Today Olamelama lead you to a journey to Madrid! If you follow me on Instagram, you are aware that I went to visit the Spanish capital during one week to enjoy tapas (there was a lot of them) and good weather (which wasn’t always the case)! We decided to rename our week in Madrid the Tapas Trip! This was not my first trip there. When I was living in Porto, we went there already for a weekend in August (by 40 °C). We had so much fun in Madrid that we decided to book a full week back there this year, just to eat as much as we could. What was scheduled? NOTHING. We’re lucky that we both speak Spanish and Portuguese so it felt a bit like coming back home each time that we are in Spain/Portugal.
We have visited most of the “touristic stuff” the last time so there was no pressure. We left our computers at home and enjoyed our week without 3G/wifi/plans. It was SO GOOD.
OK, I’m lying, I had my smartphone which I used to take pictures and then post them on Instagram quickly during nap time. I would like to share with you some pictures of Madrid and my favorite spots in Chueca and Malasaña (located in the north of Madrid). ¡Vamos!
Chueca, gay and cheerful!
We decided to rent an Airbnb in the neighborhood of Chueca. Chueca is Madrid’s gay area and it’s located around the metro Chueca (duh) and, in my opinion, it’s one of the best places to stay to enjoy the atmosphere of Madrid. No need to say that you don’t sleep a lot over there; the streets are alive and noisy day and night, there are super cool small designer shops, galleries, cafes and trendy restaurants -and it’s so hipster-.
I recommend you to go there and have a look, walk around, hang out and go to cafes shops, the atmosphere is super relaxing.
Our Airbnb was totally crazy! The flat was located in an old building in the typical Spanish style and had an amazing elevator in the middle of the staircase of the building (you know, the ones that you need to close manually inside and outside of the lift shaft?). The flat was beautiful, bright and was one of our favorite things during this Tapas Trip. I loved it so much that I leave you the link of Noemi’s flat on Airbnb. Btw, if you want to get a 31€ discount on your next Airbnb reservation, you can follow this link 🙂
Do you want good tips in Chueca?
- Merimée Café (Calle de Fuencarral 61): Enjoy a nice breakfast outside in this well-decorated bar/restaurant. For 3€, you can have a breakfast menu with a tea/coffee + a french toast/pastry. Tripadvisor Link.
- El Tigre (Calle de las Infantas, 30): My favorite place during this Tapas Trip! The idea? You enter in this old shitty-looking bar and you order a beer or something else, you drink what you want) and there… Surprise! You receive a full dish full of tapas. When I say full, it’s really FULL! Patatas bravas, Jamón Serrano, tortilla… Think about it and you got it. For free with your drink! How amazing is this? Btw, if you become friends with the owner, you can get even more free food! The bar is super noisy and full most of the time but… Madrid atmosphère assured!
- Mercado St Ildefonso (Calle de Fuencarral 57): I advise you to got there at night to take a drink. It’s quite pricey but the atmosphere and the place is so nice that it’s worth it. You can eat tapas there, of course. There is a lot of little indoor terraces and a super nice cocktail bar on the last floor! Tripadvisor Link.
- Mercado San Anton (Calle de Augusto Figueroa 24): Another cool market filled with delicious little tapas. You can do like us and go from stand to stand to eat more and more tapas! Tripadvisor Link.
Just next to Chueca’s neighborhood is Malasaña! All good because this neighborhood is DOPE! Malasaña is also called Maravillas. So why do we call it Malasaña then? Well, Malasaña is the name of a 15 y.o. girl who was living there and who was killed during the events of the 2 May 1808, the day of the uprising of Madrid against Napoleon’s troops. Not very joyful indeed! The neighborhood is filled with vintage shops, tapas bar (of course) and a gourmet restaurant.
I did some vintage shopping over there but we also ate a lot of nice food in nice places… Since I’m cool, I give you some addresses 😉
Good tips in Malasaña? Here it is!
- La Rue (Calle Colon 14): This little café has a very cute decoration and it’s a nice place to have a coffee and eat some delicious crèpes! The place just offers 6 tables but it’s really cozy and you can relax while listening to some good music. I took a Dulce de Leche crèpe. The crèpes are between 3,70€ and 5€, the coffee is at 1,70€ and the tea at 2,50€, it’s a bit more expensive than traditional coffees.
- Toy Panda (Calle Espiritu Santo 7): Even if we were in Madrid, we couldn’t resist the urge to eat some asian food… We fell in love with Toy Panda, this cute little restaurant offering delicious Dim Sum (What is that? Check out my recipe post about Dim Sum) and Bao Burgers. We shared a 10€ menu with 2 Dim Sum entrances, a Bao Burger and a drink. It was very very good! Website link.
- Calle 30 (Calle Pez 30): This Steakhouse restaurant is my best discovery during this Tapas Trip. There is an open barbecue, the decoration is amazing and the food… I can’t even tell you how good it was! We went to have dinner there on our last day in Madrid and it was the peak of our trip. I had spare ribs which were so good that I still dream about them. My boyfriend took an entrecote which was really juicy and delicious (and I don’t even eat red meat). Everything came with grilled corn, a barbecued potato and a small salad. A real dream! The price? Well, really not too expensive for the quality and the quantity that you receive (between 10€ and 18€)! All the meats are local, the sauces are homemade and the cooking is perfect. I’m looking forward to go back to Madrid to eat all the rest of the menu card! Website link.
Do you feel like doing some vintage shopping? You can find your paradise in Malasaña! I went into some shops to find fabric for future DIY so, here are some good addresses:
- Magpie (Calle Velarde, 3): You can check their Facebook page to see what they are proposing but nothing better than checking with your own eyes. You can find really nice things!
- La Mona Checa (Calle Velarde, 2): Another really nice vintage thrift shop which proposes you cute things too. You can find them of Facebook too.
- Nest (Plaza de San Ildefonso 3): This cute little shop has nice papeterie products to propose but also kids and decorations products! I recommend you to have a look! Btw, the window shop was just much too sweet! Website link.
And finally, I took the chance to go to cut my hairs at Corta Cabeza ( Calle de Pez 11/13), a hair salon completely crazy! I don’t cut my hair very often (#lazy), but when I do, it’s mainly in Portugal. The price is of course much cheaper than in Belgium/Germany but also, I think they understand my hair type (I have a lot of hair and they are very thick). While walking around in Malasaña, we passed in front of this hair salon where electro music was coming from. It was a first time for me to explain in spanish how I wanted my hair to be cute but it was easy, I told the hairdresser to do what she thought would be nice (I like to live dangerously, I know). One hour later, I had a very nice Angled Bob cut with a high straight fringe, all for a tiny price! I’m not really a selfie person so I don’t have nice pictures to propose you right now.
I think it’s time to finish this very long blog post about Chueca and Malasaña, the greatest neighborhood of Madrid. But don’t worry, it’s just the first part of my trip to Madrid. See you very soon 🙂
Have you already been to Madrid? Are you more Team Madrid or Team Barcelona? I’m looking forward to read your comment and to discover you other nice tips!