10 Things Every Auxiliar Needs to Know

Life doesn't have to be so hard! (Photo Credit: Creative Commons)
Life doesn’t have to be so hard! (Photo Credit: Creative Commons)

10 Things Every Auxiliar Needs to Know 

1.  Where to buy American food and snacks 

If you are American or have been to America, you know there are certain American cravings that creep up from time to time and that they must be met!  Luckily, in Madrid, many of these desires can be squelched!  Taste of America is your go-to place for American products and goodies.  Here, you can find your favorite Duncan Heins cake mix, Goldfish crackers and even Reese’s Pieces Buttercups!  Taste of America also recognizes American holidays so you’ll be sure to find some of your Thanksgiving must-haves at their shops.

Taste of America

2.  How to travel after the metro closes

Madrid has an excellent metro system.  It is fast, efficient, and clean.  However, the biggest problem with the Madrid metro is that the last trains leave on their last run for the night at 1:30 am.  Nevertheless, the city of Madrid provides nighttime bus services, called Búhos that begin to run when the metro closes and until the metro reopens at 6am.  All busses leave from and arrive at Cibeles.  Many of the Búhos follow the metro lines and you can check your local bus stop to see if it is serviced by a Búho if there is a picture of an owl at your stop.  Be sure to check the schedule to see which Búhos you can catch before your night out on the town.


 Airport Bus-Should you need to catch those early flights when the metro is closed, the Airport Bus provides a cheap (€5), and fast way  (40-minutes) to get to Barajas airport.  Although the Airport bus has few pick-up/drop-off stops, it always has a stop in Cibeles, so with a little planning, you can catch the Búho to Cibeles and switch to the Airport bus for that 6am Ryanair flight!

Exprés Areopuerto

3.  When you feel like going to a mall

If you ever want to escape the mass crowds on Gran Via and the overwhelming choices of stores to shop at and are longing for the familiar feeling of everything under one roof, including restaurants, video games, and coffee shops, head over to La Gavia.  This mall that not only has clothing and sports shops, but also IKEA, a movie theater and Carrefour so you can also do your grocery shopping before heading home.

Metro Line 1
Metro stop: Las Suertes

 4.  When you want to see vistas of Madrid

The teleférico is a great way to see the beautiful skyline of Madrid that you wouldn’t normally see from within the city.  The teleférico is found in Parque del Oeste near the Argüelles Metro (L3).  Ride the teleférico to Casa de Campo where you can stop to have a beverage of your choice while gazing at the Madrid skyline.


5. When you want to see Original Version English movies

Can’t handle the dubbed Spanish voices of your favorite actors in their latest movie blockbuster?  Well you don’t have to!  These cinemas in Madrid offer movies in their original language!


6.  When you want to read in English

Although they may be few and dispersed, English books stores can be found in Madrid!  This is perfect as the chilly weather is on its way and beckons you to stay curled under a blanket with a good read.  You can pick up a new novel at these bookshops.

Top Books
Calle Fuencarral, 127

De viaje
Calle Serrano, 41
A collection of travel books in English

J and J Books and Coffee
Calle de Espiritu Santo, 47

Petra’s International Bookshop
Calle Campomanes, 13

Calle Génova, 3

7. When you just need a cupcake

It can be slightly difficult to find classic American baked goods in Madrid, but Happy Day Bakery in Malasaña, does a pretty good job!  They specialize in cupcakes so rest assured you’ll be able to satisfy your red velvet or carrot cake cupcake cravings.

Happy Day Bakery
Calle de Espiritu Santo, 47

8.  When you want to see the best of Europe without leaving Madrid

When you feel like “getting away” but are down to your last Euros until the next monthly pay check, you should take the Cercanías and head to Parque Europe in Torrejón de Argoz!  Here you can see many of Europe’s famous attractions such as Michelangelo’s David statue, Paris’s Eiffel tower, Belgium’s Mannekin Pis and many more without stepping foot outside La Comunidad de Madrid!


9. When you feel like practicing your Spanish

Many bars are featuring “Intercambios” during the weekday.  Not only can you practice your language skills but you can also enjoy the “Intercambio drink special” that some bars provide during these weekly events.  Sounds like a win-win!

Hello Lola-
Tuesdays from 20:00h
Calle San Mateo, 28
Metro: Metro: Alonso Martínez (L.4, 5, 10),
Tribunal (L 1, 10), Chueca (L 5)
Olé Lola: http://www.olelola.com/agenda.php

Atomic Bar
Tuesdays and Sundays from 21:00h
Calle del Barco, 15
Metro:  Callao, Gran Vía

J&J’s Café and Bookshop
Calle de Espiritu Santo, 47
Wednesdays and Thursdays from 20:00h
Nearest metro:Noviciado

Café Madrid
Calle Mesón de Paños, 6
Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 21:00h
Nearest metro: Opera

Café Galdós
Los Madrazo, 10
International Afternoon from 19:00
Metro: Sevilla

10.  Where to shop when it is a public holiday

When your local neighborhood grocery store has closed down at 3pm on a Friday to observe the public holiday and you are in need of ingredients for lunch, your best option is to head down to Sol and Lavapiés.  These shops not only stay open during siesta hours but a majority operates normal business hours during public holidays as well.  It’s worth the trip!

 Discover many other gems for a budget living in Madrid with this Ebook: 200+ Ways to Save Money in Madrid

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