Day and night, having tapas or drinks, going shopping or visiting museums, in the most traditional Madrid or in the most exclusive area, if you are young (or not that much), enjoy a city that never sleeps and that offers the most caters to all tastes. Where should we start?
Visit the Casa Encendida (House on fire), an open and dynamic Social and Cultural centre of Caja Madrid Foundation, where you will find from the most avant-garde artistic expressions to courses and workshops about the environment or solidarity. The cultural programming offers performing arts, filmmaking, expositions and other contemporary cultural creations.
Visit Tabacalera, a self managed social area, where there are theatre, music, dance, painting, conferences, meetings, audiovisual materials, workshops, events, interventions in the neighbourhood, etc. It is located in Lavapiés neighbourhood and it is mandatory to drop over if you are around and you do not want to miss one of the most inspiring initiatives of the capital.
You cannot miss Conde Duque, an essential place for the cultural activity of Madrid. It is one of the three metropolitan cultural centers of Madrid, together with Matadero de Madrid and CentroCentro, and it has its own different idea of culture and leisure and it is oriented to listen to citizens.
The alternatives are as bigger as the city. Another example is the Thyssen nights that own the summer nights with an irresistible combination of art and gastronomy. Do not miss anything, if you can!
And if you are into museums, in Madrid you will find a wide range of museums to visit. Starting with the Museo del Prado (Prado museum), where more than 2,300 paintings and many sculptures, prints, drawings and pieces of decorative art, have entered since it was founded. Visit one of the widest art collections in Madrid.
You can either go to the Museo Reina Sofía (Reina Sofía museum), that brings together the best XX century and contemporary artists. Moreover, in the permanent collection of the museum, a core of the greater artists from the XX century stands out, especially Pablo Picasso (with the Guernica), Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. Those three museums belong to the so-called Paseo del Arte (Art Walk) of Madrid, which in a few square meters it holds one of the biggest art galleries in the World.
If you are passionate about archaeology, you must visit the Regional Archaeological Museum, created on November 27, 1997. The headquarters are located in Alcalá de Henares, occupying the old building of the Dominic convent Madre de Dios. And since you are already in Alcalá, you can also visit the house were Miguel de Cervantes was born, a building that brings you back to where the writer born.
Furthermore, if you have another kind of taste, you can choose to go to the Wine Museum of Navalcarnero, located in a XIX winehouse with a 300 years old hand excaved cave more. It is made with brick and adobe, with vaulted galleries, and a tour is made inside it going through the history of the wine and its different production stages.
And do not forget the Atazar reservoir, in whose Commonwealth it has been created the so-called Museum Territory, where there is almost one museum with his own theme in all the municipalities that form the Commonwealth. Enjoy discovering them, since all of them have a great deal to offer. But these are some of the 37 museums in Madrid. Why don’t you have a look and check it out for yourself?
Also in the region
The cultural offer is not only limited to the capital, since the Region of Madrid is full of museums, interpretations centers, etc. Something that you have to discover yourself and that will not let you down.
One of the most impressive Ethnographic museums in the region is “El Caserón”, in San Sebastián de los Reyes. This huge building has more than 600 m2 of exposition, distributed among four floors.
Either you can let your imagination run free and visit the spectacular Lunar de Fresnedillas de la Oliva museum, the only museum in Spain dedicated to the Apollo missions, a program developed in the 60 and beginning of 70. The museum possess a collection of unique special objects, where you would be able to enjoy a guided tour that goes from the Mercury program to present, going through the Apollo, Skylab, the International Space Station, and much more.
Photography is also in the spotlight, since the famous French photographer J. Laurent took pictures of the Region of Madrid during the XIX century and he captured amazing pictures of people of old. An original idea would be to walk around all the places where he took pictures, such as Sieteiglesias and his custom pictures.
If you are into cinema, one of the best places to enjoy it is the Alcalá de Henares Cinema Festival. It is annually hold in November. It is considered one of the most important short film festivals in Spain, and it has welcomed highlighted Spanish directors like como Álex de la Iglesia, Isabel Coixet, Santiago Segura or Alejandro Amenábar. This is something that you will enjoy without any doubt.
Do not forget that we cannot tell you everything. The offering is as varied as your taste, so do not miss anything and enjoy what Madrid has for you.
Leisure and free time
Get in touch with nature via the voluntary work camp, nautical activities in the San Juan or the Atazar reservoirs, or take an equestrian route. You can even do paragliding at La Cabrera! Go hiking following the walking tracks of the Region of Madrid. It is not far away, and it is worth it in every step you take. Learn more and do not miss anything.
If you love enjoying the most authentic sports, you must know that our city has a further ace up its sleeve. You can attend to a top football competition with the participation of our main football teams, or the most exciting and decisive basketball games, enjoy tennis, golf, Madrid’s marathon, and the San Silvestre Vallecana, or sky in the Madrid Snow Zone in Xanadú
Enjoy the Picnic Sessions at the Centro de Arte 2 de Mayo (2nd of May Art Centre), during summer time. Here you can attend to poetry recitals of the most novel and transgressor artists on the national and international scene.
And for gamers, Madrid Games Week is an amazing attraction. In this event you will find the latest videogames, the most amazing cosplays and the most wanted and famous in the past video consoles. If you are into videogames (if not, you will), you should not miss it!
You can also go with base sports, training in the many extensive parks around the city and in the municipal and private sport halls. But as you may know, the city is not everything, and to enjoy your free time you can chose all the alternatives that the municipalities of the Region of Madrid can offer to you. Take a guided tour in Alcalá de Henares at Noches de Verano (summer nights), or enjoy the adventure activities that Las Rozas municipality organizes; or enjoy the most authentic living Zombies.
Fringe is fashion
Enjoy the best festivals and musical contests in the capital. Do not miss Fringe, one of the most audacity festivals of performing arts and music. You will find the most alternative environment, the most daring performances and the most intense theatre. Everything is included in the incomparable framework of “El Matadero”, the contemporary center of creation that you will not get tired of visiting.
Or either visit the Zinc Shower if you want to be updated of the most novel, stimulating and transformational thinking. With the impulse of Cultural and Creative Industries, more than 100 speakers and many assistants, it is one of the most novel brain storming places. Moreover, reflection on new technologies, creativity celebration and open innovation are also taking place. If these concepts are of your interest, you cannot miss this mind festival.
And if you love new things, drop over Mulafest, the urban trends festival of Madrid. Walk around its music, tattoos, garage, street food, skate, theatre and cinema halls, and you will find the latest things, together with the main protagonists on the international scene. The underground is vibrant than ever before in this tendency space.
Furthermore, in Mulafest you will find a living place, which brings the best skate bmx, life style, etc. just in front of you! It is a unique opportunity to drop over and enjoy.
Madrid has the most charming music venues in the World, and many of them have live music. Jazz, fusion, blues, rock, funky… In some of them you can enjoy live music without expending a single euro.
You can learn more in many sites, like La Noche en Vivo, which stands as one of the best calendars of concerts in Madrid; or entering in the live music local network, where you will find all you need to plan your concert nights without expending a lot of money. It is your golden opportunity!
Moreover, Madrid capital is not the only place where you can find live music. There are countless music venues spread throughout the region, where you will be comfortable and well served. Enjoy a concert while you are having your favourite drink in the hottest spots in the region.
And if you like festivals, we have all styles. Don’t miss the After Sun in Alcorcón, the “Maestro José Guillén” Band Festival of Colmenar Viejo or the “Música al Atardecer” Festival in San Lorenzo del Escorial. You decide what to see and in the Region of Madrid you will find where to do it.
We should also take into account the concerts, that occur one after another spread all over the Region and attracts the best artists in the music scene, from rock and pop legends to the most popular singers of today’s scene. Don’t miss the most current live performances of your favorite artists.
Furthermore, you should not forget that you could be part of the best popular parties in all the municipalities of the Region of Madrid, and enjoy the best local popular music.
How about going shopping?
You will certainly be looking forward to visit the best shopping places of Madrid, either in one of those large avenues full of the best shops in the World o either in a lovely street replete with the typical small shops. Nonetheless, your place is here.
In this city it is possible to find everything and for all tastes, from the most common things to the most specific and outlandish things. Madrid has little boutiques of major designers, well-known fashion chains and big shopping centers, a real paradise for shopping lovers.
In Madrid you will also find many shops of typical products and souvenirs such as the famous figure of the bear and the strawberry tree, replicas of the famous monuments like the Puerta de Alcalá, bullfighting art, tiles and other ceramic products with the most emblematic sites of the capital, souvenir t-shirts… or either you will find typical gastronomic products like the native beer, goat cheese, typical candies from Madrid, wine and domestic meat products, pastry, olive oil… Nearly endless souvenirs that will make you don’t forget the region of Madrid.
Travel along the Trendy route, as all cities have the trendiest areas, where the coolest is standard and where the trends arrive first. In the Spanish capital this area is Malasaña, a neighborhood of the Central district limited by the streets Princesa, Gran Vía, Fuencarral, Carranza and Alberto Aguilera. So get on the bike, wear your sunglasses and let’s go. However, even Malasaña is the hipster area par excellence of Madrid; Lavapiés also has corners that rival it. Madrid traditional custom coexists with the trendiest fashion in Santa Isabel Street.
Outside the capital you can enjoy the shopping centres, full of the most prestigious fashion brands at very affordable prices, suitable for all budgets. And there are also some typical flea markets of handicraft products, which deserve a particular mention.
Just to name some of them among the wide range offer that you have, we will highlight the “Mercado Artesano” (Handicraft Market) of Colmenar Viejo, the “Punto de Encuentro de Artesanos” (Artisans meeting point) of Alameda de Osuna, the “Mercadillo Ecológico y Artesano” (Ecological and Artisan Flea market) of Colmenarejo, the “Mercadillo de Artesanías” SORCAS (SORCAS handicraft flea market) in Moralzarzal, the “Mercado del Siglo de las Luces” in Villaviciosa de Odón, el “Mercado del Caracol” in Majadahonda or the “Zoco del Soto” in La Moraleja. And those are some of them! Undoubtedly, this is a tour that you cannot miss if you want to acquire the most authentic products produced by the most well known artisans.
Where to spend the night?
If all that remains to decide before partying hard is where to sleep, you should know that in Madrid we take you into account from the very first time. That is why we offer a large network of accommodations that comprises hostels, refugees, urban camps... Learn more and choose the most suited to your needs.
Don’t make excuses; it will be easy for you to find an accommodation to stay in Madrid. Are you ready? Come with us and we will show you where to go to keep the party going.
Madrid’s night has many atmospheres going from the student area in the northwestern side of the city, to breweries in Santa Bárbara Square and Glorieta de Bilbao or the fun and transgressor night of Chueca, famous for the energy it releases.
In the north-west part of the city is where the youngest atmosphere meets. The closeness to the Complutense University makes this area one of the favorites for students, especially the block bounded by the streets of Fernando El Católico, Gaztambide and Andrés Mellado. Better known as “Bajos de Argüelles), the variety of music contributes to a wider range of ages in the rest of Moncloa.
Breweries like the Santa Bárbara Square or Glorieta de Bilbao act as night axes in Alonso Martínez and Bilbao. Traditional pubs, more elegant or alternative coexist in their streets, and with them, the subsequent wide range of public they attract: the ones that end their night dancing with the best Spanish pop music, prevalent in these pubs.
The night in Chueca is famous due to the energy it releases. Everyone that enters in one of the pubs of the neighborhood is quickly infected with the fun they have in there. Do not miss the most chic places at the moment with the cocktails you have always wanted. The best music is waiting for you in the most famous gay neighborhood of Spain.
If you want to continue with the “Movida Madrileña” from the 80’s, you must visit Malasaña, where the rock atmosphere and the styles and trends fusion can be noticed. Either inside or outside of the locals and the streets there is a constant coming-and-going of people from all ages. Having tapas or some drinks, there are some pubs that you must visit for the nostalgic ones or to enjoy live music.
The favorite destination for tourists and exchange students is Huertas, where fun never ends and the party is guaranteed every day of the week. Live music locals, bars where to eat tapas, breweries that set their terraces in the Santa Ana Square with the Teatro Español as a background, and clubs that don’t close until early in the morning.
The night of Madrid in Lavapiés is unique and it deserves to be enjoyed with no rush. The live performances of musical bands and flamenco singers are combined with the offering of different clubs or bars, where you can have a drink or dance until early in the morning. Without forgetting the famous “Paseo Marítimo Madrileño”, Argumosa Street, it is special because it hosts some of the most original restaurants in the area and, moreover, it is famous due to the high number of terraces and boulevards that will delight those that pass by there.
Image credits: ©Hugo Fernández. Region of Madrid