On the lookout for the perfect issues to do in Madrid, Spain? These are my high picks.

Madrid is the capital metropolis of Spain and a sight to behold. Stuffed with fancy structure, vibrant nightlife, greater than 15,000 eating places and lovely parks and palaces, it actually does supply one thing for everybody. 

Not like Barcelona, Madrid is landlocked. Because of this there are not any seashores so beware because it will get sizzling right here in the summertime. Fortunately, you possibly can nonetheless discover nice seafood right here, loads of which is shipped in the identical day.

You may as well use Madrid as a place to begin for different cities within the space because it’s a giant hub and simply accessible from main airports.

I flew into Madrid and rented a automobile earlier than driving south to Granada after which west to Portugal, for instance. You’ll be able to entry public transport right here, from trains to buses, and go to France or Italy if the temper strikes. 

I like to recommend giveingyourself a day or two of restoration although, since Madrid is certain to put on you out. Individuals discuss New York, however Madrid is the true metropolis that by no means sleeps. 

Madrid residents are out until 6am on a weekday, and again at work by 10am! I give them props. 

Should you’re visiting this metropolis, come ready with some Advil, strolling sneakers and an urge for food. Listed here are the highest factor to do in Madrid, Spain that you simply can’t mis. 



1. Eat churros and chocolate

Let’s begin with the one factor on everybody’s thoughts — churros. These scrumptious, cinnamon sugar creations are broadly accessible round Spain and located at almost each nook in Madrid.

The well-known store is Chocolateria San Gines, however the reality is you possibly can’t go incorrect regardless of the place you discover them. 

Significantly — fried dough with sugar. How is {that a} recipe for something apart from deliciousness? To not point out, loads of the smaller cafes take satisfaction of their meals and supply surprisingly connoisseur plates at an inexpensive worth. 

On my meals tour of the Huertas neighborhood we went to a spot known as Chocolat and ate porras, mainly churros on steroids. 

The most effective a part of this dish is the new chocolate it comes with for dipping. Too thick to drink, it’s sometimes served with a spoon.

Overlook the weight-reduction plan while you’re in Madrid and ensure to indulge on this candy pairing. 

2. Go to Plaza Mayor 

Plaza Mayor is the historic middle of town, courting again tot he 15th century. The entrances have been constructed additional vast so horses and carriages might match by means of. 

The plaza’s function has not all the time been constructive — this was as soon as the place the place public executions and bullfights have been held. The unique function, nonetheless, was to function a market, and at this time it nonetheless features in that very same regard.

There are outlets and eating places all through the perimeter of the sq.. There are additionally occasions held within the middle relying on the seasons.

The annual San Isidro celebrations, for example, are held right here and have been being arrange after I visited in mid-Might. 

Should you’re in search of a calamari sandwich, an area staple, take a look at La Very best for a meal that’s each filling and inexpensive. 

Watch out right here at evening as there’s a big homeless inhabitants. 

3. Go to a rooftop bar

Rooftops are type of a giant deal in Madrid, a lot so that you simply’ll discover folks gladly mingling exterior versus absorbing the A/C inside.

They’re particularly well-liked at sundown and in the course of the weekends, so for those who’re planning on visiting one name forward to see for those who want reservations. 

I went to a hostel known as The Hat that had a hip crowd. I didn’t like that there wasn’t a bar for sitting, nonetheless, solely tables for teams. As a solo traveler, this made lingering troublesome. 

Different options embody Mercado San Anton, a meals market, and Gymage, a gymnasium, theatre, spa and restaurant multi function. 

4. Go to the bear 

The picture of a wild bear and strawberry tree could be seen on the coat of arms of metropolis courting again to the 13th century. The title in Spanish is La Osa y el Madroño.

Earlier than Madrid changed into the expansive city wonderland it’s at this time, it was surrounded be fields and farmlands, with some bear inhabitants. 

This statue, erected within the 1960’s, is supposed to personify the coat of arms and symbolize the mixing of each agriculture and authorities, with the bear leaning into and supporting the tree. 

It’s situated on the Plaza del Sol, one other main hub of town. 


5. See the Royal Palace

That is the official residence of the Spanish royal household in Madrid however isn’t used for that function. Principally, it serves as a web site for ceremonies and particular occasions.

The king presently lives within the outskirts of Madrid, on the much less opulent Zarzuela Palace.

Excursions can be found every day. The palace has over 3,000 rooms, together with a grand staircase with 70 steps in addition to a royal kitchen, armoury and pharmacy.

There’s a altering of the guards ceremony held on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11am, and in July and August from 10am to midday.

There’s additionally an extended Solemn Altering of the Guard ceremony held the primary Wednesday of each month at midday. 

Should you go at evening, all the place is lit up by lights and is beautiful.

There was additionally reside music enjoying after I went because of a avenue performer who I think about is an everyday there, so it’s a soothing scene. 

6. Watch the sundown at Templo de Debod 

The Templo de Debod is an genuine Egyptian temple in the course of Madrid. It dates again to the second century however was donated to Madrid within the mid-1900’s, formally opening to the general public in 1972.

It was donated to town to put it aside from floods and sits in the course of a pond, reflecting the monument on a transparent day. 

The within walkway is closed to guests however you possibly can stroll across the perimeter.

The temple is oriented from East to West, permitting you to see the sundown over this iconic sight. The daring orange and crimson hues make this a favourite spot throughout twilight. 

7. Discover the Prado Museum 

The Prado museum is gigantic — assume Spain’s model to the Louvre. You will have 3-Four hours simply to do a highlights tour. 

There are various notable works inside, from artists like Francisco Goya, Raphael and Rembrandt. The works listed here are extra within the classical type, with a mixture of work and sculptures. 

There’s an audio information accessible that gives context for the paintings. Should you’re going by yourself, I feel it’s essential so that you simply perceive what you’re taking a look at and aren’t overwhelmed by the sheer variety of items. 

There’s a cafe, bookstore and present store inside. No tripods or giant baggage are allowed within the museum — they may must be checked.

You may get in without cost the final two hours of the museum, Monday to Saturday from 6pm to 8pm and Sundays and holidays from 7pm to 9pm. 

8. Get pleasure from fashionable artwork on the Reina Sofia Museum 

If classical paintings isn’t actually your type, stroll to the close by Reina Sofia Museum and luxuriate in modern artwork. Nicely-known artists showcased right here embody Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro and Salvador Dali. 

It is a newer museum, inaugurated in 1992, and is the final cease on the “Golden Triangle” of artwork, consisting of the Prado Museum, Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen. 

Should you’re doing analysis, that is the place to be. There’s an enormous library on web site with greater than 10,000 books about artwork. 

There’s free admission each Monday to Friday from 7pm to 9pm, Saturdays from 2.30pm to 9pm or Sundays from 10am to 2.30pm.


9. Stroll Buen Retiro Park 

This park used to belong to a Spanish monarch earlier than it turned public land within the early 1900’s. It’s the greatest park in Madrid (what Central Park is to New York Metropolis) and spans 350 acres. 

There’s a lake, monuments, sculptures, galleries and particular gardens.

There’s additionally a glass palace, the Palacio de Cristal, which used to accommodate crops and now serves as an occasions venue. It’s additionally been changed into an artwork set up previously. 

In the course of the summer time months, it is a well-liked place for residents to come back, sleep on the grass and luxuriate in a day with their households.

It’s open year-round, rain or shine, until 10pm or midnight relying on the season.

10. Go to the Actual Jardin Botanico 

This backyard is situated proper subsequent to the Prado Museum, on function. King Carlos III hoped to determine a posh centered across the pure sciences.

The backyard is split into Three terraces boasting greater than 90,000 crops. There’s additionally two greenhouses which might be divided into 4 rooms, every with a unique local weather like desert or tropical.

There’s a herbarium on web site with preserved crops for research, that includes greater than 10,000 drawings. 

Once I went, it was €5 to enter. On a pleasant day, you’ll see a line across the nook ready to get in. Stroll across the perimeter earlier than you pay to enter so you possibly can see what’s in bloom.

You’ll be able to decide to go together with a information if you wish to know extra in regards to the crops grown right here and their makes use of. 

11. Store at El Corte Ingles for the views 

El Corte Ingles is a sequence division retailer in Spain, type of like Macy’s. 

You’ll discover them everywhere in the metropolis, however the one in Callao is value a cease for this breathtaking view. Head to the highest ground to see the view of Gran Through, one among Madrid’s busiest streets. 

The handle is: Plaza del Callao, 2, S0, 28013 Madrid, Spain.

It’s really useful that you simply go to for the sundown or at evening to catch town in its prime. This is among the hottest issues to do in Madrid, Spain, so count on to have some competitors in snapping the proper shot. 

12. Take a tapas tour 

If you wish to eat like an area, tapas are the one strategy to go.

I like meals excursions as a result of they function an incredible introduction to town. You style typical delicacies with the assistance of a information, and get to pattern a number of plates in a brief period of time. 

My tour took us to lesser identified neighbored markets and household eating places, with an abundance of tasty meals.

We tried at the very least 12 totally different variations of olives, Spanish sausage, vermouth, olive oil and ham, to call a number of. 

Come hungry! There’s loads of meals served and also you gained’t have the ability to stroll all of it off. 

Should you determine to go tapas tasting by yourself, you need to cease by Bodega de la Ardosa for the perfect tortilla within the metropolis — belief me on this one. 


13. Have lunch at Mercado San Miguel 

That is essentially the most well-known market in Madrid, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t embody it on this checklist.

Whereas it’s not my favourite after having visited a few of the smaller and extra personable markets, it is a feast for the eyes and mouth. 

I met up with some buddies right here and tried objects at totally different outlets. There’s seating across the perimeter, though it’s restricted.

It is a good place to cease for lunch and choose up one thing that’s seize and go. It’s the place to get mouth-watering IG tales. 

14. Watch a flamenco present 

Flamenco is a key aspect of the Spanish tradition. I caught a present whereas I used to be in Barcelona, but when that is your first time to Spain then you possibly can’t go away with out seeing a present in Madrid. 

The flamenco homes are known as “tablaos” and often include dinner as properly, though the meals half isn’t a discount.

Search for a spot that has reside music. Exhibits final about an hour.

Well-liked venues embody Corral de la Moreria, Casa Patas and Cafe de Chinitas. 

15. Go to the Atocha prepare station

This prepare station doubles as a botanical backyard and turtle sanctuary. 

The station dates again to the 1800’s and is among the many oldest within the metropolis. It’s additionally the place you possibly can catch a prepare to Cervantes’ hometown, the creator of Don Quijote. 

There are regional and excessive pace trains accessible right here, in addition to procuring choices. There’s a turtle pond with goldfish and dozens of turtles.

Get pleasure from views from above by eating within the mezzanine of the station’s restaurant whereas ready on your prepare, or whereas merely passing by means of. 

16. Take a free strolling tour of town

Should you’re trying for lots of data in a short while, I like to recommend taking a free strolling tour.

These excursions are primarily based on ideas, so yo pay what you assume it was value on the finish.

Often, the guides work additional laborious since they wish to earn your cash. They run every day from totally different places all through town relying on the sights which might be of curiosity to you. 

They often hit the highlights, making this an incredible introduction for first-time guests to town. You might have multiple choice when it comes to tour supplier, together with Free Tour of Madrid and New Europe Excursions. 

17. Purchase secret cookies from nuns 

In Madrid, there’s a cloister of nuns that bakes cookies all day. You’ll be able to’t work together with them, however for those who get the password, ring the key bell and get them to show the lazy Susan for you, you may simply have the ability to make a purchase order. 

The nuns and their bakes items could be discovered on the Monastery of Corpus Christi. Enjoyable truth: Cervantes was buried on this monastery.

You’ll must first find the door buzzer that claims “Horario: Venta de Dulces” after which get previous the door to the signal that claims “Torno,” after which you’ll see the menu and repair window. 

You gained’t really see a nun all through this complete expertise, however for those who’re fortunate you may stroll away with some cookies. 

As it is a troublesome spot to search out, and be let into, go together with tempered expectations and see it extra as a scavenger hunt of types. 


These are simply a few of the finest issues to do in Madrid, Spain. Did your favourite make the checklist? Remark under and let me know. 

Until subsequent time, protected travels! 

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