Guidebook for Madrid

John & Leonor

Guidebook for Madrid

Food Scene
A real hole-in-the-wall, but a neighborhood favorite. Very inexpensive and tasty pizzas to take away. The couple who work very hard here always find time for a quick smile. It's best to order early or you may have to wait.
El Horno Azul - Pizzería Madrid Centro
14 Calle de Leganitos
A real hole-in-the-wall, but a neighborhood favorite. Very inexpensive and tasty pizzas to take away. The couple who work very hard here always find time for a quick smile. It's best to order early or you may have to wait.
The staff is genuinely friendly and we have always enjoyed their tasty cuisine, especially the fresh shellfish and seafood.
Cervecería Monje
The staff is genuinely friendly and we have always enjoyed their tasty cuisine, especially the fresh shellfish and seafood.
A charming little place for two or three adults to chat over a glass of wine or a light meal. It's small, but very cozy and warm inside--great for a rainy day.
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El Mollete
4 Calle de la Bola
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A charming little place for two or three adults to chat over a glass of wine or a light meal. It's small, but very cozy and warm inside--great for a rainy day.
This must-see restaurant is practically a monument in Madrid. Perfect for foodies who want to experience the local fare wherever they travel. Famous for their "cocido madrileño".
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LA BOLA
5 Calle de la Bola
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This must-see restaurant is practically a monument in Madrid. Perfect for foodies who want to experience the local fare wherever they travel. Famous for their "cocido madrileño".
El Corte Inglés is the iconic department store of Spain. The supermarket in the basement is very well stocked, and the gourmet area on the top floor sells gourmet products and offers a diverse choice of restaurants. The dining area has a beautiful skyline view of Madrid. Anything else you might need can be found in this building.
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El Corte Inglés Seguros Correduría
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El Corte Inglés is the iconic department store of Spain. The supermarket in the basement is very well stocked, and the gourmet area on the top floor sells gourmet products and offers a diverse choice of restaurants. The dining area has a beautiful skyline view of Madrid. Anything else you might need can be found in this building.
This is one of the best-know bakeries in Madrid and has been around for a long time ("de toda la vida"). Everyone calls this place "San Onofre" because there are actually four or five of these bakeries in Madrid belonging to the San Onofre group. It's an emblematic place to buy a variety of fresh breads or pick up something nice for breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning. They sell desserts and other bakery surprises too. A must-see / must-taste in Madrid.
La Santiaguesa
73 Calle Mayor
This is one of the best-know bakeries in Madrid and has been around for a long time ("de toda la vida"). Everyone calls this place "San Onofre" because there are actually four or five of these bakeries in Madrid belonging to the San Onofre group. It's an emblematic place to buy a variety of fresh breads or pick up something nice for breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning. They sell desserts and other bakery surprises too. A must-see / must-taste in Madrid.
Drinks & Nightlife
Haven't been here in a while (i.e. since having kids), but the drinks were good and the atmosphere was festive the last time we did.
Larios Café
4 Calle de Silva
Haven't been here in a while (i.e. since having kids), but the drinks were good and the atmosphere was festive the last time we did.
Sightseeing
You can't come to Madrid without checking out the Royal Palace, a place once accessible only to kings! The Sabatini gardens and the Plaza de Oriente are great places to hang out.
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Royal Palace of Madrid
s/n Calle de Bailén
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You can't come to Madrid without checking out the Royal Palace, a place once accessible only to kings! The Sabatini gardens and the Plaza de Oriente are great places to hang out.
This restored Egyptian temple was donated to the city by Egypt in thanks for the work of Spanish engineers along the Nile. There is a viewpoint behind it that is one of the best places to watch the sun set anywhere in Madrid.
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Temple of Debod
1 Calle Ferraz
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This restored Egyptian temple was donated to the city by Egypt in thanks for the work of Spanish engineers along the Nile. There is a viewpoint behind it that is one of the best places to watch the sun set anywhere in Madrid.
You can't come to a Spanish city without exploring the area around the Plaza Mayor, a place where bullfights were once held, and those accused of witchcraft were once burned at the stake by the Spanish Inquisition (look up "autos de fé"). Plenty of good restaurants, and the Mercado de San Miguel nearby is seventh heaven for foodies.
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Plaza Mayor
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You can't come to a Spanish city without exploring the area around the Plaza Mayor, a place where bullfights were once held, and those accused of witchcraft were once burned at the stake by the Spanish Inquisition (look up "autos de fé"). Plenty of good restaurants, and the Mercado de San Miguel nearby is seventh heaven for foodies.
This iconic plaza is Spain's version of New York's Times Square--where their famous ball drops down the clock tower every December 31st to ring in the new year. "Kilometro Zero" or "Zero Kilometer" is represented by a large tile on the sidewalk in front of the government offices on the south side of the plaza. Any milestone you see on the major motorways that radiate outward from Madrid to other regions like the spokes of a wheel are measured from this point. This is a great place to hang out and people-watch ever since city planners had the good sense to divert most car traffic elsewhere. Several streets branching off the Puerta del Sol have wisely been pedestrianized, such as Calle Preciados and Calle Arenal--perfect for strolling or shopping.
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Puerta del Sol
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This iconic plaza is Spain's version of New York's Times Square--where their famous ball drops down the clock tower every December 31st to ring in the new year. "Kilometro Zero" or "Zero Kilometer" is represented by a large tile on the sidewalk in front of the government offices on the south side of the plaza. Any milestone you see on the major motorways that radiate outward from Madrid to other regions like the spokes of a wheel are measured from this point. This is a great place to hang out and people-watch ever since city planners had the good sense to divert most car traffic elsewhere. Several streets branching off the Puerta del Sol have wisely been pedestrianized, such as Calle Preciados and Calle Arenal--perfect for strolling or shopping.
Parks & Nature
This park is amazing pretty. Whoever designed it was obviously passionate about nature and really knew how to arrange trees to highlight their beauty.
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Templo de Debod
2 Paseo de Moret
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This park is amazing pretty. Whoever designed it was obviously passionate about nature and really knew how to arrange trees to highlight their beauty.
Not too far from the flat, and a great place to hang out and read a book or watch the sunset on a nice day.
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Sabatini Gardens
2 Calle de Bailén
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Not too far from the flat, and a great place to hang out and read a book or watch the sunset on a nice day.
This was once a beautiful private park park reserved for Spanish royalty. It is now open to the public and well worth a walk, even in a light rain... If you have kids, or even if you don't, look for the peacocks...
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Campo del Moro Gardens
1 Paseo de la Virgen del Puerto
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This was once a beautiful private park park reserved for Spanish royalty. It is now open to the public and well worth a walk, even in a light rain... If you have kids, or even if you don't, look for the peacocks...
Shopping
Formerly known as "Petra's International Bookshop", this great little hole-in-the-wall for book-lovers is just a short walk from Skyhouse. Here's an excerpt from The Guardian: "With a vintage typewriter for browsers to punch out poems, a chessboard and naughty kitten, Desperate Literature might initially seem affected. But Charlotte and Terry are pure in their desire to build a homely bolthole for book lovers. The typewriter is for typing, says Charlotte, not selfies. They offer tea and wine to customers (backpackers, expats, and locals) and they’re picky (there’s Raymond Chandler, Isaac Asimov and Laurie Lee – but no Danielle Steel or Dan Brown). There are also works in Spanish and French, and prices run from €3 to €9. Boxes of books continue arriving from New York and literary treasures are dug up in Madrid’s flea market." https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/jul/01/desperate-literature-bookshop-madrid-spain
Librería Desperate Literature (Bookstore)
13 Calle Campomanes
Formerly known as "Petra's International Bookshop", this great little hole-in-the-wall for book-lovers is just a short walk from Skyhouse. Here's an excerpt from The Guardian: "With a vintage typewriter for browsers to punch out poems, a chessboard and naughty kitten, Desperate Literature might initially seem affected. But Charlotte and Terry are pure in their desire to build a homely bolthole for book lovers. The typewriter is for typing, says Charlotte, not selfies. They offer tea and wine to customers (backpackers, expats, and locals) and they’re picky (there’s Raymond Chandler, Isaac Asimov and Laurie Lee – but no Danielle Steel or Dan Brown). There are also works in Spanish and French, and prices run from €3 to €9. Boxes of books continue arriving from New York and literary treasures are dug up in Madrid’s flea market." https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/jul/01/desperate-literature-bookshop-madrid-spain
My wife and I both enjoy cooking with our kids, and this shop is a wannabe chef's paradise. It's hard to find because it's location and storefront are very discreet, but it's well worth the effort for gourmet lovers. It's also a great place to find a quirky gift for that special friend back home who always moves like a fish in water when they are cooking something unique up for you in their own kitchen...
Alambique Store and Cooking School
My wife and I both enjoy cooking with our kids, and this shop is a wannabe chef's paradise. It's hard to find because it's location and storefront are very discreet, but it's well worth the effort for gourmet lovers. It's also a great place to find a quirky gift for that special friend back home who always moves like a fish in water when they are cooking something unique up for you in their own kitchen...
Essentials
This is one of the most economical supermarkets in the neighborhood for travelers on a budget, although there's another grocery store called Suma that is quite good as well and is just across the street from Skyhouse.
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DIA
1 Plaza Santo Domingo
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This is one of the most economical supermarkets in the neighborhood for travelers on a budget, although there's another grocery store called Suma that is quite good as well and is just across the street from Skyhouse.