Things to do in Madrid
Madrid-Uno's guide to fun and entertainment in Madrid. Info for the culture vultures (museums, exhibitions, fashion etc.) and for the diversion seekers (bars, clubs, concerts and los spectáculos). Please go here for restaurant reviews and our guide to eating Madrid style.
See the left menu for the category you're interested in. Below are our latest reviews of things to do and entertainment news.
Do The Terrace Thing
- What: Evening cocktails and long laidback lunchtimes the Madrileño way
- Location: All over the city
'La Terraza' is an integral part of the Madrid experience. Most of the denizens of the city have at least a pair of favourites, chosen for their favourable breeze, top tapas or, in the case of one chap I know, the amount of babes that walk by.
For the early evening (that's early Madrileño time - not normal people's time), public squares are popular and what is nice is how different groups are often represented, including children who will play in the little garden that usually accompanies these little 'plazas' or 'glorietas' and which allows the adults to supervise while still socialising. For nights, the chic place to be is either a rooftop terrace bar, but watch out for crowding, or terrazas in parks, usually cunningy sighted to pick up any prevailing breezes that may flow.
Lunch on the terrace, when done properly, is long and should involve at least two glasses of good Rioja. Cigarettes are smoked before, during and after courses. Conversation should be uninterrupted and preferably scandalous. The most elegant places are heavily sought after but every corner of the city has a fair selection, so you can usually find a table.
- What: Hire a Segway and cruise Madrid on two wheels
- Location: You can reserve via their web page - http://madsegs.com
- Summary: A superb tour around central Madrid on the motorised Segway HT.
Tours available 7 days a week (as long as you book in advance) this is probably the most original way to see some of the classic tourist sites in the heart of Madrid. The Segway HT is a self-balancing personal transport device that has been designed to operate in pedestrian environments. Easy , safe,... glide effortlessly through the city centre. Morning, afternoon and night tours (Mar-Oct - Morning glides start at 10:00, Afternoon glides start at 16:00, Night glides start at 21:00). Up to 8 Segways are available and everyone gets a bit of brief training before you set-off.
- What: Arabic Baths, Masseurs, Tea Shop and Restaurant
- Location: Atocha, 14 close to the historic centre of the city
- Summary: A proper steam bath and spa located in a building authentically renovated as such places would have been during the times of the Moors.
The Hammam has three rooms, each with water at different temperatures, plus a steam room. Silence is preserved and the pace is slow - all you hear is the tinkling of water, the rustle of towels and the occasional sigh of muted pleasure. The ambience is all soft lighting, perfumed aromas, and calm music - an excellernt anti-stress recipe. The contrasting temperatures of the hot and cold pools are designed to stimulate blood circulation and induce the elimination of toxins through sweating. You'll need a swimming suit but bathing caps are not necessary whilst towels and lockers are provided. And when you're done you can have nice cup of tea before you head back into the city.
You can reserve an hour and a half session in the baths + a 15 minute massage via their website which has an English section (although the booking form is still in Spanish - get your dictionary out). Will set you back between 35 to 45 Euroweenies depending on time of day, type of massage etc. Discounts for pensioners and students.
A Day At The Races - La Zarzuela Racecourse
- What: Horse racing course Hipodromo de La Zarzuela
- Location: West of the city on 'kilometro 8' exit on the A-6 Carretera de A Coruna www.hipodromodelazarzuela.es
Re-opened in 2005, the new management have really put effort into marketing what had become a rundown venue. The two most imprtant races are the Gran Premio de Madrid and the Memorial Duque de Toledo and once a year they do 'Ascot' and encourage the punters to turn up in their poshes outfits and drink champers - sorry Cava - always cava in Spain. Racing usually starts at 11.15am and entry tickets range from euro9 TO euro30. To place a bet to win is "para ganar" plus number, or for each way "para colocar" plus number.
Negone - La Fuga (The Escape)
- What: Escape from Jail adventure game - set in the distant future
- Location: Nuevos Ministerios www.negone.com
- Summary: It's the year 3010 and humanity has befallen under a tyrannical regime that encarcerates all those that would question its authority. Your job - to escape and save mankind.
Negone is a 4000m2 'jail' and the scenario is set in a modern dystopic future, where the guards have lasers to shoot you and there are electronic tags and CCTV to monitor you. Its dark inside, illuminated only by neon strips, and special FX are used to bombard your senses. You have to use ventilation shafts, ladders and gangways to get around and try to create diversions for the menacing guards. You have PDA monitors on your arms to help guide you and... well, we won't tell you some of the secrets so they remain a surprise if you decide to try! Open everyday from 11.00 to 22.00 midweek and special night sessions on Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays. It will set you back 14 to 17 euroweenies depending on time and number in group. When (or if) you escape, there is a bar which also offers snacks where you can discuss your adventures afterwards. There are more details on their web page (see link above) and the staff do speak limited English, although you're best going as a team if none of you speak Spanish otherwise you won't be able to plot and plan with your fellow inmates!