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MadridSpain

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

Centro, Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain

Centro

4.5/5Wonderful!(745 area reviews)

Known for its fascinating museums and acclaimed art galleries, there's plenty to explore in Centro. Check out top attractions like Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, and jump on the metro at Sol Station or Gran Via Station to see more of the city.

Centro
Reina Sofia Museum which includes a square or plaza and modern architecture as well as a large group of people

Atocha

4.5/5Wonderful!(30 area reviews)

Spend some time visiting places like Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia while getting to know Atocha, and be sure to check out the interesting museums. You can hop aboard the metro at Delicias Station or Palos de la Frontera Station to see more of the area.

Atocha
Salamanca, Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain

Salamanca

4.5/5Wonderful!(128 area reviews)

Salamanca is highly notable for its popular shops, and you might want to visit top sights like WiZink Center and Nuevo Teatro Alcala. See more of Madrid by jumping on the metro at Lista Station or Manuel Becerra Station.

Salamanca
Chueca featuring a square or plaza, a city and a house

Chueca

4.5/5Wonderful!(65 area reviews)

If you're spending time in Chueca, you might enjoy attractions like Paseo de la Castellana and Teatro Infanta Isabel. You might also enjoy the neighbourhood's ample dining options before hopping on the metro at Chueca Station to see more of the city.

Chueca
Barajas, Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain

Barajas

4/5Very Good!(64 area reviews)

Travellers choose Barajas for its ample dining options. Hop aboard the metro at Barajas Station or Aeropuerto T1-T2-T3 Station and check out top sights like Real Madrid City.

Barajas
Sorolla Museum

Chamberi

4.5/5Wonderful!(88 area reviews)

Consider exploring the abundant dining options in Chamberi. If sightseeing is on the list, Sorolla Museum is a top attraction. Hop on the metro at Canal Station or Alonso Cano Station to see more of the area.

Chamberi

Top hotels in Madrid

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Riu Plaza España
Hotel Riu Plaza España
4 out of 5
C/ Gran Via, 84, Madrid
The price is £87 per night from 27 Sep to 28 Sep

Located in 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 are ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (841 reviews)

"Fantastic hotel in the city of Madrid. Love every second :-)"…"

Reviewed on 5 Aug 2020

Hotel Riu Plaza España
Melia Madrid Princesa
Melia Madrid Princesa
5 out of 5
Princesa 27, Madrid, Madrid
The price is £84 per night from 22 Oct to 23 Oct

Located in Moncloa-Aravaca, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Calle de la Princesa, Gran Via Street, and Teatro Coliseum. Royal Palace of Madrid ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (595 reviews)
Excellent

"Friendly professional stuff"…"

Reviewed on 19 Mar 2020

Melia Madrid Princesa
ME Madrid by Melia
ME Madrid by Melia
4.5 out of 5
Plaza de Santa Ana, 14, Madrid, Madrid
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £138 per night from 4 Oct to 5 Oct

Located in Literary Quarter, this luxury hotel is steps away from Plaza de Santa Ana and Teatro Espanol. Congress of Deputies and Plaza Mayor are also within ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (980 reviews)

"A very modern hotel. Perfect location. Very humble staff. Super neat and clean. Definitely recommend."…"

Reviewed on 29 Feb 2020

ME Madrid by Melia

Popular places to visit in Madrid

Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Image for Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

4.5/5(173 reviews)

Catch an event at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium during your trip to Madrid.Experience the acclaimed theatre scene and fascinating museums in this vibrant area.

Prado Museum
Image for Prado Museum

Prado Museum

4.5/5(288 reviews)

An art museum to rival the Louvre or the British National Gallery, this is the place to see some of the finest art Europe has to offer.

Plaza Mayor
Image for Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

4.5/5(572 reviews)

This square has seen everything from markets and public celebrations to bullfights and executions. Today you’ll find street performers, artists and plenty of shops.

Parque Warner Madrid
Image for Parque Warner Madrid

Parque Warner Madrid

4/5(41 reviews)

Enjoy the rides and games at Parque Warner Madrid and find out why this is a popular theme park in San Martin de la Vega. You can enjoy the cafes while in the area.

Gran Via Street
Image for Gran Via Street

Gran Via Street

4/5(413 reviews)

Madrid’s famous shopping strip has boutiques and international brands, an exciting nightlife and an impressive display of early 20th-century architecture. 

Puerta del Sol
Image for Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol

4/5(419 reviews)

Stand at the very center of Madrid and feel the buzz as thousands of people meet and greet before a night out, gather for protests, or start out on a tour of the city.

Top things to do in Madrid

Day Tour of Toledo & Segovia with Alcazar Entrance
Image for Day Tour of Toledo & Segovia with Alcazar Entrance

Day Tour of Toledo & Segovia with Alcazar Entrance

£63
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
Skip-the-Line Royal Palace Tour
Image for Skip-the-Line Royal Palace Tour

Skip-the-Line Royal Palace Tour

£26
Per adult
78% of travellers recommend
Madrid City Tour - Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
Image for Madrid City Tour - Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

Madrid City Tour - Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

£20
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Salamanca & Ávila Full-Day Tour
Image for Salamanca & Ávila Full-Day Tour

Salamanca & Ávila Full-Day Tour

£72
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Wine and Tapas Tour
Image for Wine and Tapas Tour

Wine and Tapas Tour

£67
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Skip the Line: Traditional Flamenco Show Ticket
Image for Skip the Line: Traditional Flamenco Show Ticket

Skip the Line: Traditional Flamenco Show Ticket

£21
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend

Reviews of Madrid

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
736
5 - Excellent 63.5030198446937%
4 - Good
362
4 - Good 31.233822260569458%
3 - Okay
56
3 - Okay 4.831751509922347%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 0.08628127696289906%
1 - Terrible
4
1 - Terrible 0.3451251078515962%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

4 Mar 2020

Visits to The Prado, Thyssen Bornemisza and Reina Sofia Museums fantastic. Plaza Santa Ana great for nightlife. Atocha Station very near. Trip to Toledo by train well worth it.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Mar 2020

Locals very friendly in a cosmopolitan city would love to visit again

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

23 Feb 2020

Lovely city

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

22 Feb 2020

Really lovely capital.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

22 Feb 2020

Having been a citicen of the capital I enjoy my stay

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

30 Jan 2020

Cut is clean and easy to get around on foot. Seems quiet for a capital city. Liked the fact that people live in the city centre

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