The best way to experience a city that never sleeps is to visit with a bunch of friends that never sleep 😉 All of our graduates find their new family on their TEFL course but after a few months most branch out and meet some locals as well. That is when you start getting invited to dinner – at midnight! There are pub crawls, language exchanges (intercambio), football games, dance clubs, themed nights, parties after work, and events specifically for foreigners. The list is never-ending…! If you want to enjoy the cultural experiences that Madrid has to offer, don’t miss the free cinema sessions, visits to the Matadero de Madrid (a cultural centre that used to be the slaughterhouse), reading events, going to Veranos de la Villa for theatre and music, street art, and the museums. We could name a 1,000 more activities and still have room for more!
Madrid also has a simple, accessible transportation system. The metro closes at 1:30am and opens at 6:00am. Buses cover every part of the city and there are also night buses called “buhos”, so you don’t have to worry if the party lasted longer than expected! If you love the outdoors, the city has recently started a bike renting service that can be found throughout Madrid, which allows you to enjoy the beauty of the city and the wonderful sunny weather at your own pace. The ‘Sierra de Madrid’ (the mountain range) is easily accessible on public transport with lots of hiking trails.
Our ideal weekend in Madrid:
The perfect kickoff to your weekend could be going out for “tapas” (bite-size Spanish food) at one of the beautiful markets, such as San Miguel, San Antón, or the newest trendy market, San Ildefonso, which is ideal for anyone who enjoys the hustle and bustle of the city and the combination of modern and traditional. For those who are on a tighter budget, or those who prefer something more traditional, we highly recommend checking out the more typical, smaller bars spread throughout the ‘barrios’ (neighborhoods) of Madrid. Homemade food is a key feature of these places. Go to a large busy street, turn right then left and another right and you will be right in the middle of a ‘barrio’ with local places all around you!
After tapas, it’s the ideal time to go home and take a siesta to prepare for dinner with friends at around 10pm. Most restaurants don’t open until 9 pm so it is normal to have late night, lazy dinners over the weekend. If you’ve got the energy for it, there are many clubs and discos to explore until the very early hours of the morning but you shouldn’t show up before 2am or they will be empty. To end the night right, stop in for churros and chocolate on your way home, a delicious treat after a big night out.
Saturday morning (or a little later if you had a late night) is a great time to get brunch. Some of the places that you can try out are Carmencita Bar, La Verbena, Federal, and Roll Madrid, Check out one of the many cultural activities available like visiting one of the world-renown museums like El Prado or Reina Sofía, watching a cabaret, play or zarzuela (Spanish opera) with amazing discounts that you can find on Átrapalo, checking out a comedy or improv show at the BeerStation, or listening to live music at La Riviera.
Sunday is a lazy day for family and friends. We recommend going for a walk in the morning in the “Madrid de las Austrias” area, visiting one of the many museums in Madrid, or simply having a picnic in Retiro Park. Later, meet up with friends to have lunch at La Latina, one of the most stylish neighborhoods with some of the best bars in Madrid. Top off your Sunday at dinner in the multicultural neighborhood of Lavapiés, where you can taste all types of cheap and tasty ethnic foods and watch an authentic flamenco show at El Juglar.
You will discover something new every day in Madrid because it’s a city full of surprises, contrasts, and variety. Once you get to know this magnificent city, you will never want to leave!
Some useful links:
Our cool school:
International Events Websites
Cheap and cool bars:
Tours around Madrid :
Arts Centre Matadero :
Cool terraces in Madrid:
The best guide of Madrid: