Visit Madrid: Your Travel Guide

There’s an unforgettable something extra to life in Madrid. Enjoy the sunrise and greenery in Retiro Park before spending the morning at the Prado. Have a late lunch and take an afternoon siesta, rising late to join the locals for dinner after 8.

Things to Do in Madrid

Puerta del Sol Madrid
Once upon a time, a bear stood next to a strawberry tree – and an icon was born. The statue "El Oso y El Madroño" stands in this large square and is Madrid’s official symbol. The area is renowned for its clock tower attached to the royal post office, and the various shops, hotels and restaurants. New Year’s celebrations are also held here. According to tradition, the locals eat one grape each time the bell tolls.
Puerta del Sol, s/n
Open every day
Plaza Mayor
Although Plaza Mayor has a dark history—once a center for executions and violent bullfights—today it’s chic and vibrantly cosmopolitan. The 400-year-old equestrian statue of King Philip III watches over the restaurants, artisan shops and street artists that occupy the square. Explore the side streets and you'll find specialty calamari sandwich shops.
Plaza Mayor
Gran Vía
Don’t let the lack of can-can girls stop you from visiting Gran Vía. Known as the "Broadway" of Madrid, this long avenue is lined with luxury shops and theaters – all built in a variety of styles that appear to be an architectural guide to art history. The Goddess of Victory watches over the street from the top of the Metropolis Building, at the center of Gran Via.
Gran Vía
Royal Palace of Madrid
Once you see this grand palace, you’ll be dying to take a look inside. Renaissance paintings, enormous chandeliers and beautiful frescoes decorate the rooms, along with the world’s only complete Stradivarius string quartet. Take a tour—although it’s the official residence of the royal family, they no longer live there—or just admire it from the nearby Sabatini Gardens.
Calle Bailén, s/n
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10 am – 6 pm. Changes seasonally.
Plaza de Cibeles
Sometimes, a lion-drawn chariot is the only way to see a city. Just ask Cybele, Madrid’s mythological protector whose statue sits on top of Cibeles Fountain. The area around the fountain attracts locals, especially when Real Madrid C.F. wins a game. Plaza de Cibeles is bordered by four iconic buildings: The Bank of Spain, Buenavista Palace, Linares Palace and City Hall.
Plaza de Cibeles, 1
Open every day
Golden Triangle of Art
Visit this golden triangle of art galleries and museums, with some of the world’s most iconic images, including Fra Angelico’s "Annunciation." El Prado has paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings from Europe’s masters. Wander the mile-long "art walk" with Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza galleries, the National Library, and Archaeological Museum all within 10 minutes of each other.
Calle de Atocha, 123
Puerta de Alcalá
Back in 1774, Carlos III realized that Madrid wasn’t complete without an elaborate gate. This monument to Madrid’s fierceness was created in the 18th century, destroyed in the early 20th century, and then rebuilt to its former glory. It’s even the subject of a kitschy song by Spanish singers Ana Belén and Victor Manuel, popular throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
Plaza de la Independencia, 1
Retiro Park
When you’re a royal, you’re always in competition for the biggest backyard. Once owned by the Spanish Royal Family, Retiro Park’s extensive gardens are filled with elegant fountains, statues and the spectacular architecture of centuries past. Its marvels, including the amazing Crystal Palace and equestrian statue of King Alfonso XII, are open to public viewing year-round.
Plaza de la Independencia, 7
Open every day 6 am – 11 pm. Changes seasonally.
Temple of Debod
You didn’t take a wrong turn and end up in Egypt. This 2,000-year-old temple once stood on the banks of the Nile in Aswan, but was given to Spain in 1968 to prevent its submersion after the construction of a dam. The temple is free to visit and guided tours can also be arranged.
Ferraz, 1 Parque del Cuartel de la Montaña
Open weekdays 9:45 am – 1:45 pm and 4:15 pm – 6:15 pm, weekends 10 am – 2 pm
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
For sports fans, nothing beats the wild atmosphere of soccer season at Santiago Bernabéu. Madrid has some of the most die-hard soccer fans in the world, and the streets are usually filled with people celebrating after winning a game. With a capacity of 81,000, the stadium has hosted four European Cup and Champions League soccer finals.
Av de Concha Espina, 1
Mondays to Saturday 10 am – 7 pm, Sundays 10:30 am – 6:30 pm
Mercado de San Miguel
Feeling hungry? This traditional downtown market has been transformed in recent years into a gourmet food hall. Gourmands delight in Mercado de San Miguel’s buzzing atmosphere and authentic international cuisine – you can dig into anything from Spanish paella and tapas, to sushi and caviar.
Mercado de Maravillas
Full of colors, smells and tastes, Mercado de Maravillas is an absolute treat for the senses. Locals head to this enormous covered market in Cuatro Caminos to pick up the best fresh produce from all over Spain – and the rest of the world. As madrileños say, “If you can’t find it in Maravillas, it doesn’t exist.”
Mercado de la Paz
Mercado de la Paz serves up a slice of authentic Madrid life in the swanky Salamanca neighborhood. This small market keeps local residents stocked with top-quality produce, while its cafes and bars are the perfect places to sample home-cooked Spanish food and wine. Cheers!
Salamanca District
Salamanca’s leafy streets are lined with designer boutiques and foreign embassies. So it's no surprise that this upscale district is home to some of Madrid’s finest restaurants – with everything from traditional Spanish eateries to trendy gourmet tapas bars. When you’ve had your fill, neighboring Retiro Park is the perfect place to walk off your meal.
Santa Ana District
From acting to eating, Santa Ana has evolved from Madrid’s Theater District to the epicenter of its foodie scene. Authentic tapas joints, restaurants, and wine bars spill out onto the buzzing terraces lining Plaza Santa Ana – with passing street performers or good old-fashioned people watching to entertain you as you eat.
El Prado National Museum
More palace than museum, El Prado is a true cultural treasure trove. Its hallways hold one of the world’s finest collections of European art, from the fantastical figures of Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights to the dark, twisted beauty of Goya’s legendary Black Paintings. It doesn't cost an arm and a leg either – in the evening, entrance is usually free.
Reina Sofía National Museum
Half 18th-century hospital, half cutting-edge Jean Nouvel creation, the Reina Sofía celebrates contemporary art from Spain and beyond. Ever-changing temporary installations bring in the best and brightest world artists, and the permanent exhibitions include impressive entire rooms of Dalí and Picasso. Make sure you take time to explore Picasso’s moving monochrome masterpiece, Guernica – it spans an entire wall!
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Eight centuries of European painting are on show in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, home to the Thyssen family’s extraordinary private art collection. The names speak for themselves – Renaissance painters Holbein and Caravaggio rub shoulders with Impressionists and Post-Impressionists Renoir, Monet, and Van Gogh, with some 20th-century representation from Picasso, Lichtenstein and Moore.
Natural History Museum
Madrid’s Museo de Ciencias Naturales isn’t the largest natural history museum around, but it makes a top spot for rainy afternoons or animal-crazy kids. Housed in an impressive building on Paseo de la Castellana, its comprehensive collection spans eons, from replica dinosaur skeletons to a painstakingly preserved giant squid.
Sorolla Museum
Serene scenes of Mediterranean beaches adorn the walls of this Madrid mansion, once the home of Impressionist painter Joaquin Sorolla. The Sorolla Museum walks visitors through the artist’s workspaces and his life’s work, as well as his impressive personal collection of ceramics. Outside, the charming Andalusian-style gardens Sorolla designed are alive with floral scents and trickling fountains.
National Archaeological Museum of Spain
Sharing an imposing Neoclassical building with Spain’s National Library, the National Archaeological Museum of Spain houses an envied collection of historical artifacts. Ancient coins are displayed alongside intricate Islamic art, and the Altamira Caves replica gives a taste of what life was like for prehistoric humans.
Entre Cáceres y Badajoz Bar
Madrid’s swanky Salamanca district is better known for its high-end restaurants, but local foodies love this authentic neighborhood bar. Organized chaos rules inside Entre Cáceres and Badajoz, where there's usually standing room only. Every round of drinks comes with a free plateful of something delish, from homemade paella to melt-in-your-mouth ham croquettes.
El Docamar Bar
Claiming to have Madrid’s best patatas bravas is pretty bold, but it’s what El Docamar has been doing since 1963. Foodies flock to the northeastern side of the city just to try their famous piping hot fried spuds smothered in secret spicy sauce. If you’re not a potato person, no problem – this bar’s extensive menu is packed with plenty of other traditional tapas!
Padrón Bar
The clue’s in the name – this bar specializes in Galician food, including pan-fried Padrón peppers sprinkled with sea salt. Located in lively Malasaña, Padrón Bar draws in the crowds with its substantial free tapas accompanying each drink. If that’s not enough, paying for a larger portion of your dish will get you two free beers instead.
El Tigre Sidrería
El Tigre’s free tapas are the stuff legends are made of. Located in the popular nightlife district, Chueca, this animated cider bar serves up generous portions of Spanish classics like tortilla española or patatas bravas with every drink you order. Needless to say, it’s super popular, so make sure you’re there early enough to find a spot inside!
Petisqueira Restaurant
Hefty portions and a huge variety of dishes keep hungry locals coming back to Petisqueira. The tapas served in this popular Malasaña bar range from traditional Spanish omelette and paella to chicken wings and mini burgers, but they all have one thing in common – they’re served free of charge with every drink.
San Miguel Market
In recent years this traditional central market has morphed into a gourmet food hall. While Mercado de San Miguel now serves up everything from gourmet olives and cheese to sushi, you can’t go wrong with its stylish tapas bars. The Sherry Corner pairs authentic Spanish food with fino sherries, and La Casa del Bacalao is an expert in all things cod.
Los Amigos Bar
For tapas lovers, Los Amigos is hard to resist. Located east of the city center, this buzzing neighborhood bar attracts an always-friendly local crowd. The free snacks served with your drinks get progressively bigger and better as the night goes on – the waiters pride themselves on never serving you the same tapas twice.
Lus Enemigus Bar
Across the road from popular tapas spot Los Amigos (Friends) you'll find it's sneaky counterpart, Lus Enemigus (Enemies). This neighborhood favorite attracts a young, lively crowd who come to dig in to the generous plates of tapas that come free with every drink. The star of the show is undoubtedly fries with six different dipping sauces.
El Respiro Bar
There’s no need to go out for dinner when you can head to El Respiro instead. Right in the heart of vibrant Chueca, this down-to-earth bar deals in classic tapas. Generous portions of typical dishes are served free with every beer – expect anything from paella or patatas bravas to sizzling fried chorizo.
Malaspina Bar
You can’t get much more central than Malaspina Bar, on a side street just off Madrid’s Puerta del Sol. That doesn’t mean it’s a tourist trap, though – instead this traditional tavern is a local favorite, thanks to its friendly staff and perfect portions of typical Spanish tapas. Get there early to avoid lines!
Taberna Tempranillo
A full-wall wine rack and legs of ham hanging in the corner? Taberna Tempranillo couldn’t get more Spanish. This legendary bar is located in La Latina – Madrid’s most famous tapas destination. Sample wines by the glass, and you’ll be rewarded with olives or yummy morsels of cured meats or cheese. The full menu includes truffle eggs and squid with caramelized onions.
Vicente Calderón Stadium
If leagues were won on pure passion, Atlético Madrid would take home the trophy every time. Of all the soccer stadiums in Spain, the Calderón is known for having the best atmosphere. Over 50,000 riled up fans shake the stands for home games – win, lose or draw. The Bernabéu might be the obvious choice for a Madrid football experience, but the rowdy Calderón is hard to beat.
Estadio de Vallecas
This compact stadium is home to Madrid’s third team, Rayo Vallecano. Rayo are a classic “yo-yo” club, bouncing up and down between the top flight and the lower leagues. That doesn’t seem to bother their fans, though – actually, they embrace their underdog status. Whichever league they’re playing in when you visit, you can rest assured they’ll be at Estadio de Vallecas to cheer on their team through thick and thin.
La Cervecería Deportiva
As soon as you step inside La Cervecería Deportiva, it’s immediately clear that you just entered a soccer shrine. Multiple screens show games present and past, and memorabilia adorns every inch of the walls. There’s also outdoor seating complete with screens for warm evenings. Wherever you end up sitting, the atmosphere can get pretty energetic on game day.
Prado Museum
More palace than museum, the Prado is a cultural treasure trove. Its halls hold one of the world’s finest collections of European art, from the fantastical figures of Bosch’s "Garden of Earthly Delights" to the dark, twisted beauty of Goya’s legendary Black Paintings series. Admission is usually free in the evenings.
Reina Sofia Museum
Part 18th-century hospital, part cutting-edge Jean Nouvel creation, the Reina Sofia celebrates contemporary art from Spain and beyond. Temporary installations bring in some of the best and brightest artists worldwide, and the permanent exhibitions include impressive Dali and Picasso collections. Make sure you find time to reflect on Picasso’s moving monochrome masterpiece, Guernica – you’ll need it.
Puerta del Sol
Once upon a time, a bear stood next to a strawberry tree – and an icon was born. The statue, ‘El Oso y El Madroño’ stands in this large square and is Madrid’s official symbol. The area is renowned for its clock tower attached to the royal post office, as well as assorted shops, hotels and restaurants. New Year’s celebrations are also held here – according to tradition, the locals eat one grape each time the bell tolls.
Puerta del Sol Square
Once upon a time, a bear stood next to a strawberry tree – and an icon was born. The statue, ‘El Oso y El Madroño’ stands in this large square and is Madrid’s official symbol. The area is renowned for its clock tower attached to the royal post office, as well as assorted shops, hotels and restaurants. New Year’s celebrations are also held here – according to tradition, the locals eat one grape each time the bell tolls.
Royal Palace
Once you see this grand, slightly over-the-top palace, you’ll be dying to take a peek inside. Renaissance paintings, enormous chandeliers and beautiful frescoes adorn the rooms, which also contain the world’s only complete Stradivarius string quintet. Take a tour – although it’s the official residence of the royal family, they no longer live there and it’s now used mainly for ceremonial purposes. Or simply admire it from the adjacent Sabatini Gardens.

Videos About Madrid

  • Local tips for shopping in Madrid

  • Madrid locals, Nuño and Agnes, share their favourite places in Madrid

  • Locals show you the best places in Madrid to hang out.

  • Best places in Madrid to eat like a local

  • Madrid local, Joana, shares her favourite places in Madrid

When to Go to Madrid

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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61 ℉ 40 ℉
66 ℉ 46 ℉
76 ℉ 51 ℉
86 ℉ 60 ℉
93 ℉ 66 ℉
92 ℉ 66 ℉
82 ℉ 59 ℉
71 ℉ 52 ℉
59 ℉ 43 ℉
54 ℉ 35 ℉
11 %
10 %
11 %
11 %
11 %
8 %
5 %
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Traveler's Reviews & Photos

8
Very Good
It's a majestic city, very fitting as the imperial capital of the kingdom of Spain. I went there to meet my friends and watch Real Madrid play Sevilla in the second last La Liga match. It was a marvellous experience. Wish I had more time to go around and see Madrid in detail.
Moign Khawaja
Ireland
May 28, 2017
8
Very Good
We purchased a 2 day ticket for the open top bus service where you can hop on and off at will. A great way to see the city. An early start is necessary for the art gallery queues, it's cooler then as well. Travel before mid May, the heat is intense during the Summer months,
Ken
Spain
May 28, 2017
10
Exceptional
We have visited Madrid many times and keep returning because its pleasures are endless. Truly a world class city and in comparison to other world class cities, very inexpensive.
Graeme
United Kingdom
May 28, 2017
8
Very Good
City with both old and new attractions as well as famous museums, nice parks and helpful people. Good public transport and of course wine and tapas
Pamela
Canada
May 28, 2017
8
Very Good
Very nice plazas where you can enjoy the atmosphere. Architecture of the city is really nice. Retiro park is something to see and enjoy your time. If you like art and museum visits there are plenty of museums in the city.
serkan
Turkey
May 28, 2017

Accommodations and Hotels in Madrid

Catalonia Plaza Mayor

8.9 Excellent

Score from 2,812 reviews

$131

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    266 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    193 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    151 related reviews
Petit Palace Savoy Alfonso XII

9 Wonderful

Score from 2,167 reviews

$155

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    219 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    176 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    75 related reviews
Catalonia Atocha

8.7 Excellent

Score from 4,014 reviews

$116

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    313 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    225 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    169 related reviews
Catalonia Las Cortes

9.3 Wonderful

Score from 1,834 reviews

$145

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

8.2 Very Good

Score from 4,504 reviews

$133

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    329 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    170 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    85 related reviews
Hotel Santo Domingo

7.9 Good

Score from 4,869 reviews

$117

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    266 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    116 related reviews
  • “great pool area”
    87 related reviews
Eurostars Casa de la Lírica

8.9 Excellent

Score from 1,131 reviews

$103

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    148 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    65 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    26 related reviews
Vincci Soho

8.5 Very Good

Score from 3,955 reviews

$134

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    258 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    107 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    76 related reviews
Intur Palacio San Martin

8.6 Excellent

Score from 3,507 reviews

$118

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

Popular Neighborhoods in Madrid

Madrid City Center

1349 properties

Start your adventure at Madrid’s crown jewel, Palacio Real de Madrid, the royal palace and the 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

272 properties

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

Lavapies

190 properties

Lavapiés is a multicultural, cosmopolitan area that is popular with young people. 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 market, Madrid’s largest traditional flea market.

Chueca

168 properties

A central neighborhood that’s abuzz with numerous street cafes and a mix of reasonably-priced and gourmet restaurants. Enjoy shopping at plenty of boutiques for clothes from avant-garde design to popular labels. The area’s vibrant nightlife has something for everyone.

Salamanca

120 properties

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

Chamberí

97 properties

This small, historic residential district is becoming gentrified as young professionals move to the area. Spread over 6 neighborhoods, it’s a lively district to visit for some local flavor and has a village-like atmosphere. Filled with Modernist, Gothic and neo-Mudejar architecture, its streets are best explored by foot.

Retiro

50 properties

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

Chamartín

47 properties

Full of skyscrapers, Chamartín mainly functions as a business district. The district features two of Madrid’s treasures: Santiago Bernabéu Football Stadium, home to Real Madrid soccer team; for music fans, the National Auditorium of Music (Madrid’s main concert hall) hosts the Spanish National Orchestra.

Milla de Oro

41 properties

Madrid’s "Golden Mile" is a shopping area featuring local designers and international brands. You’ll find luxury brands at luxury prices, including prestigious jewelry stores like Suarez, Bulgari, Cartier and Tiffany’s. Take your pick from a wide range of mid-range to indulgent gourmet restaurants.

Barajas

27 properties

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

Local Tips for Madrid

La Casa Encendida
Nieves by Nieves

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

Since 2002, La Casa Encendida or "The Lit House" has been a social and cultural center. The cultural program 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 taking new people around Madrid and showing them up-and-coming and unique 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 (across from the tourist office)
  • Open every day 11 am – 2 pm
Madrid Río
Joanna by Joanna

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

Madrid Rio is a new park area that is not very well known, even among 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 traveling and experiencing 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 traveling and enjoying parks and all kinds 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 weekends 9 am – 6:30 pm, changes seasonally – check website for details
Local Fairs
Raquel by Raquel

Raquel likes the outdoors and traveling, and she 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 Theater)
Marcos by Marcos

Friendly Marcos loves soccer, cars, travel and going out for tapas and cañas (beer) with friends.

Kapital is a club in one of the most upscale 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.

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 travelers...

Why do 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.

Transportation

Madrid Transportation

Air

There are many connections from Barajas Airport to the city. The train to Puerta de Atocha takes 25 minutes and departs every 30 minutes (5:59 am to 12:15 am, 7 days). Taxis are readily available – the 7-mile journey takes 20 minutes (usually a 30 EUR flat rate). The express bus to Atocha-RENFE transportation 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 get around 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 traveling on to other destinations, visit the service desk to buy a ticket. The center of the city is 20 minutes away by foot.

Metro

Madrid’s extensive metro system connects 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 tobacco shops, which allow you 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 aren't as convenient as the metro. Catch buses from the designated stops throughout Madrid or from the main train station. Tickets can be purchased in advance 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 need to reserve in advance. There’s no official website, so it's best to catch one from the street or taxi stand.

Car

Driving in the city can be difficult – keep in mind that there are lots of traffic jams and parking can be expensive. If you do drive, there are plenty of parking garages (look for the blue "P" sign). There's an hourly charge for on-street parking and there are green and blue parking zones – the ground is painted in green or blue and prices are displayed at the machines.

Food in Madrid

Top Restaurants in Madrid

Upscale 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.

Mid-Range Fare
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 Eats
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 Eats
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.

Mid-Range Fare
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 Eats
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.

Upscale 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.

Mid-Range Fare
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.

Mid-Range Fare
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
Mid-Range Fare
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.

Mid-Range Fare
Middle Eastern
El Califa
Cheap Eats
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.

Upscale 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.

Upscale 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.

Upscale 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 Eats
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.

Upscale 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
Mid-Range Fare
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.

Upscale 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
Upscale 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.

Upscale 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.

Mid-Range Fare
Indian
Himalaya
Upscale 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 Eats
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 Eats
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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