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.
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.
Price from: A$ 70
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