Madrid Travel Guide

Madrid

‘De Madrid al Cielo’, or from Madrid to heaven, the path isn’t long. Madrid is truly heavenly good so prepare to be seduced by its irresistible, energetic charm.
Old and new work together well in Spain’s capital. From modern, urban skyscrapers to old, historic buildings that carry centuries of traditions. The city’s somehow managed to embrace both – modern times and its rich history. Its citizens, the madrileños love life and spending time in good company and that passion is present everywhere.
On the beautiful, romantic streets, in its lively art scene, vibrant culture, fascinating history, delicious food and friendly people. But it doesn’t stop here. Madrid is also very budget-friendly.

mage of Madrid skyline with Santa Maria la Real de La Almudena Cathedral and the Royal Palace during sunset.

Discover the joy that oozes out of every pore of Madrid’s life.
This passionate urban jungle is located almost in the center of the Iberian Peninsula and is the highest altitude capital in Europe, hence the hot, steamy summers and cold winters. But Madrid doesn’t care. It lives to the fullest and greets you with glee.
Last but not least, the nightlife here is amazing! Read more about this wonderful city in the following short and informative guide. Just be careful – you may never want to leave this cozy, comfortable and fun city again.

What to see and do in Madrid

Discover the urban life

Plaza Mayor, Cibeles Fountain, Argüelles, Barrio De Salamanca are just some of the landmarks you must visit. Many of them offer great city vistas and provide an intimate insight into Madrid’s life. Plaza Mayor is a central plaza, built during Philip III’s reign. Puerta del Sol, another famous plaza is just a few steps away. Barrio De Salamanca is known as this posh, high-end and expensive district of Madrid, while Argüelles is a ward where you can find many great restaurants. Cibeles Fountain, one of the most iconic sights in Madrid, is home to the City Hall and will take your breath away with its striking and impressive fountains.

Check out the Royal Palace

The official residence of the royal family is located in the city center. But don’t expect to find them at home unless there’s a state ceremony going on. You can take a tour, however, as it’s partially open to the public.

Parque del Retiro

Monument of Alfonso XII at Parque del Retiro

With more than 15,000 trees, this place is a green paradise, and a must stop for all the garden enthusiasts. The park has many impressive gardens and is also believed to be home to one of the oldest trees in Madrid. Some claim that a bald cypress is more than 400 years old! It’s a great spot for different sports activities, cultural events, or to escape from the city noises. The lake is perfect for rowing and a romantic getaway.

Santiago Bernabeu

Named after one of the greatest footballers of Spain, Santiago Bernabéu de Yeste, the stadium is home to Real Madrid, a royal football club. Founded on 6th March 1902, the club’s been one of the most important players on the European scene ever since. Football is a part of the culture in Spain, so it’s worth going to see a match and enjoy the thrill of cheering and ongoing support.

Museums and galleries

Some of the world’s finest museums can be found in Madrid. Take a day to enjoy everything that the most versatile Prado museum has to offer. Stroll along the corridors of Reina Sofia National Museum and admire modern art, or visit Sorolla Museum, which is actually Sorolla’s old home. The famous painter lived here with his family, and within its walls, you can see many objects he collected during his life. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is heaven on Earth for all the art lovers.

Typical costs

Accommodation

Hostel dorm rooms are available from 13-27 USD. Prices mostly depend on how close your chosen accommodation is to downtown. Lots of hostels also offer free breakfast. For a double room, you’ll pay 27-70 USD. The cheapest option is joining the Couchsurfing community.

Food and drinks

Meals at inexpensive restaurants will cost you anywhere between 7-14 USD. At fast food chains, you’ll pay around 8 USD for a meal. But it’s better to skip those and go for tapas. If you choose the latter, together with some wine, expect to pay around 20 USD.

Old cozy street in Madrid, Spain. Architecture and landmark of Madrid, postcard of Madrid

A three-course meal for two will cost 38-55 USD. There’s no real difference between the prices of imported and domestic beer. Either one costs around 3-5 USD. Sipping a cappuccino in a cafe will cost around 2 USD, while sodas cost 2-3 USD. Tap water is safe to drink. If you buy bottled one, it’ll cost around 1.30 USD. Mixed drinks and liquors can be pricey.

Transportation

Getting around Madrid is easy. Most of the landmarks are close together so you can walk or rent a bike. The latter will cost you 16 USD per day. Other great options are metro and public bus services. Metro de Madrid is inexpensive (around 1,10 USD for a 5- station trip) and is one of the best in Europe. If you’re staying longer, you can get the unlimited travel pass. The night bus is called Búhos (the night owl) and runs every 20 minutes. This is good to remember as taxis are hard to get at night, especially during the busy weekends.Taxis starting price is around 3 USD, and every kilometer costs roughly 1.20 USD. You can also hop on one of the city tour buses, offering two routes.

Sights

You can admire exhibitions at Prado Museum for around 16 USD and 8 USD if you’re over 65. Students don’t have to pay anything. Reina Sofia National Museum is often free of entrance on evenings, and Saturday afternoons, otherwise, the price is around 9 USD. Entrance fee for Royal Palace costs around 11 USD. Children can see lots of things for free or get a discount. Tour of Santiago Bernabeu costs from 26 USD and up.

Pictures of Madrid

Pictures of Madrid

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