An Alternative Guide to Madrid

Original plans in Madrid

This time we’re going to give you some original plans for going out for a drink or a night on the town with friends in Madrid. The idea is to see a different side of the city and try some new experiences. Here are our suggestions for discovering a little bit of an alternative Madrid.



El Mercado de San Ildefonso dates from 1835 and was one of the first great public food markets in the city. Located in Calle de Fuencarral and completely renovated in June 2014, el Mercado de San Ildefonso is now a new kind of market: 5,000 m2 laid out on three floors, with 18 food stalls and a landscaped courtyard on the second floor.

It is inspired by traditional street markets in cities like London, New York and Bangkok and is decorated in true urban style: on the first floor you’ll even find paving stones like those on the street outside. On the top floor, the Surprise Space is a versatile space given over to display cooking and avant-garde cocktail-making demonstrations.

El Mercado de San Ildefonso is based on the popular idea of a street food market: somewhere you can go with friends to drink craft beer or have a few gin & tonics. The best idea is to find a spot at the high tables in the middle or in the courtyard and then get your drinks from the bar and your food from a stall. They are all independent businesses and you pay when you order.


Latina MadridLa Latina is a great neighbourhood for going out for a drink, tapas and mojitos at a pavement bar, much to the dismay of some residents. You’ll have trouble finding an empty table at the weekend, but during the week it’s a down-to-earth neighbourhood, with locals shopping at the Mercado de la Cebada and children playing in one of the many squares. Make sure you visit some of the lovely churches hidden away round lots of corners!

La Latina is the place for going out for a drink in Madrid. Most bars are on Cava Alta and Cava Baja, where you’ll find the mythical restaurant Casa Lucio, famous for its scrambled eggs. In summer, it can be quite a struggle to make your way along the packed pavements. In this alternative area of Madrid you’ll also find nightclubs and bars playing live music.


Barrio de Malasaña, Madrid Malasaña today is said to be becoming a bit of a hipster neighbourhood, full of beards, bikes, markets and dog walkers. Well, it’s always been a visionary area, able to juggle the old and the new: you’re just as likely to find a local buying a loaf of bread in their slippers as young avant-garde fashion designers.

The mythical 1980s movida madrileña scene has moved on, but this neighbourhood still has plenty of nightlife and you’ll find lots of bars and restaurants and terraces where you can hang out with friends in summer.


Sidreria el tigre MadridIf you’ve had enough of forking out for drinks and wouldn’t mind bigger potions of tapas, this bar in Chueca is the one for you.

Lots of restaurants have sprung up since the economic downturn but, unlike others, El Tigre not only has great prices, it also offers tasty food. Every time you order a drink (usually cider, beer or sangria), you’ll get a generous-sized tapa (we’re talking two large plates piled high) of something like croquettes, chicken wings, chips with spicy sauce, little sandwiches, paella or Spanish omelette. It’s well worth a visit.
These are our ideas to see an alternative side to Madrid.

Alfredo - Marketing Team

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