Great selection of over 80 Gay and Lesbian Spanish and International films that are shown in cinemas across the city. The films celebrate diversity in all its many forms and the public can vote for their favourite - well worth a visit!
29th Oct - 8th Nov
A state-run arthouse cinema showing a range of different films. All films are shown in original version, with Spanish subtitles if required. Screenings are eclectic - I've seen some gems I'd never have watched otherwise, some bona fide classics and some "I'll go because it's in English and cheap" bilge. Listings can be found in Guia del Ocio, or with film notes at the cinema itself.
Tickets on my last visit cost just under 3€.
The main screen is a fabulous old salon, complete with balcony and boxes. The whole cinema is housed in a fin de siecle building which has starred in at least one Almodovar film.
As with any Spanish museum, morgue or meeting place there is a cafeteria serving coffee and snacks on site.
This Spanish TV series about a family in the late 60s and 70s gives a great idea of how life in Madrid was at that time under Franco. Spaniards agree that all the details, from decor and furniture to footage of actual events, are spot on and a real nostalgia-fest, but the characters of the family themselves are also a real pull. If you speak some Spanish this is well worth watching.
Within Spain you may be able to track the series down in Fnac or the Corte Ingles, otherwise try the internet.
Calle Fuencarral is where the cool is in Madrid. All the "in" shops are there, from global brands like Levi's to national or local ones, you'll find stuff cool enough to impress your mates over here. Once on Calle Fuencarral, go to Mercado Fuencarral, a gathering of shops of all kinds. The area is called Chueca and it's the gay quarter.
I recommend walking up Fuencarral towards Malasaña and walk the pueblo-like narrow streets finding your way to Plaza Dos de Mayo, then choose a bar or cafe and you might be lucky enough to see director Alejandro Amenábar, who lives in the area.
Metro Gran Vía or Noviciado
Centro Cultural Conde Duque, on Calle Conde Duque, is a very little known permanent museum, temporary exhibition and concert venue. The 18th-century building is impressive in scale, and the area around is quiet and relaxed. Full of bars, restaurants and some beautiful shops, it is difficult to believe that you are in the centre of town, surrounded by Calle Princesa, San Bernardo etc.
Take a stroll to Plaza Comendadoras for a drink in one of the many "terrazas" while you look at children playing in the playground. On the same plaza there's a "Sauna" (a brothel); opposite you'll see the also impressive building of the Convento de las Comendadoras. The area has the air of a small village about it; it's a mix of bizarre, genuine and unique Madrid.
Zona Conde Duque, nearest tube is San Bernardo or Noviciado
Beside the lake in the pleasant Parque del Buen Retiro, the equestrian statue of Alfonso XII is a grand enough tourist sight, but the area around it really comes alive on a Saturday evening. Hordes with Djembe drums assemble around the curved column and hammer out a thunderous rhythm; locals dodge the mostly leniant eyes of the police and hand out cheap beers from ice bags; technicolour girls twirl pois and the night has started.
Parque del Buen Retiro
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org