A selection of the best activities, exhibitions, sporting events and more in Madrid in 2019
Enjoy a getaway to La Hiruela – near enough to Madrid to go by car (private or shared)
Discover destinations with historical sites, amazing art and unmissable gourmet treats
Great chefs of Spanish cuisine have chosen Madrid as the home for their restaurants. Recipients of Michelin stars the likes of David Muñoz, Ramón Freixa and Sergi Arola have premises in the capital, eateries where you'll not just refuel, but relish an extraordinary dining experience. That said, be sure your wallets are full and your credit cards are paid off before booking.
After a big night out, or to fuel up for a busy Sunday, there's nothing better than the feast that is weekend brunch. You may have been brunching it up for years, but Madrid's only caught on to the trend relatively recently, which means the city's cafés, bars and restaurants are doing their best to outshine each other, and we're the ones reaping all the benefits. Some places do brunch during the week, but the weekend is when it really fluorishes, with varied menus including pastries and coffee, eggs Benedict, fruit, and even hamburgers and cocktails. Try out as many of our selection of the best places to brunch as you can, and revel in the gastronomic pleasure of a leisurely weekend feast.
Madrid's nightlife never stops. From Monday to Sunday, you can go out until the early hours of the morning and end up eating churros with chocolate for breakfast in any café, along with taxi drivers starting their shift. You'll have no trouble finding just the right spot to fit your mood among the myriad bars, big nightclubs, and small pubs that have earned their place on the scene. Here's our selection of the best clubs in Madrid so you can head out and not worry about a thing except having a good time, whatever your taste in music and ambience.
With all the fine weather in Madrid, one of the great joys is discovering a corner of the city with a lovely terrace to sit and grab a cool drink and lip-smacking-good tapas. With our list of 23 stellar terraces, you can find spots to watch the afternoon change to evening over the city's rooftops, or cool off in the warmest months surrounded by lush vegetation or even dipping your feet in a pool while enjoying a cocktail.
Bars that are already classics on the Madrid nightlife scene, places with amazing decor, spots where you can get tapas galore, where you can see free concerts and even take part in cultural activities, bars with tasty cold beer and impressive wine cellars... It's time for us to indulge a bit and recommend our favourite Madrid bars right now. We toil at discovering new bars on a regular basis, so stay tuned for new additions.
The American import par excellence has undergone a huge transformation in recent years. So when in Madrid, don't settle for global fast food joints or giant themed restaurants casting shadows on Gran Vía in your quest for a great burger. Our hunt for perfect patties and fantastic fries turned up more than just those or snooty gourmet versions of the American classic (though a few of them as well). The obsession with fine ingredients that has gripped burger-makers in New York and London for the last few years has caught on in the Spanish capital too, with happy results: our list of the best burgers in Madrid (and where to get them) includes 1950s-style American diners, signature restaurant versions, and even experiments with (gulp!) zebra, proving that Spanish versions of US cuisines are much more than just a load of old carne picada.
Set lunch menus for less than €10, budget dishes that don't skimp on servings, free tapas when you buy a drink.. Going out for lunch or dinner in Madrid without spending a fortune is possible when you know where to find the deals. One of the ways Madrid's restaurants have dealt with the economic recession is to offer cheap eats to their clients. Head out for a meal at the weekend and still be able to stay within your monthly budget with these spots where you can find quality food, pleasant surroundings and prices that will make you and your wallet happy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zip through the streets of Madrid on a revolutionary Segway! Not only is it easy but, loads of fun as well. You will see the Royal Palace, the Almudena, Templo de Debod and the Mayor and de Espana Plaza's on this unique tour.
The Urban is a five-star deluxe hotel located in the heart of Madrid, within walking distance of the Spanish Parliament building. This Art Deco–style establishment, set in an avant-garde building, has 96 designer rooms and suites, meeting rooms and multipurpose spaces for events, an outdoor pool, a solarium, a gym, a sauna, a gourmet restaurant and an oyster cocktail bar. Its decoration is dominated by artworks of great historical value.
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.
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.
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.
If you want classy, design boutique Dear Hotel wants to give it to you. Cross the threshold of the neoclassical building into an interior design by award-winning Tarruella Trenchs Studio that combines original elements with contemporary and cosmopolitan touches. Your room is your soundproofed luxury cocoon when you want to relax at the end of a long day of discovering Madrid. Decorated in natural, warm textures, every room looks onto the emblematic Gran Vía or Plaza de España. Be sure to get up to the rooftop terrace for spectacular panoramic views and to take a dip in the Sky Pool when the weather permits.
The Silken Puerta América will not be to all tastes, probably least of all those of the business travellers attracted by its proximity to Barajas 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.
Near Paseo de la Castellana, bordering the Salamanca district, stands the Miguel Ángel hotel, with a total of 267 fully equipped guest rooms and a variety of five-star amenities. Its elegant facilities, spa service and fitness centre, along with world-class dining and attentive staff offer guests a more than comfortable stay.
Get exclusive and luxury treatment at Eurostars Madrid Tower. The hotel spans the first 31 floors of the imposing SyV Tower and offers views across the city and to the mountains beyond from the rooms, the spa, the Volvoreta restaurant and many of the meeting rooms. Cush rooms are kitted out in luxurious walnut furniture, and they all come with a pillow menu – a pillow menu! Head to the spa to work out, or better yet, to get a massage or other relaxing or beautifying body treatment, and when you want top-notch Mediterranean cusine, get to Volvoreta on the 30th floor: the views make for the perfect digestif.
More than half a century after it opened, the Wellington is still extremely graceful, with chandeliers, marble and murals, and groups of guests in formal evening wear milling about the lobby. Polite staff are on hand to cater to your every need. The hotel is just a stone's throw from the city's most expensive shopping area, Salamanca, and has a summer pool with terrace – ideal for relaxing after all that retail therapy. Rooms vary in size and are decorated in a conservative but classic style, and the hotel's main restaurant, Goizeko, serves Basque dishes in elegant surroundings.
Although it's a modern, rather nondescript building from the outside, the lavishly entitled Villa Magna, a Park Hyatt Hotel, more than lives up to its reputation – and prices – on the inside. The huge lobby, full of jewellery displays, international businesspeople and polite staff, leads to two excellent restaurants and a champagne bar, whose lunch menu is surprisingly reasonably priced. The 164 rooms and 18 suites, looking out over the busy Paseo de la Castellana or the exclusive C/Serrano, have good facilities and, like the rest of the hotel, are spacious and elegantly decorated. There's also a top-notch gym, if keeping fit is part of your agenda.
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.
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
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.
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.
The renowned Paco Morales works as a consultant to this centrally-located restaurant set inside the Hotel de Las Letras. So, here haute cuisine (in plating) goes hand in hand with a more informal approach (no tablecloths), and the restrictions of exclusive establishments are left aside to focus on customers, who can elaborate their own menu according to their personal taste. With just a quick look at the menu, which to quote the Michelin-starred chef is 'well-travelled and very fresh', you’re sure to find plenty to seduce you.
Once you discover this sandwich shop, you won't be able to stop recommending it to everyone you know or going there every chance you get to see if there's any room for you; this is not a simple task because there aren't a lot of tables and you're not its only fan – be sure to book at weekends. They also don't make it easy for you to choose a favourite among the dozen or so recipes, and just when you think you might have one, they change up the menu and you have to try something new that's calling your name. They make the bread themselves, and the creations of Itamar Taub, the young and more than capable chef, are just as gorgeous as they are filling. Traditional Spanish flavours mix with those from other latitudes, between the same two slices of bread or in separate sandwiches. From Provençal chicken to chicken masala, it's around the world in a sandwich. They also have good coffee and wonderful craft beers.
Delight with a spectacular cuisine and an unforgettable stay in the district of Chamberí. The Bacira restaurant show to te rest of the restaurante the true meaning of the word "quality". The melting and mixing of sensations is the hallmark of the restaurant, teh restaurant combines a traditional atmosphere with a modernist and minimalist decor. No less impressive is its cuisine, with bases in the Mediterranean cuisine adds a "fusion" touch of different cuisines (Andalusian, Japanese ...) the result is unique. The Bacira restaurant is special and they want that his guests feel special, so the treatment they offer is exquisitek, and if we add all the benefits already stated, the result is a restaurant you should not miss.
If you are looking for a different and charming restaurant, Tomato Bar is the perfect place! It is located in Madrid's Chamberí district, close to Plaza Colón. It is a restaurant that specializes in Mediterranean cuisine and market. Tomato Bar has an extensive and varied menu, where you can find dishes prepared at all times and more forceful in serving lunch and dinner dishes. Some of his proposals are squid with fried egg, octopus carpaccio with piparra or Steak tartare with wasabi ice cream, among many others. Breakfast, lunch, daily specials, dinner and cocktails at Bar Tomate. In addition, Friday nights and Saturdays feature Dj until 02: 00h in the morning.Book now and see for yourself!
Pajarita restaurant is located in the neighborhood of Malasaña in Madrid. It is an innovative specialist cocian modern fusion restaurant lográ surprise any diner. Upon entering the restaurant Bow Tie, entered a room full of surprises. The decor is minimalist and warm, complementing the interesting gastronomic proposal of therestaurant. Highlights of the letter macarons of roasted suckling pig and chicken wings in icing.
Lying beside the vaunted Triball area, this small restaurant is usually filled at weekends by the huge influx of people visiting the neighbourhood. Here you can start the night with a few snacks or book a table for casual dining. On offer are 20 dishes ranging from a seasonal cream soup to mushroom risotto and grilled octopus.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A diamond in the rough, the diminutive Casa Camacho has changed little since it opened in 1928, except for the addition of a fruit machine and a TV – both in constant use. Pre-war dust coats the bottles and plastic flowers on display and the floor is a sea of toothpicks and crumbs, but for a slice of real neighbourhood life it can't be beat, though nowadays it tends to fill up with local hipsters. Make sure you try a 'yayo'.
Artificial leather sofas for relaxing on at odd times of the day. It often gets a bit wild when hosting events, which include screenings, jam sessions and literary presentations, always accompanied by heterogeneous and atypical cocktail creations or an Italian aperitif (Wed-Sat from 9pm).
This little vintage café located in the heart of Madrid hosts all kinds of events thanks to the infinite creativity of its owner. Markets, showrooms, art exhibitions, presentations, mini-concerts... everything has a place in this lovely bar decorated with antique chairs, worn wooden tables and retro pieces. Its clientele is young, hip and cultured, and very typical of Malasaña. It has an intense daytime agenda, but nothing can beat the pleasure of drinking a beer in this magical place after midnight. But don’t leave it too late because La Paca closes at a civilised hour.
Each week they prepare a set menu that’s both honest and accessibly priced. The food is home style and will leaving you wanting to come back for more. An updated version of a traditional Madrid tavern. The wine list is limited but has some pleasant surprises.
Where the modern and the traditional meet
You can feel literature and art all around in every one of the streets
Madrid's gayest barrio has an air of constant fun about it
Going out for beers in La Latina is a Madrid tradition
Diversity and big fun in equal parts
Where you go for charming shops, restaurants and cafés
Gay conversion therapy gets the indictment it deserves, from an insightful script based on a you-are-there tell-all, and an outstanding cast
Finally, a DC superhero movie that doesn’t take itself (at all) seriously
This satisfyingly spooky film finds so-far unmined depth in Stephen King’s undead pet yarn
Tim Burton’s live-action take on the animation classic veers from bland to bonkers and back again
Gonzo feminist shocks meets male-gaze fantasy. Feminism comes out on top – just.
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