4 Things to Do on a Lazy Day in Madrid

Katie Pond is a student at University of California, San Diego and an ISA Featured Blogger. Katie is currently studying abroad with ISA in Madrid, Spain.

Pond sunset boat
A relaxing rowboat ride in Retiro Park

While life in Madrid can be full of non-stop activities, it’s important to take a day and just relax to enjoy the beauty and charm of this spectacular city. Below are my top 4 things to do on a lazy day in Madrid.

Pond restaurant
La Bicicleta Cafe

1. Chill Out at Cafe La Bicicleta
This cafe, near the Tribunal Metro stop, is a great place to sit and relax or people watch. It has mismatched comfy chairs, plenty of outlets, free Wifi and great ambience, not to mention the best mocha I’ve had in my life! The cafe is usually bustling with a broad range of people, and there’s enough chatter on the top floor that it isn’t uncomfortable to have a conversation. But the bottom floor is quieter and great for studying.

Pond Lion statues Retiro
Sunset at Parque del Retiro (Retiro Park)

2. Mosey like a Spaniard in Parque del Retiro
It’s been a little chilly since I’ve been here, but it’s still great to take a walk in Parque del Retiro! It’s a touristy spot, but living in Madrid gives you the chance to experience it like a Spaniard, with no rush, but probably with more pictures than your typical local.

3. Reina Sofía Museum
This museum is a giant complex of 20th-century art, and they have free hours for students that are great to take advantage of! Having free entrance lets you take your time or just leave parts for later. It’s great to be a tourist with time!

4. Pick a Neighborhood and Explore
One hit-or-miss but pretty entertaining method of exploring a new city is to just pick a metro stop, get out, and explore. It’s not always that exciting, but it’s a good way of observing the new city you’re living in and learning about its different areas! The area a friend and I explored the other day, Tribunal, is really cool because it has a mix of young and old that makes Madrid so exciting. Tribunal, and Madrid in general, has a really cool mixture of a youthful vibe as well as an old culture and history. You can be walking down a narrow cobbled street and find a sushi place next to a pizza place next to a Mexican fusion takeout place. It really feels like a melting pot of people and cultures, new and old!

Madrid is full of interesting places like this, but you could miss them if you don’t explore!! Sometimes the best way to discover a city is to get a little lost.

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