Not too long ago, I wrote about my perspective on Alcalá as a student in Madrid. Though I may know about Alcalá from an outsider’s perspective, there’s much I couldn’t tell you about the beautiful city 30 minutes away from my beloved Madrid. So when it came to giving advice for future students, my Alcalámigos went out of their way to share their knowledge of their city for future Alcalámigos to come. Here are their best tips:
- Tapas are your best friend. House red wine at Hemisferios + a tapa (preferably a tosta de jamon iberico con queso de cabra y frambuesa o the minipizza) all for 1.80! Explore as many places for tapas as possible- hay un montón!
- I swear that the amount of time the train into madrid and back to Alcalá changes. I’ve gotten from Atocha to Alcala in half an hour some days while others it’s taken an hour from Recoletos to Alcalá. I would always try to plan about 45 minutes for the journey. Look up train schedules on renfe.es to help you get to Madrid on time, under cercanias 😛 The renfe site is great, it has schedules for cercanías for ALL over España plus you can buy train tickets on there to other parts of Spain!
- Going out in Alcala is actually a lot of fun. Venturing out to Madrid is definitely worth it but give Manamana and Casco Antigua in Alcalá a chance!!!
- Go into Madrid!!! Alcalá is awesome, for sure, but you are next to one of the biggest, greatest, most beautiful cultural centers in the entire world. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT! Don’t be frustrated by the train/bus ride, just use the ride to catch up on sleep 😛
- Make a trip to the mythical place that is La Garena. They not only have a Cortes Inglés, although that is probably one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. Think Nordstroms, meets Radioshack, meets Dick’s Sporting Goods, meets Bath and Body works…I think you catch my drift.
- Make friends with your intercambios and have them take you to local spots with their other Spanish friends. It’s honestly like opening a door to a whole new world you’d never have ever seen. You can find the coolest little places just by wandering around and keeping an open mind when the group is deciding on a decision for the night.
- La Calle Mayor has restaurants up and down the street. Walk into whichever one and just sit down. A drink and tapa are typically 2.50 euro so it won’t kill you to go de tapas and figuring out what place has the best croquetas and tinto de verano and which place has a very questionable lomo dish.
Current Alcalámigos, did I miss anything? Future students, anything not on here that you wish to know? Get @ me in the comments section!