f we asked you which places, monuments, and landmarks to visit in Madrid, I’m sure you would be able to tell a few by heart: The iconic Puerta de Alcalá, the historic Retiro Park, the renowned Prado Museum, or even the Spanish royal family’s palace. But at Coveting Magazine, we don’t like to keep it simple, and we’ve gone a step further with our “traveling to…” series to bring you all the hidden places that not many people know and that you need to pay a visit to while traveling to that specific destination.
Spoiler alert! Not everything will be about landmarks and places – but restaurants as well! We believe a visit is not complete without trying the best of the local gastronomy. This time we’ll be flying to Spain’s capital city, Madrid – also known as the city of the bear and the strawberry tree – yes, it’s called like that because of its curious logo.
In Madrid, you won’t be having a drink while appreciating the dreamy views of a sunset by the sea…but there are plenty of other plans that make this a great place to do a bit of metropolis – and gastronomical – tourism while enjoying the best things that this history-filled city has to offer.
A delightful restaurant, romantic gardens, and many more hidden treasures of Madrid are coming your way from now on to make your next visit to the city a whole different experience than what every usual tourist is used to.
A Dreamy Garden For Unrelenting Romantics - El Capricho
In New York, they have Central Park; in London Hyde Park; and in Madrid El Retiro. Yes, El Capricho isn’t the city’s emblematic park, but we can assure you once you visit it, you might find it hard to tell which one’s you’re favorite.
This dreamy 18th century-made park – a garden – is one of the most beautiful and, paradoxically, unknown of the city.
What you can’t miss: It’s three different gardening styles (parterre, English, and the Italian Giardino) + the utterly romantic labyrinth entirely made with bay leaves.
Location: Barajas, Alameda de Osuna
When to visit: Preferably during the summer and spring seasons. 09.00 AM – 9.00 PM (Only weekends and holidays)
One For All the Floriculture Lovers - The Royal Botanical Gardens
Built in the 18th century and situated next to the iconic Prado Museum, this floral labyrinth holds in three-tiered terraces a selection of over 5.000 species of exotic and commonly known plants and blooms from America, the Pacific, and Europe. No doubt, Madrid’s Royal Botanical Gardens are absolutely a must-see for any flower lover out there – and also fashion lover. Yes, fashion lovers as well! Earlier this 2021, Chanel left its mark on the gardens by taking over the restoration of La Rosaleda – where beautiful rose bushes bloom every spring – coinciding with the centenary of its iconic Chanel No5 fragrance.
What to visit: La Rosaleda’s beautiful blooms – where also Chanel’s new rose bushes lie. If you’re also an art enthusiast, a visit to Villanueva’s Pavilion is a must. It usually holds temporary exhibitions worth taking a look at.
Location: Plaza de Murillo, 2 – At Paseo del Arte.
When to visit: Preferably during Spring and Summer when cherry trees bloom. Monday – Sunday from 10.00 AM
Price: Starting from 4€ (For people over 18) / 6€ with access to Villanueva’s Pavilion.
One For The Gramers - Salvador Bachillers Secret Garden
An authentically exotic oasis hidden inside a boutique in the heart of one of Madrid’s historic quarter alleys doesn’t sound like the typical touristic plan to go for. Still, if you’re looking for a treasured gem to take Instagram-worthy pics and get a taste of a varied selection of exotic and international flavors, this seems like the place you wished for.
What to visit: It’s worth checking the boutique pre or post-dinner as it has an excellent and authentic selection of home decor, accessories, and handbags.
When to visit: The brunch is a must. You’ll get to delight in a selection of utterly chic, aesthetically beautiful, and highly delicious dishes that will make both you and your camera happy. – Monday to Saturdays from 10.30 to 23.00 / Sundays from 11.00 to 23.00
Location: Calle de la Montera, 37
Price: 20-25€/ pp. Brunch is 25€/pp
A Rooftop With The Nicest Views And The Dreamiest Sunsets - De Madrid Al Cielo Sky Bar
It’s hard to choose a rooftop to see the city’s skyline and a dreamy sunset while delighting in some excellent cocktails with the ideal background music – because there are dozens!
But if there’s one that’s Madrid socialite’s latest favorite spot in town, that “De Madrid Al Cielo’s Sky Bar” at the Riu Hotel.
The building has history on its own; the hotel has recently been opened as one of Madrid’s best accommodations in town, and its terrace happens to be one of Madrid’s socialite favorite spots in town to watch the skyline on the golden hour while sharing drinks and chilling to the best tunes.
What to visit: The hotel itself is located in the emblematic Plaza de España, and the own building is a historical spot in town for its age. Snatch some time before visiting the rooftop to do a bit of sightseeing in the vicinity of the site.
Location: Riu Hotel Plaza de España
Price: The entrance fee is 5€ before 6.00 PM / Weekends, festive days, and every day after 6.00 PM entrance fee is 10€.
A Hidden Square Filled With History - Plaza De la Villa
At the heart of Madrid’s historic quarterlies is this beautiful and yet history-filled square that not many people know about, but once it’s visited visit you can’t take your eyes off it – or your camera. A true hidden treasure that you won’t want to miss!
What to visit: La Casa De la Villa (Madrid’s old town hall); Cisneros’ house, the Lujanes’ tower, and a must-see (Instagram approved!): The beautiful bridge that links De La Villa’s and Cisneros’ houses.
Location: At the historic quarter along with the Calle Mayor.
When to visit: Anytime.
A Charming House-Museum To Dive Into Quality Art - Sorolla Museum
Today, some of Joaquín Sorolla’s most renowned pieces are already present worldwide on iconic art landmarks such as New York’s MET, Paris’ Louvre, and Madrid’s Prado Museums, but if you come to Madrid, one you should visit is his own house. The place where he lived most of his adult life with his wife Clotilde and kids was where many of his world-known pieces came to life. Sorolla’s house museum holds one of the painter’s most complete and wealthiest collections. Still, it is also one of the artist houses most completed and best preserved of Europe – and let’s not mention the garden that Sorolla designed. This museum is one worth visiting not only for the pieces but for the historical richness that the house has in every detail you can stumble upon within your visit.
What to visit: You should make sure to visit every corner of the house. You’ll be finding one of his best masterpieces, El Balandrito, and one not to miss are the gardens, which the artist designed by himself.
When to visit: Tuesday to Friday from 9.30 AM to 8.00 PM / Sundays from 10.00 AM to 3.00 PM
Location: Paseo General Martínez Campos, 37
Price: 3€ / Free on weekends (Saturdays only free from 2.00 PM to 8.00 PM)
Getting A Taste Of Spain At The World’s Oldest Restaurant – Botín Restaurant
We said not everything would be about cultural and landmark tourism, and here is the proof. Madrid is filled with a mythic restaurant that offers the best of the region’s cuisine, but there’s one that stands in a higher step not only for the quality of their dishes but for its age: IT’S THE WORLD’S OLDEST RESTAURANT EVER! It was founded in 1725 by Cándido Remis – French chef Jean Botín’s nephew. Some of Spain’s greatest writers and artists worldwide, such as Benito Pérez Galdós and Hemingway, have visited this place filled with history and excellent cuisine. One worth stopping by for a pleasant taste of Madrid – with history included!
What to try: If you’re looking to try Madrid’s typical dishes go for the Callos or the Cocido – if trying a bit of Spanish cuisine’s best dishes, then you’ll have plenty to choose from their varied and complete menu.
When to visit: 13.00 PM – 16.00 PM / 20.00 PM – 00.00 PM
Location: Calle de Cuchilleros, 17