Shops Closed Saturday Morning in Madrid?

It was an odd morning this Saturday morning. I got up late, had breakfast, showered, and went out to do the morning shopping at around noon. I first went to the pollería (chicken shop) and found it oddly closed. They’re always open on Saturday mornings until 2pm but maybe they closed for summer vacation as so many shops do.

Next, went to Juteco, a shop which sells toiletries, perfumes, kitchen items, etcetera. It was closed too and with the protective metal blinds pulled to the bottom. HUH! They are usually open until 2pm. Vacation? A chain store like this?

So I went to one of the markets. Closed. Vacation? The other market was closed too. Also on vacation? Shouldn’t they coordinate their closings to accommodate the neighborhood people?? Hmmm.. I even went to TWO supermarkets and found them closed as well, shuttered and fortified. This is getting weird.

What am I going to have for lunch? My idea to make chicken flew out the window like a wounded duck. And how am I going to shower? I don’t have enough shower gel to get me through the weekend and the stores are all closed tomorrow too. Will I die here sweaty and starved? What gives?

Answer: Today, Saturday 15 August is Madrid’s Virgen’s Day, la Virgen de la Paloma, and so everything is closed. DUH! I knew that but, as I’ve mentioned before, many Spanish holidays don’t dawn on me until something like today happens.

Everything is closed except: Chinese food restaurants, Kebop Restaurants, and Chinese convenience stores. So I got Chinese food for lunch – and will likely have the same thing tomorrow unless I decide on a TelePizza.

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5 Responses to Shops Closed Saturday Morning in Madrid?

  1. osomajor says:

    Yeah, I’ve had days when you don’t know what’s going on. You feel like you’re in the Twilight Zone. Just out of curiosity MM, what kind of Chinese food do they have in Spain? You know how the Chinese Americanized their food for our palettes so I just thought whether they did the same in Spain. I can’t see Schezwan or Hunan style being very popular there.

  2. Jim Costello says:

    Hi MadridMan – Do you know how many holidays Madrid has during the year. I believe some of the holidays are national and some are religious.
    Thank you,
    Jim Costello
    New York City

  3. MadridMan says:

    Hi Jim!
    I don’t know how many holidays Madrid has every year. I think it varies. And plus, recently the City Hall “devalued” a few city holidays (or was it the government did so for National holidays?) so that they wouldn’t coincide with other major holidays. They even changed the dates of some big Saint’s Days for this reason.
    But check out for the low-down skinny on Holidays in Spain as well as in specific cities. It’s a great site, created by a Spanish guy in Alicante.

  4. MadridMan says:

    That’s right! I DID FEEL like I was in the Twilight Zone! Exactly! Walking around the empty streets, no cars, lots of parking spaces available, and everything closed which shouldn’t be closed.
    The Chinese food is pretty good here and there are a lot of Chinese restaurants – and run by Chinese because there are a lot of Chinese people here too. The spicier types of Chinese food are not so popular here and not as readily available as in the USA, I don’t think. I’ve never seen General Tso’s Chicken, for example, but maybe it’s called something different here. I don’t tend to change what I order at Chinese restaurants so I couldn’t give you a detailed review of what’s available. Sorry! Usually, whenever I order something I have to share it with Spaniards and I KNOW they (at least those closest to me) don’t like spicy foods.

  5. Diarmuid says:

    I think you were one of many people caught out by the Saturday shut down
    When we were talking to Spanish neighbours about it yesterday we realised we weren´t the only ones to have forgotten 🙂
    Chinese food is different here from Ireland..less spices..but then we have two types in Dublin-one for the Irish with nasty boring sauces and one for the Chinese with much more tasty stuff

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