Madrid Travel Guide

  • Plaza Mayor
    by muratkorman
  • Retiro Park
    Retiro Park
    by MichaelFalk1969
  • Barajas airport
    by garridogal

Madrid Highlights

  • Pro
    jamiesno profile photo

    jamiesno says…

     The food, the nightlife and the general atmosphere on the streets! 

  • Con
    agarcia profile photo

    agarcia says…

     Noisy and polluted as only a big city can be 

  • In a nutshell
    spgood301 profile photo

    spgood301 says…

     Madrid is the best walking city I've ever been to-guaranteed you'll find something you'll love. 

Madrid Things to Do

See all 1951 Things to Do in Madrid
  • Plaza Mayor

    The Plaza Mayor was built during the Habsburg period and is a central plaza in the city of Madrid, Spain. It is just a few hundred meters from another famous plaza, the Puerta del Sol. The Plaza Mayor is rectangular in shape and measures 129 by 94 meters, and is surrounded by residential buildings of four floors with 237 balconies overlooking the...

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  • Retiro Park

    I have mentioned in other tips on tis page that I spent a most relaxing morning wandering round the Retiro Park away from the hubbub of central Madrid and one of the things I stumbled upon was the Estanque or boating lake. In my experience, boating lakes tend to be about the size of a decent jacuzzi and you basically end up going round in such...

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  • Prado Museum

    The Museo del Prado, the art collection of the Spanish Royal Family, is one of the very best overall collections of European art. The collection is especially strong in the Spanish painters, particularly Velasquez (my favorite) and Goya. I also loved the great collection of Titian and Italian Renaissance paintings they had. The collection is...

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Madrid Hotels

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Madrid Restaurants

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  • Museo del Jamon

    lovely cuisine of Spain, where the ham and pig is king. It has branches in the city, the most known to visitors is at Gran Via. the ambiance is very nice if a bit touristic for my local taste. lived there for four years,and still with family. However, for visitors is a must at least once. Many do come back again and again. hams any cut.

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  • Tapas

    Stayed in Madrid at an out-of-the-way Ibis Hotel in September 2008. There were a few restaurants around the hotel, but nothing that truly shouted Spanish to us. We saw a little bar called La Hacienda and decided to stop in, have a drink and figure out where to eat. What an experience! We began having cocktails. The staff didn't speak a word of...

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  • Botin

    I was excited to go to the Oldest restaurant in the world, yet disappointed with my experience. I ordered a steak dish and asked for it to be made well done. Instead, I got a steak that was very rare, and had to be sent back twice. The following day, I left Spain and was sick for three days. I eventually went to the ER and was diagnosed with food...

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Madrid Nightlife

See all 309 Nightlife in Madrid
  • Clubs

    This is a great small intimate club in the centre of madrid. We found it by chance as the entrance doesn't show that well that it's a club inside. Intruso often has live music and the night we went there was a blues band playing and entry was free. Great club to go with friends who want some nightlife and dancing but don't want to be fighting their...

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  • Discos

    I don't remember the name of the Nightclub, but the night that I was about to go was a teen only, so I think 13-18. It looked very cool, and there was a large line of local Spaniard teenagers which was fun to see, and to socialize with. I didn't end up getting to go inside though, because I was with a group, and we needed our passports to enter,...

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  • Trendy areas

    I was recently in Madrid for a one night stop before heading home and it was nice to see the area around calle Barcelona was lively as ever. Lots of low cost bars, tables, light eats and lot of people hanging around having a good time. Several Irish bars. The area is very casual.

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Madrid Transportation

  • Barajas airport

    One of the simplest and cheapest ways to get to Madrid central from the airport is take the metro. A single trip was 5 Euro. The airport line is line 8. Once on the train, go to the end of the line (Nuevos Ministerios). Travel time is about 17 from the airport to Nuevos Ministerios. Then take other lines depending on where you're heading off to.

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  • Metro (subway)

    When I am travelling I generally try to use public transport, partially for reasons of budget but moreso because I think it is a great way of immersing yourself in the everyday life of wherever you are. Be it a Philippino jeepney, a Burmese pick-up truck or a big red London bus you can really get "up close and personal" with the locals. Sure, you...

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  • Atocha Railway Station

    a view from driving to it, go places and easy now from Barajas with train cercanias C1and bus 203. The first and biggest of Spain train stations, its a modern environment of eco and gardens, all making for a pleasant passing. It connects to all of Spain from here on various lines and correspondances. the station of Puerta de Atocha which would...

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Madrid Shopping

See all 205 Shopping in Madrid
  • Shopping Areas

    This is a classic chic shopping center on paseo de la Castellana,nearer the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, if looking for a modern place to relax, drink a coffee and do some serious shopping this is it, right off the nuevos ministerios line 8 airport line or Santiago Bernabeu on line 10. Walking is easy from Nuevos Ministerios thus,its what I do. The...

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  • Department Stores

    the best department store in all of Spain, base by the puerta del sol in Madrid for generations. It was my store since 1970 there. You can buy anything in a grand style ambiance of the best dept stores in the world. The store is divided into several flloors 5 and two different buildings in calle Preciados and carmen. Several location in Madrid...

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  • Souvenirs

    Most souvenirs shops are just a place where you can buy a gift for a friend or a relative... In Bazar El Chollo you can find them and a lot of accesories for travelers... who has not forgotten a cellphone charger or plug adapter? Prices are, probably, the best in the town. After visit several souvenirs shops in the central district you can release...

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Madrid Local Customs

  • Culture

    In Spain, there's no need for a special reason to go out and celebrate, it's seems like the city is always prepare to go out and have good time. In Madrid, the official fiestas , by calender , are all through the year. It is different from city to city, but basically , you can find everything almost everywhere.

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  • Gastronomy

    In our eyes, Madrid has more dogs walking on the streets and more places to eat and drink per capita than most other cities. Most of the shops are open in the morning, close for siesta from about 2:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon, and are open again from 5:00 to 9:00. Restaurants follow the morning schedule but don’t open for evening meals until 9:00...

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  • Local Festivities

    the 3 Wise Kings, or Los 3 Reyes Magos or simply the Reyes Magos. From my Spanish Catholic tradition it is the day where we give our gifts to our children, as the Wise Kings gave it in honor of the new born child Jesus. Over the years my travels my nationalities I have mix all tradition where we do follow up with all . In my other country of...

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Madrid Warnings and Dangers

  • Security

    We were enjoying a drink in plaza de Santa Ana, quite near Plaza Major. My boyfriend went to the toilet and left his phone on the table as he had been taking photos. I was approached by a girl aged about 12 and a boy aged about 7. The girl asked me to sponsor her, for something at school, and showed me a form with signatures. The little boy was...

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  • Transports

    We were warned about security and the need to be wary of pick-pockets, especially on the Metro. Lo and behold, while on the Metro during the morning rush toward the airport, we were jam packed, shoulder to shoulder, leaning and bumping into everyone around us. All during our trip, I carried my Euro coins in a sealed baggie in my front pocket, handy...

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  • Local people

    You have all heard this a million times before, but beware of the pickpockets. Although I believe it is not as bad as places like Barcelona, but just keep an eye and hand on your belongings. Don't keep a wallet in your backpocket in crowded areas, and wear a money belt, or just have front pockets.

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Madrid Tourist Traps

  • Eating & drinking

    Do not be influenced by all the hype surrounding this restaurant. It does have a colorful historical past. Today it is surviving on its past laurels. If you are interested in food and quality then this is not the place for you nor for me. I took 4 people there for lunch April 8th 2012. Dinning room is elegant. Bread and Butter was brought to the...

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  • Monuments & highlights

    It's just a big square plaza with very expensive restaurants, nothing to see, nothing to do. Only 'nice' thing is the Casa de la Panederia, wich is 400 years old, with nice fresco's. walk though the nice small streets next to the plaza

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  • Transports

    In order to avoid the hassle with taxi drivers at the Madrid Airport, I had pre-booked the non exclusive shuttle service with Aerocity on GoMadrid.com. The web site stated 6 euro per person. We ended up paying 40 euro for an adult and 2 children for a normal trip from the airport to the city centre. If you only have 1 or 2 pieces of luggage,...

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Madrid What to Pack

  • Clothing

    There's a craZy obsession in this city among adults and children alike for any kind of bag or case that's attached to wheels and pulled along. There are plenty of unlicensed wheelie-case drivers in the city, so I suggest that we need not encourage more!! Of course, on a more practical note, be prepared for plenty of stairs in the metro, so make...

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  • Weather

    Madrid's climate is known for its pronounced seasonal variations. With cold (if dry) winters and inclemently hot (and even drier) summers, spring and autumn are often recommended as the best months to visit the city. In those periods, though, the possibility of precipitation is higher, even if it still remains below the European average. I...

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  • Cell Phone

    I had lots of trouble with cell phone rates in Spain and used a company called apelcom. I have included my personal blog that talks about my cell phone situation and also the website for the company i ended up using. Hopes this helps someone!

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Madrid Off The Beaten Path

  • Daytrips

    About one hour north of Madrid a high cross in the mountains of Guadarrama signs the location of this fascist monument to the death of civil war, in a place called Valle de los Caidos. Why not? We must keep good and bad memories. Go and have a look, and don't forget, ten kilometers distant Escorial is another kind of religious monument.

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  • Monuments

    A spectacular square with the royal theater in it,just another wonderful part of my Madrid. You have boutique and restaurant Inside, very famous Café. Easy to get with public transport metro or bus in Madrid. One of the landmarks of the city totally renovated in 1997. a bit of history The building of the theatre was ordered by Queen Isabelle II....

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  • Streets and walking

    I find it a bit odd creating this tip in the "off the beaten path" category. It is in one of the busiest areas in central Madrid and is physically part of the path inasmuch as it is a paving stone, as you can see in the image. So where and what is it? Well, it is on the South side of the Plaza Puerto del Sol just outside the building that houses...

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Madrid Sports & Outdoors

  • Real Madrid

    Indeed usually don't put up these pictures but its ok. The Real Madrid FC is more than a team, its a club, a family for me. I keep in touch with hundreds of fans all over the world for life. I grew up in Madrid as a young boy became part of the team at alavin level and benjamin, left the city but once with the shirt on, it stays with you forever....

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  • Atletico de Madrid

    Portuguese are soccer lovers, jealous of the better games played in Spain. It's common, for those who may, to travel to Spain only to see a game (or a bullfight). Madrid and Barcelona are the top destinations, with Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid dividing the capital. In the central quarter of Arganzuela, this stadium belongs to Atletico, and...

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  • Bullfighting

    i know that bullfighting is a very controversial topic. thera are many reasons to be against it, and devotees have probably as many to be in favour ... but in any case i think it can never be considered as a sport and i dont know anybody keen on bullfighting that think in other way pls, dont compare bullfighting to fishing, it has nothing to do...

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Madrid Favorites

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  • Streets and walking

    found some more photos as my boxes from moving are beginning to unload. Madrid is my city, where I grew up as a Young teenager, and had the first freedom, so it will always be in my heart. Lucky enough to visit often nowdays. Walking is sublime and a must; mix in the Madrid day with the hussle and buzzle and then taste its terrific nights full of...

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  • Cultural tips

    Most of Madrileños are first or second generation and very few can claim to have their roots in the city. Despite the lack of roots in the majority of its inhabitants, Madrid has a strong personality, which is precisely the result of the merging of people arrived from all four corners of Spain and, in these days, the entire world. This mix of...

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  • Puerta del Sol

    There are two interesting things in this square. First is the statue of a bear, symbol of Madrid, eating fruit from the tree. Second one is the spot on the ground, which shows the middle of Spain. I think we would not have found it without our friend, but just look at the ground. In the end, above all of those stands a statue of king Carlos III. To...

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Comments (2)

  • gwened's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2014 at 5:29 AM

    Amongst the 12 state owned museums in Madrid, the Museo Sorolla was chosen as the best by the local people in a survey by Laboratorio Permanente de Público de Museos, the organism that cares for them.

  • gwened's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2014 at 7:35 AM

    started January 7 2014 there will be a fix taxi rate from Barajas airport to the center of Madrid, as long as within the M-30 beltroad will cost you 30€.

 
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