A Perfect Day in Madrid


The more you travel to Spain’s gorgeous capital city — experiencing its vibrant art scene, delectable cuisine and profound history — the more your fondness for this city grows. Add in the SELECT Hotels & Resorts benefits you receive for booking through our agency, and this could be your perfect day in Madrid.

7:16 AM
Start your day at the InterContinental Madrid, a cosmopolitan retreat near the high-end fashion boutiques of Salamanca as well as Madrid’s world-class museums. Thanks to booking this SELECT hotel through our agency, you can enjoy access to the exclusive Club Lounge, a stylish space complete with a dedicated Guest Relations team.

8:08 AM
Under the rising sun, Madrid’s bars are already ushering in an entire city of early risers in search of strong coffee and a hearty breakfast. Join them on the stools at Bar Cruz and watch as the owner grinds coffee beans with one hand and fills a tortilla with the other. Order the pan con tomate, a simple toasted baguette with freshly grated tomato spooned on top that you put together yourself, ensuring the baguette stays crisp until the moment you take a bite.
9:27 AM
Ready to attack the day, walk east to find the world-famous Prado Museum. If strolling the halls filled with paintings by such masters as Velázquez, Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Bosch does not inspire you, then, a few blocks away, the boating lake, rose garden and fountains of the 19th-century El Retiro Park surely will.
12:45 PM
Next, visit the Mercado de la Cebada, a collection of little seafood stalls that band together to create bustling aisles of pop-up seafood restaurants. Order a few plates of fresh-caught fare by weight, which the fishmonger will season liberally with salt, olive oil and paprika. Balance your sea-foodie odyssey with a delicate albariño from one of the chic wine bars nearby.
2:55 PM
In the afternoon, take a slow stroll through the winding, candy-colored streets of Lavapiés — a working-class neighborhood with a rich history. Here you’ll be welcomed at La Tabacalera, Madrid’s old cigarette factory built over 200 years ago. This huge industrial building is now a local community space with resident painters, craftsmen and musicians occupying every nook and cranny. All the walls are covered in street art, and you’ll even spot a few famous graffiti artists if you look closely.
5:36 PM
For dinner, visit Bodegas Rosell, a charming, 99-year-old bodega just a 15-minute walk from La Tabacalera. There might be a free table in the front of this iconic restaurant, but book ahead for a pretty, white marble-topped table in the informal dining area behind the bar. Order their croquettes and melt-in-your-mouth bacalao (salted cod). Everything on their menu is delicious; it’s no wonder that this old bodega is so popular with local Madrileños.
8:30 PM
Fancy some post-dinner live jazz? Go straight to Café El Despertar, a Lavapiés institution with bands playing every night of the week. Order a drink at the splendid marble bar and take your time admiring the turn-of-the-century surroundings. Café El Despertar sits among the most iconic locales of Madrid’s post-dictatorship era, and playing a gig here remains a rite of passage for many local jazz musicians, just as it has been since its founding in 1981.
10:15 PM
Return to the InterContinental Madrid and head to Bar 49. Whether you enjoy the elegant atmosphere, regional wines or special tapas designed by Miguel de la Fuente, this is the ideal place to toast the day and make plans for more adventures to come.

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