Madrid is a great city for literature lovers. With a huge variety of unique bookshops, one of the largest national libraries in Europe and an annual outdoor book festival, exploring Madrid’s literary haunts has never been more rewarding. Here’s our guide to the best activities for book lovers in the Spanish capital.
Madrid’s yearly book fair is always a coveted event. The 2017 festival, the 76th edition, will take place from May 26 to June 11 in the Retiro Park. You can buy books from the many stands at the fair, as well as get books signed by your favourite Spanish authors. There’s also a special area for children, with educational workshops and events.
Hours: Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Literally translating as “neighborhood of the letters”, the Barrio de las Letras is the closest thing in Madrid to a literary quarter. Some of the streets are named after famous writers, so you can take a walk down Calle de Cervantes and Calle Lope de Vega. You can also admire the plaques carved into the street and dedicated to famous authors such as Luis de Góngora, Francisco de Quevedo and Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer.
The Guinness Book of World Records says this eatery is the oldest restaurant in the world. It’s also a famous literary spot, mentioned in many novels and poems, such as The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. Many other famous author have referenced Botín in their work, such as Galdós, Frederick Forsyth, Arturo Barea, Carlos Arniches, Graham Greene and even F Scott Fitzgerald.
While La Librería covers just about everything you can think of, it’s primarily known for stocking anything and everything about the city of Madrid. Whether you’re looking for information on travel, history, food or even fun facts about the city, you’ll find it here.
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