Local traditions and culture in Madrid

  • baby baguettes with the standard olives
    baby baguettes with the standard olives
    by edwis
  • medio racione:   Huevos Rotos
    medio racione: Huevos Rotos
    by edwis
  • special plato combinado w/ pescado
    special plato combinado w/ pescado
    by edwis

Most Viewed Local Customs in Madrid

  • Christina1881's Profile Photo

    A weather report

    by Christina1881 Written Aug 3, 2006

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    During the mid-winter months daytime temperatures in Madrid may drop to 7 degrees Centigrade (45 degrees F).
    Durring the months of July and August temperatures are HOT! Madrid enjoys a large number of sunny days. But be aware 40 degrees Centigrade is no uncommon.

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  • b1bob's Profile Photo

    Estancos

    by b1bob Updated Aug 2, 2006

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    This really should be a Spain tip, but Madrid is where I first heard of the estanco. I don't smoke, but I noticed every tobacco shop I saw in Madrid (and later in Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela) looked the same (yellow lettering on a brown background). I asked some of the Spanish students at the Complutense and they told me that the estanco is a government-run store that sells mainly tobacco products. Only estancos can legally sell tobacco in Spain. This is not unlike Virginia where hard liquor can only be sold at state-run ABC Stores. If curbing smoking in Spain was the idea of restricting tobacco sales to estancos, it failed miserably. When I was last in Spain, about half of my friend's inner circle smoked in their late teens and early 20s.

    estanco

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  • la_beba's Profile Photo

    Night Games

    by la_beba Written Apr 29, 2006

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    Form a circle of friends, about five at least is more fun.
    Try and set it up girl/guy/girl/guy... and so on.
    With a piece of paper (business card consistency seemed to work best), suck air in with your mouth: to keep paper/card stuck to your mouth.
    But when it's your turn to pass paper/card to person next to you, you need to stop sucking air in so that the card is then placed AND released on the next one's mouth and he can then suck and pass it along.
    The trick is to try and not drop the card/see who can suck air best ;o) or something like that.
    Beware... tricky guys will purposely drop card just before you get to their mouth to "receive it".
    Spaniards, Spaniards!

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  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo

    Puerta Del Sol

    by scottishvisitor Updated Feb 9, 2006

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    All roads lead to the centre of Madrid, a very walkable city, take your time wandering around some of the little streets keeping a look out for tiny details. The street sign in the picture has the city's crest showing Puerta Del Sol as Madrid's centre point

    Street sign
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  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo

    Human Statues Madrid Style

    by scottishvisitor Updated Jan 26, 2006

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    Human Statues seem to appear in a lot of European Cities. Madrid is no different = If you snap a picture give them some coins. Watching the statues suddenly come to life is a fun & for some times frightening experience

    statue
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  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo

    Cool off by the water fountains

    by scottishvisitor Updated Jan 26, 2006

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    Sit back and drink in the atmosphere, enjoy the sunshine & cooling effects of the water fountains. The statues & water fountains stand in a gracious setting with formal gardens & sparkling water. You can escape the Spanish sun & enjoy some peaceful reflections of your Madrid visit.

    Cooling water
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  • Birsen's Profile Photo

    Spanish peseta changed to Euro

    by Birsen Written May 5, 2005

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    The Euro is the new 'single currency' of the European Monetary Union, adopted on January 1, 1999 by 11 Member States. Spanish Peseta changed to Euro. Peseta is not valid anymore. Spanish people is still speaking on peseta about values of things . So do not confuse yourself. For your info, I Euro = 166.386 peseta.

    ***No problem for Visa/Plus (ATM Locator) or MasterCard/Cirrus. There are plenty of them particularly in touristic areas.

    new euro bills
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  • Birsen's Profile Photo

    Tipping

    by Birsen Updated May 5, 2005

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    There are many street musicians in the city. If you can liked to tip them like 50 cents or a 1 euro is fine.
    Also, you have to leave some tip in the restaurant about 10 percent of the meal.

    In El Rastro
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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Lets take a stroll

    by rexvaughan Written Apr 15, 2005

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    It seems to be a tradition to go home after work, put on some nice clothes and take a stroll. (I never can remember the Spanish word for this - passiagata? pasearella?paseo? Someone help me out.) This is a great way to see how the Madrilenos socialize (and shop). The photo was taken on Calle del Carmen on a Saturday evening. I said people put on "nice clothes." This does not mean formal of course but notice the two older (than you, not me) in the photo. They are pretty dressed up but dress code definitions are certainly a generational thing. Anyway, everyone looked very presentable and was having a good time strolling and chatting with their friends, lovers, family, whatever. Its a great way to start your evening on the way to tapas, drinks, dinner.

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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Local protest

    by rexvaughan Written Apr 14, 2005

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    The ladies in the photo are demonstrating against domestic violence. That much I was able to understand. Several are holding placards with a young lady's picture on it which makes me assume that she was a recent victim and probably was killed. It is sad to encounter such reminders that there is cruelty everywhere but good to see that the local ladies are not sitting still. They completely blocked traffic in the Puerta del Sol but there seemed to be no move on the part of police to disband them

    In front of Madrid government center

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  • IIGUANA's Profile Photo

    No tips

    by IIGUANA Written Mar 9, 2005

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    As you might have heard, people in Spain are quite relaxed. For that matter, going to a restaurant can be annoying if you're used to quick service. Watiers take hours to have your order and thousands of hours to bring your order which was... by the way.... not what you asked for. So relax. It's simply like that. Breath and order all over again. Probably once you taste the great food you'll forget about it.
    Some waiters can be very annoying, and some can be very rude. And for that matter, nobody tips them, so do the same. Although it has been an excelent job, give out the tip to the waiter. And don't feel bad about not tipping. They're not expecting it either.

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  • jamiesno's Profile Photo

    Let's take to the Streets! Protest!!!

    by jamiesno Written Nov 2, 2004

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    Madrid is the center of Spain and its government so naturally if all other regions of Spain want to make a point to the government they have to trek to Madrid and make their case.

    During my last day in Madrid you can see in this picture there was another protest. These people were from northern coastal Spain where there was a major oil spill and they wanted action from the government.

    Their fishery and tourism industries where in ruins after this disaster.

    The protesters are coming!

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  • jamiesno's Profile Photo

    Late nighters!

    by jamiesno Updated Nov 2, 2004

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    There is one thing you will learn about Spaniards and the people in Madrid particularly. They get up late, the stay out late, they eat late and a lot of them have a ciesta mid afternoon to get them through the day :-)

    In all seriousness though its not like in North America where you have your supper at 5:00 pm or so. People eat light during the day and have their main meal 10:00 pm for example.

    Peurto Del Sol and the Plaza Mayor are very busy places late into the night and they are there all ages.

    I'll never forget one night seeing a very young girl having her cigarette walking so confidently through the streets all cosmopolitan looking. She might have been 15 at the most.

    Peurta Del Sol Night Scene

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  • jamiesno's Profile Photo

    Dancing in the Streets

    by jamiesno Written Nov 2, 2004

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    If there is one thing I will remember about Madrid it is the atmosphere enjoyed while walking along the streets. There were lots of people everywhere and street performers that were very entertaining and made the whole experience that much better!

    In this picture there was a couple dancing very elouquently just a short distance past the Royal Palace.

    It was a beautiful day and they were very impressive.

    Street Performers

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  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    "Doña Manolita" for Xmas Lottery

    by SirRichard Written Nov 2, 2004

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    Xmas Lottery is a tradition in all Spain, but in Madrid the real tradition is to buy the lottery in some specific shops, as this old "Doña Manolita" in Gran Via. There are some huge queues on the street when Xmas come.

    Queues at Xmas

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Madrid Local Customs

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