MADRID.

It’s no exaggeration to say that in Madrid, nights are hotter than days, and given the weather in Madrid, that’s quite a feat. Once the sun sets, parties take over the eateries, pubs and nightclubs all over the city, offering an unforgettable nightlife experience. However, Madrid is much more than clubs and parties – deep inside, it’s a highly artistic city with awe-inspiring architecture, wonderful museums and delightful cuisine. Eateries all over the city tempt tourists with Spanish delicacies, and everything from tapas to sit-down meals is just amazing. The museums of Madrid are no less impressive than its restaurants, with Museo del Prado offering one of the finest collections of European art. Intriguing art can be admired all over the city, including the works of Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Dalí and many more. Due to its ability to cater to every taste and need, Madrid draws thousands of tourists on a yearly basis, and none of them come back home disappointed.

Money Saving Tips

Money Saving Tips

Best Period to Visit Madrid

Best Period to Visit Madrid

Accomodation Tips for Madrid

Accomodation Tips

Getting Around Madrid

Getting Around Madrid

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Madrid

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Madrid

Other Things to See and Do

Other Things to See and Do

Money Saving Tips

Order from the Menu of the Day

Many restaurants in Madrid offer cheaper meals during lunch time. From Monday to Friday, restaurants often serve lunch meals exclusively during some of their working hours, and you can usually grab a full dinner for €8 to €13, and you can see the menu of the day on the outside of a restaurant.

Get a plug adapter

Before you even start your journey to Spain, make sure to buy a plug adapter and an immersion heater. The plug adapter will allow you to use the European power outlets, which are incompatible with, for instance, the American plugs. The immersion heater, on the other hand, will allow you to make cheap meals for yourself.

Eat tapas

Spain is famous around the world for its specialty, tapas, which are served in almost any restaurant and bar along the streets. Tapas are small pieces of bread with stuff on them, usually vegetables and some meat, and they are generally much cheaper than eating dinner, even if you buy a couple.

Use the bus

Save a lot of money on taxis and transportation by using the public transport system of Madrid. The buses in Madrid are well-maintained, can take you almost anywhere in the city, and are relatively cheap. If you need to travel farther away from the city, you can take a train instead, which is cheap too.

Visit museums for free

As in most of the major tourist cities across Europe, museums in Madrid also have specific dates during which they are free. Make sure to check the website of each individual museum before you go, as these dates vary, but most of the museums offer free admission on Sundays or late in the afternoon during the week.

Use the discounts you are eligible to

When attending museums or buying tickets for public transport in Madrid, make sure to make the most of the discounts you may be eligible to. If you are of the age of sixty-five or over, you will get a senior discount, and if you have your student’s license with you, there are plenty of places who offer student discounts.

Buy at supermarkets

A good way to save some money on food and beverages is to do your shopping at a supermarket. You can buy your own products, including bread, cheese, ham, and so on, which will allow you to prepare your own meals. There are also good wines sold in cartons for less than a euro, so do not be afraid to buy one of those.

Always ask for a glass of wine

Whenever you are ordering wine at a restaurant, make sure to specify that you only want a glass. Many places, if you do not tell the waiter that you want a glass, will bring you a full bottle instead, which will be much more expensive. Also, make sure to ask for the house wine, which is usually cheaper than other wines.

Do not feel obliged to tip

The custom of tipping is present in many places in Western Europe, but not in Spain. If you go to a bar or to a café, there is no need to leave a tip every time, and the waiter or waitress will not expect such. If you want to leave a tip to praise the service of your waiter, a 5% tip is considered generous here.

Visit Madrid off-season

If you can avoid it, make sure not to come to Madrid during the high season, which is between July and August. More than 60 million tourists come to Spain every year during that time, so most places will be probably crowded and it can be hard to find accommodation. Moreover, prices tend to wind up during that time.

Best Period to Visit Madrid

Tourism

Those looking to avoid crowds should visit Madrid outside of summer, which is the peak tourist season. From September to November and from March to May is when we would recommend booking your trip, as this is when the prices are reasonable, the weather pleasant and the amount of tourists bearable.

Weather

From June to September, the temperatures in Madrid are near unbearable, with 31°C highs around July and August. Those who prefer a more manageable weather should visit it between September to November or March to May. Winter is nothing extreme, with around 3°C lows in January.

Money

Madrid is the most expensive in the summer. Fall (September to November) and spring (March to May) bring moderate discounts on food and accommodation, and winter offers some substantial savings on all expenses.

Events

Three Kings Day (January)
Madrid Carnaval (February)
Semana Santa (March)
Dos de Mayo (May)
Fiesta de San Isidro (May)
Feria del Libro (May)
Corpus Christi (June)
Veranos de la Villa (July)
Autumn Festival (October)

Accomodation Tips

Apartments

Madrid offers a wide choice of comfortable and affordable apartments, conveniently located all around the city. These are perfect for families and groups of friends looking for privacy and intimacy. Nightly rates vary depending mostly on location.

Budget (1-2 star) hotels

Cheap hotels in Madrid can cost as low as €10 per night, depending on the season and location. These budget hotels do not offer much in terms of facilities and service, but they allow for serious savings, and that's what's important.

Standard (3-4 star) hotels

Those looking for hotels which offer a higher degree of comfort should focus on the 3- and 4-star hotels. The combination of convenient location, as well as high quality of service, is what makes them the most popular hotels, which are in high demand throughout the year.

Luxury hotels in Madrid

Luxury hotels in Madrid ensure that your stay in Madrid will not be easily forgotten. These boutique hotels leave absolutely nothing to be desired – the quality of service, their location as well as their facilities are all state-of-the-art. This excellence is reflected in nightly rates, which start around €250.

Getting Around Madrid

Bicycle

Nowadays, there is plenty of locals traversing the city of Madrid on mopeds, making bike lanes important and propelling the development of infrastructure. Keep cautious though, as the bike lanes are a new addition to the city and some drivers are still unaccustomed to them.
Bikes can be taken on the metro for free all day on Saturday and Sunday. During the week, there is an exception between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., as well as 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., during which you cannot take a bike with you.
There is also a bike sharing programme providing electric bicycles for an affordable price, with more than 1500 bikes spread over 120 stations around the city. You can buy a card which allows you to use the bikes for a chosen amount of days, but you will have to pay €150 of deposit, which will be returned when your card expires. You can also rent for one or two hours.

Bus

The buses of the city travel along most routes and start their services at 6:30 a.m. and end at 11:30 p.m. There are also quite a few night buses, which operate from 11:45 p.m. till the morning.

Car and Motorcycle

As in most larger towns in Spain, it is better to avoid using your own vehicle altogether when in Madrid. The rush hours of the morning and evening provoke traffic jams, and it is highly unlikely that you will be able to find a free parking spot.
It is good to know that if you find a ticket behind your wiper, make sure not to throw it away. You can simply pay a small fee, usually not more than €5, at a local machine to cancel the fine.

Metro

The metro in Madrid is the second largest in Europe and is a great way to move quickly around the city. It is also way easier to remember the 11 lines of the metro than the dozens of lines of buses. There is also an additional suburban line, called the MetroSur system, which allows you to get into the outskirts of the city.

Taxi

The average minimum charge during the day is around €2.50, but it generally goes higher than that in the evenings and on weekends. There is an additional fee of about €1.10 per kilometre. You should remember that there is also an assortment of additional charges, including a mark-up on tours to and from the airport as well as train and bus stations.

Tickets and Passes

• Tarjeta Multi – While most of the money-saving cards the city provides on public transport are only for residents, the Tarjeta Multi can be bought by tourists alike. It is a rechargeable card that can be purchased at machines and in kiosks, and you can control the balance of your card.
• Tarjeta Turistica – Made specifically for tourists visiting Madrid, the Tourist Pass gives you unlimited travel on all of the public transport methods. To get the pass, you will need to present a passport. The passes are available for one, two, three, five, or seven days, and the respectively cost €8.40, €14.20, €18.40, €26.80, and €35.40.

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Madrid

Madrid Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour

This tour allows you to discover the city of Madrid at your own pace, providing you with a means of transportation that is as crowded as public transport. There are two routes of buses provided by the tour, and you can select how many days you wish to have on your ticket to better customise the tour.

Madrid Prado Museum Entrance Ticket

Get a skip-the-line ticket to the most famous museum in Madrid, allowing you to alleviate the need to stay for hours in lengthy queues. The museum holds the national art collection of Spain, housing masterpieces of the most famous painters, including Bosch, Titian, El Greco, and Goya.

Madrid Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour

Taking a couple of hours of your time, this tour will show you through the streets of Madrid, stopping at well-known bars as well as some hidden gems, difficult to find otherwise, with tasting included. A local guide will give you tips and advice on where to eat and how to save some money while doing so.

Toledo and Segovia Tour with Alcazar Entrance

This tour will allow you to see some of the sights located outside of Madrid, including the UNESCO-listed Toledo and Segovia. You will be taken to these two famous cities by an air-conditioned bus, providing a comfortable journey, and a guide will show you such monuments as the Toledo Cathedral and Alcazar.

Bernabeu Stadium Tour

Not only will this tour provide you with a discount on the entry ticket to Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, the home of Real Madrid football club, but you will meet a local guide who will show you along the stadium. You can go see both the pitch and the dressing rooms, as well as the displayed trophies.

Skip-the-Line Early Entrance Tour of the Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Madrid is one of the most famous sightseeing spots in the city, and this tour will allow you to see it without having to wait in queues for hours. The tour takes place early in the morning, before the Royal Palace opens to tourists, providing a private experience with only a small group of visitors.

Flamenco Show at Corral de la Morería in Madrid

This tour will show you along the famous Corral de la Morería in Madrid, a renowned tablao (a place where flamenco shows are performed). Not only will a guide show you along the building, but you will get prime seats for a heated flamenco show, where you can see some of the best dancers of Spain perform.

Madrid Tapas Night Walking Tour

This tour will allow you to relax after a hard day of sightseeing as you unwind during a calm, evening walk through restaurants and bars of Madrid. A local guide will take you along four different tapas bars, favoured by the locals, where you can taste some of the local specialties for free.

Avila with Walls and Segovia Day Trip

Departing from the city centre of Madrid, this day trip will show you some of the sights located outside the city. Not only do you get a personal guide to show you along the journey, but an air-conditioned coach is provided for your comfort as you visit the Segovia Cathedral and the walls of Avila.

Three-hour Best of Madrid Bike Tour

If you are on a tight schedule and only have some hours to sightsee, this tour will show you the most important highlights of the city in just three hours. You can choose between a classic or electric bike as you book, allowing you to comfortably enjoy monuments such as Puerta del Sol or Retiro Park.

Other Things to See and Do

Palacio de Cristal

Made in the 1880s, this unique building was constructed for the Philippine Islands Exhibition. The building is made out of a combination of wrought-iron and glass, showing a unique architectural style, and is located in the middle of the Retiro park, surrounded by a lake and nature.

Bolsa de Madrid

Bolsa de Madrid is not only a place for business but is also an important landmark of the city. Holding Madrid’s stock exchange, Bolsa de Madrid is designed in a neo-classical style, made to mimic the Prado Museum which is located nearby. While the trading area is closed to the public, you can still see the exhibition on the market’s history.

Basilica de San Francisco el Grande

Presenting an enormous faced, this multi-tiered church is located between Puerta de Toledo and the Palacio Real, making it quite difficult not to find. The basilica hosts a monastery, founded by St Francis of Assisi, but it was destroyed in 1760. It now hosts a neo-classical church, which is a sight to see.

Congreso de los Diputados

Being the main building of Spain’s parliament, the Congreso de los Diputados, known more widely as the Cortes, was built during the 18th century in a place where a monastery once stood. You can enter the parliament’s house for free on Saturdays, and there are even free guided tours of the building.

Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida

Constructed in 1798 by Felipe Fontana, this neo-classical church was commissioned by Charles IV himself. The church is also famous for holding the grave of Goya, but there is also plenty of gorgeous architecture to admire, with sculptures and frescoes adorning the walls of the chapel.

Templo de Debod

This one is truly a unique sight to see. The Templo de Debod displays ancient Egyptian architecture, located on the outskirts of Parque del Oeste, and dates back more than two thousand years. The temple is dedicated to the gods Amun and Isis, and it was sent block-by-block by Egyptians in 1968.

San Jeronimo el Real

While Queen Isabella ordered the reconstruction of the church in 1503, it was originally built in 1464 near the Retiro. The church was one of the favourites among Spanish royals, and was often used as a place for state ceremonies, mostly religious, but also for the crowning ceremony of King Juan Carlos.

Museo del Prado

Holding the most important collection of paintings and sculptures in all of Spain, the Museo del Prado is not usually free to enter. However, as with most museums in Madrid, the Museo del Prado is also open to the tourists for free Monday to Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Museo Nacional Centro

If you are an art enthusiast, make sure to stop by the essential part of Madrid's Art Triangle. The Museo Nacional Centro is contained within an impressive, slab-sided building with a gorgeous façade and glass constructions, and the insides of the building house such precious masterpieces like Guernica by Picasso.

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Hosting a private art collection of Baron Hans-Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, the museum is considered to hold one of the most important art collections in the world. While the admission usually costs €10, you can stop by on Mondays from noon to 4 p.m., as during that time you can enter for free.

La Casa Encendida

This art gallery is relatively new but is still an important part of Madrid’s cultural heritage. The multidisciplinary centre is located in a neo-Mudejar building and offers exhibitions arranged by aspiring artists, working in all genres of art, but there are also a library and classrooms which host free courses.

Centro Cultural Conde Duque

Placed in the former headquarters of the Royal Guard of King Philip V, the Conde Duque is one of the most prominent cultural centres of Madrid. The Conde Duque frequently hosts events and exhibitions, as well as book days and meet-ups with artists, some of which are free, so make sure to keep an eye on the schedule.

Fernán Gómez Centro Cultural de la Villa

Hidden behind the water cascade located in Plaza Colon, this building is a combination of a theatre, a puppet-show, an opera, and even hosts exhibitions of important Hispanic artists. Since the Centro Cultural was made by the city council as a cultural centre, it is open for free, but some events will require a ticket.

Moriarty

Being once a famous meeting spot of Madrid’s artists, the Moriarty gallery is still widely known for its gorgeous collection of contemporary art. Currently, an exhibit of famous photographers is shown, including Luis Bisbe, Nicolas Combarro, and Chema Madoz, along with other artists.

Observatorio Astronomico

Established by Charles III himself, the observatory of Madrid was built in 1790, after he perished. The gorgeous proportions of the building are what makes the observatory a marvellous monument to look at, and you can even enter it to see for yourself the old telescope, which is still working to this day.

Centro de Arte Moderno

If you are looking for a place to gaze at marvellous modern art, take a walk to the Centro de Arte Moderno. Within its premises, the Centro combines a large art gallery, a bookshop with works of Hispanic authors, a publishing house, and a cultural centre above else.

Marlborough

Being one of the main spots where primarily Spanish art is shown, Marlborough is the place to go if you want to see some original art produced by the local artists. The gallery of Marlborough started its business in 1992 with an exhibition on Francis Bacon and nowadays shows a rotating exhibition of Spanish painters.

Tupperware

While buying drinks sure costs money, the Tupperware is a postmodern nightclub with no admission charge. The place is made in a style which displays overt kitsch, combining fake fur with Star Wars pictures to create a unique, almost psychedelic atmosphere.

Tempo

A cosy café which also doubles as a place to come for live performances. If you are interested in participating in a DJ night or at a concert but do not want to pay for tickets, make sure to stop by in the evening, as many aspiring artists come here to try their best at entertaining the audience.

The Passenger

Made to resemble an interior of a train wagon, the Passenger is a unique café that is frequently visited by tourists. The café is furnished with wide, wooden seats, taken straight from a train, adorned with paintings and screens on the walls which resemble landscapes and create an illusion of travelling through Castile plains.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best hotels for Madrid city break?

    Our list of the best hotels in Madrid are: H10 Tribeca, Exe Plaza Hotel, Eurostars Madrid Tower, Westin Palace Hotel and InterContinental Madrid. Discover the full list of best hotels in Madrid.

  • What are the luxury hotels in Madrid?

    The finest examples of luxury hotels in Madrid include NH Collection Madrid Paseo del Prado, Eurostars Suites Mirasierra, Gran Melia Fenix, The Principal Hotel, Hotel Villa Magna, Hotel Palacio del Retiro Autograph Collection and Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid. Discover the full list of luxury hotels in Madrid.

  • What are the cheap hotels in Madrid?

    Those trying to visit Madrid on a tight budget will find everything they need in hotels such as Ibis Madrid Centro las Ventas, Petit Palace Triball, One Shot Recoletos 04, Petit Palace Tres Cruces, Silken Torre Garden, Hostal Main Street Madrid and Leonardo Hotel Madrid City Center. Discover the full list of Cheap hotels in Madrid.

  • What is the best period to visit Madrid for a city break?

    Taking factors such as weather, crowds and prices, the best months to visit Madrid for a city break are March, June, September and October.

  • What are top 5 things to see and do in Madrid?

    Madrid offers plenty of exciting attractions and things to do. Must-sees in Madrid include: Madrid Prado Museum, Madrid Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour, Madrid Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour, Toledo and Segovia Tour and Tour of the Royal Palace.

  • How much does an Madrid city pass cost?

    A city pass in Madrid costs around €55.

  • How much does public transport in Madrid cost?

    24-hour ticket for public transport in Madrid costs around €8.40.

  • What are the best night clubs in Madrid?

    The best night clubs in Madrid include: Kapital, Serrano 41, Penélope, Opium and La Riviera.

  • What are the best bars in Madrid?

    Judging on the reviews and customer opinions, the best bars in Madrid are: Cazador, Bendito, Macera Tallerbar, Lady Pepa and Del Diego Cocktail Bar.

  • What are the best places to eat in Madrid?

    Your choice of the best restaurants in Madrid may vary depending on your taste, however, Restaurante Sacha, Café Comercial, Hortensio and El Cisne Azul are some of the most popular choices.

  • What are the top 5 best restaurants in Madrid?

    Top 5 restaurants in Madrid include: El Pescador, Stop Madrid, Casa de Las Torrijas, Chocolat and Botín.