Top 5 Places to Find a Madrileño in January

How To's / Where To's, Weird : Quirky : Fun

by Amy Menchhofer

The holidays are over and it´s time to buckle down and achieve those New Years Resolutions. If one of yours is to meet more locals, these tips will help you along the way.

  1. Shopping – With the massive rebajas (sales) in every store, you´re certain to pick up a new friend as easily as you pick up a bargain. Icebreaker: Can you hold my place in line while I check out that shirt?
  2. Gym – The Spanish aren´t famous for their status as gym rats but if ever you´re to find a treadmill partner, now´s the time. But don´t hesistate too long – you´re likely to find the gym empty by February. Icebreaker: Are you training for the 2008 San Silvestre?
  3. Classes – Language academies, driving schools, Masters programs – the new year is all about personal betterment. And the full classrooms mean lots of new friends. Icebreaker: Even with all the classes in the world, my salary´s sure to stay put.
  4. Grocery Store – With everyone studying the prices and complaining about the cuesta de enero (yearly price hikes) you´ll have plenty of time to strike up a conversation with your fellow shoppers. Icebreaker: I know a great place where the tapas are still cheap…
  5. Bars – The Spanish are a bar-happy people and something´s never change. Higher interest rates, expensive chicken, crappy pensions – they can all be assuaged with a caña or a copa. When all else fails, you are certain to find plenty of locals at the neighbourhood watering hole. Icebreaker: The tried and true “¿Estudias o trabajas?”

How will you manage to meet the locals?


Comment from Katie
Date: January 14, 2008, 1:07 pm

great tips, ben! i think the cuesta de enero refers to the “uphill” feeling after christmas when everyone’s low on money and, yes, some prices go up.

Comment from ben
Date: January 14, 2008, 2:28 pm

Oops, sorry, the post was by Amy – forgot to change that! Great tips Amy!

Comment from Marturro
Date: January 17, 2008, 7:22 am

“I know a great place where the tapas are still cheap…”


The tapas are normally given for free. Those madrileños struggling with the high prices probably don’t have tapas and raciones as a priority.

My 2 cents:

-The madrileños mostly spend their time dancing flamenco and bullfighting, unless they’re having a siesta.

¡Hagamos un esfuerzo por no propagar tópicos absurdos!