Madrid

The Spanish capital is not all hustle and bustle; nibble tapas in a cobbled square, visit ancient churches, or relax in one of Madrid’s spacious parks.

Madrid is a city of contrasts where old meets new and quick meets slow. From street performers and old-time cafés to high-end concert halls and fancy restaurants, there really is something for everyone to explore here – and that’s before you include the beautiful palaces, churches, galleries and museums that are dotted about the metropolis.

Madrid boasts three world-renowned art museums all within a stone’s throw of each other, the so-called “Golden Triangle of Art”. The Prado Museum boasts an enormous collection and can take a day to explore on its own. This is where you’ll find the works of some of Spain’s home-grown masters, like Velázquez and Goya, although it features art from all over the world. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum was once the private collection of an aristocrat but this range of works spanning some seven centuries is now open to the public. The last corner of the triangle, the Reína Sofia Museum, is a true gem offering a historical perspective on important modern and contemporary trends in art.

If old buildings are more up your street, there are plenty of them to be found in Madrid too. You'll see a lot of different architectural styles just walking around the city, but you might like to head to the Royal Palace for a guided tour through a history of the Spanish royal family's extravagant taste, or else to the Almudena Cathedral to soak up an original blend of ancient and modern flavours.

Madrid’s City Hall is also worth a look, and guided tours are available here too. From here you won’t be far from the cobbled Plaza Mayor and its high-end boutiques.

If you feel like getting away from the city streets and finding some green space, there are a number of options. El Retiro is probably the most interesting; here you'll find architectural monuments and statues, as well as street performers, each more innovative than the last in their efforts to attract your attention.

After your trip to the park, head over to El Rastro, the flea market, where you can catch a glimpse into the lives of the Madrileños and you’ll find almost anything under the sun for sale.

However you decide to spend your days in Madrid, remember there’s always a table laden with tapas and a cold beer waiting for you at the end. ¡Chin-chin!

Where to stay in Madrid

Chueca which includes a city, a house and a square or plaza

Chueca

4.5/5Wonderful!(65 area reviews)

If you're spending time in Chueca, you might enjoy attractions like Paseo de la Castellana and Teatro Infanta Isabel. You might also enjoy the neighbourhood's ample dining options before hopping on the metro at Chueca Station to see more of the city.

Chueca
Carabanchel

Carabanchel

3.5/5Good!(3 area reviews)

You might enjoy the river views while in Carabanchel. Madrid Rio is a notable sight, and you can get around town at Pan Bendito Station or San Francisco Station to see more of the city.

Carabanchel
Casa de Campo which includes a pond and a marina

Moncloa-Aravaca

4/5Very Good!(41 area reviews)

Travellers choose Moncloa-Aravaca for its lively bars. Hop aboard the metro at Aravaca Metro Station or Ciudad Universitaria Station and check out top sights like Casa de Campo.

Moncloa-Aravaca

Top hotels in Madrid

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Riu Plaza España
Hotel Riu Plaza España
4 out of 5
The price is RM416 per night

Located in Centro, this hotel is steps away from Calle de la Princesa, Gran Via Street and Teatro Coliseum. Royal Palace of Madrid and Lope de Vega Theatre are ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (815 reviews)

"Stayed in Hotel Riu Plaza for 4 nights in July 20’ - the hotel was only recently opened following the covid pandemic. We had an absolutely fabulous stay - from the hotel staff, to the bedroom, the 360 degree views and the breakfast it was faultless, a really lovely city centre hotel with a great ..."…"

Reviewed on 2 Jul 2020

Hotel Riu Plaza España
Hotel Nuevo Boston
Hotel Nuevo Boston
4 out of 5
Avenida de Aragon 332, Madrid, Madrid
The price is RM249 per night

Located in San Blas-Canillejas, this hotel is 3 mi (4.8 km) from Estadio Wanda Metropolitano and 3.1 mi (5 km) from IFEMA - Feria de Madrid. El Retiro Park and ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,154 reviews)

"Decent pool and lounge area for the price. Installations are starting to look unkept in several areas."…"

Reviewed on 29 Jun 2020

Hotel Nuevo Boston
Melia Madrid Princesa
Melia Madrid Princesa
5 out of 5
Princesa 27, Madrid, Madrid
The price is RM498 per night

Located in Moncloa-Aravaca, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Calle de la Princesa, Gran Via Street, and Teatro Coliseum. Royal Palace of Madrid ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (595 reviews)
Excellent

"Friendly professional stuff"…"

Reviewed on 19 Mar 2020

Melia Madrid Princesa

Popular places to visit in Madrid

Prado Museum
Image for Prado Museum

Prado Museum

4.5/5(288 reviews)

A world-renowned art museum with some of Europe’s most important masterpieces on display, this is an essential part of any Madrid tourist itinerary.

Plaza Mayor
Image for Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

4.5/5(572 reviews)

Make your way to Madrid's iconic cobbled square and stroll past artists' stalls, listen to local street musicians, or sit down in the porticos to enjoy a coffee.

Gran Via Street
Image for Gran Via Street

Gran Via Street

4/5(413 reviews)

Madrid’s famous shopping strip has boutiques and international brands, an exciting nightlife and an impressive display of early 20th-century architecture. 

Puerta del Sol
Image for Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol

4/5(419 reviews)

Serving as the capital's focal point, no visit to Madrid is complete without a trip to this central square.

Royal Palace of Madrid
Image for Royal Palace of Madrid

Royal Palace of Madrid

4.5/5(463 reviews)

Come and take a walk around one of the largest palaces in Western Europe...and try not to get lost!

El Retiro Park
Image for El Retiro Park

El Retiro Park

4.5/5(463 reviews)

Alongside games of football and couples in pedalos, the art galleries, buskers and 17th-century palace give El Retiro a different flavour to your average park.

Top things to do in Madrid

Madrid City Tour - Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
Image for Madrid City Tour - Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

Madrid City Tour - Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

RM106
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Day Tour of Toledo & Segovia with Alcazar Entrance
Image for Day Tour of Toledo & Segovia with Alcazar Entrance

Day Tour of Toledo & Segovia with Alcazar Entrance

RM333
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
Salamanca & Ávila Full-Day Tour
Image for Salamanca & Ávila Full-Day Tour

Salamanca & Ávila Full-Day Tour

RM382
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Skip-the-Line Royal Palace Tour
Image for Skip-the-Line Royal Palace Tour

Skip-the-Line Royal Palace Tour

RM140
Per adult
78% of travellers recommend
From Madrid: Toledo with 7 Monuments and Optional Cathedral
Image for From Madrid: Toledo with 7 Monuments and Optional Cathedral

From Madrid: Toledo with 7 Monuments and Optional Cathedral

RM201
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Madrid Wax Museum Admission Ticket
Image for Madrid Wax Museum Admission Ticket

Madrid Wax Museum Admission Ticket

RM103
Per adult

Reviews of Madrid

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
736
5 - Excellent 63.5030198446937%
4 - Good
362
4 - Good 31.233822260569458%
3 - Okay
56
3 - Okay 4.831751509922347%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 0.08628127696289906%
1 - Terrible
4
1 - Terrible 0.3451251078515962%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

4 Mar 2020

Visits to The Prado, Thyssen Bornemisza and Reina Sofia Museums fantastic. Plaza Santa Ana great for nightlife. Atocha Station very near. Trip to Toledo by train well worth it.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Mar 2020

Locals very friendly in a cosmopolitan city would love to visit again

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

23 Feb 2020

Lovely city

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

22 Feb 2020

Really lovely capital.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

22 Feb 2020

Having been a citicen of the capital I enjoy my stay

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

30 Jan 2020

Cut is clean and easy to get around on foot. Seems quiet for a capital city. Liked the fact that people live in the city centre

Other places like Madrid