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.


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.


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