Having visitors is really fun, it sometimes it’s difficult deciding what to do with them in Madrid. Here’s some recommendations of things to do that I’ve done with some of my visitors in Madrid!
Take a mini-walking tour!
I live in the Argüelles neighborhood, so I’ve walked down to the Temple of Debod, to the Royal Palace, to Plaza Mayor and the Mercado de San Miguel, to Sol, and then went shopping down Gran Via, and then to Plaza de España. It’s a nice loop that hits all the main tourist sites of Madrid!
Eat traditional Spanish Food.
If you are like me, you might be a little tired of eating Spanish food, but your visitors aren’t! Some places I’ve found that visitors really like are:
Casa Mingo- a traditional Spanish “sideria” that serves amazing roasted chicken, tortilla, cider-soaked chorizo, and croquettes for a very reasonable price. Be sure to to try the sweet cider as well!
Churros at San Gines- San Gines is Madrid’s original churrería and is open 24-hours! It’s the best place in Madrid to get “churros con chocolate” and a must-do Madrid experience.
Cien Montaditos- a Spanish fast-food chain where you can choose from 100 tiny sandwiches for about 1 Euro each. There’s really nothing like it in the US, so it’s a lot of fun for travelers. It’s a great place to try lots of different new things, have a tapa-like experience, and drink some cheap beers.
The Perfect Sunday: El Rastro, Tapa hopping, Retiro & free Reina Sofia.
For a true Madrileño experience, take your visitors to el Rastro, the big flea market in La Latina that occurs every Sunday. Then head to Calle de la Cava Baja for a fun, authentic tapa-hopping experience. (I recommend Juana la Loca and Pez Tortilla)
From there you can have a nice walk through the neighborhood of La Latina, down to the Renia Sofia Museum. It's free on Sunday from 1:30-7pm on Sunday, so it is the perfect time to see Pablo Picasso's Guernica.
After your time at the museum, head across the street for a stroll in Buen Retiro park. It's my favorite park in Madrid, and you will see many Spanish families in the park on Sunday. It's the Spanish thing to do! This fun Sunday experience is something you can only do in Madrid, and it highlights the unique culture of the people here.
Do Touristy things without Shame.
I try to do more authentic things in Madrid, and hardly ever go into the city center. However, when you have visitors, do all those touristy things that you haven't done yet, or maybe are too embarressed to do since you live here. Eat tapas at the Mercado de San Miguel or Museo de Jamon, take your photo with fat spiderman, or go to a flamenco show! I recently toured the Royal Palace for the first time, and it was amazing! Having visitors is a great time to do all those things you've been putting off.