Madrid: St Patrick’s Day 2016!

Madrid: St Patrick’s Day 2016!

St Patrick’s Day 2016Hey guiris! Are you starting to get that spring fever? Looking to let those ants out of your pants and get a little weird? Well, we at The Guide have a treat in store for you: a list of St Patrick’s Day Events in Madrid that will knock those pants right off and send them express to mars!

This year, Madrid is combining the classic tradition of Irish bars, bombastic parties, black tie galas, and general hooliganism, mixed with a little bit of wholesome Irish tradition and culture. Needless to say, it’s going to be a blast, so let’s get down to details:

St Patrick’s Day Events in Madrid

The Irish Embassy
Events from Sunday March 13th to Friday March 18th

St Patrick’s Day 2016St Patrick’s Family Fun Day, Parque Deportivo, Puerta de Hierro, on March 13th:
This blow out includes traditional Irish dancers and musicians, Gaelic football, hurling matches, and Irish films. For families with children, the event also includes temporary tattoos, stickers, storytelling, and Irish theatre! Enjoy traditional Irish cuisine from the vendors at the park, or feel free to pack your own picnic.

St Patrick’s Charity Gala, Westin Palace Hotel on March 18th:
A perfect opportunity for networking and adding a little sparkle to your life, this black tie charity ball is brought to do by the embassy in conjunction with the Spanish Irish Business Network. The 100€ entrance may seem steep, but grants access to: cocktails and appetizers, a four course Irish meal (smoked salmon, angus beef etc), an open bar, live entertainment from the Irish Treble, and a raffle to benefit families affected by William’s Syndrome. Plus, it’s held at the Palace, darling! What’s not to love?

St Patrick’s Day The Irish Rover (Av del Brasil, 7, 28020 Madrid)
Events from Sunday the 14th to Friday the 18th, with a month long themed menu!

Themed pub quiz and language exchange, March 14th and 15th
On Monday, they’ve got a great Irish themed pub quiz, followed by an intercambio on Tuesday!

Live music from The Colonials, March 17th and 18th
The Colonials (who are flown in from Ireland just for this!) are returning with another great set, dancing, and countless opportunities to make new friends! Another great reason to go: free necklaces, drinks, and some yummy snacks! Grab your entry bracelet at the door and get a free drink, and/or visit at any time in March to try their Irish themed menu.

Irish bars in Madrid

Do you like to play it fast and loose? Make party decisions on the fly? We get you, guiri. You’re a wild child, with a lust for casual fun and nights that might get a little weird. So we’ve got just what you need- a complete list of Irish Bars in Madrid . These spots have all planned some of their wildest parties yet (Dubliner’s is already talking a big game), and they’re all just for you. Get your green on, you crazy thing.

Join Us!

Here at Guiri Guide, we’ll be participating in the Global Greening campaign (see below) and hitting up numerous parties! Feel free to join the movement and tweet us your St Patrick’s Day photos and stories! @Guiri_guide

Are you a St Patty’s newbie? Here are a few things you should know…

Madrid St PatricksGlobal Greening

Countries across the world are jumping on the Irish bandwagon by participating in the Global Greening campaign. One example in our very own Madrid is the Cibeles fountain and palace, which will glow various shades of green all evening on March 17th, so be sure to walk by and check it out! A few reasons why this is happening:

St Patty’s complicated, yet glorious history…


Let’s take this back a moment and remember why we’re drinking all this beer: St Patrick’s Day was crowned as an official feast day during the 17th century, originally as a celebration of St Patrick’s, and thus Christianity’s, arrival in Ireland. As the years went by, the day graduated into the day we know and love: a celebration of Irish heritage, culture, music, and origins. Religious and cultural festivals (or a mix of both) can be found not only in Ireland, but throughout the world: the largest non-national celebrations are held in Canada, Great Britain, Argentina, and the United States. Even the international space station throws a party (though I’m still waiting for my invite)!

A quick tip on your getup:St patricks day Madrid

The color green and/or the sporting of a green shamrock are non-optional, unless you want to get pinched! The shamrock has been worn for centuries to represent luck, Irish heritage, and (at times) the Catholic Church. Whichever representation you choose to honor just make sure you’re wearing green or (and again, I do not joke and am 100% speaking from personal experience), some enthusiastic, slightly tipsy partier will definitely pinch you. Then again, that might be exactly what you’re looking for! 😉

Have fun guiris! We love you!

Gluten free guide to Madrid: Part 1

Gluten free guide to Madrid: Part 1

mercadona 1Hey Guiris! Are you gluten-free and not sure how to handle a new city? I sat down with a few of my classmates from AIL Madrid this week to put together the ultimate gluten free guide to Madrid, with everything you need to know to stay happy and healthy in Madrid.

This week: Supermarkets! And stay posted because our tips for bakeries and restaurants are coming soon!

Mercadona Mercadona Mercadona!

Unlike BeetleJuice, this is something you desperately hope will appear after you say it three times because Mercadona is the gluten-free lover’s best friend. It’s constantly rumored that the owner of Mercadona has a celiac daughter and, whether or not that’s true, his sympathy to gluten free diets is made obvious throughout his stores. Each and mercadona gluten free guide to Madridevery gluten free product (self-evident or not) is marked with a clear blue and red stamp if its celiac friendly, and the options are vast and exciting! Freshly made bread, multiple pastas, frozen pizzas, cookies, ice cream and the list goes on.

When it comes to lactose free products, they are also incredibly well labeled and the options are plentiful, if not as impressive as the gluten-free ones. But the best part about this store? It’s actually affordable. Yes, Corte Ingles has lots of gluten free products as well, as does Carrefour, but you won’t find prices (or labels) better than Mercadona. Its only possible rival is the gluten free section at Alcampo, but Mercadona is more likely to have a location near you.

If you don’t have easy access to one of these big stores, don’t sweat it because even the little corner stores have a lot of gluten free products these days: yes you’ll have less choice, but you’ll definitely find some tasty options!

As always, feel free to add your own tips in the comments 🙂

Free Sangria in Madrid: event for Madrid Guiris

Free Sangria in Madrid: event for Madrid Guiris

Hey Guiris! It’s been a while but we’re baaaAAACKK!! And we’re bringing you the hottest item on your January calendar, featuring Free Sangria in Madrid! This mixer is a great opportunity to network with other guiris, make new friends, and enjoy discounts on some tasty tapas:

This Tuesday, January the 12th, head over to the San Ildefonso Market(Fuencarral 57) for a FREE event including:

  • 1 Free Sangria at the entrance
  • Free gifts and surprises from Desperados Beer
  • 20% Off on food on every bar/restaurant between 20/22 hs.

And, of course, a DJ to give the whole thing right vibe while you enjoy tapas, cocktails, drinks and meet new friends from all over the world!

We’re excited and look forward to seeing you there!

Also: stay tuned for upcoming articles on living with dietary restrictions in Madrid- everything you need to know for a happy, healthy life!Free Sangria in Madrid

Madrid’s October Madness

Madrid’s October Madness


Dust off those hipster, festival clothes. Shake off those cobwebs. There is a special treat in store this weekend! On the 9th, 10th and 11th of October, Malasaña and Conde Duque are hosts to Villamanuela festival!

Dance the night and day away, practice your experienced, serious, artist face in the various exhibitions, or shamelessly take advantage of the discounts and deals in the shops and restaurants throughout these barrios like we will be doing. 33 bands will be playing, including The Sonics, Girl Band and The Black Madonna.

Tickets cost from €32 a day, but you had better hurry! “Saturday only” tickets have already sold out! Check out the website for more details:


If you are like us you will love Spanish food but it tastes so much better when you know you are getting a good deal! Get ready for your foodie socks to pop off in excitement…next weekend in Lavapiés is Tapapiés.

Tapapiés involves some 375,000 types of tapas, 100,000 visitors and
90 participating restaurants and cafés. A tapas will only set you €1,50 out of pocket and just €2,50 if you choose to pair it with a drink!

Savor your favorite tapas in front of some top entertainment: 60 open-air concerts and performances!

This magnificent event doesn’t last for just one weekend either, but extends from Thursday 15th of October all the way to Sunday the 25th of October. Get the stretchy trousers out and let the 10 days of feasting begin!

Fall Events in Madrid

Fall Events in Madrid

AIL side adThe summer heat wave has passed, but Madrid’s just warming up! For one thing, the city is flooded with fresh faces: new university students, bright eyed professionals transferring in from other countries, a mountain of new auxiliares, and the list just keeps going! At AIL Madrid (my Spanish academy), the halls are full of exited Spanish language lovers chattering about the perfect weather, great wine, and all the exciting Fall Events in Madrid. One particularly enthusiastic conversation in my intensive course inspired me to jot some of the events down, for newbies and veterans alike!

So, without further ado, here’s what’s happening in Madrid this fall!

  • Oktoberfest 2Oktoberfest! You don’t need to travel all the way to Germany to enjoy some of the country’s best beers, dishes, and folk music: it’s all right here in Madrid! Head over to the Barclaycard center in Salamanca this weekend and live it up, German style! Entrance is 15€ apiece, and the festival lasts from the 24th to the 27th. Additionally, if you’re looking for something fun but a little more low-key, the AIL blog has a great list of German bars. Enjoy!
  • the screamThe Edvard Munch exhibit is opening at the Thyssen on October 6th, which promises great fun for art-minded guiris looking to further explore “The Scream” artist’s paintings. I’ll be there for sure!
  • Madreat_MG_4375MadrEat: we talked about this awesome food truck festival in July but, since then, it’s only gained in popularity. Taking place on the 3rd weekend of every month, this past weekend boasted thousands of people visiting an ever growing number of trucks with an incredible variety of artisan food and drink. The next one takes place in Plaza de Azca (as usual) on the 16th-18th of October, so mark your calendars and share your favorite trucks in the comments!
  • imagesFinally, October is handing out a three day weekend! The 12th of October (Monday) is a bank holiday so, for the newbies, this can be a great chance to get out and start exploring Spain! Or, if you’re already well acquainted / want to explore the city further, head to Cines Doré for a quiet afternoon movie or on a long walk through the park while the weather is still more than perfect!

That’s all for now, but stay tuned for more updates and feel free to share more events in the comments. A big guiri welcome to all the new comers from your Madrid family!