Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a city teeming with culture. Tour world-class galleries feature masterworks by Picasso and Dalí, then spend an evening enjoying a meal in one of the culinary capitals of Europe. Nearly 7 million people live in the greater Madrid area, and when you go out for a night, it might feel like that many people are on the city streets having the time of their lives. If you put on your dancing shoes and head out into the night life, you'd best be prepared to dance until dawn in the Spanish capital. The third-largest city in Europe, Madrid is both a fashion hub and a cultural mecca for travelers to experience.
When to visit
Tourist info Madrid dictates that peak season occurs in the summer – despite the dry, oven-like heat of the city. However, seasoned travelers know that you should visit Madrid in either the spring or the fall. The reason? Better weather, and many shops will close up in August for vacation time. The Autumn Festival in October is a highlight of local culture, and while it may be tough for some to stomach, the Feria de San Isidro bullfights occur mid-May every year. If you're looking for discount rates, aim for January of February – but be sure to pack warm clothes in your suitcase.
When you're thinking about what to do in Madrid, you have to consider the weather. A continental climate, Madrid features hot summers, chilly winters, and perfect springs and falls. In spring, expect the temperature to range from 50F/10C to 80F/26C, with similar temperatures in the early fall. Late fall leads into winter, with January being the coldest month, where average temperatures hover around 32F/0C. Though the temperature hovers around freezing, snow is rare. In fact, most of Madrid's climate is particularly dry year-round.
How often do you have the chance to eat in the world's oldest restaurant? The Restaurante Sobrino de Botín (est. 1725) is officially recognized as the world's oldest restaurant by the Guinness Book of World Records. Local tours are popular when you don't know what to see in Madrid, as they'll take you to the most popular nooks and crannies of the city. Into fashion? Head to the Salamancia District. One of the wealthiest in the city, clothing stores, clubs, and restaurants pack the street. Be sure to bring your credit card – some of the stores here can be a bit on the expensive side.
The Parque del Buen Retiro are a must-see highlight. Marble statues, beautiful gardens, and serene buildings lead to a rather contemplative feel as you walk through. While they're are hundreds of museums in Madrid, a handful stand out. In particular, don't miss the chance to see the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which features a wonderful private art collection. The Museo del Prado is also a highlight, featuring nearly 7000 different paintings in its collection. Finally, take a stroll down to the Plaza Mayor, where you'll find the buzz of Spain alive on cobblestone.
Tips & Recommendations
• When you're at a restaurant in Madrid, take a chance on tapas – bite-sized morsels for which Spain is famous. Rumor has it that they were originally served so people could focus on the friends they were eating with more than the meal itself.
• As with all major European cities, be particularly vigilant of pickpockets, especially around major tourist attractions. Other than petty theft, Madrid is a relatively safe city to visit.
• On a budget? Some museums and galleries are free to the public at certain times of day. Plan in advance and you can save yourself a bundle of money.
Stay at the 4-star AC Hotel Carlton Madrid by Marriott for an enjoyable Madrid experience. The profuse selection of rooms gives you lots of choices. By public transit, your best choice is Atocha Railway Station. Staying here puts you within easy access of Royal Botanic Gardens, Puerta del Sol and Gate of Toledo. Nearby Buen Retiro Park is an enjoyable diversion. From here the museums Reina Sofía Museum and Prado Museum are easily accessible.
AC Hotel Aravaca by Marriott gives you lots of choices, thanks to the extensive selection of rooms. The 4-star rating promises an enjoyable stay in Madrid. Western Park is a popular attraction you can visit easily from this location.
Looking for something that's a cut above? You'll find it at 3-star Hotel Casón del Tormes. The vast selection of rooms here ensures you'll find a suitable one. Spain Square, Plaza del Callao and Royal Palace are all within walking distance from here. Western Park, always fun to visit, is close to the property. The impressive Temple of Debod is nearby. This is a good location from which to visit Plaza de Colón, just 1.8 km (1.1 miles) away.
Apartamentos Good Stay Madrid is a small, intimate property where you'll enjoy personalized attention. A good option for those who seek a greater degree of comfort in Madrid. In the surrounding area, Teatro Real, Villa Square and Casa de la Villa are among the attractions you can enjoy. Western Park is close to this property. Many travelers find a visit to Cathedral of the Almudena inspiring. Less than 2km (1.25mi) away is Plaza de Colón.
Looking for something that's a cut above? You'll find it at 3-star Village Apartment Centro. Intimate and authentic thanks to its small size and handful of rooms. This property is conveniently located near Príncipe Pío Station. You can walk to Spain Square, Plaza del Callao and Gran Via Madrid from here. Many travelers find a visit to Temple of Debod inspiring. Fun-filled Western Park is in the vicinity.
You'll enjoy a touch of opulence at 3-star Downtown Apartments. You won't get lost in a crowd here, as there are fewer than 20 rooms. The convenient transit hub Atocha Railway Station is not far. The famous landmark Puerta del Sol is conveniently close, as are Plaza Mayor and Royal Botanic Gardens. Easily-accessible Buen Retiro Park is a fun place to spend some time. Museum goers will enjoy Reina Sofía Museum and Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, both in the property's proximity.
Budget-friendly Apartamentos Arguelles has a 2-star rating. Príncipe Pío Station is easy to reach from the property. Cable cars, Teatro Real and Villa Square can all be found in nearby. Museums in the neighborhood include Museo De America and Thyssen Bornemisza Museum. A visit to Plaza de Colón can be a moving experience.
With no more than 20 rooms, Hostal La Fontana is a small boutique establishment. Nearby, Príncipe Pío Station is a good public transportation option. This is a great location for walking to landmarks such as Gran Via Madrid, Plaza del Callao and Puerta del Sol. Nearby Thyssen Bornemisza Museum and Prado Museum are recommended tour stops. The accommodation is situated near Plaza de Colón.
Hostal Sil & Serranos is a 2-star establishment. This property is centrally located near Gran Via Madrid, Plaza del Callao and Paseo de la Castellana. In the surrounding area, Teatro Real, Villa Square and Casa de la Villa are among the attractions you can enjoy. Why not stop by Western Park for fun and recreation. Of particular interest for museum enthusiasts are Thyssen Bornemisza Museum and Prado Museum.
Hostal La Macarena is rated 2 star(s). The nearby Príncipe Pío Station is a convenient transportation hub. This district is jam-packed with landmarks such as Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and Royal Palace. Buen Retiro Park is just a short distance from here. For a memorable Madrid visit, be sure you see Plaza de Colón.
On a budget? 2-star Room Pride Hostal is an excellent choice. Sometimes the best things come in small packages, and this is one of those. Arriving and departing is easy thanks to the nearby Príncipe Pío Station. San Jeronimo el Real is within walking distance. Nearby and easily accessible, you'll find Buen Retiro Park. Plaza de Colón is no more than 2km (1.25mi) from here.
Huéspedes Marisol is rated 1 star(s). There are fewer than 20 rooms in this holiday accommodation. The area is easily accessible thanks to Príncipe Pío Station's close proximately. Wandering through Thyssen Bornemisza Museum and Prado Museum, both a short walk away, is time well-spent. You may enjoy a visit to Buen Retiro Park, which is easy to reach from here. The area offers numerous sight-seeing opportunities, such as Plaza de Colón.
The 1-star Hostal San Blas delivers good quality for the price. Arriving and departing is easy thanks to the nearby Atocha Railway Station. From this area you can easily visit Royal Botanic Gardens, Plaza de Cibeles and even Cibeles Fountain. The location of nearby Buen Retiro Park is one good reason to stay at this accommodation. Not to be missed in Madrid are the museums Reina Sofía Museum and Prado Museum.
This 2-star MuchoMadrid delivers good value for money. You won't get lost in a crowd here, as there are fewer than 20 rooms. Staying here puts you within easy access of Spain Square, Plaza del Callao and Royal Palace. Madrid museums are delightful! Spend some time in Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, or perhaps Prado Museum. This property is not far from Temple of Debod. Plaza de Colón is just 1.6 km (1.0 miles) away.
The 2-star Madrid City Rooms delivers good quality for the price. You won't get lost in a crowd here, as there are fewer than 20 rooms. Madrid Flower Market, Villa Square and Casa de la Villa are popular destinations you can easily reach from this accommodation. Just 0.8 km (0.5 miles) away, San Jeronimo el Real is well worth a visit. You may enjoy a visit to Buen Retiro Park, which is easy to reach from here. Plaza de Colón is one monument that you can visit when you stay here.
With a 3-star rating, La Casa Del Madrileño can accommodate a variety of needs. This is a great choice for a more private, intimate stay. From here, you'll be conveniently close to Príncipe Pío Station. In the surrounding area, Teatro Real, Villa Square and Madrid Flower Market are among the attractions you can enjoy. Highly recommended Buen Retiro Park is just a short distance from here. Nearby Thyssen Bornemisza Museum and Prado Museum are recommended tour stops.
Mi Casa Inn Plaza España - Adults Only offers a large selection of attractive rooms. If you're looking for an affordable rate, 2-star rooms are available here. The accommodation is near Príncipe Pío Station for easy accessibility. In the surrounding area, Teatro Real, Cable cars and Villa Square are among the attractions you can enjoy. Western Park is not far and offers loads of fun. Plaza de Colón is no more than 2km (1.25mi) from here.
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