Jul 292012
 

Madrid is a Place of Pleasure and Fun Day and Night

Madrid is a place where both Young People and those of advanced Years can find fun and interesting things to do.

Plaza de Santa Bárbara cafe

Plaza de Santa Bárbara

There are plenty of opportunities for concerts,cinemas and dance clubs for those who love to hit the town late at night and keep going till the sun rises.

International bands play major Gigs here in Madrid just check out concert dates and who is in town this month.

Madrid is vibrant at night. The Weekend, which unofficially starts on a Thursday in Madrid, is the liveliest. Discos, bars and clubs can be located in some of the trendiest areas of Madrid. Malasaña and its surrounding areas like Chueca (the gay barrio) are the best places to go looking for a dance club or neat little bar that offers good food and friendly atmosphere. Try Tupperware in Malasaña

Generally, neighbourhoods that are away from main roads offer some of the best terraces to sit down on and enjoy the balmy nights of Spring and Summer in Madrid.

Plaza de Santa Ana is a great starting point for the evening in Madrid. A large square in the centre of the city that offers plenty of terraces and restaurants and cafés galore including a German bar that offers big cold glasses of German Wheat beer and a tapa to go with it.

when hunger beckons then head to Mercado de San Miguel for a tapa in the coverted Station. Its a stones throw from Plaza de Santa Ana.

Another option for food is Casa Mingo which is famous for its Roast Chicken, Cider and Chorizos.

In Winter there are plenty of terraces to find as these days bar owners have adopted outdoor heaters to attract more customers to their otherwise small establishment. There is something very comforting to sitting outside in Winter and being warm at the same time.

Its become a bit of a tradition to go to La Latina on a Sunday at midday for beer and tapas. You might want to brave the crowds and try your luck at finding a table on one of the many terraces in calle Cava Baja and drink beer or wine and eat some of the great tapas and raciónes of the local cafés in this famous street.

El Tigre is a totally recommended as a place to go and get a beer and plate full of whatever they offer you to eat only for the price of the beer which last time I looked was at 1,50 euros a small beer. Drink and eat for free.

In Madrid its common to get a tapa with your drink. You really can go out and order beer all evening and eat very well for free. Some places seem to give you a better tapa each time you order a fresh beer. Great traditions!

Plaza de Dos de Mayo in Malasaña offer an array of interesting bars and daytime shops of interest.

Chueca Cafe in c/Horteleza

Chueca Cafe in c/Horteleza

Paseo de castellana is full of cool clubs and bars that are the in place to go to if you want to dance and have a bit bit more of an up-market atmosphere.

There are businesses that offer trips and sporting activities that are well organised and cover most types of sports and adventure.

Towns and Villages to Visit around Madrid

Or, Go it alone and jump on a train (cercania) that will take you to Toledo or Segovia or San Lorenzo de Escorial for the day. These towns and villages make excellent day out excursions that offer long walks and plenty of fresh air.

Art and Culture

Culture in the city of Madrid is amazing. Musuems for every taste from Modern art to Classical art in the Prado Art Musuem to the Museo  Thyssen Bornemisza that have a standing collection and a Special exhibition that changes every few months. Reina Sofia Art Museum offers standing exhibitions and a regular rotation of some of Europes and Spain finest Contemporary artists. Sorolla Museum has an exhibition of this famous Spanish artists work. His style is Realism and each work is enormous. Wonderful scenes of people enjoying life.

If you are a student and have your card it can get you a discount in many museums around the city.

Travelling around the city isnt as expensive as london or New York for example but make it cheaper still by getting a discount ticket. If you are under 21 you find a special pass for travel, depending on how long you are staying in Madrid.

On Sunday Morning youcan visit El Rastro market and pick up a bargain Spanish style. The Market is considered one of the most crowded and biggest in Europe. Be careful of your wallet and purse, its an obvious workout for pickpockets.

After the Market you can take a walk in El Buen Parque de Retiro which is a peaceful place to get over your hangover from the partying the night before.

An absolute must tourist thing to do is go to Plaza de España and take your photo under the enormous statue of Don Quixote. Also, visit Puerta del Sol and get your photo on the plaque that marks the centre of the Peninsula Kilometro Zero as it is known. It can be located under the main balcony where the flags are flying over Sol.

The Royal Palace is a wonder for the eyes in that both the building is tremendous and the surrounding gardens are well-kept and colourful feast for the eyes.

Fuencarral Market is another choice for shopping for clothes and accessories. Avant Garde activities on offer are DJs, music and art exhibitions and Cinema projects.

Author

Sean Durham is an Artist and Writer living in Madrid Make a Comment below and Your Latest Post from Your blog or website will be linked immediately. sean@madridnotes.com

 

Jul 172012
 

Madrid Card

Madrid is great city that boasts a cultural experience second to none in Europe. Museums, Art galleries and Cultural tours of Madrids Historical attractions are included in the Madrid Card.

When you visit Madrid dont forget to pick up a Madrid Card.

The Madrid Card offers free or discounted entrance to over 50 Museums and Monuments in and around the city of Madrid. Just a few of these are The Prado Museum with preferential Entrance, The Debos Temple which is free entrance with the card, The Wax Museum fast entrance and discount.

Dont forget the bus and train tours to the villages and towns outside Madrid such as >El Escorial which is a beautiful place to go and relax,eat lunch and enjoy walking around the old mountain side village of San Lorenzo de La Escorial.A tour of Real Madrids Football stadium is recommended if you are a fan. Other places include Matadero which is near the Metro station Lagazpi in Paseo de la chopera, 14. 28045 Madrid. Matadero is still being developed to its full potential but there are various exhibitions and cultural events. Check the website for the calendar of events for this year.

If the sights of Madrid is your objective then the Madrid card is a must to save money and give you ideas about what to see and where to go.

Night Life in Madrid

Apart from the daytime activities of sight-seeing in Spains capital Madrid, you might want to hit town after sunset and enjoy a few drinks and sample the food. Madrid is very multi-cultural and therefore offers a variety of restaurants for dinner and places to sit and drink and eat raciones. Areas to go to are spread around the city and it really depends on your personal needs. In Paseo Castillano around the area of Colon you will find a good offering of restaurants and cafés that cater for Lunch and Dinner. Prices vary but its also the area to find some of the best cuisine in Madrid.

Barrio Lavapíes

Barrio Lavapíes is recommended for those looking for a night out in an area that offers something for the young or young at heart and a good selection of places to eat. Plaza de Lavapíes is a meeting point for local residence and people passing through the area. Four streets lead off the Plaza and all four offer attractive possibilities of bars, restaurants and cafés offering cuisine, beer and wines. Indian food is very popular in Lavapíes and Lavapíes is the best place to find an Indian restaurant in Madrid. Calle Argumosa, calle Ave and Calle Lavapíes are all good places to wander along in search of something that you will find interesting. Calle Ave starts with a few restaurants and tapas bars and then you discover some really interesting and friendly bars for drinks and late night hawking about such as Café Vinyl which as suggested plays only vinyl music and often the styles of Blues and Funk from back in the day. Very friendly staff and plenty of space to find a seat. A tapa with your beer is free, each time you buy a drink.

When in Lavapíes you will find many side streets that are fun to explore and are all full of bars and clubs of various types and bents. Calle de Salitre, a well trodden street of Madrid, offers bars and a steep up hill walk towards Anton Martin. At the top you can find a good place to eat in Bar Encantada which has a large selection of foods on offer. They also have empañadillas on the menu which are big enough to pass as Cornish pasties. Calle Salitre, half way up the hill, reveals a Club for those who like to Smoke cannabis and discuss its healing merits and properties. Its a serious organization and best contacted by phone or with a polite enquiry at the door.

South of Calle Argumosa reveals a few more back streets with a littering of bars that are well worth the effort to seek out. El Fin Del Mundo is a favorite of mine. A very warm and friendly welcome from Carlos and staff makes the visit and atmosphere feel like you just found the centre of the World rather than the End of the World which is the translation.

If you venture South of lavapíes you come to Palos de la Frontera where Paseo de Delicias offers a variety of simple and quiet local type bars for food and drinks.

Author

Sean Durham is an Artist and Writer living in Madrid Make a Comment below and Your Latest Post from Your blog or website will be linked immediately. sean@madridnotes.com

 

Sep 172011
 

The barrio of Lavapiés lies south of the city centre. Once the Jewish and Moorish neighbourhood the name lavapiés being translated as Foot-Wash where people would come and have their feet washed ritually.

A great place to visit while in Madrid offering an enjoyable stroll in a non-touristy neighbourhood of Madrids Alternative barrio. In the morning you can stop for coffee and breakfast in one of the many cafés around the area. Just walk along Calle Argumosa (the main drag in Lavapiés) and you will find a table on the terrace to enjoy the Morning sun and something to eat. Keep walking, follow your nose and eventually youll find something to suit your taste. Small side streets offer a variety of cafes for morning coffee not all are open before  12 pm. A lot of the cafés and bars are more suited for night time fun. Calle Argumosa has the advantage of being situated so that you can choose a sunny side of the street or a shaded side of the street.

Today Lavapiés offers a labyrinth of streets to explore which are full of cafés and restaurants of many different types and themes. If you want Indian food Lavapiés is the right barrio. Calle Ave Maria offers a good selection of Indian restaurants as well as Spanish restaurants.

Walking up the hill, away from Plaza Lavapiés on Calle Ave Maria you have a choice of simple bars for drinking or restaurants also offering terraces or spacious seating inside. friendly welcomes and comfortability is offered in Taberna Viva Chapata where you can drink and eat Bocadillos (sandwiches). Next door is the famous and older Nuevo Café Barbiera which is spacious and very popular with the locals.
In summer dont imagine everywhere has air-conditioning. If they do, they will advertise it to get customers inside. There is often a place to find that offers the shade of trees on the terrace and when seated and a cold drink in hand, the heat isnt so bad its Spain.

If you really want a night out where you can explore a few bars and find out whats happening on the music scene and in the lovcal art-world, then Lavapiés is the right area. Visit any of the bars round and about and you will have the feeling that you are off the beaten track of tourist haunts. Left wing may be out of fashion but the area buzzes with the feeling of creativity, alternatives and artists; writers,poets,painters and self-defined artists like to hang out in Lavapiés at night.

You will also notice that most of the bars are covered in information posters and flyers. Info about local bands, shows and theatre events are all over the walls. Calle Argumosa is a favourite for buskers playing guitar and singing most of them are regulars and can play a pretty entertaining tune.

Point; in days gone by, people from Other Areas of Madrid would warn people that Lavapiés is dangerous at night. Muggers,robbers and blaggards galore. Not really true anymore; the police doing an excellent job of combating street crime in Madrid, the streets are safe to walk for the self aware tourist who doesnt advertise her or himself. Staying away from short-cuts through the back streets late at night is sensible in any city and all will be well.
The locals in Lavapiés are a friendly working class folk and welcome people of all nationalities and backgrounds.

Author

Sean Durham is an Artist and Writer living in Madrid Make a Comment below and Your Latest Post from Your blog or website will be linked immediately. sean@madridnotes.com