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Offbeat Travel: Explore and eat well in Madrid

Few realize that our travel pillow brand was born in Madrid. If you’re visiting our home city, here are some of the OSTRICHPILLOW team’s top places to check out.



A place to shop… El Rastro

The largest and most popular flea market in Spain, there’s a reason why El Rastro is on everyone’s list. Winding through the streets of La Latina every Sunday, the market offers antiques and unique souvenirs that make each visit a new adventure. The largest street, Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores, has more mass-produced offerings, so head west into the neighborhood for offbeat finds.

Don’t forget - there’s more to buy than just antiques. If you keep an eye on where the crowds go you’ll be sure to spot some tasty snacks to help fuel your shopping. If you want a sure bet, grab a tosta at El Capricho Extremeño, where large pieces of bread come with toppings like octopus, Russian salad, and jamón.


A place to work on the go... La Colectiva Café

If you need a caffeine buzz, have to wrap up a project, or just want to enjoy some vegan baked goods, La Colectiva Café has got you covered.

Located in the heart of Chamberí, the cosy decor and large window of this coffee shop offers the perfect place to catch up - either with a friend or your work. If the ground floor is packed, head downstairs and you’ll find a designated working space that is popular with Madrid’s digital nomads.



A place to try a twist… Juana la Loca

The buoyant atmosphere of this crowd-pleasing pintxos bar speaks for itself. Putting a worldly and high-end twist on Spanish food, Juana la Loca's selection of "fanciful" and "intense" pintxos put together flavor combinations you wouldn’t expect but definitely want to try. Make a reservation or try your luck by dropping in – either way, add this restaurant to your list.


A place to have it all… Mercado de Vallehermoso

Madrid is full of old-fashioned markets that sell much more than just groceries. With offerings like craft beer, artisanal pizza, fusion dining, and of course, good old-fashioned Spanish tapas, Mercado de Vallehermoso has something for everyone.

If you head here on a weekend or evening, you’ll find the aisles between stalls packed with tables and groups of locals and in-the-know travelers. Arrive early and you can even enjoy some Madrileño banter, and get some shopping done, at the traditional stalls.

 

A place to try a terraza… Plaza de la Paja

After spending even just a few hours in Spain you’ll notice that people love to sit at terrazas and soak up the sun – even if it means sipping beers on a sidewalk next to traffic. It won’t take long before you start joining in, and you definitely should, since terrazas are a great excuse to rest your feet and enjoy some people watching.

Because picking the perfect terraza is less about the drink and more about the location, one of our favorite spots is Plaza de la Paja. Located in the center of La Latina, this sunny and spacious plaza has plenty of seating and is full of life.


A place to be inspired… El Matadero

Installed in a refurbished slaughterhouse, El Matadero has left its bloody days behind to become one of the city’s biggest cultural hubs. With experimental installations, a calendar packed with talks and markets, and even a startup incubator, there is always something going on.

After you check out the art, take advantage of being in the area and head to the nearby Madrid Río, a green parkway that runs along the Manzanares River.

 

A place to watch the sunset… Cerro del Tio Pio

For a view that beats the city’s best rooftop bars, pack a picnic and head to Cerro del Tio Pio. With rolling hills, lush greenery, and bike paths, it’s a great place to escape the city no matter the time of day, but the park is an especially popular location to watch the sunset.

Take advantage of being in a Vallecas, a diverse and historically working class neighborhood that doesn’t attract the tourist crowd, to do a tapas tour of the pocket-friendly local bars.

These suggestions were brought to you by our team. When we aren’t busy designing travel pillows and dreaming up products like OSTRICHPILLOW ORIGINAL, you can find us grabbing a drink at Plaza de la Paja.


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