Fiestas de San Isidro

Key places: Plaza Mayor, Las Vistillas and Pradera de San Isidro

Dates: 10th – 14th May 2019

This week, Madrileños celebrate their patron saint, San Isidro Labrador, so it will be a week filled with concerts, shows and other cultural activities. With locals dressed in ´chulapos´, dancing ´el Chotis´. 

Here are our top three things to take part in during the Day of San Isidro Labrador:

Pasacalles de Gigantes y Cabezudos

Labelled the quirkiest and ´most instagrammable´ event of this week, this parade consists of locals sporting giant heads characterizing the four ruling couples of Asia, Africa, Europe and America.

The parade takes place along:
Plaza de Santo Domingo, Plaza de Callao, Calle Preciados, Puerta del Sol, Calle Mayor and Plaza de la Villa on Sunday 12th (18:00pm) and Monday 13th (12:00pm)

Fireworks and Music

Parque de Retiro is the go-to place for sunbathing and offers beautiful views all year round, but on the 14th and 15th, the gardens will host a spectacular fireworks show (22:00pm) with music events from around 20:30.

Top Tip! Try out the many variations of rosquillas; tiny sugared doughnuts found in stalls down every street.

Click here to download the 2019 programme.

Semana Santa in Madrid

If you are in Madrid for Semana Santa, you could not be visiting at a better time. Semana Santa is a week that attracts people from all over the world to take part in the Easter celebrations. Whether you are religious or not, this is a spectacular week. Try going to one of the concerts held in churches around the city or simply join the crowds to watch the processions go by. The week is sure to be great fun with an amazing atmosphere. Don´t forget that seeing the processions is just as important as trying some of the local delicacies that are traditionally eaten at this time of year!

Processions

The week leading up to Easter (from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday) is full of street processions and sacred music in Madrid. Religious icons are taken from different churches and paraded around the city. Those who bear the heavy weight of the statues on their shoulders take enormous pride in doing so – it is a great honour to be a part of the processions. The most famous procession is the Christ of Medina  (Cristo de Medinaceli) on Good Friday (19th April) that starts at Jesús de Medinaceli Church and passes through the main streets of Madrid.

Other famous processions throughout the week include the Yeomen of the Guard (Alabarderos), the procession of silence and Jesus of Nazaret (Jesús Nazareno ´el pobre´).  Be sure to look up which processions you would like to see throughout the week so that you don´t miss any.

There will also be concerts playing sacred music, held in churches like Basilica of Nuestra Señora de Atocha, the Pontifical Basilica of San Miguel and the Parish Church of Santa Cruz.

On Easter Sunday (Domingo de Resurrección, 21th April), you can go to Plaza Mayor and see the famous Tamborrada – a show with hundreds of tambourines and drums. Well worth going to see!

You´ll also be pleased to know that on Easter Sunday in Spain too, chocolate eggs (huevos de chocolate) are commonly given to friends and family as a way of wishing them a happy Easter!

Gastronomy

One of the best ways to really embrace a new culture is to try the traditional food. What better way to learn more about the culture of Madrid than to try the local delicacies that are eaten at Easter.  Some of the most famous and delicious foods include:

  • Torrija (bread soaked in milk with cinnamon which is fried and sprinkled with sugar – very similar to ´French Toast´. It can even be soaked in wine!)

  • Soldaditos de Pavía – crispy fried cod
  • Flores de Semana Santa – sweet treat fried in the shape of a flower
  • Potaje de garbanzos a la madrileña – chickpea stew with potatoes, cod, spinach and hard-boiled eggs

The time and effort that that is put into the religious celebrations throughout this special week is astonishing – there really is an incredible display of colour, food, decorations, lights, costumes and religious icons. Semana Santa in Madrid is a must! You will not be disappointed.

Daytrip to Segovia

¡Segovia is a great getaway destination from Madrid!

It is a small town not in the middle of the mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama. It is well known for its aqueduct and for its gothic cathedral. In 1985 the city centered was declared world heritage by UNESCO. The aqueduct was built in the 2nd century and is known for its very little amount of concrete as component and how it holds itself independently.

Being at the north of Madrid and near the mountains, Segovia tends to be a little colder, however it also gives you fresher air and it can be a nice retreat from Madrid. You can go there just for a day on a bus. The closest station is Moncloa and you can get there for 10€ both ways and even just for a day! Itwill take between 1h15 and 2hours to get there depending on how many stops the bus has.

In Inhispania, we love to visit the city with our students.

Segovia has a lot of monasteries, convents and churches that you can visit on the top of the cathedral. The oldness of the city is charming and very pleasant for a week-end stroll around the Spanish authenticity. Its old spells attracts a lot of tourists, however it remains not as crowded as Madrid.  The typical food is “el cochinillo”,  the famous roast suckling pig.

Christmas in Madrid!

You can truly celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Madrid and experience a wonderful time. During these holidays there is a lot going on in the city: Christmas markets, holiday lights, nativity scenes and the Three Kings Parade, Madrid offers it all!

The Holidays in Madrid start on the 22nd of December with the famous “El Gordo”. El Gordo is the Spanish Christmas Lottery and it is by far the biggest lottery draw in the country, everybody plays and the prizes are very big. This Spanish tradition is broadcasted live on the television.

In the different parts of Spain they have different traditions, but the most important days of the festivities are: December 24th, December 25th, December 31st and January 5th-6th.

December 24th: Christamas Eve

Families come all together to have a generous and nice dinner and afterwards young people go party.

 December 25th: Christamas 

People come together again for an extensive lunch, mostly containing fish, shellfish and some sweet products.

December 31st : New Year’s Eve

The 31st of December is called ‘Nochevieja’. Families come together to enjoy dinner and at midnight they eat the grapes. Everybody watch the TV where you can see a clock bell (the most famous one is in Puerta del Sol) which strokes 12 times (12 seconds). With every stroke, a grape is eagerly worked in the mouth, which guarantees happiness in the future. After midnight people go to parties and this can last until the early hours.

And this is not the end of the holidays because in Spain there is also a holiday called ‘Los Reyes Magos’ which can be translated as the Three Kings. People celebrate it with Christmas songs, festive lights and a festive procession, this last one on the 5th of January. The kings drive through the streets on horses or in festive cars and throw goodies to the children. That night, the children go to bed early the morning after find all the presents the kings left for them. The 6th of January is always a holiday so all the children can play with their new toys. The tipical food for this festivity is called the Roscón de Reyes (a round cake decorated with fruits).

Christmas markets close to Inhispania

In Madrid there are several Christmas markets (Mercados de Navidad in Spanish). You will find them all over the city and some of them are very close to our school. Christmas markets tend to open at around midday and normally close between 21:00 and 22:00. You will find the 3 best Christmas markets below:

1.The Plaza Mayor Christmas market.
With Christmas, Plaza Mayor becomes a huge market where you can find all types of Nativity Scenes figures and Christmas musical instrumentals. This year, this Christmas market is open from the 24th of December to the 31st of December and it is all free.

2. Plaza de Callao Christmas market.
Every year, Plaza Callao is a huge spectacle during Christmas. The local department store (El Corte de Inglés) installs a huge tree on the square, perfect for the ideal festive selfie! Here you can also shop for your Christmas decorations.

3. Mercadillo de la Plaza de Jacinto Benavente.
Just 300 meters from Sol you will find Plaza de Jacinto Benavente, at this square there is an annual craft market during Christmas. Here you will enjoy over 20 Christmas huts, Christmas decorations and beautifully handcrafted accessories.

¡FELIZ NAVIDAD Y FELIZ AÑO NUEVO!

Festivals in Madrid

Looking for a good party or festival during your stay in Madrid? No worries because in this city you will not have a shortage of ‘fiestas’! Especially during the summer, there are a lot of festivals organized! Below you will find the 3 best festivals in the city of Madrid!

Mad Cool Festival

Mad Cool is a music festival that takes place in Madrid since 2016. Art, gastronomy and tourism come together in this festival. The type of music is rock, indie and electronic music. Since 2016, many famous artists have performed. To name a few: Bastille (2016), The Lumineers (2017), George Ezra (2017), Post Malone (2018), Snow Patrol (2018) and Dua Lipa (2018).

This festival is the dream of every rock, indie and/or electronic music fan!

The festival takes place in the summer and the dates for the next one are already released: 11, 12 and 13 of July! Be fast if you want to buy tickets because with over 230.000 visitors the festival will be sold out quickly.

Ticket Price: around €150
https://madcoolfestival.es/

A Summer Story

If you love electronical music, A Summer Story is the perfect festival for you. Summer Story was created in 2015 to unite electronic music lovers from all over the planet and now it has some of the best DJ’s in the world such as: Armin van Buuren, Oliver Heldens, Don Diablo, Tchami and Deadmau5.

In 2019 the festival dates will be the June 21st and 22nd.

Ticket Price: from €35
https://asummerstory.com/

Brunch in the Park

One of the best (smaller festivals) in Madrid is definitely Brunch in the Park. Brunch in the Park is an outdoor event very close to the city center. The advantage of Brunch in the Park is that it is organized multiple times during the summer. You can enjoy great parties under the sunshine, without having to spend the whole night out. According to Brunch in the Park, their purpose is to bring national and international artists to electronic music lovers.

A ticket for Brunch in the Park will cost you around €15 (there are several tickets available)

2018