Take in some first-class art during the day. Then take an evening promenade along Gran Via with the locals, who are out to see and be seen. Stop on your way for a beer and some tapas. Then get ready to enjoy the nightlife, in the city that never sleeps.
World-class art galleries, tapas bars on every corner and parties that go on all night long.
Things to do
Madrilenos love their department stores. Spend time browsing El Corte Ingles. The bustling flea market known as the Rastro takes place every Sunday. Or, if you’re looking for exclusive international brands, wander the Salamanca quarter to the north of the city.
Madrid may be smack dab in the centre of Spain, but the seafood here is in a class of its own. Opt for a mariscada, a seafood feast. Make sure you sample the Jamon Iberico too, with hams hanging from ceilings in every bar, and enjoy tapas with every drink.
From a treasure trove of Velazquez masterpieces in the Prado Museum, to Picasso’s deeply moving Guernica in the Reina Sofia, there are plenty of extremely important paintings to see. The Thyssen-Bornemisza is filled with modern art and a lovely spot to escape to.
If you’d like to make the most of the nightlife, don’t go out until later. ‘Madrugada’ is the local word for the time after midnight, when things really get going.
Top tip from SLH