This blog post was originally posted on January 22, 2016 and was updated on January 15, 2020.
It’s low season, but here in Madrid, we’re keeping busy and staying warm.
As the European equivalent to the city that never sleeps, there’s always something going on in Spain’s bustling, vibrant capital. We’re talking world-class museums, cozy cafes, lively tapas bars and so much more. Just grab a warm coat and a stylish pair of sunglasses, and you’ll be all set to enjoy the best of Madrid in February.
Visit a small museum
Madrid is a museum buff’s dream come true, with international icons such as the Prado and the Reina Sofía drawing millions of visitors each year. However, while these places have earned their fame for good reason, they’re not the end-all-be-all of museums in Madrid. If you’re visiting Madrid in February, get off the beaten path and check out a lesser-known museum, like the Museo del Romanticismo.
Housed in a gorgeously restored 19th century mansion, this small but fascinating museum is packed with history and culture from the Romantic period. Paintings, musical instruments, housewares and more will transport you back in time to one of Spain’s most magical areas. Cap off your afternoon escape with a cup of coffee and slice of homemade cake at the museum’s lovely little onsite cafe.
Try a new wine
Spain is truly a wine lover’s paradise, with fantastic bars on practically every corner. However, many people still haven’t expanded their horizons beyond the classics: Rioja and Ribera. There’s a whole world of Spanish wine out there just waiting to be discovered, and all of it is easily accessible right here in Madrid thanks to the abundance of excellent wine bars.
Remember that here in Spain, we usually order wines by the region rather than by the grape. With this in mind, order a glass from the hidden gem of Somontano or a big, bold red from Toro. Learn more about ordering wine in Spain with the tips and tricks in the video below!
Experience an evening of gastronomy and culture
While daytime temperatures are slowly on the rise here in Madrid in February, nights can still be on the chilly side. Warm up and treat yourself to an unforgettable gastronomic experience at Platea, one of Madrid’s foremost culinary and cultural spaces.
What was once an old theater has been beautifully restored and converted into Europe’s largest and most elegant gastronomic space, with several floors of sleek food and drink areas and plenty to see and do. As a bonus, they even feature concerts most nights of the week for a full cultural experience. Grab your glass of wine, a plate of tapas, and settle in for a fantastic show.
Insider’s tip: This hugely popular space fills up quickly, so go early in the evening to grab a table with views of the stage!
Madrid’s signature stew is a one-pot wonder and the perfect winter warm-up. Cocido madrileño is traditionally served in three courses: first a simple noodle soup, then a portion of vegetables and chickpeas, and finally the stewed meats. It’s Spanish comfort food at its best (and most delicious). If you’ll be in Madrid in February, be sure to duck into a cozy local restaurant to enjoy this homemade classic like a local.
It’s no secret that Spain is a shopper’s paradise. With everything from iconic international brands to tiny, charming local boutiques, you’ll find anything you could possibly want here in Madrid. If you’ll be visiting Madrid in February, even better: you’ll be here right during the heart of winter rebajas, Spain’s semi-annual sales period offering unbeatable deals nearly everywhere.
Where to begin, though? The ritzy Salamanca neighborhood is often hailed as Madrid’s shopping mecca, home to glitzy European labels, tiny independent designers and everything in between. Another excellent option nearby is trendy Chueca, with scores of great locally owned boutiques.
On a chilly day in Madrid in February, there’s not much better than ducking into a cozy cafe for a sweet pick-me-up. Luckily, we’re spoiled for choice here in the capital, with literally dozens of fabulous cafes, bakeries, and pastry shops offering mouthwatering sweet treats. Order a frothy cappuccino and a slice of homemade cake to enjoy as you crack open a good book or sit and people-watch.
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As the daughter of a barbecue master and a pseudo-vegetarian, Amy’s culinary obsessions run deep. She spent time in Galicia before settling down in Madrid, where you’ll usually find her browsing the bottles of a local bodega or ogling the produce at the weekend farmer’s market.