Well Spent: The Best Places to Eat, Drink, Stay, and Shop in Madrid, Spain

Travel's made comeback, and we're here to help you make the most of it by highlighting a few of the destinations that are eagerly awaiting your return, like Madrid, Spain.

Spain's capital city is is brimming with history, culture, delightful restaurants, and some seriously stellar flamenco shows you need to see. Ready to visit? Here are all the things to see and do on a weekend trip to Madrid.

Check into The Principal Madrid

Make The Principal Madrid your home away from home while visiting the city. The five-star hotel is located along Gran Vía in the heart of central Madrid, making it the ideal jumping off point to all the nearby attractions. However, the luxury accommodations may have you wanting to stay in, too. At the hotel, guests can relax together in the cozy bar area, step outside for a fantastic view on the rooftop terrace, or indulge in the spa when they need to unwind even further. (Starting at $300/night)

Get a coffee and treat at Mision Cafe

Misión is ultra cool, utterly chic, and absolutely delicious. The adorable (and highly Instagrammable) cafe is the place to be for coffee and breakfast. Stop in for a cup to go, or stay awhile by grabbing one of the cafe tables or stadium-style seats and order a coffee and avocado toast with a perfectly poached egg on top to start your day the right way. Just make sure to get here early as this place fills up fast. (Coffee for $2.25 and Avocado toast for $6.20)

Madrid city landscape with Gran Via street, Spain
F.J. Jimenez/Getty Images

Head out for a walk around Plaza Mayor

Get acquainted with the city by stepping into its most famous square, Plaza Mayor. The square has acted as the heartbeat of the city for centuries and now plays host to a number of cafes, shops for you to peruse, and more than its fair share of buskers ready to entertain you. Come walk its perimeter, or snag a seat, order a class of vino, and people watch for as long as you wish. (Free to walk)

Get a local lunch feast at Casa Botin

Treat yourself to a feast and a little history all in one go with a meal at Casa Botin. The restaurant, located right outside Plaza Mayor, was founded in 1725 by Jean Botin. It has remained open every single day since, making it the oldest continuously operating restaurant on Earth. The restaurant is well-known for its suckling pig and roasted lamb making it a prime spot for meat eaters, though pescatarians can find items on the menu as well. (Roasted suckling pig/$26)

Get a little culture at CentroCentro

Madrid is packed with fantastic museums to see, however, they can sometimes get a little crowded. If you're hoping to get in a little culture without the crowds head to CentroCentro, a cultural institution that hosts rotating exhibits featuring both well-known and emerging artists. Guests can walk from floor to floor, each showcasing different styles, or make their way to the roof for a fantastic view of the city below. (CentroCentro is free, though the observation deck costs about $3.50)

Shop for goodies at El Rastro

Looking for the souvenir to end all souvenirs? Make your way to El Rastro, a flea market that's been in operation since about 1740. Located on Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores, the market is filled with stalls selling everything from clothing to furniture, knick knacks and record albums, jewelry and homeware, and everything in between. The market can get very crowded, but if you're feeling overwhelmed you can step off to one of the shops lining the street behind the stalls to find a little space. (Explore for free)

Dig into dinner at Ático

Looking for a tasty way to end the day? Easy. Just head back to The Principal Real for a meal at Ático. The restaurant, helmed by Michelin-awarded chef Ramón Freixa, serves divine bites of local produce, fish, and meats. The best way to experience a meal here is with a tasting menu so you can get a nibble of it all, including dishes like roast chestnut mushrooms, tuna tartar, and hake skewers, along with a daily dessert. (Tasting menu $72)

Watch a flamenco show

End your day in Madrid by taking in a fantastic show that will leave you in awe. Available via Airbnb experiences, the Flamenco show takes place in an underground cave with limited seating, giving every guest a front row seat. The show begins with a short history lesson on where the famed dance came from before launching into a one-hour show filled with singing, dancing, and music so emotional you may shed a tear before giving a hardy round of applause at the end. (Watch the show for $40/per person)

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