Guide to **LOVING** Madrid

Very few things in this world give me as much joy as presenting people with the opportunity to enjoy Madrid as much as I do. I found myself making this 3-day guide to Madrid for my best pal who recently visited and realized that I should 100% share this knowledge with the rest of the world (you're welcome internet).  Granted, not all of the following stops are underground gems by any means. There are some touristy ones in here... but hey! They’re touristy for a reason: they’re dope. This guide is the ~Sparknotes edition to loving Madrid in a mere 3 days~, so I did it fer-da culture.

You will be eating and drinking your way through Madrid so let’s get started.

Day 1:

Start in the Centro/Sol neighborhood. The first thing you’ll want to do is walk around the area a lil.


Step 1: Start by walking around Plaza Mayor, don’t eat at one of the restaurants though because they’re overpriced and not that good.

Start the day off with snacks:

Step 2: Right next to Plaza Mayor, there’s an indoor market called El Mercado de San Miguel

  • Tons of food vendors, great place to try a variety of Spanish cuisine. Not a sit-down place, so you’ll be walking around with a glass of wine bopping from vendor to vendor and trying a plethora of delicious foods!


Step 3Also right next to Plaza Mayor: super cheap (1 euro) DELICIOUS tacos at Tacos al Pastor.

Always an insane line there, but it moves quickly and the staff are precious. Be their friends. Speak Spanish to them. They’ll eat that $#!+ up. Step 4: After eating at one or both (lol) of these restaurants, walk 10 minutes to El Palacio Real

  • You can pay ~20 euro to go inside the palace, it’s really gorgeous but it’s totally up to you!

And then go INSIDE the modern cathedral right next to el Palacio Real (it’s free). It’s called La Catedral de la Almudena. It’s soooo BEAUTIFUL I promise.

Step 5: Don’t stop drinking noooow….

Right around sunset, walk to Círculo de Bellas Artes, a rooftop bar that overlooks Madrid. Pretty touristy, so there will be a line to get up there if you cut it too close to sunset. So try to get up there an hour before, so you don’t miss the sunset while you're in line for the elevator (lmao). Sometimes the music sounds like you’re on a legitimate spaceship but the view itself is worth it, and people always want to go up there so just dooo it :)                                                                                                                       (just views on views on views)  

Step 6: Now go home and nap. Wake up around 8:30-9 and think about getting ready for dinner, because if you didn’t go to Lateral for lunch, you have to head here tonight. Lateral is the literal bomb. It’s a sit down place with a slappin’ menu. Have a drink/eat some tapas outside on the patio and treat yo'self  Step 7: GO OUT!

  • Go to Teatro Kapital. Doesn’t matter if you go Friday or Saturday but you’re gonna wanna go to Kapi because it’s a club that has 7 floors, 4 of the floors have their own distinct DJs/music. Go find out what’s on the 7th floor ;)

  • Locals don’t go out til like 2:30am, but all the tourists show up at a reasonable hour like 1am.

Day 2:

Step 1: Brunch

  • Pum Pum Cafe, Federal OR Carmencita
  • Check out the menus for all of them and pick one, you won’t be disappointed! Step 2: Doing things!!!!

  • Walk to El museo de arte la Reina Sofía (my personal favorite museum)

  • Make sure you see Guernica, it’s an incredibly famous painting by Picasso *swoon*

  • Walk 15 mins from la Reina Sofía to el Parque del Retiro.

  • Grab a beer (or two) at an alimentación (corner stores) and check out the boats. You can lounge around in them if you want (for like 5 euros) :)

  • Check out el Palacio de Cristal while you’re in the park


Step 3: Lunch

  • Uber or take the metro to LA MUSA (should be located really close to where you’re staying so you can go nap after lunch)

    • My second favorite restaurant in Madrid (you’re going to my favorite for dinner so...)

    • Eat on the patio if the wait isn’t too long

    • 4 out the 5 times I've been there, I ordered the 30 euro sampling menu because it’s yummy AF. Loved the mushroom dish. I’m sure everything else they have is fab too though! (order share for 2 people, part of the 3 course meal is pictured below)

  • Do whatever you wanna do the rest of the day, I would recommend going to the neighborhood Malasaña to do some shopping!

Step 4: Dinner

  • JUANA LA LOCA. MAKE A RESERVATION ASAP. In fact, do it right now! Best meal I had in Madrid. You’re gonna want to try eeeevverrrything on the menu.

Step 5: GO OUT

Be sure to vist JOY. It is Centrally located in Sol/Ópera area. It. Is. So. Much. Fun. You. Will. Not. Regret. It.

Day 3:  

Step 1: Go to El Rastro. It’s an outdoor market that they set up every Sunday from 9am-3pm and I’ve gotten some pretty dope shit (tapestries/food/jackets) from the vendor

Step 2: BRUNCH!!! go to Ojalá

  • Realllyy yummy restaurant in Malasaña, has a really dope vibe + sand on the floor (literally idk, you've gotta see it for yourself) ​


  • I try to pay with cash at these smaller places so bring some euros witcha :)

  • The metro takes you literally everywhere for cheap. Uber is also a thing in Madrid, and for some reason everyone who drives Uber drives a damn Tesla. Sweet. However, WALKING is the best way to get around and see the city since everything is fairly close by!


  • Teatro Kapital

  • JOY

  • Barcelo

  • Gabana

  • Croquetas:

    • Ok maybe you’re STILL hungry. If you happen to be in the Malasaña neighborhood (where there is GREAT shopping) and want croquetas. GO TO PEZ TORTILLA.

    • There are 2 locations (one in Malasaña and one in La Latina, go to whichever one you’re closer to)

      • THE CROQUETAS ARE AMAZING. I couldn’t find a way to fit it into your itinerary very smoothly but GO HEERREEEEE FOR A CROQUETA OR 6!

  • Most famous/delicious churros in Madrid are at a place called Chocolatería San Gines

    • You must go here, up to you when you wanna squeeze that in! Super famous churros place. The entire restaurent is decoarated with thousands of famous people who have come to it (Madonna, etc.- do the others really matter?). They’re open 24 hours so you can go when you’re drunk, for a quick snack, literally whenever... It’s right next to Plaza Mayor so you can fit that in on any of your days!!! MAYBE even go here after going to Lateral for dinner.

All in all, Madrid is a gorgeous city to visit, even if only for three days.  It is a hallmark of spanish culture, and I'm sure you will fall in love with it, just the way I have. XOXO