Are you in Madrid and it's a cloudy day? Don't worry! In Barcelona you never run out of plans. That's why in ForMadridLovers we have created a list of things to do on a rainy day in this city.
Things to do on a rainy day in Madrid
Although it doesn't rain much in the Spanish capital, you should have a plan B just in case. Whether it's taking advantage of the many amazing museums or exploring the city's boutiques and shopping malls here are some fun things to do in Madrid when it rains.
Spend the afternoon in a market
The markets of Madrid are like inland villages. You can do your shopping and then stay for coffee, lunch, dinner and drinks. You can repair your watch or redo your shoes, and discover some historic places at the same time, like the old stone wash basins and the old facades of the stalls. Our favourite market is the Mercado de la Cebada.
Explore the old tobacco factory
Built 225 years ago, this colossal industrial building called La Tabacalera is now a labyrinth of controversial street art, studios and two urban allotments. On a rainy day, and especially at night, it can feel a little dystopian, which adds to its beauty and charm: it's a former squat and still retains its deep, anarchist subculture.
Take a tapas route
Madrid's Tapas Routes are a fantastic way to discover another dozen no-frills bars in one go. Join the camaraderie of doing a good pub crawl with the rest of the neighborhood, with a specially designed no-frills gourmet tapa to accompany your caña.
Be sure to get a map at your first bar, which you can stamp at each bar you visit on the route. Once you have six stamps, you can vote for the best tapa!
Go explore the buildings of Gran Via
Why not escape the rain by taking shelter inside Primark, H&M and Zara? Don't worry: we didn't send you here to buy anything. Look up and around to admire some of Madrid's most spectacular buildings, which are steeped in history.
Many of these grand turn-of-the-century buildings were used as temporary barracks during the Spanish Civil War and have undergone their fair share of conversions. Fortunately, these large retail stores have left their host buildings intact, respecting the original features throughout.
Warm up with Pulido Comfort Food
Get caught up in the austere expressionist paintings, mahogany furniture, dark red walls and white tablecloths. The old-world style of La Polonesa Restaurant is like a time traveler's collection, and the warm nostalgic food fits right in.
Spend the night at the "secret" Lavapiés Jazz Club
Step back in time to 1981, order a drink in the splendid marble bar and take the time to admire the turn-of-the-century setting, which harks back to this club's spiritual era.
Some of the city's best jazz bands play here every night of the week in an intimate and charming setting.
Go bowling in an art deco mall.
We stumbled upon this 'post-apocalypse Miami' mall while strolling along the river. It was eerily quiet and half of the mall was empty, with some corners of the building in complete darkness. However, the art deco style floors are stunning and we were ushered into a retro bowling alley adorned with bright red neon lights, making us feel like we were back in the old Madrid porno cinema.
Visit Madrid's old porno cinema
There's something about this corner of Madrid that was once sleazy, possibly because it survived as a fully functioning erotic cinema until very recently. Two years later, however, it reopened as a hipster cinema and, apart from some extra strobe lights and a deep clean, nothing seems to have changed.
Hang out in a cozy coffee shop.
An obvious choice is to grab a cup of coffee at one of the city's many cool coffee shops. You could even do a caffeine crawl in a neighbourhood with a high density of cafes, the wonderful Malasaña for example.
Get lost in Madrid's giant museums
If you're interested in art, you can easily spend an entire day in each of Madrid's most famous museums. The Prado Museum is Spain's national museum and one of the largest museums in the world, exhibiting European art from the 12th to the 19th century. You'll have a wonderful time escaping the rain in the company of Spanish masters like Goya and Velazquez.
Head underground for a glimpse into Madrid's past.
Another place to get out of the rain is.... underground! Andén 0 is a project that explores the history of the Chamberí metro station, which dates back to 1919. It was on the city's first metro line, but was abandoned in 1966 due to logistical problems. It has since been restored to an almost original state. Take a stroll along the platform, admire the old advertisements and watch the modern metro go by.