I love Madrid. It made me feel welcome, at home and very comfortable from the very first day.
I’ve met people from all over the world in my past 9 years here. These friends have introduced me to this phenomenal city and its habits, its great nightlife and crazy rhythm. In Madrid people never stop and any occasion is good one to head out and join friends for a drink or two.
There’s nothing like a little bit of insider knowledge to get you started in the Spanish capital. Here are my top 5 events and places:
1. Summer festivals: from 15th of June until 15th of August several folk festivals take place in the center of Madrid where old traditions mix with crazy street parties. My favorite festival is the ‘Vallekas Water Battle’ that takes place every 15th of July in a southern district of the city. You grab whatever water weapon you can, head out to the streets and battle it out with your fellow revelers while music plays in the background and people dance their way through the battle. Neighbors even collaborate by throwing buckets of water from their flats! A perfect for Madrid’s hot summer, if you ask me.
2. Parque de las Tetas: I adore the panoramic views from this almost unknown park. Only people who’ve lived in the city for a while discover it. The best thing about my favorite park? It has stunning views of the city and it’s the perfect place for a picnic or a stop after riding a bike in nearby Madrid Rio park.
3. Tempo Club: A fabulous and always fun 70’s-themed bar with a great variety of drinks and cocktails (the Red Fruits mojito is my favourite!). It’s the right place for any occasion: quiet enough to have a coffee in the afternoon, perfect if you want to enjoy good music and live concerts, or dance in the weekend.
4. Vintage shops: Madrid is a trend-setting city of Spain, and vintage shops are everywhere now. My favorite place for a spot of vintage shopping is Velarde street, next to the commercial area around Fuencarral street. Eight different shops there stock everything and anything from the 70’s to the 90’s. My favorite find? A pair of rounded 90’s sunglasses perfect for a Halloween party (and beyond)!
5. Lateral Tapas Bar: is one of a thousands tapas bars you can come across while walking around the city. It might look a little posh, but it actually serves Madrid’s best spanish tortilla, some very good wines. The tapas menu is interesting and unconventional and perfect as an introduction to visiting friends or as a spot for an important date. All my dates here didn’t end as I wished, but the first impression was always good. 😉
Madrid is amazing because it’s full of life, with loads of culture and options to spend your free time. It’s also pretty cheap considering it’s a major European capital. It gives me the inspiration and energy I need daily, with options and opportunities around every corner. The secret to a happy life here? Go with the city flow and never ever stop.