Madrid bucket list
Wherever you go in Spain, you can’t get away from tapas culture. However, there are other things to do and eat if you know what you’re looking for! Stay in Spain for long enough and you’ll drown in tapas, so here are a couple other things that you need on your Madrid bucket list.
Eat at the world’s oldest restaurant
Sobrino de Botín, just outside of Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, is the longest running restaurant in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. It opened in the 18th century and has never closed down, even in the worst of times. In fact, Madrid’s claim to fame still uses the same oven as it did all those centuries ago. As a tourist trap, it is a bit pricey and you should probably make a reservation beforehand, but it definitely belongs on your Madrid bucket list. This is hands down the best start to your Madrid food guide!
Try a calamari sandwich
Spaniards love their fried squid, and Madrid is no different. The calamari sandwich is a famous snack in Madrid, especially to eat in Plaza Mayor. There are tons of restaurants around the plaza that offer it for a few euro. Plaza Mayor is also the place to be in Spain, so it’s also a famous stop if you attend a Madrid walking tour.
Go to a fútbol match
There’s a cheesy joke that Spaniards love to pull on tourists – what’s the most popular religion in Spain? The Spanish are pretty obsessed with it, and while you’re in Madrid you need a Real Madrid game on your Madrid bucket list. They play once or twice a week, and it’s a great way to really stick your face in Spanish culture.
Chocolatería de San Ginés
If you’re at all interested in chocolate, check this place out. This restaurant is also centrally located, and is a huge part of Madrid’s personality. It’s been open and running since the 1800s, and is famous for their chocolate con churros – there’s always a line out the door (don’t worry, they’ve mastered the art of fast service), so you know it’s gotta be good!
Watch a bullfight
These days, bullfighting is an art full of controversy. In my experience, many Spaniards hate it. I delve more into the subject of the Spanish bullfight and the different ideas surrounding it in other posts, so I’ll leave you to discover those. Just know that for those of us who travel in order to take in a new country and its history, it’s worth it to have the experience. Madrid has one of the biggest bullfighting rings in Spain, so this is a must-do for your Madrid bucket list.
Sunday morning Rastro
El Rastro is Madrid’s flea market, held every Sunday morning. Its name, meaning ‘trail’, comes from the days when tanners would transport dead animals down the street, leaving trails of blood. That doesn’t apply to modern-day Rastro, of course. If you don’t want to shop in tourist shops, go to Rastro! You’ll find everything from tourist treats to clothes to underwear.
If you’re looking for other things to do, check out the best tourist traps. Don’t worry, they’re absolutely worth it!