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Other distractions


Few cities take free time and diversion as seriously as the Spanish capital.

Madrid is a virtual bubbling spring of cultural activity; the city makes a great effort to offer its citizens and its visitors the best of traditional and modern leisure activities year-round.

Soloist performances, grand orchestras and ballet companies, opera and zarzuela (a musical Spanish comedy) abound. Dozens of theatres offer plays that range from classics of the Spanish Golden era, to the forefront of the vanguard.

The best Flamenco artist flock to the city to show off their arte before the international audiences of Madrid.

The action begins just after midnight and often goes on into breakfast.

For all of this it is not unusual to find agglomerations of traffic at all hours of the night in any of the major streets of the capital.

The bars and dance clubs tend to be full from Thursday to Sunday, and there are smaller locales which offer Jazz, Rock, Salsa and music from all corners of the world almost every night.

Besides the shows and the entertainment offered in the bars, theatres and cinemas of the capital, we wanted to also refer you to the "other" entertainment possibilities, those more appropriate for traveling with family.

Among this type of leisure offered, we find an ample variety of choices such as:

Amusement park
Cable Car
Rowboat rental
Bicycle rental
Puppet doll playhouse
Water parks
Safari Park of Madrid
Wax Museum
Juan Carlos I Fairgrounds
Ice skating
Bowling alleys
Horseback riding

For some of the proposed activities we will tell you about, we recommend you take an entire day, and that you think about them as a day-long excursion, since the amount of time necessary makes it almost impossible to fit in other activities.

To enjoy a pleasant day in the open air without having to go out of the city, we recommend the Casa del Campo, where you will find many of the aforementioned activities.

There we can make a first, and enjoyable, run around this green lung of the city in its Cable car (teleferico), which departs from Pintor Rosales.

Once inside the Casa de Campo, the possibilities are many. We can choose between a nice stroll through the countryside, swim in its frequented pools, row in one of its boats in its Lake, or opt for feeding the fish, or perhaps another curious pastime.

If we prefer, we can spend a lovely day in the modern amusement park, Parque de Atracciones de la Ciudad, where, besides enjoying the multitude of attractions, in the summertime we can also attend any of its attractive concerts in the park.

Another alternative can be to go, also without leaving the Casa del Campo, to the Zoo-Aquarium, where one can enjoy the birds of prey and dolphin shows, and the insectarium.

In the other "great green space" of the city, el Retiro Park, we can walk through its innumerable gardens and paths, or get close up to any one of its Puppet doll Playhouses (Teatros de Marionetas de Guinol).

Ride a row boat, or simply contemplate the afternoon in the Alfonso XII Monument, just in front of the park's lake. These are small moments that make for an unforgettable trip.

Near el Retiro, in the proximity of Plaza de Colon, we find ourselves in front of the city's Wax Museum (Museo de Cera), which houses more than 450 famous Spanish and international figures presented in their most-common scenarios.

The most recent figures include singers, artists, athletes and personalities such as Mother Theresa of Calcutta or the Spanish cosmonaut Pedro Duque.

On the upper floor, one can find Multivision, a diorama whose 27 projectors simultaneously show the History of Spain in just a half hour. The train of terror is a robotic attraction which invites you on a ride along a small railway through the most terrifying scenes in cinema.

You can visit all of the installations in about two hours.

Another of the attractions that the city offers us is the new IMAX-3D theatre where we can enjoy 3D films with incredible realism. This is found adjacent to the Planetarium of Madrid, a museum where films and reports on the origin and the mysteries of the universe and outer space are narrated and exhibited.

We also accompany this ample offer with a few complementary activities such as a game of bowling, in any of the bowling alleys available in the city, or the possibility of enjoying an afternoon of fun ice skating.

Parque Ferial Juan Carlos I

Only in the summertime, and when the sun goes down, we must recommend to anyone who decides to read this guide not to miss the Juan Carlos I Fairgrounds, where you can enjoy a pleasant evening strolling through its green fields, embellished with a spectacular light show in the fountains that form its lake.

This same complex is used for many of the big fairs and expositions that come to the city. With this in mind, you could take advantage of a day spent visiting an expo and combine it with the night show.

If you have your own means of transportation, we would like to suggest that you not give up the opportunity to go to the Safari-Park of Madrid (Aldea de Fresno, carretera de Extremadura, Km 32). In this natural park, you can awe at the spectacle of seeing diverse animal species in liberty such as lions, zebras, giraffes and more!

If you visit our city in any of the summer months, we can suggest you go to any of our Water parks (Parque Acuatico), which you can find on the edges of Madrid. Here you can have a great day of sun and water.

If your sport is Horseback riding (hipica) or Golf, you have no need to worry, since we have some excellent installations, the majority located in the outskirts of the capital.

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