Your ultimate guide to Madrid

Discover Madrid's best things to do, events, restaurants, bars, festivals, theatre and nightlife

Things to do

Madrid's 21 most beautiful places

Take in the beauty of Madrid's hidden gardens, ancient buildings, tucked-away cafés, gorgeous markets...

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Things to do

The best of the barrios

Discover Madrid's neighbourhoods with this guide to their top bars, restaurants, shops and more

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Art

Free art in Madrid

Get out and get your dose of the arts, and leave your wallet at home

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Restaurants

Where to taste traditional cuisine

Find the best traditional restaurants in Madrid, where you can dig into local cuisine in authentic surroundings

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Recommended restaurants

Restaurants Book online

Juanita Cruz

Juanita Cruz restaurant is located a few steps from the Alberto Alcocer, Madrid Avenue. This is an excellent restaurant serving international cuisine, the same group as other renowned restaurant Pipa & Co and Marieta. The gastronomic restaurant Juanita Cruz is fresh and innovative, is based on various cooked delicious cooked all with excellent raw materials from the best markets. In the restaurant's menu you will find tapas, Japanese specialties, delicious pizzas and other main dishes like ravioli with spinach and Galician octopus.

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Restaurants

Tándem

In the space of the now-defunct Motha, where you went to feel a bit happier (and which a few still miss), the little brother of TriCiclo now stands tall as one of the most successful restaurant openings of 2014 in Madrid. The new space shares a few winks and nudges with TriCiclo, such as its name – in tandem with the mothership and its location on the same street, just 100 metres away. In some cases the relationship is obvious. At first there was 'our Ferran's cannelloni' on the menu, and the same steak tartare. But now they've grown their own wings, they've got new goals, and Tándem is more casual, has a less orthodox timetable, and features a lighter menu. Although there is a bit of a trendy air about the place and it's managed to become a meeting point for a very mixed clientele whose ages range between 30 and 50, we could debate some interior décor decisions (as well as the comfort of the chairs and tables). But that's not much (after all, it's not intended to be a spot for lingering meals), which shows that the emphasis this time around is on the food, which does still have a bit of maturing to do (details such as the wine, which arrived far from its ideal serving temperature), but which opens up the already promising field of work for its three chef-proprietors. And now for the main attraction: the food. The seasoned oyster is a starter that sets the tone for the meal to come. First off, you get to choose between a touch of Thai or Peruvian for the seasoning. They're ou

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants

Álbora

Haute cuisine through the creative talent of David García, a Basque chef with experience in the kitchens of Spain’s most important restaurants. An experienced team in front of house and top-quality ingredients (from 'presa ibérica de Joselito' to wild sea bass) make this restaurant a solid, growing concern. It’s popular with critics and already has one Repsol sun.  

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants

Mercato Ballaró

Two floors. Different menus. The lower floor (with a bar and a few tables) is more informal, with fast service and small dishes made for sharing. Prices are higher in the restaurant upstairs but the cuisine is also more elevated, featuring more intricate dishes with more select ingredients that take you on a journey to Sicily.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Tours & Attractions

Madrid City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Get a unique view of Madrid aboard this open-top double-decker bus. There are two tours covering all of the city's highlights, from historical sites and monuments to the modern Madrid of skyscrapers and cosmopolitan architecture. 

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Madrid Super Saver: El Escorial Monastery and Toledo Day Trip from Madrid

Pay less and get more on this Madrid Super Saver tour, which combines a visit to El Escorial Monastery with a half-day tour of Toledo. Spend the morning at El Escorial monastery and the Valley of the Fallen monument, erected in memory of the millions who died in the Spanish Civil War. 

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Private Tour: Skip-the-Line Prado Museum Tour

Skip the line at the Prado Museum in Madrid, and see some of the most influential pieces of European artwork with your own private guide! Hear the history of the iconic building while walking around admiring masterpieces like Velazquez’s ‘Las Meninas,’ and learn about the different artistic movements that the museum represents.

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Madrid Card

Discover the rich history and culture of Madrid with your Madrid Card. Gain entry to over 50 museums, partake in a "Discover Madrid" walking tour or visit the Real Madrid Stadium Tour. With the choice of a 24 hour, 48 hour, 72 hour or 120 hour card, you can also enjoy discounts on shopping, restaurants and nightlife such as a flamenco show.

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Top hotels

Westin Palace Hotel

In the middle of the Art Triangle, formed by the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía museums, is where you'll find the Westin Palace, a landmark since King Alfonso XIII commissioned its construction to have a place to receive members of high society who visited Madrid in the early 20th century. Throughout its history, the hotel, famous for its glass dome and the events hosted there, has been a haven for international celebrities such as Picasso, Dalí, Einstein and Madame Curie.

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Hotel Ritz by Belmond

Located just a stone’s throw away from the Retiro, in the neighbourhood of the same name, this exclusive luxury hotel was built in 1910 on the orders of King Alfonso XIII. The facilities of the hotel, which is decorated in classical style, include a luxury spa, parking and free Wi-Fi. Its location makes it a handy base for visiting the Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums.

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Hotel Puerta América

The Puerta América will not be to all tastes, least of all, probably, those of the business travellers attracted by its proximity to the airport, but is a wonderland for design buffs. Each of its 12 floors and public spaces is designed by an all-star cast of architects, taking in Norman Foster, Richard Gluckman, Marc Jewson and Ron Arad. Guests can select the floor of their choice on arrival, but most popular tend to be Zaha Hadid's rooms (which appear to be sculpted from snowdrifts) or Arata Isozaki's studies in Japanese minimalism. The building itself (along with the pool and gym) was designed by Jean Nouvel.

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Relais & Châteaux Orfila

This small mansion in a tranquil residential area has been transformed into a quietly elegant five-star hotel. Built in the 1880s as a private home for an artistic family, the Orfila also housed a theatre and a literary salon during the 1920s. Thankfully, the hotel has held on to its 19th-century decor, not to mention its façade, carriage entrance and dramatic main stairway. The bedrooms are wonderfully quiet – once installed it's hard to believe you're in the middle of a bustling city – and one of the four suites is intimately tucked away in the attic. The elegant restaurant looks on to the lovely garden patio, and guests take tea in the lobby in the afternoon.

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Top bars

Bars and pubs

Bocadillo de Jamón y Champán

A ham sandwich and a glass of champagne? Together? Yes! Though it doesn't seem likely in this bar in the Alonso Martínez neighbourhood, they've managed to find a perfect combination in the pairing. It helps a lot, of course, that they use premium-quality Iberian ham and serve French champagne. Everything in this place invites you to stay, from the chic décor to the attentive staff. The sandwiches are delicious.

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Bars and pubs

La Chula de Chamberí

One of the best examples of a new-style-tavern in the city. Well-cooked dishes with quality produce and tempting wines. Cold cuts, small stews, open toasted sandwiches… The dining area features a few high tables and a lower table that seats eight where you can chat with friends about being a foodie in the know.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Bars and pubs

Docamar

If you want to try some of the best 'patatas bravas' in town, you’ll have to head out here, beyond the M-30 ring road. The merit of the dish is shared equally by the potatoes and the house sauce. Other specialities include pig’s ear and casseroled snails. The tables on the terrace are attractive when the good weather arrives.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Bars and pubs

Gorila

A comfortable place to come with your laptop and work a little over your morning coffee. Breakfasts are served and there’s always something to snack on during the day. In the evening, smoothies give way to mojitos and daiquiris. As well as samples of street art on the walls, temporary exhibitions are held here.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Bars and pubs

El Dinosaurio Todavía Estaba Allí

The name of this gastrobar (which translates to 'The Dinosaur Was Still There') betrays one of its specialities: books. They're constantly organizing literary presentations, poetry jams and the like. And while you're listening to verses, you can enjoy a good salad, topped toasts, and more elaborate dishes like veal ragout or a mini casserole. The offering is simple and homemade.

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La Colchonería de la Camarilla

Of the many traditional restaurants on this stretch of road, La Camarilla offers the most innovative versions of Spanish home cooking: gazpacho with mango, revuelto (scrambled egg) with mushrooms and parmesan, and various tasty cod dishes. The setting is reminiscent of a genteel 1930s hotel and the staff incredibly friendly. Creative tapas and a hearty menú del día are served in a relaxed front room and luxurious gourmet meals in an pleasant and colorful dining room.

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The latest film reviews

Film

Ricki and the Flash

Meryl Streep stars as a fading rocker in this off-kilter tale of rock & roll redemption from a master of the form

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Film

Lilting

A quiet, thoughtful London-set study of love, grief and cultural differences from Cambodian-born Hong Khaou

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Film

Vacation

This lazy retread of Harold Ramis’s 1983 'Vacation' sours everything that’s made that film such a favourite

Time Out says
  • 1 out of 5 stars
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Film

Mr Holmes

Ian McKellen's Sherlock is a cantankerous 93-year-old living by the seaside in Kent and keeping bees

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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