1. Go to a Christmas market
Nothing better to feel the christmas like a Christmas market.
The one in the main square is the most famous, but beware, it is also the busiest. The center of Madrid can be a bit overwhelming on weekends and holidays, and this situation increases significantly during these dates. This is a market composed of more than 100 booths dedicated to the sale of traditional Christmas products: nativity scenes, sweets, decorations and the big star for children, joke items.
If you want to get closer to a market where you can move more smoothly, you have the independent design market Nómada Market, Christmas edition. In the Market of the barley and only for a few days (December 14, 15 and 16) you will be able to get the creations of many artists, also, you can find street food and fun activities.
El Rastro is the best-known market in Madrid on Sundays throughout the year, and at Christmas it is not far behind. It is located in the neighborhood of La Latina and is so well known that, if you miss the map, anyone from Madrid can tell you how to get there.
2. Ice skating
In winter, several places are enabled to enjoy this fun activity in Madrid. The main and best-qualified place is the ice palace, and also the one that is open the longest during the year.
On these dates you can also find “Pop Up” tracks through different parts of the city. Perhaps the most spectacular is the Crystal Gallery of the Cibeles Palace, where children and adults can enjoy a 400m² track next to a large Christmas tree.
3. Watch a Christmas play or musical
Nothing better to take refuge from the cold and escape from the world than to go to see a play, or for the most musical, listen to it. In Madrid the offer is huge: from classic Christmas stories like the nutcracker, to more modern plays. Another good option is to choose a holidays that is not related in terms of themes with Christmas but which are especially enjoyable during these dates. Like the super blockbusters as The Lion King. You will find tickets for practically everything in ticketea.
Are you crazy about Christmas lights? Well now there is a double-decker bus with a duration of 50-60 minutes that will show you the most magical part of Madrid illuminated by the lights while actors tell you the legends that accompany the tour. Here you have the offer tickets.
5. Visit Madrid Río
Madrid Río dresses as a Christmas from December 21st at 7:00 pm, starting with a light parade, from there on there will be concerts, shows… it will even be transformed into a great ballroom on December 30th. In Matadero Madrid there will be a lot of activities, mostly free, that we leave here.
6. Museums for childrens
Whenever you visit a city, you like to see some museums. But doing it with children can complicate things. Do not worry, many of the museums in Madrid are totally adapted to the taste of the youngest of the house. The Prado Museum has an itinerary for children, with a children’s audio guide available on its official website. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum has an initiative for children called EducaThyssen and a large number of museums follow them.
Christmas is a good time to take advantage of these initiatives since in these dates there are more events and workshops than in any other.
Happy holidays from Heima Homes!
A 1 Michelin Star restaurant inside de Urban Hotel in Madrid. Aurelio Morales (El Bulli, Tickets, Echaurren…) commands the kitchen and Paco Patón is the director (Nacional Prize to the Best Maître).
The experience: They offer two different closed menus (short and long) that will blow you away with dishes like Autumn Calçots, Croquettes made from Callos and many different courses where they re-interpret classic Spanish recipes in a beautiful and innovative way.
Note: It’s not always easy to book a table.
Food allergies, intolerances and particular dietary requirements: Make sure you warn them about this when you book in advance.
Contact: HOTEL URBAN 5*GL – Carrera de San Jerónimo, 34 | Phone: (+34) 917 877 780
Average Price: More than 100€ /person
This restaurant is considered one of the best places to eat good Japanese food in Madrid. Not a surprise, taking into account that the chef is Mario Payán (formerly part of the Kabuki team, a Michelin star Japanese restaurant).
The experience: It’s a more personal style, with the personal constantly approaching the customer. The food is made ad hoc in an open view bar. Nowadays the offer a closed menu.
Note: It’s a place to go with time and not in a hurry.Food allergies, intolerances and particular dietary requirements: Being a closed menu and despite the wide variety in their menu, there may not be a lot of options in this cases.
Contact: Bretón de los Herreros, 54 | Phone: (+34) 910 42 00 66
Average price: Closed menu from 65€ /person (Beverages not included)
The experience: It’s a relaxed and different experience. When we enter the main room we find a zigzagging bar with industrial aesthetics that can host 30 people. Everything happens in that bar and it serves to separate the customers and the kitchen, placing both face to face. The food, Peruvian inspired, is original and amazing. A really recommended experience, they also offer workshops and kitchen lessons on Saturdays.
Note: Not the place for an intimate, romantic dinner.
Food allergies, intolerances and particular dietary requirements: Very little vegetarian courses on the menu, which is not really long. If you seek with them about it when booking in advance, they may surprise you.
Contact: Libertad, 5 | Phone: 916 684 678.
Average price: Closed menú from 44-50€/person, they also have a menu and offer half rations.
El café de la Ópera
The experience: Located in front of Madrid’s opera house “Teatro Real” (The Royal Theatre), this experience is designed to please opera and zarzuela fans. They have an open menu, but they offer closed menus too and the musical experience on Saturdays.
Note: Food is good, but is not near as impressive as previous recommendations.
Food allergies, intolerances and particular dietary requirements: Not at all recommended for vegetarians and vegans.
Contact: C/ Arrieta Nº 6, 28013 Madrid| Phone: 91 542 63 82
Average price: Orfeo musical experience is 45€/person, they also have open menu and tapas menu.
5. An EatWith experienceEatwith is a website that allows you to enjoy gastronomic experiences in particular locals’ private homes.
The experience: Eatwith allows you to have a really different experience interacting with locals, enjoying an original food and go back to your Heima Home with a lot of Madrid tips. Usually, hosts are friendly and open locals used to host different people and make them feel at home.
Note: The closed price for the menu will make it easy for you to just enjoy the experience and all that you want to drink is usually included in the price. It’s an awesome experience for families with children too. Don’t forget to use the filters on the website to find experiences that fit your tastes and requirements.
Food allergies, intolerances, and particular dietary requirements: If you are looking for really special or custom experiences, you are in luck. In Madrid, you can find amazing vegetarian experiences like this one, totally customizable to your needs or allergies. Just send a message to the hosts with your specs here -> https://www.eatwith.com/events/41064
Bonus: if you make a booking for 90€ or more (total, not per person) you can have a discount applied on your first booking with the following code -> EE274A00
Average: Depending on the host and menu
He hopes that you feel inspired by this ideas and come back home with great memories and stories!
When we go on vacation, staying in a comfortable place, pleasant to look at and modern, can make a difference when it comes to enjoying our stay. The apartments that we offer in Heima Homes, have been decorated keeping in mind the latest decoration trends, adapting to the unique personality of each and its distribution.Among the main decoration features, you will find in our Heima Homes:
2. Good light presence
Light is joy and you are sure to come after it when you come to Spain. A spacious and bright place is undoubtedly an ideal combination to enjoy the time when you are not sightseeing. If your trip is work, you will not want to miss a minute of sun, even if it’s your turn to take the laptop to the apartment. In addition, the light of a house directly affects the aesthetics of the environment, the mood of the people and the activities they perform.
3. Dynamic elements and a careful color palette.
One of the current trends in the interior decoration world is the use of neutral color palettes in common spaces that achieve a pleasant, comfortable and spacious. The incorrect implementation of a color palette can generate visual monotony; that is why our floors combine this palette with other elements of more striking tones, harmonizing the environment and generating dynamism, always adapting it to the characteristics and personality of the apartments.
4. Mix of Textures
We chose different textures that, in addition to following decoration trends, add depth and dynamism to the homes: Rustic woods contrasted with modern furniture, fabrics and wallpaper are some of the elements used to generate pleasing textures to the eye and touch. We even have fun trompe l’oeil on some of the floors where the walls look like stone and carved, but when you pass the finger on it you will discover that it is wallpaper.
In our Heima Homes, you can enjoy the harmony generated by the combination of classic and modern elements, combined with style and maintaining an idea of functionality that will make you feel at home.
1. Not leaving tip
In Spain, bills don’t include tip. It’s important to consider this if you are going to pay the bill in any restaurant. Before you go, consider giving some euros as a tip. There is no fixed percent as in other countries but, make sure not to give too little!
2.Assuming everyone speaks English
Not everyone in Spain speaks English. Although there is a certainly fair amount of spaniards who can fluently chat in english, that is not the case for everyone, specially for the eldest. Your trip can be a great chance to learn a few words of Spanish! The Spaniards will feel happy about your effort, and maybe speak a little English for you.
Madrid has tons of wonderful, local spots for coffee, cheaper and really authentic, including Misión café, hola café, La Bicicleta, Mama Framboise, Toma Cafe, Cafelito, Pum Pum and La Colectiva Café where you can have a more authentic and local experience. Also, some of them have amazing vegetarian and vegan experiences.
They serve coffee almost in any bar o restaurant, but the varieties can be a little overwhelming. So here is a little guide to help you out:
If you want your milk room temperature or just warm, you should tell your bartender. If not you’ll probably are be going to get a really hot coffee
- Café con leche: coffee with milk. Often served in a big glass (for breakfast) or mug
- Café solo: a small espresso shot
- Café cortado: a small espresso shot with a dash of milk
- Café largo/Americano: large cup of coffee
- Caliente/templado/ frío: Hot/warm/cold
- Leche Desnatada/Leche sin lactosa/ Leche soja: Skim/lactose-free/soy milk
4. Not considering the different usual schedule
In Spain, lunch, and dinner hours are different. We take their our time to get there! If you feel hungry, you can always order some tapas before dinner for example, or eat brunch before lunch. A local person usually eats from 2:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m. Dinner time starts at 9:00 p.m. and the kitchens are open at least until 11:00 p.m, but they usually are open even longer.
Even so, one advantage of staying at a Heima Homes it’s the independence of being able to fill your fridge to lunch or dinner whenever you want.
5. Relaxing too much over your personal belongings
Even though Madrid is known as one of the safest cities in Europe, and you could walk alone in the city even at night without issues, pickpocketers are are small exception that is endemic to every big city in the world. Any sign of distraction can be an opportunity to stole your bag, if you are unlucky. Be sure to pay attention to your belongings and save your wallet and important stuff well. Anything that you don’t need during the day, and it’s important, leave it in the room. Check your bags are closed and stay alert. Nothing Special Ops or fancy, don get scared. Just the common sense you’ll have in your own city.
These are some of the mistakes travelers usually make in Spain! Follow the guidance and have incredible travel!
Spring is a wonderful season of the year, it warms up and the sun brightens our days. That’s why we recomend you some amazing places where you can go if you visit Madrid in spring.
1. Botanic Garden
Our first recommendation is The Botanic Garden. For a price of 2€, you have access to a unique plant collection in a very special environment. Spring is it’s best moment, because the plants reach their maximum beauty. You can find it in Atocha, a very centric place easily accesible from all our Heima Homes.
Botanic Garden of Madrid.
One of the most important atractions of a city is the cultural life you can find in it, that’s why we think visiting a museum could be a very enriching activity. The 3 most important museums of Madrid are: Museo Reina Sofía, Museo del Prado and Museo Thyssen. They have the most important spanish artworks and they are very close to each other, so if you are an art lover, you can not miss them!
3. El Rastro
Spending a morning in El Rastro of Madrid is a typical sunday plan. It’s a market with more than 400 years of history. Depending on the zone we are walking by, we can find different stuff, for example handcrafted items, new and vintage clothing, accesories, second hand CDs and magazines. All of these in a very cheerful and crowded enviroment.
Second hand vinyls.
4. “Ir de pinchos”
Spain is a country with strong gastronomic traditions and foundations. One of it’s stepping stones is ir de pinchos, which is basically making a route from bar to bar asking for a wine or beer together with a pincho, a piece of bread with delicious and sometimes incredibly complex food on top of it, something similar to the famous tapa. Although pinchos are typical specially in the north of Spain, Madrid is full of amazing places to taste them and substitute a classic structured meal with this playful and tasty tradition.
If you have extra days in Madrid you can always make a scape to other nearby cities. You can go and return on the same day so it’s a practical option you can always keep in mind. The most typical proposals are Segovia, Ávila or Toledo. They have a very beautiful storic center so they’re perfect to rest from the big city.
If you need more activity ideas, ask us! We’ll happy to give you some extra tips 😉
Heima homes has a new flat where you can enjoy a perfect holidays in the best location you can expect: “Barrio de Salamanca”. It’s a place where you can find the most famous stores to enjoy your holidays and also very near of one of the biggest parks in the city: “El Retiro”.
Barrio de Salamanca
District of Salamanca, Madrid.
The district of Salamanca it’s one of the 21 districts that form the municipality of Madrid. It owes its name to its builder, José de Salamanca y Mayol, who made one of the most beautiful architectural zone of Madrid. It has 5,38 km² which makes an extensive neighborhood, perhaps it is very well connected by metro or bus.
Platea Madrid: the biggest gastronomic & leisure centre.
It has become one of the most important commercial areas of the city and one of the highest living standards in Europe with the largest luxury shopping area in Madrid. It also counts with the best restaurants, where you can taste the best gastronomy of Madrid.
It is a historical garden and public park. Its considered one of the main tourist attractions of the city. It houses many architectural, sculptural and landscape ensembles. El Retiro is the best place to escape from the city and enjoy the nature that offers the 118 hectares. Its also a good place to make some physical activity or to take some pictures. It counts with 19.000 trees of 167 different species, so if you are a person who loves nature, this is your place.
Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace), El Retiro.
The Crystal Palace is one of our favorite architectonic place in Madrid. The crystal makes this palace a unique building that you can visit for free.
Its opened the whole year so it doesn’t matter the season or the moment you visit Madrid, because you can always enjoy this beautiful place.
Book it now here and enjoy the city!
Among other services you can find some basics as Wi-fi, air conditioning or premium furniture.
Netflix and PS4
In a Heima home you can relax and take a break from your journey in the main space of your home. In the living room you can find an ample space where you’ll have the latest leisure service like smart TV. You can experiment the Spanish experience while you take a break from your journey by watching a Spanish movie like “Tres bodas de más” (Three many weddings) or “Ocho apellidos vascos”(Eight Basque Surnames) on Netflix. You can also spend some family time playing video-games in the PS4.
Heima Home Cinema Sol
Fully equipped kitchen
You can start your day enjoying a cup of freshly made coffee or tea in the coffee maker. If you want to replenish energy before resuming your visit, you’ll find that our kitchens are fully equipped for every possible need. If you travel in a big grup or if you want to invite new friends made all along your stay, they can join you in our spacious dinning room tables, and spend a lovely time together.
Heima Home Puerta del Sol
The play room
If you’re traveling with kids, in the serrano Penthhouse they will find a perfect space for having some fun time. This room is connected to the bunk bed rooms and you will find table games and child books. In this room you can also find the washer and the dryer in a large closet.
Heima Home Serrano Penthouse
We really hope you can enjoy and take full advantage of this details put in place to make your stay something similar to being in your own home.