5 Hidden Gems in Madrid

Travel Tips — By Sarah E. Rogers on July 30, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Cine Dore is a film junkie’s dream that screens old and classic movies from around the world in a beautiful old-fashioned theater at reduced prices. Just don’t expect to catch the newest blockbuster there; the emphasis is on film you won’t see anywhere else.

Drawing on a blend of Madrid’s Christian, Muslim, and Jewish heritage, Medina Mayrit is a relaxing hammam-style spa featuring three underground pools, a relaxation room, gurgling fountains, flickering candles, and ambient music. But if you go alone, be prepared to be surrounded by love struck couples.

The Casa de Campo is a huge wooded area on the edge of the city and is perfect for hikes, long walks, picnics, and getting in touch with nature without ever leaving the capital. One small section is well known as a place to pick up prostitutes, but this doesn’t seem to deter families in Madrid from making the Casa de Campo a popular family spot.

Sesamo is an interesting old bar you won’t ever stumble upon. It’s a cave-like place down a flight of stairs and is popular with students for its lively atmosphere, pitchers of sangría, and live piano music. It can get pretty crowded with Erasmus students though.

The Campo del Moro gardens feature manicured paths, wide lawns, majestic views of the Royal Palace, and roaming peacocks and pheasants. The entrance is a bit inconvenient on Paseo de la Virgen del Puerto, but it’s worth the hike down from the Royal Palace.

[Photos: Edescas, Medina Mayrit, Andreas Praefcke, bjaglin, chispita_666]