#DestinationSpain: A Guide to Madrid
Madrid is Spain’s largest city and its capital is known throughout Europe as a place of cultural, political and economic importance. With a population of 3.3 million inhabitants in the city alone, Madrid is the third largest metropolis in the European Union and one that is known for its high standard of living, plethora of historical landmarks and places of cultural interest.
The vast majority of Spanish companies and many international businesses have their headquarters in the Spanish capital. The range of residential property for sale and rent in Madrid is diverse, from traditional and contemporary city apartments in desirable areas of the city such as the prestigious Salamanca district, Justicia, Chamberí, Cortes and Sol, to family homes in the exclusive La Moraleja and Pozuelo/Aravaca neighbourhoods.
Although it may look recent and new, the Lateral has been in Madrid for 13 years now, offering a delicious selection of pintxos, merging traditional recipes and avant-garde creations with an excellent product. There are 6 restaurants dotted around the city, each with unique decoration and personal character. Well worth visiting if you want to try yummy traditional tapas.
Plaza de Santa Ana 12
+34 91 420 15 82
Paseo de la Castellana 42
+34 91 575 25 53
Paseo de la Castellana 89
+34 91 561 33 37
+34 91 531 68 77
+34 91 435 06 04
C/Arturo Soria 126-128
+34 91 300 36 01
Pulcinella is where Italians come for an authentic pasta dish or Napolitano pizza. The ambience makes you feel as if you’ve hopped on a plane and are sitting in a traditional Italian trattoria. Don’t miss their sublime tiramisu, and make sure you book in advance.
+34 91 319 73 63
La Trainera is considered the sanctuary of quality fish and seafood in Madrid. It has been a popular restaurant since it opened more than 30 years ago. Their specialities are their fabulous salpicón, mouth-watering Spanish jamón, and their grilled turbot.
The interior has been painted and decorated as if you were on a boat, with dominating white and blue walls and ornaments such as anchors and rope hangings on the walls.
+34 91 576 80 35
This trendy restaurant offers creative cooking in a modern interior. The dishes are inspired by traditional Spanish cooking. For example, croquetas, tortillas de camarón and huevos estrellados, all served in the most original way, making the diner interact with the whole culinary process. Each dish aims to close a concept and create an experience. And price wise? Very reasonable. So what more could you ask for? It is a good idea to book in advance.
C/Fernández de la Hoz 53
+34 91 399 15 00
Buzzing with people practically every day of the week, La Maruca offers good value for money tapas and original Spanish dishes. The crispy artichokes with ham are one of their star dishes, as well as their salmorejo and scrumptious russian salad, which are great to share as a starter. And as a main, all their meat and fish dishes are delicious. It’s also great for a post dinner drink in the upper bar area or outdoor terrace. The service is efficient and friendly.
+34 91 781 49 69
Located in one of the trendiest areas of Madrid, Corazón is great for a quiet cocktail in the evening or a fun post dinner drink. The afternoons are quite calm in this trendy interior, but at night it turns into the place to be. Drinks are well prepared and at popular prices, and are served in an enchanting space. Waiters are handsome and friendly, all wearing colorful Hawaiian shirts or similar (depending on the day).
+34 618 428 175
Enjoy a large selection of fancy cocktails in this trendy bar/restaurant. Le Cabrera is better known for its underground bar, with checked textiles and sumptuous decoration. The cocktail menu combines traditional and well known drinks as well as some of their own creations. The waiters are very friendly and attentive. It’s a good idea to arrive early-ish at this bar as it fills quickly later at night, especially at weekends.
C/Bárbara de Braganza 2
+34 91 319 94 57
ME Reina Victoria Hotel (indoor and roof terrace bar)
The bar at the ME Reina Victoria Hotel offers a delightful interior accompanied by views of one of the prettiest squares of Madrid, Plaza Santa Ana. In warmer seasons, the hotel opens up its roof terrace bar, where you can chill out whilst admiring Madrid’s roof tops shining in the moonlight.
On the menu there is a good selection of wines and champagne as well as non-alcoholic drinks. The service is very professional and polite and English is spoken.
Plaza de Santa Ana 14
+34 902 144 440
Bodega de la Ardosa
The Bodega de la Ardosa is a traditional and petite Spanish bar where Madrilian’s love to enjoy a cold caña (beer), liquor or wine in good company. It may be small, but it shines for its charisma. They also serve yummy food, to share mainly, such as the tortilla or their salmorejo. And for those who like football, they have a couple of hidden plasma screens which they turn on for important games so it’s a great spot to watch a game with your friends.
+34 91 521 49 79
This great cocktail bar is located in the popular Calle Juan Bravo, in the Salamanca area. The resemblance to an English pub is quite impressive. At the entrance, there is a quaint terrace where it is great to enjoy a drink in the warm weather. The atmosphere is fantastic and eclectic, with ages mostly ranging from 20 to 40.
C/Juan Bravo 25
+34 91 563 23 49
Joy Eslava is one of the most popular nightclubs in Madrid. Located right in the city centre, in Sol, Joy Eslava offers 365 days of dance and fun a year, in a theatre-like interior, with drapes and a curtained stage. Important concerts also take place here.
+34 91 366 37 33
El Sol opened in 1979 and has witnessed the birth of various very important music groups in Spain such as La Union or Nacha Pop. Incredible pop and rock concerts have also taken place on its stage. You are guaranteed a night of fun and non-stop dancing in this music temple.
+34 91 532 64 90
If you want to be in a trendy bar, surrounded by the fashionable crowd of Madrid, this is the place to be. Pop music is played in an interior which has been decorated in good taste. The club is located in the popular area of Salamanca.
C/Hermanos Bécquer 10
+34 91 562 54 85
If you are looking for a gem in Madrid where you can have a relaxed drink or dance until you drop, Intruso is the place to go. During the week they offer jazz concerts and if you are lucky you may come across their swing night, where both beginners and pros practice their moves on the dance floor. The rest of the nights they mostly play a great selection of funky, jazz-fusion music.
C/Augusto Figueroa 3
+34 91 531 89 96
For the more mature crowd, Gabana is a good place to enjoy commercial music in an exclusive environment. It is located in the sought-after Salamanca area.
+34 91 575 18 46
Las Rozas Village
Chic shopping outlet Las Rozas Village is located just outside Madrid and offers the leading designer brands at exceptional prices unrivalled elsewhere. Las Rozas Village allows you to stroll casually between the shops, all handily located in the same boulevard, making it a pleasurable shopping experience. There is also a children’s play area and many restaurants and cafés serving traditional Spanish cuisine.
C/Juan Ramón Jiménez 3
28232 Las Rozas
+34 91 640 49 08
Calle Fuencarral is considered the hip street of the city, where contemporary and trendy shops get together on the same pedestrian street. Desigual, Mango, Tiger, Muji, Custo and Adolfo Dominguez are just some of the well known brands that you can find when walking along Calle Fuencarral.
There is an adjacent side street called Augusto y Figueroa which is also very popular as it has some fantastic shoe shops with great discounts.
ABC Serrano Centro Commercial
The ABC Serrano is located in a beautiful building that can be accessed via Calle Serrano or Paseo de la Castellana. This commercial centre is most popular amongst the smart set, and offers a selection of high quality boutiques and restaurants.
On the upper deck there is a wonderful restaurant and terrace, and further down is the Reebok Sports club, where famous people and athletes can often be seen.
+34 91 577 50 31
El Corte Inglés
The well known Corte Inglés is especially popular in Madrid, having a grand building in practically every area of the city. Its well distributed floors offer everything you may wish for, from women and menswear and a drugstore to home applicances, electronics and books.
The supermarket is also one of the best in the city as it has a wide range of products. If you are looking for a specific exotic ingredient, El Corte Inglés supermarket is sure to have it on its shelves.
They have also recently opened a gourmet area in some of the centres, where some of Madrid’s trendiest restaurants offer a selection of their best dishes.
Calle Goya and Serrano
Loewe, Prada, Swarovski, Oscar de la Renta and Zara are just are few of the brand names you will come across whilst strolling along Calle Goya and Serrano. The best selection of boutique shops gather along these two streets, and are perfectly situated in the sought-after area of Salamanca, where you will also find many fab restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Club de Golf La Moraleja 3
This prestigious golf club currently offers fantastic golf installations, 8 tennis courts, 12 padel courts, 2 squash courts, 2 social chalets, a children’s centre, a covered swimming pool and 3 outdoor pools, a gym and a spa. It is comfortably located in the affluent Moraleja area.
Paseo de la Marquesa Viuda de Aldama 50
+34 91 650 07 00
Club de Tenis Chamartín
This club is one of the most emblematic in Spain’s tennis scene. It has hosted numerous high category national tournaments and offers optimum quality installations including tennis and padel courts, a gym and interior and exterior swimming pools, as well as organised activities and social competitions.
C/Federico Salmón 4
+34 91 345 25 00
Parque Deportivo Puerta de Hierro
Given its size of more than 300,000m² of green areas and the variety and functionality of its facilities, the Puerta de Hierro Sports Park is one of the primary centres of the Madrid Institute of Sport. Surrounded by acres of greenery and only 5 minutes away from the centre of the city, it is a fantastic place to carry out all sorts of sports activities.
Ctra de la Coruña Km 7
+34 91 376 86 80
Club de Campo Villa de Madrid
This is without a doubt one of the most popular and long standing sports clubs in Madrid. The Club de Campo Villa de Madrid is special due to its features and its privileged location, as it is only a few minutes from the centre of the city.
With various sports facitilies set in more than 200 hectares of space, it is difficult to find similar installations of such high standards anywhere else in the country.
Ctra de Castilla Km 2
+34 91 550 20 10
More of a gym than a sports centre, but worth mentioning due to its modern installations and excellent locations around the city. They also offer a fabulous, luxurious spa.
Completed in 1617, Madrid’s main square, Plaza Mayor, is a historic sight well worth visiting due to its authenticity and charm. It is located only a few blocks away from Puerta del Sol. The Plaza is surrounded by three-storey residential buildings with 237 balconies facing the square and a total of nine entrances.
Keep an eye on pickpockets and it is probably better to avoid the cafés in the Plaza as the prices can be exorbitant.
The Palacio Real stands grandiosely at the edge of the city, overlooking the royal botanical gardens, the Casa de Campo and the further eastern outskirts of Madrid.
Formerly the home of the King, it now only holds official Government events as the Royal Family have moved to the Palacio de la Zarzuela, a more discreet palace. Visiting the Palace is a must, if only for a stroll around its luscious surroundings and gorgeous square.
+34 91 454 87 00
Parque del Retiro
Once a recreational area for the Royal Family, the Retiro has become a very popular park and is a focal point for Madrid’s citizens. Perfect for a romantic walk through the magical gardens or a family stroll through the children’s play areas, the Retiro is the perfect place to step away from the city.
Gran Vía is considered one of the liveliest and most popular streets for tourists in Madrid. Not only does it have a wide selection of well known shops, but if you look up, you will see the flamboyant façades that sit side by side along the whole avenue. The lavish edificios on Gran Via are a reflection of the authentic Madrilian architecture.
Museo del Prado
The Museo del Prado is located in a fabulous building in the centre of the city, next to the Botanical Gardens and the Retiro Park. It contains one of the world’s finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th to the 19th Centuries. Iconic Spanish artists such as Goya, El Greco and Velázquez have some of their finest pieces hung on the Prado’s walls. If you do go, make sure you decide who you want to see in advance, as there is such a high range of artists and paintings inside, that you could spend days walking through the museum’s halls.
C/Ruiz de Alarcón 23
+34 91 330 28 00
Picnic in Retiro Park, sample local delicacies in the world famous San Miguel market, take in the majestic architecture and spectacular ambience of Plaza Mayor.
Must not do
Order anything on a terraza in the Plaza Mayor without checking the prices first (tourist trap alert!), confuse Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid in conversation with a local (a major faux pas).
Lucas Fox favourite haunts
La Tita Rivera for Brunch
“Located in the trendy Chueca district, this brunch spot is one for those truly in the know (though the secret is most definitely out). Enter the unassuming Tita Rivera, walk to the end of the bar and out into the (usually packed) courtyard for a hipster garden party vibe under a lush green canopy. This brunch is best eaten late, in true Madrileño fashion.”
– Julia Collins, PR & Marketing
C/Pérez Galdós 4
+34 91 522 18 90
“This gorgeous boutique is a heavenly slice of Paris in the heart of Madrid. Selling incredibly chic and simple French fashion, from an array of independent international designers. This is a must stop shop on charming C/Barquillo. I dare you not to be tempted by their lovely creations. Vive la France!”
– Olivia Cerezo, Office Manager Lucas Fox Madrid
“Bistro-style Valgame Dios in Chueca is owned by a famous actress, and is frequented by an arty, theatre-going in-crowd. The menu gives traditional cuisine a modern twist with simple, fresh ingredients. Ideal for a relaxed aperitivo.”
– Rod Jamieson, Director Lucas Fox Madrid
C/Augusto Figueroa 43
+34 91 701 03 41
What you will hear in Madrid
“Shall we say, 11.45pm for dinner darling?”
What you will never hear in Madrid
“Are you off to Catalunya again on your holidays this year?”