Although Botero is actually a Colombian sculptor, you can find three of his statues right here in Madrid. So grab a bike and visit them all. You’ll stumble across La Mujer del Espejo in the Plaza de Colón, see La Mano in the Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz on the famous Castellana Street and when you’re heading home, check out El Rapto de Europa in Terminal 1 of the Madrid Barajas airport. You’ll love his signature style, Boterismo, which features people and figures in large, exaggerated form.
This quirky market happens once a month in the Museo del Ferrocarril, giving you the chance to shop for home decor, antiques, second-hand clothes, jewelry, gourmet foods and more, all while perusing vintage trains. The Mercado de Motores has both indoor and outdoor stands and plenty of snacks, if you need a break from all the shopping.
Museo del Ferrocarril, Paseo de las Delicias, 61, 28045 Madrid, +34 672 31 95 82
Once a month, food trucks gather and locals flock to eat, drink and hang out. The dates and location vary each month, so make sure to check out their website to see what’s on and where it’s at. This is the perfect spot to sample all types of international foods plus Madrid specialties, all while enjoying the Spanish sunshine.
Everyone loves a visit to the lake or the famous glass Palacio de Cristal, but not nearly as many visitors get over to the rose garden or Los Jardines de Cecilio Rodríguez, the official enclosed peacock garden on the edge of the park. Exploring the Retiro is a great way to get away from the crowds. You can also check out the old petting zoo (even though its closed, the old structures and cages still stand) or the Casita de Pescador, a teeny tiny house on a mini-pond. If you want to break a sweat, try a rollerblading class along the Paseo Fernán Nunez, pump iron with the locals at the outdoor bars near the Estatua del Ángel Caído, try a Saturday boxing class with Jab Cross Training or zen out with a yoga class from The Natural Yogi.
For 5 euros, Madrid Street Art Project conducts tours called Safaris Urbanos that focus on street art in one specific area of town. For 15 euros, Cooltourspain will give you a guided tour of Madrid’s best street art, including a visit to La Neomudejar, a contemporary arts center, along with walks through areas such as Lavapies and Malasaña.
If you need to find that perfect spot for your Instagram, check out the vertical wall of grass, designed by French botanist Patrick Blanc. Located next to the Caixa Forum entrance, the green wall was created to seamlessly blend in with the Botanical Gardens, which are just down the street. While the tourists wait in line for the Caixa Forum art exhibits, you can find that perfect angle and snap some photos.
Caixa Forum, Paseo del Prado, 36, 28014 Madrid, +34 913 30 73 00