12 Things to do in Madrid

Are you looking for things to do in Madrid? The Spanish Capital is a stunning city with a lot to offer its visitors.

Here you can find everything from charming tapas restaurants och shopping to cool museums and top-class soccer games. Let’s explore the best things to do in Madrid!

Go on a city stroll

Madrid is full of beautiful buildings, great parks, charming coffee shops, and restaurants. The city is perhaps best explored on foot, so a free walking tour in Madrid is a great way to make the most out of your visit. 

Take in all the historic sights and explore the city on foot. Even though Madrid is a large city we recommend walking a lot (except if you’re traveling from one neighborhood to another).

If you want to learn more about the culture and the city, we recommend a guided tour of the city. There are countless things to see and do in Madrid. Make sure to keep an eye out for all the hidden spots in this city.

walking tour madrid
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Shop at the El Rastro Market in La Latina

El Rastro is a Sunday market in La Latina, which is also one of the most famous ones in the country. This is the perfect spot to shop for some souvenirs from your Madrid trip. 

Since this market is so popular, be ready for a crowded area filled with both locals and tourists. The streets around the market consist of clothing stores, and antique shops.

Rastro shopping
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Eat tapas in Mercado San Miguel

If you’re interested in food, we highly recommend Mercado San Miguel. This is a famous art-nouveau style food market located in the central park of Madrid.

Both tourists and locals come here to enjoy the delicious food at some of the many restaurants and coffee shops. 

You have plenty of options if you want to eat tapas in Madrid. Most of the spots have classic tapas dishes such as gambas al ajillo, patatas bravas, Spanish omelet, and jamón ibérico. Enjoy the tapas food paired with a glass of wine or cava.

Mercado San Miguel
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Flamenco tablaos

Flamenco is a dance that originated in Andalusia, Murcia, and Extremadura. This dance style is very popular in Madrid, and they have plenty of shows.

You can watch the flamenco shows in a tablao and enjoy a glass of sangria and some tapas. This is an incredible experience and we highly recommend it!

flamenco show
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Go on a ride in the Teleferico de Madrid

Go on a tide in Madrid’s only cable car, the Teleferico de Madrid to get a stunning view over the city. The cable car goes from Paseo del Pintor Rosales and over the river Manzanares in the Casa de Campo park. 

This experience will give you will get stunning views over both city and nature. 

madrid activities
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Visit the Prado

This museum is full of beautiful art and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Madrid. Just to name a few famous artists, here you can find art by Rubens, Goya, and Tuntoretto.

We recommend booking a guided tour here to get as much as possible out of our visit. You will definitely leave the museum with more knowledge about the art.

Things to do in Madrid
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Stroll around Plaza de Mayor

Plaza de Mayor is a large square in the central park of Madrid. This renaissance square was laid out in the early 1600s where many historic events took place.

This is a beautiful square surrounded with charming architecture, and the perfect spot to take a seat, order a coffee or glass of wine and people-watch. 

plaza mayor
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Relax in Parque del Retiro

Park del Retiro is a spacious park, that is around 400 years old. The park covers an area of 130 hectares and has around 15,000 trees. 

This park is a popular spot for locals, located in the heart of the city. Come here to ride a boat, enjoy a picknick or to get a break from the hectic city life.

Parque del Retiro
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Visit the Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real)

The royal palace in Madrid is an incredible place with many interesting rooms to explore. Both the inside as well as the outside will give you a stunning view of the beautiful architecture.

If you are interested in art and history, we highly recommend you to add this place to your bucket list of things to do in Madrid!

madrid attractions
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Go shopping on Gran Vía

On the streets Gran Vía, you can find many shopping malls, luxury stores as well as international stores such as H&M and Zara. Except for amazing shopping, people also come to this street to see the beautiful architecture or for the many bars and night clubs. 

gran via
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East churros at the Chocolateria San Gines

Chocolateria San Gines has served hot chocolate and churros since 1894 and it’s a very popular café in the city.

Even though most people come here for the churros and chocolate, we also recommend trying their other pastries. A stop at the Chocolateria San Gines is definitely a must when it comes to things to do in Madrid. 

Madrid activities
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See world-class football

Madrid is home to two of the best football teams in the world, Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid. 

If you’re interested in football, you’re in the right city. Watching a game at Bernabeu stadium and Vicente Calderon is both incredible experiences. Real Madrid is often considered to be the best football team in the world.

football teams in madrid
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Things to do in Madrid when it’s raining

  • Sit down and relax at one of the charming coffee shops
  • Visit a museum
  • Stop by the old tobacco store ”La Tabacalera”
  • Watch a flamenco show
  • Visit a jazz club
  • Go shopping indoors – El Corte Inglés, Plaza del Callao
  • Eat tapas in Mercado de San Miguel
  • Visit the historic Chamberí Metro Station
  • Go to see a movie – Cines Princesa and Cines Ideal (show movies with the original language)
  • Explore the inside of the royal palace
Things to do in Madrid when it rains
Photo: Martyn Jandula / Shutterstock.com

Things to do in Madrid with children

  • Visit Parque Warner
  • Go on a ride in the cable car Teleférico de Madrid
  • Shop at the flea market Rastro
  • Go drive go-carts at Carlos Sainz Go-Kart Center
  • Watch a flamenco show
  • Visit the botanical garden
  • Eat churros with hot chocolate
  • Look at street art around the city
  • Visit Circulo de Bellas for a wonderful view over Madrid
  • See a football match


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