Top 5: Adam

¡Hola! After living in Madrid for a few months I have quite a lot of favourite places, but below you can find my top 5. I hope it’s helpful and you try some of them out whilst you’re in Madrid.

1. Parque del Retiro

Sorry to be basic but this is by far my favourite place in Madrid. You can go rowing, visit the book fair (in June), sunbathe and get a glass of sangria at the cafeteria. Rowing there is great value for money and costs around 7€ for 45 minutes. I cannot recommend it enough and it is particularly amazing to watch the sun set there. It’s really easy to get there from the centre too and you can even walk if you’re feeling brave enough.

Retiro Park
2. Palacio Real

This is another classic. The architecture and interior design of this palace is really something else. I went 3 times whilst staying in Madrid and have got to say it is one of my favourite places. You can access most of the palace, its gardens and take pictures in front of amazing views. Each room has its own theme and it really is a must-see if you want to try out being a Royal for the day. There is a discount for students too if you book it online in advance too at www.patrimonionacional.es/ and this will make sure that you avoid the extremely long queues for visitors who haven’t booked tickets in advance.

Royal Palace
3. LLBar, Chueca

I would highly recommend this little drag bar. Coming from Manchester which has the biggest gay night scene in Europe, I really didn’t expect to find much to compare it with here in Madrid. However, I was wrong. Chueca is a part of the city which really embraces LGBT culture. This bar has drag queen shows most nights and really is so fun and a great way to practice your Spanish talking in the queue or listening to the extremely talented Drag Queens singing and dancing. The entry is free and the copas (doubles) are good value for money.

Chueca
4. Purmina Indian Restaurant

This is by far my favourite place to eat in Madrid. Although not particularly Spanish, it serves authentic Indian food and is run by local Bangladeshi people who are extremely friendly. You can personalize each dish to have it as spicy as you want and the interior design really is to die for. It is a bit further out from the city centre but it is worth the effort, trust me! It is a bit pricey but the mains are extremely big so you could always share a main with a friend or just have a whole dish to yourself! We are all kind of holiday after all ;).

Indian restaurant
5. Ojalá, Malasaña

My favourite café to have brunch at on a Sunday morning is definitely Ojala. It is really quirky inside (as you can see in the photo) and the food is delicious, particularly the breakfast menu. All the brews come in tiny little cute tea cups and the avocado on toast is gorgeous. Go whilst you can! It is in the very trendy area of Malasaña, which is full of cool restaurants and cafes so you can go and do a bit of retail therapy in nearby vintage clothes shops after a delicious breakfast.

Ojalá, Malasaña

Madrid’s best rooftop bars

Tired of all the museum visits and long walks? Looking for beautiful views over the city of Madrid? Roof terraces will offer you the solution! The views over Madrid are impressive and there are a lots all over the city, from fancy and exclusive ones to local and folksy ones. Below you will find the 5 best roof terraces in Madrid.

5. Gau & Café

The Gau & Café is a hidden gem, located in the brisk and multicultural area of Lavapiés. The restaurant is located inside an ancient monument that is part of a national heritage, 500 meter from the heart of Madrid.

On the roof you will find a restaurant area (Mediterranean cuisine) and a part where you can enjoy a drink. The best time of the day to visit the terrace is during sunset, the atmosphere is enchanting by then! Certainly worth to mention is that this roof terrace is not as expensive as, for example hotel roof terraces.

Where: C/ Tribulete 14, fourth floor. Metro: Lavapiés.
Opening hours: Open the whole year. Mondays to Fridays from 11 – 23.30. Saturday from 13.30, closed on Sundays.

4. La Terraza del Urban

The fanciest roof terrace on the list is definitely La Terraza del Urban. You are already warned because it is part of a 5 star hotel. This 5 star hotel is located a stone’s throw from the Spanish Parliament and offers supreme quality, from luxury cocktails to quality tapas (caviar and oysters for example). For a tapa and a cocktail you will pay around €25 and twice a week they offer live music shows.

Where: Carrera de San Jerónimo, 34. Metro: Sol
Opening hours: Wednesdays to Saturdays from 11:00 to 03:00 and from Sundays to Tuesdays from 11:00 to 02:00.

3. Hotel Óscar

In the Chueca district you will find Hotel Óscar. This fancy hotel has a luxury swimming pool, lounge beds, cocktail tables and a beautiful panorama over the highest buildings of Madrid.

The entrance to the roof terrace is free but do not be shocked by the high prices for drinks and snacks. For a normal juice you will normally pay around €5. Using the pool costs €40 a day or €20 for half a day.

Where: Plaza Vázquez de Mella, 12. Metro: Chueca
Opening hours: 24/7

 2. Café el Viajero

This tropical roof terrace is located in the trendy area of La Latina, very close to the 2 most famous tapas streets of Madrid, Cava Alto and Cava Baja. The bar resemblance to a reggae-beach bar and normally reaches younger audience. You’ll get an amazing view of the basilica of San Francisco el Grande!

Where: Plaza de la Cebada, 11. Metro: La Latina
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays from 17:00 to 00:30. Fridays: 15:00 to 01:30. Saturdays: 12:00 to 01:30 and Sundays: 12:00 to 00:30.

1. La Terraza del Círculo de Bellas Artes

According to many Madrileños, the Círculo de Bellas Artes has the best roof terrace in Madrid. It is very close to our school, Inhispania, and for only €4 you can visit the roof terrace of this impressive building. Furthermore, the location (close to Plaza Cibeles and next to Banco de España) is excellent!

From the rooftop you have a beautiful view over the Retiro Park, Plaza Cibeles, the city hall, Paseo del Prado, the Prado museum and the Alcalá street. Go enjoy the view over ‘Madrid by night’ while chilling on one of the loungers and drinking a cocktail!

Where: Plaza Cibeles 1. Metro: Banco de España
Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays: 09:00 to 02:00 and Saturdays and Sundays: 11:00 to 02:30.

Festivals in Madrid

Looking for a good party or festival during your stay in Madrid? No worries because in this city you will not have a shortage of ‘fiestas’! Especially during the summer, there are a lot of festivals organized! Below you will find the 3 best festivals in the city of Madrid!

Mad Cool Festival

Mad Cool is a music festival that takes place in Madrid since 2016. Art, gastronomy and tourism come together in this festival. The type of music is rock, indie and electronic music. Since 2016, many famous artists have performed. To name a few: Bastille (2016), The Lumineers (2017), George Ezra (2017), Post Malone (2018), Snow Patrol (2018) and Dua Lipa (2018).

This festival is the dream of every rock, indie and/or electronic music fan!

The festival takes place in the summer and the dates for the next one are already released: 11, 12 and 13 of July! Be fast if you want to buy tickets because with over 230.000 visitors the festival will be sold out quickly.

Ticket Price: around €150
https://madcoolfestival.es/

A Summer Story

If you love electronical music, A Summer Story is the perfect festival for you. Summer Story was created in 2015 to unite electronic music lovers from all over the planet and now it has some of the best DJ’s in the world such as: Armin van Buuren, Oliver Heldens, Don Diablo, Tchami and Deadmau5.

In 2019 the festival dates will be the June 21st and 22nd.

Ticket Price: from €35
https://asummerstory.com/

Brunch in the Park

One of the best (smaller festivals) in Madrid is definitely Brunch in the Park. Brunch in the Park is an outdoor event very close to the city center. The advantage of Brunch in the Park is that it is organized multiple times during the summer. You can enjoy great parties under the sunshine, without having to spend the whole night out. According to Brunch in the Park, their purpose is to bring national and international artists to electronic music lovers.

A ticket for Brunch in the Park will cost you around €15 (there are several tickets available)

2018

Tapapiés

logo-tapapiesThis October the event Tapapiés 2016 will be organized. This is the famous VI Multicultural Route and lots of Music at the district of Lavapiés. More than 90 bars and restaurant are presenting various culinary meals to surprise people with delicious Spanish food and the typical Spanish atmosphere.

As the markets of San Fernando and Anton Martin will also join the event, there will be served more than 110 tapas with tastes g19from all over the world and merged with the typical Spanish gastronomy. Each tapa only cost 1,50 Euro and for one Euro more the tapa will be accompanied by a glass of wine or a small beer of ´Estrella Damm´.

On the weekends of 21 to 23 and the weekends of 28 to 30 October, concerts will be taking place on thestreets of Lavapiés. The 30 national band are including rap,groove raw, Capella, Franch world music, swing, rock´n roll, reggae and this among other different music styles. The entertainment for everyone will be completed by animations, circus and street theater.
g56Not forget to mention, that the theater district of Lavapiés will offer discounts on their program from Monday 24 until Thursday 27 October 2016. Furthermore, thirty shops of the neighborhood will be launching bids for their products.

Like the previous years, a jury of journalists and representatives of the hospitality sector will select the three best tapas out of ten differentcompeting tapas.

For more information visit the website tapapies.com or download the app of Tapapiés.

The Reggae Bar of Madrid

1455050_326082554259734_6740542567283570929_n

Since I’m a big Reggae fan, I like to explore the local Reggae scenes in cities I visit. One Love is a reggae bar located in a quiet part of the neighbourhood of Lavapiés. To begin with, if you’re not fond of crowded areas but still want to go out to have fun and enjoy Reggae music, One Love is definitely the place to be!

One Love had been on my “to do list” for about a week. So, I finally decided to check it out after our fun trip to Álcala de Henares with Inhispania! Despite being a bit isolated from the busy areas, One Love was super easy to find. It’s centrally located in a side street of Calle Santa Isabel, two blocks away from Cine Doré. As soon as I walked into the bar I noticed the music of legendary Gregory Isaacs playing. Surprisingly, the volume was not too high which made me think it’s a good place to have some drinks and socialize.
Continue reading “The Reggae Bar of Madrid”