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Traveller's reviews and photos

8
Very good
Shopping and the walking around as it has many site seeings. Retiro Garden is very nice place and gran via, Sol Area and the internal streets behind the Gran Via is charming places to hangout... it is a very lively city and a lot of food options. weather is very nice during February.
nawal
United Arab Emirates
19 February 2017
8
Very good
Great flamenco show at Las Tables, great tapas bars, nice chocolate and porras at 1902, disappointing Madrid bus tour, bus crowded, stops difficult to locate (Barcelona one much better), La Prado museum good. Great street entertainment, saw changing of the guards at The Palace.
Diane
United Kingdom
19 February 2017
10
Exceptional
Great City, well worth a visit, Food is good, weather is good, people don't rush around everywhere. Street artists are interesting. Metro is very clean and works well. Beautiful airport.
Nigel
United Kingdom
19 February 2017
10
Exceptional
The city has a lot of incredibly impressive buildings. The collection at the Prado was awesome, and sort of a relief after seeing so many medieval Madonnas at other galleries in Europe.
Hiromi
Japan
19 February 2017
10
Exceptional
Magical, fun and amazing food. Madrid can offer you anything you're looking for. From luxurious restaurants and shopping to cheap tapas; from modern disco parties to milenary monuments and museums. You can't get bored in Madrid.
Ignacio
Democratic Republic of Congo
19 February 2017

Accommodation and hotels in Madrid

Emperador

8.3 Very good

Score from 3,221 reviews

£90

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    274 related reviews
  • “great pool area”
    154 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    118 related reviews
Hotel Liabeny

8.9 Fabulous

Score from 5,203 reviews

£65

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    612 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    296 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    170 related reviews
Catalonia Plaza Mayor

8.9 Fabulous

Score from 2,926 reviews

£92

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    266 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    193 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    151 related reviews
Catalonia Las Cortes

9.3 Superb

Score from 1,928 reviews

£118

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    275 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    265 related reviews
  • “nice welcome treat”
    166 related reviews
Catalonia Atocha

8.7 Fabulous

Score from 4,150 reviews

£75

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    313 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    225 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    169 related reviews
Petit Palace Savoy Alfonso XII

9 Superb

Score from 2,180 reviews

£101

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    219 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    176 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    75 related reviews
Francisco I

9 Superb

Score from 4,599 reviews

£55

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    550 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    281 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    239 related reviews
Catalonia Gran Vía

8.2 Very good

Score from 4,612 reviews

£80

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    329 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    170 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    85 related reviews
Intur Palacio San Martin

8.6 Fabulous

Score from 3,542 reviews

£73

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    443 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    191 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    97 related reviews
Discover Madrid

Popular neighbourhoods in Madrid

Madrid City Centre

1241 properties

Start your adventure at Madrid’s crown jewel - Palacio Real de Madrid, the royal palace and adjacent Sabatini Gardens. Madrid’s oldest district includes the popular landmarks of Plaza Mayor, Gran Vía and Plaza Cibeles, or the popular area of Lavapies in Embajadores.

Barrio de las Letras

260 properties

This neighbourhood is a popular cultural hub throughout the year. Students congregate at the bars around Santa Ana Square. The neighbourhood’s bohemian atmosphere is partially due to its literary foundations. Spanish Golden Age authors like Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Quevedo and Góngora wrote their great works here.

Lavapies

160 properties

Lavapiés is a multi-cultural, cosmopolitan area that is popular with the city’s youth. The area is decorated with street art and has an eclectic mix of trendy shops and restaurants to enjoy. Every Sunday Lavapiés is filled with people heading to El Rastro, Madrid’s largest traditional flea market.

Chueca

157 properties

A central neighbourhood that’s abuzz with numerous street cafés and a mix of low to high-end restaurants. Enjoy shopping at plenty of boutiques for clothes from avant-garde design to top labels. The area’s vibrant nightlife has something for everyone.

Salamanca

101 properties

Serrano and José Ortega y Gasset (in Lista) are lined with high-end luxury shopping. The residential neighbourhoods of Recoletos, Lista, Goya and Castellana feature some of Europe’s most expensive real estate, while the area itself is one of Madrid’s most important commercial zones.

Chamberí

89 properties

This small historic residential district is slowly becoming gentrified as young professionals move to the area. Divided over 6 neighbourhoods, it’s a lively district to visit for some local flavour and has a village-like atmosphere. Filled with Modernist, Gothic and Neo-Mudéjar architecture, its streets are best explored on foot.

Chamartín

46 properties

Full of skyscrapers, Chamartín mainly functions as a business district. The area is home to two of Madrid’s treasures - Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu Football Stadium, and the National Auditorium of Music (Madrid’s main concert hall), hosting the Spanish National Orchestra.

Retiro

46 properties

This historic district can’t be missed. Loop around the Retiro Park – once the royal family’s private garden, it’s full of lavish monuments and tree-lined avenues. People-watch along Paseo del Prado boulevard with its joggers, street vendors and promenading locals, then explore El Prado Museum’s important collection of paintings.

Milla de Oro

32 properties

Madrid’s ‘Golden Mile’ is a shopping list of local designers and international brands. You’ll find luxury brands at luxury prices, including prestigious jewellery shops like Suarez, Bulgari, Cartier and Tiffany’s. Take your pick from a wide range of mid-range to high-end restaurants.

Barajas

26 properties

Barajas is a hotel-filled area around Madrid-Barajas International Airport. After burgeoning into a fully-fledged municipality in the late 40’s, Barajas expanded to include the area of Alameda de Osuna. Chances are that if you’re in town for a conference that it’ll be hosted at the IFEMA Convention Centre.

Local tips for Madrid

La Casa Encendida
Nieves by Nieves

Nieves loves travelling, partying and tapas – not necessarily in that order.

Since 2002, La Casa Encendida or "The Lit House" has been a social and cultural centre. The cultural programme features everything from performing arts to cinema, exhibitions to concerts and workshops to courses. It’s open to anybody and includes a library, newspapers, radio lab, photography and multimedia.

Guided Tour of Madrid
Victoria by Victoria

Victoria loves showing new people around Madrid and showing them new and original things.

A guided free tour is one of the best ways to get to know central Madrid, with 3 hours spent exploring medieval streets and squares. The starting point is in Plaza Mayor Square, a great place to try one of Madrid’s famous “bocadillos de calamares”, a crispy baguette filled with fried squid.

  • Plaza Mayor (opposite the tourist office)
  • Open Monday-Sunday 11:00–14:00
Madrid Río
Joanna by Joanna

Pole Joanna has lived in Spain for 9 years and loves the vintage cafes of Malasaña.

Madrid Rio is a new park area that is not very well known, even amongst local “Madrileños”. There are routes for joggers and walkers, cycle paths, and room for sports or just to relax in the open air. It’s also known as the ‘city beach’.

  • Paseo Virgen del Puerto, 3
El Rastro
Jorge by Jorge

Jorge loves diversity and his greatest passion is to travel and experience other cultures.

El Rastro occurs every Sunday of the year. It is a popular flea market where you can find all manner of things. After strolling through the market, join the locals in a typical treat – eating some tapas in and around the Embajadores area.

Parque de El Capricho (El Capricho Park)
Elvira by Elvira

Curious Elvira loves travelling and enjoying parks and all sorts of outdoor activities.

One of the most beautiful spots in the city, this charming park really is a “capricho” (treat). While you’re taking a walk around the park, you’ll come across delightful buildings like the Casino Ballroom and Beehives. The park’s beauty really makes it worth a visit.

  • Paseo de la Alameda de Osuna
  • www.esmadrid.com
  • Open Saturday-Sunday 09:00–18:30. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Local Fairs
Raquel by Raquel

Raquel likes nature and travelling, but loves sunny days chatting with friends on a terrace.

It’s easy to see Madrid’s character when the city celebrates. Among the most popular festivals are San Isidro at the start of May and La Virgen de la Paloma in mid-August. The streets are filled with traditional activities and lots of music; the buzzing atmosphere is infectious!

  • La Virgen de la Paloma Festival: Plaza de la Cebada, 2 - 28005, Madrid
Teatro Kapital (Kapital Theatre)
Marcos by Marcos

Approachable Marcos loves football, cars, travel and going out for tapas and "cañas" (beer) with friends.

Kapital is a club in one of the most privileged areas of the city. It has 7 independent floors, each with different types of music, spaces, theme and décor. Kapital always offers the best national and international DJs, which makes every night a unique musical event.

Read our FAQ on this destination >

Recommendations for Madrid

1. Explore Las Rizas Village (Calle Juan Ramón Jiménez, 3, 28232, Las Tozas, Madrid) It is a Disigner Stores Outlet Village. Get your Disigner clothes for fraction of the price 2. Most hotels give discount card for El Corte Ingles. The card offers 10% off (for non-EU residents), plus it accumulates cash, that can be used toward other purchases in the store. Plus you get Tax-Free - it all adds up to a very nice saving. 3. If you are looking for upscale shopping experience (Gucci, Ferragamo, etc), explore Calle de Serrano. It is a very long street with an abundance of beautiful stores, so I suggest research google first if you are interested in particular brands.

Museo de Sorrolla near the plaza de la Olavide, monasterio de las descalzas reales is a real hidden gem in the middle of Madrid, the park Madridrio and a little bit further at the north east side near the station principe pio the tiny chapels decorated by Goya.

Thyssen museum is in a class of it's own. The unique chronological ordering of art makes innovators stand out amongst there peers. Oh yeah Reina Sofia and Pardo is nothing to sneeze at either. Amazing collection of art in this city!

You will find something nice for your pocket ! What ever is your budget, there will be something nice to wear that night, or a beautiful memory to hang on your wall. Shopping here is gooood !

Get a ticket at the airport for 26 euro, for 5 days, and you can travel unlimited on train, bus and metro. This also includes to and from the airport, excellent value for money.

Go by Merto to the center of the city (Sol) and walk from there to Parque del Retiro, to Museo del Prado, Plaza Mayor, and so on. You will experience how this vibrant city moves.

Booking.com asked travellers...

Why would you recommend Madrid for food?

Loads of tapas bars, cafes, restaurants plus food from other cultures. No problem finding something and somewhere to eat in all price ranges from small tapas to full meals.

Look at where the locals are eating, usually a street back from the main tourist area..there are plenty which are cheaper and have great food,

Good shoes, cash/coin and a city/metro map for finding your way back is my recommendation. The rest is just keep walking.

Transport

Madrid transport

Air - Madrid-Barajas Airport

There are many connections to the city centre from Barajas Airport. The train to Puerta de Atocha takes 25 minutes and departs every 30 minutes (05:59 – 00:15, 7 days). Taxis are readily available - the 12km journey takes 20 minutes (usually a 30 EUR flat rate). The express bus to Atocha-RENFE transport hub takes 40 minutes and departs every 15 minutes during the day and 35 minutes at night, 24 hours a day.

Train

Unless you’re heading to the airport or the outskirts of Madrid, the best way to move around within the city is by metro. Puerta de Atocha is the main station and local trains (‘cercanías) depart from here. Tickets can be purchased at machines. If you’re travelling on to other destinations, visit the service desk to buy a ticket. The city centre is 20 minutes away on foot.

Metro

Madrid’s extensive metro system links the entire city and is the easiest way to get around. Tickets can be purchased at machines or service desks. Tourist passes are also available from stations or tobacconists– they will give you the ability to travel with one ticket throughout the city. Consult the website for more details.

Bus

Buses get you close to various sites of interest throughout the city, but are not as convenient as using the metro. Catch buses from the designated stops throughout Madrid or from the main train station. Tickets can be pre-purchased in groups of 10 at stations, otherwise you can buy a ticket on board.

Taxi

Madrid’s taxis are usually cheap in comparison to other European cities. Official taxis are white with a red stripe and a coat of arms on the door. Journeys are usually paid in cash, but credit cards are becoming more widely used. Private companies operate throughout the city too – they usually accept credit cards but you must reserve in advance. There’s no official website, so it's best to catch one from the street or taxi rank.

Car

City-centre driving is not easy – bear in mind that there are lots of traffic jams and parking can be expensive. If you do drive, there are plenty of car parks (look for the blue ‘P’ sign). On-street parking is charged by the hour and there are green and blue parking zones – where the ground is painted green or blue and prices are displayed at the machines.

Food in Madrid

Top restaurants in Madrid

High-end dining
Spanish
La Capilla de La Bolsa

Serving elegant Mediterranean food, the sumptuous dining room is more like a chapel than a restaurant, with its domed ceilings, frescoes and ornate baroque swirls. The bon viveur atmosphere is taken a step further with live opera, operetta or chamber music during the evening meal. Private dining rooms are available.

Good value
Spanish
La Tercera

Le Tercera is a small and rustic tavern. They serve tapas, salads and a huge variety of wines. The décor is vintage and there’s a distinctly lived-in feel about the place. Popular with the young and trendy, it’s a great local restaurant to discover.

Cheap 'n' tasty
Spanish
San Ginés

Madrid's most famous "churrería" where the speciality of the house is thick Spanish doughnuts – or “churros” – served with lashings of hot, liquid chocolate. For those with willpower, there is also a wide variety of coffees and teas. A must after partying in Madrid, it is usually packed throughout the night.

Cheap 'n' tasty
Italian
Trattoria Malatesta

The traditional wood-burning pizza oven is the heart of this classic Italian restaurant. Generous portions and value for money ensure a constant stream of orders for chef Lucio Fracassi’s pizzas, pastas and salads. It’s popular with just about everyone, from families to work colleagues, so book in advance.

Good value
Japanese
19 Sushi Bar

The fish is really fresh in this Japanese restaurant and every dish is a work of art, Japanese style. Nice atmosphere, simple décor, medium prices and popular with couples, groups of friends and business groups.

Cheap 'n' tasty
Spanish
Lateral

Lateral is a large and minimally decorated restaurant with a wonderfully bright covered outdoor terrace. It’s popular with locals for their traditional Spanish menu, including ‘pinchos’. Great for young couples or friends, Lateral has affordable prices and is great for all occasions.

High-end dining
Spanish
Villa Rosa

Looking for a truly authentic Spanish evening? Villa Rosa is one of Madrid’s oldest ‘tablao flamenco’ restaurants that offers a delicious set-priced meal complemented with flamenco dancing. The menu is expensive in comparison to others in the area, but it’s fantastic for visitors looking for a local experience.

Good value
Spanish
Casa Parrondo

Traditional Asturian restaurant specialising in the famous "Fabada" or Asturian stew. The décor is rustic Asturian, but the most striking feature in the room is the goat’s head mounted on the wall – it's kind of a restaurant mascot though, and most diners grow to like it over the course of the evening.

Good value
Italian
Ristorante La Piperna

Italian doesn’t get much better than this! Ristorante La Piperna have a huge a range of traditional Italian dishes that have been given a contemporary twist. Don’t come here expecting pizza – their modern menu is pasta-based. It’s stylish and contemporary and suitable for all occasions.

  • Relatores, 20
  • Open Monday–Saturday 13:30–16:00 and 20:30–23:30
  • 0034 913 89 65 46
Good value
Spanish
Fonda La Lechuga

Fonda La Lechuga is a restaurant that serves fine Spanish tapas, as well as a range of traditional dishes. Located down a small side street, this restaurant is small but popular. It has a homely feel and is great for a casual and low-cost meal.

Good value
Middle Eastern
El Califa
Cheap 'n' tasty
Spanish
Mercado de San Miguel

Nirvana for gourmets. This traditional market is both a piece of Madrid history and a food paradise. Some 33 specialist stalls serve a range of the freshest food – from organic Spanish tapas and tortillas to sushi! Shop here, eat here, taste some of the best Spanish wines, from early till late.

High-end dining
Spanish
Botín

Founded in 1725, The Guinness Book of Records lists Botín as the world’s oldest restaurant. Guests over the centuries have included Goya, Ernest Hemmingway and an assortment of Europe’s royalty. Still popular with Madrid’s politicians and rainmakers, book in advance if you want a table.

High-end dining
Spanish
Mercado de la Reina

Mercado serves traditional Mediterranean cuisine in a stylish and contemporary environment. The kitchen is open all day long, so you can stop by whenever you’re peckish. The restaurant has a hip and trendy vibe that makes it a place to be seen.

High-end dining
Spanish
La Barraca

La Barraca is an elegant restaurant that specializes in traditional paella in Levantine style. They pride themselves on using fresh locally-sourced ingredients. The restaurant itself is brightly and tastefully decorated and suitable for all occasions. A reservation is recommended, as it tends to get quite busy.

Cheap 'n' tasty
Spanish
Casa González

This traditional tapas bar has been in business since 1931. They offer a large menu to chose from, including tostas (toast topped with various ingredients), cured ham, national and international cheese, and wines. The place is small and cosy and filled with local products available for purchase.

High-end dining
Spanish
Ático de Las Letras

Located on the 7th floor of Hotel de Las Letras, this attic bar is very chic and trendy. They offer inexpensive salads and snacks, complemented with slightly expensive cocktails. It’s a small venue and they don’t accept advance bookings. Great for all occasions.

  • Gran Vía, 11
  • Open Sunday to Wednesday 13:00–00:30, Thursday to Saturday 13:00–03:00
  • 0034 915 23 79 80
Good value
Spanish
Asador Arizmendi

If you’re looking for contemporary Basque cuisine, you’ve come to the right place! They specialise in grilled and roast meats, including juicy steaks and ox. There’s also a degustation menu if you’re feeling adventurous. Great for all occasions, especially for small groups.

High-end dining
Spanish
Casa Patas

Casa Platas is Madrid’s most traditional ‘tablao flamenco’ and offers typical Spanish wines and cuisine, all accompanied by live flamenco shows. If you want to experience the passion of this dance, you'd better book in advance, as it's a very popular place.

  • Canizares, 10
  • Open Monday to Thursday 12:30–16:00 and 20:30–00:00, Friday 12:30–16:00 and 19:30–00:00, Saturday 19:30–00:00
  • www.casapatas.com
  • 0034 913 690 496
High-end dining
French
Le Petit Bistrot

For French-style cuisine in a slightly Parisian environment, this is a fantastic choice. They serve a set priced meal for lunch and dinner, but it’s most popular for Sunday brunch. It’s slightly north of Lavapiés, so it can be a trek to get there. Great for all occasions.

High-end dining
Spanish
O'pulpo

O'pulpo is a traditional Galician restaurant. They specialise in octopus-based dishes and designer desserts, including olive oil and violet ice cream. It’s a family-run establishment that is very warm and welcoming to all visitors. Great for all occasions.

Good value
Indian
Himalaya
High-end dining
French
Ágora

Specialising in French cuisine, this chic restaurant is located on the sixth floor of the four-star Hotel Ada Palace, with spectacular views of the iconic Metropolis building, Gran Via and the Fine Arts Circle. It’s perfect for a romantic evening for two.

Cheap 'n' tasty
Spanish
El Tigre

If there’s one sure way of attracting business in Madrid, it’s by serving free tapas. And that’s exactly what this bar does every time you order a beer. There’s no skimping either. The portions are generous, and as a result the place is always packed, with a great atmosphere.

  • Infantas, 30
  • Open Monday to Saturday 11:00–00:00
  • 915 32 00 72
Cheap 'n' tasty
Spanish
Horno de San Onofre

In a city of excellent bakeries, this is one of the oldest and the best. Pretty much everything is good, but the "palmeras de chocolate" are legendary, and at Christmas the seasonal "roscón de reyes" walk out the door. The ideal place to stop for a coffee.

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