A Romantic Couple’s Guide to Madrid
Have a little romance in Madrid | © Maryge/Flickr
Thanks to beautiful architecture, plenty of floral and green spaces and emphasis on wine, Madrid may just be one of Europe’s most romantic capitals. Strolling hand-in-hand admiring all of the city’s beautiful monuments and streets will definitely inspire amor. If you’re coming to Madrid as a couple (or even if you’re coming alone but hoping to leave as a couple) make sure to do the following activities to make this your most idyllic trip ever.
Madrid’s regal parks and gardens definitely inspire love. Rowing a boat on the lake at the Retiro Park on a sunny day will be a bonding experience, followed by a walk through the Palacio de Cristal, a building made entirely of glass. Or, for just a couple euros, visit Madrid’s Botanical Gardens, which are especially lovely in spring, as the blooming lilies and tulips seem to stretch on for miles. The bonsai tree garden is a quirky exhibit that you can visit during any season to see different bonsai trees from around the world.
The lake at the Retiro Park | © Lori Zaino
It’s no secret Madrid has some of the most beautiful boulevards. The Paseo del Prado’s tree-lined walkways are perfect for wandering an afternoon away. Malasaña’s tiny cobblestone streets, lined with quirky boutiques, coffee shops and tapas bars are perfect for exploring new spots. Sitting on a bench in any of Madrid’s beautiful plazas, like the Plaza Olavide or the Plaza España, and to have a drink, snack and people-watch is the perfect way to spend an afternoon with your significant other.
There are several rooftop bars and plazas where you can see the sunset in Madrid, and watching one with your significant other will make you fall in love all over again. Seeing the fiery orange and pink hues as the sun goes down from the Templo de Debod or the Círculo de Bellas Artes will reignite the fire in your own relationship.
The Templo de Debod at sunset | © Rubén Nadador /Flickr
Share a brunch
Always endearingly a few years behind, Madrid is finally getting into brunch. While there are plenty of spots, El Arquibar, which features just a few tables and rustic, vintage décor is one of the best spots in town for couples thank to their sharing-inspired cake trays and fruit platters. If you want to splurge, the Westin Palace Hotel offers brunch set to romantic opera music every Sunday. The buffet-style brunch has table after table of savory meats and cheeses, eggs, salmon, fruit and pastries to fill you for days.
A passionate getaway to the outskirts of Madrid is a great way for couples to escape the busy city. Segovia is less than an hour away, and features a Roman aqueduct, a 16th century cathedral and a massive castle resembling the Cinderella Castle at Disney World. Chinchón, also less than an hour away, has a special Plaza Mayor, with 234 balconies overlooking the circular main square. Many of the balconies are restaurants where you can sit outside and enjoy a meal in this peaceful, relaxing village. Both towns are accessible by a variety of options such as train, bus or car.
There's nothing more romantic than a castle | © Luis Antonio Fernández Corral/Flickr
Madrid is one of the very best places for sampling and tasting wine. Couples will love the intimate La Fisna wine bar in the youthful Lavapiés neighborhood, where lovers and friends lounge among a wall of wine and exposed brick as they sip vino varieties from all over Spain. Or, be dazzled by the market Platea, a former theater with several floors of market stalls, restaurants and bars where you can enjoy tapas and wine.
Hang out at the riverside
Madrid’s newly renovated river walk is perfect for a relaxing stroll, a high-energy couple’s bonding bike ride or hand-holding rollerblading session. If you’d prefer something more peaceful, order a drink along one of the many riverside terraces lining the Manzanares. Weather-permitting, there’s even a sunbathing ‘beach’ area where you and your honey can sit to soak up the rays.
Rollerblade at Madrid’s River Park | © Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio, 2013
When looking for a place to stay in Madrid as a couple, boutique is the way to go. The Dear Hotel’s rooms have romantic balconies overlooking Gran Via and a rooftop pool.
The Only You’s new property near the Atocha railway station has a quaint lobby with pop-up cocktail bars from New York, and a 7th floor rooftop eatery with amazing views of the city.