Madrid Travel Guide
Madrid is the capital of Spain home to hundreds of museums, cultural spots, plazas, parks, restraurants, cafes and bars.
Activities, Tours & Things to Do in Madrid
Madrid Travel Tips
Over 3,000,000 people live in Madrid which makes it the most populated city in Spain. Get inspiration for the best things to do in Madrid and search amazing day tours, sightseeing activities and excursions.
One World 365 features lots of amazing experiences, gap year trips, adventure tours, backpacker deals and cheap travel packages to Madrid. You will get to explore destinations and enjoy the best time of your life.
Getting to Madrid
Madrid is connection to a number of Euopean and worldwide airports, several low cost companies offer flights - book ahead for the best deals.
Transport & Getting Around
Getting from the airport to Madrid city centre is very easy, if you have a large budget you can take a taxi from the offical rank outside or just jump on the metro which is a 5 minute walk through the airport. From the airport metro you will jump on the pink line which will take you to the city centre in around 20 minutes. A single ride costs 4.90euros which includes the 3euro airport metro fee.
If you are staying more than a couple of days you might want to buy the 10 ticket package which will work out a lot cheaper. We recommend allowing lots of time for arriving at the airport before you depart Madrid, some of the terminals are quite far from the metro exit and it can take a while to get to the departure area. Getting around Madrid is very easy, the city centre is fairly small so you can walk but there is also a reliable and quick metro and bus system.
Accommodation can be quit expensive in Madrid so booking in advance is important to get the best deals possible. You have the choice of literally hundreds of accommodation from budget hostels to luxury hotels. A lot of the hotels in Madrid are called Hostals but don't be put off by this name, the facilities are usually top class and are like hotels.
If you are looking for a central location try to stay around Sol or Calle both are very centrally located and all the major tourist sights are within walkable distance. A private room in a hotel or hostal usually costs around 20euros upwards whilst a dorm bed will cost around 10-20 euros. If you stay further outside of the centre of Madrid you will pay less but might have to pay daily to use the metro system.
You might like to view our guide to the best hostels in Madrid.
Food & Drink
Prices for food and drink at restaurants can be high and you will also be expected to tip. There are good deals to be had though, wonder around and you will find resturants which offer all you can eat buffets for around 5-10 euros. There are also numerous fast food outlets around the city and you could even stop by one of the supermarkets to by fresh food. Lots of bars have special offers on beer and drinks during happy hour otherwise you can expect to pay around 4-7 euros for a drink.
Top Things to See & Do in Madrid
- Plaza Major which is one of the most impressive squares in Europe where there are cafes, restaurants, shops and also statues.
- Sol Square, this is located in the centre of Madrid and is where you will find a famous bear statue, lots of shops and also lots of street performers. We recommend buying a drink and then relaxing by sitting next to the central fountain and watching the world go by.
- San Ginés Chocalateria, you will find this hidden off one of the main shopping streets in Madrid and you will be able to eat some tasty churitos and chocolate treats. This Chocolateria is where lots of famous celebrities visit and on the walls you will see pictures of some of the people who have eaten here which include Penelopy Cruz, Carlos Puyol, Jimmy Carter, Naomi Cambell, Pele and Maradona just to name a few. The churitos and chocolate are very cheap at 3 euros.
- We highly recommend going to watch a live sporting event in Madrid, this city is famous for football and there are two teams you can watch which include Real Madrid and Athletic Madrid. Both have large stadium capacities and ticket prices vary, for the big games you might struggle to get tickets but for other fixtures you can bu in advance or on the day.
- Relax in the Botanical Garden, Madrid has lots of green spaces and gardens located to the East and West of the city and you might want to visit the Botanical Garden located about 10 minutes walk from Sol and located next to the Museum. This is a very relaxing and peaceful way to see a different side to Madrid.
- Join a walking tour of Madrid, you can book these in advance or turn up on the day and be led around the city by an experienced guide who will be able to tell you more about the history of the city and also show you places off the beaten track.
Madrid Sightseeing Tours
Experience the highlights of Madrid - Spain’s incredible capital city. By booking a tour of Madrid in advance you can save yourself time, hassle and money meaning you will get to spend time enjoying more of this amazing city. Exploring Madrid on an organised tours makes the whole experience easier and takes away a lot of the common hassles like where to go, what to do, where to eat - especially if you are on limited time.
A lot of tours are run by local guides which can take you to the very best places, hidden gems and also go off the beaten tourist track. There are so many tours and sightseeing activities available all year round, some last a few hours, 24 hours and some more than one day. There are also lots of tours from Bangkok available to book which will allow you to see more of the country / region.
Madrid Free Tours
Some companies and also tour guides offer free tours of Barcelona which usually last around 2-3 hours. Shorter and longer tours are also available. Don't be put off the by the free part of the title, these tours can be really good and they are very popular. The only catch is they are not usually totally free, usually you will be required (or suggested) to give a donation at the end of the tour to support the local guide.
If you are not happy with the tour, or you are really on a budget then you can just walk away without paying though. If you are not planning to book ahead on the internet be sure to get to the meeting point early, we recommend around 10-15 minutes in advance so you can find your guide and group.