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

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