How to Spend a Birthday in Madrid: Tapas, Fine Wine and More

Looking to toast a special day in the regal Spanish capital and want some birthday inspiration? Here's all you need to know.

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Three glasses of white wine together in 'cheers' motion

Affectionately dubbed as the European city that never sleeps, if you're spending a birthday in Madrid then you're guaranteed a good time. Madrileños dine late and stay out even later so expect to find all the razmatazz you need to mark the occasion. Step onto Madrid’s streets at around 3-4 am on any given day and you’ll quickly discover that the elegant and delightfully eccentric Spanish capital has its wicked way with tourists and locals alike.

Whether you're planning a birthday in Madrid for a friend or for yourself, we’ve rounded up the best things that this charming old-fashioned city has to offer, so that you can enjoy the big day stress free - Madrid style. Bienvenida a Madrid and happy birthday from us here at Plum Guide.

Treat yourself with a breakfast for champions at San Gines

First things first. We all know that calories don’t count on your birthday which means that it’s perfectly acceptable to have 'chocolate con churros' for breakfast. Saying that, it's perfectly acceptable to involve these in your Madrid food tour whether you're celebrating a birthday or not. This Spanish delicacy is best served piping hot at the 122 year old Chocolateria San Gines as you watch the sunrise over Spain’s majestic capital (it’s open 24/7). If you fancy a lie in after a late night partying, you can always order these on Uber Eats for a breakfast in bed treat at your luxury Madrid home.

Have a magical palace to yourself

We know that it’s very likely that you opted for priority boarding on your flight to Madrid, so why not expect the same treatment when you arrive? After all, there’s nothing worse than finally getting to see the majestic Royal Palace of Madrid and having the experience greatly hindered by flocks of crowds spoiling your view. Take a VIP Walking Tour and enter the Palace an hour ahead of everyone else, whilst enjoying a tour with a local expert guide. When you inevitably get bored of your history lesson, indulge in the wine, cheese and olive oil tasting.

The Royal Palace of Madrid, Spain

The Royal Palace of Madrid, Spain

Witness a Flamenco exclusive show

Ah, you’ve come to Seville, so watching a flamenco show is compulsory, right? Oh sorry, this is Madrid. But nonetheless, this Andalusian dance tradition lives and breathes on the capital’s streets and is bound to get your blood pumping. Witness this remarkable, sassy performance at the historical Torres Bermejas tablao for what is rumoured to be the most important flamenco show in the world. Passion, iconic costumes and talented musicians - what more could you ask when celebrating a birthday in Madrid?

Be delighted by acoustic Spanish music

For something a little bit less cliché yet cultured and refined (just like you), spend a birthday in Madrid immersed in traditional Spanish acoustic music at this 19th century theatre. Teatro de la Zarzuela is a true crème de la crème symbol of the Spanish musical legacy, and the best part? You’ll be watching this army of acoustic musicians amongst Madrileños and away from the tourist crowds - a truly, (dare we say it) authentic experience.

Visit a VIP Real Madrid football match

When one thinks of Madrid, football springs to mind. So it's only natural that you’d want to watch one of the most famous European football teams when in town. As the old stomping ground of Ronaldo, Beckham and Figo, make a pilgrimage to Bernabeu Stadium and join the 'Madridistas'. Watching any of Real Madrid’s games is an exciting experience, but dig into your pockets and up the ante by opting for VIP for a birthday in Madrid. You’ll have the best seats in the house, plus unlimited booze at your fingertips.

Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid

Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid

Luxury wine tasting and vineyard visit

Your friends back home might not think of Madrid as renowned for its wine, but this is where you prove them wrong. Rent a 4x4 or chauffeur (darling) and in just over half an hour you’ll reach one of Spain’s best kept wine secrets: the Valquejigoso vineyards. This small family run estate is planted with your favourite wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah to name a few. Relish a tour of the vineyard, vertical tasting and Spanish barbeque lunch. Oh, and don’t forget to bring a bottle of el vino back with you to enjoy at your Plum Guide Madrid apartment.

Dine fine at DiverXO

With three Michelin stars, a meal at DiverXO might be up to your birthday standards but it very much depends on how far you’re willing to push your culinary boundaries. Fasten your seatbelt, widen your eyes and dare to put your evening in the hands of creative-chef-guru Dabiz Munoz for an avant-garde gastronomic experience you won’t forget. Designed with your palette in mind, he treats each dish like a 'canvas'. And if that didn’t already sound chi-chi, the dining space is a work of art too.

Enjoy a privileged pan to privacy

Speaking of art, if you’ve come to spend a birthday in Madrid in search of a more traditional artistic experience that doesn’t involve putting works of art in your mouth, then the city’s galleries and museums should be on your radar. But wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy your favourite works without having to hear a stranger’s galling interpretation or be shuffled about by a school tour? Well, if you’re willing to splash the cash, you can graze the Prado or Thyssen Museum privately with your close friends for a couple of hours - we just hope an exclusive view of Las Meninas is worth the price tag.

Stay somewhere beautiful

For your special occasion, we suggest a stay in one of our Plum Guide homes, perhaps a penthouse boasting some of the best views of Madrid. Just think of the envy-inducing pictures you can take whilst toasting to you birthday with a brunch, bellini in hand on your terrace with the Spanish sunshine gleaming on your face. Expert home critics know the Plum Guide-worthy homes in Madrid inside out so all you need to worry about when celebrating a birthday in Madrid is having a great time.

Ascend to dizzying heights on a hot air balloon

If you’re a nature lover, then hopping on a hot air balloon over Guadarrama Regional Park for 3 hours will be right up your street. A Spanish brunch of cured meats and birthday cava will be awaiting you upon descent which will hopefully help you forget that you just spent 190 minutes peering down on a monotonous forested-view. Oh, and if you’re lucky, you might catch a peak of the Castle of Mocha - if you’ve ever heard of it.

Wander Salamanca

Salamanca is by far the fanciest neighbourhood to visit in Madrid and is perfect for a pampering birthday trip. Its wide avenues are glossed with designer boutiques, patisseries, niche museums and traditional tapas bars, so you can dine modestly whilst saving the pennies for that beautiful birthday outfit. A pit-stop into La Mejor Tarta de Chocolate del Mundo (The best chocolate tart in the world) for an indulgent birthday cake is also obligatory - the name speaks for itself.

Designer storefront in Salamanca, Madrid

Designer storefront in Salamanca, Madrid | Photo by César Lucas Abreu © Madrid Destino

And if you'll be marking the occasion with the whole family in tow, take a look at our guide to the best things to do in Madrid with kids.

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