Multiply Coronavirus infections have been reported in Madrid
The city is by European standards relatively new -it became capital only in 1561- but today Madrid spreads out all over the place. Fortunately, much of interest lies within the area that can be seen on foot. Check out Calle and Plaza Mayor (medieval Madrid) which is lined by beautiful buildings and the city’s oldest church San Nicolas de los Servitas (plan several hours for this section). Then go shopping at Calle Serrano and the Gran Via. Visit the Victory Arch the Palacio Real (the royal palace with its own art treasures and crown jewels) the Rastro Flea Market and the Plaza de las Cibeles and Puerta del Sol (the last two are major intersections with fountains monuments and shops).
Madrid is a museum goer’s paradise. Including the Royal Palace, it has 15 important museums, dozens of galleries and several private collections. See the section on the art walk for more details about the three famous museums in Madrid: the Prado, the Thyssen Bornemisza and the Reina Sofia museum. You might end up spending more than one day just seeing museums. Actually, days could be spent in the halls of the Prado alone.
It’s actually quite possible to get tired of all these museums in Madrid; if this happens sit down at a terrazas (outdoor cafe) and watch the world go by or visit one of the many beautiful parks and lakes in the city. One of the nicest parks we’ve seen anywhere is Retiro Park near the Prado. Note the Victorian greenhouse and the Crystal Palace with its small lake and swans lazily swimming about. You can rent a rowboat to get in the relaxed festive mood that suffuses the park. For a panoramic view of Madrid take the elevator to the bar on the 26th floor of the Edificio de Espana which faces the Plaza de Espana.
Madrid is a city that never seems to close down-bars and restaurants are open very late and the city’s Santa Ana district never closes down. Dinner doesn’t usually begin until after 10 pm and after that revelers head off to their favorite disco show, jazz club or late-night cafe to play until dawn. For a concentrated area of late-night activity head to Huertas Street after midnight and you’re sure to find something to match your tastes. Hemingway fans may want to check out the Museo Chicote bar described in many of his Spanish Civil War stories (and a very trendy spot). Those who love traditional performing arts will want to go to the Teatro Real for Spanish light opera known as zarzuela. You can also find good flamenco shows in several nightclubs including Cafe Chinitas.
If you’re in Madrid during the second half of May be sure to join Madrilenos in celebrating the Feria de San Isidro which has music, operas, concerts, bullfighting dancing and all-night entertainment. During our last trip, we attended a concert devoted to American bluegrass music held in the Plaza Mayor. And mid August is when the city celebrates the Verbena de la Paloma. Outside of Madrid day trips can be made to Avila, El Escorial, Guadalajara, Segovia and Toledo.
Situated on the 40th parallel (on the Castilian Meseta), Madrid occupies the geographical center of the Iberian Peninsula. The city stands at a height of 2,200 feet above sea level, its buildings rooted in the sandy soil of some low hills. It is sufficient to say that the reproductions of its luminous skies gave world fame to the best painter of all times: Velázquez. The beautiful skies of Madrid have since been described as “Velasqueños”.
Madrid enjoys more cloudless days than almost any other city in Europe. The average atmospheric pressure is 706 mm. The air is purified in the peaks and pine groves of the nearby Guadarrama mountain range. Spring in Madrid is a season of bright sunshine and cool breezes. In autumn there are those clear blue Velázquez skies and the air is warm.
Over the last ten or fifteen years Madrid has grown by leaps and bounds. The population is now four million and the city spreads over an are of 607 square kilometers. There is much of great historical interest and some things that are modern and of undoubted value.
We have the Madrid of the House of Austria, the Madrid of Bourbon Kinds, Goya’s Madrid, the Madrid of the Prado Museum, and the Madrid of the Romantics or Isabelline. There is the commercial, financial and industrial Madrid as well as the picturesque Madrid of the Rastro (a sort of flea market); the Bull-fighting Madrid; the “Flamenco” Madrid with its singers, dancers and guitarist; and the Madrid of antique dealers and artists. We shall get to know them all in due course.
Food and wine
The morning’s round of sight-seeing and museum-touring over, the visitor’s appetite is whetted for something to eat and drink. Besides the up-to-date restaurants which have very dish under the sun on their menus, there is the very varied Spanish cooking.
To begin with, Madrid has a few famous old restaurants, some having been in existence for over two hundred years, where the most typical dishes of the Madrid and Castilian cooking can be savored: typical restaurants where regional dishes can be enjoyed such as “paella valenciana” (rice, colored with saffron and mixed with different types of shell-fish, chicken and other ingredients), “bacalao a la vizcaina” (cod, tomato, thyme, red pepper, bayleaf, onion, garlic and fried croutons), “Pollo a la chilindrón” (chicken fried in oil and garlic and served in a sauce made of onion, pimientos, tomatoes, slices of ham and various other ingredients), “fabada” (a stew made of excellent haricot beans, Galician ham, pigs’ ears, a special kind of black sausage, fresh bacon, smoked bacon and other ingredients), “cochinillo a la segoviana” (sucking ping roasted either in the oven or over a wood-fire and basted with lard and seasoning until the skin is golden brown) or a “gazpacho” (an Andalusian speciality: cold raw vegetable soup served in summer and best described as a liquid salad). The visitor will also find German, Italian, Swedish, French and Chinese restaurants, as well as from other countries.
Local custom demands that we should have an aperitif or appetizer before lunch or dinner, and then a coffee afterwards, out of doors when the weather allows, in one of the capital’s many cafés and bars. Although only a few of the old-time cafés have survived, one can have an aperitif anywhere. There are certain bars, round the Puerta del Sol, San Jerónimo, Victoria, Cruz, Espoz y Mina, Núñez de Arce, Correo, Tetuán and other little streets in the neighborhood, which are particularly well-famed for the shell fish they serve with their drinks.
The afternoon is a good time, especially for tourists visiting Madrid, to have a look round the big stores and saunter down the main streets in the shopping center. In Madrid one may acquire artistic products of rich and varied Spanish handicraft: rugs, tapestries, fans, cloaks, porcelain, ceramic ware, cast iron, wooden statues, objects of gold and silver, among many more; high fashion articles, “ready to wear”, perfumes, jewelry and costume jewelry, leather goods–shoes, handbags, luggage, gloves–antelope and suede, etc. Sporting goods of all kinds–rackets, firearms, boats, etc.–all fulfill two important shopper requirements; superb quality at a moderate price.
Culture And Arts
Madrid has five great academies: the Academy of the Spanish Language (Calle de Felipe IV), History (León, 21), Exact Science (Valverde, 22), Medicine (Arrieta, 12) and the San Fernando Fine Arts Academy (Alcalá, 13). There are also Academies of Jurisprudence and the so-called “Ciencias Morales y Politicas” (Academy of Moral and Political Sciences). The Associations of Writers and Artists (Leganitos, 10); of Painters and Sculptors (Infantas, 30); organize interesting cultural and artistic events.
The University cities
Madrid has two Universities, the Complutense and the Autonomous one. The Complutense is located on and old estate known as La Moncloa, to the West of Madrid. All the Faculties and Colleges are housed in modern, functional buildings, surrounded by gardens and avenues. There are also various Residential Colleges and sports facilities of all types connected to the University City.
The Autonomous University is of more recent construction, and is at Canto Blanco, 15 kilometers along the Colmenar road.
The Higher Council for Scientific
The Higher Council for Scientific Research is at 117 Calle de Serrano and includes all the different cultural institutes for which it acts as the coordinating center. The modern buildings contain large lecture halls which are used for international conferences, libraries for each speciality, and residences in which the research workers live.
The four most important public libraries
Although there are something like a hundred libraries in Madrid, the visitor who is not looking for some special information, but the kind which can easily be obtained by private inquiries, should be satisfied if he gets round to seeing the four most important ones. First of all, there is the National Library, Paseo de Recoletos, 20. It is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. except Sunday and is situated on the first floor of the Library and Museum Building. It is considered to be the best library in Spain, and contains about two million volumes, twenty-one thousand of which are manuscripts, two thousand five hundred incunabula, and forty-six thousand particularly rare books. There are also many books from the Golden Age of Spanish literature–the 16th century.
The second most important library is the Biblioteca Municipal, at number 78, Calle de Fuencarral. There are about a hundred and twenty thousand books in the library, many of them very rare. More than four thousand of them are devoted to Madrid. The Ateneo, at Calle del Prado, 21, also has a good library. It is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., except on Sunday.
The fourth of our libraries is the Biblioteca Real, which is located on the ground-floor of the Royal Palace. (It is open from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekdays). The library contains 250.000 volumes, many in manuscript form, some exceedingly rare and others quite unique. The chief treasures are nevertheless the Books of Hours; there is one particularly fine specimen which belonged to Queen Isabella the Catholic. This library has a rich display of magnificent bindings of all styles and periods.
Madrid is good place for buying antiques. There are a number of places where they can be found, although the most popular is probably the Rastro. This is a sort of flea market with its stalls down both sides of the street, and curiosity shops and antique dealers behind. Some of these shops have now become quite large store and good bargains can sometimes be picked up by connoisseurs. Madrid has one street which is almost entirely devoted to antique dealer’s shops; the Calle del Prado.
There are also a number of curiosity shops in the neighboring Plaza de las Cortes, Carrera de San Jerónimo and others. Some of these dealers specialize in paintings, others in woodcarvings, books, china or glassware, ivory, furniture, religious sculpture, etc. In each there is a little of everything.
Exhibitions of painting and sculpture and artists’ studios
Apart from the galleries of Old Masters or the permanent exhibitions of ancient works of art, there are nearly forty galleries where the works of contemporary painters are exhibited. The most outstanding are: the Dirección General de Patrimonio Artístico, Archivos y Museos, an officially sponsored body for fostering the Fine Arts, with its headquarters in the Palacio de Bibliotecas y Museos, the Ateneo, and the Círculo de Bellas Artes. The names and addresses of leading painters now working in Madrid can be obtained at any of these galleries.
Madrid has magnificent painting museums where the visitor can admire some of the most famous works of art by classic and contemporary masters. There are also museums dedicated to sculpture, archaeology, science and other areas.
Without a doubt, the most important is the Prado Museum. The thousands of visitors who visit the museum very year can see marvelous works of Spanish and European painting from the 12th to the 18th century.
Picasso’s famous “Gernica” which was returned to Spainby New York’s Modern Art Museum, is currently on show in the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía National Museum with all of its preliminary sketches and drawings.
Stroll Around Old Madrid Before Dinner
It is essential for anybody who wants to enter into the spirit of Madrid life to have a stroll before dinner. Just as it is the custom to have an aperitif at one of the smart bars or cafés, so one is called upon to go on a pub-crawl through the heart of Madrid from eight o’clock in the evening until dinner-time, which here means any time from ten until eleven.
The thing to ask for is a “chato”, a small glass of red or white wine, which is accompanied by “pichos” or “tapas”–tidbits of fried fish, veal, prawns (either plain or fried in butter), fish in oil and vinegar, cheese, mussels or slices of sausage.
The best places to go to are the bullfighters taverns in the Calle de la Victoria, Espoz y Mina, Cruz Núñez de Arce and other picturesque little streets called San Ricardo, Cáiz, del Pozo and Alvarez Gato. Another taverns district centers around the Calle de Echegaray and the Travesía de Fernández y González. These streets are all very crowded and gay at this time of the evening.
There is another stroll one might take, through the old-world Madrid of Galdós (the Spanish Dickens), along the Calle de Postas, San Cristóbal, and the little streets round the Plaza Mayor. There are a number of taverns in the square itself, and under the steps that lead down to the Arcos de Chichilleros.
Madrid is quite different from any other European capital after dark. This is mainly because people here do not only go to theaters, cinemas, and night-clubs; they also sit in cafés after dinner and have a coffee or a beer, or they may go for a walk. All this means that the streets in the center of Madrid are abustle with people until the wee small hours of the morning. Nightowls can take their choice among several nightclubs both in the city center and on the outskirts which have cosmopolitan floor shows.
Gypsy dancing and singing, or Andalusian Flamenco, has many supporters in Madrid. In addition to the theaters which specialize in Flamenco, and the cabarets and nightclubs which always have a Flalmenco number in their floor-shows, there are certain special clubs where the real connoisseurs go. These include the “Corral de la Morería”, “Arco de Cuchilleros”, “Los Canasteros”, “Café de Chinitas”, “Torres Bermejas”, the “Corral de la Pacheca” and a number of others.
Arquelles, Salamanca, Malasaña, the Plaza Mayor, Paseo de la Castellana and surrounding streets are the districts of Madrid where Spanish youth can have a good time. Especially popular are the nostalgic or traditional cafés, beer pubs, typical “tascas” (bars) and taverns, discotheques, all kinds of pubs (disco pubs, piano pubs, gallery pubs, etc.), or night spots dedicated to all sorts of music: folk, jazz, rock, South American or classical. All this is profusely distributed throughout the parts of Madrid we mentioned before.
If you prefer the theater, opera, concerts, there are many large and comfortable cinemas in the center of Madrid, where it is possible to see the latest Spanish and foreign films.
There are about twenty theaters well worth a visit. The María Guerrero, the Español and Zarzuela Theaters are government sponsored. Both the Español and the María Guerrero often put on plays by Calderón, Lope de Vega and other Spanish classical authors or translations of widely acclaimed international successes. There are theaters which alternate various Spanish comedies and tragedies as well as translations of foreign plays and these are the theaters: Lara, Cómico, Ariequín, Goya, Club, Marquina, Beatriz, Bellas Artes, comedia, Figaro, Infanta Isabel, Reina Victoria and Valle-Inclán.
The Teatro Real of Teatro de la Opera is dedicated exclusively to concerts. The Zarzuela Theatre covers especially the opera, ballet and “Zarzuela” (Spanish light opera) seasons. Other theaters put on reviews varying in quality; Alcázar, Martín and La Latina. The Calderón and Maravillas Theaters are mainly used for musical shows.
Sunda Sunshine In Madrid
There are three places that both tourists and thousands of residents in Madrid often go to in order to assuage their curiosity on fine Sunday mornings: the Rastro, the Stamp Market in the Plaza Mayor, and the second-hand bookstalls on the Cuesta de Moyano.
Every bit city in the world has its “flea market”. Here in Madrid it is called the “Rastro”. It is a very picturesque place, and every kind of article can be bought there, including the oddest of odds and ends. The Rastro is divided into two parts: antiques, and second-hand goods.
The observant buyer may pick up a good painting, a Gothic statue or a piece of period furniture. Another may find the household utensil he needs or a bullfighter’s second-hand “suit of lights”. A Sunday morning spent in the Rastro is quite a unique experience, both entertaining and quaint. Few come away empty-handed for there is always something that catches one’s fancy among all the unwanted jumble.
The numismatic-stamp market in the Plaza Mayor Every Sunday from around eleven o’clock until about one, the Stamp and Coin Market throbs with life under the arcades of the Plaza Mayor. Stamps from all over the world change hands, while schoolboys rub shoulders with experts in search of bargains. Indeed there are many who have turned this innocent pastime into a large-scale international gamble.
The capital city and the province of Madrid have a total of 38.564 beds for the visitor spread out among 6 five-star hotels, 60 four-star, 57 three-star, 28 two star, and 12 one-star hotels. It also has a total of 1.476 beds in Apartment-hotels. These include 4 four-star establishments, 2 three-star, and 1 one-star. Other lodging facilities include places for accommodation in 24 camping sites.
Malasana-Chueca Coronavirus (COVID-19) Madrid Travel Report
Malasaña and Chueca, as well as Conde Duque and Salesas, are neighbourhoods in northern central Madrid.
Malasaña used to be a not-so-privileged residential neighbourhood. Starting from the 1980s Movida madrileña period, however, it has been populated by the city’s young, creative, hip and artsy crowds. By day, it is a paradise for those shopping for second-hand or street fashion, artisan craftwork and young designers’ stuff. At night, the pavements are occupied by tables of bars and restaurants as well as people just spending time with friends.
Conde Duque is a smaller neighbourhood directly to the west of Malasaña. Its character is pretty similar, perhaps a little quieter. Located near the university campus, its population is quite young and studentish, too. It is named after the Conde-Duque (i.e. “Count-Duke”) barracks, an 18th-century former military compound-turned-cultural centre.
Chueca has a similar background like Malasaña (maybe a tad more bourgeois), but has built its reputation as Madrid’s gay district. Of course, that does not mean that straight people were not welcome. Indeed, most restaurants, hostels and nightlife venues cater to a general public, not a specifically gay one. Apart from that, this area has a high concentration of antique shops.
Salesas is the small neighbourhood inbetween Chueca and the posh Salamanca district.
The official name of the admistrative barrio that contains Chueca and Salesas neighbourhoods, is Justicia as the Supreme Court of Spain and the Court of Accounts are seated here. The Spanish Ministry of Justice is in nearby Calle de San Bernardo.
Chueca and Malasaña are just 1–2 km north of the central Puerta del Sol square and 3 km north of Atocha (Madrid’s main station for intercity trains). They can be reached with several metro lines. Stations Gran Vía (lines 1, 5), Tribunal (1, 10) and Bilbao (1, 4) are located along Calle Fuencarral that is right inbetween both districts. Noviciado (2) is between Malasaña and Conde Duque, and Chueca (5) of course in the middle of the eponymous district. San Bernardo (2, 4) and Alonso Martínez (4, 5, 10) are near the northern tip of Malasaña and Chueca, respectively. Plaza de España (3, 10) and Ventura Rodriguez (3) are on the western rim of Conde Duque, Colón (4) at the northeastern corner of Salesas.
What to see and do
- Museo de Historia de Madrid (Museum of History of Madrid), C. Fuencarral, 78 , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-Su 10:00-20:00. This museum is dedicated to the history of Madrid from 1561 to present. Much of the history is explained by referencing exhibited paintings depicting people or events from the time, so it is also an art museum. Several maps and models (including two large ones in the basement) show how Madrid grew since the 16th century. All exhibits are explained in both English and Spanish. Free.
- Plaza del Dos de Mayo. Central square of the Malasaña neighbourhood. It was named after the 2 May uprising of 1808 against the Napoleonic occupation of Spain. A monument in its centre honours the leaders of the uprising who were executed. The monument is Malasaña’s symbolic landmark that is pictured on Malasaña postcards, on the label of Malasaña beer and other local merchandise.
- Palacio Longoria (Longoria Palace), Calle Fernando VI, 6 / Calle Pelayo (metro Alonso Martínez). Exceptionally ornamental art nouveau building, erected 1902–03 for the banker and politician Javier González Longoria. It was designed by the Catalan architect Jose Grasses Riera and is considered to be one of the most important and beautiful examples of Spanish modernismo. Today, it houses the Spanish society of authors and editors. It can only be visited from the outside, but you may cast a glance at the entrance hall and staircase.
What to do
- Cuartel del Conde-Duque, C/ Conde Duque, 11. Box office: Tu-Sa 17:30-20:30; exhibits: Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 17:30-21:00, Su and holidays 10:30-14:00. This former military building now not only serves as a venue for musical, dance, and theatrical performances but also hosts contemporary art exhibits. Tickets for performances are also sold online.
- 1 Calle Fuencarral (between metro stations Gran Vía and Tribunal). The high street that is right inbetween Malasaña and Chueca, is the main shopping and promenading route in this part of Madrid. The 500-metre long strip between Gran Vía and Calle Hernán Cortés is closed to motorised traffic which makes it ideal to stroll along. Fuencarral itself is mostly lined by branches of well-known international fashion, cosmetics and accessory chains. Have a look into the side streets on either side if you are looking for something more individual.
- 2 Mercado de Fuencarral, C/ Fuencarral, 45. Centrally located shopping centre.
- 3 Time Capsule, C/ Belén, 7 (Chueca). Tiny, high-quality antique shop. The friendly owner is well aware of the worth of her hand-picked gems, so do not expect a bargain! Current offers are published on the shop’s website and instagram.
- 4 Flamingo Vintage Kilo, C/ Espíritu Santo, 1. Monday – Saturday 11:00-21:00. Great assortment of vintage fashion that is sold by weight.
- Mercado de San Ildefonso, Calle de Fuencarral, 57. Su-W noon–midnight, F Sa noon–1AM. Streetfood market on Fuencarral street, right in the middle of the Malasaña-Chueca area. 15 different stalls offer arepas (cornmeal griddlecake), brochetas (skewer), tacos, tapas, ham, meats, wine, beer etc. Between late-May and early-June an international street food festival is celebrated.
- Antigua Huevería, C/ San Vicente Ferrer, 32 (Malasaña). Tu-Th 20:00-23:00, F 20:00-24:00, Sa 13:00-24:00, Su 13:00-16:00. The very best huevos rotos (‘broken eggs’) and croquetas. Cheap, beautiful and delicious! The chicken-adorned tiled front dates from the 19th century. Mains €8-14.
- Cervecería 100 Montaditos, multiple locations. Daily. Popular nationwide chain that offers 100 different types of montaditos (small sandwiches). Great place to go for a cheap drink and bite to eat.
- Home Burger Bar, C/ Espíritu Santo, 12 (Malasaña). M-Th 13:30-16:00 20:30-24:00, F Sa and holidays 13:30-17:00 20:30-24:00, Su 13:30-17:00 20:30-23:00. THE place for serious hamburgers. Americans will feel at home!
- Home Burger Bar, C/ Silva, 25 (Gran Vía). M-Th 13:30-16:00 20:30-24:00, F Sa and holidays 13:30-17:00 20:30-24:00, Su 13:30-17:00 20:30-23:00. A second branch of the same concept.
- Tapería de Malasaña, Calle Corredera Alta de San Pablo 8. 08:00-02:00. Taperia with lunch room out the back. Reviews mixed about the tapas but great place for lunch; they do a great Cocido Madrileño and the house wine is more than acceptable (although served somewhat cold). Menu del dia €11.
- La Cocina del Desierto (Al-Jaima), C/ Barbieri, 1 (Metro: Chueca). Daily 13:30-16:00 21:00-24:00. This dark, cave-like Moroccan restaurant has some of the best North African food in the city. The seating is at low Moroccan-style tables and the calm, mellow atmosphere makes you feel like you’re far from the bustling center of Chueca.
- Lamucca de Pez, Plaza de Carlos Cambronero, 4 (Metro: Noviciado) , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Su-W 13:00-01:30, Th 13:00-02:00, F Sa 13:00-02:30. Nice designer restaurant popular within the 20s-30s crowd. Good music, cool people, even better food and cocktails. The kitchen opens in the afternoon.
- La Panza es Primero (Cocina Mex-Mex), C/ Libertad, 33 (Metro: Chueca) , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 13:00-01:00. This is a small, usually crowded, friendly Mexican restaurant with good food and drinks at reasonable prices. Sample some of their tacos and super-cheesy chilaquiles.
- Restaurante La Barraca, C/ Reina, 29 , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 13:30-16:15 20:00-23:45. Recommended for paella if a more authentic experience is sought. €40+, €50 (meal for 2 with drinks).
- Restaurante Siam, C/ San Bernardino, 6 (Metro: Plaza España or San Bernardino). Daily 12:00-16:00 20:00-24:00. Beautifully-decorated with a tranquil atmosphere, the food is reasonable and offers a pleasant departure from Spanish fare, if so desired. Most mains between €8 and €12.
As becomes a real hipster quarter, Malasaña boasts its own, eponymous brand of craft beer that can be bought in local delis.
- El Tigre, Calle de las Infantas, 30 (Metro: Gran Vía / Chueca). Su-Th 12:00-01:30, F Sa 12:00-02:00. Probably the most well-known tapas bar in Madrid, a must do. Don’t get frightened by how crowded the bar is and go in anyway. This is one of the most lively places in the city! Get beers, big glasses of wine or un mini de mojito and get free big plates of tapas every time you order. Very affordable.
- Café Comercial, Glorieta de Bilbao, 7 (Metro: Bilbao). Opened in the 1880s, this is the oldest cafe in Madrid, and has been run by the same family since the early 1900s. There’s a modern internet café upstairs, but the downstairs remains traditional.
- Pastelería La Duquesita, Calle Fernando VI, 2 (metro Alsonso Martínez). Monday to Friday 8.30AM-8.30PM, Sa 9.30AM-8.30PM, Su 10AM-8.30PM. Long-standing confectionery (established 1914), offering excellent tartlets that are not only delicious but also look picture-perfect. They are also sold to take away. Tartlets 5–6 € a piece.
- Café Gijón, Paseo Recoletos, 21 (Metro: Banco de España or Colon). A historic literary cafe. The outdoor terraza is nice in the summer.
- Café Restaurant El Espejo (El Pabellón de El Espejo), Paseo de Recoletos, 31 (Metro: Colon). Daily 09:00-01:00 (café); daily 13:00-24:00 (restaurant). Opened in 1978, but looks much older. Has two divisions: a more casual café and a restaurant. Good food and very crowded during lunchtime. Café: €14-15 (midweek set menu), €19-20 (weekend set menu); Restaurant: set menu €11-17.
- Libertad 8. Libertad 8 is an iconic coffee shop and bar located on Libertad del barrio de Chueca, in Madrid. Opened as a coffee shop in 1975, ever since then it’s served as a stage for artists and singer-songwriters (known as cantautores). It’s become one of the most important spaces for songwriters, with frequent concerts by Pedro Guerra, Rosana, Ismael Serrano, Luis Pastor, Tontxu, Andrés Suárez, Lichis, Carlos Chaouen, or Kiko Tovar.
- Areia, C/ Horteleza, 96 (Metro: Chueca). Monday to Friday 16:00-03:00, Sa Su 14:00-03:00. Very cool chill out bar decorated with deep colours in a Moroccan style. Dark and inviting. The seating includes cushions on the floor, traditional tables and chairs, or if you’re lucky, grab the four poster bed at the back. Drinks: €7 before 22:00 and €8 after 22:00.
- La Via Lactea, C/ Velarde 18 (Malasaña, Metro: Tribunal). Su-Th 20:00-03:00, F Sa 20:00-03:30. A swingin’ bar where you can twist the night away with local hipsters.
- Demode, Calle Ballesta (At the back of Gran Via, closest metro may be Tribunal/Gran Via). From 00:00 to 04:00AM. Cool electronic sounds for 20s-30s. Free.
- El Junco Jazz Club, Pza. Santa Bárbara 10 (Metro: Alonso Martínez). From 23:00 to 05:30AM weekdays, to 06:00AM weekends. Smallish venue, starts the night with live jazz, later on morphs into relaxed night club. Not cheap (once inside, beer still €5.50, mixed drink €8.50), so attracts older crowd than others nearby. €6 with beer, €9 with mixed drink.
Where to stay in Madrid/Malasaña-Chueca
- Hostal Jemasaca-Palma61, Calle de la Palma 61 (metro: Noviciado) , ✉ email@example.com. Breakfast (coffee + pastry + juice) is included in price and it’s served in a cafe near hostel. The nearest metro station is Noviciado. The room includes own bathroom and TV. Quiet and clean basic hostel. Double room: about 50e/night.
- Hostal San Martin, Calle Concepción Arenal 4 (Metro: Callao). Small, clean guest-house on the 4th floor. Ideally located just meters from Gran Via, with great staff and free wi-fi. All rooms have sink & shower, but most share bathrooms. Singles: €30-36; Doubles: €42-48.
- Hostal MH Fuencarral, Calle Fuencarral 10 3º (Metro: Gran Via). Centrally located, all rooms include bathroom, TV, free wi-fi, air conditioning, central heating, laundry and baggage storage facilities. Rooms with kitchen, washing machine and fridge are also available. Single: From €30.
- Hostal Visa, C/ Pérez Galdós, 7 (metro: Chueca). Simple, clean and secure. Central location close to Gran Via. Friendly staff. Single €30+.
- Hostal Asunción, Plaza Santa Bárbara, 8, 2º D (Metro: Alonso Martínez) , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 13:00 to 00:00, check-out: 11:00. Simple but clean, on 2nd floor of building. Staff speak excellent English, very friendly. Reception open 6:00 to 00:00, but no curfew, guests get access code to front door. Good free WiFi. Doubles €55.
Santander Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cantabria Travel Report
Santander is the capital and also the largest city of the province of Cantabria in Spain. The city is known throughout the United Kingdom for its bank of the same name.
Santander has some 180,000 inhabitants and is on the ocean. It features a small historic center and a handful of beaches. Its most famous tourist attraction is the Magdalena Palace which was used as a summer getaway of Spanish royalty.
- Tourist Information (Oficina de Turismo municipal), Jardines de Pereda, s/n. , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. from Sep 16 until Jun 14 Mon to Fri 8:30AM to 7PM, from Sep 16 until Passion Week Sat and Sun 10AM to 7PM, from Passion week until Sep 14 10AM to 7PM every day, from Jun15 until Sep 14 from 9AM to 9PM every day. M. Mm. M. M,,
- Santander – Parayas, Aeropuerto Internacional de Santander (in the municipality of Camargo, 5 km East of Santander) , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. mostly domestic and charter flights; international flights from London, Dublin, Rome, Milan, Frankfurt(?), Paris, and Amsterdam
Ryanair fly from Brussels, Berlin, Rome, London, Edinburgh, Barcelona and Tenerife (all year) plus Weeze, Malaga, Dublin and Milano (summer schedule only).
Iberia offers daily flights to Santander from Madrid and Barcelona and weekly flights from Alicante, Gran Canaria, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Seville, Tenerife, Valencia, Paris, and Amsterdam.
Taxis from the airport to Santander are about €20. The taxi stand is in front of the terminal building.
You can also hire taxis with English speaking drivers at the following tel. +34692240616, you can ask for the price of your trip (airport to the centre for €15) and make reservations. Credit cards are accepted.
The Alsa city bus (tel 942211995) to Santander Bus Station (Estación de autobuses) departs daily at 6:30 and 6:50AM and then every 30 minutes from 7:15AM until 10:45PM from directly outside the arrivals terminal (€2,50). Duration of the journey: 10 minutes. If you go back to the airport from the bus station you can buy the tickets on the ticket machine inside the bus station.
Santander Airport has direct access to the motorway A8 Santander – Bilbao.
ALSA operates daily bus services to Santander from Galicia, Asturias, Pais Vasco, Extremadura, Castile-Leon, Zaragoza, and Barcelona; and weekly services from Belgium, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The trip from Madrid takes about 5 hours (about €30) and the trip from Barcelona takes about 9 hours (via Zaragoza).
There are about 20 buses per day from Bilbao to Santander, journey time about 90 minutes. Single ticket €6.71, return €12.75 (December 2020).
Bilman Bus offers daily bus services from [ , Alicante, Cartagena, and Murcia.
For more information see the Santander bus station (Estación de Autobuses de Santander) with timetables from and to all destinations available.
RENFE operates daily train services from Madrid and Alicante to Santander station (Estación de Santander) with stops in the main cities on the way (Palencia, Valladolid, Ávila). Trains leave from Madrid Chamartin Station at 7:40AM Mon to Fri, 1:30PM, and 6:05PM daily. The trip from Madrid takes about 5-6 hours (~€35).
Feve offers daily train services from Bilbao and Asturia to Santander .
You may also wish to take a ferry from Plymouth, England to the Santander ferry terminal. The journey time is approximately 24 hours each way, and is an interesting journey, although you may wish to resist having a large meal too soon after departure from Plymouth if you are unused to sea travel as the Cantabrian Sea can be extremely rough.
Britanny Ferries operates two sailings a week from the UK to Santander from mid-March to October, on Wednesdays from Portsmouth and on Sundays from Plymouth, average sailing time hours. operated by the modern MV Pont Aven. From November until around December 20th and from Mid-February until March only the Plymouth – Santander service is operated with MS Bretagne, journey time 24 hrs. There is no service from around December 20th until mid-February.
Santander is 150 ml (246 km) from Biarritz, 272 ml (437 km) from Bordeaux, 327 ml (537 km) from Toulouse, 583 ml (937 km) from Marseille and 685 ml (1103 km) from Nice.
Santander is 517 ml (832 km) from Alicante, 443 ml (709 km) from Barcelona, 173 ml (279 km) from León, 243 ml (399 km) from Madrid, 630 ml (1014 km) from Marbella, 226 ml (364 km) from Salamanca, 474 ml (763 km) from Santiago de Compostela, 155 ml (250 km) from Valladolid, 314 ml (505 km) from Vigo and 249 ml (401 km) from Zaragoza.
Santander is 848 km (527 mi) from Lisbon and 405 ml (648 km) from Porto.
Santander is reasonably small. The distance from one end of town to the other are some 6km (4 miles) and can be walked in 2 hours along the coast road. Within the city center everything is within walking distance (15min walking).
Public buses are available at reasonable prices. Each journey costs € 1.10 (more for journeys out of the city proper, or you can save 40% by buying a 10-journey ‘Bonobus’ at a ‘Tabaco’ shop). A 10 journey Bonobus ticket costs € 6 (December 2020). Specifically, buses can take you to the main beaches some 2-4km (2m) from the city center. Timetables and map for download:
- Hop On Hop Off Bus, tel 800-750-2859 departs from the Cathdral daily at 10.45 and 11:25AM, 12.00 noon, 1.15, 1.55, 4.45, 5.20, 6.00 and 6:35PM, with stops at Pasea Pereda, Museo Maritimo, Palacio de Festivales y Planetario, Palacio de la Magdalena, Casiono/Playa de Sardinero, Faro de Cabo Mayor, Matalenas/Campo de Golf. Estadio, Universidad, Avenida Valdecilla, Cuatro Caminos and Barrio Pesquero, the entire journey which takes around 75 min. Internet rates: for 24 hours $21,95 per adult, $10.95 per child (5 to 15), for 48 hours $24,95 per adult, $11.95 per child (5 to 15) plus $3.95 “processing fee” per order. No refunds! Children under 5: free of charge. Explanations given in Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Japanese plus a commentary for kids.
Taxis are widely available throughout the city.
- Radiotaxi : tel. 942333333. Tariffs: Mon to Fri 6AM to 10PM, Sat 8AM to 3PM minimum € 3,15 plus € 0,78 per km, luggage € 1,17, waiting time € 15,52 per hour. Mon to Fri 10PM to 6AM, Sat midnight to 8AM, 3AM to midnight, Sun and public holidays: minimum € 4,00 plus € 1,02 per km, luggage € 1,50, waiting time € 20,23 per hour (2020)
The city offers bicycle rental, for a very low price, at a number of locations around Santander (Jardines de Pereda, El Sardinero, La Magdalena). Bikes are loaned for the day, so get in early to avoid missing out.
What to see and do
- Palacio de la Magdalena, La Magdalena, s/n , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Summer residence of the Spanish King from 1913 until 1930.
- Prehistoric and Archaeological Museum of Cantabria (Museo de Prehistoria y Arqueología de Cantabria), Casimiro Sainz 4. from Sep 16 until Jun 15 Tue to Sat 9AM to 1PM and 4 to 7PM, from Jun 16 until Sep 15 Tue to Sat 10AM to 1PM and 4 to 7PM, Sundays all the year round from 11AM to 2PM. An impressively well curated and presented museum focused on the ancient history of the local Cantabria region. All items are presented in Spanish, French and English, and there are a significant amount of video and interactive displays. More than 1000 objects are displayed with a Neolithic focus, though the collection ranges at least the Paleolithic through Roman and medieval periods. €5.
- Maritime Museum of Cantabria (Museo Marítimo del Cantábrico), San Martín de Bajamar s/n. , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Oct 1 until Apr 30 Tue to Sun 10AM until 6PM, May 2 until Sept 30 Tue to Sun 10AM until 7:30PM, closed Mon, Jan 1, Good Friday, May 1 and Dec 25. adults: €6, children from 4 to 12: €4, senior citizens over 65: €4, tourist groups: €5 per person.
- Bullfighting Museum (Museo Taurino), Calle de Jerónimo Sainz de la Maza. Jun 15 to Sep 15: Tue to Fri 6 to 9PM, Sat 11AM to 2PM. In the lower floor of the bullring, in the western part of the city, near the Plaza de México, with bullfighting memorabilia, posters, photos and paintings, and colourful suits of bullfighters from all over Spain admission free.
- Municipal Museum of Arts (Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes), C/Rubio, 6 , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. from 16 Sep until 14 Jun: Mon to Fri 10AM to 1PM, 5.30 to 9PM, Sat: 10AM to 1PM, closed Sat afternoon, Sun, from 15 Jun until 15 Sep: Mon to Fri 11:15AM to 1PM, 5.30 to 9PM, Sat: 10AM to 1PM, closed Sat afternoon, Sun,. Principal art museum of the region with s remarkable collection of paintings and sculpture from the 15th to 20th centuries, from Italian, Flemish and Spanish schools and a painting of King Fernando VII by Goya admission: free.
- Biblioteca Menéndez Pelayo, C/ Rubio 6. Mon to Fri 9 to 11:30AM. guided visits every 30 min.
- Museo del Faro de Cabo Mayor (exhibition of the painter Eduardo Sanz). Jul and Aug Tue to Sun 11AM to 1:30PM, 5 to 9PM, rest of the year:11AM to 1:30PM, 5 to 8PM. There’s an art gallery and a strange collection of lighthouse images from popular culture–on everything from matchboxes to liquor bottles. admission free.
- Colección del Ateneo de Santander, C/ Gómez Oreña, 5-1º , fax: . Salón Social and Cafetería: 9AM to 1PM, 4 to 9:30PM. admission free.
- Colección del Parlamento de Cantabria, C/ Alta 31/33.
- Colecciones y Patrimonio de Caja Cantabria, C/ Rubio 6. Mon to Sat 9AM to 1:30PM, Tue and Thu 4.30 to 9PM except Jul, Aug, closed Sat afternoon and Sun.
- Cathedral – Catedral de Santa Maria de la Asunción, Plaza del Obispo José Eguino y Trecu s/n. Mon to Fri 10AM to 1PM and 4 to 7:30PM, Holy service at 11AM and 6:30PM, Sat 10AM to 1PM and 4 to 8PM, Holy service at 11AM, 5 and 8PM, Sun 10AM to 1PM and 5 to 9PM, Holy service at 12AM, 1.30, 5 and 8PM. The cathedral cannot be visited during services, guided tours free of charge in July and August.
- Iglesia del Santísimo Cristo, C/ Somorrostro s/n. Jun 1 until Sep 30: 8AM to 1PM and 4 to 8PM every day, Oct 1 until May 31: 8AM to 1:30PM and 5 to 8PM every day, Holy services from mon to Fri at 11AM and 8:30PM, Sat 10AM to 1PM and 4 to 8PM, Holy service at 8.15, 10 and 11:15AM, 5 and 8PM, Sat at 10 and 11:15AM, 1.15, 6 and 8:30PM, Sun at 8.15, 10, 11 and 12AM, 1, 5 and 8:30PM. The church cannot be visited during services, guided tours free of charge in July and August.
- Iglesia de la Anunciación, C/ Juan de Herrera 17. open during services only. good example of Renaissance architecture
- Iglesia de la Consolación, C/Alta 19. open during services only. church in classical Baroque style
- Iglesia de Santa Lucía, C/ Daoiz y Velarde 11. open during services only. building of the eclectic style dating from the 19th century
- Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón, C/ San Jose. open during services only. one of the best examples of Neogothic style in town
- Santander Ban (Edificio del Banco Santander), Paseo Pereda 9-12 (opposite Pereda Gardens, not open to the public, in the city center, best reached with bus no. 1,3,4.C1,4.C2,9 and 10).
- Banco Español de Crédito, Hernan Cortes 11. building in the eclectic style of 1900
- Banco de España, Avenida Alfonso XIII. opened 1922
- Town Hall (Ayuntamiento), Plaza del Ayuntamiento s/n. building in the eclectic style of the 19th century, richly decorated with columns, balconies and coats of arms
- Mercado del Este, C/General Mola. erected from 1840 onwards, completely reconstructed in 1986
- Mercado de la Esperanza, Plaza de la Esperanza. inaugurated 1904 in Modernism style
- Plaza Porticada. constructed as new city center after the fire of 1941
- Casa Pardo, Paseo de Perez Galdos. House from 1915, also called ‘Palacio de los Botin’ with spectacular views over the bay, one of the most splendid mansions of the city, at Sardinero, reached with bus no 10
- Casa Pombo, Plaza de Jose Antonio 3 (mansion of 1875, in the city center, reached with bus no 1).
- Dique de Gamazo. small fishing port, dating from 1908, 180 m long, 15 m wide, 8 m deep, in the city center, reached with bus no 1
- Post Office Building (Edificio de Correos), Avenida de Alfonso XII. An impressive building, one of the landmarks of Santander, builtin 1915,in the city center, reached with bus no 1 and 8
- Edificio de Los Arcos de Botin, Hernan Cortes 21. Neoclassic building on the north side of Piaza Pombo, near the harbour, good example of 19th cent. architecture, visitors are not allowed inside, in the city center, reached with bus no 1
- Edificio de Los Pinares, Duque de Santo Mauro (near Primera Playa, between Calle Duque de Santo Mauro and Calle Joaquín Costa). Impressive private home of ship owner Francisco García, with an outstanding view on the beach as well as Renaissance and Baroque elements of architecture
- Edificio de Viviendas, Calle Castelar, 15 (in the city center, reached with bus no 1). One of the city’s grandest mansions of the early 1900S in the historic district along the Calle Castelar and Paseo de Pereda.
Streets and Squares
- Paseo de Pereda y Calle Castelar (in the city center, reached with bus no 1). 1550 m long street with nice views on the harbour and the cathedral and many buildings from the 18th to 20th cent., including Puerto Chico, Dique de Gamazo, Cuesta del Gas, and Banco Vitalicio
- Plaza de José Antonio (Plaza Pombo) (Calle de Hernán Cortés and General Mola are on the north and south, and Pancho Cossío and Las Infantas on the east and west). charming plaza with colorful flowerbeds and musician bandstand
- Alameda de Oviedo, San Fernando, s/n. in the western part of the city center, running from Cuatro Caminos Roundabout in the west, to Plaza de Numancia in the east, specifically between Calle de San Fernando and Calle Vargas.
- Jardines de Pereda, Paseo de Pereda, s/n. Santander’s most famous park with a lot of trees, bushes and flowers, a pond, several sculptures, a music pavilion, a monument to the writer José María de Pereda (1833-1906), a fountain dedicated to the Cantabrian author, Concha Espina (1877-1953), the Fuente de los Meones and the city tourist office nearby.
- Parque de Altamira, Paseo del General Dávila, s/n (in the north of the city near the commercial center between Paseo del General Dávila and Calle Vía Cornelia). botanical garden in city center, covering a total area of 16000m2.
- Jardines de Piquío, Avenida de Castañeda, s/n. occupying an area of 13000 m2, with fine views on the Ensenada del Sardinero, Cabo Menor to the north and Magdalena Peninsula to the south. On a promontory between Primera and Segunda Playa (First and Second Beaches, originally known as the “Piquillo” or the “Punta del Rostro” (Face Point).
- Parque del Doctor González Mesones, Avenida del Stadium, s/n (in theeast of the city near El Sardinero and the football stadium). park with an area of 40000m2,with fountains, ornate stone benches with heraldic shields and a statue of the poet José Luis Hidalgo.
- Parque de La Marga, Jerónimo Sainz de la Maza, s/n. west of the city, near Puerto Pesquero (Fishing Port), Dársena de Maliaño (Maliaño Docks), fish market and restaurants in the Barrio Pesquero (Fishing Quarter).
- Parque de La Magdalena, Avenida de La Magdalena, s/n. 8AM to 10PM daily. With 25000 m2 the biggest park in the city, surrounding the Palacio Real (Royal Palace). It was deserted until the end of the 19th century and houses a hermitage dedicated to Saint Magdalena and a defensive castle overlooking the bay. It has a zoo on the rocky cliffs on the northern end, with lions, seals, penguins and polar bears and a galleon nearby that belonged to the sailor and adventurer Vital Alsar.
- Parque de Cabo Mayor, Avenida del Faro, s/n, (situated near El Sardinero beaches.). Covering an area of more than 100,000m2, the park is extremely spectacular on windy days, when the waves crash onto the cliffs. The Faro de Cabo Mayor is the oldest lighthouse in Cantabria. It was built in 1839, is 30m high and its light can be seen from 29 miles away. The rock formation of the Puente del Diablo (Devil’s Bridge) and the Panteón del Inglés (Englishman’s Pantheon) is nearby.
What to do
- Picnic on Magdalena Peninsula
- Learn how to sail
- 5 city walks: go to the Santander Tourist Office in the city center (Old Market, near the Old Banco de Santander) and get a free city guide; the free city guide describes these 5 itineraries. These 5 itineraries are enough to keep you busy for 1-2 days.
- boat round trip: There is a regular boat service through the Santander Bay, boats run from Santander to Pedreña, Somo and back. For a 45-minutes round-trip you have to pay €3,90 and the boats starts at least every hour.
- Enjoy the beaches. Walk up to the lighthouse at Cabo Mayor, visit the museum and enjoy the view from the top.
Santander has a lot of fine beaches.
- Magdalena Beach (Playa de la Magdalena)
- Sardinero Beaches (Playa del Sardinero)
- Camel Beach (Playa del Camello)
- Mataleñas Beach (Playa de Mataleñas)
- Magdalena Peninsula (see the penguins in the ‘mini-Zoo’) & Magdalena Palace (Palacio de Magdalena)
- Lighthouse at Cabo Mayor (faro de Cabo Mayor), and the devil’s bridge (puente del diablo), a bizarre rock formation.
- Playa de Bikinis, safe and lovely beach on the Peninsula de la Magdalena, protected from big waves, very calm.
- Playa de Covachos, Cotero (Santa Cruz de Bezana), one of the most attractive beaches,
- Playa de El Bocal, Corbanera, peaceful and quiet,
- Playa de El Camello, Avenida de la Reina Victoria, near Magdalena Peninsula,
- Playa de El Puntal, Somo (Ribamontán al Mar),
- Playa de La Concha, in the middle of Sardinero,
- Playa de La Magdalena, Ensenada del Sardinero, with fine views of the bay,
- Playa de La Maruca, Monte,
- Playa de la Virgen del Mar, San Román, peaceful and quiet,
- Playa de Langre, Langre (Ribamontán al Mar), spectacular situation between the cliffs,
- Playa de Los Molinucos, small beach north of Segunda Playa,
- Playa de Los Peligros, Avenida de la Reina Victoria, quiet beach in a sheltered bay,
- Playa de Mataleñas, between Cabo Mayor and Cabo Menor, the ‘luxury’ beach of Santander,
- Playa de Somocuevas, Liencres (Piélagos), with fine golde sands,
- Playa de Valdearenas, Liencres (Piélagos), fine sand dunes,
- Playa Primera de El Sardinero, Plaza de Italia, the most famous beach of Santander,
- Playa Segunda de El Sardinero, Playa de Castaneda.
- Somo Beach is a little bit outside of Santander. It can be reached from downtown Santander by boat. Boats leave every 10 minutes and the boat ride takes about 10 minutes. Somo Beach is about 3 km long and is less crowded than beaches in Santander.
- Centro Cultural Caja Cantabria, Tantín, 25. The buildings is also known as “Modesto Tapia”. It was designed by the Catalan architect, Domenech i Muntaner, a contemporary of Gaudí, and was inaugurated by Alfonso XIII in 1907. It incorporates many Modernist architectural features and was completely re-modeled in 1994. The Social and Cultural Office of Cantabria Bank offers theater performances, rock, pop and jazz concerts, conferences, art exhibits and workshops in drama, painting and photography.
- Centro Cultural Doctor Madrazo, Casimiro Sainz, s/n, (near Tetuán Tunnel and Puerto Chico). Organized by the Cultural Bureau of Santander’s City Council.
- Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria, Gamazo, s/n. Designed by Javier Sáenz de Oiza, opened in 1991, classical music concerts, ballet and dance performances, home to Cantabria’s School of Dramatic Arts
- Fiestas Virgen del Mar (Lady of the Sea festival): May 19
- Los Baños de Ola: July 16 until 20
- Fiestas de Santiago (St.James’s Festival): July 25
- Mercado medieval (medieval market): second half of August
- Romería del Faro (pilgrimage to the lighthouse): August 23
- Lupa (big supermarket chain), Avenida de Parayas, s/n.
- Mercado de la Esperanza, El Mercado, s/ (Behind the Mercado de la Esperanza in Plaza de la Esperanza is an open-air market selling clothes, fruits and flowers. Mon to Fri 8AM to 2PM and 5 to 7:30PM, Sat 8AM – 2PM). busy market built in 1897 and restored in 1977, oldest surviving market in Santander after the Mercado del Este, built in 1839, was recently demolished
- Santa María Pescados, San Francisco, 12 (fish market located in the San Francisco complex). Mon to Fri 9AM to 1:30PM and 4:30 to 8:30PM, Sat 9AM – 1:30PM. offering fresh seafood from the Cantabrian Sea, shellfish, hake, sea-bass, sardines, squid, octopus lobsters, percebes (goose barnacles) and crayfish
- Hilario, General Dávila. Mon to Fri 9AM to 2PM and 5 to 8PM, Sat 9AM to 2PM. meat shop located at the Hospital Santa Clotilde
The Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo offers summer courses for university students, including Spanish language courses for foreigners, that take place both at the Magdalena Palace and at Residencia Las Llamas.
The Universidad de Cantabria offers Spanish language courses of 4 to 10 weeks duration throughout the year through the Centro de Idiomas (CIUC). CIUC also coordinates exchange students at the university.
- The best area to eat fish is the district close to fishing harbour (Barrio Pesquero), although locals usually regard this as a tourist trap.
- Santander is known amongst Spaniards for its many Regma ice-creamery outlets. At times it can seem that they have an outlet on every corner. Their very generous serving sizes of 8 popular flavours of ice cream have been melting down the hands of locals for years, even throughout the winter months. Other chains such as Capri on Paseo de Pereda provide a greater range of choices.
- Señores Patatas on Calle Santa Lucía offers student-priced meals of fries and hamburgers. Try the ‘Five Sauces’ (Cinco Salsas) plates with five types of fry cut and five types of sauce.
- Taj Mahal on Calle Santa Lucía is the only Indian restaurant in town and serves a tasty alternative to the Spanish staples.
- Sakura near Cuatro Caminos serves Japanese dishes.
- La Casona del Judío, Resconorio 35. 40 €.
- La Bombi, Casimiro Sainz 15. 42 €.
- La Mulata, Tetuan sn. 30 €.
- Cañadio, Gómez Oreña, 15. 45 €.
- La Posada del Mar, Castelar 19. 45-55 €.
- Zacarias, Hernán Cortés 38. one of the best restaurants in Santander, owned by the best known chef de cuisine in Santander, Cantabrian and seafood dishes, 45 €.
- El Serbal, Andrés del Rio, 7. 1.30 until 4PM, 8.30 until 11:30PM, closed Sun evening and Mon. 55 €.
- Bar del Puerto, Hernán Cortés 63 , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 60 €.
- La Sardina de Plata, Plaza Doctor Fleming, 3. restaurant in nautic design, serving regional cuisine, cheese mousse, beef fillet with truffles and cognac, fish salad, € 20 to 40.
- Bodega Cigalena, Daoíz y Velarde, 19 (Zona: Puerto Chico). 1 to 3PM, 8PM to midnight. Castilian bodega, popular with younger people, serving fish soup (sopa de pescado) and shellfish paella, great selection of wines from Castilia. € 30.
- Altamira, Avenida Reina Victoria, 27. Serves traditional cuisine.
- Copa Cabana, Reina Victoria, 46. spectacular views
- El Cormorán, Segunda Playa del Sardinero. dining by the sea
- Figón, Cisneros, 7. home-style cuisine
- Gelín, Nueva Montaña, s/n. Traditional and rustic
- Horno de Burgos, La Unión, 4. Traditional Castilian cuisine
- Peña Prieta, Vargas, 35. Fresh fish
- La Mejillonera, Plaza de la Leña, 4. Mussels
- Capitol, Francisco de Quevedo, 7. seafood tapas
- El Estanque de Gama, Gama (Next to the N634). One of the most beautiful restaurants in Cantabria. 20 min. from Santander towards Bilbao. It is also an elegant cocktail bar in the middle of the Santoña`s Nature Reserve Marshes. €20.
Everybody starts their night at Plaza de Cañadío, in the centre of the old town. It is a hive for young Santanderinos and exchange students. It is surrounded on three sides by various bars and restaurants. This is where most drinking of calimocho – the red wine/coca-cola combo favoured by young Spaniards – takes place.
Later in the night (from about 2AM) the drinking action moves to bars and clubs in the area, including La Embajada, Retros, Cafe del Sol, La Rana Verde, Opium and many others. Three major dance clubs are located nearby – El Divino, Malaespina and Rocaverde.
Where to stay in Santander
- Hotel Las Brisas. Calle La Braña 14, El Sardinero Cantabria.
- Santemar Hotel, Calle Joaquin Costa 28, Tel: +34 942 272 900, in the City Centre.
- Hotel Sardinero, Plaza de Italia 1, Tel.: +34 942 271 100, near El Sardinero Beach.
- Hospedaje Magallanes, Magallanes 22 Entlo, Tel.: +34 942 371 421, in the City Centre.
- Hotel Chiqui, Avenida Manuel Garcia Lago 9, Tel.: +34 902 282 700, near El Sardinero Beach.
- NH Ciudad de Santander, Menéndez Pelayo, 13-15, +34 94 2319900.
- Castro-Urdiales: seaside village east of Santander with a nice Gothic church and lighthouse.
- Laredo (Spain): another seaside village to the East, the old quarter is worth a visit.
- Potes: this small village is the key to the Picos de Europa mountain range (which is a National Park), and the Liébana region. Good eating place, and the local orujo (a strong spirits drink) is highly recommended.
- Reinosa: the main town on southern Cantabria, it’s a good base to explore the Cantabrian mountain range (Cordillera Cantábrica), with the Alto Campoo sky resort, the Roman city of Julióbriga and several Medieval churches close by.
- Santillana del Mar: Picturesque stone village 1 hour away by bus; visit the famous cave of Altamira.
- San Vicente de la Barquera – Sea-side fishing village, about 30 minutes by bus. See the fishing vessels unload what Madrid will be eating tomorrow. Fantastic tides, so stay for at least 6 hours. Nice Roman bridge.
- Valles Pasiegos: for a taste of rural Cantabria, no better place than the Valley of the Pas river, especially Toranzo, Selaya, Villacarriedo, Vega de Pas, San Roque de Riomiera and San Pedro del Romeral. Try the typical sobaos and quesadas, two traditional desserts.
- Ethnography Museum (Museo Etnografico de Cantabria Casa Velarde), Calle de los Heroes dos de Mayo, Muriedas, Camargo (5 ml/8 km from Santander). from Jul until Sep Tue to Sat 10AM to 1PM, 4 to 7PM, Sun 11AM to 2PM, from October to June Tue to Sat 10AM to 1PM, 4 to 6PM, Sun 11AM to 2PM. Historical 17th-century building, birthplace of Spanish artillery captain Pedro Velarde y Santillan, antiquities and period furnishings, kitchen utensils, paintings.
Arganzuela Coronavirus (COVID-19) Madrid Travel Report
Arganzuela is a district in southern Madrid on the banks of river Manzanares. In addition to that, this article covers all southern districts of the Spanish capital, most of which are little frequented by international travellers.
Madrid’s main station, Atocha, is located at the northern edge of Arganzuela. Cercanías (suburban trains) also stop at Embajadores, Pirámides, Delicias and Estación Sur de Autobuses stations. Metro stations that serve this district are Embajadores, Palos de la Frontera, Delicias and Legazpi of line 3, Puerta de Toledo, Acacias, Pirámides and Marqués de Vadillo of line 5, Méndez Alvaro, Arganzuela-Planetario, Legazpi and Usera of line 6.
What to see and do
- Parque Madrid Río (metro: Legazpi or Marqués de Vadillo, or cercanías: Príncipe Pio). The motorway that used to carve into the city and blight the banks of Río Manzanares, was banished into a tunnel, in a superlative urban landscaping project that cost some 4 billion euros. Nowadays, a unique 6-km long landscape garden accompanies the river on both banks. For this project, 33 bridges were dedicated, that allow you to cross from one side to another whenever you want, as well as 5500 benches installed and 33,000 trees planted. The park is multifaceted, including flowerbeds, Baroque-style boxwood broderies, pine, cypress or bamboo groves, playgrounds, climbing garden, skatepark etc. Asphalted paths are ideal for cyclists and roller skaters, while pedestrians enjoy priority rights. Cafés, “beach bars” and kiosks provide sustenance.
- Planetario de Madrid (Planetarium of Madrid), Avda del Planetario, 16 (or). Tu-F 17:00-19:45, Sa Su holiday 11:00-13:45 and 17:00-20:45. Features several exhibits related to space exploration, two screens playing documentaries, an interactive area and, of course, the planetarium. Projections last 45 minutes each. Different ones play on different days so check their website. All the exhibits are explained in Spanish only and the projections in the planetarium are also in Spanish. Entry is free but the sessions in the planetarium each have a cost of €3.60 for a regular ticket and €1.65 for a reduced ticket (children and seniors).
- Museo de Ferrocarril de Madrid (Railway Museum of Madrid), Paseo de las Delicias, 61 (; Renfe Cercanias: Delicias) , ✉ email@example.com. Oct-May: M-Th 09:30-15:00, F and holidays 10:00-18:00, Sa Su 10:00-20:00; Jun-Sep: Tu-Su 10:00-15:00. Museum with four railway tracks, exhibiting a large number of steam, diesel and electric locomotives used in Spain in the 19th and 20th century. Also on display are several model railways. Exhibits are described in Spanish only. M-Th, F before 14:00, holidays: €6 (adults), €4 (concessions), free (children under 4); F after 14:00, Sa Su: €2.50.
What to do
- Matadero Madrid, Plaza de Legazpi, 8 (metro: Legazpi). Usually Tu-F 16:00-21:00, Sa Su 11:00-21:00, on M only the cinetheque is opened. Madrid’s former main abattoir (matadero), an early 20th-century industrial brick compound in Arganzuela district, has been converted to an arts and cultural centre since the 2000s. It is intended to serve as a cross-disciplinary laboratory of contemporary arts, including studios, exhibition spaces, a theatre, an arthouse cinema, and a library, as well as a café. One of the preferred spots of the city’s “artsy” crowd to meet. There are performances and other events almost every day.
- Sala La Riviera, Paseo Bajo de la Virgen del Puerto, s/n (Metro: Puerta del Angel or Principe Pío) , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Another large venue for touring rock and pop bands.
- Gruta ’77, C/ Cuclillo, 6 (Metro: Oporto) , ✉ email@example.com. Concerts everyday – pop, rock, and punk.
- Atlético de Madrid. Plays games in the Vicente Calderón stadium. The club is one of the most successful in Spanish League history, having won both La Liga and the Copa del Rey on ten occasions, including a double in 1996. They also won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1962, were European Cup runners-up in 1974 and 2014, Intercontinental Cup winners in 1975 and more recently won the UEFA Europa League both in 2010 and 2012.
- Madrid Open (Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open), Camino de Perales (Metro: San Fermin – Orcasur; bus 23/78/123). Held in mid-May at La Caja Mágica.
- Freiduría de Gallinejas Embajadores, C/ Embajadores, 84 (near Glorieta Embajadores, Metro lines L3 and L5). Monday – Saturday 11:00-23:00, Su 12:00-22:00. Another classic tapas bar in Madrid, not for conservative stomachs. Their most popular tapas are two of the most typical and traditional dishes in Madrid: gallinejas and entresijos. A treat for adventurous palates and lamb-lovers. Raciónes €3-9.
- Café Ziryab Tablao Flamenco, Paseo de la Esperanza 17 (Metro Acacias) , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. shows at 9.30 pm. A Flamenco venue with daily shows at 9:30 by first line artists, in an intimate ambiance. Kind staff, nice drinks and tapas, personalized attention and the artists right in front of you. 22€.
- La Esquina de Eusebio, C/ Caramuel 16 (Metro: Puerta del Angel). Trays of tapas are passed from one person to another in this typical bar of Madrid, absolutely not touristy but really worth it. And it’s not so far from the centre.
Where to stay in Madrid/Arganzuela
- Sol Hostel, Calle Bernardino Obregon 25 (metro: Palos de la Frontera or Embajadores) , ✉ email@example.com. Rooms from 4 to 14 people, plus breakfast and internet (WIFI). Dorm bed: €12-17, breakfast included.