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Things to do in Madrid

In a city as culturally rich and undeniably exciting as Madrid, there is no shortage of fascinating things to do. If you’re interested in history and art, the Golden Triangle of Art is not to be missed. Located in roughly the same area, the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museums are the core of Spanish art. The Prado specializes in pre-20th century art (think Goya and El Greco) while the Reina Sofia features a wonderful collection of modern art from the 20th century and later (see: Picasso, Dali and Miró). Meanwhile, the Thyssen-Bornemisza displays a mixture of classical and modern artwork from classical artists like Van Eyck and Rubens as well as famed Impressionists like Van Gogh, Degas and Renoir. Outside these three museums, those looking for things to do in Madrid will also find that the city has a naval museum, a museum of natural history, a museum of the Americas and other fantastic galleries.

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Another great way to experience the city and find things to do in Madrid is to simply walk around. The city is filled to the brim with wonderful classical architecture and well-manicured parks and plazas. On a Sunday, be sure to stroll through the neighborhood of Embajadores, home to El Rastro, a massive flea market featuring all kinds of goods. By night, head to Chueca, Madrid’s LGBT-friendly district, or the Malasaña neighborhood to experience Madrid’s raucous nightlife. And don’t leave Madrid without climbing to the top of the Circulo de Bellas Artes for an unrivaled view of Madrid’s skyline.

  • Agatha Ruiz de la Prada Flagship

    Since her first collection in 1981, designer Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada has developed a colorful niche for her bright, pop-art-style clothing, house w... More
  • Alonso Ojeda

    On Sunday, as the hordes weave their way through the Rastro Flea Market, the savviest of shoppers flock instead to Alonso Ojeda for the collection ... More
  • Amaya Arzuaga

    The designer is known for playing with volume—her clothing is like sculpture. More
  • Antigua Casa Crespo

    Handmade espadrilles are stacked floor to ceiling by size in this simple shop, a Madrid mainstay since 1863. The rainbow of colors, materials, and ... More
  • Bar Cock

    Knock on the unsigned door and the bouncer will look you over. If you pass muster (suit and tie are regular—though not required—attire for men; wom... More
  • Bar Sebas

    This storefront-size bar has a formidable list of wines on a chalkboard. The hearty semi-spicy pepper stuffed with beef and béchamel ($1.50) is a s... More
  • Barajas Airport

    Madrid’s Barajas Airport’s 2006 Terminal 4, by Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, is like an extra-long cathedral, an unending vaul... More
  • Baruc Corazón

    His redesign of the classic oxford shirt—pulling off the collar, hiding the buttons, and playing with cuff links, shapes, and sizes—has quickly bro... More
  • Becara

    Since 1964, this Madrid-based brand has offered stylish, eclectic furnishings and home accessories sourced from around the world (traditional ceram... More
  • Blanco y Negro

    An eclectic crowd, including pilgrims bound for Compostela, visits this L-shaped bar for irresistible matrimonio sandwiches: roasted peppers, salte... More
  • Business Center

    Workaholics want for nothing at this comprehensive business hub—which offers private meeting rooms, computer stations, copy and fax services, and e... More
  • CaixaForum Madrid

    Opened in February 2008, the long-awaited Caixa Forum cultural center is an architectural tour de force, created by Swiss Pritzker Prize–winning fi... More
  • Callejón de Jorge Juan

    High-end clothing shops line this pedestrian-only street. Scooter (011-34-91-576-47-49) highlights French designers of the moment Vanessa Bruno and... More
  • Calzados Lobo

    Opened in 1897 and still featuring its original wooden counter and zinc roof, Calzados Lobo sells simple, inexpensive espadrilles, high-heeled shoe... More
  • Caramelos Paco

    The windows are filled with candy and shaded under a wide, striped awning at Caramelos Paco, which opened as a grocery shop in 1934. Two years on, ... More

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