Café Gijón

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Still charming after all these years, this is Madrid's definitive literary café, open since 1888. It still holds poetry 'tertulias' (roundtable discussions) on Monday nights, and publishes a magazine filled with doodles and thoughts from visiting writers. A pianist tinkles the ivories to a packed terrace in summer, while in winter it's heaving inside. Look out for the aged Alfonso, who has been selling cigarettes, matches and lottery tickets, just inside the entrance, for over 30 years.

Venue name: Café Gijón
Address: Paseo de Recoletos, 21
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 7.30am-1.30am
Transport: Banco de España (M: L2)
Price: €40-€50
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