Along the banks of the Manzanares River is an old city slaughterhouse called Matadero Madrid that's been reincarnated into a contemporary art center. Thanks to the recession that hit Spain hard, private companies and institutions have stepped in to supplement the government's dwindling support for the arts in Madrid. The result? A remodeled brick and mortar center with public theaters, exhibition spaces, and music events that attract madrilenos looking for something cultural (and free) to do throughout the week.
We think that you'll enjoy experiencing art that's in stark contrast to what you'll see in the Golden Triangle. Although you won't find masterpieces here, you'll be able to understand the country's local artscape better and even interact with the artists themselves. It's a much more immersive and social experience. Some of the spaces that you can explore are the Casa del Lector, dedicated to the experience of reading, Cineteca, dedicated to non-fiction cinema, and Central de Diseno, dedicated to design. While many of the pavilions in this slaughter/squat-house have been renovated there are still some that continue to sport blood-stained walls and graffiti in remembrance of this building's past life.
Meeting point: Outside the main entrance under the "14". The closest Metro stop is Legazpi on the Yellow / 3 and Grey / 6 Lines.
Leaders, the opening hours and activity times for Matadero Madrid can be found here.