In Madrid for 7 days? Here’s what to do
There’s always something new to see in Madrid, a neighbourhood to discover, a museum to visit, or a terraza to stumble upon for a glass of vermouth. We have heaps of ideas for your seven-day trip to Madrid so that you make the most of your week in the capital. Explore the historic centre and admire the famous landmarks, go on a tour around the most authentic bars in the city, visit El Rastro in search of hidden gems, and visit the many parks and gardens for a breath of fresh air. We also have some suggestions for a day out with the family if your kids are with you because, in Spain's capital city, there’s something for everyone.
A WEEK IN MADRID: WHAT TO DO
Walk around the historic centre and visit iconic monuments
The best way to immerse yourself in the atmosphere, Madrileña way of life and the city's history is to explore on foot. Start your wander around the most iconic spots in the historic centre. Head to the Puerta del Sol and take a photo with the symbolic Bear and Strawberry Tree statue. Make sure you visit the jaw-dropping Plaza Mayor, and don't leave without visiting the Royal Palace, one of the biggest tourist attractions in Madrid that's witnessed many historic events over the years and is the largest palace in Western Europe. Walk through the giant doors and admire its beauty up close.
Soak up culture at Madrid’s museums
The Atlantic Ocean may have the Bermuda Triangle, but Madrid has its Golden Triangle of Art: the city’s three most famous museums. El Prado, Reina Sofía, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum are close to one another, so you can visit all of them in a day and enjoy a thrilling journey through the history of art. And take advantage of the discounts and deals they offer; the Thyssen Museum, for example, is free to visit on Mondays, and the other two museums also offer free-entry time slots.
The true Madrid experience: bars, tapas and good vibes
Plan to get to Madrid with an appetite, as the choice of things to eat in the city is mouth-wateringly infinite. We like to dedicate a whole afternoon to bar-hopping around the most charming and tastiest spots. Where to begin? La Bodega de Ardosa in the Malasaña neighbourhood is really authentic, and their tortilla is spectacular. La Casa del Abuelo is a typical Spanish tavern where you can try traditional Spanish tapas, and you must order a glass of their very own sweet wine to wash down whatever tasty morsel you order. La Casa Labra’s speciality is cod croquettes, and on Calle Fuencarral you’ll find Orio, a Basque restaurant with a classic pintxos bar offering tapas in the typical San Sebastian style. To get around the city, the easiest way is definitely on the metro.
Plans for an unforgettable day out with the kids
If you visit Madrid with your family, there are heaps of fun activities to do, which both kids and grown-ups will enjoy. Example? Madrid’s theme park in Casa de Campo park, with rides like Tornado and Tren de la Mina (TNT). Another idea is to visit the Planetarium, which always has workshops, guided tours, screenings and fascinating space exhibitions. And if you’re still looking for more, visit Warner Park in San Martín de la Vega, home to more than 40 rides with Western, Hollywood and Superhero themes. The plan is foolproof.
Madrid’s bustling streets are perfect for a shopping trip. Calle Fuencarral is great for shopaholics looking for the latest fashion brands. It also has plenty of cafes you can stop at for a coffee along the way, where you can sit on a terraza for a bit of people watching. And on Calle Princesa, you’ll find the best accessories to complete your look. While on this street, take a quick detour to Templo de Debod, an Egyptian temple from the 2nd century B.C., surrounded by gardens and marvellous views.
A breath of fresh air in the city’s parks and gardens
How about a picnic in El Retiro park? You can’t visit Madrid without wandering around the most popular park in the city. With 118 hectares of green space, the park is home to gardens, lakes, monuments and even a palace. El Retiro is an oasis of calm amid the Madrid madness. And if you’re looking for a place to watch the sunset, Parque de las Siete Tetas in Vallecas is a magical spot. You get an impressive views of the Madrid skyline from any of the park's seven hills. Lastly, spend some time in Parque del Capricho, a beautiful less-known garden but well worth a visit nonetheless.
There’s no better plan than a Sunday at the Rastro
It’s Sunday in Madrid, and the La Latina neighbourhood is getting ready for your arrival. The Rastro is an open-air market that fills the streets of La Latina every Sunday and bank holiday in pure Madrileña style. You’ll find stalls selling clothes, artisan products, accessories, records, antiques, and lots more. And after, head to Mercado de San Miguel for a pit stop, an authentic gastronomy haven with all types of tasty treats to whet the appetite. Croquette bars, cheeseries, wine bars, Iberian cured meat stalls, and charming corners are perfect for a vermouth break. In short, long live Sundays in Madrid!