For many, revenge travel is definitely on the cards. We’ve seen a resurge in the global travel and tourism sector that started its upward trajectory over the summer. The good news? The trend is not waning with many still drawing up holiday plans over the winter and beyond.
For those considering Europe, it might be well worth considering one of its most popular cities – Madrid. Here’s what you should do over your next visit there.
A luxe abode
There is no dearth of luxury and boutique hotels to choose from in Madrid. It includes the Four Seasons, which opened its doors in 2020 and the Mandarin Oriental Ritz whose Belle-Époque building underwent extensive restoration work.
There’s also the historic Westin Palace and the Santo Mauro Autograph Collection.
Other luxury hotels include upcoming openings of the Hardrock Hotel Madrid, Evok, JW Marriott and The Madrid Edition, as well as a boutique offering in the Metrópolis building, which will also feature restaurants, a private club and a spa. Another sought-after destination to stay in Madrid is the newly refurbished 154-room Rosewood Villa Magna Hotel located in the upscale neighbourhood of Salamanca.
Europe’s culinary capital?
For several travellers from the GCC, halal food is a must. Madrid doesn’t disappoint on this front with a vibrant multicultural resident community. These include Asador de Aranda, as well as Alzahra, Du Liban, and Habibi in the Lavapiés district.
Apart from the several Halal restaurants, there are a number of top-tier culinary hotspots in the city. For ultra-modern dining experiences, turn to Saddle, with chef Adolfo Santos at its helm. The restaurant collected its first Michelin star in December 2020. There are a total of 20 in the city – including DiverXo, Coque and El Invernadero – shoring up the reputation of Madrid’s dining scene as among the best in the world.
For a healthy serving of history, visit Botín, a restaurant that dates back to 1725 and which holds a Guinness record for the world’s oldest restaurant.
For those who’d like to club a dining experience with the city’s pulsating nightlife, it’s also worth noting that on the top floor of many five-star establishments you’ll find the city’s fashionable rooftop bars, such as the VP Plaza de España Design and its 12th-floor Ginkgo Restaurante & Sky Bar with commanding views of the capital.
Things to do, places to visit
There’s plenty of things to do in Madrid and activities that the entire family can enjoy during the holiday. For the artistically curious, both the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía Museums offer private tours. Private tours are also now available for Liria Palace, the official residence of the house of Alba in Madrid and the main location of their art collection and historical archive, and the Royal Tapestry Factory. You can also arrange for a private tour of the El Prado Museum, which marked its 200th anniversary two years ago.
Don’t miss out on visiting the Landscape of Light, located between the Paseo del Prado and El Retiro Park, which was recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once there, visit the nearby galleries of Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art which includes three museums: Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and Reina Sofía museums.
An authentic local experience
No visit to Madrid is complete without visiting the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and the Real Madrid CF Museum, which are the third most popular tourist attractions in Madrid, after the Prado and Reina Sofía Museums. Over 1.5 million tourists visit the stadium (which is currently being completely overhauled) every year, and special tours allow for dedicated access to the hospitality area, personalised service, premium catering, and private elevators.
You can have the full VIP experience too. Atlético Madrid has a VIP offer too. If you visit its brand-new stadium, Wanda Metropolitano, you can go to a private box, avail of a buffet and view a game on the screen in the box.
For those who want to switch sports with shopping, there are several luxury shopping routes to explore along Salesas, Salamanca District: Calle Serrano and Calle Ortega y Gasset.
Also discover Galería Canalejas, a new home for exclusive fashion brands, a food hall offering unique culinary experiences, and 14 restaurants serving global flavours, located in the Barrio de las Letras (Literary Quarter).
For a Made in Madrid shopping experience, don’t miss the faux taxidermy wall mounts by Javier Medina made from materials such as bamboo, and the necklaces and bracelets crafted by Andrés Gallardo at his studio in the Barrio de Las Letras.
A map of the New and Old Artisans of Madrid features 34 businesses selling everything from hand-crafted capes, gloves and hats to dinnerware and Manila shawls – there’s plenty of souvenirs to take back along with those memories that will likely last a lifetime.
For more information visit esmadrid.com.
– For more on how to look smart and live smarter, follow Emirates Man on Instagram