Walk around the block at Spaces Rio in Madrid

Image by Marta Aguilar

The neighborhood surrounding Spaces Rio in Madrid is without a doubt the place to be. A new art center, new bars and restaurants and a fully renewed green riverside have turned Madrid Rio into a young and trendy area where there is always something intriguing going on.


People used to come to Madrid and ask: isn´t there a river? A typical attraction in most European capitals, the lack of it was just strange. The Manzanares River, not far from the center, had been a neglected area for decades until the city hall decided to renew it. After the ambitious plan to renovate the riverside all the way from the Royal Palace to the Casa de Campo, this pedestrian and recreational area now brings tourists and locals together to enjoy a fresh new part of the city which even includes a beach.


Culturally speaking, there is no way you won´t be interested in Matadero: a slaughterhouse turned into an art center, including a cinema. This massive complex, closed during the 70s and reopened only 10 years ago has quickly become a reference for book presentations, art exhibitions, projections and concerts.

Image by Marta Aguilar


Either if you have one or you just borrow one from Spaces, this is the perfect place to start a ride around Madrid Rio. As an alternative to biking, you can always put on your skates or bring your skateboard: there is a skate park nearby, for both professionals and amateurs.


A vital spot to visit or hang out if you are a local is the Botanical Garden. The colorful Crystal Palace, located on the Paseo de la Chopera, goes surprisingly unnoticed. Which is a shame. The building, which was part of Matadero, was renovated in the nineties taking as inspiration the 19th century architecture, influenced by iron. Inside you can enjoy more than 9000 plant species: from tropical to aquatic.

Image by Marta Aguilar


Last, but not least, if you´ve had a hard day at work, Madrid Rio offers and endless amount of possibilities to grab a drink. A good place to start would be Plaza del General Maroto where you´ll find several traditional Spanish bars which will hopefully include a free tapa. If you are more of an influencer type you can always go to Costello Rio, where you´ll eat the best burgers in town (or so they say). Further down the road you´ll find breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner options, and don´t forget the bar inside Matadero, it has just the right vibe.

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