Madrileños are social creatures - whether that be hanging out
with friends over post-work drinks, packing a picnic and heading to
one of the city's 40 green spaces or indulging in "terraceo", a
long-held tradition of moving from terraza to terraza (outdoor
tables make perfect sense in a capital blessed with 350 sunny days
a year). Get in on the fun, or, if you've got a big day of
sightseeing ahead of you, make like the cool kids and try "tardeo".
Stemming from the word "tarde" meaning "afternoon" or "evening",
the term refers to the increasingly popular habit of socialising
without staying out all night. Or, for a quintessential Madrid
experience without the hangover, take a stroll down the elegant,
tree-lined promenade of Paseo del Prado and around the 125-hectare
El Retiro Park. Recently recognised as part of
a Unesco world heritage site, these verdent city pockets have been
popular social spots for Madrileños since the 16th century.
Retail therapy more your thing? Make tracks to Plaza de Cascorro
(in the central La Latina district), home of El Rastro, the city's legendary flea market.
Pick up some rare vintage kicks then round off your visit the
customary way with an aperitivo in one of the area's multiple bars.
You can toast your shopping prowess with a glass of wine, beer or
vermouth paired with some delicious tapas such as paella or -
another Madrid speciality - cod fritters.