48 hours in Madrid

Where to stay

Only You Boutique Hotel occupies a 19th century palacio in the trendy Salesas neighborhood. Opt for one of the property’s Fabulofts, spacious attic rooms with exposed wood-beamed ceilings, or the Blue Suite which includes a sprawling blue-and-white terrace overlooking lively Barquillo Street.

Hotel Urso is a luxurious five-star retreat near the sophisticated Malasaña district. The elegant rooms and suites feature hardwood floors and a farmhouse-chic design aesthetic. The on-site restaurant, Media Ración by Cuenllas, ranks highly among locals (known as Madrileños). 

The decor at 7 Islas is inspired by the laid-back Canary Islands, with volcanic rock accents and neutral hues. House-distilled spirits and tropical beverages made from local fruit are the highlights at the hotel’s 7 Craft Bar.

Day 1

Federal Café infuses Mediterranean ingredients into wholesome Australian breakfasts (the name is a reference to a small town in New South Wales). Their outpost in Conde Duque serves morning fare, like oven-baked free-range eggs with fresh cheese and the Green Tommy smoothie with apple, cucumber, and chia seeds, all day.

Choose your adventure:

Slide 1 of 2
  • Option 1: Culture

    Celebrating its bicentenary this year, the iconic Prado Museum is Spain’s premier art museum and features over 7,000 pieces from Europe’s most revered artists. The Prado is home to the preeminent collection of work by Spanish painters like Velazquez, El Greco, and Goya. Visit the basement gallery dedicated to Goya’s stirring Black Paintings.

  • Option 2: Fitness

    Join an outdoor excursion with Rock Climbing Madrid. After meeting your guides at the Madrid Atocha Train Station, you’ll head about an hour into the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range for a half-day hiking or rock climbing session. Trail locations vary, though chances are you’ll run into hallmarks of rural Spain like bull ranches, wild horses, and swimming spots.

Refuel at Celicioso, a gluten-free bakery that also serves nutritious savory dishes like grilled toast with sunflower seed tapenade and arugula salad with pomegranate dressing.

Make a dinner reservation at elevated tapas restaurant Sala de Despiece in the Chamberí district. Anticipate small farm- and sea-to-table dishes like octopus with chimichurri and beef tartare. 

Day 2

Make your way to breakfast at Zenith Brunch and Cocktails. Go for the shakshuka or a Brazilian-style tapioca pancake with toppings like avocado, mushrooms, and vegan cheese.

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  • Option 1: Culture 

    Built in 1790 as a tobacco factory, La Tabacalera de Lavapiés is Madrid’s contemporary culture emporium. Expect an exciting calendar of international arts exhibitions, creative workshops, and film viewings throughout the venue’s 300,000 square feet.

  • Option 2: Fitness

    Learn Spain’s signature dance with classes at Sara Martín’s Flamenco, a professional studio in the center of Madrid. The sessions are full-on cardio workouts with rigorous foot stomping, rhythmic arm movements, and core-strengthening bends.

For lunch, graze at Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid’s first gourmet market. Many of the stalls serve signature dishes from Michelin-starred chefs, like Rodrigo de la Calle’s paella. After, check out Mercado de Vallehermoso, Spain’s only permanent farmers market, which hosts butchers, bakers, and brewers.

The traditional cuisine of Central Spain has inspired many of Madrid’s most ambitious new restaurants. Ferreteria by Ego, housed in a former hardware store, celebrates this heritage with dishes like garlic shrimp, octopus and potatoes, and thinly-sliced Iberico ham. The apothecary-style dining room nods to the building’s history by incorporating details like salvaged wooden cabinets into the decor. 

Embrace Spain’s current obsession with Mexican liquor at Mezcal Lab. Conclude your final evening with a bracing strawberry-jalapeño margarita.              

48 hours in Milan

There are over 100 miles of cycling paths inside the city.