A weekend in Madrid
The weekends are meant to be enjoyed, and in Madrid you’ll find this very easy to do. Get off to a leisurely start by visiting the Museo del Prado, one of the best art museums in the world. Then continue taking the pulse of the city by strolling through the Barrio de las Letras and round off the day listening to good music in the Café Central. That’s just for Friday. Get ready for walking, because the following days have many more surprises in store for you.
Its splendid monuments, cultural offerings, wonderful cuisine and endless leisure possibilities mean that Madrid well deserves a weekend, or two, or three…
Itinerary day 1
6:00 PM - 20:00 PM
It is considered the best art gallery in the country, thanks to its wide collection of Spanish art. There are several possible tours, depending on the time you have available; choose the one that appeals to you most, but do not miss the great works by masters such as Velázquez and Goya.
8:15 PM - 9:30 PM
This district sums up Golden Age Madrid. Its streets have been the haunt of great literary figures including Lope de Vega, Quevedo and Miguel de Cervantes. Nowadays, it is teeming with restaurants and bars where you can have dinner.
Calle Huertas, in the quarter Barrio de las Letras, has a host of bars where you can dance and have a drink. If you like jazz, we can recommend the Café Central, a great traditional Madrid establishment, where you can enjoy live shows.
Itinerary day 2
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
The Royal Palace, built on the orders of Philip V, has stood majestically in the Plaza de Oriente since the mid eighteenth century. The best way to see it is to join a guided tour and then take a stroll through the Sabatini Gardens nearby.
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Thanks to its fine architecture and its offer of multiple delicatessen options, it is the perfect place to stop off for lunch. On its over twenty stalls, you will find tapas ranging from the most traditional to oysters, caviar and sushi. It also offers fine vermouths, wines and beers.
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
In the centre of Madrid, in the strand between Sol and Gran Vía, you will find large stores and individual shops where you can buy all kinds of souvenirs. Around the Puerta del Sol, there is no lack of street musicians and other performers.
5:30 PM - 6:00 PM
This is one of Madrid’s busiest nerve centres. Dominated by the Fountain of the goddess Cybele, the square is surrounded by iconic edifices such as the Palacio de Cibeles, the Palacio de Linares, the Palacio de Buenavista, and the Bank of Spain.
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
It is the vast green lung of Madrid and the favourite place for families to relax and have fun since the nineteenth century. This visit is highly recommended if you want to rest, practise yoga, go skating, go for a boat ride, or visit its art centres.
8:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Madrid is considered the capital of flamenco thanks to the excellence of its tablaos and the renowned artists who perform in them. Attend a Teatro Flamenco show at the Teatro Alfil, and start discovering the magic of this most Spanish of the arts.
10:00 PM - 11:30 PM
Boasting the best, undisputed views of Gran Via from the rooftop of the Barceló Torre de Madrid Hotel, this restaurant serves up beautifully prepared local and national cuisine, with an international twist.
Itinerary day 3
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
This street market, the longest-established in the capital, only takes place on Sunday mornings. Although the stalls used to deal mainly in antiques, nowadays you can buy almost anything there.
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
What would Sunday be without a vermouth or a couple of beers in La Latina? This is the favourite area for Madrid’s residents to barhop for tapas, or to be caressed by the sun’s rays on one of the district’s many terraces.
2:15 PM - 4:00 PM
Tucked away in the Barceló Emperatriz Hotel, this chic culinary space offers a wonderful menu to spoil any palate. Choose from savoury tapas and dishes such as arroz meloso de sepia, lamb chops or succulent locally sourced young beef. The wine menu offers a wide selection of tantalising options.
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
The Plaza Mayor has witnessed so much of Madrid’s history over the past 400 years, and since the time of Philip III, kings and commoners alike have passed through its colonnades. This vast Baroque square is a place to relax, shop and enjoy a drink on one of the terraces.
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Chueca, the LGBTI+ district par excellence, offers a wide range of shops where you’re always sure to find something to suit you, whether from the famous brand names or among the artisan products imported from the other side of the world. Take the chance to visit one or two art galleries.
9:15 PM - 10:30 PM
In Chueca, you will find all kinds of restaurants and two gourmet markets: San Ildefonso and San Antón. If you opt for the latter, you won’t be disappointed. It is used both as a traditional market and as a gourmet market boasting restaurants with views and showcooking.
11:00 PM - 3:00 AM
Fun and frolics are guaranteed in this buzzing district. Get the evening off to a good start with a cocktail at Museo Chicote; then move on to Black & White, Sala Libertad 8, Teatro Barceló TClub or Sala Ocho y Medio to continue enjoying the district’s LGTBI+ atmosphere.