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San Miguel market in Madrid
Madrid is a vibrant city where there is something always to do. The San Miguel market is just one of those places that invites locals and tourists alike to relax and enjoy a unique experience together. Located right in the city centre near the former city hall and Plaza Mayor and Plaza del Sol, this market is not to be missed. Up until 2004 it was used as a regular Spanish Market but then the economy changed and so did the demands. The owners decided to take on a new concept and re-opened what we now know as the San Miguel Market in 2009.
Daniel Dionne - Wikimedia
Some locals advise people to visit the market when hungry so you have room to try a little of everything, while others recommend going only if you need a few nibbles. Either way, when entering the market, your senses will go wild! With a unique mix of drink and food throughout the 33 stalls, you are bound to find something you want to try at least once.
If you have time and are not driving, find a wine you like and stroll around at your ease. You can find everything from olives, oysters and octopus to butchers, baklava and beer. Don't worry, they also have cocktails available as well should wine not hit the spot for you. Once you have a wander and find a few tapas that catch your eye, grab a seat and enjoy people watching. Make sure to keep your latest receipt though, as you will need to show your latest purchase before you can relieve yourself at the banos.
Seating arrangements at the San Miguel Market can be overwhelming, so if you enjoy having space and avoiding big crowds, it is best to visit in the morning. Because the hours are 10am until midnight Monday through Wednesday and until 2am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the nights can be very busy. Evenings tend to be when locals and nightlife tourists merge together in this space and enjoy a full night of tapas and drink together.
With a great range of food, long hours and unique atmosphere, this place should be visited at least once on your trip to Madrid. Unfortunately, according to locals, because of its' undoubted popularity, the prices are going up and up while the quality of the food products on offer seems to be diminishing. You can easily find other tapa bars throughout the city that offer better value for your money and better quality, but you won't experience the same atmosphere and uniqueness that the San Miguel market has to offer.