The laid-back, leisurely pace of life makes it easy to relax in Madrid!
However, we know that’s easier said than done, especially when traveling. As you try and check all of Madrid’s myriad iconic sights off your list, it can be hard to remember to slow down and embrace the slow-paced Spanish lifestyle. In fact, you may even find that doing so can be one of the most rewarding parts of your trip, even if you don’t get as much sightseeing done. Here are some great ways to relax in Madrid so you can refresh, recharge, and get ready for the rest of your trip.
Visit a lesser-known park
Madrid is one of Europe’s greenest capitals, with dozens of beautiful parks and green spaces. Some of them, like Retiro and Casa de Campo, are popular among tourists and locals alike. While these parks are definitely worth a visit, one of the best ways to relax in Madrid is to get away from the city center and explore a park most tourists would never find. From the stunning rose garden at Parque del Oeste to the sprawling lush greenery at Dehesa de la Villa, there’s no shortage of beautiful parks to explore in Madrid.
Enjoy a movie
We know what you might be thinking: “Can’t I see movies back home?” However, the unique experience of seeing a movie in a foreign country can be quite fun. It’s familiar, yet just different enough to feel totally new, making it one of our favorite ways to relax in Madrid. Many local cinemas show films in their original language (often English). Be sure to look for “V.O.” (versión original) on the screening schedule so you don’t accidentally end up at a dubbed film! However, that can be quite the interesting way to practice your Spanish, if you’re up for the challenge.
Discover hidden gems at an off-the-beaten-path museum
There’s no shortage of incredible galleries and museums in Madrid. While iconic places like the Prado are absolutely worth a visit, their popularity among tourists doesn’t exactly make it the best place to relax in Madrid. Instead, head to one of the city’s equally fascinating lesser-known museums. Discover hidden religious treasures at the spooky Convent of the Barefoot Nuns (Plaza de las Descalzas, s/n), get to know talented painters like Joaquín Sorolla at his home-turned-museum (Paseo del General Martínez Campos, 37), and more.
Stretch it out at a yoga class
Simple, easy movement can be a great way to relax. Luckily, Madrid offers hundreds of great yoga classes, many of which are even taught in English! Local instructor Eliza Coolsma offers a variety of classes, from the traditional vinyasa flow to prenatal yoga for expectant moms-to-be, held in Retiro Park during the warm months. Another unique experience, Viva Yoga Sculpt, offers yoga classes taught in both English and Spanish with the added challenge of light free weights!
Grab a drink on a sunny terrace
Sometimes the simplest pleasures in life really do bring the most joy. One of the classic ways to relax in Madrid is to simply find a lovely, sun-drenched plaza, grab a seat and order a drink. This is a great way to spend some time people-watching to observe local habits or simply relax with a book as you sip your drink. This is an easy yet surprisingly effective way to recharge your batteries and get ready for more sightseeing!
Another great way to relax in Madrid? Join us on a food tour through one of the city’s undiscovered neighborhoods! Explore the backstreets of the historic literary quarter and taste the best local bites on our Huertas Neighborhood Food & Market Tour.
Throughout the morning, your expert local guide will take you into the best hidden gems most tourists won’t even notice tucked away in the cobblestone streets, let alone visit. You’ll taste each place’s most beloved specialty and meet our friends who proudly carry on their families’ rich culinary traditions. We hope you’re hungry!
Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.