7 November 2014
We have recently announced our first TEFL weekend course outside the UK, in none other than Spain’s capital, Madrid. Madrid is a lively, exciting city with plenty to see and do through all hours of the day and night. If you’re taking the course there, why not stay an extra few days to check some of it out? Or better yet, apply to be an English teacher here.
Madrid is one of the best cities for art-lovers in the world. The Prado museum is home to one of the largest art collections in the world, and includes a diverse works from a range of European masters, including Valázquez, Goya, Raphael, Rubens and Bosch. Along with the Prado, there are numerous other museums and art galleries in the city worth visiting, including: The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, specialising in Spanish contemporary art including Picasso, Dali and Miro; the Museo Arqueoligico Nacional, featuring exhibits from the prehistoric era to the modern age; and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, among many others.
Madrid is home to amazing food. First stop: markets. The San Anton market offers reasonably cheap, fresh food; while the San Miguel is a more upmarket affair. The building is made of iron and glass and was built in 1916. It offers top-quality, delicious food and has loads of different stall to try; although it is a little on the pricey side it is a great place to have lunch. There are lots of classic Madrid foods to try while you’re here too– cocido madrideno, Madrid’s take on a Spanish stew is ubiquitous in winter and is a perfect warming meal; churros, strips of deep-fried dough dipped in thick melted chocolate; and bocadillo de calamares (fried squid sandwich) are some of the best.
Madrid is a wonderful city to stroll around taking in the sights. One of the top places to go is the Parque del Retiro, close to the city centre. The park has a number of statues and gardens to admire, along with a lake which you can take a boat out in, and is often filled with street performers. It is also a wonderful city to take in the architecture; while there are no world famous buildings like the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, it has a rich architectural history which can be seen around the city. The Paseo del Prado is a lovely place for a walk, and the Plaza de Cibeles, the Puerta de Alcala and kilometre zero are some other good sites to spot in the city.
Madrid is a late night (or all night) city. After dinner at about 10pm, people don’t go to bars until 11pm at the earliest, and certainly won’t go somewhere to dance before 2 or 3am. The nightlife is dictated by the different barrios. Chueca is one of the main party areas for bars and clubs, and is also one of the most vibrant gay quarters in Europe. The Salamanca Barrio is fancier with lots chic bars, while Lavapiés has a more laid back vibe. Some drinks to try are tinto de verano (red wine and lemonade) and cañas (small glass of whatever beer’s on tap), along with the city’s favourites of wine and gin and tonic. There is also a buzzing music scene to check out.
Whether you are here for a few days while taking your course or living here for a year or more, you will never run out of things to see and do, or eat and drink. Along with being a brilliant place to visit and live, it is also a great place for English teachers to find work, with numerous English language schools and businesses looking for native English speakers.