Madrid

Travel Guide
Almudena Cathedral

This great Spanish city is known for its art history and beautiful ancient landmarks. However, its modern architecture is equally striking, and can be appreciated immediately on arrival at Madrid airport.

At the heart of country, the Spanish capital Madrid is home to around three million inhabitants. From small beginnings, Madrid grew quickly to become an influential empire. From 1561 when Felipe II chose the city as his capital, by the 17th-century a swarm of spectacular churches, palaces, monasteries and squares arose.

The stunning Palacio Real (Royal Palace) typifies Madrid’s 17th-century exuberance. The vast palace was the home of the Royal Family right up until the 1930’s. The main attractions include the painted ceilings of the opulent Dining Room and the lavish Throne Room.

At the core of the city sits Plaza Mayor (main square), a beautiful 17th-century square that has witnessed many of Madrid’s historical political and sporting events. Visitors once came here to enjoy bull fights, theatre and executions. Today its arcades play host too many charming cafes and shops.

For more insight into the Spanish art of bullfighting, visit Plaza de Toros de las Ventas. This magnificent building is one of the most beautiful in the country. There is an adjacent museum (Museo Taurino) where you can learn about the ancient spectacle.

Just along from the Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol (Gateway of the Sun), is one of Madrid’s more lively neighbourhoods. This former castle gateway entrance bustles with visitors that flock to see a collection of historical landmarks such as the Casa de Correos - a former 18th-century post office and municipal building, the Kilometer Zero – the centre of Spain’s road network, and centrepiece statue of Carlos III.

Contemporary Madrid is best experienced at the Gran Via, the main avenue sweeping across the city’s central zone. Above the many modern hotels, shops and restaurants, sit some architectural wonders such as the 1930’s Art Deco Capitol cinema and Edificio La Estrella.

During your stay you are likely to spot one of Madrid’s tallest skyscrapers, the magnificent office block, Torre Picasso at Plaza Picasso, stretching 43 floors into the sky. Other noteworthy skyscrapers in the surrounding commercial area include the Torre Europa and Banco del Bilbao Tower.

Cultural Madrid is best enjoyed on the Paseo del Prado, home of the city’s best galleries and museums. The Museo del Prado and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza house infamous art collections by Goya and Velazquez.

In the neighbourhood you’ll spot more of Madrid’s spectacular monuments, the Plaza de Cibeles, an impressive Romanesque fountain, the stunning Ritz Hotel and the dominating Banco de Espana.

El Rastro, Madrid’s famous open air flea market is popular with tourists and locals alike. Dating back to the 19th-centruy, here can buy anything from furniture items, antiques, vintage clothing and more. For more upmarket and designer shopping try the Salamanca District. Here you’ll also come across upscale restaurants and style bars.

Where to stay in Madrid

Hotel Regina
Hotel Regina
3 out of 5
Alcala 19, Madrid, Madrid
The price is £100 per night from 19 Sep to 19 Sep
Located in Madrid Centro, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Gran Via Street and Puerta del Sol. Plaza de Cibeles and Plaza Mayor are also within 10 minutes. ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (1,510 reviews)
"Perfect location, steps away from El Sol on Alcala street. Room was clean, comfortable, renovated, quiet. Hotel is well maintained, nicely decorated. Staff is friendly, helpful and courteous. Complementary breakfast was very god. No complains at all."

Reviewed on 16 Sep 2021

Hotel Regina
Hotel Riu Plaza España
Hotel Riu Plaza España
4 out of 5
C/ Gran Via, 84, Madrid
The price is £110 per night from 17 Oct to 17 Oct
Located in Madrid 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 ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,229 reviews)
"Great staff, great breakfast"

Reviewed on 15 Sep 2021

Hotel Riu Plaza España
Hard Rock Hotel Madrid
Hard Rock Hotel Madrid
Ronda de Atocha 17, Madrid
The price is £100 per night from 17 Oct to 17 Oct
Located in Arganzuela, this hotel is steps away from Church of Maria Auxiliadora and Lavapies. Crystal Palace and Royal Theatre are also within 2 miles (3 km). ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (18 reviews)
"Everyone was super nice and helpful some of the best people ive met while in Spain"

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2021

Hard Rock Hotel Madrid
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Plaza Mayor Suites & Apartments
Plaza Mayor Suites & Apartments
3 out of 5
Calle Salvador 4, Madrid, Madrid
The price is £69 per night from 12 Oct to 12 Oct
Located in Madrid Centro, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and Lavapies. Gran Via Street and Mercado de San Miguel ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (435 reviews)
"La propiedad estaba muy limpia, acogedora, con todo lo necesario. La atención del chico de la recepción fue excelente. El lugar insuperable. La estancia fue excelente."

Reviewed on 12 Sep 2021

Plaza Mayor Suites & Apartments
Gran View Apartments
Gran View Apartments
4 out of 5
C/ Gran Vía 48, Madrid, Madrid
Located in Madrid Centro, this aparthotel is steps away from Plaza de Callao, Gran Via Street and Teatro Rialto. Teatro Lara and Lope de Vega Theatre are also ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (16 reviews)
"Great property and friendly staff centrally located, nice balcony and good space"

Reviewed on 5 Sep 2021

Gran View Apartments
SmartRental Collection Gran Via Centric
SmartRental Collection Gran Via Centric
4 out of 5
Gran vía 42, Madrid
The price is £85 per night from 19 Sep to 19 Sep
Located in Madrid Centro, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gran Via Street and Plaza Mayor. Royal Palace of Madrid and El Retiro Park are also within ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (252 reviews)
"Very good hotel and staff"

Reviewed on 8 Aug 2021

SmartRental Collection Gran Via Centric
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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