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Madrid City in English
Thursday 19th of October 2017

Guitarras Ramírez

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Located just behind the Puerta del Sol is one of the city’s oldest and most famous Spanish guitar shops, whose past client list even includes the late, great maestro Andrés Segovia, writes Camino Martínez

Whether you are an aficionado of Spanish guitars or not, the historic Guitarras Ramírez shop is certainly worth checking out. It was founded in 1882 by the madrileño José Ramírez, who used to make and repair string instruments. He started his career at the Rastro, but then took the step of opening a shop, which is now run by the fifth generation of the Ramírez family.

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Guitarras Ramírez, Calle de la Paz, 8 (Metro: Sol). Tel: 91 531 42 29. See www.guitarrasramirez.com

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Casa Hernanz

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A traditional shop which, for more than a century, has been dedicated to selling alpargatas (espadrilles)—a very cool, comfortable, light shoe, perfect for the hot weather

Spring, perhaps the most beautiful season to enjoy Madrid, is finally here! With the arrival of the wonderful, warm weather, it’s a perfect time to fish out of your cupboard, or make a purchase of, alpargatas (espadrilles). These traditional shoes have a sole made from rope, created to be flexible, and a top made from canvas or cotton.

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Casa Hernanz, C/Toledo, 18-20 (Metro: Tirso de Molina). Tel: 91 366 54 50. Mon-Fri, 9am-1.30pm, 4.30-8pm; Sat, 10am-2pm.
See www.alpargateria-casahernanz.com.

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Curiosity Shop: Filatelia Gálvez

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Located in Puerta del Sol, Filatelia Gálvez is at the heart of the city and also of madrileño stamp collecting. The store opened in 1868 and is the oldest stamp shop in Spain

Any resident or visitor to Madrid should go, at least once, to the Coin and Stamp Collector’s Market, which takes place every Sunday morning in the beautiful Plaza Mayor. It’s one of the most historic markets in the city—the stalls and crowds fill the space under the arches of the Plaza, everyone looking for that tiny hidden treasure or just enjoying the atmosphere.

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Filatelia Gálvez,  Puerta del Sol, 4 (Metro: Sol). Tel: 91 531 46 00. Shop: Tues, 10.30am-2.30pm. Phone service: Mon-Fri, 10.30am-6pm. See www.filateliagalvez.com

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Curiosity Shop: Álvarez Gómez

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Founded in 1899, and still trading, Álvarez Gómez is one of the oldest perfumeries in the city—a classic Madrid store

At the end of the 19th century, Álvarez Gómez opened its doors in the heart of Madrid for the provision of fine perfumes, make-up, and beauty treatments. Some of its scents and fragrances were handmade on the shop premises from fresh flowers.

End Info: 

Álvarez Gómez. C/Serrano, 14 (Metro: Retiro). Tel: 91 431 33 20. See www.alvarezgomez.com.

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Curiosity Shop: Menkes

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With almost everybody enjoying a carnival in February, this traditional and famous madrileña shop is a great option for a wonderful selection of fancy dress costumes, writes Camino Martinez

Menkes was inaugurated in Madrid in 1950, initially as a modest establishment that only sold typical regional costumes from all around Spain, including of course the famous flamenco dresses. Since then, it has become one of the most famous fancy dress shops in the city and was visited by Hollywood stars such as Vivien Leigh and Ava Gardner during the fifties.

End Info: 

Menkes, C/Mesonero Romanos, 14 (Metro: Callao). Tel: 91 532 10 36; also at C/Juan de Olías, 21 (Metro: Estrecho). Tel: 91 572 30 15. See www.menkes.es.

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Curiosity Shop: La Duquesita

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Almost one hundred years after its opening, this emblematic bakery is still making some of the most delicious cakes and chocolates in the city

Christmas time in Spain continues until 6 January, after the Three Kings have visited Spanish homes the previous night bringing lots of gifts. On the morning of the 6th, when wrapping paper litters the floor, adults and children usually eat Roscón de Reyes (or roughly translated in English, “King’s Cake”), the traditional Spanish cake of the Christmas holiday.

End Info: 

La Duquesita. C/Fernando VI, 2 (Metro: AlonsoMartínez/Tribunal.) Tel: 91 308 02 31. Tues-Sun, 9.30am-2.30pm, 5-9pm.

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Curiosity Shop: Casa Postal

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This charming shop is devoted to selling wonderful old postcards of Madrid and many other secondhand articles related to Spanish traditions

Opened almost 30 years ago and located just a short distance from Chueca Metro station, this shop is one of the most emblematic and curious shops in the Chueca neighbourhood. The establishment sells (and buys!) secondhand postcards, both for collectors or people looking for an unusual reminder of Madrid.

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Casa Postal, C/Libertad, 37. (Metro: Chueca). Tel: 91 532 70 37. Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm; 5-7.45pm; Sat, 11am-2pm. See www.casapostal.net

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