Madrid enjoys roughly 350 sunny days per year, making it Europe’s sunniest capital (alongside Athens in Greece). Naturally, with all that sunshine, comes glorious sunsets. Famous for its very late nights and vibrant party scene, Madrid really comes alive as the sun goes down. And with most people only sitting down to dinner between 9pm and 11pm, aperitivo and tapas culture is baked into the Spanish capital’s nightly rhythm. So find yourself a rooftop bar with a breeze that serves Aperol Spritz, or a table in one of the many lively plazas dotted all around town, and let the warm evening sun be your passport to an evening of Madrileño revelry.
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Royal Palace of Madrid
If you’re looking for a royally good location to watch the sun go down then look no further than one of the largest and finest royal palaces in Europe. This 18th century palacio is helpfully located on a hilltop, and was the residence of the Spanish royal family until 1931. These days it is open to the public so have a peek at the stunning interior before heading out into the courtyard for a sunset fit for a king (or queen).
As the afternoon draws to a close, take a spin on one of the boats on El Retiro’s lake and wander the seemingly endless pathways that criss-cross this much-loved Unesco world heritage site before stopping at Florida Park – a bar, restaurant and all-round urban oasis in the north-east corner of Madrid’s most famous green space. With an expansive terrace it’s ideal for kicking back and enjoying an Aperol Spritz and some tasty finger food as the sun sets over the city’s skyline.
Temple of Debod
Brought to Spain from Egypt in the 1970s, this stunning temple is a truly unique place to watch day fade into night. Set atop a small hill, it’s a short walk from the metro and offers fantastic views of not only the temple but also the Royal Palace and the distant Guadarrama Mountains. As the light glints off the ancient stone and the sky turns from blue to fuchsia you definitely won’t need to use a filter to take some enviable insta shots.
Palacio de Cibeles
It’s hard to miss this monumental building with its soaring white facade slap-bang in the centre of Madrid. A former post office headquarters and now the seat of the Madrid council, it is also the place to see the city’s sunsets from a different angle. As the afternoon draws to a close, head to the sixth floor for an unrivalled 360-degree city view from the observation deck. It does get popular so it’s worth getting there early to bag the best spot!