A Day-by-day Plan For Your Perfect Weekend in Madrid
Spain’s capital Madrid is, indeed, one of the sunniest, liveliest, and buzzing metropolitan cities in Europe. An enchanting blend of cultures, lifestyles, modern and old-world charm, people, landmarks and nature’s wonders, cuisines, there is nothing you cannot experience in Madrid… and certainly, enjoy it for the most parts! Sophisticated, unique, inspired by the world, and with an open mind, Madrid is definitely a city worth visiting at least for a weekend. However, we are sure that you will wish to be soon back to this wonderful European capital!
Right at the heart of Iberia, perfectly positioned on Spain’s map, a symbol of unification, civilization, and progress since the first day of its existence, Madrid has been an attractive holiday destination spot for millions of people from around the world for many years already. With a rich and exciting history in sports, European football in particular which is some kind of a cult in the country, atmospheric historic heart (despite the fact that the majority of historic and cultural landmarks are dotted around the outskirts of the city), a trio of world-class galleries, an impressive nightlife, friendly locals, and some of the best cuisines in Europe, Madrid offers plenty to do, see, visit, and enjoy while there.
With so many attractions and experiences the capital provides, it is a rather hard mission to fit everything in just one weekend without going mad! However, a hectic and dynamic way of living is not particularly a part of the local culture since the true inhabitants, the Madrilenos, always make sure to find enough time for some resting and simply enjoying life without doing nothing. While following this philosophy and style of day-to-day living but also keeping in mind that you are visiting Madrid so you can stroll around, today we have prepared a helpful day-by-day itinerary for a perfect weekend spent in Spain’s capital we would like to share with you! Make sure to follow all the steps below and you will be able to make the most of your visit to Madrid!
Start your first day in Spain’s capital with visiting The Prado – one of the must-visit attractions of Madrid. Besides a premier tourist attraction, The Prado is also one of the oldest, greatest, and most awe-inspiring collections of art in the world. This Spanish museum is a home to a great number of eye-catching and important masterpieces from throughout the centuries, a small reflection of the talent of world-renowned artists such as Goya, Rubens Valazquez, El Greco, Titian, Bosch, and more.
Staring your first day with a dose of unique art, you can continue with a relaxing and enjoyable stroll around the beautiful and buzzing Retiro park. Catch your breath, enjoy some fresh air and relaxation, hop on a bike or even rollerblade, and shake yourself free from the museum fatigue – you can do all these in the tranquil and magical gardens in the heart of the park. Another great experience waiting for you in the Retiro is hiring a boat and enjoying the view of the surrounding gardens from the lake. Of course, when visiting the Retiro, the main thing to do there is visiting the Crystal Palace – originally built as a greenhouse for exotic plant species, nowadays it is open to the public.
Once you are done with admiring the beauty of the Crystal Palace it will be already about time to stop for a short break, enjoy a delicious lunch, and get some fuel for the upcoming adventures around the city. For a taste of some classic, fresh, and extra delicious Castillian cuisine in an atmospheric place, you should visit Los Montes de Galicia.
The Palacio Real
Built not that long ago in the 18th century Felipe V with the main mission to be an unbeatable example of over-the-top luxury, marvel, and admiration, this royal residence in the past in now open to the public to visit and enjoy. The Palacio Real palace is truly a demonstration of wealth and power in a classic Spanish style and certainly a place worth visiting for at least a couple of hours when in Madrid! Make sure you foresee enough time for this attraction as it is usually overcrowded with people desiring to see the marvellous marble floors, magnificent celestial frescos, and the luxurious gold furnishing.
Now, you will naturally be way too mesmerised, almost dizzy from all the beauty of The Palacio Real so it is about time to take a short break once again. This time you should dedicate to sipping some refreshing coffee. The best place to do so if you are following the plan by now is the elegant and atmospheric but a bit pricey Café de Oriente located right opposite the palace across the plaza. If you are lucky enough you will be able to have a table outside enjoying the surrounding plaza and beautiful architecture. However, a table inside is not the one to miss too because of the eye-catching interior design of the place.
Plaza Mayor is the main square of Madrid. It is built in the 16th century when Madrid became Spain’s capital. Despite the fact that the square is not one of the main tourist attractions in the city it is still an atmospheric place with a good vibe, beautiful classic architecture, elegance and grandeur, plenty of options for relaxing and strolling around. One of the best things about visiting the Plaza Mayor is that the location is hardly ever too overcrowded with tourists and you will be able to enjoy it even more.
Madrid de los Austrias
Once you are done with admiring the elegant square Plaza Mayor you can hop on an adventure of exploring the surrounding and atmospheric little streets. Ancient and magical, full of Flemish-inspired architecture, and a great location for taking some pictures, this area of the city is a must-visit while in Madrid too. If you have to pick up just one part of this location we definitely recommend you the La Latina district!
If you are on a hunt for a traditional Spanish dinner experience there is nothing better you can do than hitting the tapas trail in the Huertas area. Tapas is a traditional way to enjoy some amazing and fresh local food and wine, spend a great night and relax from the long day of strolling around the city and admiring its attractions. Hopping from bar to bar and sampling some of the great examples of the local cuisine is definitely one of the main things you should do when in Madrid, so here are a few great places to make a start (and you will be able to continue the night without our help as there are so many wonderful places around): Casa Alberto, Casa Gonzalez, Casa del Abuelo II.
The Rest of the Night
Finishing your night in a traditional Spanish way is certainly not complete without some flamenco! A great way to dive into the world of this passionate and lively Spanish dance is by visiting Casa Patas. Friday is one of the best nights in the place which perfectly fits your weekend schedule!
To following the inspiration behind day one, you can start your second day in Madrid with art again. Visiting The Thyssen means that you will be able to enjoy the outstanding art collection collected and assembled by the Thyssen-Bornemisza dynasty since the 14th century.
The Santiago Bernabeu
One of the most emblematic attractions you can visit while in Spain and particularly a very exciting one if you are a football fan is the stadium Santiago Bernabeu – a home to the iconic Spanish football team Real Madrid. A tour of the 80,000 seater stadium along with the changing rooms, the edge of the pitch, and the VIP box are just a part of the whole experience.
It is about time to be tired from strolling around the big stadium and hungry enough to look for some great lunch spots. Get some fuel for the muscles before heading to the surrounding shopping destinations in Chueca and Malasana by visiting El Bocaito in the area. The place offers an impressive range of fresh and delicious tapas.
If you are one of those people that enjoy taking some time off for shopping while abroad then Madrid is a great place for you with a great shopping scene. Among the best city’s shopping outlets are Chueca and Malasana, both located in the heart of the city and both offering plenty of hip fashion stores and some unique independent shops.
Museo Reina Sofia
If you want to finish properly the art circle of Madrid, Museo Reina Sofia is a mandatory stop of your trip. It houses an immense permanent and temporary exhibition of Spanish modern and contemporary art. Of course, some of the most impressive art pieces included are by Picasso and Miro.
Your last night in Madrid should be celebrated properly with a delicious dinner you can find to be served at El Botin. Besides the finger-licking good food, the place has its own and very unique atmosphere. It is an emblematic restaurant in Madrid, reputedly the oldest restaurant in Europe established at the beginning of the 18th century.
The Rest of the Night
Before you head back home, take some time to enjoy the infamous nightlife of Madrid. Joy Madrid is a popular and enjoyable option – a club with a mix of popular music, a good vibe, and a great variety of late-night drinks for you to enjoy.