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Things to do in Madrid

Few places have as much energy and style as Spain’s grand capital city. If you are in search of things to do in Madrid, read on. Travel + Leisure’s guide features the insider listings you want—designer boutiques, superb art museums, secret tapas bars, notable architecture, music clubs, parks and green spaces, theaters, arguably everything from monasteries to DJ-owned nightclubs—from El Centro, Chueca, Chamberi, and beyond.

Browse T+L’s travel guide and discover what to do in Madrid and why so many travelers adore this uniquely Spanish city—where locals stay out all night partying at outdoor terrazas, where great arts institutions like the Prado and the Reina Sofia show off works by famous sons Picasso, Goya, and Dalí, and where shopping is a favorite pastime, surpassing the siesta years ago. You will not want to miss El Rastro, a 3,500-vendor flea market that’s been operating since the Middle Ages; Madrid’s answer to Central Park, El Retiro; iconic shops like Caramelos Paco, a candy store that’s been selling sweets since 1934; and a tour company that specializes in luxury wine-tasting trips through the city and into the vineyards of Castile. No matter how you slice it, there are plenty of things to do in Madrid, and then more for after hours.

  • 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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