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Madrid, Customs and Culture

   
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Madrilenians you will find are very friendly, open and approachable people; here is some information regarding the typical culture and customs when in Madrid.

Madrilenians are very sociable people and in general usually prefer to spend time out of the house, socializing in the terraced bars and restaurants. The bars and cafes are full of people talking and having fun. There are many different types of bars and restaurants in Madrid, theme bars, traditional Spanish bars and all kinds of restaurants serving typical food from Madrid as well as from all over the world.

It’s normal when meeting someone new for the first time or perhaps someone you haven’t seen for some time, to greet the person with two kisses, one on the left and right cheek, this is the normal greeting especially when between mixed sexes and between two females, but is not normally between two men, a handshake will suffice, although you will sometimes see the kissing of two cheeks normally between two male family members, it’s a very nice way to greet people, with a typically Spanish greeting, offered not just in Madrid, but throughout all of Spain.

Family life is very important throughout the social fabric of Spain and you will see the proof of this all over Madrid with the evidence of children’s play parks on every corner as well as the relaxing of licensed premises enabling families to bring their kids into any bar or restaurant into a relaxing atmosphere, if you go to a restaurant, café or bar, you will most likely see many families with young children with many of the kids staying until late at night especially in the summer.

You may notice that your own "personal space" will virtually disappear when you take to the streets of Madrid, Madrilenians do not have the same hang-ups over the invisible personal space that one may be accustomed to say in the UK for example and this new experience can be a little strange and possibly daunting at first, be assured though, it’s very normal for Madrilenians to do this, so do not be offended, there is no mal-intent intended, it’s just their way of getting around and it can even be funny, you just never know who you are going to "bump" into.

   
 

Spanish food in Madrid

Spanish food is really delicious, with “Tortilla de Patata”, (Spanish Potato omelet), “Calamares”, (Squid), “El Jamon”, (Cured ham), “Cocido Madrelleño”, (A kind of Soup of vegetables, and different meat, all in one, or served separately), “Gambas”, (Prawns) and all kinds of seafood, meat and vegetables are on offer.
A typical “Menu del Dia”, (Day Menu) will cost anything from 9 – 14€ typically and will consist of a starter dish for example soup, followed by the main dish, then by a sweet. Bread and the first drink are usually included in the price of the menu. Lunch usually starts around 2pm – 3pm in Madrid, so be prepared to wait a little more time than usual for your lunch.

   
 
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The nightlife in Madrid 

The nightlife in Madrid is one of the best in Europe. The night generally starts fairly late with clubs starting to get busy at around 2 or 3am, the nightclubs are again open till late in the morning with people dancing and having a good time until 6am or so. If you want to experience the nightlife like a true Madrileño you should finish the night with “churros con chocolate", (Similar to doughnuts, not so sweet though, with chocolate sauce to dip in), delicious!, before going home.
In August life in Madrid is very different. Many Madrilenians go on holiday to the islands or the Spanish beaches. In August you will be able to enjoy Madrid without the normal hustle and bustle of the big city. 

   
         

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