Travel Spotlight

Upon Arrival: Things to Do in Madrid on Your First Day There

However exciting it may be to have reached your destination, the first day of a trip can be taxing. Long flights are tiring, and hotels don’t always have rooms ready for check-in before mid-afternoon. Few travelers care to leap into their trip bleary-eyed, embarking on a full-day excursion, nor do they want to waste the day completely. In the spirit of finding a happy medium, we have outlined a list of things to do in  Madrid on your first day there, customized to where you are staying.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a vacation to Madrid. Our specialists can book you at the hotel that is right for you as well as meals and tours.

Related: Madrid Destination Report

Things to Do on Your First Day at: Villa Magna Hotel

  • Late Breakfast: Enjoy a lively “American-style” brunch at Tatel, a short walk from the hotel.
  • Restore: At Villa Magna’s Club Wellness by Kiara Kare, located on the hotel’s first floor.
  • Perfect Lunch: Classic tapas are served at Bar Tomate, a great, casual lunch spot.
  • Culture Moment: Not too far from the hotel is the Sorolla Museum, which features a wonderful collection of the Impressionist painter’s work in his former home.
  • Shop Around: The neighborhood in which Villa Magna resides is filled with luxury shopping options. Stroll along José Ortega y Gasset, Claudio Coello and Serrano streets to find boutiques featuring designers such as Pedro del Hierro, Elisa Bracci, Roberto Verino and more.
  • Caffeinate: The Lounge at Villa Magna is a comfortable place to relax and enjoy some tea and snacks at any hour of the day.
  • Exercise: The Villa Magna has a small but well-equipped gym.
Related: Just Back From...Madrid

Things to Do on Your First Day at: Ritz Hotel

  • Restore: Bodyna Wellness Centre, at the hotel, offers an extensive range of beauty and massage treatments.
  • Perfect Lunch: Stop at Estado Puro, a café with a fresh take on Spanish cuisine. The eatery the perfect place for a quick lunch before heading to the nearby Prado or Thyssen museums.
  • Culture Moment: With both the Prado and the Thyssen museums steps from the hotel, guests can spend hours gazing at impressive and internationally acclaimed works of art.
  • Shop Around: Poke around outside the Prado to see local artists’ works on display.
  • Caffeinate: The Hall, which is right past the lobby area at Hotel Ritz is the best place for a coffee.
  • Lovely Stroll: Retiro Park is a gorgeous, sprawling expanse of green.
Related: Madrid 101

Things to Do on Your First Day at: AC Santo Mauro

  • Late Breakfast: Sit outside in the private and serene Santo Mauro Garden and savor a full breakfast or coffee and pastries in an elegant setting.
  • Restore: Indulge in a 90-minute massage by Natura Bissé at the hotel’s intimate spa.
  • Perfect Lunch: Order the fish of the day at the modern and eclectic Luzi Bombo, sister-restaurant to another local favorite, Bar Tomate.
  • Culture Moment: Photographs and paintings by renowned contemporary international artists are on display at Galeria Malborough Madrid (Calle de Orfilia 5).
  • Shop Around: Browse the latest Spanish fashion and women’s ready-to-wear from the Barcelona-originated brand Ailanto (Calle Orellana 14).
  • Caffeinate: Walk five minutes to Crustó, a small café that offers a variety of mouth-watering pastries and fresh breads (Calle Zurbano 26)
  • Lovely Stroll: Head south down Calle de Almargo to Calle Hortaleza, a street feeding into the neighborhood Chueca, home to numerous local boutiques.
Related: Top Tables Madrid

Things to Do on Your First Day at: URSO Hotel

  • Late Breakfast: Enjoy a serene breakfast at The Conservatory, the hotel’s beautifully designed restaurant that is perched above a vertical garden.
  • Restore: Indulge in a tailored 90-minute facial by Natura Bissé at the hotel’s intimate spa.
  • Perfect Lunch: Try a variety of Spanish tapas at Makkila (Calle Fernando VI 2)
  • Culture Moment: Walk south down Calle Hortaleza and explore the winding streets that stem off to find a variety of local, independent shops.
  • Shop Around: Discover a variety of Spanish meats, cheeses and rare cooking ingredients at Capperi Mercado (Calle de Fernando VI 2).
  • Caffeinate: Head to La Duquesita to sample delicious Spanish pastries and chocolate with a cappuccino. (Calle de Fernando VI 2)
  • Lovely Stroll: Steps away from Hotel URSO, the tree-lined Plaza Sta. Bárbara Calle de Fernando VI is filled with public chaises.
Related: News from Madrid

Things to Do on Your First Day at: The Principal Hotel Madrid

  • Late Breakfast: Ease into the day with brunch at La Pérgola, the hotel’s tranquil and spacious terrace with excellent views over looking Madrid’s skyline and the majestic Gran Vía.
  • Restore: Book a treatment in the wellness suite or time in the private Finish sauna.
  • Perfect Lunch: Try Bocaito for Spanish tapas or Lola and Co for a farm-to-table casual meal.
  • Culture Moment: In the early afternoon, head to Mercado San Anton and explore the dozens of stalls dedicated to Spanish tapas. Order a glass of wine and seek out vendors who specialize in traditional boquerones and jamón ibérico.
  • Shop Around: Explore the winding streets of Chueca, especially Calle de Liberator and Calle Gravina, where you will find trendy shops like Xoan Viqueira that specialize in handmade espadrilles and quirky home accessories.
  • Caffeinate: At the traditional Café Gijón (Paseo de Recoletos 21) or try an inventive cocktail or glass of Spanish wine at Angelita (Calle de la Reina 4)
  • Lovely Stroll: Head to Retiro Park and take in the expansive scenery and nature.
Related: Top Shopping Madrid

Things to Do on Your First Day at: Ùnico

  • Late Breakfast: Grab a table in Hotel Ùnico’s private garden tucked away in the heart of Salamanca.
  • Restore: With a tailored massage by Natura Bissé in the hotel’s spa to rebalance your body after the long flight. (Note: there is only one wellness suite in the hotel and appointments need to be made ahead of time).
  • Perfect Lunch: A chic restaurant serving classic Spanish dishes. Tatel is owned by a trio Spanish celebrities: Rafael Nadal, Pau Gasol, Enrique Iglesias.
  • Culture Moment: Visit Fundacion Carlos de Amberes (Calle de Claudio Coello 99), a non-profit foundation that supports cultural initiatives.
  • Shop Around: A trip to Madrid is not complete without buying a pair of unique espadrilles. Located around the corner from the hotel, Castañer stocks a variety of handmade men’s and women’s espadrilles.
  • Lovely Stroll: Calle de Serano and Calle de Velazquez are tree-lined streets filled with high-end women’s and men’s Spanish fashion labels
Related: Majestic Madrid

Published onMarch 13, 2017

More Inspiration

Plan Your Trip With Us

We only feature hotels that we can vouch for first-hand. At many of them, Indagare members receive special amenities.

Get In Touch
Indagare employees walking up stiars

Enjoy 30 Days On Us!

Start your Self Planner
membership trial today.

Unlock access to 2,000+ first-hand hotel reviews, 300+ Destination Guides and the most up-to-date travel news and inspiration.

Already a member?

Welcome back,
log in to Indagare

Not a member?

Forgot Password

Enter your email and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.

Type the first 3 letters to begin