Off The Beaten Path: Madrid's Best Kept Secrets

Off The Beaten Path: Madrid's Best Kept Secrets
Madrid is a beautiful city, but it is so big that it is hard to get to know it completely even after having lived there for years. Thankfully this list picks out the locals’ best kept secrets: fun activities and quirky facts to discover another side of the capital in a fun way.
Madrid © Andrea/Flickr

Corpus Christi’s Baked Goods

The nuns at the Corpus Christi convent live a closed, quiet life, since they have made a vow to limit their contact with the outside world. Buying baked goods from them is therefore a curious experience, although it is highly probably that visitors will not actually see any of these nuns. The biscuits and other produce they make are sold to pay the upkeep of the convent, and they are some of the best in the city.

Address: Plaza del Conde de Miranda, 3, Madrid, Spain

Fundacion Mapfre’s Free Exhibitions

The Fundacion Mapfre, located by the Thyssen Museum, usually offers two free exhibitions at the same time. Past exhibitions have ranged from the Italian Macchiaioli to Spanish cinema and history, French Impressionism, and more. All visitors have to do is go to the ticket kiosk, get a timed ticket and then come back at the designated time to enjoy some great art for free.

Address: Paseo de Recoletos 23, Madrid, Spain +34 916 02 52 21

Hammam Al Andalus

Not many people are aware that there are Turkish baths in the center of Madrid, and Hammam Al Andalus is an exceptional establishment. For baby-smooth skin and a break from all the hustle and bustle around central Madrid, visitors should head to this peaceful oasis, which is decorated beautifully with tile mosaics and Arab architecture. A bath and a massage for two are priced at just under 90 euros, whilst a bath and a massage will set students back just 33 euros.

Address: Calle de Atocha 14, Madrid, Spain +34 914 29 90 20

El Jardin del Principe de Anglona

This garden is situated in one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Madrid, La Latina, which is a great area for bar crawls, since the locales here serve amazing tapas. The small square that is the Prince of Anglona’s Garden is an idyllic green area in the historic center of the city, and even though it looks like it is closed, visitors just have to open the door to come in and spend some time here. Sitting in one of the benches and breathing in some fresh air is a great way of relaxing in the middle of downtown Madrid.

Address: Calle Principe de Angona, Madrid, Spain

Puerta de Alcalá

The Puerta de Alcalá is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city; it is so important to Madrid that many songs have been written about it. What most Spaniards do not realize, however, is that the monument is actually different depending on what side you look at it from. Legend has it that the reason behind this is the fact that Carlos III, the monarch who commissioned it, actually approved two different designs without realizing it, and since his advisors were scared to let him know that he had made a mistake they decided to merge the two projects.

Address: Plaza de la Independencia 1, Madrid, Spain