Planning a trip to Spain but already tired of guidebooks telling you the same things to do in Madrid? In this guide, you’ll find 55 non touristy things to do in Madrid!
Seriously, I love you already for wanting to get off the beaten tourist track. There are so many unique local things to do in Madrid, and during the two years I lived there, I discovered quite a few of them.
This guide highlights several of my most-viewed blog posts. You’re not the only traveler interested in alternative things to do in Madrid. Maybe you’ll run into another Backpacking Brunette reader at one of my secret Madrid spots. How cool would that be?!
Oh, and while you’re planning your trip to Europe, don’t forget to grab my top travel tips for traveling Europe on a budget!
Throughout this guide, I’ll answer the most frequently asked questions I get about things to do in Madrid. Both readers and close friends ask me for my Madrid recommendations. Rather than sharing them with one person at a time, I’m compiling them here for anyone and everyone!
27 Unique Local Things To Do In Madrid (From An Almost Local)
You’re guaranteed to get off the beaten tourist track with my guide for where to eat, drink, stay and party in Madrid. In this post, I cover how to get around Madrid both on foot and using public transportation. I’ll let you know what big sights are worth the hype and the best spot to watch the sunset in the entire city.
What are fun things to do in Madrid, Spain?
Where are my foodies and winos at? Two of the most fun things to do in Madrid are eating and drinking! There are lots of reasons to love this incredible city, but what really made Madrid my favorite place in the entire world is the city’s unique food identity which ranges from tapas bars with napkin-littered floors to Michelin-starred restaurants. In case you don’t know about tapas yet, prepare to have your world rocked.
Tapas are small plates of food served with drinks in bars and restaurants. In Madrid, you can make a whole night out of hopping from tapas bar to tapas bar. Eat, drink and chat the night away with friends—or at least until your feet get tired. It’s common to stand while eating tapas, and you’ll immediately distinguish yourself as a foreigner if you decide to sit down. In popular places, you might have to elbow your way up to the bar, but make a little room for yourself however you can. Adequate personal space is not part of the tapas experience, but tasty snack and wonderful (read: cheap) wine definitely is.
15 Best Things To Do In Madrid On A Sunday
Even if you’ve been out partying all Saturday night, don’t sleep in too late on Sunday. Experiencing Sunday in Madrid is not to be missed! From where to get your churros and how to haggle at Madrid’s most famous flea market to must-try tapas and museum free hours, this guide has all the best things to do in Madrid on a Sunday.
What can you do in Madrid for free?
One of the best free things to do in Madrid (and my personal favorite) is to enjoy one of the city’s parks. Madrid has some amazing green spaces! I’m sure you’ve already heard about Parque Retiro, and while it’s definitely worth a visit, I prefer Casa de Campo. It’s much MUCH bigger than Retiro, and with miles of trails, it’s the perfect place to go for a morning job to work off those tapas.
If running isn’t your thing, you can spread out a blanket and have yourself a picnic! Okay, a picnic isn’t techincally a free thing to do in Madrid, but buying some snacks and wine from a grocery store is considerable cheaper (and perhaps even more fun) than eating out. Just remember a corkscrew!
5 Alternative Madrid Day Trips
With so much to see and do, it’s easy to want to spend all your time in Madrid. But, for even more non touristy things to do in Madrid, take a trip outside the city limits. The most popular Madrid day trip is to Toledo, but for something different check out these five alternative Madrid day trips.
I dedicated an entire post to one of my fave Madrid day trips: El Escorial!
What is there to do in Madrid at night?
Whoever nicknamed New York “The City that Never Sleeps” had obviously never been to Madrid. One of my first nights out there, I didn’t get home until 7 a.m.! Nights generally began with a late dinner (9 or 10 p.m.) followed by copas (mixed drinks the size of your head) with friends. No one hits the clubs until at least 1 a.m. but usually not until 2 or 3 a.m. My favorite club is Space Monkey which plays rock music from the 60s to today.
8 Non Touristy Things To Do In Madrid During The Holidays
Spending Christmas in Madrid? As long as you remembered to pack your scarf, you’re sure to have a blast with these unique local things to do in Madrid. Explore Madrid’s best Christmas markets, run with Santa and more.
Are you an expat celebrating Thanksgiving in Madrid? Don’t think I forgot about you! Find out where to buy pumpkin pie filling, watch American football and eat an *almost* home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner in Madrid.
What to do in Madrid for a day ?
If you’re in Madrid for just a single day (such a shame), I hope it’s a Sunday. Before moving to Madrid, I lived for Friday and Saturday nights. But after a few months living there, Sunday became my favorite day of the week. From churros for breakfast to ending the night at one of the best live music venues in Madrid, my Ultimate Guide to Sunday Funday in Madrid details the perfect itinerary for a memorable day in the city. Even if you’re in Madrid on another day of the week, most of the spots and activities are ones you can visit and do any day of the week!
Have you ever visited Madrid? What is your favorite non touristy activity to do in Madrid? Share your best Madrid secret spots in the comments!
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