Bar La Muralla: once the most famous bar in Spain

25 July 2019

Welcome to Bar La Muralla, a perfect, no-frills gem that does what it says on the window… and quite a bit more.

In 2014, this archetypal corner bar in the southern barrio of Madrid, Villaverde, was the protagonist for the 2014 Christmas lottery advert. For the month leading up to Christmas that year, all of Spain’s hearts were captured by a community-centred story staged in this no-frills gem…

But, just five years after filming, you would never imagine that this no-frills time-capsule had reached such fame and well, not really fortune, despite what Part 2 of the Christmas lottery story might suggest…

Also, what’s with all that snow?

But then, the staying power of Bar La Muralla all makes sense – it’s stubborn in all the right ways. The terrazzo floor isn’t chipped so they haven’t replaced it, the hand-painted window lettering hasn’t faded so they haven’t wiped it away. The steel bar is still sturdy so they haven’t ripped it out, and their local customers are still trickling in so they haven’t closed down.

It ain’t broke, so don’t fix it. Ever. Welcome to Bar La Muralla, a faded Madrid glory still going strong.

Note: the old guy moved. I wonder if he knew he’d make an even better shot sitting right in front of me there…

As you can tell from the photo above, with my caña clara con limón, this was a solo adventure. Something I like about Madrid is that drinking and dining alone is normal, unlike in the UK where I’m from (unless you have a laptop as a friend).

Here, the bar is an extension of the home and I always feel comfortable going alone. It’s also often then when the most interesting conversations begin, just like the amazing Christmas lottery story.


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Carmen 25 July 2019 at 11:34 am

“La Muralla” is also where Jordi Évole interviewed policitians Errejón and Madina a few years back for “Salvados” (

Great blog, by the way. Always a pleasure to discover (or re-discover) my home town through your eyes. Keep up the good work!

Madrid No Frills 25 July 2019 at 4:31 pm

Thanks Carmen! 😉


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