We’ve all had the proverbial night out where we go to our favorite restaurant (or perhaps some place you’ve never been to before), and went to see a movie. It’s certainly pleasant. It’s a night out. People don’t typically venture too deep into the unknown. Guess what? If you’re studying to get your TEFL Certification in Madrid, you’re already there. You’re in a new country. You’re surrounded by something new (which is ironically something old). Of course, you still want the creature comforts of food and entertainment. I say, give yourself the same…only different. If dinner (and/or tapas) and a show is something you still crave before, during, or after you get your TEFL Certification, then here are a couple of suggestions to help give your routine a bit of a Spanish twist.
I’m pretty sure that if you loved movies before you started doing your TEFL Course in Madrid, then moving to Spain probably won’t change that. So, this is where you go if you want your movie fix.
For all of the latest Hollywood Blockbusters, and state-of-the-art Digital Screens, you can’t go wrong with Cines Ideal. They stay up-to-date with all of the latest Hollywood movies. It’s certainly a great place for not just expats, but locals who want to see movies in English. A couple of things to note, though. Every movie will be shown with Spanish Subtitles. If there is a sequence in a Hollywood movie that is done entirely in Spanish, then there won’t be any subtitles. For those of you who aren’t affluent in the Spanish Language, there is a bit of a caveat for you.
Address: Calle del Dr. Cortezo, 6. (METRO SOL or TIRSO DE MOLINA: METRO LINE 1)
TICKET PRICE: 9€
Popcorn and Drink Combo: 9€
TIP: Go to the movies on Wednesday to get your ticket a bit cheaper.
This is another good possibility for those of you who want to see a movie in English. You will get more European options at this theatre. So, in addition to the most popular of cinematic varieties, you may see movies from other European Countries. One of the great things about this theatre is that you also have a lot of fast food options in the immediate vicinity. McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and even local franchises like Tierra Burrito Bar (which is my personal favorite) Like Cines Ideal, the films will be presented with Spanish Subtitles.
Address: Calle de la Princesa, 3. (METRO PLAZA de ESPAÑA: Metro Lines 2, 3, & 10)
TICKET PRICE: 9.50€
TIP: Wednesday Nights are always the cheaper option.
Maybe you want to switch your Friday night routine by changing what the dinner and the live entertainment is. The Spanish love to have their tapas before a night out, so here are a couple of good places in Madrid’s vibrant City Centre that you can check out before you hit the town!
La Torre del Oro
Decorated with bullfighter photos and trophy heads of some of Spain’s most legendary bulls ever to have charged at the Stadium at Ventas, La Torre del Oro is one of Madrid’s most famous tapas bars. Located smack in the middle of Plaza Mayor, this iconic bar is a great starting point for a long night out, but because it is what it is, and where it’s located, don’t expect things to be too much of a bargain for your money. Try the pulpo (Octopus in Olive Oil), the prawns (pescaitos), the whitebait, and pair them with a glass of beer or even a cold, dry ‘fino’ (Sherry).
Address: Plaza de Mayor, 26. (METRO SOL: Lines 1, 2, & 3)
Patatas Bravas is one of Spain’s classic tapas options. It’s little more than Potatoes drizzled in a Spicy Tomato Sauce. Many tapas bars sell them, but the secret to this essential tapa is, was, and always will be the sauce. Anyone can fry a potato, but how does one make the sauce to compliment said potato? There are few places in town that can make a sauce quite like they do here. Everything that they have on their menu can find itself drizzled with a glug of Bravas sauce, if you so desire. Get an order of bread to scoop up what’s left.
Address: Pasaje de Matheu, 5, and Calle de Alvarez Gato, 3. (METRO SOL: Lines 1, 2, & 3)
Patatas Bravas: 4.55€
Bar La Gloria
You’re doing your TEFL Course in Spain. You’ve definitely heard of Paella, Spain’s national dish, and decided to try it for the first time. The number of places in the country that serve up a good plate. One place in Madrid I can honestly say is my favorite is Bar La Gloria. Reserve a spot in their restaurant every Sunday after 3pm, and find yourself believing that you’re eating a Spanish Grandmother’s home cooking. The restaurant itself also has a selection of other great Spanish tapas and entrees for you to choose from.
Address: Calle de Noviciado, 2 (METRO NOVICIADO: Line 2 & 10)
Paella Valenciana (3pm, Sundays): 12.50€/plate.
To give your experience a sense of flare and cultural signature, this is definitely the way to go. You’ll behold thunderous, breathtaking performances from some of Spain’s elite dancer and guitarist pairs, leave your breath taken away days after the show. The food isn’t bad, either.
Intimate, small, and is one of Madrid’s most revered Tablaos (Flamenco Theatres). They have four hour-long performances every single day, starting at 6pm. The performers hail from the region of Spain that celebrates its love and passion for Flamenco, Andalucia, and you will see it in their movements, and the strumming of their classical guitars. Cardamomo also offers up a selection of meal options for you to enjoy from croquettes, to gazpacho, to jamon, to paella, and much, much more.
Address: Calle de Echegaray, 15 (Metro SOL – Lines 1, 2, & 3)
Paella Menu(includes tapas and a drink of your choice): 35€
Teatro Flamenco Madrid
The daily shows, the wine, the tapas… These are commonplace when you think of a Flamenco Show in Madrid. You won’t get the full dinner service option here, but if Flamenco is something that inspires you, you may be able to take a Flamenco class along with your TEFL Course.
Address: Calle del Pez, 10 (Metro NOVICIADO – Lines 2 & 10)
With an order of tapas: 54€ (includes a drink, and an assorted selection of Spanish tapas)
Madrid truly is a city that has it all, and has even been graced by some of music’s most legendary of artists, from Metallica to Miles Davis. If your night involves live music, here are just a few places to be named.
Café La Palma
This trendy bar and concert hall in Malasaña has been cool since the Spanish youth movement in the 1980s. Café La Palma is a round-the-corner place for up and coming bands across multiple musical tastes, including techno and electronic, house, pop, blues, jazz, acoustic and even Spanish hip-hop. Whether you want the vibrant feel of a rock show or perhaps a place to get a quiet drink, you can choose between the live concert hall or the cozier lounge for a more peaceful ambiance.
Address: Calle de la Palma, 62 (Metro NOVICIADO – Lines 2 & 10)
Price: Average entry €6; some gigs are free
Located where Miles Davis made his Spanish live debut, Blackbird is Café Populart’s contemporary rendition of what it once was, and has already started to make a name for itself. If you’re looking to listen to true rock and blues, folk and country, this is the spot for you. Cozy and intimate, the Blackbird hosts upcoming artists and classic rock tribute bands. If you have a guitar, a harmonica, or even a good voice, come out to one of the open mic nights or jam sessions.
Address: Calle de las Huertas, 22 (Metro TIRSO DE MOLINA – Line 1)
Price: Average entry €5; many free events
So, there it is. From a dip into Spanish Culture with tapas and flamenco, to live jazz and classic rock n’ roll, you’ll never be short of options for an amazing night out when you do your TEFL Certification in Madrid!
Open every night, 365 days a year, Honky Tonk is the place for all rock lovers to see live music in Madrid. It’s a spot where people of all ages come to enjoy rock music from the classics to the contemporaries. After the concerts are over, a live DJ plays sets until 5:30 am, ensuring that you have a great night for as long as you want to stay out!
Insider’s Tip: Try to arrive as early as you can, as some of the support beams restrict views from certain angles inside the concert room itself.
Address: Calle Covarrubias, 24
Price: Most events are free; €5 average entry for paid events