There are such a lot of superb things to do in Madrid that you simply may really feel a bit of overwhelmed by the alternatives however don’t stress because we obtained you coated.
In this guide, we’ll cowl the highest tourist sights, traditional food you just need to attempt, our favorite neighborhoods we know you’ll love exploring, and loads of local-approved spots you possibly can’t miss.
- 1 The Prime 10 Things to Do In Madrid
- 2 Go to Local-Accredited Tapas Bars
- 3 Take A Meals Tour
- 4 Prado Museum (Museo Nacional Del Prado)
- 5 The Queen Sofia Museum (Centro de Arte Reina Sofía)
- 6 Plaza Mayor
- 7 Puerta del Sol
- 8 Discover The Uber-Cool Malasaña & Chueca Neighborhoods
- 9 Wander El Retiro Park
- 10 Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
- 11 Catch The Latest Exhibition At The CaixaForum
- 12 Royal Palace (Palacio Real de Madrid)
- 13 Nice Views From Almudena Cathedral
- 14 Take a Free or Paid Walking Tour
- 15 Score a Deal at El Rastro Flea Market
- 16 Catch a Actual Madrid FC Match
- 17 Devour Scorching Chocolate and Churros
- 18 Take pleasure in Vermut Hour
- 19 Kick Back with a Frosty Caña
- 20 Discover Madrid’s Food Markets
- 21 Take A Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
- 22 Take A Specialized Tour
- 23 Get Out of Madrid With A Day Journey
- 24 More Spain Journey Ideas
The Prime 10 Things to Do In Madrid
Listed here are our prime belongings you shouldn’t miss when visiting Madrid.
- Eat Tapas All Day, Every Day
- Go to the Prado Museum & The Queen Sofia Museum In the course of the Day by day Free Occasions
- Marvel At One Of The World’s Largest Personal Artwork Assortment at The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
- Discover The Tremendous Hip Malasaña & Chueca Neighborhoods
- Devour Decadent Scorching Chocolate and Churros
- Discover Madrid’s Multiple Food Markets
- Visit Plaza Mayor and Eat A Fried Calamari Sandwich
- Beat The Heat With a Chilly Native Beer
- Get Some Recent Air in El Retiro Park
- Visit Toledo or Segovia As A Day Journey
Go to Local-Accredited Tapas Bars
Yes, Madrid has plenty of cultural sights, museums, and all that great things but we’re starting our listing off with the most effective issues about Madrid — tapas!
Every night time the tapas bars all through Madrid fill with locals who come to take pleasure in a chilly beer, a glass of wine, and a few tasty bites after work or as a light-weight dinner.
Tapas with James Blick
Nevertheless, like several metropolis, there are a variety of low-quality establishments that cater to the unknowing tourist crowd.
Luckily, we met up with James Blick (native Madrid tapas professional, knower-of-all-things-Spanish-food, and host of the Spain Revealed YouTube Channel) and he shared his favorite tapas bars:
Casa Toni: This can be a no-frills faucets bar is the sort of place you’d never walk into until an area informed you about it — which is strictly the type of spot we love. Furthermore, it’s situated in the Puerta del Sol area so it’s one of many few authentic spots on this largely “touristy” a part of town.
Chef Carlos is super pleasant and spends all night time cranking out all types of delicious and authentic dishes (and the prices are very reasonably priced).
Cerveriz: Just about every visitor ends up stopping by the well-known Mercado San Miguel however for a more authentic tapas experience James suggests testing the close by Cerveriz. This is another hidden family-run gem the place wife Maria-Angeles tends bar whereas husband Carlos knocks out Madrid’s wonderful tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelet).
Diaz y Larrouy: Situated on Calle Cava Baja (which is a famous road lined with greater than 50 tapas bars). A lot of the tapas bars on Calle Cava Baja are very strong but James recommends starting at Diaz y Larrouy. This wine bar has more than 30 wines they usually’re well-known for his or her tostas (which are principally tapas served on bread). He recommends ordering the slow-cooked pork, roasted purple peppers, and garlicky aioli tosta.
La Casa del Abuelo: That is James’ prime decide for ajillo (garlic prawns flash-fried in olive oil) in Madrid. Additionally, La Casa del Abuelo has been household owned and operated since 1906 so you understand they take delight of their work. They even make their own candy wine.
La Lastra: In search of a very native, no-frills experience? Then take a look at La Lastra. While it’s a bit outdoors the middle of city, you’ll be rewarded with low cost and wonderful conventional dishes like almejas (clams) or gambas (prawns) on the grill, and torreznos (huge, fats juicy fried pork stomach).
Take A Meals Tour
Talking of tapas, we’re massive fans of taking meals excursions since you possibly can study so much a few culture by way of its meals. And meals tours are a good way to pattern native dishes and study great restaurants to check out later.
We took a tour from Devour Excursions and had a great time.
Prado Museum (Museo Nacional Del Prado)
Madrid’s most famous museum is the Prado Museum. The Prado has a world-class collection of European artwork that spans from the 12th century to the early 19th century.
As an added bonus, the Prado is free Monday to Saturday from 6 pm to 8 pm and on Sunday from 5 pm to 7 pm. We discovered that we have been capable of easily see the highlights in two hours.
The Queen Sofia Museum (Centro de Arte Reina Sofía)
The subsequent main museum in Madrid is the Queen Sofia Museum. Right here you’ll see 20th-century artwork from principally Spanish artists and a smaller assortment from worldwide artists. The museum’s highlight is Picasso’s black and white Guernica painting.
The museum is free Monday to Friday from 7 pm to 9 pm, Saturday from 2.30pm to 9 pm, and Sunday from 10 am to 2.30pm. We propose arriving a bit earlier than the free time starts as the line tends to get lengthy.
Milan’s fundamental metropolis square is the Plaza Mayor. It’s one among Spain’s grandest squares so it’s value testing. We beloved visiting at night time as the buildings are superbly illuminated.
Unsurprisingly, the restaurants and cafes around the square are touristy and costly however the area surrounding the sq. is understood for eating places that serve bocadillos de calamares (fried calamari sandwich). Bar La Campana (see on Google Maps) is extensively thought-about to serve one of the best bocadillos de calamares in Milan.
Puerta del Sol
The Puerta del Sol is actually the center of Madrid. This public sq. also lies at the middle of Milan’s major buying space so all the time bustling with each vacationer and locals (okay, in all probability extra vacationers than locals). You’ll undoubtedly move by means of right here as you explore Madrid.
Discover The Uber-Cool Malasaña & Chueca Neighborhoods
Most people who go to Madrid have a tendency to stay to the areas around the very middle of Madrid and across the museums. But just about a 15-minute walk from the Puerta del Sol are two superior neighborhoods — Malasaña & Chueca.
Each neighborhoods are full of cafes, restaurants, coffee outlets, tapas bars, cocktail bars, boutique outlets, and other worldwide retail buying.
However the neighborhoods really come alive after work and at night time when the locals and tourists flock to the streets. It’s a vibrant environment that shouldn’t be missed.
Wander El Retiro Park
Take a break from the museums and tapas by spending a number of hours at El Retiro Park. Situated in central Madrid, El Retiro Park has plenty of timber, gardens, strolling paths, an art deco greenhouse, and a small lake where you’ll be able to lease rowboats.
One of many world’s biggest and largest personal artwork collections is homes on the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Here you’ll discover more than a thousand pieces of art starting from the 13th century to the late 20th century.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is free each Monday.
Catch The Latest Exhibition At The CaixaForum
Caixa Bank, certainly one of Spain’s largest banks, transformed a former electrical power station into a contemporary artwork museum/artistic area that showcases revolving exhibitions of recent and modern artwork, music, multimedia and extra. The works on show are all the time changing so that you by no means know what kinds of belongings you’re going to see on show.
Royal Palace (Palacio Real de Madrid)
Sure, Spain still has a Royal Family but this former residence is just used only for state ceremonies nowadays. The Royal Palace is large — actually, it’s the largest palace in Western Europe so go to to see how the royals used to reside.
The Royal Palace is one other prime sight so get there early if you wish to keep away from the long ticket strains. By the best way, admission is free on weeknights from 6-8pm.
Nice Views From Almudena Cathedral
Throughout the road from the Royal Palace is the Almudena Cathedral. Climb to the top for nice views of the town and the Royal Palace.
Admission to the cathedral is free admission nevertheless it’s €6 to visit its museum.
Take a Free or Paid Walking Tour
We all the time take a free strolling tour once you arrive in a new city as a result of it’s a simple method to study concerning the space.
Madrid has a handful of various free tour corporations:
Should you’re in search of a extra specialised tour with an skilled guide we advise testing Get Your Information.
Listed here are a number of of the preferred paid strolling tours:
Score a Deal at El Rastro Flea Market
While the products could be a little hit or miss, the El Rastro is Europe’s largest flea market and folk have been promoting all types of knickknacks there because the Center Ages. It’s a widespread spot for pickpockets so watch your stuff.
The world can also be a hotspot for genuine tapas bars so you’ll in all probability find higher deals behind the counter than at the market.
Catch a Actual Madrid FC Match
Actual Madrid FC is likely one of the most iconic soccer teams on the earth so watching a recreation alongside more than 81,00 other spectators is an unforgettable experience. It’s also possible to take a tour of the stadium should you’re an enormous fan.
Devour Scorching Chocolate and Churros
Should you don’t achieve 10 lbs solely from melted-chocolate-bar-thick scorching chocolate and churros you then’re doing something improper. Fortunately, there are a couple of really wonderful places that craft lovely churros, porras (primarily jumbo-sized churros), and scorching chocolate.
Listed here are our favorite spots:
- Chocolatería San Ginés: Probably the most famous place to get scorching chocolate and churros — they’ve been open because the 1890s. Sure, it is touristy and all the time busy but the service is tremendous quick. And it’s open 24/7! (See On Google Maps)
- El Riojano: El Riojano is another Madrid establishment (opened in 1855) well-known for his or her pastries and scorching chocolate (which many people say is even better than San Ginés). They don’t make churros however get your scorching chocolate with soletilla (principally a Spanish ladyfinger biscuit). This is very old-world kinda place. (See On Google Maps)
- Los Artesanos 1902 Chocolate: Another local favorite spot for churros and chocolate served in a pleasant environment. (See On Google Maps)
Take pleasure in Vermut Hour
Vermut (i.e. vermouth) is a standard drink that’s experiencing a resurgence in reputation throughout Spain. By the best way, Spanish vermouth isn’t the bitter fortified wine that we’re used to in the US. In Spain, vermouth is a sweet white wine that’s been infused with caramel and a mix of varied botanicals and spices (cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and so forth.). It’s critically delicious.
Vermouth is traditionally loved as a pre-lunch aperitif. In reality, despite being seen as an “old man’s drink”, the tradition of the La Hora del Vermut (Vermouth Hour) continues to be alive and nicely.
The place To Attempt Vermut:
- Bodegas Ricla: Tiny family-run bar that opened in 1867 & they serve up an ideal house-made vermut (additionally they have great wine). See On Google Maps.
- Casa Revuelta: Nicely-loved local spot famos for his or her fried cod. Additionally they have a pleasant home-made vermut. See On Google Maps.
- Casa Camacho: Old-fashioned bar with nice vermut that can also be well-known for their Yayo — a combined drink with vermouth, soda, and gin. See On Google Maps
Kick Back with a Frosty Caña
Spain tends to get scorching in the summer so the locals order small glasses of beer as a result of the large glasses get warm earlier than it may be finishes. These small glasses are referred to as cañas so in case you’re consuming a large pitcher it in all probability means you’re at a touristy place.
Beer is Spain tends to be mild and refreshing. The top three low cost beer brands in Spain are Mahou (brewed in Madrid since 1890), Cruzcampo (brewed in Seville since 1904), and Estrella Damm (brewed in Barcelona since 1876). As an added bonus, you’ll not often pay more than €1.50 for a caña in case you stick to these macrobrews.
Discover Madrid’s Food Markets
Mercado de San MiguelEl Mercado de San lldefonsoMercado de San AntónAntón Martín Market
There are two major kinds of markets in Madrid — conventional farmers markets selling recent elements and stylish markets crammed with distributors promoting ready foods, drinks, and so on.
- Mercado de San Miguel: That is the primary touristy market in central Madrid and it’s filled with distributors promoting tapas, cheese, baked goods, beer, vermouth, and extra. See On Google Maps
- Mercado de San lldefonso: This can be a fashionable three-story road meals market with 20 stalls promoting international fare and three cocktail bars — it virtually looks like a nightclub. See On Google Maps
- Mercado de San Antón: Cease by this multi-story market which has a small conventional market on the ground flooring and numerous prepared food stalls on the opposite floors (tapas, Spanish delicacies, dessert, drinks, and so forth.). And there’s also a really nice outside rooftop terrace with cool metropolis views. See On Google Maps
- Mercado de Antón Martín: For a real traditional market experience with vendors selling recent produce, meats, cheese, olive oil and just about all the things else head to the Mercado de Antón Martín. There are a number of stalls that sell prepared meals however that is principally a spot to do your buying. See On Google Maps
Take A Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours are all the time a well-liked solution to see lots of a city in a brief amount of time. Take a look at Madrid City Tour as they offer a one or two day move.
Take A Specialized Tour
Some individuals love diving deep right into a topic in order that they love issues like guided museum tours. Take a look at Get Your Guide to look into these totally different sorts of private excursions.
Get Out of Madrid With A Day Journey
Spain has a handful of wonderful cities within a one to three-hour practice journey from Madrid. Listed here are the preferred options:
Toledo is a simple 30 minutes practice experience from Madrid and costs around €12 each method. This breathtaking hill city is topped with cathedrals and an Alcázar citadel. This can be a common destination for day-trippers so it does get a bit crowded.
Segovia is another nice Madrid day journey that’s solely a 30-minute practice journey away and tickets are solely €13 each method. As soon as in Segovia, you’ll find a wonderful citadel, a tremendous Roman aqueduct, and an enormous gothic cathedral.
Day Journey Ideas:
- Practice Travel Tip One: The trains to those places sell out typically so we extremely advocate reserving ahead — even when it’s simply by a couple of hours.
- Practice Travel Tip Two: The ticket strains can get fairly long and most of the automated ticket machines only accept contactless playing cards. That’s why we booked our tickets with the Omino Practice Ticket App. (i.e. we didn’t should cope with strains or shopping for tickets on the station).
- Practice Travel Ideas Three: You’ll need to undergo a fast security examine so give your self an additional 10-15 minutes for that.
More Spain Journey Ideas
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