Visitors of Madrid are like kids in candy stores. The city is teeming with terraces and tapas bar, each one offering a unique kind of allure that only the madrileños can pull off. With so many options, it can be hard to know where to start. Read on and narrow your search, discovering 5 amazing places to grab a drink in Madrid. Whether you’re after an elegant rooftop terrace or a buzzing local market vibe, this small but mighty list will get you off to a solid start.
#1 Ático 11 (Iberostar Hotel Las Letras)
The first azotea on our list, Ático 11 is perched atop the sprawling expanse of la Gran Vía, the most emblematic street in Madrid. It belongs to Iberostar Hotel Las Letras. Enter through the hotel lobby and take the elevator to the top floor, free of charge. Emerging onto to the rooftop is like stepping into an urban oasis. Flowers and greenery, sleek wood finishes and striped canopies, all give way to a cool, garden-like feel. Nestle into a cozy, verdant corner, or opt for a table with a view. of la Gran Vía The menu is unsurprisingly more expensive than your run of the mill tapas bar, but that comes with the elevated territory. Rest assured, you can still order a glass of wine for 4 euros, which, considering the stunning surroundings and free entry, is a hell of a deal.
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Step out of the hustle and bustle of Gran Vía and into the narrow and winding streets of La Latina, one of Madrid’s most quintessential neighborhoods. There you will find El Viajero, a three-story corner building draped in cascading flora. The third floor hosts a small rooftop garden that will make you feel as though you’re a main character in a Spanish film. Many scenes for shows and movies have been filmed there, including the Netflix series Valeria.
If you’re looking to eat, El Viajero offers a simple, healthy menu with many delicious options. But, given the title of this post, you’re most likely in the market for liquid reinforcements. We settled for a simple tinto de verano, which was served alongside a complimentary side of potato chips for 4 euros each. The Spanish just do it better.
One last posh locale to explore before we head to some more simple, local favorites. Ginkgo Sky Bar is one of the most upscale, elegant terrazas of the city, offering 360 degree views of Plaza España and El Palacio Real. Unlike Ático 11, entry is unfortunately not complimentary. The fee to climb the elevator to the urban peak is 8 euros per person, but the vibe does not disappoint. The floor in the center of the terrace is glass, suspended above the swimming pool with transparent floor.
The menu at Ginkgo is, of course, on the pricey side. Specialty cocktails start at 14 euros a glass. To save a couple bucks and stay on the vino theme, we went for a white wine at 7 euros a glass. So in total, the entire rooftop experience costed us 15 euros a person. If you’re into amazing views and cool vibes, I would say it is worth the extra expense!
All those rooftops have had us in our chairs for too long. It’s time to get up and move with the rhythms of a madrileño market. Mercado San Miguel is a tapas spot, more than anything; however, it’s also a great spot for a glass of sangria or vermut. Plus, ya gotta eat to be able to keep drinking. Located in barrio La Latina, the covered market boasts its original iron framework with glass windows throughout. The stalls are always buzzing, attracting adventurous and hungry travelers from all around the world. Once you have a drink in hand, you can work your way through fresh marisco, jamón ibérico, croquetas, and allllll the queso. ¡Buen provecho!
#5 Calle Cava Baja
To round out the list of where to grab a drink in Madrid, we have another tapas destination that makes for an equally fun drinking route. Calle Cava Baja is one of the most lively streets in Madrid, boasting 50 bars in only 300 meters. That’s less than the length of a track, imagine. Here you can bounce around from bar to bar, enjoying complimentary tapas with your cañas or vino, and rubbing elbows with travelers and locals alike. Many of the bars can get loud and become standing room only, but that’s all part of the experience. I won’t prescribe one single bar in particular. I recommend you flit in and out of various spots, allowing the buzz of voices and smell of patatas bravas to guide you. Y ahora, ¡a gozar!
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