25 oct. 2016

Exciting Halloween Ideas!

A Place to stay during Halloween

La Casa de los Horrores de Aranjuez is the most terrifying house in the whole of Spain because according to legend it’s haunted! Over a long period of time, hundreds of souls and people have been trapped by this haunted house. Today, no one wants to live nearby and no one dares talk about what has happened inside. Are you brave enough enter…?

From 130 euros. This price includes: dinner, accommodation, breakfast, an open bar, Cluedo, a horror show and multiple terrifying games and puzzles.
Address: Camino de Villamejor, 28300, Madrid

To party

The Moby Dick Group is emerging from the darkness for one special night in Madrid! Their busiest and most popular party takes place at The Irish Rover. In fact it is probably the most popular Halloween party in Madrid! This is down to the incredible decorations, people dressed up for the occasion and the terrifying atmosphere that is created. If you dare enter this party, you must pass through the now famous Pasaje de Terror which is riddled with spooky and threatening beasts from the afterlife. If you survive this, you’re greeted with a free shot to help you through your fear! Also, if you turn up dressed in a scary costume, you’ll get discounts throughout the whole night!

In the Moby Dick Club itself, Halloween is synonymous with rock music and partying into the early hours! The Exploding Boys will be opening this night of incredible music that has been named the R.I.P Rock Party! It is sure to be a night to remember. As in The Irish Rover, those who make the effort to dress up, get a free shot as well as discounts throughout the night. Enjoy!

Finally, the Moby Dick group celebrates Halloween in Areia Chill Out and Lola 09. It is now a tradition that those who work there put on incredible makeup and terrifying costumes – many people come simply to see these! Together with the impressive costumes, two young DJs, Cherry Pie and Alviker, will be performing some magic of their own from the decks!

If you’re looking for a good night out on Halloween, you won’t be stuck for ideas!

To eat out

The restaurants Enigmatium y El Enterrador both set up exciting Halloween themed dinners! You’ll have great fun figuring out a series of puzzles and witty riddles!
From 45 euros. For the Enigmatium, the price includes; dinner (vegetarian menu available), open bar, 3 hours of entertainment and a photographer! For the Enterrador, the price includes dinner, a fun escaping game, open bar, entrance to the Mansión Dam, a drink and a disco!

To visit

On Tuesday 1st November at 1800 hrs in the Plaza Mayor, discover, with a free guided tour, the places that have witnessed Madrid’s most famous murders and their mysteries.
Pre-book to go and see “Crimen y Misterio en Madrid” (“Crime and Mystery in Madrid”) at the Tourist Office in the Plaza Mayor.
The group Carpetania have also planned their Halloween trip to Madrid: “Misterios y secretos de Madrid”, (“Mysteries and Secrets of Madrid”) on 31st October at 2030 hrs. This is an evening stroll that tells the most dark and sinister stories of Madrid. You’ll pass through the Plaza del Rey, the House of Seven Chimneys, the San José Church, the Caballero de Gracia, Montera street and the streets around the Puerta del Sol.
12 euros. The price includes: the guided walk, printed information about the journey and a drink.

Enjoy Halloween in Madrid!

14 oct. 2016

5 Exciting October Events!

14th -16th October: MadrEAT is a street market that has more than 20 food trucks offering hand-crafted beer, coffee from around the world and international cuisine such as hamburgers, cookies, crepes, handmade goats cheese…the list goes on!
MadrEAT attracts well-known chefs such as Estanis Carenzo (Sudestada y Chifa), Iván Domínguez (Alabaster), Luis Arévalo (Kena) y Mario Sandoval (Coque).
Address: Avenida de Portugal, 28011 Madrid (line 6 Puerta de Ángel, or line 10 Lago)

From 20th to 30th October: Tapapiés is a festival that unites international cuisine (more than 90 bars and restaurants), theatre, street circuses and a wide range of outdoor music concerts: the genres include rap, groove, French world music, Acapella, swing, rock’n roll and reggae…
Prices: 1.50€ per tapa, and 2,50€ for a tapa + a glass of Estrella Damm
Address: Lavapiés, 28012 (line 3 Lavapiés)

21st, 22nd and 23rd October: three days to discover and learn about the historical, cultural and artistic heritage of the capital through guided tours, workshops, talks, concerts and displays. This, the third edition of Madrid Otra Mirada, will have a special section dedicated to Carlos III, known as ‘the greatest Mayor of Madrid’, for the third Centenary of his birth. The vast majority of the activities are free of charge but may require prior booking.
Address: Sol and Gran Vía

22nd and 29th October: Malamarket: a market displaying the works of designers, craftsmen, illustrators as well as second hand items, decorations, and vintage products. It connects the creative side with the economic and social sides of the city. An extremely cool place to visit!
Address: Plaza del Dos de Mayo, 28004 (lines 1 y 10 Tribunal)

Throughout the whole month: exhibitions of the 155 winning photos from the World Press Photo 2016 competition.
Price: 3-5€
Address: Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid (COAM), Calle de Hortaleza, 63, 28004 Madrid (line 5 Chueca)

Enjoy Madrid this October!

13 sept. 2016

Back to Madrid Community Fair, this Thursday at 7pm!

This Thursday marks the 3rd annual ‘Back to Madrid’ Community Fair, hosted by the British Benevolent Fund to benefit British expats in need. The fair itself promises to be bigger and more exciting than ever with a cash bar, live music, and dozens of English speaking activities / clubs, social groups, and expat owned local businesses offering info and welcoming smiles for Madrid newbies and veterans alike.

7 sept. 2016


We know that you love Madrid – its parks, museums, different districts, festivals, everything! Because of this, we want you to know every detail about this precious city so, today, we have chosen the very famous market called “El Rastro” (the trail).
Every Sunday morning, this market (which originally only sold second hand items) is put up in the La Latina district.

So, we bet you’re wondering where its name comes from! Well, history states that cows used to be taken along the Rivera de Curtidores (the main market street) from the slaughterhouse to the tanneries (the places where the animals´ skins are made into leather), and these cows used to leave behind a trail of blood along the way – hence the name, and yes, we know the story is a little sinister.

But, put history to one side for the moment! Now we are going to recount the charming truth about this great market, where you can spend a classic Sunday in Madrid. The truth is that El Rastro has become a place where you can find everything, literally everything that you can imagine from the most modern to the most ancient.
As usual, we want to play our part and have put together a recommended route that you can follow so you don’t miss out on any part of this marvelous place!

Image from: marta.boschroig1

1. You should start your visit at the top of the market where the closest metro station is La Latina, more specifically in the Plaza de Cascorro (specializing in alternative clothing and other accessories).

2. Then follow a route along the main street, the Rivera de Curtidores, through El Rastro, which is mostly downhill. Don’t be surprised to find that you can hardly move on the street… but this is Madrid my friends!

3. From there, you can check out any of the stands that grab your attention. On the other hand, if you want to start the visit at the bottom of the market, the closest metro stations are Puerta de Toledo or Embajadores.

There are specific areas within El Rastro but these are some of the most well-known:
Calle Fray Ceferino González: known as ‘la calle de los pájaros’ (birds) and a long time ago, it was dedicated to the selling of animals. Now however, there are only a few specialized shops.
Calle de San Cayetano: known as ‘la calle de los pintores’ (painters) because here you can find shops that sell the most fantastic paintings and painting materials.
Calle de Rodas, Plaza del General Vara del Rey y Plaza de Campillo del Mundo Nuevo: these are a few charming streets where you can buy and sell magazines, card games and typical card collections from our parents’ and grandparents’ eras.
Image from: La chica de las luces 
Calle del Carnero y Calle de Carlos Arniches: for those who love reading, this area is for you. Here, ancient books are sold which we are sure cannot be bought anywhere else.
The market does not have a definitive timetable, but the stands are put from about 9.00 am and are taken down at about 3.00 pm. So, if you intend to see everything, you will have to get up a little earlier in order to make the most of the morning!
And, when you finish your long walk through El Rastro need to boost your strength, don’t worry! The area is full of little bars where you can enjoy a beer and some tasty tapas at a very good price. Enjoy the Madrid life!

9 ago. 2016

Why we love August in Madrid

August in Madrid has many reputations but one of the most prevalent is the idea that it becomes a ‘ghost town’ when all the residents head out on vacation. But while this may make the month a less exciting at first glance, the reality is that the capital is better than ever!! With some fantastic festivals taking place in various neighborhoods, the most notable being the Fiestas de la Virgen de Paloma, and Retiro park sparkling in all its green glory, Madrid feels like a best kept secret that only a select few have discovered!

So if you’re in the Spanish capital this month, welcome! In honor of those who appreciate this month as much as AIL Madrid does, we’ve put together of a few of this month’s best activities for both those who love a crowd and those who seek a little peace and quiet. Enjoy!

Fiestas de la Virgen de Paloma, August 11th-19th

Madrid’s August population creates the perfect ‘village’ atmosphere in the beautiful La Latina neighborhood without leaving the city center! This traditional festival started roughly 300 years ago by local residents of the La Latina neighborhood who rallied around a wooden figure of the Virgen de Paloma, located in the window of a neighbor’s home, because they believed it had the power to heal untreatable illnesses. Since that time, a church has been built around the figure, processions are held in its honor, and the virgin has become the unofficial patron saint of the city.

Local residents dress in the city’s traditional outfits, known as ‘chulapos’, and dance the ‘chotis’ to celebrate their beloved saint with free lemonade for all. But while parts of the celebration may be old school, this year especially, it also features some modern fun! This year’s list of activities include sushi making demonstrations, a zombie apolocalypse survival game around the entire neighborhood, a DJ, and open swing dancing!

For the full program, click here.

A slice Madrid just for you

Madrid is pretty incredible no matter the time of year, but there are a few places that feel extra special when you have them to yourself:

Retiro Park- try rollerblading, rowing on the lake without waiting in line, or enjoying a picnic under the ancient trees!

The Reina Sofia-  stroll through the breezy stone hallways as if this was your personal gallery, or bring a book and sit in among the olive trees by Calder’s mobile in the courtyard!

Bellas Artes rooftop- it may cost 4€ to arrive at the top, but this is the perfect way to escape hot summer evenings and watch the sunset with a cool drink in your hand!

El Pardo- take a day to explore these ancient royal hunting ground on the outskirts of Madrid or take a swim in the 4 pool complex at Samontes sports club! Normally quite busy, you’re more than likely to have this Olympic sized pools all to yourself!

29 jun. 2016

Your Guide to Madrid Pride

The largest annual event in Europe and second largest event of its kind in the world starts in Madrid today: Madrid Pride Week!

For the next five days Madrid, especially in the Chueca neighborhood, will be celebrating LGBTQ pride with unparalleled zest, with over 2 million participants and events ranging from a race in high heels down a cobblestone street to non-stop concerts and a parade spanning the entire city center.

Beyond the flabbergasting list of exciting events, this week is the crowning jewel for Spain in general, reminding attendees and people all over the world of the country’s role as the third nation in the world to legalize gay marriage and the first to recognize it as equal to heterosexual marriage. Madrid in particular has been a role model for other cities, as it embraced its transition, beginning in Chueca, into the tolerant, loving metropolis it is today.

So for those of you in Madrid this week who want to jump right in, check it out, or just learn more, here are some of the highlights of this week’s pride program:

1. Pregón del Orgullo LGTB
Wednesday 29th June. 8:30pm. Plaza de Pedro Zerolo.
Welcoming speech and memorial for the victims of the Orlando shooting

2. Carrera de Tacones
Thursday 30th June, 6pm. Calle de Pelayo.
Traditional high heel reace! ¡La tradicional carrera de tacones! Dare to try it? Great prices and, above all, tons of fun!

3. Escenario WorldPride Madrid
Starts Friday 1st July, 8:00pm. Puerta de Alcalá.
A gala featuring tons of famous artists from the Spanish music world, as well as other events!

4. IX Gala Mr Gay Pride España 2016 
Friday 1st July, 10pm. Puerta del Sol
The winner will become "the official representative for the fight for LGBT diversity and equality" and attends the Gala with the starring musical artists.

5. Marcha del Orgullo
Saturday 2nd July,  6:30pm. Reminder: starts in Atocha and travels along el Paseo del Prado y Recoletos before ending in Plaza de Colón
The theme of this year's parade is "Laws for Real Equality Now. 2016 Year Bisexual Visibility in Diversity ". Over 1,500,000 people expected to attend!