Why should one holiday in Madrid? Because it is not just the capital, but the personification of the culture and life in Spain. Madrid one of the most spectacular cities in the world due to its powerful cultural heritage. Medieval architecture and countless museums coexist with state-of-the-art business centers, department stores and nightclubs. In addition, you can see the famous flamenco, taste culinary delights and drink delicious Spanish wines. Madrid is also a mecca for shopping. And it remains one of the two place in Spain to watch the bullfight from March to October.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to visit this great city. Here we will try to put in one article everything that you should know before planning your Madrid holiday.
Best time to visit Madrid
Late spring and early autumn are the most pleasant times for exploring Madrid and its environs. Summer here becomes quite warm with an average of +32°C in July. It is relatively cold and wet in winter, at about +6°C.
Madrid is located in a zone of dry continental climate, characterized by sultry summers, rainy off-season and rather cold winters with heavy snowfalls, but without a critical drop in temperature.
- Summer –The summer in Madrid is dry and the heat can be exhausting. Air temperature is up to + 35 ° C, and it does not get much cooler at night. Precipitation is very rare. Locals prefer to go to the beaches of Ibiza, Costa Blanca, Costa Dorada, which can be reached in just an hour and a half by plane.
- Autumn – In the fall, Madrid gradually cools down. Often cloudy, cool, rainy. From September to mid-October it is still warm – up to + 20 ° C, but in November it is quite cold, no higher than + 14 ° C.
- Winter – In winter, in Madrid, the air temperature drops to + 10 ° C. At night it hovers around + 5 ° C. It is remains windy, overcast and often rainy. Heavy snowfalls occur sometimes.
- Spring – Spring in Madrid begins with a gradual increase in air temperature from + 15 ° C in March to + 25 ° C in May. In March and April it is often damp, windy and rainy.
In May, the two main festivals that traditionally celebrated are the Madrid Day and the feast of St. Isidro. In winter, you can head towards its ski slopes and in February the 5-day flamenco festival Caja Madrid takes place.
The main historical sights of Madrid are concentrated in the city center, where over a thousand years ago the Moorish governor and Emir of Cordoba, Muhammad I built a fortress to repel the attacks of the former rulers of the Iberian Peninsula. After the successful expulsion of the Moors, Madrid became a Christian city in which over the course of centuries grandiose cathedrals, palaces, dwelling houses of citizens were erected, and the heritage of the Arab conquerors was carefully preserved. The buildings and magnificent parks are striking with their subtle oriental influences.
The old city of Madrid deserves special attention. Along the cobbled stone streets you can slowly walk for hours, every hour discovering the masterpieces of Spanish architecture from different eras.
Below we list the best places to see in Madrid.
1. Buen Retiro Park and Crystal Palace
The 120-hectare Buen Retiro park in Madrid’s Retiro district once adjoined the royal residence of the same name, built in the second half of the 17th century by decree of Philip IV. The palace was destroyed, and the park turned into a popular resting place for citizens and visitors. Buen Retiro Park amazes with the beauty of the landscape, the abundance of greenery, in the shadow of which there are hidden exquisite palace buildings, sculptures, fountains, artificial ponds. On the banks of one of the artificial ponds stands the Crystal Palace – the greenhouse pavilion, built in 1887 for the Philippine Islands Exhibition. The palace is an airy structure in the shape of a clover flower with huge glass stained-glass windows, which are supported by ionic columns. The building is crowned by a giant transparent dome covering the indoor pool for aquatic plants.
2. The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace, one of the largest palaces in the world, is a monumental rectangular structure with an area of 135,000 m² in the western part of Madrid on the banks of the Monsanares River. The giant building with a courtyard was designed by Italian architects Juvarra and Sacchetti in the Italian Baroque style in the second half of the 18th century. The decoration of the internal ceremonial halls and royal chambers lasted much longer. Today the Royal Palace of Madrid is a unique palace complex, the interiors of which amaze with luxury and splendor. Here you can see frescoes, canvases, sculptures of the famous masters of Spain, Germany, Italy, luxurious furniture in the style of Empire, Rococo, Baroque, Flemish tapestries, porcelain, a unique collection of ancient weapons and armor.
3. Plaza Mayor Square
Plaza Mayor, the main square of Madrid, is located in the historical center of the city, in the area that was commonly called the “Austrian Madrid”, at the intersection of Calle Mayor, Calle de Atocha and Calle de Toledo. In the 14th century, there was a market square on the site of Plaza Mayor and it was located outside the city walls. Its transformation and development began in the 16th century, when a bakery building was built near the market, supplying the royal court with bread and pastry. Casa de Panaderia is still one of the main attractions of the city, and the huge quadrangular space of Plaza Mayor is paved with stone and decorated with nine through arches and an equestrian statue of Philip III.
4. The Royal Botanic Garden of Madrid
The Royal Botanic Garden of Madrid – the oldest park in Europe and a research center with an invaluable collection of plants from around the world, was founded in the 15th century by decree of Philip II. Initially, it was next to the summer royal residence of Aranjuez, and subsequently several times moved to other areas of the city. Today it is located in the Paseo de Prado, not far from the famous Prado Museum and Madrid’s “Golden Triangle of Arts”. The Botanical Garden of Madrid is divided into four zones located on the terraces.
5. Almuden Cathedral
Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena is the Cathedral of Madrid dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Almudena, the patroness of the city, located near the Royal Palace, opposite the Plaza of Arms. A grand building in an eclectic style was founded in 1883, but construction continued for more than a century. In the summer of 1993, the cathedral was solemnly consecrated by Pope John Paul II.
6. Market San Miguel
The San Miguel Market, one of Madrid’s most popular attractions, is a grandiose building not far from the Plaza Mayor, inside which there are shopping malls, shops, pastry shops, coffee shops, tapas bars. The market building was built in the XIX century on a vast wasteland formed after the fire that destroyed the church of San Miguel de los Oktoes. Nowadays, the San Miguel market has become one of the most beloved places of the townspeople, where you can not only buy fresh products, but also have a cup of coffee, a snack, and meet friends.
7. Temple of Debod
Debod is a genuine Egyptian temple, whose age is more than two thousand years, presented in 1968 as a gift to Spain by the Egyptian government in gratitude for helping to save the ancient Egyptian shrines from flooding during the construction of the Aswan Dam. The Temple of Debod found refuge in the West Park of Madrid, surrounded by ponds.
8. Gran Via Street
Gran Via is one of Madrid’s most beautiful roads, which was laid in 1910 to connect the fashionable areas of Arguelos and Salamanca. Gran Via consists of three parts:
- the plot connecting Alcalá to Red de San Luis
- Part of the avenue to Callao Square
- plot from Callao Square to Plaza Spain
Each residential building here is a work of architectural art. There are bars, cinemas, restaurants and boutiques that illuminate the street with colorful lights in the dark. It is not surprising that life here is in full swing day and night.
9. Puerta del Sol Square
Puerta del Sol is located on the site where once there was one of the central entrances – the Gate of the Sun in the fortress wall surrounding the medieval city. To this day, no gate has survived, nor a wall, but in Puerta del Sol there is a “zero point”, from which the countdown of distances in Spain begins. It is indicated by a small bronze plate mounted in the sidewalk. The center of the square is decorated with an equestrian statue of Charles III, and at the intersection of the square with Carmen Street, a bronze bear with a strawberry tree is installed – a symbol of Madrid.
Read more about Puerta del Sol
10. Monastery of Descalsas Reales
Descalsas Reales Monastery or the Barefoot Princess Monastery, located on Puerta del Sol in the building of the former residence of King Carlos I, was founded in the second half of the 16th century by the daughter of King Juan of Austria for girls from noble families who did not want to enter into a marriage of convenience. The monastery operates today. In 1960, a museum was opened on its territory.
11. Cathedral of St. Francis
The Royal Cathedral of St. Francis the Great is located in the Latin Quarter, in St. Francis Square in the historic center of Madrid. The cathedral was built in the XVIII century by decree of Carlos III. The magnificent neoclassical building is crowned with a dome 58 meters high and 33 meters in diameter. The architectural complex consists of a main building, three chapels and a memorial, where prominent public figures, politicians, artists, and national heroes of Spain are buried.
12. Gardens of Campo del Moro
The Moorish Gardens of Campo del Moro or the Field of Moors is a gigantic 20-hectare park that extends from the western facade of the Royal Palace to Vihren del Puerto Avenue. The park was founded in 1844 by order of Queen Regent Maria Cristina. Gardens of Campo del Moro are a vast territory, decorated with luxurious plants, ponds, flower beds and fountains, park installations. In the depths of the park is the Museum of Carriages.
13. Gates of Alcalá
Alcalá Gate is a monumental building on Independence Square, not far from the main entrance to the Buen Retiro Park. The gates are made of granite in the form of an arcade with five spans. Three central semicircular arches are decorated with a castle stone in the shape of a lion’s head. Above the rectangular arches at the edges is a cornucopia. Initially, the Alcala Gate was part of the city wall and overlooked the road leading to the city of Alcalá de Henares.
14. Piazza di Spagna – Square of Spain
Piazza di Spagna – the central square of Madrid and one of the main traffic intersections of the city, was built at the beginning of the 20th century on the site of the Monastery of Saint Gilles, turned by Joseph Bonaparte into barracks and stables. Today, the central part of Piazza di Spagna is decorated with a monument to Miguel Cervantes and the heroes of his works, and around the buildings that are recognized as the hallmarks of Madrid are the Madrid Tower 142 m high, the architectural complex Spain 117 m high, the building of the Asturian Mine Company, which houses the Council of Culture, and the Gaillardo House in the modern style.
15. Arena Las Ventas
The Las Ventas Arena is a grandiose neo-Mudejar-style bullfighting facility that was built in 1929 in the eastern part of Madrid. Las Ventas is a rounded building, inside which is a huge arena with a diameter of 61.5 m, surrounded by multi-tiered stands. The arena is open, therefore, in summer, ticket prices for the shadow and sunny sides are noticeably different from each other. In addition to the classic meetings of bullfighters with matadors, Las Ventas hosts sporting events, concerts, shows.
Madrid is famous for its richest collections of archeology and art, collected in museums, art galleries, exhibition centers. Madrid’s “Golden Triangle of Arts”, encompassing the city’s main art museums, attracts crowds of fans of painting, drawing, and sculpture.
We continue Madrid attractions list with the best museums in Madrid.
16. Prado Museum
The Prado National Museum, which contains one of the largest collections of European painting in the world, is located in a magnificent building in the style of late classicism. The collection is based on works by Spanish masters of different periods – from XII century wall painting to the masterpieces of Goya, Velazquez, El Greco, Murillo, Zurbaran, Ribera. In some rooms, the works of masters of the Flemish, German, Italian, English schools of painting are presented.
Entrance fees to the museum:
- adults – € 15
- pensioners, disabled people, students, large families – € 7.5
- under 18 years old – free of charge
Those wishing to visit all the museums of the Golden Triangle of Arts, which includes the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Reina Sofia Art Center, will have the opportunity to purchase a single ticket for € 29.6.
17. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, one of the largest private art galleries in the world, housed in the palace of the Dukes of Villermos, presents a unique collection of paintings by European and American artists, including works by impressionists, surrealists, expressionists, primitivists, representatives of Italian, German, English, Dutch schools of painting.
- adults – € 12
- preferential tickets – € 8
- On Mondays from 12:00 to 16:00 – free.
18. Reina Sofia Art Center
The Reina Sofia National Arts Center was opened in the 80s of the 20th century as an exhibition center for contemporary sculpture. Today, in addition to the works of modern Spanish sculptors, the museum displays works by prominent artists of the last century and contemporary artists. In the halls of the center you can see paintings by Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Jose Gutierrez Solana, Eusebio Semper.
Admission fees is € 10 per adult, online ticket is € 8.90.
19. Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum of Madrid, located in the Palace of Libraries and Museums on Columbus Square, was founded in 1867 by decree of Isabella II with the aim of creating a permanent place of storage and demonstration of archaeological and ethnographic objects, objects of decorative and applied art, and a numismatic collection. Today, the collection of the archaeological museum includes artifacts found during excavations in different parts of Spain, Greece, Italy, Egypt, the Middle East.
- € 3 for adults
- € 1.5 for students
- free for visitors under 18 years of age and senior citizens
- On Saturday from 14:00 onward and the wholes of Sunday, admission is free.
20. Museum of Romanticism
The National Museum of Romanticism in Madrid, located in an alley in the Hustisia region, presents a collection of art and household items from the period of romanticism, popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The museum houses a rich collection of paintings, lithographs, watercolors, miniatures, decor, furniture.
- adults – € 3
- preferential – € 1.5
- On Saturdays from 14:00 and on Sundays for free
21. House-Museum of Lope de Vega
The house-museum of the outstanding Spanish playwright, prose writer and poet Felix Lope de Vega and Carpio, where he spent the last 25 years of his life, is located on Cervantes Street 11. The house acquired the status of a museum in 1935. The atmosphere was recreated inside, in which the playwright lived with his family, interior items, furniture and utensils were preserved. Entry is free of cost.
22. The house-museum of Joaquin Sorolla
The home museum of the Spanish impressionist painter Joaquin Sorolla is located in the fashionable area of Chambery, on the border of the historical and modern parts of Madrid. The artist himself chose a site for development and commissioned the project to the fashionable architect Enrique Maria de Repulles and Vargas. The house-museum, built in 1909, is an elegant three-story mansion with a small picturesque garden, the planning and selection of plants for which Sorolla himself was engaged. Today, the artist’s house presents a large collection of his paintings, personal items, an archive of documents, furniture and household items. The cost of visiting is € 3.
23. Museum of the Marquis of Serralba
The Serralbo State Museum, housed in an old mansion, is a unique collection of rare works of art, ancient weapons and armor, archaeological artifacts, a huge library. The mansion, along with all its contents, was presented as a gift to Madrid by the 17th Marquis of Serralbo, who systematized the heritage of his ancestors and fairly replenished it with his acquisitions. Entrance – € 3, preferential – € 1.5. On Saturdays from 14:00 and on Sundays all day is free.
24. Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum of Madrid at the headquarters of the Spanish Navy was founded in the middle of the XIX century. The exposition is divided into several parts devoted to:
- stories of the Spanish fleet;
- stories of sea voyages and discoveries;
- underwater archeology;
- marine science;
- sea treasures.
The entrance is free.
25. Museum of America
The Museum of America in Madrid, dedicated to the Americas, includes the richest collections of archaeological, artistic, ethnographic artifacts from different eras, from pre-Columbian to modern. In the hall of pre-Columbian civilization you can see jewelry, items of clothing and household items, tools, figurines of Native American deities. Separately presented are exhibits of the colonial period – weapons and armor of the conquistadors, models of the first European settlements, household items of the first settlers. The museum is located in a neocolonial building on the Avenue of the Catholic Kings.
- adults – € 3
- preferential – € 1.5
- for visitors under 18 years old – free of charge
Traveling within Madrid
Madrid has well-developed urban public transport, connecting different areas and suburbs with the center and with each other. The Madrid Metro is the second largest in Europe and covers the city almost completely. This is the most convenient and cheapest option for traveling around the city for a tourist. Here are some maps.
Alternatively, below are all the means of public transportation in Madrid:
- metro lines L1-L12
- light metro
- electric lines C1-C10
- tram ML4
Metro and buses are a single system with common tickets. Tickets can be bought at the terminals at metro stations, at newsstands, bus stops, and railway stations. Ticket price for single journey is € 1.20. A trip by metro or bus for 10 trips costs € 12.2.
For tourists, special Abono Turistico travel tickets are provided for the duration of the stay from 1 to 7 days. Children under 11 years old are entitled to a 50% discount.
Many preferences are provided by the Madrid Card, which provides free entry to more than 40 museums in Madrid, discounts at a number of shops, nightclubs, restaurants, a free funicular ride, and planetarium visits. The cost of the Madrid Card depends on the length of stay in Madrid.
Intercity buses, trains, trains follow to the suburbs and neighboring settlements.
How to get to Madrid
1. From Barcelona
- Madrid is 618 km from Barcelona.
- You can get to the capital from Barcelona by the direct bus of the ALSA transport company from the Nord bus station. The fare is from €9. Travel time is about 8 hours. A bus goes to Madrid Airport.
- A faster way to travel from Barcelona to Madrid is by train. There are four train options – high-speed AVE, which will cost from € 58 to € 160, but will take no more than 2 and a half hours on the way, Long Distance or Medium Distance trains, the cost of tickets for which ranges from € 34-84, and take 5 and a half hours.
- By car, you can reach Madrid in about 6 hours.
2. From Alicante
- From Alicante, located about 500 km from Madrid, you can get to the capital by bus, train, plane, rented car.
- Between cities shuttle buses company ALSA. Travel time is about 6 hours. Ticket price – € 16-35.
- Traveling by train takes about 2 and a half hours. Ticket price – € 34-66.
- By plane, the journey takes 1 hour 25 minutes. Ticket price – € 74-230. The road to the airport is 30 minutes.
- By car, you can reach Madrid in about 4 and a half hours.
Where to go from Alicante
3. From Valencia
- The beach city of Valencia is 355 km from Madrid. You can get to the capital by bus, train, plane, rented car.
- Madrid buses from Valencia are followed by buses from the Avanza transport company. Ticket price – from € 27. Travel time is 4 hours.
- High-speed trains leave from Valencia Joaquin Sorolla Station in Madrid every hour. Travel time is 1 hour 45 minutes. Ticket price – € 22-74. Traveling by Long Distance or Medium Distance trains will take from 3 to 5 hours and cost from € 33 to € 55.
- By plane from Valencia Airport you can fly to Madrid Airport in 1 hour 10 minutes. Ticket price – from € 50.
- You can drive to Madrid in around 4 hours by car.
Where to go from Valencia
4. From Seville
- Seville is located 530 km from Madrid.
- The most economical way to travel to Madrid from Seville is by bus. Between the cities there are buses of the Socibus transport company. Travel time is about 6 and a half hours. Ticket price – from € 25.
- By high-speed train, you can get to Madrid in 2 and a half hours. Ticket price – from € 45 at the lowest fare.
- A rented car can be reached in five hours, if you do not linger on the road.
- It reduces travel time by plane as much as possible. Ticket price – from € 40.
Where to go from Seville
How to get from Madrid Airport to the city center
- From Barajas airport to the city center you can get by bus, metro, train, taxi, rented car.
- Buses No. 200 depart from all terminals to the city every 15 minutes. A ticket costs € 1.5. Payment is accepted by the driver.
- A ticket for the Línea Exprés express bus number 203 will cost € 5, but you will get to the center in just 40 minutes.
- Terminal T4 has a train station with links to Nuevos Ministerios Station, Atocha Main Station or the Estación de Méndez Álvaro Bus Station. Ticket price – € 2.60. Travel time is 25 minutes.
- There are several metro stations at the airport, from where you can go to central Madrid and other points of the city in 15 minutes. The fare is € 5.
- Each terminal has a taxi rank. The trip will cost € 30.
- You can rent a car at the airport and drive to the city on your own.
Best Restaurants in Madrid
Madrid is recognized as a gourmet paradise. In addition to a large number of pathos, Michelin-starred establishments, there are many restaurants where you can order authentic dishes from any region of Spain and masterpieces of world cuisine. In each district of the Spanish capital, à la carte establishments, fast food restaurants, cafes and cafeterias, tapas bars, pubs, taverns are open.
Especially noteworthy in Madrid’s restaurants are the à la madrilenie or Madrid dishes, such as Cosido Madrileno, Calros Madrilenie, Madrid snails, Madrid baked sea bass and many others. Cosido madrilenho is a thick meat stew with Turkish peas, pieces of chicken, pork, beef, chorizo sausages, black pudding, smoked meats. Kalos Madrillena is a dish reminiscent of aspic made from a scar soaked in wine vinegar stewed with black sausage morsilla, chorizo and spices.
Here is a list of top Madrid restaurants:
Bazaar Restaurant offers Spanish dishes and snacks, a large selection of drinks and desserts. The room is decorated in a Mediterranean style. It is worth trying a tuna dish with mango chutney, beef under vegetables, salmon with potatoes, and confit duck. For dishes you can choose a good inexpensive wine, excellent coffee, freshly squeezed juices.
2. Lamucca del Carmen
Restaurant Lamucca del Carmen in the center of Madrid specializes in Spanish, European, Mediterranean cuisine. It features a common room and terrace. Visitors note the excellent taste of the dishes and the quality service of the establishment. It is worth ordering salmon with vegetables, pork ribs, steaks with mushrooms, chocolate cake.
3. Posada de la Villa
The stylish restaurant Posada de la Villa with a wood-burning stove, located in an old three-story mansion, where there was once an inn, is very popular among citizens and guests of Madrid. The establishment is famous for a wide selection of excellently prepared dishes, an extensive wine list, a friendly atmosphere and impeccable service. Visitors are advised to try grilled lamb, baked in a wood-fired oven, milk pig, oxtail with vegetables, sweet peppers stuffed with cod.
The restaurant-tavern of the Alhambra presents dishes of Spanish, European, Mediterranean cuisine, a wide selection of wines, a variety of desserts. Guests are advised to order grilled prawns, croquettes, pork with sauce, salmorecho soup, paella. It is worth trying tapas with excellent home-made beer or wines. Visitors especially note the large portions and affordable prices of the institution.
5. La Musa Latina
Restaurant La Musa Latina offers delicious dishes and snacks of Spanish, European, Mediterranean, fusion cuisine. Guests celebrate the chef’s craftsmanship, easy casual atmosphere and excellent service. It is worth trying potato bombs, grilled vegetables, fried pork, tapas. For dessert, you should order puff apple pie, Mountain cakes, chocolate cake.
6. Restaurante La Catedral
Restaurant La Catedral in the historic center of Madrid offers a varied menu of dishes from Spanish, European, Mediterranean cuisine. Visitors appreciate the stylish interior, excellent cuisine and impeccable service. Among the best dishes are paella, banana croquettes, tapas, a seafood cocktail, french fries, calos a la la madrilene.
7. Casa Alberto
Casa Alberto is one of the oldest restaurants in Madrid, among whose regular visitors were prominent Spanish politicians, writers, artists, actors, offers dishes of Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. Guests are advised to order fried cod, tapas, croquettes, oxtail with sauce. Of particular note is violet ice cream.
Best Tapas Bars in Madrid
1. Los Rotos
The tapas bar Los Rotos is popular with residents and guests of the capital. The institution offers a huge selection of various tapas, wines of Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, beer of different varieties. You can order dishes of Spanish, European, Mediterranean cuisine. It is worth trying potatoes with fried octopus, fried pork with pepper, croquettes, Spanish omelet.
2. Bodega de la Ardosa
Bodega de la Ardosa is one of the oldest bars in Madrid, where, according to legend, Goya himself liked to sit. A small institution in the historical center is extremely popular with residents of the Spanish capital. It is often crowded here, but visitors appreciate the pleasant atmosphere and excellent service. A large selection of excellent Spanish and imported wines, liquors, spirits is presented. Guests are advised to order tapas, tuna paste, croquettes with jamon and cheese, Spanish omelette. Bodega de la Ardoza is open until late.
3. El Tigre Sidra Bar
The El Tigre Sidra Bar offers a wide range of wines, different sorts of beer, cider, delicious tapas, and Spanish cuisine. There are soft drinks. Visitors note the high level of the institution, excellent service and affordable prices. It is worth ordering paella with chicken, cheese balls, stuffed peppers, croquettes with serrano jamon.
4. El Sur
The bar and tavern El Sur is the perfect place for a pleasant stay. The institution offers a large selection of excellent wines and liquors, beer, sangria, soft drinks. It is worth trying paella with seafood, salad with stuffed squid, patatas bravas, jamon. The prices are reasonable.
5. Juana La Loca
Juan La Lok’s tapas bar specializes in Spanish cuisine. The institution offers excellent wines, beer, sangria, tapas for every taste, hot and cold dishes and snacks. Visitors appreciate the interior, pleasant atmosphere, friendly staff of the institution. It is recommended to order steaks, tuna tartar with spicy sauce, sea bass tiradito, tapas and pinchos with fish, seafood or jamon.
6. El mini BAR
A small cozy minibar in the historic center of Madrid, not far from the Plaza Mayor, attracts with a variety of drinks and snacks, the opportunity to taste freshly prepared authentic Spanish cuisine, the friendly staff and a pleasant atmosphere. Guests are advised to try tuna tartare, Breton tapas, pork, chicken, fish sauces, salmorecho, cheesecake.
7. Rosi La Loca
The Rosie La Loka bar and pub is considered one of the best establishments in Madrid, where you can find wonderful wines from all the provinces of Spain, different sorts of beer, excellent dishes and snacks of Spanish and international cuisine. Among the best dishes are paella, smoked octopus, potato tortilla, baked pork. The prices are affordable. The bar is very popular, so it is advisable to reserve seats in advance.
Best Cafes in Madrid
1. Lolina Vintage Cafe
Lolina Vintage – a small stylish cafe in the pedestrian zone, attracts with a vintage interior, friendly atmosphere, affordable prices. It is worth trying coffee cortado, cappuccino, cocktails, among which mojito, muffins, chocolate cakes are especially appreciated. Spanish and European dishes are available.
2. HanSo Café
HanSo Café specializes in pastries and light Spanish dishes. Ideal for breakfast. Guests note the high level of service, the friendliness of the staff and the pleasant atmosphere of the establishment. It is worth to order latte, cappuccino, hot chocolate, eggs Benedict, croissants, chocolate cake, air cakes. The assortment includes wines, cocktails, churros, sandwiches with turkey, jamon or chicken.
3. Café de la Luz
Cafe De la Lutz offers to restore strength and relax with a cup of hot coffee with pastries, cheesecake, chocolate cake. You can eat sandwiches with chicken, ham, bacon, tapas with jamon and goat cheese. It is worth trying smoked cod with craft beer, homemade custard pie, croissants with nuts, and Red Velvet cake.
4. Pum Pum Café
Pam-Pam Cafe is a great place for breakfast and relaxation after sightseeing. It offers a warm welcome, excellent service and a large selection of pastries, coffee, freshly squeezed juices, snacks. Visitors are advised to try eggs Benedict, Spanish omelet, banana pie, guacamole, croissants. There are craft beer, salads, sandwiches.
5. Bicycle Café
Bayskl Cafe or Bicycle is a great place to relax and have a snack. The interior in a sports style is decorated with bicycles suspended from the ceiling and walls and sports ammunition, which is especially popular among young people. The institution has free Wi-Fi, which attracts students who can eat coffee with pastries, without interrupting work. Guests are advised to order excellent coffee, tapas with chicken, stewed pork, tomatoes and peanut sauce, cakes.
6. La Infinito
Cafe-bar La Infinito is especially appreciated by lovers of peace and comfort. The institution is famous for its pleasant, welcoming atmosphere, unusual interior, display windows. It is worth trying tapas with jamon, cheese, tomatoes, vegetable salads, fresh pastries. It features a small library.
7. Ruda Café
Cafe Ruda deserves the highest ratings with a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere, excellent service and affordable prices. According to visitors’ reviews, the best coffee in Madrid is prepared here, and the pastries are admirable. In the cafe you can order yogurts, pies, cookies, strawberry cake.
Madrid Party Scene
Young people are attracted to the Spanish capital by a variety of nightly entertainment. Madrid can be called the center of nightlife on the Iberian Peninsula with raging parties until the morning, gala shows, music and dancing in all possible styles and directions.
The best night clubs in Madrid are:
- Space of Sound
- Café del Soul
- Cafe La Palma
Almost all entertainment venues, except Fortune, are designed for young people. Fortune with a restaurant and bar is intended for a sophisticated audience.
What to do in Madrid with Children
Going to Madrid with children, you can count on a fun full-fledged vacation both for yourself and for younger representatives of the family.
- It is worth taking a ride on the cable car El Teleférico from Paseo del Pintor Rosales to the Casa de Campo park, admiring bird’s-eye view of magnificent Madrid.
- The Casa de Campo park has everything you need for a family vacation – bike paths, artificial ponds, water slides, attractions. Nearby is the zoo, where in conditions as close to natural as possible, various representatives of the fauna of all light ecosystems live.
- It is worth visiting the Faunia Natural Park with an aquarium with an underwater tunnel, the Mikropolis game center, the De Pino a Pino rope park with trails of different difficulty levels.
Shopping in Madrid
Madrid attracts shopaholics with an abundance of shops, shopping centers, small boutiques, souvenir and antique shops, where you can buy many things.
The best places for shopping in Madrid are:
- Hypermarkets El Corte Ingles
- Shopping centers of the Irish network Primark
- Shopping center ABC Serrano
- FNAC Shopping Center
- Outlet Las Rozas Village in the suburbs of Madrid
- Outlet San Sebastian de los Reyes
- Factory Outafe Outlet
- Mariano Madrueno Shop – Wine Products
- Cheese shop Poncelet
Cost of Vacation in Madrid
A visit to Madrid will require significant costs. Here is some useful know-how from experienced travelers:
- Many restaurants offer set lunches, which include several dishes at a very reasonable price.
- In Madrid it is not necessary to eat constantly in restaurants. In any tavern or street stall you can find a worthy alternative to restaurant dishes.
- You can have a very cheap meal in the Central Market, in the fish, meat and confectionery departments, where next to the malls there are small eateries in which selected and purchased products are prepared in the presence of customers.
- You can buy jamon relatively inexpensively in the shops of the Jamon Museum network scattered throughout the city.
- There are certain days when attractions and museums can be visited for free. You should take free booklets from any travel agency in Madrid or at the airport with a schedule of each attraction and museum.
- Huertas Street and Santa Ana Square have discos and nightclubs with free admission. Entrance to the rest will cost between € 10-100.
- A great selection of unusual and not very expensive souvenirs is on the flea markets of the city.
- Madrid is worth seeing from the Bas Turistico tourist bus. You can travel along the entire route, hop on or hop off anytime. A ticket for one day will cost € 21, for 2 days – € 25.
- if you are using the public transport in Madrid you can save by buying a tourist transport card for a certain number of days
- In the center of Madrid there are many inexpensive hotels and hostels that can accommodate in comfort. Looking for housing on the outskirts is not worth it.
Day trips from Madrid
- Toledo. Toledo – the former capital of the Spanish kingdom, is now a small town on the Tagus River, 75 km from Madrid. In Toledo, a huge number of important historical attractions are concentrated – medieval fortresses, churches, monasteries.
- Segovia and San Ildefonso. Segovia is an ancient city 90 km from Madrid. Among the most popular attractions are the Roman aqueduct about 30 meters high, the former royal residence of the Alcazar, the monastery of Santa Cruz, the Cathedral. 9 km from Segovia is another royal residence of San Ildefonso, transferred to the possession of the monastery.
- Manzanares el Real. About 44 km from Madrid is Manzanares el Real, a medieval castle-fortress, a family nest of the Dukes of Mendoza. The castle, surrounded by powerful fortified walls with towers and fortifications, is included in the list of objects of world significance by UNESCO.
- Escorial and Valley of the Fallen. Escorial is a grandiose architectural complex 57 km from Madrid, combining a palace, a monastery and a royal residence. In Escorial, there are museums that store priceless collections of paintings, drawings, sculptures, documents that recreate the history of the architectural complex, libraries. Near the walls of Escorial is a memorial complex Valley of the Fallen, dedicated to the victims of the Franco regime. The remains of Franco himself are buried there.
- Alcalá de Henares. 36 km from Madrid, in the valley of the Henares River lies the city of Alcala de Henares, one of the most beautiful corners of Spain. Among the most popular attractions of the city are the Laredo Palace, Cervantes House Museum, Plaza Cervantes, Cathedral of the Holy Children, Church of Santa Maria.
- Guadalajara. Guadalajara – a small town 62 km from Madrid, in the Henares Valley, attracts with its ancient history and an abundance of attractions. The most visited places are the Alcazar fortress, built by the Moors, the Arab bridge – a viaduct dating back to 11 centuries, the Parc de la Concordia, the Palace of the Dukes of Infantado, the pantheon of the Duchess of Seville, the co-cathedral of Santa Maria la Mayor, the convent of Convento de La Piedad with the tomb of the founder of Briand de Mendoza.
- Sigüenza. Sigüenza – an ancient city in the province of Guadalajara, 130 km from Madrid, conquers the historical and cultural heritage. It is worth visiting the medieval castle, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the church of San Vicente, the House of Donsel in the Gothic style.
- Buitrago de Lozoya. Buitrago de Lozoya is a small old town 77 km from Madrid. Among the best attractions are the castle walls erected by the Moors, the XI century castle in the Mudejar style, the church of St. Mary in the Gothic style, built in the XIV century. The city houses the Pablo Picasso Museum, which houses the artist’s works collected by his personal hairdresser Eugenio Arias.
- Aranjuez. Aranjuez – a small city 48 km from Madrid, attracts with a large number of architectural monuments and a grandiose historical heritage. It is worth visiting the Royal Palace with a garden and park complex, Piazza San Antonio, decorated with a magnificent fountain, the Church of San Antonio, the Palace of Medinacelli, the Museum of Royal Boats and Barges, the Palace of Silwell, the Royal Monastery of San Pascual, the prison, which prisoners are allowed to live in her walls with families.
- Chinchon. Chinchon is an ancient city founded in the X century, 50 km from Madrid, conquering a huge number of historical attractions. Particular attention should be paid to the Plaza Mayor, decorated with a stone fountain with the coat of arms of the city, the church of Nuestra Senora de Asuncion, the castle of Castillo de las Condes, the Theater Lope de Vega, the monastery of Augustinians, the house of chains, the monastery of the clararis.