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

Top 5: Frederic

Inhispania intern: Frederic

1. Malasaña

Neighborhood Malasaña

El ambiente “hip” y alternativo, las tiendas de segunda mano y el arte urbano me recuerdan a unos barrios de mi ciudad de origen, Berlín. Te recomiendo que dejes tu móvil en la mochila y te pierdas en las calles pequeñas de este bonito barrio.

The “hip” and alternative atmosphere, second hand stores and a lot of street art all over the place remind me of some of the districts of my home town Berlin. I recommend that you leave your phone in your pocket and get lost in the small streets of this beautiful neighborhood.

Das “hippe” und alternative Ambiente, die Second-Hand-Läden und Street Art an jeder Ecke erinnern mich an einige Viertel meiner Heimatstadt Berlin. Ich empfehle, das Smartphone in der Tasche zu lassen und sich in den engen Gassen dieses schönen Viertels einfach treiben zu lassen.

2. Cercedilla

Cercedilla

Una gran ventaja de ser estudiante de menos de 26 años en Madrid es que puedes disfrutar del maravilloso “Abono Joven 30 días” con el que puedes viajar a todas partes no solo en Madrid sino también en toda la Comunidad Autónoma. Una hora y media al norte de la ciudad se ubica el pueblo de Cercedilla dónde puedes caminar por las montañas y disfrutar del silencio de la naturaleza. Perfecto para huir del calor y del estrés de la capital española.

One of the great advantages of being a student under 26 in Madrid is that you can benefit from the amazing 30-day youth ticket. It allows you not only to travel as much as you want all around the city but also in the entire region of Madrid. One hour and a half north of the city is the village of Cercedilla from where you can do hiking in the mountains and enjoy the silence of nature. A perfect escape from the heat and stress of the Spanish capital.

Einer der grossen Vorteile, in Madrid Student unter 26 zu sein, ist, dass man die Vorteile des 30-Tage-Tickets für junge Leute ausnutzen kann. Dieses erlaubt es einem nämlich nicht nur, so viel wie man möchte in der Stadt herumzufahren, sondern in der gesamten Madrider Region zu reisen. Eineinhalb Stunden nördlich der Stadt befindet sich das Dorf Cercedilla, von wo aus man in den Bergen wandern und die Stille der Natur geniessen kann. Perfekt, um der Hitze und dem Stress der spanischen Hauptstadt zu entfliehen.

3. Retiro

Retiro Park

Este parque era el lugar ideal para disfrutar de mi descanso entre les cursos de español por la mañana y el trabajo en la recepción por las tardes. Aunque teníamos también 38 grados a la sombra, durante una ola de calor que duró unos días, en general, era perfecto para practicar un hábito español al cual me gustó acostumbrarme: la siesta.

This park was the perfect place to relax between my Spanish classes in the morning and work at the reception in the afternoon. During a heat wave, 38 degrees in the shade did not offer more convenience than other spots, but most of the time, Retiro was perfect to celebrate a Spanish habit that I enjoyed getting used to: the Siesta.

In diesem Park habe ich die eine oder andere Pause zwischen meinen Spanischkursen am Morgen und der Arbeit an der Rezeption am Nachmittag verbracht. Während einer mehrtägigen Hitzewelle konnte Retiro bei 38 Grad im Schatten nicht wirklich Abhilfe schaffen. Die meiste Zeit über war der Park aber perfekt, um einer spanischen Gewohnheit nachzugehen, an die ich mich gerne gewöhnte: die Siesta.

4. Estación de Atocha

Atocha Station

¿Te preguntas por qué he elegido una estación de tren en mi top 5? Pues, porque España tiene una red ferroviaria fenomenal que conecta Madrid con muchas otras ciudades interesantes. En dos horas y media, el tren de alta velocidad (AVE) te lleva a Sevilla, por ejemplo. Si tienes tiempo y quieres ahorrar dinero, compartir coche puede ser una alternativa – y una clase de conversación en español adicional.

You are wondering why I chose a train station for the top 5? Well, because Spain has an amazing rail network that connects Madrid with a lot of other interesting cities. In two hours, the fast train AVE brings you to Sevilla, for example. If you have more time and want to save money, a ride share might be an alternative for you – and an additional Spanish conversation class.

Du fragst du, warum ich einen Bahnhof in meine Top 5 genommen habe? Spanien hat ein exzellentes Zugnetz, das Madrid mit einer Vielzahl an anderen spannenden Städten verbindet. In zweieinhalb Stunden bringt einen der Schnellzug AVE beispielsweise nach Sevilla. Wenn du mehr Zeit mitbringst und Geld sparen möchtest, ist eine Mitfahrgelegenheit sicherlich eine gute Alternative – und kann eine gute Spanischlektion werden.

5. BiciMad

BiciMad

Una de las actividades más divertidas que recomiendo a todos para explorar Madrid: las bicicletas eléctricas de la ciudad. Son bastante baratas y mucho mejor que las bicicletas públicas de otras ciudades. Tienen tres velocidades y encima de esto, el motor eléctrico tiene tres niveles que facilitan mucho el pedaleo (especialmente subiendo cuestas). ¡Cuidado porque van bastante rápido!

One of the most fun activities that I highly recommend to everyone who wants to explore Madrid: the electric bikes of the city. They are quite cheap and much better than public bikes of most other cities. They have three gears as well as an electric engine with three speed levels that considerably facilitate biking (particularly uphill). But watch out, it goes quite fast!

Eine meiner Lieblingsaktivitäten, die ich wärmstens empfehle, um Madrid zu erkunden: die Elektro-Räder der Stadt. Die sind nicht nur recht günstig, sondern auch viel besser als die öffentlichen Räder der meisten anderen Städte. Die Räder haben drei Gänge und dazu einen elektrischen Motor mit drei Geschwindigkeitsstufen, die das Fahren deutlich einfacher machen (vor allem bei Anstiegen). Aber pass auf, die BiciMads gehen ganz schön ab!

Top 5: Natasha

El viajero

This is one of my favourite rooftop terraces. It is perfect for a sunny weekend lunch or drinks in the evening after work, in the lively neighbourhood of La Latina. It´s a great place to go and relax after a hectic time in El Rastro market. While it may not have a panoramic view of the city, it still has a cool view of La Latina and a great atmosphere.

Caixa forum

Caixa forum is a cultural center on Paseo del Prado that hosts temporary exhibitions. It always has some kind of interesting and exciting social work exhibition on. One I went to was a really thought-provoking photographic exhibition on different humanitarian crises. It is definitely worth a visit and once you´re done, you can head to the café for a nice sit down and a cup of coffee. Don´t forget to look at the vertical garden! 

Casa de Campo

If you want to escape the buzzing cosmopolitan life, then this is as close as you´ll get without having to leave the city! It is a huge park in Madrid, and one of the biggest in Europe too, with lots of woodland, making it feel like you are in the countryside. You can get there either by cable car (El Teleférico) or by metro. There is also a public pool open in summer, a big lake with restaurants alongside it and even a theme park!

Pez tortilla

Malasaña is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Madrid and one of my favourite streets is called Calle de la Pez. On this street you´ll find one of the best tortilla places in Madrid! You can choose from a range of unique and exciting flavours of both tortilla and croquettes. To top it off, they offer a selection of artisanal beers that go rather nicely with your meal. It´s always very busy so if you don´t have luck there, then try the other Pez Tortilla in La Latina.

Pantano de San Juan

With Madrid being in the centre of Spain, there is a lack of places to go to cool yourself down when it gets too hot! This hidden gem is a man-made beach, at San Juan reservoir and is just an hour´s coach ride away (and free if you have the youth transport card). Here you can pay to do watersports, or just simply relax on the beach and have a swim in the reservoir. There is a cafe there if you´re in need of an ice cream or else bring a picnic with you as it’s an idyllic setting!

Top 5: Beth

Inhispania intern

Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza

Museum close by Inhispania

Out of the “big three” art museums here in Madrid (the Reina Sofia and Prado being the other two). The Thyssen-Bornemisza was by far my favorite. It is more expensive than the other two but definitely worth the money. With an abono entrance is free so it is great for students!

La Hummuseria

Spanish food

If you are obsessed with hummus as I am, you will love this restaurant. It is situated in the alternative barrio of Malasaña and as it name suggests, serves hummus of all flavours which are absolutely delicious. It also has a sister restaurant called the Falafelaria which is in Chueca, very close to the school!

La Roselada del Parque del Oeste

Madrid park

This is probably my favourite open space in Madrid; it is at its best in the months of April and May and is situated in Parque del Oeste which a 15 minute walk away from the Royal Palace. The garden is full of different types of roses, it smells incredible and there are so many colours! It is definitely worth a visit and you can tick off another Madrid tourist site on your way there- Templo de Debod is just next to the park and has a  specific point where you can see a panoramic view of the city.  

Frutas Prohibidas

Madrid food

In the hot weather this place was my savior. It has smoothie bowls, refreshing juices and amazing salads. Perfect when you want something to fill you up and cool you down at the same time!

La Tabacalera

Madrid cultural center

The tabacalera is a cultural and art center located in the old tobacco factory in Lavapiés. The walls surrounding the building are covered in imp ressive graffiti art and inside the center hosts temporary exhibitions of art, photography and contemporary culture. At certain points in the year there is a patio and also underground graffiti tunnels to look at.

Top 5 in Madrid: Jeanne

Hello everyone, my name is Jeanne and here you have my Top 5 places in Madrid.

1. Calle Velarde, Malasaña.

If you are seeking for inspiration in order to renew your wardrobe or just inspiration in itself, go to this street. It is filled with Vintage and second hand shops. Each time you step outside one, you face the entrance of another. Not only are the playlists of the shops great (ranging from coldwave, shoegaze, rap, rock, folk…) but they all add up to the general atmosphere of the shop/street. Goes without saying, you will meet a good quantity of clothes there, but most importantly, you will meet the diversity, a huge range of different styles of vintage clothes. It is for this diversity that I find this place so inspiring. The styles vary from the most minimalistic to the most extravagant item of clothes. Whether you are looking for the usual denim jacket, a pair of dungarees, a silk shirt, a leather skirt or for a full red velvet dress, this street will meet your desires.

Si vous cherchez de l´inspiration pour renouveler votre garde-robe ou simplement de l’inspiration, jetez un coup d´œil à cette rue remplie de friperies. Chaque fois que vous sortirez d´une, vous vous trouvez en face de l´entrée d´une autre. La musique qui défile est aussi variée que les styles vestimentaires : coldwave, shoegaze, rap, folk, rock… C’est la signature de l´atmosphère de cette rue. La variété de styles que vous y trouverez est ce que je trouve très inspirant. Du plus minimaliste au plus extravagant, il y aura chaussure à votre pied ! Que vous cherchiez la veste en jeans de tout le monde, une paire de salopettes, des chemises en soie ou la full robe rouge en velours, cet endroit aura ce que vous voulez et de quoi vous surprendre.

¿Estás buscando inspiración para renovar tu guardarropa? Deberías ir a esta calle que está llena de tiendas de segundo mano. Cada vez que sales de una tienda, estas en frente de otra. La música que ponen es tan diversa como sus estilos de ropa: coldwave, shoegaze, rap, folk, rock…Es la firma es la diversidad, lo cual me parece muy inspirador. De lo más minimalista a lo más extravagante, puedes encontrar lo que quieras.  ¿Estás buscando chaquetas  de mezclilla, monos, camisas de seda o el completo vestido rojo de terciopelo? Ya sabes dónde ir.

2. Museo Reina Sofía

The go-to museum for contemporary art lovers.  The museum used to be a hospital, but underwent a renovation in the 1980s to become the art museum it is today.  Now it hosts some of the greatest modern and contemporary pieces of arts. For a Spanish artistic experience this is one of the best: you will be able to see the famous Guernica, along with other works of Picasso, Dalí or Miró. The museum has a small garden also in the court yard which gives you some fresh air while being at the heart of the city. I like to go there to refresh myself and experience some novelty. The exhibitions regularly change and offer you new ways of approaching the world and art. It is a paradise for abstract art in general.  As much as it is a rich place it is also a refreshing place to go. The venue has a coffee shop too and a book shop, it is a friendly place for art in general. Their big spaces make the experience even more enjoyable and wider.

C´est l´endroit où aller pour les amoureux d´arts contemporains. Le musée pourrait être considéré comme l´équivalent espagnol  du centre Pompidou. Autrefois hôpital,  le musée a été rénové dans les années 1980 pour devenir ce qu´il est aujourd´hui. Il accueille aujourd´hui  les plus grandes œuvres d´art moderne et contemporain. Pour une réelle expérience artistique espagnole c´est un endroit idéal : vous pourrez admirer le célèbre Guernica, ainsi que d´autres tableaux de Picasso, Dali ou encore Miró. Le musée dispose d´un jardin dans la cour antérieure vous donnant un souffle d´air frais au beau milieu de la ville également. J´aime m´y rendre pour son aspect rafraichissant et pour la nouveauté qu´il apporte. Les expositions changent régulièrement et vous offrent de nouvelles manières d´entrevoir le monde et l´art. C´est, pour tout dire, selon moi, le paradis de l´art abstrait ici à Madrid. L´endroit est aussi riche que revitalisant. L´établissement dispose même d´un café et d´une librairie. C´est un endroit accueillant pour les artistes, les amateurs d´art et l´art plus généralement.  Ses grands espaces rendent également l´expérience agréable et ample.

El lugar perfecto para los enamorados del arte contemporáneo. El museo podría ser considerado como equivalente al centro francés Pompidou en París. Antes era un hospital, el sitio fue renovado en los años 1980 para convertirse en el museo que es hoy. Acoge algunas de las obras de arte más importantes del arte moderno y contemporáneo. Es un lugar ideal para una experiencia artística española verdadera: puedes admirar el famoso Guernica, y otras obras de Picasso, pero también de Dalí o de Miró. El museo tiene un jardín en su patio, que le da un poquito de aire fresco en el corazón de Madrid.  Las exposiciones cambian con regularidad y te ofrecen nuevas maneras de percibir el mundo y el arte. Para mi es el paraíso del arte abstracto en Madrid. El sitio es tanto rico como refrescante. Dispone de una cafetería y de una biblioteca. Es un lugar acogedor para los artistas y los aficionados de arte.

3. Mistura

This place offers homemade and ecofriendly ice creams and sorbets. You get to choose the topping you want and they directly mix it for you with the ice cream in front of your eyes. All the ingredients come from local production.  What I appreciate from this place is the transparency of the natural products used and the ability to choose the toppings which come within the ice cream itself.  It is a little treasure for ice cream lovers that you can find nearby the school in the calle Augusto Figueroa. They also have other spots in Madrid, one in Goya and one between Opera and Tirso de Molina. They open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays as well which is always nice if you are looking for a place to have dessert! They also provide breakfast in the same spirit as their ice cream serving: all natural and customized by the customer.  And finally, they have vegan options!

Cet endroit vous propose des glaces et sorbets artisanales et respectueux de la nature. Vous pouvez choisir le topping que vous souhaitez, ils le mélangeront pour vous directement sous vos yeux avec la glace. Tous les ingrédients viennent de productions locales. Ce que j´apprécie de cet endroit c´est sa transparence sur ses produits naturels et la possibilité de choisir ce qui viendra dans la crème glacée elle-même. C´est un véritable trésor pour les amoureux de glace que vous pourrez trouver près de l´école, dans la rue Augusto Figueroa. Ils ont aussi deux autres magasins : l´un dans le quartier de Goya et l´autre entre Tirso de Molina et Opera. Ils sont ouverts les vendredis et samedis jusqu´à minuit, c´est donc l´endroit idéal si vous cherchez un endroit pour le dessert ! Ils proposent également des petits déjeuners dans le même état d´esprit que leurs services de glaces : tout est d´origine naturel et personnalisé par le client. Et pour terminer : ils proposent des options véganes !

Este sitio ofrece helados y sorbetes artesanales caseros.  Puedes elegir el topping que quieres y los vendedores te los mezclan con el helado que quieras delante de tus ojos. Todos los ingredientes son de producción local. Lo que me encanta de este sitio es la transparencia de los productos naturales y la posibilidad de elegir tus toppings que vienen dentro del helado mismo. Es un tesoro  para los amantes de helado y puedes encontrarlo cerca de la escuela Inhispania en la calle Augusto Figueroa. La marca tiene dos otras tiendas en Goya y cerca de Tirso de Molina y Opera que están abiertas hasta medianoche los viernes y sábado. ¡También tienen opciones veganas!

4. Cine Renoir y día del espectador

Are you a supporter of alternative and independent cinema? Renoir will offer a unique experience. It’s the perfect place if you are looking for quality films and/or films in original version. It is not very usual in the area to find movies with subtitles because the Spanish audience tends to prefer doubled movies.  The venue offers a large range of films, and this is not often the case for independent cinemas. You can see the latest Sundance and Cannes selections there, along with the European Cinema Night.  On a side note, each Wednesday in Spain it is the día del espectador. That means you get your place for half price, so go for it!

Adepte du cinéma alternatif et indépendant ? Le Renoir vous offre une expérience unique.  C´est l´endroit idéal si vous cherchez des films de qualité et/ou en version originale. C´est plutôt rare dans la région de trouver des films avec sous-titres car le public espagnol a tendance à préférer les films doublés.  L´endroit propose une large sélection de films, ce qui n´est pas toujours fréquent pour les cinémas indépendants. On peut y voir les sélections de Sundance et de Cannes, l´endroit accueille aussi la European Cinema Night. Chaque mercredi en Espagne c´est le día del espectador, ce qui veut dire que vous bénéficiez d´une séance à moitié prix, profitez-en !

¿Amante del cinema alternativo e independiente? El Renoir te ofrece una experiencia única. Es el mejor lugar si estás buscando películas de cualidad y/o en versión original con subtitulos. Es un poco raro encontrar películas en versión original con subtitulados porque el público español suele preferir películas dobladas. El lugar ofrece una selección bastante larga  de películas lo que no es muy regular para un cine independiente. Puedes encontrar películas seleccionadas para Sundance o Cannes y el lugar también acoje the European Cinema Night. El día del espectador, los miércoles, tiene las películas a mitad de precio, ¡No te lo pierdas!

 5. Sala Equis

I will finish by the number 1 recommendation in Madrid. This cine-bar used to project X movies as the name hints at, but has been renovated into cinema venue. It is now an alternative cinema with a bar downstairs. Upstairs, you have the projection room where you can take your drinks with you for the screening. The rooms have little tables and red velvet sofas to put you in the mood. What I like very much about this place is the atmosphere, because the people who work there or who simply go there love cinema. So you´ll have your chances of having a good chat about cinema with the people there! The venue also hosts cinema events like shortcut cine festival or Japanese film festivals. Check their webpage and their calendar, there will be something for you each day!

Je termine par le numéro 1 de mes recommandations à Madrid. Ce bar- cinéma était autrefois une salle de ciné X, comme son nom l´indique. En revanche il a été rénové pour être l’endroit qu´il est aujourd´hui, composé d´une salle de projection à l´étage et d´un bar en bas. A l´étage, tu peux prendre avec toi  un verre pour ta séance de ciné. La salle a de petites tables et des sofas de velours rouge histoire de te mettre dans l´ambiance. Ce qui me plait le plus de cet endroit, c´est son atmosphère, les gens qui y travaillent ou qui vont dans cet endroit tout simplement adorent le cinéma. Donc tu as des chances de rencontrer des gens posés avec qui discuter de cinéma. Tout ça dans une ambiance détendue.  La salle organise aussi et accueille des festivals de courts métrages ou sur des thèmes géographiques ou culturels.  Jette un coup d´œil au site et à leur programme, il y aura toujours un truc pour toi !

Terminando por el número 1 de mis recomendaciones en Madrid. Este cine-bar proyectaba antes películas X, como su nombre le recuerda, pero está ahora renovado y ha cambiado en un cine arriba y un bar en la planta baja. Arriba, puedes tomar tu bebida contigo para la sesión de cine. La sala tiene mesas pequeñas y sofás de terciopelo rojo para ponerte en el humor para una buena sesión. Lo que más me gusta de este sitio es su atmosfera, ya que se puede sentir que tanto a la gente que trabaja aquí como a los que simplemente ven las películas, les gusta el cine. También organiza acontecimientos como Shortcut cine festival of festival de películas japonesas. Tienes que mirar la página web y el calendario, ¡Hay una cosa para ti cada día!