There are endless non-touristic sites for locals to enjoy in Madrid which might also appeal to the taste of some tourists. The sites are strongly influenced by traditions that have been around for a very long time, and the locals and tourists alike still carry on the local traditions. Below are the top 10 non-tourist sites for locals to enjoy.
Plaza de Toros Monumental de las Ventas
Spaniards are famous for bullfighting and it is important for the culture. Locals and tourists can watch bullfighting at the largest bullfighting venue in Madrid at Plaza de Toros Monumental de las Ventas. Outside the venue, there are many vendors who sell tee shirts and snacks. The venue is quite exquisite especially at night. Matches are held on Sunday, you can either sit in the sun or shade ( I recommend the shade because it can get very hot).
Benabeu is home to the Real Madrid soccer team. Many locals are soccer enthusiasts and soccer matches are always fun for the entire family. Even if you are a traveler, it is definitely worth it to see a match of get a tour of the stadium.
El Rastro is an open air flea market that is open only on Sundays. Many locals enjoy going to El Rastro because a variety of goods are sold there (both new and used). Often people find great deals on antiques, books, and more. In the early hours of the morning locals go to El Rastro on Sundays because merchants are more open to bargaining in the later hours (closer to noon), the tourists go to El Rastro and probably do not get the best deals.
Salamanca is a pleasant area to spend time in especially for upscale shopping and lunch. There are many nice boutiques in Salamanca, parks, as well as a beautiful cathedral. This area is nice to walk in and relatively safe compared to busier areas such as Gran Via. There are also many places to enjoy tapas which is always a hit among locals and tourists.
The Gran Via is a very busy street full of an eclectic group of shops, restaurants, movie theaters, and local businesses. The heart of the Gran Via leads to Plaza Mayor which is another hub full of shops and restaurants. This is a nice street to walk down just for a day of window shopping or a night out on the town.
Santceloni Restaurant is a 2 Michelin star resaturant located inside of the Hotel Hesperia. This restaurant is perfect to celebrate any special occasion. Please expect to pay high prices for these exquisite meals. I highly recommend booking in advance because the reservations disappear quickly!
Jose Luis Restaurant
Jose Luis Restaurant is a fabulous restaurant to enjoy tapas at. Locals can enjoy traditional Spanish food either inside the restaurant or outside. The scenery outside is beautiful. The restaurant is located in the heart of Salamanca. Locals will enjoy homestyle tapas, full meals, desserts, and more. This is another gem recommended to travelers if they are staying at a hotel in Salamanca.
El Cortes Ingles
El Cortes Ingles is a department store that carries a variety of product. As a department store, a variety of products are carried such as grocery items, housewares, furniture, cosmetics, clothing, and other specialty items.
Plaza mayor is a wonderful area to spend time in because there are many shops in the area and plenty of space to walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. Usually there is a significant amount of foot traffic in the area since it is located in close proximity to the Gran Via. There are shops in this entire area and one can never run out of things to do. There are also fast food restaurants sprinkled throughout the area.
Hard Rock Café
The Hard Rock Café is an American restaurant that opened in Madrid. This is a popular restaurant among tourists and locals because it brings something different to Madrid. The restaurant is designed to be family friendly.