Let’s be honest, Spain produces a lot more than tennis legends in every generation of the game.

Any travel junkie knows how impressive the country's capital of Madrid is for its history, art, food, and overall representation of Spanish culture.

Whether you're traveling to the Caja Mágica for next week's combined ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 event or not, let’s dive into some of the most can't-miss things you don’t want to miss.


1. Mark[et] Your Streets

One way to immerse yourself in all things Spain is by visiting established street markets. Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the famous El Rastro market is packed to the brim not only by street-goers but also by vendors. Find anything from food and drinks to antique dealers to bookshops. (Friendly tips: Be weary of pick-pocketing and bring cash!)

Mercado de San Miguel is another must-explore market when visiting Madrid. While it gets just as crowded as El Rastro, every bite of food here makes the busy atmosphere fade away. Sundays through Thursdays, this crock pot of a hot spot is open 14 hours a day, 10 a.m. to midnight. On Fridays and Saturdays, an extra hour right at the end there caters to our late-night tapas tasters.


2. Flamenco, Flamenco

When the time comes that you need a break from the food and drink consumption, experience the Spanish culture through dance. Attend a Flamenco show with Essential Flamenco, who offer intimate showings every day. Each ticket includes a drink, which pairs well with the rich history that comes as part of the storytelling during the show.

You may even be inspired to learn Flamenco while in the heart of Spain, in which case the Flamenco Experience is the way to go. Take hour-long beginner courses and learn the true strength it takes to dance this beautiful dance.

3. Mystery Metro

Fun fact of the day, Madrid Metro’s Line 1 runs through Estacion de Chamberi, a discontinued station that serves as a sealed example of the transit’s origins.

This station was one of eight stops on the Metro’s first line, which eventually proved to be a complex line that expanded rapidly in the years to come. As popularity grew for Line 1, Chamberi became too complicated of a curve to navigate and was officially closed on May 22, 1966.

The rails went unremoved, and the trains were not rerouted. Instead, to this day, Line 1 passes through this seemingly “mystery station” that flashes by during transport.


4. Rock Out with Grandma

Art in any city is a beautiful window into the heart of its people. From museums and galleries to graffiti walls, it’s seen quite literally everywhere all at once. In many countries, including the United States, creating sculptures to preserve moments in time another way that art can be admired by the daily street-walkers.

Cherished in Madrid, for instance, is “Rocker Grandma,” a notable sculpture on Calle Pena Gorbea.

One fateful night, your average grandma went to a rock concert with her grandson. She loved it so much that she attended every metal show since, and became a celebrated rocker in Madrid in the 1980s.

Her statue was created six years after her death, just before the start of the new millennia.


5. Custom Footprint

Take a piece of Madrid everywhere you go with handmade shoes from a well-established landmark in the heart of the city. Casa Hernanz has been handmaking shoes since 1845.

Just outside Plaza Mayor, this espadrilles and tool shop adapted through the years as the country around it developed and was eventually picked up by 1970s fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.

Here, you don't just see Madrid. You can wear it, too.