This vast contemporary arts complex on the banks of the River Manzanares south of the city center occupies the site of the former Arganzuela slaughterhouse and livestock market. The neo-Mudéjar pavilions of the original site, dating from 1908, have been beautifully restored to create a mini-city devoted to cutting-edge art, culture, and performance. The emphasis is on participation and collaboration across a wide range of disciplines—performing arts, music, design, cinema, architecture—and it is firmly aimed at Madrid’s young population rather than visitors, but it is nevertheless an interesting and inspiring place to spend time away from the tourist haunts. You can rent a bike to cruise around the complex and the Madrid Río park nearby, and there are a number of good cafés and bars. Note that most activities take place in the evenings and at weekends.