100 Things to Do in Madrid

What to Do in Madrid

Those who say there isn't much to do in Madrid are wrong. I've found 100 things to do in Spain's capital. Beat that, Barcelona!

See also:

And if you don't want to take my word for it and would prefer a few (thousand) second opinions, Tripadvisor has over 200 things to do in Madrid with lots of user comments: Tripadvisor's Things to Do in Madrid.

It would take you months to get through everything on this page. Why not spend a few months here and learn the language? I named Madrid my best place to Learn Spanish in Spain.

Cheap Things to Do in Madrid

If you plan on doing a lot of these activities, you might want to consider a discount card. Read more about the Madrid Card to make sure it is worth the money. You can also save some money by sticking to the...MORE items on these lists:

See also: What's Madrid's No.1 Must-See Sight?

  • 01 of 11

    Ten Things to Do near Sol & Gran Via

    Gran Via
    ••• Gran Via. Image: Damian Corrigan

    Sol is Madrid's most famous plaza and Gran Via is its most famous street. The two are tourist magnets that you may be tempted to hurry away from as quickly as you can. But there are some little secrets right in the eye of the storm that are worth checking out.

  • 02 of 11

    Ten Things to Do in Madrid de las Austrias

    Plaza Mayor
    ••• Plaza Mayor. Image: Damian Corrigan

    Madrid's oldest district and likely to be one of the main focal points of your trip to the capital.

  • 03 of 11

    Ten Things to Do in La Latina

    Cava Baja in La Latina
    ••• Cava Baja in La Latina. Image: Damian Corrigan

    Famous for tapas and its Sunday morning market, but there's much more to La Latina than just these things.

     

  • 04 of 11

    Ten Things to Do in Malasana & Chueca

    Conde Duque in Malasaña
    ••• Conde Duque in Malasaña. Image: Damian Corrigan

    The trendy districts to the north of Gran Via. Malasaña is the bohemian district, Chueca is nominally gay; both are a lot of fun.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Top Five Things to Do in Huertas

    Viva Madrid in Huertas
    ••• Viva Madrid in Huertas. Image: Damian Corrigan

    Another old district of Madrid, Huertas has some of the best - and worst - bars in Madrid. Ernest Hemmingway used to frequent this part of town.

  • 06 of 11

    Top Five Things to Do Around Paseo del Prado

    Paseo del Prado is one of Madrid's most majestic boulevards, with some of the city's most important museums close at hand. Madrid's famous park, El Retiro, is near here.

  • 07 of 11

    Top Ten Things to Do in Lavapies

    Centro de Arte de Reina Sofia
    ••• Centro de Arte de Reina Sofia. Image: Los Mininos

    One of the poorer districts of Madrid, Lavapies' mix of immigrants and trendy youngsters are making this part of town one of the coolest places to be.

    • 1. Centro de Arte Reina Sofia 
    • Madrid's premier modern art gallery, with key works by Dali and Picasso (including the latter's Guernica)
    • 2. Coffee at Cafeteria Barbieri 
    • My favorite cafe in Madrid. Got a sweet tooth? Try the cafe bonbon.
    • 3. Visit a Moroccan Teahouse 
    • Not just green tea with milk, but a whole host of spiced teas. They have shishas too.
    • 4. Bars on Calle Ave Maria 
    • A number of classy bars on this street.
    • 5. See a Concert at Sala Juglar 
    • Expensive beer, but concerts every night pull in the crowds.
    • 6. Curry in Lavapies 
    • Cheap and cheerful Indian restaurants run by the local expat community.
    • 7. Casa Encendida 
    • Exhibition space.
    • 8. Bocadillo de Calamares at El Brillante 
    • The self-proclaimed best squid sandwiches in Madrid. I couldn't disagree with them.
    • 9. Atocha Train Station 
    • A tropical garden (with terrapins!) and a monument...MORE to those who died during the 2004 terrorist attack.
    • 10. Gaudeamus Cafe Rooftop Bar
    • It's a cafe, and a bar, on a rooftop, and it's called Gaudeamus!
  • 08 of 11

    Top Five Things to Do in Casa de Campo

    Madrid Zoo in Casa de Campo
    ••• Madrid Zoo in Casa de Campo. Image: Arkangel

    Madrid's other famous park, Casa de Campo, is a bit further away than El Retiro but also offers a number of worthwhile attractions.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Top Five Things to Do in Barrio Salamanca

    Archeological Museum in Barrio Salamanca
    ••• Archeological Museum in Barrio Salamanca. Image: Los Mininos (Creative Commons)

    Madrid's most chic district, with a few good museums around here too.

    • 1. Archeological Museum
    • Includes a replica of the Altamira cave in Cantabria, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the original, that is!).
    • 2. Museo Lazaro Galdiano
    • Private collection, featuring coins, medals, paintings, ceramics, jewelry and more.
    • 3. Museo de Escultura Abstracta
    • Open-air abstract sculpture collection.
    • 4. National Library
    • Features a book museum.
    • 5. Window Shopping on and around Calle Serrano
    • Too expensive for most people's budgets, but one can dream...
  • 10 of 11

    Top Ten Things to Do Elsewhere in Madrid

    Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
    ••• Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Image: Damian Corrigan

    Away from Madrid's most touristy districts, there are still plenty of things to do.

  • 11 of 11

    Twenty Things to Do Outside of Madrid

    Avila
    ••• Avila. Image: Damian Corrigan

    But wait! When you think you've got enough out of Madrid, you still have some of the region's amazing array of towns and villages to visit.

    • 1.Barcelona
      The AVE high-speed train makes this possible as a day trip, though it's expensive and Barcelona really deserves more than a day.
    • 2. Toledo
      This walled city is one of Spain's most famous sights.
    • 3. Seville
      The jewel of Spain's south and home to flamenco and bullfighting. Again, it deserves more than a day, but better to see it for a day than never at all.
    • 4. Cordoba
      Home to one of the biggest Mosques in the world.
    • 5. Segovia
      Segovia has a 2,000 year aqueduct and a German-esque fairytale castle.
    • 6. Avila
      The walls and turrets of this medieval city are more impressive than those in Toledo.
    • 7. El Escorial
      The burial place of most of Spain's monarchs.
    • 8. El Valle de los Caidos
      The chilling monument, built to honor the memory of Franco, Spain's former dictator.
    • 9. Consuegra 
      Famous for its windmills (the ones that Don...MORE Quixote thought were giants) and saffron.
    • 10. Aranjuez
      The royal family's former retreat.
    • 11. Salamanca
      One of the nicest plazas in Spain.
    • 12. Cuenca
      Famous for its 'hanging houses' - dwellings built over the sides of cliffs!
    • 13. Ribera del Duero
      Visit one of Spain's two most famous wine regions.
    • 14. Valencia
      Spain's third biggest city and the birthplace of paella.
    • 15. El Pardo
      Franco's former country retreat.
    • 16. Warner Brothers Theme Park
      Madrid's best theme park.
    • 17. Chinchon
      Quaint village near Madrid.
    • 18. Alcala de Henares
      University town and UNESCO world heritage site.
    • 19. Cercedilla
      Hiking and the Roman road to Segovia.
    • 20. Siguenza
      A 12th century cathedral and a historic train journey there.