Madrileños are constantly finding new and interesting ways to enjoy themselves. If you are living in Madrid, or are interested in spending some time here, and you are wondering what you can and can’t do, then keep reading. As you well know, I love to make and share my guides of Madrid. In this latest one, I will recommend some of the many activities on offer in the city that you can enjoy safely.
In the Fresh Air
While it is normal to walk everywhere in Madrid, you can always rent an electric bike or scooter instead. For only 2 euros, you can cover great distances while enjoying a host of panoramic views quickly. If this takes your fancy, I would also recommend the cable car, or ‘Teleférico’ as it’s called here. For 5 euros you can get a return trip and a view of the city from above.
Furthermore, from 17 November up until January, there is an amazing installation in the Royal Botanic Gardens called ‘Naturaleza Encendida’ that will transform the gardens into a spectacle of LED lights. This comes at just the right time, as Madrid will be lit up like never before: the Christmas lights on the most important streets and avenues will be switched on as well. Perfect for Instagram photoshoots (with a mask on, of course).
Drinks and Tapas
Madrid’s famous terraces remain open and bustling (all while respecting social distancing measures). Although Winter in Spain is not as cold as in other European countries, some terraces have installed heaters outside. Others, give you a blanket to keep you warm while you enjoy a drink. Some other bars, used to hosting parties or concerts, have undergone radical transformations and have reopened as restaurants – the famous bar ‘Penta’ in Malasaña for example.
On the other hand, if you – like me – are obsessesd with trying different cuisines, then Madrid is the place for you. In Spain, it is common to ‘ir de tapas’, implying going to a bar, ordering a drink with ‘una tapa’ (a small portion of typical local food), and then moving to another bar, and another, and another… The best part is that you get to try something different at each bar all in one night and without spending a fortune. What’s more, this year at the end of the month is the the tenth edition of ‘Tapapies’, an event where different bars in Lavapies compete against one another for the best tapas. The bars get very creative and you end up trying an amazing mix of traditional Spanish recipes but with different African, European, Latinamerican and Asian flavours and influences.
Plans for staying in
During these unprecedented times, more and more online activities are coming out each day, I have already added a few to my calendar. Fever Talks is offering a programme of fascinating events: from presentations on the most controversial conspiracy theories to quantum physics. Or, if you feel like something less cerebral and educational, there are online DJ sessions for you and your flatmates to enjoy in the living room. I have even seen online wine tasting sessions!
Moreover, AIL Madrid is still offering its online cultural activities. They are open to anyone so it doesn’t matter if you are one of their students or not. You can sign yourself up and get to know Spanish students from all over the world. The interesting thing about these activities, is that many of them are virtual tours that allow you to travel to the most interesting parts of Spain. So far I have learnt all about the history and culture of places like Andalucía, Toledo and the people of La Mancha.
In summary, Madrid never fails to surprise and impress me with its dynamism… it is a living, breathing city. Don’t you worry, here life always goes on!