working days), 7,50€ (on festives, evenings, and weekends).
  • California, Calle Andrés Mellado 53 (metro: Moncloa),  +34 91 5440058.

Festivals

  • La Transhumancia. Annual event during which the center of Madrid is free of cars and is instead filled with shepherds exercising their ancient right to drive sheep and livestock through the city.
  • Madrid Gay Pride. Annual event held between the last week of June and the first of July, with more than 1.5million people in the street from all across the world. It began as a weekend party, but lately turned into a full week extravaganza.

Food

Cuisine

Dishes popular throughout Spain are also widely served in Madrid.

In addition, Madrid has a number of "typical" dishes:

  • Gallinejas and Entresijos - Portions from different parts of lamb fried in its fat. Very traditional and typical from Madrid city.
  • Callos a la Madrileña - A hot pot of spicy beef tripe similar to those found in Turkey and the Balkans.
  • Cocido Madrileño - Chickpea stew with meat and vegetables. The particularity of this stew is the way it is served. The soup, chickpeas and meat are served and eaten separately.
  • Oreja de Cerdo - Pigs ears, fried in garlic. This popular dish is widely eaten throughout central Spain.
  • Sopa de Ajo - Garlic soup is a rich and oily soup which generally includes paprika, grated Spanish ham, fried bread and a poached egg. A variation of this soup is known as Sopa Castellana.

It is ironic that Madrid, located right in the centre of Spain has higher quality seafood than most coastal regions. This quality comes at a price, and most Spaniards only occasionally shell out for a mariscada (Spanish for "seafood feast"). Experiencing Madrid's seafood may be, for the visitor, an experience which will be worth the cost.

Meat and meat products (Jamon Iberico, morcilla, chorizo etc.) are of generally a very high quality in Spain and particularly in Madrid.

Restaurants

Many of the restaurants and cervecerías in the Sol and Plaza Mayor area have "generic" poster board advertisements on the sidewalks with pictures advertising various paella dishes. These paellas are usually of bad quality and should be avoided. If you are looking for good, authentic Spanish paella, it is usually best to find a more expensive, "sit-down" type of restaurant that offers a variety of paella dishes.

A much better option is the La Latina neighborhood just south of Plaza Mayor, especially along the Cava Baja street. To enjoy a gastronomic tour of this area you can join the Old Madrid Tapas & Wine Tour [10]. There are also a number of deli-like shops along Calle Arenal that offer food para llevar (for take away).

At bars, one generally orders various sized plates, a ración meaning a full dish, a media ración a half dish or a smaller version which would be a tapa, a pinxto or a pincho.

The Spaniards don't eat lunch until 2 or 3 pm, and dinner doesn't start until 9 or 10 pm. As a rule of thumb, restaurants serve lunch from 1PM (earlier in touristic zones) until 3:30PM, then close and re-open for dinner at 8:00PM, serving until 11:00PM. This schedule is usually for restaurants since bars and "mesones" are usually opened all day long offering a wide variety of "tapas" and "bocadillos"(rolls) for a cheap price. If you're really desperate, the standard bunch of fast food chains do stay open throughout the day.

Budget

  • Freiduría de Gallinejas Embajadores, Calle de Embajadores 84 (near Glorieta Embajadores, Metro lines L3 and L5),  +34 915175933. 11:00-23:00. Another classic tapas bar in Madrid. Not for conservative stomachs. Their most popular tapas are two of the most typical and traditional dishes in Madrid: Gallinejas and Entresijos. A treat for adventurous palates and lamb-lovers.
  • Museo del Jamon, Several locations. Offers deli takeout service as well as tapas and raciónes at reasonable prices. They offer €1 ham sandwiches and a "picnic" lunch consisting of a said ham sandwich, fresh fruit and a drink for €2.
  • Cervecería 100 Montaditos, Several locations. Home to the famous 100 "montaditos" (small sandwiches), you'll find several branches dotted around the city. Great place to go for a cheap drink with a bite to eat. CURRENT OFFER: Buy a montadito (1-2 euro) and a pint of beer is just 1 euro!
  • Home Burger, 2 locations: Malasaña District and Plaza de la Luna(Gran Via). THE place for serious hamburgers. Americans will feel at home!
  • Antigua Huevería, Malasaña District, Calle San vicente Ferrer, 32,  +34 915312882. 14:00-17:00 and 20:00-00:00 weekend until 2:00. The very best huevos rotos ("broken eggs") and croquetas. Cheap, beautiful and delicious!! The chicken-adorned tiled front dates from the 19th century. 15€.

Mid-range

  • Alhambra, Calle de Victoria 9 (Metro: Sevilla),  +34 91 5210708. This is a good place to drop by on a hot afternoon to enjoy a cold beer and some Andalusian tapas. Sample the sausages and cheeses.
  • Al-Jaima (Cocina del Desierto), Calle Barbieri 1 (Metro: Chueca),  +34 91 523 1142. This dark, cave-like Moroccan restaurant has some of the best North African food in the city. The seating is at low Moroccan-style tables and the calm, mellow atmosphere makes you feel like you're far from the bustling center of Chueca.
  • Bacchus, Avenida Moratalaz 141 (Metro: Vinateros or Artilleros),  +34 913280468. Right in the middle of Lonja, an area filled with places to dine and drink. It is still close enough to city centre but offers a more relaxed ambience, making it one especially suitable for families, though all types of customers can be encountered. Bacchus offers a mixture of innovative and traditional-style tapas. Very good though expensive wine list. It can get very busy on weekends. Nice outside seating area makes up for the fact that inside it is rather small and, in traditional Tapas-bar style, somewhat littered.
  • Casa de Valencia, Paseo Pintor Rosales 58.
  • Chocolatería San Ginés, Calle de Pasadizo De San Ginés 5 (metro: Sol),  +34 91 3656546. Specializing in chocolate con churros, this Madrid fixture is open 24 hours a day. The perfect place to top off a night on the town. Also offers the usual assortment of coffees and teas.
  • Cocina Mex-Mex, Calle Libertad 33 (metro: Chueca),  +34 91 521 7640. This is a small, usually crowded, friendly Mexican restaurant with good food and drinks at reasonable prices. Sample some of their tacos and super-cheesy chilaquiles.
  • D'fabula, Plaza Conde de Barajas 3 (Metro: Opera).
  • El Inti de Oro, Calle de Ventura de la Vega 12 (metro: Sevilla),  +34 91 4296703. For something different, try this great Peruvian restaurant a short walk from Sol. Be sure to order some of their ceviche and try the Pisco Sour cocktail.
  • Estay, Calle de Hermosilla 46 (metro: Velázquez),  +34 91 5780470. closed on Sundays. A great place for tapas, they offer a large menu, reasonable prices and excellent quality food. The Solomillo al Foie is excellent and the deserts come highly-recommended as well. Very crowded on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Jaen 3, Calle Poitiers 3 (metro: Coslada Estadio Olimpico),  +34 63 0036987. An excellent bar de tapas and restaurant. A nice place to enjoy Spanish food and lifestyle without spending too much. Being located just outside central Madrid, it's far from being a tourist trap and you can enjoy good food and true "raciones" (portions). The pleasant owners are very willing to share stories about Madrid and Spain more generally. In summer time it has a superb terrace, within a stones throw of the Olympic Stadium.
  • La Bola, Calle de la Bola 5 (Metro: Opera).
  • La Casa del Abuelo, Calle de Victoria 12 (metro: Sevilla),  +34 91 5212319. A Madrid landmark in operation for over 100 years, this bar attracts a standing room only crowd on the weekends. They mainly serve shrimp-based tapas dishes so if you're not into shellfish it may be advisable to steer clear. Order a plate of their garlic shrimp and accompany with their house wine.
  • La Mucca, Calle Del Pez (Metro: Noviciado). Nice designer restaurant popular within the 20s-30s crowd. Good music, cool people, even better food and cocktails. The kitchen opens in the afternoon.
  • La Zapateria Tapas Bar, Calle de Victoria 8 (Metro: Sevilla),  +34 91 5210708. Great potato dishes that come mixed with chorizo or other ingredients. Also try the pincho moruno (pork skewers) or something else displayed on ice in the front window. The Ribeiro on tap (sparkling white wine from Galicia) is not to be missed.
  • Malacatin, Calle Ruda 5. Serves typical Madrid cuisine.
  • Midnight Rose, Plaza de Santa Ana, 14. Daily 1:30pm-4:30pm, 8:30pm-12am. The ME Madrid Hotel´s restaurant. Mediterranean cuisine with Asian, American and Italian influences, with an emphasis on seasonal Produce. Dining for private parties is also provided.
  • Samm, Calle de Carlos Caamaño 3 (Metro: Pio XII). Best paella in Madrid, but only if you bring more than two people by order of the proprietor. Frequented mainly by locals, prepare to be stared at by the wait staff if you are from out of town.
  • Siam, Calle San Bernardino 6 (Metro: Plaza España or San Bernardino),  +34 91 559 8315. Beautifully-decorated with a tranquil atmosphere, the food is reasonable and offers a pleasant departure from Spanish fare, if so desired. Most mains between €8 and €12..
  • The Penthouse, Plaza de Santa Ana 14,  +34 91 7016000. Located on the roof of the ME Madrid hotel, this terrace-style restaurant serves tapas and traditional cuisine. At night they serve great mojitos in a youthful, club-like atmosphere.
  • La Barraca, C/. Reina , 29 ; 28004 Madrid,  +34 91 532 71 54. Recommended for paella if more authentic experience is sought. A meal for 2 with a drink each costs in the region of €50 Euros. 40 Euros +.

Splurge

  • Botín, Calle Cuchilleros 17 (Metro: La Latina),  +34 913664217. Opened in 1725, Botín is listed in the Guiness Book of Records as the oldest operating restaurant in the world. Once a favourite of Ernest Hemingway, the menu still delights with specialities including roast suckling pig (cochinillo) and roast lamb (cordero). Insidersmadrid.com offers a tour of this institution.
  • Casa Lucio, Calle de Cava Baja 35 (Metro: La Latina),  +34 91 3653253. Pricey but worth it, the Spanish Royal family sometimes entertain guests here and you may run into a few sports figures and movie stars. You should definitely book ahead on the weekends, and reservations are recommended even for the weekdays. Known for their cocido, their roasts and their huevos rotos.
  • La Trainera, Calle de Lagasca 60 (metro: Velázquez or Serrano),  +34 91 5768035. A Madrid institution for decades, Trainera is an excellent but somewhat pricey restaurant serving strictly seafood dishes. They have a great wine selection and the waiters can recommend different vintages that will complement the food. Try the carabineros (giant scarlet shrimp) or the rodaballo (turbot). Usually closed in August.
  • Teatriz, Calle Hermosilla 15 (metro: Serrano or Colon),  +34 91 5775379. Built inside a former theatre, the restaurant counts with 4 spaces (restaurant, tapas, sushi bar, cocktail bar). Unique decoration and a wide range of dishes. Desserts are specially recommended.
  • Manete, Calle Doctor Castelo 2. From €30.
  • Casa Nemesio, Paseo de la Castellana 260. Seafood.
  • Telegrafo, Calle Padre Damian (500m from Bernabeu Stadium). Arguably, the best seafood in Madrid.

Drinks

Tapas Bars

In the tapas bars, you should get free food with your drinks.

  • El Tigre, calle de los Infantas 30 (Metro: Gran Vía / Chueca). Probably the most well-known tapas bar in Madrid, a must do. Don't get frightened by how crowded the bar is and go in anyway. This is one of the most lively places in the city! Get beers, big glasses of wine or "un mini de mojito" and get free big plates of tapas every time you order. Very affordable.
  • El Boñar de Leon, Calle de la Cruz Verde 16 (Metro: Noviciado / Santo Domingo). You win a trip to the Canary Islands if you are able to finish their "Cocido Madrileño". Seriously.
  • La Esquina de Eusebio, Calle Caramuel 16 (Metro: Puerta del Angel). Trays of tapas are passed from one person to another in this typical bar of Madrid, absolutely not touristy but really worth it! And it's not so far from the center.
  • The Sherry Corner, Pza. de San Miguel. Mercado de San Miguel (Metro: Sol). Sherry-tasting available in 8 languages. Commentary by knowledgeable oenologists explaining the details of the history, elaboration methods and tasting notes for each of the wines, while inviting guests to combine them with tapas served at different market stalls.

Cafes

  • Café Central, Plaza del Angel 10 (Metro: Sol). Café by day, live jazz music at night.
  • Cafe Circulo de Bellas Artes, Calle Alcala 42 (Metro: Banco de Espana). A soaring hall on the ground floor of Madrid´s art center combines atmosphere, excellent food and good coffee at reasonable prices. A wonderful place for lunch not far from Madrid´s shopping or museums.
  • Cafe Commercial, Cafe Commercial (Metro: Bilbao). opened in the 1880´s, this is the oldest cafe in Madrid. Has been run by the same family since the early 1900s. There´s a modern internet cafe upstairs, but the downstairs remains traditional.
  • Café Gijón, Paseo Recoletos 21 (Metro: Banco de España or Colon). A historic literary cafe. The outdoor terraza is nice in the summer.
  • Café de Oriente, Plaza Oriente 2 (Metro: Opera). Overlooks the Plaza Oriente and faces Palacio Real. Outdoor tables in summer, cozy indoor rooms in the cold months. Basement banquet room with a glass floor over ancient remains. Excellent food.
  • Café Pabellon del Espejo, Paseo de Recoletos 31 (Metro: Colon). Opened in 1978, but looks much older. Good food and very crowded during lunchtime.
  • La Mallorquina, Puerta del Sol 8, Mayor, 2 (Metro: Sol). Famous for its pastries. Peaceful upstairs room where you can linger undisturbed over your café con leche and napolitana de chocolate (chocolate croissant).
  • La Tabacalera, Plaza de Embajadores (Metro: Embajadores (L3)). until 11PM. An abandoned tobacco factory turned into a huge Berlin-like alternative art space driven by the diverse locals of Lavapies district. Also Tens of free workshops daily. Nice big cheap outdoors terrace. Free.
  • Nuevo Café Barbieri, Calle Ave Maria 45 (Metro: Lavapies). Slightly scruffy cafe draws an avante garde crowd at night.

Bars

Nightlife starts later in Madrid, with most people heading to the bars at 10-11PM.

  • El Rincón de Fogg. Calle Juan de Urbieta 12. (Metro: Pacífico). Open daily from 07:00 to 22:00 and Friday and Saturday till 00:00. You can have 2 litres of sangría in a self service dispenser from just €14, or €13 for 2 litres of beer, and you get a free plate of patatas bravas. They also have a delicious selection of bocatas from €2,45. Big TV to watch the football matches while enjoying eating and drinking. If you say you've read this, they'll invite you to a glass of rosado wine.
  • Areia, Calle Horteleza 96 (Metro: Chueca). Very cool chill out bar decorated with deep colours in a Moroccan style. Dark and inviting. The seating includes cushions on the floor, traditional tables and chairs, or if you’re lucky, grab the four poster bed at the back. Drinks: €7 before 22:00 and €8 after 22:00.
  • La Corolla, Visitag Manzana 10 (Metro: La Latina). Specializes in delicious ‘tostas’ (small pieces of toast with different toppings) and avocado (aguacate), along with cañas (small beers). Tostas + 2 cañas: €10.
  • La Via Lactea, Calle de Velarde 18, Malasaña (Metro: Tribunal),  +34 91 446 75 81. A swingin' bar where you can twist the night away with local hipsters.
  • Miali, Plaza Santa Ana (Metro: Sol). Nice terrace outside,great for people-watching. The interior is tastefully decorated.
  • Museo Chicote, Gran Via (Metro: Gran Via). Daily: 17:00 to 02:00. Voted the Best European Bar 2004 by MTV-Campari. Extensive cocktail list. Claims to have served drinks to many famous celebrities, including, Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra, Lana Turner, Gary Cooper, Orson Wells, Yul Brynner and Ernest Hemingway, Catherine Zeta Jones, Hugh Grant and Tim Robbins. They only serve drinks.
  • Redbar, Joaquín María López 28 (Metro: Islas Filipinas). Daily: 17:00 to 02:00. Small, cozy cocktail bar with great music and a very nice and original decoration. Extensive cocktail list.
  • Dubliners, Espoz y Mina, 7 (Metro: Sol), An Irish bar in the centre of Madrid near Puerta del Sol. The bar has televisions and is one of the places where sport can be seen.
  • Stork Bar, Mancebos 2, La Latina (Metro: Latina),  +34913656357, e-mail: info@storkbar.com. Cocktail Lounge & World food in the heart of La Latina. Great summer terrace and surprising basement brick cave with live music and karaoke.

Clubs

Clubs generally open at about midnight. If you go in any earlier you may find it quite empty. Many clubs don't close until 6AM, and even then everyone is still full of life.

  • Demode, Calle Ballesta (At the back of Gran Via, closest metro may be Tribunal/Gran Via). From 00:00 to 04:00AM. Cool electronic sounds for 20s-30s. Free.
  • El Sol, Calle Jardines, 3 (Metro: Gran Via). Tuesday - Saturday: 24:00-05:30. Popular with the 20-30 age group. Plays a mix of 70s, funk, and bossanova sounds. No dress code, but people do tend to look cool. Entry including 1 drink: €9.
  • Joy, Calle Arenal 11 (Metro: Sol). Well known across Europe. Attracts at multi-national crowd. Popular with tourists as well as locals. It plays a mix of popular dance music. Every Thursday there is a Students Party.
  • Kapital, Atocha, 125 (Metro: Atocha). Enormous club with 7 floors. However, despite it's popularity this club is usually not worth visiting. The owner has a policy to try and limit the number of foreigners in the club so if you are from anywhere except Spain, you will likely get bad treatment. €10-20.
  • Ohm, Plaza de Callao, 1 (in Gran Via street) (Metro: Callao (L3)). From 00:00 to 07:00AM. Popular Commercial House club with a mixed young straight/gay crowd. €10-20 with mixed drink.
  • Pacha, Calle Barcelo, 11 (Metro: Tribunal or Alonso Martinez). Thursday, Friday and Saturday: from 23:30 to 06:00. Different dance music styles from night to night. Glitz and glamour. Strict doormen. Expect to be charged according to the glamour of the event you're attending.
  • Stardust, Princesa 1 (Metro: Plaza España). From 00:00 to 07:00AM. Powerful Techno/House club popular within the younger crowd. €10-20 with mixed drink.

Shopping

Major credit cards and foreign bank cards are accepted in most stores, but be aware that it is common practice to be asked for photo-ID ("D.N.I."). If asked for your DNI present your passport, residency permit or foreign ID card. Basically anything with your photo and name on it will be accepted by most shopkeepers. The signatures on credit cards are usually not checked.

Shopping districts

In addition to the shopping areas below, there are also a great number of H&M, Zara, Mango, and Blanco stores all over Madrid, with high fashion clothes and accessories at a low price.

  • Sol-Salamanca districts. The most convenient area for tourists is around Calle de Preciados, between Sol and Gran Vía, home to the El Corte Inglés department store, high-street names like Zara, Gran Vía 32, H&M, Sephora, Pimkie. The smartest shopping district is Salamanca northeast of the center, around Calle Serrano. Top designer names like Chanel, Versace, Hermès, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Hugo Boss, including the fluid fabrics and elegant cuts of Spanish designer Adolfo Domínguez, are located on Calle Ortega y Gasset. Head for Calle Serrano for Purificación García, Roberto Verino, Ermenegildo Zegna, Loewe, Carolina Herrera, Manolo Blanik, Cartier, and Yves Saint Laurent. Prada is on Goya street, and on Jorge Juan St you can find even more luxury shops.
  • Chueca and Fuencarral Street Area— This part of the city used to be an abandoned and marginal area. However recently, it has quickly turned into the most avant-garde and modern part of Madrid. Thanks to the gay community, old shops were taken over and turned into the coolest places of Madrid. Today it is an example of modernity, a paradise for entertainment where everything is possible. The streets are filled with restaurants, alternative cafés and shops, a good example is the Market of Fuencarral (Mercado de Fuencarral, in Spanish) a novel shopping center concept. Apart from the purely commercial, this area proposes a wide range of gastronomy and party clubs by night in the weekends.

Markets

  • El Rastro (Metro: La Latina). only open on Sunday mornings. Madrid's largest flea market, featuring rows upon rows of private vendors selling a variety of homemade bads, and a plethora of live entertainment. It is very important to note that the Rastro is notorious for having an abundance of pickpockets, so watch your handbag closely and do not bring along valuables.
  • Cuesta de Moyano (near Museo del Prado). A quaint outdoor book market
  • Fuencarral Market (Mercado de Fuencarral), Fuencarral street 45, between Tribunal and Gran Via (Metro: Gran Via). One of the most daring and dynamic spaces in the city. Besides shops selling clothes, shoes, accessories and decorative items, that will delight the most daring and fashion conscious shoppers, this modern market also offers avant-garde cultural activities on a continuous basis. Frequent disc jockey sessions are put on in the center’s café, and also exhibitions in the art gallery and cinema projections and theater pieces in the old cinema room. The Cinema and activities are open until midnight. Its 3 floors crowded of modern shops are aimed specially for young people.
  • El Corte Inglés, Several locations. Not a market in the same sense as the others in this list. It's Spain's largest department store. There are several locations around Gran Via, each with multiple floors. It has almost everything, from a hardware store to a supermarket. It's about as much fun to visit as a Walmart or Target -- not very. The penthouse "fine dining" area at one of the locations may be worth a visit because you can get a good view of parts of Madrid.
  • El Mercado de San Miguel, San Miguel Plaza (Close to the west corner of Plaza Mayor). Sets the ambience of a traditional market, with the advantages of the new times. It has an Iron and Glass Structure from the 20th Century.
  • Mercado de la Cebada, Plaza de la Cebada. Large market hall next to La Latina metro with 3 large floors of dozens of vendors, each specializing in, for example, fruit, meat, cheese, or bread. There's even a bar inside.

Shopping Outlets

  • Las Rozas Village Chic Outlet Shopping, Calle Juan Ramón Jimenez 3, Las Rozas,  +34 916 404 900. M-F 11AM-9PM, Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Fantastic outlet in the suburbs of Madrid with villa-like shops. It is part of the Chic Outlet Shopping Villages in Europe which has other villa-like outlets in Paris, Barcelona, Dublin, London, Milan, Brussels, Frankfurt, and Munich. [9] It offers up to 60% off in over 100 luxury brands such as Bally, Burberry, Hugo Boss Man and Woman, Pepe Jeans, Loewe, Desigual, Camper, Tommy Hilfiger and Versace. In Las Rozas Village you can also find some coffee places like Starbucks and a few bars. It takes around 40 minutes to get there by car from the center of Madrid. A fantastic experience for a warm Sunday afternoon.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Madrid on Wikivoyage.

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