When you’re celebrating your upcoming nuptials, you don’t want to end up somewhere that doesn’t fit the energy your squad is bringing to the party: this will not be a concern in Madrid. The Spanish capital is full of life, with great food and even better wine, so deciding to have a Madrid hen do is a no brainer. Outside of food and drink, this metropolis has tonnes of things to do, from bumbling around world class art galleries to exceptional hikes just a short bus or train ride out of the city. If you’re planning a party for a bride and want to make it extra special, read ahead: our guide to a Madrid hen do will give you all the inspiration you need.
Feel the Rhythm with Spanish Dance Classes
Spain is known for its variety of dancing styles, the most famous of which is probably the Flamenco. Although it originated among the gypsy populations in the South of the country, Madrid is now home to a massive Flamenco scene, and the dance is seen as a part of a wider Spanish heritage – so what better way to celebrate with your friends than learning how to do this iconic dance?
There are plenty of places to learn the basics of Flamenco, but Dance Classes Madrid is one of the best companies to book with for a group class for your hens.
They have years of experience taking on larger groups, including others on their Madrid hen do, and if you don’t really like the idea of Flamenco or another dancing style has caught your eye, it’s likely they will have an instructor who can help – they also teach Salsa, Tango, Sevillanas, and many other dances, and can recommend something specific to your group. Prices vary and are only available by direct request on the website.
Cycle with the Sangria Bike
Look, we know it’s hard to get the balance between cultural and fun right on a Madrid hen do. With so much going on, it can be easy to slip into the tapas and wine lifestyle, and forget you’re in a city steeped in history, with enough amazing attractions to rival anywhere else in the world. So, what better option for your Madrid hen do than to combine the best of both worlds with a cycle around on the Sangria bike?
For EUR 90 (GBP 77) per group, four hens get 45 minutes pedalling (and sometimes cruising, as the bikes are electric) around the cultural heart of Madrid with unlimited Sangria and music of your choice.
The local driver will take you on a predetermined route (which can be amended if you ring ahead and it doesn’t add too much time and distance on to the original route) while your Madrid hen do get in some exercise and vitamin C in the best possible way.
See the Madrid Skyline with Rooftop Cocktails
There’s nothing quite like enjoying a cocktail over a cityscape, and in Madrid you and your hens have plenty of opportunities for rooftop drinks. One of the best places for this is the rooftop of the Circulo de Bellas Artes, one of the biggest and most widely used cultural centres on the continent. The rooftop is accessible for EUR 4 (GBP 3.50) per person (or you can get a combined ticket for whatever exhibitions they have on and rooftop access for EUR 5 (GBP 4.20)), where there’s drinks and snacks available as well as a high-end restaurant, although that only accepts groups of six or fewer and needs to be booked at least two weeks in advance.
Another great option is the terrace bar at the ME Hotel, which is open for cocktails from the mid-afternoon until just after midnight. A fantastic place to spend the day lounging around or to watch the sun set over the Madrid skyline, it’s the perfect spot for the first drink of the night for any Madrid hen do.
Tapas and Wine
Sometimes the most obvious choices are the best ones. No Madrid hen do would be complete without at least one night spent indulging in the delectable delights of the many tapas bars in the city. A common misconception is that ‘tapa’ is paid for, but it’s actually the free small plates that come out alongside drinks, which are given and not chosen off a menu, not unlike the aperetivo in Northern Italy. The more drinks you buy, the larger and better quality the tapa. What we outside of Spain call tapas is actually ración, which is similar but paid for, chosen, and with bigger portions. If your hens are hungry, you should make sure to ask for the ‘menu de ración’, where you’ll get to choose between whatever specialties that bar has.
La Latina is probably the best neighbourhood for this as it is lined with Tapas bars. Taberna la Concha is one of the best spots in the district for the classics, but there are dozens of great bars, and part of the joy of having a tapas bar night is the bar hopping. More central is Estado Puro, which has some more innovative takes on the Spanish small plates. If you’re looking for something lively, busy, and with massive plates, then El Tigre in Centro is a Madrid institution.
Have a Big Night (and Morning) Out
The Spanish leave it late when it comes to nights out, the clubs only really getting going after midnight or even one, and not stopping until the sun is well on its way up. If you want a classic, cheesy time, then head to Madrid’s gay district Chueca – Studio 54 is a fun and intimate venue which is always full of life, with plenty of great DJs and acts to keep the party going until 6am. If you want something a bit more commercial and traditional, then Teatro Kapital is the place to be for your Madrid hen do: with seven floors of fun, you’re bound to have a crazy night out here.