What to Do in Madrid for a Week: A Complete Guide

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Bar Crawl Madrid

Ready for the ultimate nightlife adventure? Dive deep into the heart of the city’s vibrant scenes with our pub crawl in Madrid. Every stop is a new story, every drink a memory waiting to be made. Get ready for an unforgettable evening!

Welcome to Madrid! Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, a foodie, or someone who simply enjoys exploring new cities, Madrid has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll help you maximize your visit to the Spanish capital by providing a comprehensive itinerary for a week-long stay. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, let’s dive into the best things to do and see in Madrid!

Day 1: Exploring the Historic Core

Start your week in Madrid by immersing yourself in the city’s rich history. Here are some must-visit destinations on your first day:

1. Puerta del Sol

Begin your journey at Puerta del Sol, the symbolic center of Madrid. Admire the iconic Tio Pepe sign, visit the Equestrian Statue of King Carlos III, and soak in the lively atmosphere of this bustling square.

2. Plaza Mayor

Just a short walk from Puerta del Sol, you’ll find Plaza Mayor. Marvel at the stunning architecture, grab a delicious bocadillo (sandwich), and enjoy the street performers and artists that bring the square to life.

3. Royal Palace

Next, head to the Royal Palace, a grand architectural masterpiece. Take a tour of the opulent rooms, explore the beautiful gardens, and don’t forget to capture panoramic views of the city from the Sabatini Gardens.

4. Mercado de San Miguel

End your day with a visit to Mercado de San Miguel, a foodie’s paradise. Indulge in a variety of mouthwatering tapas, sample local wines, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this historic market.

Day 2: Art and Culture

Madrid is a haven for art lovers, boasting world-class museums and cultural institutions. Dedicate your second day to exploring the city’s vibrant arts scene:

1. Prado Museum

Start your day at the Prado Museum, home to an extensive collection of European art. Admire masterpieces by famous artists such as Velázquez, Goya, and El Greco. Don’t miss the iconic “Las Meninas” painting!

2. Reina Sofia Museum

Continue your artistic journey at the Reina Sofia Museum, where you can explore contemporary and modern art. Marvel at Picasso’s “Guernica” and discover works by renowned Spanish artists like Dalí and Miró.

3. Retiro Park

After immersing yourself in art, take a relaxing break at Retiro Park. Rent a rowboat on the boating lake, stroll through the beautiful gardens, or simply enjoy a picnic in this tranquil oasis.

4. Flamenco Show

End your day with a mesmerizing Flamenco show. Experience the passion and intensity of this traditional Spanish dance form at one of Madrid’s renowned Flamenco venues.

Day 3: Neighborhood Exploration

Madrid is made up of diverse and eclectic neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. Spend your third day exploring some of the most vibrant districts:

1. Malasaña

Start your day in Malasaña, Madrid’s hipster neighborhood. Wander through its narrow streets adorned with street art, visit quirky boutiques, and sip on artisanal coffee in one of the trendy cafés.

2. Chueca

Adjacent to Malasaña is Chueca, the city’s LGBTQ+ district. Explore its lively bars, visit unique shops, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife that this inclusive neighborhood offers.

3. La Latina

Head to La Latina for a taste of Madrid’s traditional side. Stroll through the bustling streets, visit the local market, and indulge in delicious tapas at the neighborhood’s numerous bars and taverns.

4. Gran Vía

End your day by exploring Gran Vía, Madrid’s main shopping street. Admire the stunning architecture, shop at renowned international brands, and catch a show at one of the historic theaters.

Day 4: Day Trips from Madrid

Madrid’s central geographical location makes it the perfect base for day trips to nearby towns and attractions. Here are some popular destinations to consider:

1. Toledo

Take a day trip to Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its medieval architecture and rich history. Explore the old town, visit the stunning Toledo Cathedral, and don’t forget to try the famous marzipan!

2. Segovia

Visit Segovia and be in awe of its iconic Roman aqueduct. Explore the fairy-tale-like Alcázar, a castle that reportedly inspired Disney’s Cinderella Castle, and indulge in the city’s traditional dish, cochinillo (roast suckling pig).

3. El Escorial

Discover the grandeur of El Escorial, a royal palace and monastery complex. Take a guided tour to learn about its historical significance and explore the stunning gardens surrounding the palace.

Day 5: Gastronomic Delights

Embark on a culinary adventure and experience the flavors of Madrid’s vibrant food scene:

1. San Miguel Market

Start your day at San Miguel Market, where you can sample a variety of Spanish delicacies. From fresh seafood to traditional pastries, this food market is a gastronomic paradise.

2. Tapas Crawl

Embark on a tapas crawl and visit different bars to savor Madrid’s famous tapas. Don’t forget to try classic dishes like patatas bravas, gambas al ajillo, and croquetas.

3. Mercado de la Cebada

Head to Mercado de la Cebada in La Latina neighborhood, another excellent food market. Explore the stalls selling fresh produce, local cheeses, and artisanal products.

4. Cooking Class

End your day by taking a cooking class to learn how to prepare authentic Spanish dishes. From paella to sangria, discover the secrets of Spanish cuisine and impress your friends back home!

Day 6: Shopping and Fashion

Madrid is renowned for its fashion and shopping scene. Spend your penultimate day exploring the city’s stylish side:

1. Salamanca Neighborhood

Start your day in the upscale Salamanca neighborhood, home to luxury boutiques and designer stores. Browse the high-end fashion brands and indulge in some retail therapy.

2. El Rastro Flea Market

Visit El Rastro, Madrid’s most famous open-air flea market. Hunt for unique vintage finds, browse through antiques, and soak in the lively atmosphere of this bustling market.

3. Gran Via

Return to Gran Vía, where you can shop at popular international chains and department stores. Take a break at one of the rooftop terraces and enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Day 7: Parks and Gardens

On your last day in Madrid, take a leisurely stroll through the city’s beautiful parks and gardens:

1. Casa de Campo

Explore Casa de Campo, Madrid’s largest park. Rent a bike, go for a walk, or simply relax amidst nature. Don’t miss the breathtaking views of the city from the cable car.

2. Debod Temple

Visit Debod Temple, an ancient Egyptian temple relocated to Madrid. Explore the temple’s interior, enjoy the peaceful surroundings, and catch a stunning sunset over the city.

3. El Retiro Park

End your week-long adventure at El Retiro Park, where you can visit the Crystal Palace, stroll around the lake, and admire the beautiful rose garden. Find a spot under a tree, have a picnic, and reflect on your amazing time in Madrid.

That wraps up our week-long itinerary for Madrid. We hope you found this guide helpful in planning your trip. Remember, this is just a starting point, and Madrid has so much more to offer. Enjoy your time in this vibrant city!

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What to Do in Madrid for a Week: A Complete Guide