Flights to Madrid (MAD)

If you’re catching flights to Madrid, bring all of your appetite—the city is filled with art, architecture, atmosphere, and amazing food.
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Madrid, Spain

What to do in Madrid

Embrace the night

Madrid is a city for night owls, where dinner doesn’t start until late and the mingling rarely stops before morning. If you enjoy socializing in lounges, cafes, and music venues, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The highlights include Club Musée, a nightlife venue that doubles as an art gallery.

Alberto Alcocer, 33
+34 677 585 982

See live music

Madrid has one of the coolest, most eclectic music scenes in Spain. Check out Café Populart, a trendy venue in the city center. Previous performers have been varied and eclectic—from country and western duos to Latin jazz bands. A little bit of something for everyone.

Calle de Las Huertas, 22
+34 91 429 8407

Browse the Golden Triangle of Art

Madrid is home to one of the world’s largest art galleries—the Prado Museum, which contains more than 9,000 pieces. Once you’re done exploring, head over to Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza; together, the three make up Madrid’s famous Golden Triangle of Art.

Museo Nacional del Prado (Prado Museum)
Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23
+34 91 330 2800

Be entertained at Teatro de la Zarzuela

For a taste of old-world Spanish culture, visit this beautiful 19th-century theater, which hosts everything from musical theater to opera and ballet. The performances are usually in Spanish, but even if you don’t understand the language, you’ll still appreciate the showmanship, music, and setting.

Calle de Jovellanos, 4
+34 91 524 5400

Visit the food markets

One of the best ways to soak up Madrid's atmosphere and try its cuisine is to get up early and head for the food markets. Mercado de San Miguel is probably the most popular with the crowds, but locals in the know head to the cozier Mercado de San Anton instead.

Mercado de San Anton
Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24
+34 91 330 0730

Relax in Parque del Retiro

When you fancy a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, Madrid has plenty of leafy parks for a relaxing stroll. Parque del Retiro, near the Plaza de la Independencia, is a particularly beautiful spot; it's a 19th-century park with green spaces, a large pond, and a "palace" that hosts exhibitions and art shows.

Plaza de la Independencia, 7
+34 91 530 0041

Where to eat in Madrid

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Casa Lucio (Spanish)

Casa Lucio offers a slice of Madrid history. Opened in 1974, it’s owned and run by Lucio Blazquez, who began working there at the age of 12, when it was still the Meson del Segoviano. It maintains its old-fashioned charm today. Don’t leave without trying the huevos estrellados (smashed eggs).

Calle Cava Baja, 35
+34 91 365 3252

El Club Allard (International)

This Michelin two-star restaurant has a number of set menus based around various themes. You’ll love the quirky little touches—for example, the petit fours, which are shaped like sticks of chalk, are served on a mini chalkboard.

Calle de Ferraz, 2
Bajo derecha
+34 91 559 0939

Botín (Spanish)

This charming spot near the Plaza Mayor has been open since 1725, and is recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest restaurant in the world. The great Romantic painter Francisco Goya reportedly worked here in 1765, and Ernest Hemingway was a fan. The house specialty is meat roasted in a cast iron wood-burning stove.

Calle de las Cuchilleros, 17
+34 91 366 4217

Subiendo al Sur (International)

This hidden gem of a cafe is perfect for the environmentally and socially conscious traveler. Not only do they stock Fairtrade products and organic ingredients, they also donate profits to worthy charities. Add a cozy atmosphere and friendly service, and it’s the perfect spot for a relaxed dinner.

Calle Ponciano, 5
+34 91 548 1147

DiverXO (Fusion)

Madrid’s only Michelin three-star restaurant is special; the only thing edgier than the decor is the mohawked owner, Chef David Munoz. The menu draws from a range of cuisines, including Spanish, French, and Japanese. Somehow the unusual combinations, such as tomato sorbet or wasabi ice cream, all turn out brilliantly. Book well ahead.

Calle de Padre Damián, 23
+34 91 570 0766

Santceloni (International)

Michelin-starred Chef Oscar Velasco helms this sophisticated Mediterranean restaurant, which has been serving discerning Madrileños for more than a decade. Here are three things to keep in mind when you plan your visit: book ahead, dress smartly, and bring your appetite—the Menu Gastronomique has a whopping 10 courses.

Paseo de la Castellana, 57
+34 91 210 8840

Places to stay in Madrid

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AC Palacio del Retiro

If you want to splurge on somewhere truly special, this boutique hotel in Madrid fits the bill. Located in an early 20th-century building with lovely views of the Parque del Retiro’s green spaces, this hotel offers impeccable service and spacious rooms. It also makes a great base for sightseeing.

Calle de Alfonso XII, 14
+34 91 523 7460

Hotel Orfila

Even though it’s close to the city center, this boutique hotel has an air of quiet calm. Housed in a converted 19th-century mansion, it’s the perfect place for a quiet, relaxing stay in Madrid. The leafy patio and garden is a great place to spend an afternoon with a book.

Calle Orfila, 6
+34 91 702 7770

Hotel Ritz by Belmond

If it’s old-school glamor you want, head for this hotel, which was built at the request of King Alfonso XIII. The roll call of guests who’ve checked in here includes celebrities, politicians, and presidents. The service is impeccable; linger in the lobby lounge for afternoon tea or dine in the magnificent setting of the Goya Restaurant.

Plaza Lealtad, 5
+34 91 701 6767

Residencia Sudamericana

If you’re on a budget, head for the charming Residencia Sudamericana. This laid-back hostel near the Prado Museum is popular with discerning backpackers, and a cut above the usual cheap accommodation: think wooden floors, quiet and pleasant rooms, and great views over the Paseo del Prado.

Paseo del Prado, 12
+34 91 429 2564

Westin Palace Madrid

Westin Palace Madrid is a luxury hotel located conveniently close to the Golden Triangle of Art. While there are lots of lounges and restaurants within walking distance, you must dine at least once at La Rotonda, an elegant restaurant under a huge stained-glass dome that attracts a fashionable crowd.

Plaza de las Cortes, 7
+34 91 360 8000

Villa Magna

This quiet and elegant boutique hotel is home to two of the best restaurants in Madrid— Restaurante Villa Magna and Tse Yang. The rooms are lavish (think huge beds and marble baths), there’s a lovely spa, and the lively lounge and its adjoining terrace are popular with both locals and guests.

Paseo de la Castellana, 22
+34 91 587 1234

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Articles from Open Skies

Once upon a time in Almeria For a decade during the mid-1960s, hidden away in the southeastern Spanish province of Almeria were the stirrings of a cinematic resurrection. Among the hot desert winds of the eroded badlands, a band of European filmmakers flocked to the Tabernas Desert, making it home to the Spaghetti Western. Its semiarid landscape emulated the American Arizona Desert and the northern Mexican border where the films’ scenarios were set. The genre became known as the Spaghetti Western

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