The most common adjective in Madrid

Which is the most common nickname in Madrid? Majo, for sure, a term that as Real Academia de la Lengua means “someone who is loved due to his/her flair and simpathy”. Although is a very common term, we madrilenos don’t use it for everybody. When we use it we really mean that we like the person, that we feel at ease with him or her. We may not be that sincere if we use sinonyms as kind or nice when talking about someone.

Besides, this term is very useful to understand our personality. During 18th and 19th Century we used to use it to name people from the working class that have a particular way of talking and speaking. This particular mood was characterized by a certain impertinence in showing class pride.

People who live in Lavapies were called Manolos and Manolas, while Malasaña ones were called Majos y Majas, chulapos y chulapas. These two appellatives are still used today to refer to typical clothes from Madrid. These characters were very important during 19th Century and in fact they appear in many of Goya’s paintings.

La maja vestida de Francisco de Goya

"Los fusilamientos del 3 de mayo" de Francisco de Goya

Seamstress Manuela Malasaña

2nd of May is Madrid’s region festivity, and they eay to remember heroes and heroines who rebelled against French occupation in 1808. One of the people who rised up was the young seamstress Manuela Malasaña.

She, along with many others, was killed by French soldiers, in the neighbourhood that nowadays bears her name. In an unequal fight, soldiers and civilians organized as guerrilla. brought face to face with the powerful French army until 1814.

Francisco de Goya, "Los fusilamientos del 3 de mayo"

Francisco de Goya, “Los fusilamientos del 3 de mayo”

The word guerrilla popuralized at that time and it’s used since then in military jargon all over the world.

While in Spain, civilians and the army struggled to get free from the invasor, in Latin America people used the opportunity to become independent from metropoli.

Shabby bars

Shabby bars

If somebody tells you about shabby things, you may not be willing to buy it, mostly when talking about electronics, as you will think it’s old fashion outdated staff. Neither you will like a shabby present on your birthday. And of course nobody likes going on holidays and staying in a shabby hotel.

This word expresses negative qualities, but not only. Shabby, cutre, is a very madrileño adjective, very useful to describe some sort of urban culture in our town: when we use this word in Madrid, it may have positive meaning. Many madrileños are fond of the kind of bar in which we feel more confortable: traditional bars full of greasy tasty food, inexpensive drinks and no pretended glamour at all. Those shabby bars, “bares cutres, bares de viejos”, have its own charm: there we have fun meeting friends, talking loud, and drinking and eating withouth concern at all about money or figure.

Shabby bars

The best craft beer bars in Madrid

Madrid is a city with a thriving nightlife and a lot of bars to have good times with friends. In this post we want to recommend you the best craft beer bars in Madrid.

One of the most common traditions in Madrid is meeting for pub crowling, “tomar cañas”. Before lunch, before dinner, any time is good for “cañas”. Meeting friends at the bar, usually standing up, having beers while talking about other’s life and facts, football, politics or TV series.

It is a nice way to be in touch, a good excuse to go out and have time together. “Cañas” are perfect for this informal meetings, as they are small and light, therefore you can drink them on feet, and still be on your feet on your way home.  The type of beer we usually dring is pale lager.

We know that many foreign students like a larger variety of beers. Fortunatelly, apart from “tomar cañas”, in Madrid you can find a broad range of beer bars. These are the best craft beer bars in Madrid:


the best craft beer bars in Madrid


The origin of Madrid

Most Madrilenians don’t know about the origin of Madrid. The orginal name of the city was “Mayrit”, an arab word that may mean “plenty of water”. In Madrid there’s no navigable river and the city is far from any sea. The, why calling it “plenty of water”?.

Emir Mohamed I of Cordoba (852-886) built a fortress and a small town surrounded by a wall, in the area where the Royal Place stays now. This is the ideal place for lookouts, in fortified towns, very usual at the time, and the undersoil is full of underground water, useful in case of attack.

Nowadays we can visit arab city wall nearby Cuesta de la Vega Street, where at the time there was a gate. You can learn futher about Madrid, joining our cultural workshops and guided city tours.

Visita guiada a la muralla árabe

Guided city tour to Arab walls

La Paloma festivities

Fiestas de La Paloma

If you’re planning to be in Madrid around 11 to 15 of August, you can´t miss La Paloma festivities, in La Latina neighbourhood, one of the oldest in Madrid.

You will enjoy many open air free activities, such as concerts. We specially recommend Raimundo Amador show on 15th August at 22:30 in Plaza de las Vistillas.

15th August is a bank holiday and a lot of cities and town all around Spain celebrate their festivities. These kind of popular festivities typically take place during the summer season in every town in Spain, from the smallest ones to the big cities. In Madrid, we like saying that our city is somehow like a little town, a city full of people that still knows its roots and preserves traditions and popular festivities. This is because most of Madrilenians came to Madrid in the 60’s and 70’s from all around the country and so they contribute to Madrid’s festivities with their idiosyncrasy.

Have fun!

Oktoberfest en Madrid

Oktoberfest en Madrid

En Madrid también celebramos el Oktoberfest. Y lo hacemos lo más parecido a la fiesta de Munich: comida alemana: codillos, bretzel, salchichas, chucrut, ensaladas… , todos los tipos de cerveza imaginables y mucha música: The Refrescos, Javier Gurruchaga, Pablo Carbonell, King África…

Aunque se llame Oktoberfest, la fiesta se celebra en Munich casi siempre durante el mes de septiembre. Su réplica madrileña tendrá lugar del 24 al 27 de septiembre en el Palacio de los Deportes.

Oktoberfest en Madrid


Sin duda, un gran evento para despedir el verano madrieleño. Podéis consultar más detalles en la web oficial de la fiesta.

Feria del libro, Madrid

Feria del libro de Madrid

Como todos los años desde 1933, este mes de junio se celebra en el Parque del Retiro de Madrid la Feria del libro.

Una oportunidad estupenda de pasear por este estupendo parque y empaparse de lo mejor de la literatura en español y no solo. Junto con la Feria del libro de Guadalajara (Méjico), la más grande del mundo hispanohablante, la Feria del libro de Madrid es la cita en torno a lo escrito en español más importante. Se celebra todas las primaveras desde hace ochenta y dos años, con el único paréntesis de los años de la Guerra Civil.

En la Feria se reúnen más de 400 expositores de editoriales grandes e independientes que publican principalmente en español, pero no solo. En ellos se presentan las novedades de este año, se organizan encuentros con los autores y se realizan actividades culturales para grandes y pequeños.

Feria del libro, Madrid

Feria del Libro, Madrid


¡Han encontrado a Cervantes!

Se confirma que tras varios meses de trabajo, los arqueólogos han econtrado la tumba de Miguel de Cervantes bajo la iglesia del Convento de las Trinitarias, muy cerquita de nuestra escuela.

Convento de las Trinitarias


Miguel de Cervantes, uno de los más grandes escritores en lengua castellana, murió en 1616 y sus restos fueron enterrados en la cripta de la Iglesia del Convento de las Trinitarias, uno de los mejor conservados y más antiguos de la capital.

A los 60 años de ser enterrado, la iglesia fue remodelada, y parece que los restos de Cervantes fueron cambiados de lugar…hasta el día de hoy.

El proyecto de la búsqueda de los restos de Miguel de Cervantes se enmarca en los actos de celebración del 400 aniversario de su muerte. En la investigación han participado numerosos arqueólogos e historiadores, que parecen haber encontrado suficientes pruebas fiables sobre la autenticidad de la tumba. No ha sido necesario cotejar hacer pruebas de ADN a los restos de su hermana, cuya tumba está en un convento de Alcalá de Henares.

Pronto podremos visitar el monumento conmemorativo que se pretenden instalar en la cripta del convento. Seguro que nos acercaremos con nuestros estudiantes de español para intentar entender mejor la historia de nuestro barrio: el Barrio de Las Letras.

Tumba Cervantes


Neighborhoods in Madrid: Chamberí

Adjacent to the center district (Malasaña bordering to the southwest) and with Barrio Salamanca to the east, Chamberí is in a privileged location — close enough to the center to enjoy all that it has to offer, yet at enough of a distance to have a true ‘neighborhood feel’. This is just one of the factors that make this neighborhood one of the best Madrid has to offer.

Before a suburb full of gardens or workshops just outside the city walls, nowadays is a very stablished area right in the center.


Two jewells at the area:

Chamberí underground station:

The old Chamberí station is part of the first network’s line. Built in 1919 and closed during 50 years, it was reopened in 2008 after a deep restoration. In it you will find original tile advertisements and sign posts from the twenties and thirties.Chamberí station

Museo Sorolla:

A jewel at the center of the area is Museo Sorolla. At the artist’s house you will find one of the most complete collections of  this great Spanish painter. The painting collection but also the house and the garden where Sorolla worked are very interesting as well.

Museo Sorolla