Madrid Travel Guide
An eclectic crowd, including pilgrims bound for Compostela, visits this L-shaped bar for irresistible matrimonio sandwiches: roasted peppers, salted anchovy, and anchovy in vinegar on a cottony soft bun ($2.20).
An ongoing exhibition of children’s artwork is displayed throughout all the airport’s terminals (the airport hosted more than 150 visits last year from schools and kids’ cultural centers).
The six million specimens at the National Museum of Natural Sciences range from dinosaurs to Mediterranean flora. Founded by Carlos III in 1771, the original collections were displayed in the Royal Cabinet of Natural History.
Located off the typical tourist route in Salamanca, the little-known Museo Lázaro Galdiano displays more than 12,000 works of art formerly owned by the eponymous Spanish collector José Lázaro Galdiano.
A sprawling duty-free emporium, Les Boutiques stocks watches and jewelry from Cartier and Bulgari; Ferragamo purses and leather goods; and signature tartan-print totes, scarves, and umbrellas from Burberry.
Additional Locations in the Madrid Barajas International Airport:
Opened in 1897 and still featuring its original wooden counter and zinc roof, Calzados Lobo sells simple, inexpensive espadrilles, high-heeled shoes originally worn in the Pyrenees, in a mass of colors.
This emblematic bar madrileño has old rock ’n’ roll posters on the walls. It’s been around forever.
At The Showroom, interior architect Isabel López-Quesada designs sophisticated rooms using neutral tones, bold patterns, and metallic accents. Her studio, a two-story building that’s behind plant-covered garden walls, is located on a one-way street in the Salamanca district.
Handmade espadrilles are stacked floor to ceiling by size in this simple shop, a Madrid mainstay since 1863. The rainbow of colors, materials, and designs range from plebian day wear to delicate white lace-up-the-leg versions fit for royalty (the princess wears them).
Madrid’s Barajas Airport’s 2006 Terminal 4, by Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, is like an extra-long cathedral, an unending vault supported by a colorful procession of buttresses.
This collection of fantastic, if occasionally brutally themed, religious art, including pieces by Peter Paul Rubens, is in an appropriately creaky and forbidding 16th-century working convent smack in the heart of Madrid’s central district.
Located a 20-minute drive east of the city, Madrid Barajas International Airport is the busiest in Spain. There is free wireless Internet throughout the airport, as well as business centers, VIP lounges, and currency exchanges.
Since 1964, this Madrid-based brand has offered stylish, eclectic furnishings and home accessories sourced from around the world (traditional ceramics from Italy, carved teak dressers and wrought-copper chairs from Asia, one-of-a-kind antique finds from markets in England).
First founded in 1868 by Englishman and acrobat Thomas Price, the Teatro Circo Price is now Madrid’s permanent circus with clowning, tight-rope-walking, and juggling acts. The circus closed in 1970, but the city reopened the spectacle in 2007 under the direction of Tato Cabal.
What makes Madrid one of the strangest and most incredible nightlife towns in the world—the mix of ages that go out together—is summed up at Chicote, where grandmothers sip cocktails alongside hipsters in skinny jeans or a table of glammed-up drag queens.