Where to Sleep in Madrid: House Jesus del Valle

Rental House Jesus del Valle
Address: Calle Jesus de Valle 23
28004 Madrid
Metro: Tribunal and Noviciado

Want to know what it’s like to live in Madrid’s city center, enjoying all the amenities of a personal apartment while on vacation in Spain? Then get ready to rent a room in the Rental House Jesus del Valle, a duplex apartment located in the center of Madrid, in the Malasaña district.

This 50m2 duplex apartment offers all the necessary amenities such as tv, dvd, air conditioning, washing machine, oven, fridge, microwave, kitchen stuff, bed linens, towels, shower, double sofa bed.

Apartments are available for up to four people per night with a two-night minimum, although stays can be extended up to one month or longer. Prices depend on the length of a stay with a two-night minimum starting at 57 euros per night, a week stay at 49 euros per night and a month visit at 40 euros per night.

With prices like this, students spending time in Madrid can split the cost between friends, paying a low cost to enjoy the best of Madrid.

An apartment duplex includes one double bedroom on the top floor plus a double sofa bed, kitchen and a complete bathroom on the ground floor.

There are several additional fees to consider, including a compulsory cleaning fee of 40 euros, a late night or Sunday arrival fee of 30 euros, an extra key fee of 20 euros and extra linens and towels fee of 10 euros. But by splitting the costs between roommates, savings are plenty.

The payment policy includes a 12% deposit to ensure complete booking. Remember that the remaining balance must be paid in cash on arrival. Also, consider the 200 euro deposit that must be paid in cash upon arrival. The deposit is returned at the end of the stay as long as there is no damage to the apartment.

Rental House Jesus del Valle is located in a convenient and central location. Guests are within walking distance to the important shopping area Fuencarral. The lively gay neighborhood of Chueca, where visitors can join locals in celebrating Gay Pride in June by partaking in street festivities and the annual Gay Pride parade, is also nearby. Restaurants and bars are plentiful in the Chueca and Malasaña districts; enjoy the night life and discover the pleasures of Spanish cuisine as a local.

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By Lilliane Ballesteros

Where to Sleep in Madrid: Ibis Hotel

There are nine Ibis Hotels in Madrid, each suited to accommodate a different clientele. Find the one nearest to your destination and enjoy a stay at one of these comfortable and affordable hotels.

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Hotel Ibis Madrid Centro
Address:Calle Manuela Malasaña 6
28004 Madrid
Tel : +34 91 448 58 16
Metro: Bilbao

On a quiet side street in the midst of a busy city center, Hotel Ibis Madrid Centro is the kind of place one goes to for a peaceful stay in a lively city. Customers rave about the proximity to restaurants, shopping areas, bars and, of course, the nearby Bilbao metro station. For more on the neighborhood, click here.

Feel the activist pulse of Madrid by walking a few blocks south to visit the Plaza del Dos de Mayo. This historical site was an important location against Napoleonic occupation in the early nineteenth century. The central arch served as the entrance to the Monteleón barracks, where the city’s defenders rose up against France during the War of Independence. Hotel Ibis Centro is located on the historically named Calle Manuela Malasaña; the street was named after war hero Manuela Malasaña.

In the 1980s a different kind of revolution took place in the form of innovative fashion, theater and movies. A fun, creative nightlife scene emerged in the area and remains to this day.

Want to practice your langugae skills? Check out a local show at a nearby cinema or in the theater district of Calle Gran Via. Or take a long walk and enjoy a picnic in the botanical gardens of Parque del Buen Retiro.

There will never be a lack of options when you stay at Hotel Ibis Centro as many of the main museums of Madrid are within a 20 minute walking distance. Plaza Bilbao is also nearby and it is a mere five minute walk to the Castellana and Plaza Colon. Other historic monuments are within walking distance, including Puerta del Sol, Palacio Real and Plaza Mayor.

When you are done enjoying the sights, go back to one of the sixty-four spacious rooms and begin to enjoy your own personal facilities. The hotel staff accommodates guests with the help of a private bathroom, air conditioning, television with cable and telephone access. A bar, public parking and WiFi internet access are also available.

Prices vary for all the hotels, but average at 99 euros per night. Breakfast is not included, but can be purchased for an additional 6.50 euros.

Hotel Ibis Madrid Aeropuerto Barajas
49 Avenida general
28042 Madrid
Tel: +34 91 301 09 99
Metro: Chamartin
Nearby airport: Aeroport Madrid Barajas

For those briefly stopping in the city, try Hotel Ibis Madrid Aeropuerto Barajas. This modern looking hotel is 1 km from the airport and IFEMA exhibition center. It offers a restaurant, bar, WiFi and parking garage.

Hotel Ibis Madrid Alcobendas
c/ Francisco Gervás 1
28108 Alcobendas
Tel: +34 91 662 47 03
Metro: La Granja

Hotel Ibis Madrid Alcobendas is near the La Granja station in the industrial business center of Alcobendas. Each room includes a full bathroom, internet access and television.

Hotel Ibis Madrid Getafe
Calle Alcalde Angel Arroyo 8 Via de Servicio A 42 Salida 10
28903 Getafe
Tel: +34 91 665 27 60
Metro: Getafe Central

Hotel Ibis Madrid Getafe is off the Getafe Central station at what is considered the gates of Madrid. Eat at the hotel’s restaurant or take a drive down the A42 motorway to Toledo.

Hotel Ibis Madrid Alcorcon Tresaguas
Avda San Martin de Valdeiglesias N 4
28922 Alcorcon
Tel:  +34 91 621 02 80
Metro: Alcorcon Central

Take the metro to the Alcorcon Central station to stay at the Hotel Ibis Madrid Alcorcon Tresaguas. From there, it’s 5km to the Casa de Campo Exhibition Centre and the zoo. A 15 minute ride by train leads into the city’s center, so have a good meal at the hotel restaurant, Vino y Compania, and start your adventures.

Hotel Ibis Madrid Alcorcon-Móstoles
Travesía de Móstoles n°3
28922 Alcorcon
Tel: +34 91 614 41 26
Nearest train station: Express Train

Maybe you want to stay further out of the city’s center. Hotel Ibis Madrid Alcorcon- Móstoles is near an express train, so visitors can stay here on a last night in Madrid, before venturing to another exciting location.

Hotel Ibis Madrid Fuenlabrada
M506 Ctra. Villaviciosa de Odon a Pinto km 20.7
28941 Fuenlabrada
Tel: +34 91 685 64 80
Metro: Fuenlabrada Ctl
La Serna, Fuenlabrada

Hotel Ibis Madrid Fuenlabrada is 5km from the center of the city, southwest of Madrid’s city center.

Hotel Ibis Madrid Alcala de Henares
Autovia A2 KM33 Centro Comercial la Dehesa
28805 Alcala de Hernares
Tel: +34 91 879 68 50
Nearest train station: Cercanias

Near the Cercanias train is Hotel Ibis Madrid Alcala Henares with its family friendly activities. The municipal swimming pool is nearby and there are tennis courts available 1 km away. This is an ideal location for families heading into or out of Madrid.

Hotel Ibis Guadalajara
Pol. Indus. El Balconcillo c/Trafalgar 74
19004 Guadalajara
Tel:  +34 94 920 83 48
Nearby airport: Madrid Barajas

Practice some Spanish and your swing at Hotel Ibis Guadalajara. The theaters and cinema just 6 km away should help with the first and the nearby golf course can aid with the second.

Hotel Ibis Madrid C/ Valentin Beato
Valentin Beato 20
28037 Madrid
Tel : +34 91 375 90 43
Nearest underground station: Suanzes

Looking to stay in the center of town? Try one of the two Ibis Hotels located in the city center.

Hotel Valentin Beato offers 128 rooms and is located near the Suanzes metro station. A 15 minute walk leads to the city center and there is a secure parking garage.

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By Lilliane Ballesteros

Where to Sleep in Madrid: Hostal Ole

Hostal Ole
Address: C/ Manuela Malasaña 23
Phone: +34 91 446 51 65
Metro: Bilbao, San Bernardo and Tribunal
Use the MAP Magazine Accommodation Booking Service.

Hostal Ole is the ideal location for young tourists looking for a friendly, fun and central location to spend their nights after long days in Madrid. Located in the city center, in the Malasaña district, Hostal Ole is close to three different metro stations, offering visitors more access to the city. There are also many places to visit in the area after hours.

Prices vary depending on the time of your visit, but tend to range between 15 and 25 euros. Prices can be as low as 15 euros per night for a bed in a room with 12 beds to 16 euros for space in a room with four beds. All prices include breakfast. Bathrooms and showers are shared and are not in the rooms.

There is a shared kitchen and common area, where you can meet other guests and enjoy a late night tea. Other services include satellite TV, an international payphone, internet access, hot showers and laundry facilities. Bar facilities and music make this a lively place to stay. Guests can check in anytime as the hostel is open 24 hours.

Bring a padlock to take advantage of the hostel’s free security lock; leave your backpack safely locked up and tour the city freely without having to worry.  Afterward, go to the downstairs bar with low prices for a chance to wind down, talk with friends about daily adventures or meet new friends and start new adventures.

Past guests have remarked on the central location of Hostal Ole, noting the nearby metro stations, close proximity to Madrid’s city center and fun locale. Guests have noted the “relaxed environment and friendly people.” Rooms have been described as small and the bathroom is shared, causing some guests to find their stay less than agreeable, but for backpackers looking for a cheap stay in a great location, Hostal Ole is the perfect fit with its friendly staff and atmosphere.

Nearby locations include Puerta del Sol, Gran Via, El Prado museum and Parque del Retiro. Fuencarral Market is also in the area; here guests can visit the daily market to find funky souvenirs to take home. Cafes, restaurants and bars are aplenty in the area, so grab a drink and become a part of the lively city that is Madrid. Click here for more about the neighborhood.

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By Lilliane Ballesteros

Madrid Neighborhood: Chueca




For some quick highlights of where to shop, what to drink and see in the neighborhood of Chueca take a look below.

Where To Shop:

Mercado Fuencarral

C/ Fuencarral, 35

Some could say this boutique shopping mall isn’t really in the neighborhood of Chueca. The reason is because it really sits somewhere in the middle of the Chueca and Malasana neighborhood. Anyhow, no matter how you look at it, this three floor boutique mall is worth a visit. Inside you’ll find little stores selling hip t-shirts, jewelry, black latex under garments, bags, shoes, dresses, pretty much everything. So if you’re looking for a lot of things but don’t have a lot of time, this might be your best bet in finding everything all in one place.

Where to Eat & Drink:

Vinoteca Barbechera

C/ de Gravina, 6

Tel: 915239816

With a choice of thirteen different wines by the glass, and a plethora of tapas to pick on, you definitely won’t leave unsatisfied. You’ll eat and drink alongside the wine cellar, and find a sophisticated clientele.



Areia Colonial Chillout

C/ Hortaleza, 92

Enter this rustic chic hangout and you are
forced to chillout. The subtle smell of incense, thirty-one types of cocktails, and Asian food will have you relaxing in no time. For more on Areia Colonial Chillout, click here.  



What to See:

Annta Gallery

C/ Almirante, 1

Martes-Sábado:    10:30h – 14:00h / 18:00h – 21:00h.
Lunes:    10:30h – 14:00h. Tardes, previa cita.

Tel: 915212353

A beautiful space in Madrid filled with art, what more could one ask for on a day out and about? The gallery shows a variety of artists, Choco, Ciria, Isern, Morago and more. There are always new expositions being put up, each outdoing the next. The work here will catch your eye, and will keeping drawing you back in, again and again.


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By Jacob Michael

Madrid Restaurants: Vegetarian Round Up!

Vegetarian Restaurants in Madrid
By Kristen Kalenowicz

For a vegetarian in Madrid, the restaurant décor can be rather off-putting: legs of ham strung from the ceiling like holiday ornaments, heads of bulls mounted on the walls, glaring, as you sip a caña and nibble cautiously on your ración of patatas bravas.    

While it would be silly to claim that vegetarianism is becoming popular in Madrid, there are quite a few restaurants and markets available and suitable for the vegetarian in all of us.  


Yerba Buena

Atmosphere: cheerful, casual dining, windows and natural light sources contribute to welcoming feel.
Schedule: Open everyday; 13.30 – 16.00 & 20.00 – 0,00
Menu of the day available Monday – Friday, 13 euros
Address: c/ Bordadores, 3
Contact: Tel.: 915 480 811 

When we reached this quirky restaurant, its presence made obvious by a vibrant façade complete with lime-green doors and orange trim, I feared my lunch companions and I would be turned away—not only had we arrived just fifteen minutes prior to closing, but every table was filled.  To my relief (and my stomach’s), we were handed menus, assured our table would be ready shortly, and encouraged to place an order while we waited.

The plain, pale-yellow walls, light green accents, and potted plants in Yerba Buena fail to spark curiosity, or even interest, but the simplicity of the décor serves as a wonderful contrast to the colorful dishes, highlighting their complexity and unique presentation.  It’s not the furnishings that capture your attention, it’s the food.   Your eyes cannot help but be drawn to the artistic arrangement of ingredients on the plate before you.

Shortly after being seated, each of us was served a multi-grain roll and a chupito-sized cup of potato salad and puréed vegetables—a nice touch, and one that made Yerba Buena stand out right from the get-go.  

The wait staff was attentive and helpful in offering details and suggestions about menu items.  Try the spaghetti frescos (fresh spaghetti) for 7 euros.  This spinach pasta, home-made and sprinkled with cheese, was delicious and thoroughly enjoyed by my hard-to-please non-vegetarian lunch guest.  The emparedado de filete de soja, (soy steak sandwich), another winner, was less like a traditional sandwich and more like a moist cake layered with tofu and various cheeses.  It packed a powerful blue cheese flavor.  As an appetizer, the salmorejo fresco, a cold soup made of fresh puréed vegetables and soy sausages and finished with slices of hard-boiled egg and crisp tortilla chips, was very hearty.  

The only problem I had at Yerba Buena was deciding what to order.  The menu offers something for everyone, from a sandwich of Japanese tofu marinated in herbs to the classic American Caesar salad.  The menu of the day changes often, depending on the types of fresh produce available, and vegan options are clearly marked.

Freshness and seasonality coupled with interesting flavor combinations makes Yerba Buena a restaurant a hit.

El Estragón

Atmosphere: Quiet, at least during the lunch hour, and cozy.
Schedule: 13:30-16:00 & 20:30-0,00
Address: Plaza de la Paja, 10,
                    Zona de los Austrias
Contact: Tel.: 91 365 89 82
Email: elestragonvegetariano@hotmail.com

The name of this cozy restaurant off a small square in La Latina, translates to tarragon, and much like the aromatic spice conjures feelings of  home-cooking, so does the restaurant itself.

With its blue-and-white-checkered table cloths and rust-colored walls, El Estragón does not look like your typical vegetarian restaurant.  This restaurant differs from others of its kind in that neither its exterior nor interior shows traces of the usual vegetarian indicators.  You know the signs: leafy plants, earth-tones, chipper wait staff in green aprons.  Nope, none of that.  Here, you’ll find a quiet restaurant with an appealing menu that just so happens to lack meat.

The seating in El Estragón is divided into three levels, with approximately 8 to 10 tables per level.  It’s a small space, with little room for elbows let alone a stroller or wheelchair, but the close corners added to the restaurant’s charm.  Next to us, a young woman sat reading a novel over a bowl of soup, and a middle-aged couple chatted quietly.   

I was unimpressed by the menu of the day, which although would have lightened my wallet by just 8 euros, did not stand out, and which was, I must add, a bit confusing.  The menu of the day included either a first course (soup or salad) and a heartier second course (spaghetti, a vegetable omelet, or pasta shells with stewed vegetables) or a first course and a choice of one of three desserts.  My lunch date decided on option number one, thus choosing to forgo dessert and opting for a second course instead (who wouldn’t want just a salad and chocolate custard for lunch?)  

I, on the other hand, was excited to find that the regular menu matched my more fickle, or as I’d like to think, adventurous palette, and the Cuban rice (white rice with tomato sauce, plantains, and a fried egg on top) was quite satisfying.  The portion was reasonably large, which made up for the difference in price, and I didn’t get many stares when I asked my waitress if I could have what was left of my meal “para llevar.” Well, not too many stares.

Putting all my doubts aside, the menu of the day proved to be a hit.  The potato and leek soup, a broth-based delight with generous chunks of white potatoes, was well-seasoned and soothing on a cold autumn afternoon, and the spaghetti with its creamy tomato sauce and the perfect amount of freshly grated cheese was delicious.

Viva La Vida
Atmosphere: Hip, very casual
Schedule: Open everyday, 11 – 0,00
Address: c/ Costanilla de San Andres, 16, Plaza de la Paja
Smaller location at c/ Huertas, 57
Contact: Tel.: 913 663 349

Viva La Vida is one of a kind.  A vibrant eat-in or take-away buffet where you fill a plate or box, weigh it, and then pay accordingly.  Don’t be fooled by their flyers which advertise lower prices: dinner costs 2, 10 for every 100 grs, and dessert is slightly higher at 2, 50 per 100 grs.  

Places that allow you to get-in and get-out quickly are rare in Madrid, and maybe that’s where Viva La Vida captures its audience.  Or perhaps the funky rainbow colored murals, the bright pink walls, and the butterflies and ivy leaves distract its customers from what they really came in for—good food.  If you’re looking for fresh, healthy dishes with the right balance of seasoning, consider going elsewhere.
The buffet consists of a large variety of dishes, from your typical Spanish tapa of croquettes (here, made with oats, mushrooms and cheese) to falafel, a middle-eastern dish of fried fava beans and chickpeas.  Choose wisely here.  You will learn quickly that vegetarian does not always mean healthy, as many of the foods tasted very salty and greasy, particularly the soy meatballs and hamburgers, and the buffet lacked an assortment of fresh vegetables. The salads—mainly concoctions of various dried fruits, nuts and oils, and legumes—had potential, but were loaded with so many different ingredients it was difficult to savor the various flavors.  One thing they did get right was the vegetable lasagna which had a surprisingly nice sweet corn flavor.

For the dessert course, we headed downstairs with our paper plates in hand.  Here we found a private dining room, which, believe it or not, would surpass the upstairs in its outrageousness–a funky garden enclosed in brick walls and doused in princess sparkles.  Inside this magical dining room, you’ll find toucans, pink and orange decorative balls, and a large mirror opposite the entrance.  
As far as the dessert, it seemed the chef had set out to prepare these with one feature in mind—dry.  The chocolate chip cookies were nothing short of brittle, and the carrot cake lacked any sort of moisture.

Perhaps one of the most perplexing aspects of Viva La Vida, besides the glitter-covered brick walls, was the behavior of the restaurant’s employees.  They did little more than lean on various surfaces chatting with one another throughout my visit, and it wasn’t until dessert that I was able to decipher the employees from the patrons.  At one point, while I was deciding how to fill my biodegradable paper plate, an employee approached the buffet, plucked a meatball from under the heat-lamp, and popped the greasy morsel into her mouth.

The best thing about Viva La Vida is the organic market located in the front of the restaurant.  Here you will find a small area where you can buy cereals, fruit and vegetables, oils, dairy products, and other organic items.

But if you are looking for a meal that’s fresh, healthy, and will make you feel good after you eat, look elsewhere.  

El Vergel

Atmosphere: Classic
Schedule: Monday – Friday 13.00-16.00 and 21.00-0,00
Saturday – Sunday 13.30-16:30 and 21- 0,00
Address: Paseo de La Florida, 53
Metro Principe Pio
Contact: Tel. 91 547 19 52
E-mail: elvergel@el-vergel.com

El Vergel, just west of Madrid’s center, is a chic vegetarian restaurant which also contains a fully-stocked ecological market upstairs.  

For dinner, the atmosphere is one of tranquility brought on by dim lights, candles, and spring green chiffon curtains.  Smooth music drifts from speakers overhead and wine bottles decorate the walls, adding a touch of elegance.

For dinner, El Vergel offers two menus. The first includes bread, a first and second course, of which three options are available for each, and dessert for 11,50.  A “special” menu, available for 15 euros, offers different options for the first and second course, such as paella with mushrooms and fresh pasta au gratin. Drinks are not included, but there is an extensive list of wines.

For a first course, I ordered a salad of escarole, oranges, and avocado, and with my salad, was served ecological extra virgin olive oil, soy sauce, and salt.   Second, came a spinach pie with organic escarole, and finally, the chocolate custard for dessert.  The presentation was simple, as the focus on my plate seemed to be on the intricacies of the organic escarole and the perfect circles of orange, and the flavor of each ingredient stood out.

The chocolate custard was sweet and light, without being too rich.  I finished feeling good about the foods I had eaten, and feeling satisfied, but not stuffed.  
The staff was very polite and attentive, although the restaurant was practically empty during my visit.

One of the selling points at El Vergel is their commitment to ecological foods, which are not only served in their restaurant, but are also for sale in the market upstairs.  In the production of ecological foods, fertilizers and other chemicals are not used. This practice proves to be more time consuming and explains why foods labeled ‘organic’ or ‘ecological’ are more expensive than their chemically-manipulated counterparts.

In El Vergel’s market, you can find herbs, natural cosmetics, new age library, ecological food, including fruits and vegetables.

But most exciting of all, El Vergel is the only place I have been able to find hummus (3,55).  El Vergel also sells hard to find items such as peanut, cashew and almond butter—three products that can be difficult to track down outside the United States—and boasts the largest variety of veggie and soy burgers, tofu, and dairy products I have seen at one store in Madrid—and all at reasonable prices.
As an added bonus, El Vergel will deliver products directly to your home for no extra charge.

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