Weekend in Madrid: A journey Through Culture And Flavours


Weekend in Madrid: A journey Through Culture And Flavours

Are you an art lover and looking for a low cost destination to reach to give vent to your passion? a weekend in Madrid is definitely for you with its famous and rich museums as well as a modern and liberal city. What are you waiting for? Look for a nice low cost flight and book a hotel in the center of Madrid, so you will have everything at your fingertips, museums for the day and clubs for the night.

The first artistic stop, if you are a lover of modern art, can only be the Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia housed in the renovated building of the Madrid Hospital. It is a museum that houses a significant number of contemporary art works, a collection recently formed thanks to donations. Surrealist and Cubist works predominate in this museum, you will find many works by Mirò, Picasso and Dalì, and many works that you have generally only been able to admire in art books: one name above all "Guernica" by Picasso.

The real heart is precisely the artistic exhibition in Madrid, however the Prado remains which hosts a much broader artistic period, with authors of the caliber of Goya and Velazquez. Also in the same area, the so-called "museum island", there is also the Thyssen-Bornemisza where you can admire one of the largest private collections in the world, a collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza family and housed in the Villahermosa palace.

Free things to see in Madrid

If you want to make your holiday in Madrid truly low cost, then consider that there are many possibilities for free visits to Madrid's artistic heritage. Just inquire in advance to enjoy free entries to the museums already mentioned. For example, you could visit the Prado at the end of the day: in fact, free entry is available from Monday to Saturday from 6pm and on Sunday from 5pm. In this case you won't have enough time to see everything, but if you have areas that interest you you can concentrate on those. You can also enter the Reina Sofia for free on Sundays and Saturdays from 2.30pm.

The Best Things to See in Madrid for Free

  1. Retiro Park: This beautiful park offers large green areas, a lake where you can rent rowing boats, and a variety of statues and monuments. It's perfect for a walk or a picnic.
  2. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (free entry during certain times): admire contemporary art including Picasso's “Guernica” during free entry times.
  3. Prado Museum (free entry in the last two hours of opening): you can visit the Prado Museum in the last two hours of free opening to admire works of art by Goya, Velázquez and other masters.
  4. Sorolla Museum: the house-museum of the painter Joaquín Sorolla offers free entry to European Union citizens.
  5. El Rastro Market: This famous flea market is held on Sunday mornings in the streets of La Latina and is ideal for shopping for vintage items, clothing, and souvenirs.
  6. Changing of the Guard Ceremony: At the Royal Palace, you can attend the Changing of the Guard ceremony held on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
  7. Temple of Debod: This ancient Egyptian temple donated to Spain offers panoramic views of the city and is a perfect place to watch the sunset.
  8. Plaza Mayor: This historic square is great for a stroll and admiring the architecture. You can also find street artists and musicians performing here.
  9. Neighborhood walks: Madrid's charming neighborhoods, such as Malasaña, Lavapiés, and La Latina, are perfect for a stroll to discover shops, cafes, and street art.
  10. National Library: The National Library is a beautiful building with a magnificent interior, and offers free entry. You can also consult books and documents in the reading room.
  11. Casa de Campo: this large park offers a vast green area, lakes, and cycle paths. It is ideal for a day outdoors and offers the possibility of going on free excursions.
  12. Street Art in Lavapiés: The Lavapiés neighborhood is known for its lively street art scene. You can walk through the streets to discover murals and works of urban art.
  13. San Miguel Market (to admire the architecture): Even if you have to pay for food you can visit the San Miguel Market to admire the modernist architecture of the market.

Itinerary for a 3-day weekend in Madrid

Below we recommend an itinerary for a weekend in Madrid. A three-day adventure to discover this lively and fascinating city. Madrid is a destination rich in culture, art, gastronomy and much more and we have prepared a well-structured itinerary for you to make the most of your time here.

Day 1: Exploring the Historic Center of Madrid


  • Breakfast at Chocolatería San Ginés: Start your day with a typical Spanish breakfast of hot chocolate and churros in this famous historic spot. La Chocolateria San Ginés: opened in 1894.
  • Palacio Real (Royal Palace): Visit the majestic Royal Palace, the official residence of the Spanish rulers and admire the splendid interiors and gardens.


  • Plaza Mayor: Head to the Plaza Mayor, one of the most iconic squares in Madrid and stroll among the stalls and outdoor cafes in the area.
  • Mercado de San Miguel: Have lunch at Mercado de San Miguel, a covered market with a wide variety of delicious traditional Spanish foods.
  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: Admire artistic masterpieces in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum located on Madrid's “Museum Island”.


  • Plaza de la Villa: Enjoy an evening stroll in the picturesque Plaza de la Villa and admire the historic architecture.
  • Tapas in La Latina: Dine at one of the restaurants or tapas bars in the La Latina neighborhood to enjoy authentic Spanish dishes.

Day 2: Art and Culture


    • Prado Museum: Spend the morning exploring the Prado Museum, one of the most important art museums in the world, with works by artists such as Goya, Velázquez and others.
    • Retiro Park: after the museum, relax in Retiro Park, a green oasis in the heart of Madrid, and rent a rowing boat on the lake.


    • Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia: Visit the Museo Reina Sofia to admire contemporary art, including Picasso's famous “Guernica” painting.
    • CaixaForum: take a short visit to CaixaForum, a cultural center that hosts art exhibitions and cultural events.


    • Gran Vía: passeggiate long the famous Gran Vía of Madrid, with its numerous windows and theaters.
    • Dinner in Malasaña: choose one of the restaurants or bistros in Malasaña, a bohemian quarter with a lively atmosphere.

    Day 3: Exploration and Shopping


    • El Rastro: dedicate the morning to El Rastro, Madrid's famous flea market, where you can find vintage items, souvenirs and more.
    • La Latina: return to the La Latina neighborhood for an informal lunch in one of the traditional restaurants.


    • Museo Nacional de Arte Romano: Visit the National Museum of Roman Art to explore Roman history in Spain.
    • Templo de Debod: Admire the Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple donated to Spain, with a panoramic view of the city.


    • Shopping on Gran Via: Take some time to shop along Gran Vía, with its boutiques and fashion shops.
    • Dinner in Plaza Santa Ana: end your weekend in Madrid with a dinner in one of the restaurants in Plaza Santa Ana surrounded by a lively atmosphere.

    Where to eat in Madrid on your weekend

    This section is dedicated to the delicious flavors that you can enjoy during your weekend in Madrid. You can't miss the opportunity to explore its rich food and wine scene. Here is a list of restaurants, tapas bars and clubs to try during your three days in Madrid:

    The Best Restaurants in Madrid:

    1. Botín: The oldest restaurant in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, known for its exquisite roast pork.
    2. Sobrino de Botín: Another traditional restaurant serving delicious Spanish dishes, located near the Botín.
    3. Casa Lucio: Famous for its fried eggs with potatoes and ham, it is a point of reference for locals.
    4. Mercado de San Miguel: A covered market with a wide range of traditional Spanish food, perfect for trying different delicacies.
    5. Restaurante La Bola: Famous for its specialty, Madrid meatballs, served with tasty tomato sauce.

    The Best Tapas in Madrid:

    1. El Sur: A popular spot for Spanish tapas, with a great selection of dishes to share.
    2. Taberna el Sur: Offers a wide variety of fresh and tasty tapas, served in a welcoming atmosphere.
    3. Casa Toni: An authentic tapas stop frequented by Madrilenians, famous for its traditional dishes.
    4. Taberna Antonio Sánchez: Here you can taste the famous “callos a la madrileña” (Madrilenian tripe) and other delicious tapas.

    The Best Bars in Madrid:

    1. Casa Mono: A trendy bar known for its creative cocktails and hip vibe.
    2. Cervecería Alemana: A historic bar offering a wide selection of Spanish and German beers.
    3. El Tigre: Famous for the generous portions of free tapas that accompany the drinks.
    4. Ojalá: A trendy bar with a relaxing atmosphere and a wide range of cocktails.
    Be sure to book in advance at the most renowned restaurants and don't forget to experience the typical and delicious Spanish tapas during your weekend in Madrid.