The best plans in Madrid for a first date

First dates, oh first dates. They certainly have their share of excitement tainted of apprehension, of butterflies flying in your tummy after a first kiss and of endless romantic staring into each other's eyes. They are wonderful moments of nascent love and tender hand-holding. They are also, in real life, synonymous with very stressful anticipation and inevitably awkward moments of silence or worse, small chat. And as if the choice of dress, shoes, make up, hair, as well as the careful preparation of a long, very long list of potential subjects of conversation was not enough, you also need to prudently pick up a perfect place to meet. It has to be romantic but not diligent, unique but not weird, cheap but still relatively sophisticated. All in all, organizing a first date is a flawless nightmare. Here is a little guidance that will hopefully help you decide what to do and where to go so that your first date effectively leaves you feeling like a Disney Channel soap opera teenager.

EFFICIENT: EL PABELLÓN DEL ESPEJO

El Pabellón del Espejo (Paseo de Recoletos, 31, Metro: Colón), or literally "the mirror lodge", is an intimate café-restaurant which is not only reasonably priced, but also the perfect balance of charming, romantic and casual. The inside, with its beautiful glazed windows, will do just as well as the outside terrace, which is located on a quiet promenade. Easily accessible, and although it is in the busy Chueca area, El Pabellón is a small haven of peace, surrounded only with abundant vegetation and lazy walkers. You can go for drinks or for a light meal, as the restaurant offers a daily menu from 14€, which includes a three-course meal, bread or drinks and coffee. And if things go really well, go a step forward and timidly offer a stroll through the nearby Jardínes del Descubrimiento or Paseo de Recoletos.

MOOTH: LAS CUEVAS DE SANDO

Show off your it-girl/boy knowledge of Madrid's bars by suggesting a few drinks in one of the city's most singular, and yet unknown venue. Las Cuevas de Sando (Plaza de Santo Domingo, 13, metro: Santo Domingo) is an exclusive coctelería hidden in 16th century underground caves. In addition to enjoying a friendly service and fantastic gin&tonics, you will be amazed at the blazed floor that is lit up with colored optical fibers. Very romantic. You will, with no doubt, be able to relax in this chilled out atmosphere, which will be perfect for timid flirting with your date.
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CHEAP: TEMPLO DE DEBOD

Dates are nice, but you're seriously running out of money and you don't want to have to pay for better, expensive drinks just so that you can come across as a mature, sophisticated person. You could convince yourself that the moral thing to do would be to reveal your real self - hesitantly order "la cerveza más barata" at the bar and endure the waiter's contemptuous glare. Or you could avoid this issue and organize a charming, cheap picnic next to the Debod Temple (Calle Ferraz, 1, metro: Plaza de España). Even better if it is at sunset. Nothing better than the fiery sun diving into this wonderful view of Madrid to make sure that your new soulmate forgives you once they find out that you're cooking them Carrefour-made ravioli for your second date.

NOT-SO-CHEAP: TERRAZA DEL PALACIO DE CÍBELES

Going to the Terraza del Palacio de Cíbeles (Sexta Planta del Palacio de Cíbeles, Plaza de Cíbeles, 1, Metro: Banco de España) sends a clear "I like you" message and will spare you a lot of lost time and games - take it from a very serious, almost professional relationship councillor. The iconic building, the breathtaking view, the fantastic cocktails: there is no way that your rendez-vous could go wrong. You could even revise your synonyms for "beautiful"just in case the conversation dies, as the view will provide you with an ever-lasting subject for small chat. Of course, enjoying a Caipirinha in the madrileñan sky comes at a higher price, but paying 12 to 14€ for your cocktail is very much worth it.

UNIQUE: MICROTEATRO POR DINERO

If you are wanting to make this date an exceptional one,Microteatro por Dinero (Calle Loreto y Chicote, 9, Metro: Gran Vía) will be the place to go. In addition to being located in an old brothel transformed into a bar, the venue also hosts a variety of micro-plays, which last for a maximum 15 minutes, within a 15 square meter room and which are performed in front of 15 people. Just like a short-story, these mini-plays do follow a plot but their intensity is heightened in order for them to be able to develop their theme in such a small amount of time. Being set in a bar, your date will be a lot more casual than if you go to the theater, which is a significantly more risky activity to pick for a first date. Perfect if you are looking for a different, fun and genuinely interesting evening to share with good company.

EARNEST: EL TELEFÉRICO DE MADRID

Oscar Wilde knew it: being earnest will serve you well, especially on a first date. So you might as well do the one activity that you've vainly promised yourself to accomplish this year, knowing very well that it probably wouldn't happen. That's right, take a ride on the Teleférico de Madrid, which, leaving from the Estación de Rosales in Parque del Oeste or from the Estación de Casa de Campo, will take you, for 5,80€ return, higher up in the skies of Madrid. The view is, quite obviously, incredible, and you can even have a drink or a meal on the terrace of theRestaurante del Teleférico, while you enjoy what is possibly the best view of the city.

SHY: SUPER 8 CINE&CAFÉ

Some of us (or is it just me?) don't feel that comfortable when it comes to indirectly explaining to someone they don't know well why it is exactly that you should like each other. Which is, after all, what dates are all about. To this very unfortunate problem, the solution is Friday evenings atSuper 8 Cine&Café (Calle Joaquín Bau, 1, Metro: Plaza de Castilla). This super cute, super intimate, super charming café can help you thanks to the best idea that a café owner ever had: showing a good movie while you enjoy their heavenly pastries. Which means that you will have a good time, eat well, do something a little bit different, and all of this without having to ask your date if they want to go to the cinema with you and inevitably getting this uneasy feeling of being 12 years old again.

CONFIDENT: PARQUE DEL TÍO PÍO

The Tío Pío Park, also known as Parque de las Siete Tetas (hence the confidence), is located just outside Madrid but is easily accessible by bus (with the 141, which leaves from the Atocha station). Walk to the [Mirador de Vallecas](SHY: SUPER 8 CINE&CAFÉ

Some of us (or is it just me?) don't feel that comfortable when it comes to indirectly explaining to someone they don't know well why it is exactly that you should like each other. Which is, after all, what dates are all about. To this very unfortunate problem, the solution is Friday evenings at Super 8 Cine&Café (Calle Joaquín Bau, 1, Metro: Plaza de Castilla). This super cute, super intimate, super charming café can help you thanks to the best idea that a café owner ever had: showing a good movie while you enjoy their heavenly pastries. Which means that you will have a good time, eat well, do something a little bit different, and all of this without having to ask your date if they want to go to the cinema with you and inevitably getting this uneasy feeling of being 12 years old again.

CONFIDENT: PARQUE DEL TÍO PÍO

The Tío Pío Park, also known as Parque de las Siete Tetas (hence the confidence), is located just outside Madrid but is easily accessible by bus (with the 141, which leaves from the Atocha station). Walk to the Mirador de Vallecas to enjoy an amazing view of the whole city from this chilled out terrace. Another bonus is that this park is not very well-known, which means that you will undoubtedly seem an - attractive and confident - loose canon that likes to think outside the box. Feeling like combining cheap with confident? Organize a picnic at sunset from the viewpoint. High five.