About Madrid

A great deal of information about Madrid and its region (history, tourist sites, weather, transport, etc.) can be found at the Madrid council hall  and Madrid region websites

A few practical tips:

    * As most probably you know, the time schedules in Spain are shifted 1-2 hours with respect to most of Europe. At lunch time restaurants start to serve at 13:30 the earliest, though most people show up at 14:30. Nevertheless, some restaurants in the center start offering early lunch and brunches (during weekends). The same happen at dinner, being 20:30 the earliest starting time. This translates into going to bed later that in other countries. They say that we don't sleep very much...but it might just be that we are so tired when we go to bed that we directly go to a deep-sleep regime!
    * In Madrid you can choose between two eating styles: through snacks/portions ("de tapas/raciones") or through "formal" lunch/dinner ("de restaurante").

          o De tapas: Madrid is well-known for its many popular bars. Everytime you ask for a beer, wine or soft drink don't expect too much as "a free  tapa" (a snack companion). In general, it's better to order first the drinks and see what comes for free and then go for the "food orders". Ask then for a portion ("ración") or half a portion ("media ración") of some of the specialities of the place. Portion's prices depend on the place but one can easily find them for around 7-10 euros each. A portion per person should be enough. Some good places and not very touristic are:

- La Venencia. 
- La Mentridana (in Spanish) 
- Argumosa street at Lavapies-Centro district.  
- El Pez gordo.  
- La Dolores.  

Coffee places: From XIXtth century Madrid encloses a very rich tradition in literary cafés. Some of them have survived and others have been reopened after years of abandon.
- Circulo de Bellas Artes (with outstanding terrace views over Madrid skyline)
- Café Comercial

          o "De restaurante": At lunch weekday time many restaurants and bars offer a menu of the day ("menu del día") consisting in a first and second course, including bread, a drink and a desert or coffee to end up. Prices between 12-15 euros are easily found. The above time warning only applies to this eating style. Tapas and raciones are available during larger time intervals. 

* Our advice is to avoid restaurants in the Plaza Mayor itself since they are quite overpriced with a low quality/price ratio.

  Madrid and live music: Madrid is maybe the central point to get all the different music styles. It is usually said that the best flamenco is heard here since musicians reach glory or defeat over Madrid stages "tablaos".

Cafe Central (jazz music) 
Cafe Populart (jazz music)
Cardamomo (flamenco music)
Corral de la Morería (Traditional flamenco, around 40 euros) 

* As in any big European city, please, take care of your wallet, electronic devices, personal laptop and belongings at any time. Non violent pickpockets may operate in some crowded (airport, metro and train stations) and touristic areas (puerta del Sol, plaza Mayor, museum entrances, Huertas bars area). 

* TAXIS: Taking a taxi in Madrid city center is quite cheap in comparison with other European capital cities. Be sure that the taximeter is working from the very moment you say your destination to the driver. No previous agreement about the destination is required before enterning the cab. Taxis heading and coming from the airport cost around 25 euros (luggage and special fare included). Ask for a ticket in any case (it is mandatory to provide one under client's request).  Free cabs are recognized by a green light at the top.