Collected by Caroline Blatt
Calle Echegaray, 7, 28014 Madrid, Spain
They say Hemingway used to drink at La Venencia. If that’s true, you wouldn’t know it: there are no photos of Don Ernesto on its walls, no placards identifying Papa’s favorite table. La Venencia isn’t the kind of establishment to talk about its...
Calle Torija, 7, 28013 Madrid, Spain
The best flamenco show of my life, without a doubt! Cafe Chinitas is a small venue with incredibly spirited and talented dancers. Come for the first show of the evening when the musicians and dancers are fresh. Heads Up: don’t bother with dinner,...
Calle Alfolí, 11, 28280 Escorial (El), Madrid, Spain
Tapas in Madrid are usually eaten before lunch, at “vermut” or “aperitivo” time. This can be done before lunch or after work. Apart from eating the Madrid tapas and drinking sangria or beer, these bars are a good place to watch football games and...
Calle de José Ortega y Gasset, 75, 28006 Madrid, Spain
The family-run El Pescador is not only down-to-earth fun, but also a very good seafood restaurant, with great tapas and a smart choice of Albarino wines. Try a glass of Mercado San Miguel. —Alessia Antinori Jose Ortega y Gasset 75, 34/91-402-1290,...
28028 Madrid, Spain
A trip to Las Ventas is a must in Madrid. Tickets are available for those who wish to attend un corrido and tours are available for others who don't care for the bullfight. If you decide to watch this Spanish tradition in action, buy a seat and...
Cmo. de Perales, 23, 28041 Madrid, Spain
I went to Madrid on business and discovered the new Madrid Rio ... opened in May 2011 and in an area alongside the Manzanares River and highway that was converted into 15km of parks, historical moments, outdoor concerts, & gardens. It's for sure...
Paseo del General Martínez Campos, 37, 28010 Madrid, Spain
The former house of Joaquín Sorolla is now a museum dedicated to his life. The walls of the house hold not only his own work but very personal mementos from his life, and even the art of his friends. These details make it feel as though Sorolla...
Calle del León, 12, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Cheese connoisseurs, welcome to heaven. Casa Gonzalez has been serving up the widest selection of queso (cheese) with an authentic flair for years. The wine list does not disappoint and somehow the service is always smiling, even when the bar is...
Plaza Cánovas del Castillo, 4, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Renowned chef Paco Roncero re-interprets everyday Spanish food without crossing the line into pretentiousness at Estado Puro; here, flavor matters more than presentation and dishes are perfectly portioned. Patatas bravas, fried potatoes spiked...
Calle de la Bola, 4, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Dinner at El Mollete Taberna was my most memorable meal during a solo trip to Spain last year. This tiny Tapas bar is run by an amazing family and their passion for food and wine comes through in every bite. The family tucked me in at the bar, set...
Calle Duque de Medinaceli, 12, 28014 Madrid, Spain
I once heard that eating tapas while standing builds character. Going into a tiny dark tapas bar in Madrid and ordering parts of a pig that aren't normally consumed does too. Toni, owner and cook at Casa Toni in Madrid, sautées this...
28005, Calle de Toledo, 21, 28005 Madrid, Spain
El Rastro is overwhelming. As one of the largest outdoor flea markets in Europe, you're going to need a break at some point. Enter El Capricho Extremeño, a Sunday afternoon institution in Madrid. The line will be long, but it's part of the...
Calle de Espronceda, 17, 28003 Madrid, Spain
Traditional and outstanding Spanish tapas and small plates at Sylkar in an urban and common Madrid neighborhood. Tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette) is known as one of the best in the city, also order their croquettes and torrijas a specialty...
Calle de Santa Isabel, 52, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Life reflects art? The Reina Sofia museum in Madrid is home to Picasso's famous Guernica, and many works by other Spanish artists, including Miro and Dali. A fabulous place to discover the art, artists, and ideas of the 20th century.
Sol, Madrid, Spain
La Descubierta was the perfect people watching place in Central Madrid. The surrounding streets where full of tourists but this carless alley seemed to be mostly locals. We stayed for hours; eating, drinking and watching people. It was perfect....
Plaza de la Independencia, 4, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Easy to find and hard to leave, Ramses is modern but ultra comfortable. They managed to create a completely differente atmosphere in each room—from romantic dining to a bubbly champagne bar—but the outdoor lounge was my favorite. When traveling I...
Calle del Príncipe, 27, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Vinoteca Barbechera is one of my favorite corner wine shops thanks to its extensive selection of regional and international wines and knowledgeable servers. The food is excellent: Try the pork with caramelized onions, the foie gras with apples, or...
Plaza de Matute, 2, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Like walking into an eclectic antique store come to life, El Imperfecto is a melting pot of styles. But one thing is always consistent: the mojitos. El Mojito Imperfecto (different from the regular mojitos) is proclaimed the best in Madrid. When...
Glorieta Sar Don Juan de Borbon y Battermberg, 5, 28042 Madrid, Spain
Madrid's largest park, named after King Juan Carlos I, is a short metro ride from downtown, but from the moment you leave the station you feel as though you've been transported to a faraway land of fairy tales. Giant sculptures decorate the...
Puente de Toledo, S/N, 28019 Madrid, Spain
Over the last several years, Madrid's river redevelopment has really come together. What used to be sludgy is now sparkling, with walkways and bridges intertwined along the river, with kids playing, people jogging and chatting. A great place to...
Plaza del Corrillo, 20, 37002 Salamanca, Spain
Salamanca's charms are seemingly endless, and it's hard to deny that the Renaissance is still alive here. Forget time and join the slow life of Salamanca. Plaza Mayor is the soul of the city, and the best place to spend hours on a proper Spanish...
Calle Carabanchel, 14, 28902 Getafe, Madrid, Spain
A 30-minute ride on the Cercanias will have you in the city of Getafe. In the winter months the main street, Carabanchel, is lined with Christmas markets, and in the summer the town turns inside-out, and the city lives on the sidewalks and benches...
Paseo de Recoletos, 20-22, 28001 Madrid, Spain
I was walking the streets of Madrid when I came across the national library. The only problem was, I wasn't allowed in the part where they had books. The building itself on the outside was amazing. I particularly loved the lights on both sides of...
Paseo de la Chopera, 14, 28045 Madrid, Spain
Matadero, the former end-of-the-line for Spanish livestock, has been transformed into a lively artistic and cultural space. Built in 1911, the center was not only an abattoir, but a beautiful example of Spanish architecture—down to the detail in...
Casa de Vacas, 28009 Madrid, Spain
Near the Alcala entrance of Retiro Park is Casa de Vacas (House of Cows,) a cultural center that offers daily art exhibitions. In the summer months, art is also displayed outdoors in the surrounding area amongst the trees, with a view of the...
Plaza de Canalejas, 6, 28014 Madrid, Spain
The longstanding Madrid candy shop La Violeta is home to a number of sweets and confectionery take-home gifts for the nostalgic traveler. Most well known are their "violetas," violet flavored purple candies. Expect a line and limited English on...
Calle de Toledo, 18, 28005 Madrid, Spain
Alpargatas, or espadrilles, are a staple in every Spaniard's closet. The comfortable, light-weight, and versatile shoe is simple—rope, rubber, cloth. At Casa Hernanz they are handmade and come at a bargain ($5–$10 per pair) in over 40 colors. They...
Plaza Mayor, 30, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Bathed in Christmas lights, the Casa Yustas beckons many a window shopper. The men’s hats alone are worth the venture into the store, but the surprises don’t stop there, from every corner a new and beautiful piece of art seems to jump out at you....
Plaza Puerta del Sol, 12, 28013 Madrid, Spain
What is more romantic than an intricate and well-used Spanish fan? Fans are a highly personal item, and like perfume, one should only use the best they can find (or so my mother always said). For the royal minded there is only one choice, Casa de...
Calle de Fuencarral, 45, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Mercado Fuencarral is a fresh and funky shopping center carrying brands like Paul Frank, Topman, and Ugly Shop. Fuencarral Street is home to many cool shops, but this two floor market takes it to another level. With stores spilling out into the...
Calle de Cervantes, 10, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Obviously most of the books that you find in Spain are written in the Spanish language (a no brainer, I know) but you can find lots of English ones too. Libros is a chain bookstore, much like Barnes & Noble back in the USA, and they always have a...
Paseo de Recoletos, 20-22, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Outside the national library you will see several statues of literary men of Spain. One of the best and most famous is Cervantes, who penned Don Quoxite after spending a spell as a prisoner by the Ottomans. There is also a statue in another part...
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