Madrid is full of amazing street art, historical buildings, urban architecture, cool cafes and restaurants, authentic food experiences, and lots more that you can explore. After you have checked out the major attractions in the city, there are also numerous activities that you should make an effort to try–especially if you really want to get to know how the locals have fun and live. Here are some of the top non-touristy things to do in Madrid that are worth doing if you have some time there or you want to experience rather than the main attractions.
Try out rollerblading in Parque del Retiro
Parque del Retiro is the most popular park in the city. A major activity that tourists typically choose to do at the park is to rent row boats and paddle around the lake. However, if you are looking for a slightly quirkier, non-touristy thing to do in Madrid, you can try out rollerblading in the park. It features wide asphalted streets that attract rollerblading fans throughout the year and you can either bring your blades or rent some by the hour if you would like. Best of all, first-timers can join a class so they get the most out of their first rollerblading experience.
Wander around the Parque de El Capricho
This park is located slightly out of the city center and is considered to be among the most stunning and fascinating parks in Madrid. On top of its amazing location, it’s also worth visiting for its Italian, French, and English architectural styles. The park is also surrounded by Grecian columns and ruins, a palace, a large lake with black swans, and a labyrinth made from manicured bushes and trees. Perfect for a free afternoon with not a lot to do.
Enjoy a relaxing time in the hamman
After wandering around Madrid, one of the best things to do to relax those tired muscles is to head to the Hamman Al Andalus, where you can rest and rejuvenate your body. The hamman is a favorite spot for locals, since it is cheap and the ideal spot for pampering yourself after a long day of exploration. Check their website and make a reservation in advance so you can visit during off-peak hours in order to avoid the crowds.
Wander around Matadero
The Matadero was once the largest slaughterhouse in Madrid, but it has since been converted into a large cultural center featuring art and public exhibits. The center is filled with a wide range of activities worth checking out, including special events featuring local artists and photographers. The best part? You won’t find many other tourists here.
Go sightseeing at the Tabacalera area
This area is a great destination to go for art lovers. This neighborhood houses some truly incredibly street art by 25 different artists, all focusing on nature as a theme. The area is a favorite among Instagrammer’s and is among the top non-touristy things to do in Madrid from travelers looking to get off the beaten path.
Enjoy panoramic views of the city at Tartan Roof
Tartan Roof can be found on the top of the Bellas Artes building and is a great spot to enjoy lovely views of the city from downtown Madrid. Start exploring the building by visiting the museum before then taking an elevator to the top. From there, the bar and restaurant have a number of spaces for great photos and a chance to enjoy the magnificent skyline of the city.
Go shopping along Calle Fuencarral
Madrid is filled with endless shopping opportunities. However, if you are seeking a more laid-back shopping experience while in the city, make sure to head to Calle Fuencarral. This vibrant, tree-lined street divides Chueca and Malasana neighborhoods (which are both worth visiting, as well). You will find almost anything you might want to take back home with you–and the prices are cheaper too!
Have you tried any of these activities out while you were in Madrid?
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