Sue's daughter Emily has been studying in Madrid since last year.
For SoSUE, she has written down a few recommendations for everyone who wants to go on a city trip to the Spanish capital. You can expect a colourful gastro scene, many sights and great shopping opportunities. Read all recommendations now!
From Emily Giers
When I read my mother Sue's article about my new hometown Madrid here on the SoSUE blog, I felt the need to describe the Spanish capital from my perspective. I arrived in Madrid last September to start my studies. The city welcomed me with open arms and summer temperatures. The worries I had beforehand were unfounded: Whether the constant good weather would spoil me too much in the long run, whether the meal times would be too late and whether my clothes would be too wintry. My thoughts were unfounded. Now, eight months later, I feel very much at home here as a Hamburg native.
Madrid is known for many things, but in Spain it is first and foremost for its diverse gastro culture. I could live here for five years and try a new restaurant every night. It's a night and day difference from Hamburg, where I always find myself in the same favourite Italian restaurant around the corner.
I discovered my favourite restaurant right at the beginning. Located in the Justicia district, Los 33 is a great place to eat meat and small tapas in an atmosphere that I can't compare with almost any other place. Not for a second do I have the feeling of being a stranger, here everyone feels like a real "Madrileño" who meets his friends for a drink after work. Tip: Book quickly before you arrive, because it is usually fully booked two months in advance, but there is always a chance of getting a table spontaneously in the front area of the restaurant. Definitely try it out!
I like to meet friends at Sushita Le Club. With its stylish design, it also serves as a photo wallpaper. The sushi may not be on Henssler level, but it's a lot cheaper than at the celebrity chef in Hamburg. For sushi lovers who are willing to pay more for Asian food, I can recommend Sushi99, Hotaru and the well-known chain Zuma.
The cuisine at Aüakt is a mix of Mexican and Lebanese food. If you like vegetables, you will be surprised with many variations. There is something for everyone here and although the restaurant is very luxurious and stylish, the prices are fair. The crowd is international and the music adds to the cool vibe. There is also a bar where guests can sit down for a drink.
When I have my mother visiting, I also like to make reservations at restaurants that don't quite match a student's salary. Then we go to Aarde, where you can dine super nicely both inside and outside. The food is always good and the kitchen has something for everyone. If you're in the mood for Italian dishes, I recommend Numa Pompilio. Surprisingly, there are few restaurants in Madrid where you can sit outside nicely, but at Numa there is a beautiful terrace in the back where I feel very comfortable - like in a small village in Italy. The service is great and there's nothing to stop you from visiting spontaneously.
Edition Hotel: Bar & Rooftop
For a drink before or after dinner, I recommend the bar in the Edition Hotel. In summer, the hotel's roof top is the place to be. The design and atmosphere are so cool, the drinks are delicious and in the evening there is a DJ. For me, it's the hippest place in Madrid.
As a student, I tried countless cafés because I was looking for the perfect coffee, and sometimes also for a good working atmosphere. The best coffee I have enjoyed is at Hanso Cafe, they also have brunch and a long table where I can work. The café is located in the heart of Malasaña and if you are a big coffee fan, you should definitely visit it. Of course, there are many other cafés that I like to go to from time to time, such as: East Crema Coffee, Golda Café or Osom, the latter two are also very good for brunch. Really worth mentioning is Naji Specialty Coffee, where the owner himself stands behind the coffee machine and sells his own creation, for which he has already been praised in the Financial Times. His pistachio latte has reawakened my love of pistachios. The café is still a real insider tip and the latte really is the best I've ever had. Another favourite of mine is Roots Lamarca. Not only does it serve healthy food, but the café also transitions into a wellness concept store where I find everything that is new, hip and sporty, including a "well bar".
Wow Concept Store
Another place to stroll around is the WOW Concept Store. There is really something to see there because it is constantly being redecorated. A visit is always worthwhile. The shop carries many cool brands, for example Ganni, Rotate or Nanushka. There is a skincare floor, a tech floor with everything that is supposed to be hip in the future and an interior floor, with a large Vitra area. Up on the rooftop or in the restaurant, many delicious snacks are served. If you like vintage shopping, Malasaña is the place to be, with a different store offering vintage Levi's on every corner. In Justicia and Salamanca are the usual shops and also smaller boutiques that I already know from my past visits to Spain.
Apart from shopping, Madrid offers countless activities. A walk through the Retiro Park is always wonderful and the Botanical Gardens are also beautiful. The Royal Palace is worth a detour and the Golden Triangle with the Prado, Thyssen and La Reina Sofia museums is a must.
A Real Madrid game at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium is not to be missed. It is definitely exciting. The club is a legend and almost sacred. Interesting: A tour of the Real Madrid Museum is not only exciting for football fans.
A new experience for me is horse racing. On almost every Sunday in the summer, races take place in the morning at the "Hipodromo". If you feel like it, you can also do a little betting. There are also food trucks everywhere and you are on a super nice course, only 20 minutes from the centre. It's an experience I would recommend to everyone. It's fun to go there with a group and spend the Sunday there.
I hope you'll like Madrid as much as I do!