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In many cafés around town, you’ll find free Wi-Fi connections and in some places you can even plug in your computer. Here are some of my favorite spots to find free Internet in some of Madrid’s most popular neighborhoods.
The neighborhood of Malasaña has plenty of cafes, but the best place to go to spend time on the Internet is definitely Lolina (Calle del Espíritu Santo, 9). Plugged as a “vintage café,” the establishment is filled with 50s-style furnishings and they play a great selection of upbeat tunes. You can spend the entire day here surfing the Internet for free.
On the menu: coffee, beer, wine and a selection of salads, and tostadas. The upstairs tends to get crowded, but there’s also a downstairs. Also a plus, the staff is incredibly friendly.
Most people head to Lavapiés for all kinds of ethnic foods, especially Middle Eastern cuisine. This neighborhood also boasts some great little cafes where you can browse the Internet for free.
A favorite is Librería Café La Fugitiva (Calle de Santa Isabel 7). Although from the outside it may look like a bookstore, there are a handful of tables inside and plenty of outlets to hook up the good ol’ computer. You can buy a coffee and a sweet treat to munch while you surf. The shelves are packed with Spanish poetry, essay, film theory, fiction, non fiction, and they even have a children’s section.
Next to tapas bars and restaurants in the boisterous neighborhood of Chueca, you’ll find the trendy Isoleé (Calle de las Infantas, 19). The establishment has a triple identity, offering (according to its Website) “fashion, food, and lifestyle.” The minimalist interior with white chairs and black tables is definitely a hot spot for any well-dressed hipster (especially if you own a Mac).
Bacchus (Calle Donoso Cortes, 58 ) is well-known in Madrid for bringing expats and Spaniards together. It’s an English language bookstore and bar. Besides having language exchange nights and other themed evenings, the establishment offers free Internet. So if you’re longing for computer time and English conversation, it’s a great stop.
El Café sin Nombre (Conde Duque, 10) is by far one of the quietest, most spacious, and most relaxed places to spend the day on your computer. Six years ago the café didn’t even have a sign out front (perhaps a play on its name, which translates to “café without a name” in English), which could explain why many people don’t know it exists. However, this café is a perfect place if you’re looking for a tranquil atmosphere to get some work done.
More Hotspots: For more info, check out our earlier post on free Wi-Fi hotspots in Madrid.