Category: Weird : Quirky : Fun

Avoid: Eating and drinking in the Plaza Mayor

The view might be pretty special, but the food served up on the terraces of the Plaza Mayor is far from it… It’s ridiculously expensive, low-quality, and loveless. Save your money and check out some of the great places for lunch near the Plaza Mayor, or wander five minutes down the road to the wonderful [...]

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 [...]

Avoid: Sol, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Someone recently suggested in our Spain forum that this picture is worrying on several levels. Primarily, what the hell is going on with Mickey and the spangley yellow jacket?!
Whether Mickey is there or not, I strongly suggest avoiding Sol and all adjacent shopping streets on Saturday afternoons… unless you particularly enjoy being hustled around amongst [...]

Madrid Characters #2 - The Coal Man!

While some people are still heating their flats with individual bottles of Butane gas, most of the buildings in our barrio have central heating - meaning that one big old boiler in the basement pumps hot water around the radiators in the whole building. The upside is pretty powerful heating, the downside is that you [...]

De Pelicula… Almodovar would love this set up…

There’s nothing like finding a view over the roofs of Madrid… This one is from a roof terrace high up in the Barrio of Noviciado. The owner of the flat attached to the view told me that before they lived there it had been inhabited by quite an interesting group, consisting of a trampy old [...]

Madrid Characters #1 - The Gas Man!

…and I thought that these days it was only country folk that ordered their gas by the bottle. Apparently not, as the Butanero can still be seen driving his lorry around Madrid. These men are herculean super-machos, capable of hoisting two full gas bottles onto their shoulders and climbing six flights of stairs (I imagine [...]

Madrid joins the ‘pedias

Madripedia launched this week, joining the ever increasing ranks of wikis out there on the net. This should be interesting to watch, especially if it enjoys the success of Cordobapedia, which now has nearly 4,000 articles on board!

RedRetro - Madrid Metro Art?

If you are new to Madrid the fact that a bunch of artists are going around changing the names of the Metro stations is hardly going to help you get around - if you do spot one though, you’re bound to feel like a real local - just make sure you snap it and send [...]

Madrid blogs in Spanish

The more Madrid blogs the better far as I am concerned. I’ll get onto the English lot soon, but in the mean time, how about practicing a bit of Spanish while you keep up to date on the city?
Es Madrid no Madriz has a good selection of what’s on, food and drink, and general city [...]

Graffiti in Madrid - What are they going to do about it?

I’ve noticed an increasing amount of graffiti all over the capital recently. I don’t even know if the tags scrawled all over every bare surface can be dignified with the term ‘graffiti’ - there certainly isn’t any art to most of it. The worse cases are found in the barrio of Malasaña (as in the [...]

One for the diary - Saint Spliff’s Day!

Well it’s not for everyone, but Notes from Madrid is duty bound to bring you the gourmet, the classy, and the downright seedy sides of the city… Which leads us to San Canuto (Canuto = Spliff/Joint) - today’s annual smoke-in where Universidad Autónoma de Madrid students gather together to get thoroughly stoned. Despite freezing fog, [...]

Calle del Desengaño - Definitely not in the guides

Never has a street been better named. Calle del Desengaño - “Eye-Opening Street”, or “Disappointment Street” (map). Just ten steps back from Gran Via, the city’s biggest shopping strip, some might say it has has come a long way in the last few years - at least the junkies have gone. In their place are [...]