Top 5: Natasha

El viajero

This is one of my favourite rooftop terraces. It is perfect for a sunny weekend lunch or drinks in the evening after work, in the lively neighbourhood of La Latina. It´s a great place to go and relax after a hectic time in El Rastro market. While it may not have a panoramic view of the city, it still has a cool view of La Latina and a great atmosphere.

Caixa forum

Caixa forum is a cultural center on Paseo del Prado that hosts temporary exhibitions. It always has some kind of interesting and exciting social work exhibition on. One I went to was a really thought-provoking photographic exhibition on different humanitarian crises. It is definitely worth a visit and once you´re done, you can head to the café for a nice sit down and a cup of coffee. Don´t forget to look at the vertical garden! 

Casa de Campo

If you want to escape the buzzing cosmopolitan life, then this is as close as you´ll get without having to leave the city! It is a huge park in Madrid, and one of the biggest in Europe too, with lots of woodland, making it feel like you are in the countryside. You can get there either by cable car (El Teleférico) or by metro. There is also a public pool open in summer, a big lake with restaurants alongside it and even a theme park!

Pez tortilla

Malasaña is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Madrid and one of my favourite streets is called Calle de la Pez. On this street you´ll find one of the best tortilla places in Madrid! You can choose from a range of unique and exciting flavours of both tortilla and croquettes. To top it off, they offer a selection of artisanal beers that go rather nicely with your meal. It´s always very busy so if you don´t have luck there, then try the other Pez Tortilla in La Latina.

Pantano de San Juan

With Madrid being in the centre of Spain, there is a lack of places to go to cool yourself down when it gets too hot! This hidden gem is a man-made beach, at San Juan reservoir and is just an hour´s coach ride away (and free if you have the youth transport card). Here you can pay to do watersports, or just simply relax on the beach and have a swim in the reservoir. There is a cafe there if you´re in need of an ice cream or else bring a picnic with you as it’s an idyllic setting!

Traditional festivals in Madrid

If you´re looking for an authentic experience in Madrid, the August fiestas (6th-18th August 2019), could be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the city´s traditions alongside the locals. Each summer, the streets come alive with three of the city´s most famous festivals – read on to find out how to get involved.

The celebrations begin with the Fiestas de San Cayetano (from 6th August, Embajadores). Events will include open-air concerts, dances, parades and games. In the evening you can enjoy a DJ session with a drink from one of the local bars which will be setting up in the street for the occasion.

The party continues with the Fiestas de San Lorenzo (10th-13th August, Lavapiés). Once you´ve worked up an appetite from dancing, why not go on a tapas tour of the local bars and try something new!

Fiesta Virgen de la Paloma

The Fiestas de la Virgen de la Paloma (12th-18th August, La Latina), are undoubtedly the highlight of the celebrations; if you only go to one of the three fiestas, this one is not to be missed. The festival reaches its climax on 15th August, which happens to be a public holiday in Madrid, so you won´t have to skip work to join in! On this day, alongside more events such as workshops and food tastings, the firefighters of Madrid take part in a procession and make an offering to their patron saint.

You can find more information and the official programme here:

https://www.esmadrid.com/fiestas-agosto-madrid-san-cayetano-san-lorenzo-virgen-la-paloma

Best summer plans in Madrid

It may be hot outside, but that shouldn´t stop you from having a great time! Here are some of our favourite things to do in Madrid in the summer.

Casa de Campo Lake

It´s hard to believe that this oasis is just a few metro stops away from the centre of Madrid; you could say it´s an escape from the city, within the city. Sitting by the lake is a lovely way to spend the afternoon, but if you fancy something more energetic, why not hire a boat? The lake even has a fountain in the middle to cool you down!

Metro: Lago (L10), Puerta del Ángel (L6)

When: Mon-Sun, 08:30-sunset

Price: Mon-Fri 6 €, Sat-Sun 8 € (45 min)

Veranos de la Villa 2019

This annual festival lasts all summer (28th June – 1st September) and fills every corner of the city with cultural activities. It´s a great way to enjoy a cultural experience outside of the typical indoor setting, as the events are held outdoors in parks, swimming pools, cultural centres and squares. Even better, 90% of the activities are free!

See the full programme: https://veranosdelavilla.madrid.es/es/programa

Veranos de la Villa

Open-air cinema

What better way to spend a summer evening than to sit back, relax and enjoy a film under the night sky?  Two of our favourites are Cine de Verano Conde Duque and Cibeles de Cine, which offer a wide variety of films, and all at a reasonable price.

Conde Duque:

When: 22:00, Mon-Sat until 7th September

Ticket price: 6 € / 3 € on Wednesday

See the full programme: https://www.condeduquemadrid.es/actividades/cine-de-verano-conde-duque-0

Cibeles de Cine:

When: 22:00, Mon-Sun until 12th September (closed 6th & 7th July)

Ticket price: 6 €

See the full programme: https://www.mk2sunsetcinema.es/film_category/cibeles-de-cine/

Swimming pools

In Madrid we may not have a beach, but we do have swimming pools! If the heat is just too much, you can always cool off in one of the 20 municipal swimming pools which are open until 22nd September.  One of our favourites is the Centro Deportivo Municipal Vicente del Bosque, which features two 50m pools as well as a children´s pool. Prepare yourself for a shock when you jump in, though, as the water is freezing!

Centro Deportivo Municipal Vicente del Bosque:

Metro: Barrio del Pilar (L9), Begoña (L10)

When: Mon-Sun 11:00-21:00

For more information on outdoor pools in Madrid: https://www.esmadrid.com/piscinas-de-verano-en-madrid

Swimming pools in Madrid

Madrid’s best rooftop bars

Tired of all the museum visits and long walks? Looking for beautiful views over the city of Madrid? Roof terraces will offer you the solution! The views over Madrid are impressive and there are a lots all over the city, from fancy and exclusive ones to local and folksy ones. Below you will find the 5 best roof terraces in Madrid.

5. Gau & Café

The Gau & Café is a hidden gem, located in the brisk and multicultural area of Lavapiés. The restaurant is located inside an ancient monument that is part of a national heritage, 500 meter from the heart of Madrid.

On the roof you will find a restaurant area (Mediterranean cuisine) and a part where you can enjoy a drink. The best time of the day to visit the terrace is during sunset, the atmosphere is enchanting by then! Certainly worth to mention is that this roof terrace is not as expensive as, for example hotel roof terraces.

Where: C/ Tribulete 14, fourth floor. Metro: Lavapiés.
Opening hours: Open the whole year. Mondays to Fridays from 11 – 23.30. Saturday from 13.30, closed on Sundays.

4. La Terraza del Urban

The fanciest roof terrace on the list is definitely La Terraza del Urban. You are already warned because it is part of a 5 star hotel. This 5 star hotel is located a stone’s throw from the Spanish Parliament and offers supreme quality, from luxury cocktails to quality tapas (caviar and oysters for example). For a tapa and a cocktail you will pay around €25 and twice a week they offer live music shows.

Where: Carrera de San Jerónimo, 34. Metro: Sol
Opening hours: Wednesdays to Saturdays from 11:00 to 03:00 and from Sundays to Tuesdays from 11:00 to 02:00.

3. Hotel Óscar

In the Chueca district you will find Hotel Óscar. This fancy hotel has a luxury swimming pool, lounge beds, cocktail tables and a beautiful panorama over the highest buildings of Madrid.

The entrance to the roof terrace is free but do not be shocked by the high prices for drinks and snacks. For a normal juice you will normally pay around €5. Using the pool costs €40 a day or €20 for half a day.

Where: Plaza Vázquez de Mella, 12. Metro: Chueca
Opening hours: 24/7

 2. Café el Viajero

This tropical roof terrace is located in the trendy area of La Latina, very close to the 2 most famous tapas streets of Madrid, Cava Alto and Cava Baja. The bar resemblance to a reggae-beach bar and normally reaches younger audience. You’ll get an amazing view of the basilica of San Francisco el Grande!

Where: Plaza de la Cebada, 11. Metro: La Latina
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays from 17:00 to 00:30. Fridays: 15:00 to 01:30. Saturdays: 12:00 to 01:30 and Sundays: 12:00 to 00:30.

1. La Terraza del Círculo de Bellas Artes

According to many Madrileños, the Círculo de Bellas Artes has the best roof terrace in Madrid. It is very close to our school, Inhispania, and for only €4 you can visit the roof terrace of this impressive building. Furthermore, the location (close to Plaza Cibeles and next to Banco de España) is excellent!

From the rooftop you have a beautiful view over the Retiro Park, Plaza Cibeles, the city hall, Paseo del Prado, the Prado museum and the Alcalá street. Go enjoy the view over ‘Madrid by night’ while chilling on one of the loungers and drinking a cocktail!

Where: Plaza Cibeles 1. Metro: Banco de España
Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays: 09:00 to 02:00 and Saturdays and Sundays: 11:00 to 02:30.

Where to find the best Spanish tortilla in Madrid

Are you unsure of where to go to try some of the best tortilla española? To help you out, we have chosen our top 5 places to eat the famous tortilla here in Madrid. But first, a little information about tortilla and an astonishing fun fact!

The traditional tortilla is served either hot or cold and consists of egg and potatoes. Adding onions to them is a question of personal taste and causes a lot of controversy! There are regional variations of tortilla and are also now many places where you can try many different flavours. Just some of the many ingredients that can be added to a tortilla include: chorizo, mushrooms, goats cheese, caramelized onions or peppers!

TOP 5 PLACES TO EAT TORTILLA:

  • Pez Tortilla (Calle del Pez, 36)

Mejor tortilla Madrid

This is a buzzing, small, local hotspot with ´´buen rollo´´ (good vibes) where you can find many different types of tortilla in Malasaña. It is usually very busy so it´s hard to get a table but most people stand. The flavours are exciting and different. Along with the many tortillas, there are also unique flavours of croquettes and artisanal beer. It is 3 euros for a generous slice of tortilla with bread.

  • Sylkar (Espronceda, 17)

 Mejor tortilla Madrid

If you like your tortilla runny, then Sylkar is the place to go – with their award winning tortilla! The still use the same recipe as they did in 1970… so it be really good! Their tortilla is recognized as one of the best in the city.

  • La Buha (Calle de Gravina, Plaza de Chueca, 6) / (Plaza de la Cebada, 10)

Mejor tortilla Madrid

There are two La Buha´s (Chueca and La Latina). Both have enormous tortillas weighing a kilo. If you ask any local person, they will undoubtedly tell you to go to this restaurant and try the filled tortillas. Make sure you go on an empty stomach as the portions are very generous! If La Buha is busy, fear not because it has another restaurant called El Buo (Chueca and La Latina).

  • Casa Dani (Calle de Ayala, 28)

Mejor tortilla Madrid

Although in one of the smartest neighbourhoods in Madrid, Salamanca, it nevertheless offers authentic Spanish tapas for great prices. It is located in a market, Mercado de la Paz.  You can have the tortilla here with or without onion, pleasing both crowds!

  • Juana La Loca Pintxos Bar (Plaza de Puerta de Moros, 4)

Mejor tortilla Madrid

This is a cool tapas bar in La Latina with a great reputation. Although it is not the cheapest, it is still a very popular place to go. It has taken the traditional Spanish tortilla and added a little twist to it – they fill their tortillas with caramelized onions. If you are looking for a tapas bar for a nicer occasion then what´s not to like!

Make your own tortilla!

If you are feeling adventurous and want to try making a Spanish tortilla yourself, here is a step-by-step recipe to have you feeling like a native in no time!