While there’s so many amazing parks to hit up in Madrid, the Parque Europa is the quirkiest of all, thanks to the fact that it has several European monuments within the park. You’d be hard-pressed to find another park where you can experience the Eiffel Tower, Trevi Fountain, Tower Bridge, Lisbon’s Tower of Belem and Brussels’ Atomium all in one spot! The park is located just a few miles outside the city center in the suburb of Torrejón de Ardoz and best of all, it’s free to enter.
See the flowers at the Puerta De Alcala
Yes, the towering monument of the Puerta De Alcalá is stunning during any season, but it’s even more beautiful in spring, when the flower beds in front of it, come into their own. So head over to take a photo of this 18th century monument, with the gorgeous flowers in bloom out front.
Do your own DIY literary tour of Madrid
Madrid is perfect for literature buffs. Home to one of the largest libraries in the world, the Biblioteca Nacional as well as the stomping grounds for famous writers like Hemingway and Cervantes, you should definitely take the time to get to know the literary history of Madrid. Do your own mini-tour by visiting the birthplaces of many famous writers, and take a stroll through the literary quarter of Madrid, Barrio de las Letras.
Take a street art tour
There’s no better way to explore Madrid’s street art scene than by a walking tour on a sunny spring day. For 15 euros, Cooltourspain will give you a guided tour of Madrid’s best street art so that you aren’t glued to Google Maps trying to find each particular spot. The tour includes a visit to La Neomudejar, a contemporary arts center, and walks through neighborhoods like Malasaña and La Latina. A more economical option is a tour with Madrid Street Art Project. Offered in both Spanish and English, these one-and-a-half-hour tours are a bargain at just five euros per person. The tours take in neighborhoods like Lavapiés and Malasaña and you can sign up ahead of time here.
Check out Madrid’s best statues, plazas and fountains
Ever walked a giant, city-sized art museum? Madrid’s streets are basically a museum in themselves, with tree-lined boulevards sporting statues and fountains every which way you look. Famous landmark fountains like Cibeles and Neptuno star statues of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses beneath arcs of spraying water; most plazas feature a statue and/or a fountain. Some of the most interesting are by Colombian sculptor Fernando Botero.
Check out some cool food markets
Hopping from stall to stall to try all sorts of cuisine at a food market, is the perfect way to spend time on a rainy spring day in Madrid. Try the fancy Platea, where the four-floor theater-turned-market will wow you with its cool design and trendy tapas. Or for something a little more low-key, try the hipster San Ildefonso market in Malasaña – you’ll get a real Brooklyn vibe from the craft beer and youthful customers.
Platea, Calle Goya 5-7, Madrid, 28001, Spain+34 91 577 00 25
Mercado de San Ildefonso, Calle Fuencarral 57, Madrid, 28004, Spain +34 91 559 13 00
Visit a lesser-known museum
Smaller museums are often more focused, allowing you to really delve into a particular artist or style. For example, the Museo de Sorolla is housed in the former mansion belonging to Joaquín Sorolla, dedicated to his life and works. The Museo de Romanticismo is all about romantic art, furniture, decor and more, and really gives insight to the specific genre of romanticism.
Museo Sorolla, Paseo del General Martínez Campos, 37, 28010 Madrid +34 913 10 15 84
Museo de Romanticismo, Calle de San Mateo, 13, 28004 Madrid, +34 914 48 10 45
Read at the National Library
Spain’s National Library, the Biblioteca Nacional, is located right in the center of Madrid, and has hundreds of thousands of antique books, maps, photos, newspapers and more. The perfect stop if it starts raining during your DIY literary tour, head in and wander around, as the library is open to the public. The guided tours of the library are on Tuesdays and Fridays at 5:00 pm (you must sign up here in advance) or Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:00 or Saturdays at 12:00 pm (you must sign up here in advance).
Biblioteca Nacional, Paseo de Recoletos, 20-22, 28001 Madrid, +34 915 80 78 00