The Perfect Sunday in Madrid
I’ll always remember my first Sunday in Spain. I was studying abroad in Granada and had gone out the night before. I woke up late and headed out in search of breakfast. I walked down my street, a normally busy avenue lined with messily parked cars, and my immediate thought was that my watch was wrong. Where was everyone?
Granada on a Sunday morning is the definition of a ghost town– no one is out and nothing is open. Madrid is certainly livelier, especially after the recent change in the law allowing all businesses to open on Sundays. But still, there is something special about a Spanish Sunday.
Sundays in Madrid are calm and relaxing, and the city is full of leisure activities to take advantage of. So forget about your stressful job, grab that book you’ve been meaning to read, and try my itinerary for the perfect Sunday in Madrid.
Basque pintxos in La Latina
I’m going to assume that many of our readers will have stayed out late on Saturday night, so lets start our itinerary at 1:00 p.m., a perfectly respectable time to start your Sunday in Madrid. If it’s a bit late for you, check out the Rastro flea market first– working your way through the crowd will surely work up an appetite!
Only a few minutes walk from La Latina metro, you’ll find one of the area’s greatest pintxo bars. Txirimiri is a Basque-style bar that is practically standing room only, but it is worth it to try some of their delicious pintxos. Highlights include their famous tortilla, bacalao en tempura and foie a la plancha con mermelada de higos. Wash down the pintxos with a class of crisp txakoli wine, or with a traditional Sunday caña.
De tapas por la zona
We’ll continue our lazy Sunday trying some more of the area’s tempting tapas. Make your way up the famous Calle Cava Baja, known for its density of tapas bars. It’s a touristy stretch, but with quality food and drink throughout. Attempt to squeeze your way into Casa Lucas or the Tempranillo wine bar.
From the top of Cava Baja, it’s less than a 10-minute walk to our next (and final) tapas destination. Calle de la Cruz is full of traditional tapas bars that are not to be missed. Take your pick from El Abuelo for gambas al ajillo, Casa Toni for patatas bravioli, or, if you’re daring enough, try La Oreja de Jaime for their signature dish of fried ear with bravas sauce.
Calm down with a cocktail: La Candelita
After you’ve had your fill of tapas, head to Chueca where La Candelita offers a wonderful selection of delicious cocktails on Calle Barquillo.
I think that their strawberry basil mojito is to die for, while my husband prefers a rum sour.
Check out something new at CaixaForum
Perhaps the hidden treasure of Madrid’s museum mile, the CaixaForum is a great place to stop on a Sunday afternoon for a bit of culture and art. The building itself is an architectural marvel, featuring a stunning vertical garden and modern central stairway. Even if you’ve been there before, you can still see something new at the museum’s current exhibition– this month they are featuring William Blake: Visions in British Art (on display until October 21). Entry is free, so there is no reason not to take a leisurely stroll through the museum’s collections, followed by coffee or cañas at their relaxing café.
Finally, when you are all tired out, catch your preferred form of transport home to leave yourself plenty of time to rest up before your Monday morning alarm sounds. Hasta el domingo que viene…
About Lauren Aloise
Drawn to Spain by promises of great food and wine, Lauren loves exploring Madrid's hidden corners and is always searching out the city's best places to grab a bite.