OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

TopTen

1. Parque Quinta de los Molinos

prac_info Calle Alcalá 527 • Open 6:30am–10pm daily • Metro Suanzes

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Every spring, hundreds of almond trees blossom in clouds of pink and white in this beautiful little park, which dates back to 1920.

TopTen

Parque Quinta de los Molinos

2. Hammam Al Ándalus

prac_info C/Estación del Arte, 14, • 914 29 90 20 • Adm • Open 10am–midnight daily (last entry 10pm) • www.madrid.hammamalandalus.com

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Recover from museum-fever and tramping the Madrid pavements in this hammam, which has soothing Andalus-style decor, warm baths and a massage service.

3. Museo del Aire (Museo de Aeronáutica y Astronáutica de España)

prac_info Aeródromo de Cuatro Vientos, Ctra de Extremadura, km 10,500 • 915 09 16 90 • Open 10am–2pm Tue–Sun • All buses on the Madrid-Alcorcón-Móstoles route from Príncipe Pío station; Metro Cuatro Vientos, then 1 km walk or bus

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Ideal for kids, the Spanish Air Force’s museum contains one of the largest collections of vintage aircraft in Europe. On display are helicopters, jet fighters and more, including a Breguet 19 that crossed the Southern Atlantic Ocean in 1929.

4. CentroCentro chill-out lounge

prac_info Plaza Cibeles 1 • 914 80 00 08 • www.centrocentro.org

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In what was once the main hall of Madrid’s opulent former post office (and now city hall), you’ll find the CentroCentro chill-out lounge. With brightly coloured sofas and a wide choice of newspapers and magazines, it’s the ideal spot to relax before hitting the nearby Prado.

5. Matadero Madrid – Centro de Creación Contemporánea

prac_info Plaza de Legazpi 8 • 915 17 73 09 • Open 4–9pm Tue–Fri, noon–9pm Sat, Sun & public hols • Metro Legazpi; bus 6, 8, 18, 19, 45, 78 and 148 • Adm charge for films and some activities • www.mataderomadrid.org

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Located in a beautifully converted former slaughterhouse, this city-run cultural centre is dedicated to the creative output of contemporary artists, and features cutting-edge exhibitions, film screenings at the Cineteca and more. It also has a fantastic café, bar and restaurant.

6. Real Fábrica de Tapices

prac_info Calle de Fuenterrabía, 2 • 914 34 05 50 • Metro Menéndez Pelayo or Estación del Arte • Open 10am–2pm Mon–Fri • Closed Aug • Adm by guided visit only (tours every hour) • www.realfabricadetapices.com

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Watch exquisite wall-hangings and carpets being made using traditional methods and antique looms at the fascinating Royal Tapestry Factory (see Real Fábrica de Tapices), which was founded in 1721. It also contains a superb collection of historic textiles created for Spanish monarchs over the centuries.

TopTen

Real Fábrica de Tapices of Madrid

7. Invernadero de Atocha

prac_info Plaza Emperador Carlos V s/n • Always open

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On chilly winter days, there’s nowhere better to escape from Madrid’s biting wind than in this enchanting tropical garden located, bizarrely, in Atocha train station. Luxuriant palm trees reach to the glass ceiling, while turtles and koi carp swim in the pools below.

8. Museo del Ferrocarril

prac_info Paseo de las Delicias 61 • 902 22 88 22 • Metro Delicias • Open Jun–Sep: 10am–3pm daily; Oct–May: 9:30am–3pm Mon–Fri, 10am–7pm Sat, Sun & public hols • Adm • www.museodelferrocarril.org

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Set in the 19th-century Delicias train station, this museum is packed with steam engines, period carriages, model trains and lots more to amuse all ages. Even the café is set in a delightful carriage from the 1920s. The museum is also the starting point for the Tren de la Fresa (see Museo del Ferrocarril).

9. Andén 0

prac_info Plaza de Chamberí s/n • 902 44 44 03 • Open 10am–1pm Thu, 11am–7pm Fri, 11am–3pm Sat & Sun

Google Map

Madrid has its very own underground “ghost station”: the Chamberí metro stop (its new name means “Platform Zero”) was closed in 1966 and hasn’t changed since, except to fall into disrepair. Now lovingly restored to its former glory, it is a small and fascinating museum, with exhibits which recall its history and use as a bomb shelter during the Civil War.

10. Roof terrace at the Círculo de Bellas Artes

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A sumptuous 1920s art club and cultural centre, the Círculo de Bellas Artes has a secret: its wonderful roof terrace, which can be accessed by a glass lift. Once up on the roof, you can enjoy fabulous city-wide views. It is the perfect spot for late-evening cocktails, and occasional live music, too. Note that the roof terrace is sometimes closed for private events, so check in advance. Entry also includes admission to the beautiful café.

TopTen

Círculo de Bellas Artes roof terrace

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