3 Lesser-Known Madrid Excursions to Add to your To-See List

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Teach In Spain Program + 4 Weeks of Spanish Immersion

Authored By:

Katie M.

Between its numerous museums, parks, and shops, Madrid certainly doesn’t lack for things to do. Surely by now you’ve heard about beautiful Retiro Park, shopping along Gran Via, and the historical Prado Museum. And if you’re currently in Madrid, I’ll bet you’ve already been to at least one, if not all three of them. That’s why I’m here to tell you about three lesser-known Madrid excursions that should be on your to-see list: the Chamberí Ghost Station, Rialto Theater (Teatro Rialto), and Cerralbo Museum (Museo Cerralbo).


Chamberí Ghost Station

Chamberí Station was one of eight original stops on the first metro line ever to be built in the city of Madrid. The station was forced to close its doors in 1966 because the volume of metro riders and the longer length of the trains had become too much for the station to handle. It’s known as the Ghost Station today because it is preserved exactly how it was on the day it shut down in 1966, from the original ticket office to the vintage tiles and advertisements on the walls and the vintage tiles.

The Ghost Station is located in the Plaza de Chamberí, in the neighborhood of Chamberí. Entry is free and includes a thirty-minute guided tour. Reservations are not required, but highly recommended, and can only be made during the last week of each month. Additionally, the station is only open to visitors Friday through Sunday. To find more information, book a reservation, or to check out Madrid's other metro museums, you can go to https://museosmetromadrid.es.


Rialto Theater (Teatro Rialto)

The Rialto Theater opened in 1930 as a movie theater and operated as such for over seventy years. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that it was renovated and turned into a multi-functional theater that also houses live performances. Theater is a terrific, but often overlooked, way to experience the local culture of a new place. It’s also a great way to immerse yourself in the local language and learn! I recommend to everyone, not just theater lovers, to see a live performance while they are in Madrid.

The Rialto Theater is located on Gran Vía, in the center of Madrid. It’s currently showing Mamma Mia! until January 15th. There are shows every day except for Mondays and holidays. For more information on upcoming shows and to book tickets, you can go to https://teatromadrid.com/teatro-rialto.


Cerralbo Museum (Museo Cerralbo)

The Cerralbo Museum is very different from your typical art or history museum. The building that houses the museum was formerly the home of Spanish aristocrats, the Duke and Duchess of Cerralbo, in the nineteenth century. The house has since been converted into a museum to showcase the family's lifestyle. The family clearly was very wealthy; the house is stuffed to the brim with books, paintings, furniture, sculptures, weaponry, and other knick-knacks. You truly won’t know where to look when you enter each room, because of the beauty and luxury of each.

The Cerralbo Museum is located between Plaza de España and Parque del Oeste, on Calle de Ventura Rodríguez. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 AM-3 PM and Sundays and holidays from 10-3 PM. Entry is normally €3 but is free on Thursdays from 5-8 PM and on Sundays. There is usually a line, so expect a wait and give yourself plenty of time to experience the museum. For more information, go to https://www.culturaydeporte.gob.es/mcerralbo.


In the grand scope of things to do in Madrid, these three activities are lesser known, but well worth doing. Travel back in time to the 1960s as you descend into Chamberí Ghost Station. Enjoy a night out at the Rialto Theater. Experience the way of life of Spanish aristocrats at the Cerralbo Museum. If these activities are already on your list of things to see in Madrid, move them to the top! And if they aren’t already on the list, then add them!