Los mejores mercados en Madrid

Mercado de San Antón

Siempre me pregunto dónde se puede comer algo típico de Madrid sin pagar demasiado dinero, pero ahora lo sé: ¡en los mercados!

En Madrid hay muchos mercados donde se puede encontrar comida española, pero mi preferido es el Mercado de San Antón.

Este mercado está muy cerca de Inhispania, así que si no tenéis mucha pausa entra las clases de la mañana y las de la tarde, podría ser un buen compromiso.

El Mercado de San Antón tiene tres plantas; la primera está dedicada a la venta de producto perecedero, mientras en la segunda hay más productos que se pueden llevar.

Cuidado con el horario de cierre: la primera planta cierra a las 22:00 horas, mientras que la segunda a medianoche.

De todos modos, la mejor planta para mí es la tercera, donde se encuentra una terraza llamada “La cocina”.

Claro que en la terraza los precios van a ser más caros respecto a las plantas de abajo, pero una vez arriba, merece la pena tomarse una cerveza y mirar la puesta de sol. Si queréis ver qué puestos se pueden encontrar en este mercado, podéis buscarlas aquí: https://www.mercadosananton.com/puestos/

Mercado de San Miguel

Otro mercado donde se pueden comer los platos típicos españoles es el Mercado de San Miguel, muy cerca de la Plaza Mayor. La estructura de este mercado es muy destacable. Este edificio histórico es uno de los principales mercados gastronómicos del mundo, ya que permite a sus visitantes hacer un recorrido por la esencia y los sabores de cada uno de los rincones de España.

En cuanto a los horarios, desde el domingo hasta el jueves es de 10:00a 24:00 horas; mientras el viernes y el sábado el mercado cierra a la 01:00.

Si queréis ver qué puestos se pueden encontrar en este mercado, podéis buscarlas aquí: https://mercadodesanmiguel.es/

Mercado de San Ildefonso

Hay también un tercer mercado en Madrid muy famoso, cerca de la Calle Fuencarral, llamado “Mercado de San Ildefonso”.

Su oferta se basa principalmente en los productos manufacturados y algunos en estado puro, pero siempre listos para tomar en el establecimiento o mientras se sigue el rumbo por la calle principal. Todo ello con el objetivo de ser un break en la jornada de compras, un punto de encuentro en horario after work, una alternativa al menú del día o una parada estratégica para vecinos, turistas y asiduos entre MalasañaChueca y Tribunal. El Mercado de San Ildefonso distribuye sus espacios en tres plantas diferenciadas donde encontramos una amplia variedad de disposiciones y posibilidades.

Complementando los puestos gastronómicos con tres barras, una por cada planta, el mercado cuenta también con dos terrazas, ambas semicubiertas y perfectas para disfrutar de las instalaciones al aire libre, en la mejor de las compañías y con el mejor ambiente de Madrid.

Desde el lunes hasta el jueves, abre a las 13:00 y cierra a la 01:00 horas, el viernes y el sábado abre desde las 12:00 hasta la 01:00, mientras que el domingo abre desde las 12:00 hasta las 00:00.

Si queréis ver que tiendas se pueden encontrar en este mercado, podéis buscarlas aquí:  https://www.mercadodesanildefonso.com/

Top 5: Harry

1. ‘Late Motiv’

What better way to immerse yourself in Spanish culture than going to a late night talk show!? ´Late Motiv´ is one of the most popular shows in Spain, and its host Andreu Buenafuente is now a household name. It´s true, there are quite a few cultural references, and the guests definitely don´t hold back on how fast they talk, but you´ll no doubt have a really fun evening whilst learning a lot about the Spanish sense of humor! To be on the show, all you have to do is apply through the show´s website, and if you´re lucky enough to get tickets, they´re completely free!

¿Qué mejor manera de sumergirse en la cultura española que asistir a un programa de entrevistas? ´Late Motiv´ es una de los programas más populares en España, cuyo presentador Andreu Buenafuente ha llegado a ser un personaje súper conocido. Es verdad que hay bastantes referencias culturales, y los entrevistados suelen hablar a toda velocidad, pero no hay duda de que lo pasarás bien ¡mientras aprendiendo mucho del humor español! Para asistir al programa, solo tienes que solicitar una plaza a través del sitio web del programa, y si consigues obtener entradas, ¡son gratis!

Late Motiv

2. Museo Sorolla

Before coming to Madrid, I didn´t know much about Joaquín Sorolla, nor had I seen many of his paintings, so I was pleasantly surprised when I went to the museum that is dedicated to his artwork (which is held in the beautiful house he used to live in!). Sorolla was largely known as an impressionist painter, and his works, I think, are very appealing and easy on the eye. Tickets are only €3, but if you´re a student, you can get in for free.

Antes de venir a Madrid, no conocía mucho de Joaquín Sorolla, ni tampoco había visto muchas de sus pinturas. Por lo tanto, me puse sorprendido cuando visité por primera vez el museo que le está dedicado (¡que se sitúa en su antigua casa bonita!). Sorolla era conocido principalmente como pintor impresionista, y sus obras, en mi opinión, son muy atrayentes y llamativas. Las entradas cuestan solo 3€, pero si eres estudiante, puedes entrar sin pagar.       

Sorolla Museum

3. La Catedral de Justo Gallego

This is perhaps Madrid´s gem that is still waiting to be discovered! In 1961, a monk named Justo Gallego was expelled from his monastery for contracting tuberculosis. Convinced that he was still called to serve God, he set about constructing his very own cathedral from scratch, without any architectural qualifications. All these years later, Justo hasn´t given up on his mission, and at the age of 95 he continues to get up early each morning to carry on building. The result of his efforts is this enormous edifice that, although looking very much unfinished, still retains an astonishing beauty, made even more impressive by that fact that Justo has done pretty much all of the work himself! To get to the cathedral, you can catch a short bus ride towards Mejorada del Campo, which is on the outskirts of Madrid.

¡A lo mejor esto es la joya de Madrid que queda sin descubrir! En 1961, el monje Justo Gallego fue expulsado de su monasterio por haber caído enfermo. Con la certeza de su vocación de servir a Dios, empañó la construcción desde cero de su propia catedral, sin ningunas calificaciones arquitectónicas. Después de todos estos años, Justo no ha abandonado su objetivo, y con 94 años sigue levantándose temprano cada mañana para continuar a construir. El resultado de sus esfuerzas es este edificio enorme que, aunque parece incompleto, aun retiene una belleza extraordinaria, una hazaña aún más impresionante si tenemos en cuenta que Justo ha hecho la mayoría del trabajo solo. Para llegar a la catedral, puedes coger un autobús de 30 minutos hacia Mejorada del Campo, que está en las afueras de Madrid.

Catedral de Justo Gallego

4. La Caja Mágica

If you´re as a big a tennis fan as I am then there are two events that you definitely can´t miss! The Mutua Madrid Open takes place every year in May, whilst for the foreseeable future the Davis Cup (´the world cup of tennis´) will be played in Madrid every November as well. These two tournaments are highly regarded fixtures on the tennis tour, thus attracting some of the biggest players from all around the world. What´s more, ´madrileños´ really know how to provide a great atmosphere (especially when a Spaniard is playing!) so you´re bound to enjoy yourself no matter what.

Si eres tan apasionado de tenis como yo, ¡hay dos eventos que no puedes perder! El Mutua Madrid Open tiene lugar cada año en mayo, mientras por ahora la Copa Davis (el mundial de tenis) se disputa en Madrid cada noviembre. Estos dos torneos son muy apreciados, así atraen algunos de los mejores jugadores de todo el mundo. Es más, los madrileños saben cómo proporcionar un ambiente electrizante (¡sobre todo cuando juegue un español!), por eso  sin duda lo vas a pasar bien.

Caja Mágica

5. MISKI RESTOBAR

This café/bar is one of my favourite places to chill and/or work in Madrid. They do awesome brunches, great coffee, all the while providing a really cozy setting just to spend a few hours away from the hustle and bustle of the city. What´s better, as it opened only fairly recently, it doesn´t become as crowded as some other, more well-known establishments.

Este café/bar es uno de mis lugares favoritos para descansar y/o trabajar en Madrid. Hacen un ´brunch´ increíble, el café fenomenal, todo el tiempo proporcionando un ambiente acogedor para matar el tiempo lejos del ajetreo de la ciudad. Aún mejor, dada su apertura bastante reciente, no se hace tan concurrido como otros establecimientos más conocidos.

Miski Restobar

Do you know the history behind some of Madrid´s most famous monuments?

Puerta de Alcalá

The Puerta de Alcalá, located in the middle of Plaza de la Independencia, next to the Retiro Park, is one of Madrid´s most iconic landmarks. You´ve surely walked past it before, but do you know how it got there?

The arch, completed in 1778, was commissioned by Carlos III to replace another from the 16th century. You might think that the king would have chosen a Spanish architect to design such an important monument, but the architect, Francesco Sabatini, was actually Italian. 

Although it has similarities with the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, it predates both of them and was in fact the first triumphal arch to be built after the fall of the Roman Empire.

The origin of the arch´s name is simple – it was located on the route to Alcalá de Henares – however not everything about the monument is so easily explained. You might have noticed that the two sides of the arch are decorated differently, but have you ever wondered why? Some people say that Sabatini sent the king several designs, and that he was unable to choose between them. Others claim that the king accidentally approved both of them, and as the architect didn´t dare point out his mistake, he decided to combine the two!

Puerta del Sol

The Puerta del Sol is arguably the most touristic place in Madrid, and even if you aren´t keen on the crowds, it´s almost impossible to visit the city without passing through here at least once!

To understand the origins of this landmark, you have to go all the way back to the 16th century, when difficult conditions caused many people to turn against the monarchy. For this reason, even though Madrid was not the capital of Spain at this time, the city was fortified with a huge wall to protect the royal guard. 

Whereas nowadays Sol is emblematic of the centre of Madrid, it did not even originally form part of the city but was one of the access gates in the city walls.

There are various explanations for the name “Puerta del Sol”; according to some sources, an image of the sun king was painted on the gate, while others attribute the name to the fact that the gate faced East, towards the rising sun.

The plaza as we know it today was originally meant to be a large rectangle, however eventually a semicircular design was decided upon which would preserve the buildings on the straight side, including the Casa de Correos.

Plaza Mayor

The Plaza Mayor is one of the most popular places to visit in Madrid, but there is much more to this destination than meets the eye. Known as Plaza del Arrabal in the 15th century, when it hosted the city´s main market, the square has had various names since 1812 (Plaza de la Constitución, Plaza Real, Plaza de la República), and has only been known as Plaza Mayor since the end of the Civil War.  

The Plaza Mayor has a more dramatic history than you might expect, having survived three big fires. The first, in 1631, engulfed the Casa de la Carnicería, lasting three days, destroying over fifty buildings, and causing three deaths.

In 1672, a lantern caught fire in the portico of the Casa de la Panadería, leaving only the cellar and the ground floor standing. The restoration of the building took sixteen months, and today you can see a plaque in the building which commemorates this event.

The third and most destructive of the fires took place in 1790. It began in the Portal de Paños, and destroyed a third of the square´s perimeter. The fire lasted nine days; as there was not enough water in the surrounding wells, the only way to put it out was to pull down surrounding buildings to block the progress of the flames!

Now you know the secret history of three of Madrid´s most famous monuments, you´ll never look at them in the same way again!

Top 5: Ilaria

Hi, I’m Ilaria and I spent 2 months here in Madrid, doing an internship with Inhispania!

During my stay, I was always thinking about how to enjoy my period here in Madrid, so now I’m going to give you some tips!

1. Flamenco

First of all, I think it could be a great idea to see a Flamenco show.

This dance is a professionalised art-form based on the various folkloric music traditions of southern Spain in the autonomous community of Andalusia. In a wider sense, the term refers to a variety of Spanish musical styles developed as early as the 19th century and now has become popular all over the world.

I saw a Flamenco show in the Cardamomo theatre, it was an amazing experience because dancers are very professional and it seems like the music is coursing through their veins. If I have to be truthful, these shows are a little bit expensive but they are worth the price.

Flamenco show

2. Estadio Santiago Bernabéu

As you may know, Madrid has many football teams, but the most important are Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid.

The Santiago Bernabéu is a football stadium in Madrid, and it has been the home stadium of Real Madrid since its completion in 1947.

The Santiago Bernabéu is one of the world’s most famous football venues and has hosted lots of finals.

So, if you are going to spend a week end here in Madrid, why not watch a Spanish football game?

Of course it’s better to check if the tickets are available in advance, so you don´t get a nasty surprise!

Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

3. Parque del Retiro

Madrid is full of beautiful places, but the one I like most is the Retiro Park. I like going there to relax, read a book or have a picnic. The Retiro Park is a place where you can escape from all the traffic and overcrowded streets, where you can just lay down in the grass and open your mind to imagination.

This park is open every day, from April to September 06.00-00.00 h and from October to March 06.00-22.00 h.

So, if you need a shelter where to chill out, the Retiro Park could be a great place!

Retiro Park

4. La Casa de mi Vecina

If you miss home and need something to cheer you up, I think that “La casa de mi vecina” it’s the perfect place for you! This pastry offers the best home-made cakes in Madrid, and it’s also near the school! What more could you want? J

It is open every day from 10 to 22, and it’s located near the Tribunal metro station.

It’s a tiny place, but offers cupcakes, biscuits, slice of cakes and for the greediest, also a whole cake.

La Casa de mi vecina

5. Hotel Riu

Since June, here in Madrid we have another super hotel with a wide rooftop where to take a beer or cocktail with a friend, it is called the Hotel RIU.

What makes this hotel special is the glass bridge, where it seems to fly.

The position is perfect too, because you can watch the sunset on Gran Vía street.

Before 6 pm you have to pay only 5€ to go up, while if you want to go up later you have to pay 10€, but the good thing is that for both tickets (5 or 10€) you will receive a voucher of 5€ that you can use for a drink on the top.

So, at the end, is not so expensive and the view is literally stunning.

I really recommend this rooftop, because the price for the drinks is worth the view and you can mostly find a table where to enjoy your time!

Hotel Riu

But, if I seriously have to choose the best place here, in Madrid, of course should be this school, because it gave me so much and I will never forget all the people I met!

All the people, who work here, are amaizing!

It was a pleasure meeting them 🙂

Top 5: Natalia

The best thing about living in vibrant Madrid is that you will never run out of things to do, places to visit or people to meet, but if you´re looking for some inspiration here are my recommendations!

While spending the summer in Madrid does bring its challenges (read: 40 degrees and no air conditioning), this is actually a great time to let the city surprise you. My favourite time of day to be outside in the city was after sunset, when the temperature starts to drop and you can comfortably enjoy a drink in the open air, but this is not the only way to enjoy the city after dark. Cibeles de Cine is one of the many summer cinemas which pop up each year around the Madrid. If you think the Palacio de Cibeles is impressive from the outside, you should definitely check this out: a huge screen is set up in the Galería de Cristal, an interior patio with a 30 metre-high ceiling made of over 2000 glass triangles. Just try not to let this distract you from the film!

Cibeles

When I started compiling my favourite places in Madrid, a recurring theme appeared… food! As a vegetarian, I didn´t know what to expect from the food scene here, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the variety of cuisines on offer. I have enjoyed Mexican, Italian and Middle-Eastern food, but the one place I would keep going back to is Bambúbox, the best Thai restaurant I have found in the city. The menu offers much more than your standard Pad Thai, with a whole section of delicious and fresh vegetarian dishes. Aside from the food, everything from the stylish décor to the presentation of the food makes this a great dining experience, all within a few minutes´ walk from the school.

Book shop

If, like me, you prefer to be outside as much as possible, you can´t go wrong with an afternoon spent in the Retiro Park with a good book. If, like me, you get through a book in just a few days however, it can become an expensive habit, which is why I looked for second-hand bookshops almost as soon as I arrived. If you´re looking for something quirky, I recommend Libros para un mundo mejor, where, in addition to literature in various languages, you can find a range of postcards and canvas bags decorated with the motif of the shop´s resident cat, whom you are sure to meet if you visit!

I couldn´t share my favourite places in Madrid without including somewhere to go for breakfast – the best meal of the day. My favourite spot is in the Plaza de las Comendadoras, Malasaña, and is testament to Madrid´s cosmopolitan food scene.  Federal is not like anything else I have found in Madrid; this Australian café is spacious and relaxed, and the food is fantastic. I would highly recommend the French toast or perfectly poached eggs, but if you´re indecisive you should be warned, the menu is extensive and it is super hard to choose!

Finally, no stay in Madrid is complete without seeing the city from above. One way to do this is to visit a rooftop bar, but I would highly recommend the Faro de Moncloa for a true panorama of the city. The 3€ you pay to take the lift 92 metres up the side of the tower are more than worth it for the sweeping view you are rewarded with at the top. Don´t be put off if you´re afraid of heights – the lift ride is over before you know it – just don´t look down!