Sports and fitness in Madrid

Nature vs City Madrid
Updated 2023-07-23 13:28

Football may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Madrid. While locals are passionate about their teams, it offers a wide range of sports opportunities beyond just football. In fact, the city is known for its healthy lifestyle, with numerous clubs and organizations catering to various sports interests. Whether it's golfing and hiking in the suburbs or joining a running club in the city center, expats will find many options for both leisure and fitness activities in Madrid. Additionally, the city hosts several exciting spectator events, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Good to know:

Gyms and sports clubs are located everywhere in Madrid and the surrounding areas. Basic Fit and Viva Gym are two popular chains with multiple locations.

Football and football clubs in Madrid

Of course, football is the king of sports. Madrid's two local teams are Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid. Other top teams include Rayo Vallecano and Getafe. Watching a game in the stadium or even at your neighborhood café is a genuine Madrid pastime. However, it's not just about watching! Football is also the most popular sport in terms of participants, and there are meetups and leagues for every player level.a

Running in Madrid

Madrid's parks and green spaces offer an endless opportunity to run in the city. There are many free running clubs for both experienced and casual athletes. Marathoners will be happy to know that special races attract a huge number of visitors to the city each year. Two of the most popular are the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and San Silvestre Vallecana. In addition, the Women's Race is the largest women-only sporting event in Madrid.

Bullfighting in Madrid

Bullfighting became popular in Spain at the end of the 18th century and is still popular today. Madrid is home to one of the most important bullrings in the country, Las Ventas, and the bullfighting season runs from March to October. While it's inextricably linked with Spanish history and culture, it is controversial among both outsiders and locals alike.

Spectator sports in Madrid

There is no end to the list of spectator sports in and around Madrid. Besides football, Madrid has three professional basketball teams, an elite rugby team and a water polo team, all of which host games in the city. Additionally, Madrid is home to the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament, the final stage of the Vuelta Ciclista a España cycling race, and the Spanish Truck GP. Check out the full calendar of events to see what interests you most.

Golf in Madrid

Madrid is a golfer's paradise, with more than 25 courses in the surrounding area. Courses are both public and private and cater to different skill levels. Experts will want to visit Golf Santander, one of the best courses in Europe and true nature lovers will enjoy the sprawling El Robledal Golf Club.

Equestrian sports in Madrid

Horse racing is another popular sport to watch in Madrid, and the Zarzuela Racecourse has programming in spring, summer, and autumn. In the warmer months, races are at night so spectators can take advantage of the weather on terraces surrounding the course. For those who prefer to ride horses, check out Club de Campo equestrian center.

Hiking and other outdoor sports in Madrid

Madrid's surrounding areas are home to several protected natural parks that offer a host of sporting activities. The most important of these is the Guadarrama Range National Park where visitors can take advantage of multiple hiking and cycling trails as well as rock climbing. In the winter months, there are different areas dedicated to skiing and snowboarding or more low-key activities like snowshoeing and sledding.

Cycling in Madrid

Inside the city, Retiro Park and Casa de Campo offer a bit of nature and space to cycle. If you're looking for something more remote, Madrid's surrounding areas are home to several Vias Verdes or Green Routes, which range from three to 64 km. The Guadarrama Range National Park also has biking paths for those who prefer more of a challenge.

Useful links:

Madrid sporting events calendar

Madrid golf guide

Other sports in Madrid

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.