Madrid is a very lively city, even at 4am. The Spanish capital is full of places to explore cultural and culinary specialties, but they are unfortunately more expensive and less varied than Seville or Barcelona.
We recommend spending at least three days in the capital, the time to walk around in the streets and admire the buildings, enter tapas bars, visit the Reina Sofia National Museum, dedicated to the works and movements of art of the twentieth century including the famous Picasso’s Guernica, to walk in the Royal Botanic Gardens, and enjoy the nightlife.
How to Go to Madrid?
Thanks to the low-cost airlines Ryanair, you can go to Madrid for a reasonable price. You land at Barajas Airport, near the city. This is really great, it can accommodate 70 million passengers and consists of four terminals. It is connected to the city by the Metro network.
Transport in Madrid
The metro runs from 6am to 1:30am every day. Tickets can be purchased at metro stations, or in some newsstands. It is about 1 the subway ride.
Daily buses from 6am to 11:30pm, replaced then by the night buses (buhos). Same rate as for the metro, you can not buy a single tickets directly from the driver. You have to signal the driver to ask him to stop. We compost the ticket in the front.
Last solution, taxis. No problem to find them. Require that the driver starts the meter before starting. It is 2.05 during the day, and according the period (week or weekend), two night tariffs between 11 pm and 6 am: 2,20 or 3,10 . + pricing according to the km, which is quite feasible. If the price seems too high, request a receipt.
Some good addresses to eat in Madrid
- 100 Montaditos: This restaurant offers a selection of 100 different small sandwiches, served on trays with chips. We eat about 5 or 6 for a real meal. It’s good and it’s really cheap!
- The Museo del Jamon: the typical and original butcher shop worth visiting. It offers meat, including the famous jamon Serreno, you can eat tapas and throws your garbage on the ground, true! You need to see it by your own eyes!
- The Covered Market San Miguel, just off the Plaza Mayor: thirty stalls offer delicious products to take away or eat on site, ideal for eating tapas. It is quite expensive but the beautiful surroundings of the market, in a structure built of iron, is worth it. Open until midnight from Sunday to Wednesday and until 2am on Friday and Saturday.
- The Automatico bar (Calle de Argumosa, 17) offers Salmorejo soup, which is normally a specialty from the South and is just amazing! The bar is beautifully decorated in one year 50 chic style. The prices are quite reasonable.
- The Malaspina: In addition to its good rations tapas they serve a great sangria. About 15 per person for a dish. A beer and some tapas is cheaper.
- We had also wanted to go to El Tigre (Calle de las Infantas, 30), a tapas bar raced by Erasmus students in Madrid. Unfortunately, it was closed. From what I had read on the internet, you can taste all kinds of tapas included in the price of the glass. The only problem is how to find a place, which is a bit far away. And like a typical tapas bar, the food leftovers, towels and other rubbish is thrown on the ground.
Nightlife in Madrid : pub crawls !!
We did two pub crawls in Madrid. The appointment is given for most of them at the Puerta Del Sol (statue of the bear) or the Plaza Mayor. The price is 15 but it is not profitable, because you get a free shot at the various bars where you go, but if you go by yourselves, members of the team will try to get you in the bar by offering free shots as well (“chupito”). And you do not have to take something else inside. Of course, these shots of local liquor are often cut with water. Do not expect to be able to be drunk for free! The only advantage of pub crawls is that you can easily meet people. Unfortunately, there were no more than 10 people each time we went.
We did not go but there is a 5-storey nightclub famous, Kapital (Calle Atocha 125).