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48 Hours in Madrid During Arco Week

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It’s Arco Week, the most exciting cultural week in Spain. Madrid is booming with events taking place alongside ARCO Madrid International Contemporary Art Fair from February 26 to March 1.

Follow our 48 hours guide in the capital of Spain and you will have a real blast.

Courtesy of Nieman Marcus.

Sleep at ONLY YOU Boutique Hotel, an historic 19th-century mansion located in one of the trendiest areas of Madrid, the Salesas neighborhood. The hotel´s hallmark is its groundbreaking décor, the work of acclaimed and awarded designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán.

Start your day at Celicioso Bakery, located just beside the hotel, where you will find the most delicious breakfasts. This bakery is well known for its gluten-free and vegan pastries.

After your morning boost, take a cab or Madrid´s Metro and head to IFEMA, where ARCO Art Fair is located. The fair is quite big and consists of two pavilions, so we highly recommend you visit two mornings in a row.

ARCO presents a careful selection of national and international galleries, under the General Programme as well as in the curated sections: Dialogues, lead by Agustín Pérez-Rubio and Lucia Sanromán; Opening, lead by Tiago de Abreu Pinto and Övül ö. Durmusoglu and It’s Just a Matter of Time lead by Alejandro Cesarco, Mason Leaver-Yap, and Manuel Segade in the discursive program.

Head to the VIP Lounge where you will hang out with all artists, gallerists, and collectors. The VIP Lounge is a unique space, comfortable and colorful, created by the architects Teresa Sapey and Rafael Robledo. It’s a good idea to have lunch at the restaurant served by Mallorca Catering.

Continue with a visit to El Prado Museum and Reina Sofia Museum, the first where you will find pieces by Velazquez, Goya, Rembrandt, El Bosco…and the second is home of the Guernica by Picasso, among other masterpieces.

It’s time to unwind and prepare your skin for the next day. Head to Massumeh, one of the most exclusive beauty centers in Madrid, where you will enjoy the best facial treatments in town done with their own natural products. Your face will glow.

For dinner, head to Aarde, one of the newest and coolest spots in town, located just in front of the Puerta de Alcalá, where they serve African inspired dishes and host live music.

If you still have energy, go have a drink at Bar Cock, one of the trendiest places in the capital city, perfect for a drink while you hang with the art scene.

The next day, wake up and run for a coffee at La Marca, a cute little store in Salesas area where they serve the best organic coffee and healthy options. Get a sneak peek at their multi-brand store, it’s a must!

After spending the monrning at ARCO’s second pavilion, take a cab back to Madrid city center and have lunch at Murillo Café, one of the coolest spots in town, a few meters from the Retiro Park, which is always a good idea to visit.

Next, visit Urvanity Art Fair, the emerging, alternative fair this week and the best place to see works from movements like Post-Graffiti, Lowbrow Art, Neo Pop, or Urban Contemporary. Approximately 30 galleries and more than 90 artists will participate in its 4th edition, with more than half of the exhibitors coming from around the world.

For your last night in Madrid, book a table at Florida Retiro, a beautiful and historic place located in the Retiro Park. Enjoy their dinner and a show packed with acrobatics, live music, and plenty of humor, which is considered to be one of the best in town and that is pride of place on the city’s night-life scene. Afterwards, Florida Retiro transforms into the city’s go-to nightclub, where you will surely have a hell of a time.




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Kelly Wearstler




Go inside the worlds of Art, Fashion, Design and Lifestyle.



Go inside the worlds
of Art, Fashion, Design,
and Lifestyle.