Flowers are nice (but this First Date is better) Part 1


The moment: Check your phone or ditch all together

I get nervous and will probably continue to get nervous when planning a first date. It’s not easy. It can even be daunting. You might have just met the girl/boy on a drunken Saturday night and you find yourself trying to come up with a way to entertain, show off, and come across as interesting and intelligent all at once. So I’m back to getting nervous and with little idea of what might or might now work.

Topics of interest can be hard to find but I believe that the location of the date should tie into the conversation. So rather than the usual routine of restaurant then drinks, this is a bit more dynamic and Madrileño (known for going to lots of places on one night).

The idea behind my method is to take your date to at least 3 different places on a given night. Each place will compliment each other and yet offer a very different component of the night. I have included a route order to help. All the places will be in walking distance from each other.

Part 1 is taking the arts and culture route. Not the Prado and its thousands of archangels, but more modern and contemporary offerings. Something more quirky to get the conversation flowing.

This in no way will guarantee you get laid on the first night. Too many factors depend on that result. However, it should reduce those awkward silent moments because you’re grasping for a common topic. Quick tip for the awkward moment, just kiss him/her. There is no perfect moment. Only the courage to move your head forward 5 inches.


Act One: Fundacion Telefonica in Calle Fuencarral 3

Art exhibition

Fundación Telefonica

We start in the Fundacion Telefonica on Fuencarral. This gallery is always free and almost always open, except Mondays. It regularly changes the collections and usually has photography showing. I am no art student but when you are confronted with space geese and watching a video of their training to fly to the moon, it makes you smile and realise we live in a great place (Moon Goose Analogue, 2011-1012, Agnes Meyer-Brandis). So quickly check out the website and see what’s on, the stranger the better as you don’t need to be knowledgeable. Only a sense of humour is required.

Best time: 18-20h

Metro: Gran Via


Act Two: Aiò in Corredera Baja de San Pablo, 25 (mentioned in a previous article)


Now that we have started down the cultural road, we cannot go too formal with the restaurant. It needs to fit the setting but shouldn’t cost too much. Aio is an Italian restaurant that offers aperitivo for dinner. Aperitivo means you just buy drinks at a slightly higher price and are able to eat from the buffet at your heart’s content. The food is typical Italian with pizza, pasta and salads on offer. Aperitivo is incredibly popular in Italy since the crisis hit, as a way to entice consumers to leave their homes. You cannot reserve a table but there’s always a positive atmosphere.

Best time: 20-22h

Alternative: la Mucca is an excellent restaurant. You can make reservations and also sit outside on the terrace. It is the more high quality and expensive option.

Metro: Tribunal/Gran Via/Callao



Act Three: Microteatro por dinero in Calle de Loreto Prado y Enrique Chicote, 9

Theatre for little money

What surprise will await?

You then continue the night by going to Micro Teatro, a bar where you can watch a small theatrical performance for only €4. You can enjoy drinks upstairs and then when your number is called out, you will descend the stairs into the basement and go into the designated room. All groups are at most 15 people and you come face to face with the actors in the small room. Each little play lasts around 15 minutes, which is good because not all are great. It never fails to create another conversation and even if you only understand 50%, it will still be entertaining.

Best time: 22-24h

Alternative: Bar Lambuzo: an Andalusian tavern offering Micro Teatro every Thursday night from 9pm-11pm in their downstairs wine cellar (21h-23h if you will J!), with sessions every half hour for 4€ (more information in a previous article)

Metro: Tribunal/Gran Via/Callao


The Final Act: El Perro de la parte de atras del coche (or just el Perro) in Calle de La Puebla, 15,

El Perro club

Once you still have energy and need a club, I recommend El Perro, which is around the corner. This club is free entry before 24h, otherwise entry is €10. The music varies a lot. Not a huge dancing room means even if it is not packed will have you feeling like enough people are present.

Best time: after 24h

Alternative: Wind down with a cocktail instead of some dance moves at 1862 Dry Bar in Calle Pez 27, which is open to 1.30am and until 2am on weekends. The martini like many of their cocktails is thoroughly worth it.

Metro: Tribunal/Gran Via/Callao

Martini cocktail




For other great date ideas in Madrid, check out these off-the-beaten-path cultural centres, restaurants and bars!

  • Bar Lambuzo, a family-run Andalusian tavern in the centre of Madrid offering activities in their wine cellar, from wine tastings to microteatro! 
  • La Paca, the perfect Malasaña bar & café offering movie nights, art, markets, music and Chema!
  • Mercado de Motores, Madrid’s coolest vintage & food market that takes over the city’s old train museum once a month! 
  • La Buena Cerveza, an international and imported beer shop in Madrid offering beer tastings, workshops and more
  • Beer State of Mind, go on a route to discover Madrid’s best craft beer bars, you’ll love them all :)