The Mad Cool guide to Madrid

We’ve rounded up a few absolute musts to elevate your festival experience

Located in the heart of Madrid, Mad Cool Festival doesn’t just bring together the very best in international superstars, rising talent and brilliant local acts over five days. It also gives you the chance to explore one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

From The Golden Triangle Of Art (made up of three major museums) to an array of bars, clubs and bohemian art spaces, the Spanish capital is a thriving melting pot of culture, with plenty of amazing food to try as well.

We’ve rounded up a few absolute musts to elevate your festival experience.


Mad Cool 2022 takes place July 6 – 10 and tickets are available here

Where To Drink

El Viajero
A restaurant and bar located in a three-story mansion, El Viajero is surrounded by flea markets. Their rooftop garden provides the best views of Old Madrid (plus a shop, for all those last minute gifts), so head here for the sun set. Book a table here.

A live music venue and bar, Hopper is open until the early hours of the morning and provides a wide range of delicious cocktails and local beers. According to their website, Hopper is a unique bar in La Latina that offers a cultural revolution. Come, have a drink and feel like home”. Find out more here.

Salmon Guru
Regularly sitting amongst the Best Bars In The World, Salmon Guru is an eclectic, vibrant, fun cocktail bar, with unique presentations of classic drinks. All that flamboyance never gets in the way of the flavour though. You’ll Come for the instagrammable drinks, but stay when you realise how delicious they are. Find out more here.

Things To Do

Museo Reina Sofia
Located at the southern tip of Madrid’s Golden Triangle Of Art, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is Spain’s national museum of 20th century art and focuses on Spanish art, with works from Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali on display including Picasso’s 1937 painting Guernica. The museum proudly celebrates the “strangeness” of the works on display. Check out opening times here.


El Retiro Park
The Buen Retiro Park is one of Spain’s largest parks. It covers over 125 hectacres, features over 15,000 trees and is a lush, green oasis perfect for escaping Madrid’s blazing sunshine. Rather than just a big ol’ field though, the park features a variety of gardens, statues and other monuments, galleries, an artificial lake, and a host of venues with an eclectic range of events. Find out more here.

El Rastro
The quintessential Spanish neighbourhood, El Rastro is the place to go for beer, tapas, mojitos and shopping. The area features a large flea market every Sunday but there’s also a variety of shops open every day, turning this chunk of the city into a bustling, vibrant hub that provides a crash course in Madrid culture.


Places To Eat

La Colmada
Taking the idea of Tapas in a new direction, La Colmada is half bar, half shop, allowing you to quite literally try before you buy. With helpful staff and a variety of foods and wines set inside an updated neighbourhood grocery shop, La Colmada provides a crash course in Spanish food, with the option to recreate it at home. Discover more here.

Opened in 1839, Lhardy is one of the oldest restaurants in Madrid and is said to have introduced French fine dining to the Spanish capital. Put those frog legs away though, Lhardy represents the splendour of Spanish flavours, with an international twist. A landmark restaurant, Lhardy offers customers a taste sensation for those looking to really indulge. Book a table here.

Los Montes de Galicia
You’re in Spain, you want to eat the best Spanish food, which is where Los Montes de Galicia comes in. According to the restaurant “the quality of the product and respect for the traditional flavour is our main priority, however we always take some creative liberties giving the dishes our own particular touch,” not to mention there’s a dedicated cocktail bar for a pre, or post dinner tipple. Find out more here.

NME is a proud media partner of Mad Cool.