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Holidays in Madrid

Madrid awaits you. Brimming with all sorts of things to see and do, this abundant city is one that will pleasantly surprise you.

Madrid Holidays

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Holidays in Madrid

Meeting new people is a big part of travelling, and with 3,300,000 residents living in this part of Community of Madrid, you're sure to have plenty of opportunities.

The Prado Museum and Plaza Mayor are superb sights that are known across the globe.

If you're travelling with the entire family, trips to Parque Warner Madrid and Aquopolis will most definitely be popular. Are the little ones still not worn out? Don't think you are done yet! Keep up the fun with a trip to Heron City and the Madrid Wax Museum.

Stepping into the Madrid Zoo Aquarium is like jumping off a boat into the ocean, but without needing to take your clothes off! Here you'll happen upon all sorts of fascinating marine animals.

Want to encourage your kids’ curiosity about wildlife? Take them on an outing to the Faunia, where they'll discover what an animal eats, the sounds it makes and much, much more!

The Casino Gran Madrid and Casino de Madrid are perfect to jump start a night out with mates. If you're not against a little gambling, test your luck challenging the dealer. Alternatively, order an icy beer and simply soak up the energetic atmosphere. Don't want to call it a night? The Casino Gran Via awaits you!

Botanists and amateurs alike will be glad to find out about this area's extensive collections of plants. For a blossom-filled day, start with a leisurely walk around the impressive beds at Crystal Palace. Afterwards, head over to the Royal Botanical Garden, where the diversity of species alone is definitely worth a look. If you just can't get enough, the floral exhibits at Dalieda de San Francisco and the Jardín de la Fuente de las Ranas are also rather nice.

El Retiro Park and Parque Norte are the places to go to soak up the sun, enjoy a picnic or just watch life pass by. Alternatively, spend the day outdoors at the Sabatini Gardens or Juan Carlos I Park.

Tourist Information Center should be one of the first places you visit. You'll find a range of information here, including ideas for excursions, the best restaurants to indulge at and so much more.

If you find comfort in the calming effects of being by the water's edge, you're in the right place. Laguna del Campillo and El Raso Lagoon are just a handful of the tranquil waterbodies around here that are worth a look. A walk around El Soto Lagoon or El Picon de los Conejos Lagoon is also rewarding, if not for the intriguing birdlife, then for some more fantastic vistas.

Head to Royal Palace or the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia if the weather's no good. Study the captivating exhibits or just take a break in the tranquil settings. Want more? Also go to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Museum of Natural Sciences.

You'll uncover all sorts of curious specimens from the natural world at the Museo de America and the National Archaeological Museum of Spain. For more from this versatile planet, continue on to the Regional Archaeological Museum and the National Museum of Anthropology.

In a city overflowing with wonderful art exhibitions, the CaixaForum Madrid and the Fundacion Juan March somehow manage to shine brighter than the rest. More unique paintings and imaginative sculptures are waiting for you at the Cerralbo Museum and the La Caixa Foundation.

Calling all history enthusiasts! You'll love learning about the rich and varied past of this area at the Museo de Historia de Madrid and the Museo Postal y Telegrafico. The San Isidro Museum and the Royal Armoury of Madrid are also worth a peek for an even greater insight into the past.

Gain an understanding of bygone times when you call in at Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial and the Complutense University of Madrid. Valley of the Fallen and the Temple of Debod are also worth a visit.

Puente de los Franceses and Puente de la Reina Victoria are time-worn crossings that will intrigue visitors interested in historic structures. Segovia Bridge offers a way to admire the waters of Madrid from a different perspective.

If you'd like to see into the lifestyles of the rich and the famous, a stop at Royal Palace of El Pardo or Archbishop's Palace is sure to be of interest. But lo and behold, they're not the only glossy abodes you'll stumble on in Madrid. Velazquez Palace and Zarzuela Palace are also well worth a visit.

Visitors interested in learning about the city's religious background should stop by Almudena Cathedral and San Isidro Church. San Antonio de la Florida Hermitage and Monastery of San Bernardo are some other historically important sites.

It's much better to look back on your life and say, "Did I really do that?," instead of, "I wish I did that." So, while you're in Madrid you should also look around some of the lesser-known sights, such as City Hall and the National Library. The La Casa Encendida and the Teatros del Canal are two more options.

  • Madrid Casco viejo
  • Main shopping street at twilight Madrid
  • The Royal Palace and Santa María la Real de La Almudena Madrid
  • Statue of bear and madrone tree Madrid
  • Gate in old town of Madrid
  • Cafe life in Plaza Mayor Madrid

Top Madrid attractions

Prado Museum

Arguably Madrid's most popular attraction, the Prado Museum is home to countless masterpieces by Goya and Velázquez.

Royal Palace

One of the largest royal buildings in Europe, Madrid's palace is an architectural masterpiece that makes a perfect way to spend a day.

Madrid Cathedral

Enjoy a brief rest in peace and quietness at the Madrid Cathedral, where you can sit and listen to the prayers echoed off from the cavernous ceiling.

Convento de las Carboneras

Visit this quiet convent to buy pastries and cookies from the nuns, who sell their wares each morning.

Hemingway Bar Crawl

Ernest Hemingway was a regular in Madrid, and many tour companies offer pub-crawls to his favourite bars.

Plaza Mayor

Mingle with Madrid's locals in this busy plaza, where you can grab a drink and enjoy a meal at an outdoor cafe.

Plaza de Oriente

Enjoy some of the best people watching in Madrid in this plaza, which is located outside the royal palace.

Chueca

When you want to party, head to lively Chueca, where you can dance and drink until the wee hours of the morning.

Find a Miracle

Visit the Convento de la Encarnación to watch the crowds heading to pray for a miracle.

Cable Car

Ride the Teléferico Madrid, the cable car that will take you to above the city and get excellent views.

The Royal Palace

This is one of the first stops guests should check out within the city. The Palacio Real is the largest building in the city, and easily the most beautiful. The neighbouring Plaza de Oriente Square gives the palace a run for its money, however.

The palace was designed for King Felipe V in the 18th century. Originally built for all of the king’s courtiers, today the palace has antique furniture, and artwork by artists such as Goya, Giordano, and Mengs.

The Puerta del Sol

This square is located in the centre of the city, and just a few blocks from Plaza Mayor. It was once the eastern edge of the city, and its gates face the sun (hence its name).

Located in the heart of the city, the square is surrounded by beautiful buildings such as the clock towered Real Casa de Correos, which was part of the post office. On the other side of the square is the city’s official symbol the “Bear and Strawberry Tree” statue.

The Prado Museum

Arguably Madrid’s most famous cultural destination, this museum has one of the most complete art galleries in the world. The museum has historic works from European artists like Velázquez, Goya, Raphael, and Bosch.

The building itself is almost 200 years old, and the name “Prado” comes from the gardens that originally surrounded the area. Notable works include Velazquez’s “Las Meninas”, “The Triumph of Bacchus”, and Rembrandt’s self-portrait, “Artemisia”. Another classic is Goya's once-controversial “The Naked Maja.”

The Santa María de la Real de la Almudena Cathedral

Visitors cannot leave Madrid without visiting at least one historic religious site such as the main cathedral. Construction began 100 years ago, but was not completed until 1993. Pope John Paul II consecrated the church, and its name holds true to Spain’s European and Arabic cultural mix. The architecture has neoclassic and gothic styles, and contains both granite and marble.

Insider tips for Madrid travel

Late-Night Flamenco

Instead of catching an early dinner and flamenco show, plan to stay out until after midnight, when the best acts perform.

Sunday Drinks

Take a group of friends and head out for tapas on Sunday afternoons, and don't be afraid to have a few drinks.

Matadero Madrid

Join the locals for food and cinema at Matadero Madrid, which used to be a slaughterhouse.

Retiro Park

Spend a sunny afternoon wandering around Retiro Park, or rent a bicycle to explore the leafy paths.

Explore the Botanic Gardens

Just outside the Prado Museum, you can lose yourself in the luscious flowers and plants of Madrid's Botanical Gardens.

Best time to go on holiday to Madrid

The most comfortable times to visit Madrid are in the spring and fall, when temperatures average 25°C. Summers can be hot and relentlessly sunny, and many days reach 30°C and higher in June, July and August. If you are looking for pleasant weather without the crowds, visit Madrid during Easter, when many residents head out of the city for holiday. The winter is the low season, when you will find shorter lines at the city's museums. From late November until February, temperatures can drop to 1 degree Celsius and rain is common around Madrid.

Madrid highlights

Watch a Bullfight

As one of Madrid’s most traditional and controversial sports, bullfights provide a fascinating glimpse into the country’s cultural past. The main bullring in Madrid is La Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas del Espíritu Santo.

The arena has a unique style of red brick and ceramic tiles. The construction of the site was finished in 1929, and now services political speeches and rock concerts in addition to bullfights. It is the third largest in the world. Fights are held on Sundays.

Go to a Fútbol Match with Real Madrid

Head to Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to witness Spain’s favourite sporting event. With some of the world’s best players like Ronaldo, Kaka, and Higuain on the field, the atmosphere of a live Real Madrid game is incomparable. Most tickets are held on reserve for club members, but leftover tickets are sold at the stadium days before the match. Visitors can try this option or buy online, although the latter is more expensive.

Listen to and watch some of Spain’s best flamenco

Flamenco artists from around the country have flocked to Madrid since the 1800s, so it is no surprise to find Flamenco music in many different bars and restaurants around the city.

The most famous spot is the Corral de la Moreria. It is the oldest flamenco restaurant in the city, and has some regular notable artists like Antonio Gades, Lucero Tena, and Mario Maya. If travellers want to learn how to dance flamenco, they should take some classes at Amor de Dios Academy, one of the city’s most famous.

Shop at the Rastro Flea Market

The largest market in the city happens every Sunday in the centre from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., catering to shoppers who are looking for products both antique and modern. The name comes from the trail of blood left from cattle that were brought to neighbouring tanneries. The market has over 3,500 different booths that line up and down streets and the Plaza de Cascorro.

How to move around in Madrid

To and from Madrid

Madrid is located in the central region of Spain and for this reason it can be accessed by various means of transportation. The Renfe train system is good for knowing places outside of Madrid as it is used often as a national form of transport to the south, north, east and west.

Madrid’s Barajas Airport is about 15 kilometres from the centre of the city. For this reason there are taxis services, chauffeur specialty vehicles, buses, car hire in Madrid, and metro. A good taxi service is Aerocity, but you may need to reserve in advance. Travellers looking for comfort and reliability can choose Aresmobile. Otherwise there is the 89 bus route that goes to the Plaza Colón, and the Terminal T2 has the Metro which runs every 5 minutes.

Around town

Once in the Madrid metro area there are several ways to get from point A to point B. The most common options are taxis, the underground, and buses.

The EMT bus network operates in the city. They operate within designated bus lanes and run almost 24 hours per day. Beware that it is necessary to flag the bus down. The price is 1 euro per ticket.

A single ticket for travel on the Metro is priced at €2 each. A 10-journey pass provides a discount. Trains arrive about every three minutes, but on weekends wait can be up to ten minutes. The Metro runs from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. and is open year round.

Try our new Airport Guide to find all the different transport options from Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport to Madrid : Transfer guide from Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport to Madrid

MORE Madrid Hotels

See all 2,132 properties in Madrid
Hotel Regina

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    3.0 out of 5.0
     
     
    4.2 out of 5 (162 reviews)

    Located in Centro, this hotel is steps away from La Equitativa Building, Casino de Madrid and San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Church of las Calatravas ...

    Hotel Regina£48

    Hotel Regina£48
    Maydrit Hotel

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    Piragua 1, Madrid
      4.0 out of 5.0
       
       
      3.9 out of 5 (9 reviews)

      Located in Barajas, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from El Capricho Park, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Plenilunio Shopping Mall and Olivar de la Hinojosa Golf Club. ...

      Maydrit Hotel£58

      Maydrit Hotel£58
      Novotel Madrid Center

      Novotel Madrid Center

      O'donnell 53, Madrid
        4.0 out of 5.0
         
         
        4.4 out of 5 (9 reviews)

        This family-friendly Madrid hotel is located in the shopping district, within a 15-minute walk of Casa Arabe and El Retiro Park. Prado Museum and Las Ventas ...

        Novotel Madrid Center£69

        Novotel Madrid Center£69
        Hotel Emperador

        Hotel Emperador

        Gran Via 53, Madrid
          4.0 out of 5.0
           
           
          3.8 out of 5 (51 reviews)

          Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Teatro Rialto and Plaza de Espana. Plaza Mayor and Royal Palace are also within 15 minutes. Santo ...

          Hotel Emperador£93

          Hotel Emperador£93
          Hotel Atlantico Madrid

          Hotel Atlantico Madrid

          Gran Via 38, Madrid
            4.0 out of 5.0
             
             
            4.5 out of 5 (38 reviews)

            Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Teatro Lara, Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Espana. Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral are also within ...

            Hotel Atlantico Madrid£115

            Hotel Atlantico Madrid£115
            Sercotel Madrid Aeropuerto

            Sercotel Madrid Aeropuerto

            Calle del Galeon, 25, Madrid
              4.0 out of 5.0
               
               

              Located in Barajas, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Castillo de la Alameda, El Capricho Park and Fuente de la Concha. Plenilunio Shopping Mall and Juan Carlos ...

              Sercotel Madrid Aeropuerto£47

              Sercotel Madrid Aeropuerto£47
              Travelodge Madrid Alcalá

              Travelodge Madrid Alcalá

              Calle Santa Leonor 34, Madrid
                1.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 
                3.0 out of 5 (1 reviews)

                Located in San Blas-Canillejas, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Avenida America, IFEMA - Feria de Madrid and Las Ventas. Juan Pablo II and Eva Perón are ...

                Travelodge Madrid Alcalá£33

                Travelodge Madrid Alcalá£33
                Hotel JC Rooms Chueca

                Hotel JC Rooms Chueca

                Calle Infantas 5, Madrid
                  3.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Located in Chueca, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Casino Gran Via, Plaza Mayor and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Prado Museum and Plaza de Espana are ...

                  Hotel JC Rooms Chueca£37

                  Hotel JC Rooms Chueca£37
                  Hotel Claridge Madrid

                  Hotel Claridge Madrid

                  Pza. Conde de Casal, 6, Madrid
                    4.0 out of 5.0
                     
                     
                    4.5 out of 5 (13 reviews)

                    Located in Retiro, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of La Neomudejar and El Retiro Park. Prado Museum and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia are also ...

                    Hotel Claridge Madrid£62

                    Hotel Claridge Madrid£62
                    Hotel Nuevo Boston

                    Hotel Nuevo Boston

                    Avenida de Aragon 332, Madrid
                      4.0 out of 5.0
                       
                       
                      4.5 out of 5 (11 reviews)

                      Located in San Blas-Canillejas, this hotel is 3 mi (4.8 km) from Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, and within 9 mi (15 km) of IFEMA - Feria de Madrid and Thyssen-Bornemisza ...

                      Hotel Nuevo Boston£66

                      Hotel Nuevo Boston£66
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