J and J Books and Coffee

I haven’t done a visitor recommendation for quite some time now so it was nice to receive an email from someone last week. Here’s what Greg had to say:

I recently found your site and saw that the best bookstore in Madrid is actually not listed on your site. It’s a new and used bookstore with a bar/coffee shop attached. It has the best selection of English books in all of Madrid. Over 25,000 books and also different activities throughout the week for meeting new people and hanging out.
The place is called J&J Books and Coffee
It’s located on C/Espiritu Santo, 47 in Madrid’s center.

I seriously hope that you will add them to your site because it’s the best place there.

Thanks for the recommendation Greg and if anyone else has been there, please let me know.

Café Madrid – Madrid’s Tower of Babel

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A couple of weeks ago I met up with Francisco Rodriguez Veiga (Fran) and Susana Bourne, who both run the International Evenings in Café Madrid, near Madrid’s Opera Metro station to discuss its success. It all started 5 years ago when Fran, who can speak 6 languages, came up with the idea of bringing people from different countries, languages and cultures together for one evening a week. Language exchanges or ‘intercambios’ are very popular in Madrid and offer people the chance to practice their language skills with ‘native’ speakers. Café Madrid, which is a pleasant, open bar in a great location – near Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor – and serves an assortment of beers and wines and straightforward bar food is the ideal location for it.

The friendly atmosphere at Café Madrid’s International Evenings has made it a very popular venue on Wednesdays and Fran says that quite often over 100 people have turned up. Fran acts as the host for the evening and helps with introductions. And contrary to what many people think, Spanish and English are not the only language exchanges on offer – German, French, Italian, and many other languages can be heard on a Wednesday night. So whether you live in Madrid or are just passing through, why not spend a couple of hours at Café Madrid?

Venue: Café Madrid
Location: (c/ Mesón de Paños, 6 – Metro: Opera)
Time: 9.30 p.m. till late

Spanish Language Bookshops and Conversation Exchanges

If you’re learning Spanish in Madrid, then it’s quite likely that you will probably need to buy some books. You may also be interested in participating in a language exchange, where you can speak Spanish with a native speaker and vicce versa.

The Casa del Libro offers a great selection of Spanish Language Study Books and is probably where most people purchase their Spanish books from. If you want English Language books you can also find a small section here. Here are the two main locations (the 2nd is my preferred one):
Locations: Gran Vía, 29 | Metro: Gran Vía; Maestro Victoria, 3 | Metro: Sol or Callao

FNAC is one huge book/electronic/music department store and also has a good selection of Spanish language books.
Location: Preciados, 28 | Metro: Callao

Crisol is another place where you can find Spanish Language Books. They have a number of shops across the city.
Locations: Marqués de Casa Riera, 2 | Metro: Banco de España; Serrano, 24 | Metro: Serrano

Petra’s International Bookshop is also a good place to pick up second-hand books. It is also a great place to meet up with people for conversation exchanges. They are open from 11am to 9pm.
Location: C/ Campomanes, 13. Metro Opera – Santo Domingo

O´Neills´s Pub is also a good place to go for language exchanges on Tuesday evenings. They start at 10pm and you should ask for David.
Location: 
C/ Príncipe, 12 . Metro Sevilla/Sol.

Cafe Madrid is the place to go for language exchanges on Wednesday evenings (starting at 9pm) – you should ask for Fran.
Location: C/ Escalinata | Metro Opera

Wings & Beer have been meeting every Tuesday for around 2 years to practice languages, meet people, organize parties, trips, etc. Location: C/ Martín de los Heros, 4 | Metro Banco de España

Lola at Estudio Sampere has also told me that the school organises exchange parties once a month and they have a list of people who are interested in language exchanges.

Teaching English in Madrid (an American perspective)

Over the past month I have had a lot of emails from people asking for advice on teaching English in Madrid. Well, here’s an interesting article that American English teacher Steven Starry just sent me entitled Making it as a Freelance English Teacher in Spain. Though addressing many issues facing US teachers in Madrid, it does offer some sound practical advice on living and working in Madrid for UK and other nationals.

See Also
Madrid Teacher

English Teaching in Madrid from Madrid Teacher

I just came across an useful website for those who are planning to work in Madrid as a teacher or who work in Madrid and would like to advertise their services. The site is called MadridTeacher and allows teachers to advertise themselves and language academies to advertise for teachers.


Spanish Verb Conjugator

If you’re planning to use your Spanish skills in Madrid or just checking whether you’re using verbs in the right way, you should certainly look at this online verb conjugator from Verbix. Simply type in the Spanish verb you require, and this tool will conjugate it for you. For Spanish language learners this must be added to the favourites list.

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Learn Spanish in Madrid – Spanish Language Schools

Madrid has a number of options for those looking to study Spanish in the capital, from university courses and Spanish language schools to your own private teacher. There is probably no better way to learn a language than going to that country. As the Spanish are not as willing to speak English as other Europeans, mainly because their level of English is very poor, Madrid offers an abundance of opportunities to speak and learn Spanish with everyone, from the taxi driver to the barman to people in shops.

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