When the wait is worth it: These are the places in Madrid where you queue the most


The best bread in town, some 500-euro slippers, ‘Las Meninas’ by Velázquez or sunset on one of Retiro’s boats have yet to succumb to the internet ‘boom’.

People queue at the Prado Museum.
People queue at the Prado Museum.J. martínez

To endure the bad weather outside, whether it is cold, the heat of this May or the rain, after being on one’s feet for so long, making oneself tormented by pain after being hungry and thirsty. Although in Spain, according to IAB Spain, 19% of users admitted that in 2020 they made their purchases exclusively online, there are still stores, shops and shows where people are queuing. And it is that the urgency and comfort of consuming at the click of a button is not always everything. Waiting can sometimes be a worthwhile experience. Loyalty to a store, personalized treatment, maintaining a family tradition… Many people in Madrid have a compelling reason that justifies waiting in line. They will not see Alcaraz defeat Nadal or sweep the channel live in Turin. They’re looking for something simple like a tenth lottery ticket or a small boat to ride around El Retiro. A penis-shaped dessert is also worth half an hour in queue. It is Madrid that still has patience.

good appetite

Since 2018 they have appeared in the capital and now they have more than 20 stores throughout Spain. According to Stanford Children’s Health, a 120-pound croissant is equivalent to the weight of a 16-year-old child. And this is the amount they asked from IFEMA a month and a half ago. “They were ordering us, for a week, four big boxes of Manolitos a day”, says Natha, in charge of Manolo Bakes in the Gran va Hortaleza shopping center. If Manolo Bakes managed to crush all sales with something as simple as a croissant, the following example broke the classic’s barrier to success. And it’s that sometimes form is everything: “For delicious chicken [gofres con forma de pene] It’s dripping hot chocolate”, says its communications manager, Maria Byrne. At No. 3 Gravina they sell an experience “hard to forget”. Thus, she assures they queue up from Lola Ndigo to Maestro Joo and Lali Espito Huh.

“Not only do we say this, everyone passing by La Polera smiles, for the attention of our Polaros and for the delicious Polofre”. The rush hour is 6:30 pm and anecdotes number in the thousands. “Once upon a time a bus came from Imarso with 50 senior citizens, as if it were BenidormAnd 50 yas each one went down for them”.

In Panem, 66-year-old Pablo Rodriguez says that “They make the best bread in Madrid”, Pablo compares waiting for bread in this establishment to that of doctors. “You don’t like it when you go to the doctor and you see that you have to wait a long time, but then you prefer to be treated.” The way they do it: “They have sourdough and use good flour.” And its duration: It keeps for three days in the pantry. “It’s been fermenting for 24 hours,” says Panem co-founder Marta Garcia. But bread is not the only thing that has made this place famous. as well their rosogollas, which cause the queue around the apples in Three Kings,

Lots of ARTs. with

The Prado Museum is a jewel in its own right in the crown of Madrid’s cultural heritage. Anyone visiting the city cannot fail to visit a place which is considered to be one of the best art galleries in the world. Even more reason, two hours before closing, when access to the gallery is free, Its head of communications, Virginia Garde, refers to the queues as somewhat problematic, despite the fact that they reflect a marked interest in the painting world: “During the pandemic we had control over the entrance and it was their Forms. Now they are not controls and we are trying to reduce the wait, because it is still a nuisance. There are four entrances to reduce them and we studied the flow very well Precisely to speed up visits, there is digital entry, and although what is common in all museums is that more people come to the box office, a significant percentage of purchases, which are on the rise, are online. It’s a matter of habit,” he admits. Garde states that “young people between the ages of 18 and 34 make up the majority of the public” that the museum has. “At 18 you come in with your family, then your partner, and then your kids,” he says., Visiting El Prado thus becomes an inter-generational exercise.

child lights

When night falls, Madrid’s most famous street fills with fluorescent tubes, interpretation and music on its façade. The EDP Theater is on Broadway in Madrid at number 66, where the musical Fama has been playing since March., They state on their website that they “inspired generations to strive for success.” And since there is no success without sacrifice, reaching the stalls after 8:00 pm on Saturday is not a mission suitable for the impatient.

Gran Via is also roof of terraces and terraces. “Saturdays at 9:00 pm, there is no room at the Riu Hotel”, But some are already so famous that even on Mondays there are queues. Mariam Armiana, 23, was doing “The Routing” last Monday, which is very common on weekends, but not on weekdays. “We just asked the guy at the entrance how long we could wait to get to the Circulo de Bellas Artes and he told us it would be about 40 minutes.” They have gone. girl claims that “At 8:00 PM on Monday, the queue went around the block; we panicked”,

lovely life

Leisure activities also do not escape this custom. in boats from el retro parkDespite enabling the online ticket purchase option, the queues are huge.

The person in charge of the service, Rafael Calleja de la Cruz, confirms this: “People usually get information here at the entrance. We have a large influx of both national and international public. We have joined the train of technologies to facilitate access: The user is given the option of being able to reserve it through the website or on Madrid Amville and once they reach the pond they find the resources we have, which they are, a three-row entrance with They are always queued up, although online reservations are preferred”.

Renting a boat costs six euros and entitles a maximum of four people to a 45-minute ride. Rafael says that “tickets run out on Saturdays at around one o’clock in the afternoon. When we inform that we can no longer sell, people leave, but others come and the queue is created again., It’s hopeless. But while we didn’t offer online booking, the queues occupied the entire curve of El Retiro. There are those who, with all our regret, are left without starting, and many, out of desperation, pay for it with workers. The pond’s manager, who celebrates a day like Mother’s Day in which there are about 875 boats left (meaning about 3,500 people sailed that day), admits that there are other less fortunate moments: “Last Saturday an old couple lined up. I was waiting, but when they got to ride the tickets were over. You feel sorry for those people”, he laments while a violin plays in the background. hallelujah,

And there are some who are willing to spend a real fortune, in addition to waiting. In Chueca’s heart, The Chuckie sneakers store sells a model of off-white sports shoes, which costs close to 500 euros., A store clerk, Sandra, explains that “when they came out they weren’t worth as much as they are now, but when their creator, Virgil Abloh, passed away, so did the people who queue before the opening. Keep looking. Luxury shoe.” Because sometimes waiting also has a price.

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