From the sloped, winding streets of Lavapiés to the buzzing nightlife of Malasaña, Madrid holidays encapsulate Spain’s vibrancy, plus plenty of personality of the city’s own. Its different neighbourhoods vibrate with character: a large South American community in the Cuatro Caminos district means there’s an abundance of Latin flavours there, while the Plaza de España is the city’s unofficial Asiatown.
If it’s authentic Spanish cuisine you’re after, you’ll be spoiled for choice – during holidays to Madrid you can easily take a culinary tour of the entire country, from Valencian paella to Galician grilled octopus. Bars and cafés spill out onto the street, and terrazza seating is a popular way to soak up the sun over a glass of local wine. Head east to spend a relaxing day in lush Retiro or check out the upmarket neighbourhoods of Salamanca and Chamberí. To the south, along the river, you’ll find a growing number of galleries and cultural spaces like the Matadero Madrid.
Barrio de las Letras offers old-world charm and streets paved with the words of Spain’s great writers. The nearby Paseo del Prado is home to many of the city’s major museums, as well as enough Picassos and Dalís to gratify any art lover. Whichever area of Madrid you’re wandering through, it’s a feast of colour, culture and flavour.
A gorgeously landscaped oasis in the centre of the city, this expansive park hosts gardens, concerts, a free exhibition space and lots of weekend picnics.
Check out Spanish antiques and enjoy some street food at this Sunday market in La Latina. It’s popular with locals and tourists, and don’t be afraid to haggle.
This large historic square in the centre of the old city is an architectural gem. To properly soak it in, grab a coffee at one of the many restaurants that line its fringes.