Category: Culture

Las Ventas

Despite being completely against bull fighting I have to admit that Las Ventas bullring is an impressive construction. Luckily it has other uses apart from the obvious one. For example, from June through October it is used as a pop & rock concert venue, and in my opinion it is one of the best places [...]

Great Madrid Bits from the Web

I’ve got a couple of Madrid-related things here that have caught my eye recently. 1. Madrid Me Mata has provided us with a great resource: a map of all free WiFi hotspots in Madrid. Obviously the guys at MMM need our help, so if you know of a place with free WiFi, you can add [...]

To See: Palacio Real, To Avoid: Palacio Real Guided Tour

“Para gustos hay colores.” This common Spanish phrase, meaning more or less that there are as many preferences as there are colors, sums up the state of affairs when discussing the famous Palacio Real in Madrid. The royal palace is clearly a gem among the city’s numerous historical spots. But, when it comes to the [...]

Andén 0: The Chamberí Metro Museum

This week I was one of the first visitors to Madrid’s latest attraction. In 1966 the Ministry of Public Works, finding that Chamberí Metro station could not be easily modified to take the new six-carriage trains and that the area was already well served with other accesses to the metro system, decided to close the [...]

La Noche Española – Flamenco Exhibition at the Reina Sofia

Madrid residents and visitors alike ought to check out the Reina Sofia’s new temporary installation “La Noche Española” (or Spanish Night), open through 24 March 2008. It’s a look at the quintessential Spanish dance – Flamenco – at the intersection of avant-garde and popular culture, 1865-1936. Brimming with caricatures, photographs, archival video footage and dance [...]

The Reina Sofia Museum – Modern Art in Madrid

The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía houses the modern art portion of Madrid’s Golden Triangle in a former hospital. The mostly 20th-century Spanish art collection is well suited to the vast spaces of the hospital: the Reina Sofía may be Madrid’s most accessible and well-organized major art museum. I’d recommend whizzing up to [...]

Madrid: Fancy Flamenco?

If my knowledge of flamenco (and pockets) were deeper, I’d be using this space to give you a concise and comprehensive review of Madrid’s tablaos (flamenco joints). As it is, this post is going to be more of a call for comparison. I’m hoping my ignorance will ruffle the feathers of some Andalusian culture vulture, [...]

Surviving Madrid’s Prado Museum, Part 2 – The Power Tour

(Continuing from Part 1 – Intro to the Prado…) Entering the museum through the “Puerta Alta de Goya” (at the top of the stairs outside, so on the first floor), look at your map and head (counter-intuitively) for the basement first (numbers 100-102 on the map) by crossing the entire first floor (24-32) and descending [...]

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza: Madrid’s Must-See Museum

You may hear less mention of the Museo Thyssen – Bornemisza than of Madrid’s other two famous art museums, but that’s only because its name is tricky to pronounce. There’s no reason to overlook this corner of Madrid’s “Golden Triangle of Art.” The well-rounded collection, compiled by the art-loving Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza and acquired by the [...]

Surviving Madrid’s Prado Museum, Part 1 – Intro

Warning: this post may offend Prado evangelists and/or defenders of its untouchable status. Right, the Prado. Without a doubt, this is Madrid’s business card for art lovers – or any bus load of tourists, really. Known throughout the world as a must-visit, the museum contains a wide array of paintings up until the 18th century, [...]

Art from Banks

Banks in Spain actively promote the arts and this is something you can take advantage of. Perhaps in an effort to improve their image as mean and filthy rich, Spanish banks work actively on social responsibility — from constructing old folks’ centers to promoting energy conservation or other social causes. This obra social and obra [...]

Where to see Cinema in English in Madrid

If you’re anything like me you can’t stand watching a dubbed film. Nearly all foreign films that arrive in Spain are dubbed, allowing the audience to sit back and pretend that the film actually is in Spanish, even though the voices are all off and the lips moving don’t match up with the sound. But [...]

Madrid Tango Dancing Time Warp – La Milonga del Centro

I have never attended any dance class in my entire life, so what in the world would I be doing at a tango salon? Tango not even being español… shouldn’t we be going to a flamenco joint? Those were the sentiments that I entered Casa de Guadalajara with, dragged along by friends who had, years [...]

Conde Duque – Village life in the middle of Madrid

One of the more under-the-radar neighborhoods in the center of Madrid is what I like to call Conde Duque, the area between Malasaña to the east and Calle Princesa to the west. The barrio, which a friend of mine says feels “like a pueblo” (like a village) is perfect for an afternoon’s wandering: full of [...]

Art House Cinema in Madrid – Cine Doré

Cine Doré is a uniquely nostalgic place in Madrid to watch films ranging from silent gems to modern globe-spanning festival winners. The cinema, constructed in 1923, underwent extensive restoration from 1982 to 1989 and today is kept busy with offerings from the Filmoteca Española (national film library). It offers cinephiles a café, bookstore, and affordable, [...]