Madrid might be known as a party town, but it’s also one of Spain’s most romantic cities. Its lush parks and botanical gardens make for romantic bike rides and scenic strolls, while world-class art and priceless artefacts decorate the halls of Madrid’s top museums.

    Whether you fancy a romantic dinner in a classy restaurant, or an evening out tasting tapas as you move from bar to bar, there’s nothing quite like Madrid’s lively atmosphere. The Spanish capital offers some of the most delicious dishes in the world. Depending on your tastes, you can sample a wide range of restaurants, cafes, bistros, and bars in each of the city’s quarters. Read on for our guide to Madrid’s most romantic places.


    The Royal Palace

    See the changing of the guard ceremony every Wednesday and Saturday

    • Couples
    • History

    The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official home of Spanish royalty, even though it’s highly unlikely you will bumping into any family members as they do not actually reside here. Commissioned by King Philip V during the 18th century, this grand structure is a mix of Neoclassical and Baroque architecture. 

    There are 3,418 rooms in total, including a throne hall, armoury, and Europe’s oldest well-preserved royal kitchen. Art lovers can find exquisite paintings by renowned artists such as Luis Morales, Goya, Juan de Flandes, Caravaggio, Velázquez, and Federico Madrazo.

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    Location: Calle de Bailén, s/n, 28071 Madrid

    Open: Winter: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm. Summer: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm. The changing of the guard takes place every Wednesday and Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm


    Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid

    Visit one of Spain’s largest herbariums

    The Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid covers 8 hectares of green spaces near Prado Museum in Plaza de Murillo. The garden dates back to 1755 and has over 6,000 different plant species spread out in 4 terraces and 2 greenhouses. 

    Springtime sees the garden’s flowers, such as tulips, lilies, and roses, in full bloom, while the greenhouses housing tropical plants stay open year-round. Visit the garden’s herbarium (the largest in Spain) to see about 1 million herbal specimens from around the world, some dating back to the 18th century.

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    Location: Real Jardín Botánico, Plaza de Murillo, 2, Madrid, Spain

    Open: March and October: daily from 10 am to 7 pm. May–August: daily from 10 am to 9 pm. April and September: daily from 10 am to 8 pm. November–February: daily from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +34 914 203 017


    La Almudena Cathedral

    See sculptures of the 12 apostles surrounding the cathedral dome

    La Almudena Cathedral is a 19th-century church built in the Neoclassical and Gothic Revival styles. It’s located along Calle de Bailén, about 700 metres south of The Royal Palace of Madrid. Its Neo-Romanesque crypt features a painting of the Virgen de la Almudena, which dates back to the 16th century. 

    There’s also a museum detailing the church’s history. You can enter the cathedral and crypt for free, but there's a fee to access the museum.

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    Location: Calle de Bailén, 10, 28013 Madrid, Spain

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 2.30 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +34 91 542 22 00


    El Retiro Park

    Wander down the Paseo de la Argentina in El Retiro Park

    El Retiro Park is a vast garden in Plaza de la Independencia. One of its most popular attractions is the Statue Walk, a pathway that’s lined with 18th century statues of Spanish royalty. There’s a man-made lake next to a monument of Alfonso XII, and you can rent a paddle boat here for a few euro. 

    Another must-visit in El Retiro Park is the Palacio de Cristal, a greenhouse-like pavilion that was built in 1887. With its timeless setting and colourful flowers, it makes for a gorgeous backdrop if you want to pop the question to your significant other.

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    Location: Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid


    Catch a show at Teatro Real

    Madrid’s leading opera house since 1818

    • Couples
    • Luxury

    Teatro Real, founded in 1818, is one of Madrid’s oldest opera houses. It showcases world-class performances throughout the year, most of which are home productions or co-productions with other major European opera houses. 

    You can explore Teatro Real’s stage area, workshops, dressing rooms, and rehearsal space through guided tours, which are available every day from 10am to 1pm. The tours are conducted in Spanish, English, French, and German.

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    Location: Plaza de Isabel II, s/n, 28013 Madrid, Spain

    Open: Daily from 10 am until late (evening shows start from 8 pm)

    Phone: +34 902 244 848


    photo by Luis García (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Círculo de Bellas Artes

    A romantic viewpoint in central Madrid

    • Couples
    • Photo

    Círculo de Bellas Artes is a 19th-century cultural complex hosting events related to art, music, film, and literature. The building has 4 galleries exhibiting about 1,200 works of art by up-and-coming artists from across Europe. There is also a theatre showcasing independent films, as well as year-round workshops and courses for visitors of all ages. 

    For about €4 per person, you can access the rooftop terrace to enjoy sunset views of Madrid’s skyline, where you can spot historical landmarks such as Gran Vía and the Royal Palace. It’s possible to order drinks if you’re visiting in the summer or spring.

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    Location: Calle de Alcalá, 42, 28014 Madrid, Spain

    Open: Times vary

    Phone: +34 913 605 400


    photo by jacinta lluch valero (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Museo del Romanticismo

    Enjoy coffee and pastries at Café del Jardín

    Museo del Romanticismo is where you can find over 16,000 artefacts, paintings, and furniture dating back to between 1833 and 1868. The museum occupies the 18th-century palace of the Marquis of Matallana in San Mateo. 

    Some of its most popular exhibits include masterpieces by Goya, Madrazo, Alenza, and Esquivel, as well as porcelain dolls, pianos, and ornate silverware of Spain’s Romantic period. Admission costs about €3, but you can enter the museum for free every Saturday from 2.30pm and on Sundays for the entire day.

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    Location: Museo del Romanticismo, C/ San Mateo, 13, 28004, Madrid

    Open: November–April: Tuesday–Saturday from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm. May–October: Tuesday–Saturday from 9.30 am to 8.30 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm. Closed on Mondays.

    Phone: +34 914 481 045


    photo by Alejandro (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Casa de Campo Park

    Enjoy a cable car ride to Madrid’s largest park

    Madrid’s largest city park, Casa de Campo, covers about 17.5 sq km of green space including a central lake. A cable car connects Casa de Campo with Parque del Oeste, offering panoramic views of the city along the way. 

    The park offers many facilities including picnic tables and playgrounds overlooking the lake. You can also enjoy a variety of sports at the Madrid Arena complex and family-friendly rides at Parque de Atraciones de Madrid amusement park.

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    Location: Paseo Puerta del Angel, 1, 28011 Madrid, Spain


    Hammam Al Andalus

    Spa day at a Turkish bath

    • Couples
    • Luxury

    Enjoy thermal baths and spa treatments at Hammam Al Andalus, an authentic hammam (Turkish bathhouse) about a 5-minute walk from Plaza Mayor. It has 3 thermal pools of varying temperatures that are interconnected with candle-lit pathways. It also has steam rooms scented with essential oils and a hot stone table for body scrubs and massages. Treatments start from around €35 for a 90-minute session, and you get unlimited mint tea and water throughout your visit.

    Location: Calle de Atocha, 14, 28012 Madrid, Spain

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm (online booking available every 2 hours)

    Phone: +34 914 299 020


    Dinner in Madrid’s Literary Quarter

    An artistic neighbourhood with traditional taverns and terrace cafés

    Madrid’s Literary Quarter is an artistic neighbourhood that spans an area between Paseo del Prado and Plaza de Santa An in the city centre. It’s known for cobblestone streets covered with quotations from great Spanish writers such as Lope de Vega, Cervantes, and Quevedo. 

    You will find plenty of old-fashioned taverns, classy restaurants, and terrace cafes around Plaza de Santa Ana. You can enjoy a romantic evening out watching a flamenco show at Villa Rosa, listening to jazz at Café Central, and viewing Madrid’s skyline from the top of RADIO ME Rooftop Bar.

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    Location: Plaza Santa Ana, s/n28012, Madrid, Spain


    photo by DAVID HOLT (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveller

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    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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