Category: Travel tips

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 [...]

El Rastro

This famous Sunday morning flea market, located next to La Latina, one of the oldest quarters of Madrid, has everything from clothes, bags and other paraphernalia, to the funny stalls dedicated to just one single thing: there is one, for example, that sells nothing but various shapes and sizes of elastic bands! One specific side [...]

10 (or more!) Things to Do During a Weekend in Madrid

This post originally appeared on our sister site Recommendations for 10 things to do in Madrid 1. The Do or Die Arty No-Brainer Visit at least one of the big three art museums, the Prado, the Reina Sofia or the Thyssen. If in doubt pick the Reina Sofia and see Guernica. 2. Tapas Grazing [...]

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 [...]

What is a “Menú del Día”?

It’s common for Spanish workers to take a lunch break in the middle of their working day. The usual thing is to go out to a restaurant and have a menú del día, menu of the day. This set lunch consists of a starter, a second course, and a dessert, with several options for each, [...]

What is the weather like in Madrid?

When people ask if I like living in Madrid, I say, ‘No one ever goes to bed and the sky’s always blue. What do you think?’ The former observation is a slight exaggeration (Sunday nights are quiet); but the latter is pretty much true. Sun doesn’t always equate to heat, however. At the time of [...]

Highlights and Tips from a Semestre Studying in Madrid

Michael Loiacono has spent the last 4 months studying at Syracuse Universtiy in Madrid as part of a student exchange program. He’s also been an invaluable intern, helping us out with Notes from Madrid and our other sites. Over at he gives us the rundown on why you should definitely (definitely!) try some time [...]

What Shoes Should I Wear in Madrid?

Accessories are an important part of the Spanish wardrobe and shoes are at the top of the list. But the great question looms – comfort or style? Follow these tips and you’ll find the perfect mix to ensure that no one will think you’re a tourist. 1. Boots – Not just for the young and [...]

What are Tapas? Where is the best place for Tapas in Madrid?

A tapa is a little bit of food to have with your drink. There are several stories about the origin of tapas, but in my opinion, the main objective was clearly to avoid people getting too drunk while drinking wine or beer. This little bit of food can be anything from a small, hot plate [...]

How to avoid looking like a tourist in Madrid

To avoid obviously looking like a tourist, choose a sleek bag over a fanny pack or backpack (men may opt to carry man-purses). Don’t ever wear socks with sandals or white socks, period. To really blend in, you’d do well to emulate current trends (as filtered down from the annual Cibeles fashion week) by checking [...]

Where can I watch the NFL and MLB in Madrid?

It’s Sunday, and with your head still ringing from last night’s marcha, all you really want is to flop in front of the TV and watch some sports. You reach for the remote control but then it hits you – you’re in Madrid. Where can you go to watch some good old American sports? The [...]

Can I Use my Hair Dryer in Spain? – U.S. electrical appliances FAQ

Shortly after moving to Madrid, I plugged in an electric toothbrush charger from the U.S. with only a plug adapter. The friendly little green charger light didn’t turn on. And it never did again. I hope that you all will be smarter than I was and read up before doing something like that. The main [...]

Madrid iFAQ: Where can you store your travel junk?

Maybe you’ve just arrived and are ready to start sightseeing but don’t know where you’ll be staying. Perhaps you have checked out have some time to kill before you leave the city. Or (God forbid) your pension/hostel in just shady enough that you’d prefer a secure place to stow your belongings in a safer place. [...]

Café Faborit – Wifi Internet Access in Madrid

Café Faborit caters to the people who respond to the Spanish adage of staying at home as little as possible, yet are too attached to their portátil (laptop) to use any other computer. The “Wifi” is easy to access, there are sockets to plug your dear friend into so as not to be dependent on [...]

Madrid Nightlife Survival Kit – Top 5 Items to Slip in Your Pocket

For a typical night out most Madrileños leave home with at least three things in hand – keys, cell phone, and Metro pass. No wallet, you ask? The monthly Metro pass, conveniently made up of a flexible card slipped into a plastic sleeve, serves as a perfect catch-all for your marcha necessities. Here are the [...]