MADRID is home to hundreds of cafes, but for those of us who like to spend hours plugged in while we fuel up on coffee, there are a few unique spots around the city that welcome freelancers, students, and anyone looking for a productive space.
These centrally-located cafes are work-friendly and offer free Wi-Fi and a variety of food and drinks.
1. Cafe de la Luz
Entering Cafe de la Luz feels like stepping into a cozy living room. It’s a calm place to work, away from the bustle of the city, but still central. You can sit at a small table or plop into one of the comfy armchairs, and their menu has a long list of options to choose from — the coffees and teas alone take up an entire page. Locals rave about the mini-brunch that’s served until 3 PM.
Tip: Work during the day, then come back at night for a stronger drink and livelier atmosphere.
2. La Bicicleta
La Bicicleta is self-described as a “Workplace-Gallery and Cycling Cafe.” The worn furniture and bikes hanging from the ceilings definitely give the place character, but the real draw is the designated workspace by the windows. Sit for hours sipping coffee, and when you need a break, gain inspiration by watching the madrileños go about life in the active neighborhood of Malasaña.
Tip: You can park your bike inside!
3. Lolina Vintage Cafe
Just a short walk from La Bicicleta, Lolina sits on a corner of Calle Espiritu Santo. It’s got a cute, quirky vintage vibe: Bright colors, funky wallpaper, retro tunes. At night it’s more of a cocktail bar, but during the day it’s common to see people plugged in and working. Their breakfasts start at just €2.50, and they also have lactose-free shakes and creative hot dog combinations.
Tip: Try the Lebanese hot dog with hummus and sesame.
This cafe-library near the Teatro Real doubles as a workspace and weary travelers’ oasis. Aside from the spacious tables, ample seating, and scrumptious shakes, there are shelves and shelves of guidebooks and frequent art exhibitions in the downstairs area. The only downside is that there are very few outlets, so go with a full battery (or unplug one of the lamps when the barista isn’t looking).
Tip: If you end up buying a guidebook, they’ll treat you to coffee!
5. Little Big Cafe
I love this classy little cafe both for its charm and convenience as a workspace, though I wish it stayed open a bit later! Owners Max and Cris have worked to make it feel as homey as possible, and they’ve done a pretty good job. Unlike many cafes in Madrid, they serve 100% Arabica coffee beans, fresh milk, all-natural sourdough bread, and homemade desserts. They also carry Madrid’s artisanal beer, La Virgen.
Tip: Choose any three fruits and they will make you your very own smoothie!
6. HanSo Cafe
HanSo is one of those cafes where everything you order comes out Instagram-worthy. The coffee is fantastic — the red velvet and matcha green tea lattes are colorful, delicious, and reasonably priced. There are a number of smaller tables by the walls and windows, but the large shared table in the middle creates a nice communal work environment.
Tip: It gets pretty crowded during peak hours, so on weekends and holidays laptops are only allowed at the large work table.
7. La Infinito
This tranquil cafe is located on a quiet corner of the Lavapies. You’ll find a good number of tables and outlets, as well as tall windows that let in natural light. Being surrounded by the artwork and decorated bookshelves helps me get into my intellectual groove, and when I need a break I’ll order a snack and explore some of the titles. Like Hanso, laptop usage is limited on holidays and weekends.
Tip: There’s a small theater downstairs.
8. Pum Pum Cafe
Though quite small, Pum Pum is quite special and so popular that on weekends you’ll often see people gathered outside waiting for a table. On weekdays it’s much calmer, and the friendly service, healthy snacks, and self-serve water will keep you comfortable while you work. The staff is pretty international; the owner Papo and his brother Dam are from Argentina, and the other workers hail from Australia and Ukraine. The cafe is located in the heart of the multicultural Lavapies neighborhood, so expect a diverse crowd. Another big plus: They serve breakfast all day.
Tip: Get there early!