Madrid Local Area Guide

madrid city guide

Smaller in size than both London and Paris, Madrid is a culture lover’s gem of a city full of museums and parks bang in the middle of Spain. Served both domestically and internationally from Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport the city centre is easily accessed by train. Madrid has a wonderful metro system that makes it easy to explore the city by purchasing a day, three days or week long tourist pass.

Where to stay in Madrid

Puerto del Sol-Gran Via

If you are visiting Madrid for the first time it can be a little daunting on where to stay.  We recommend anywhere around the Puerto del Sol or just off the main Avenue Gran Via. From either of these locations, you are within walking distance of all of Madrid’s must-see attractions and can get to anywhere else in the city by Metro.

Luxury hotels can be found on all of Madrid’s main avenues, but if you take a side street off of the Gran Via you will find plenty of family-run hotels and hostels. If you are looking for cheap hotels, remember that Ibis budget hotels are located throughout Spain. There is also a chain of hotels in Madrid called NH hotels. These have a wide variety of accommodation to suit most budgets and there is always a promotion discount code available to gain up to 25% off staying in Madrid.

Things to do in Madrid

The El Prado National Museum

Housed within an 18th-century Neo-Classical building, the El Prado National Museum is one of the world’s greatest museums with works of art dating back to the 12th century.

Palacio Real (Royal Palace)

Inspired by drawings made by Bernini when he was building the Louvre in Paris, the Palacio Real gives you an insight into the glitz and luxury that the Spanish royals have enjoyed for centuries.

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

Forming part of Madrid’s cultural, golden triangle together with the  Prado and the Thyssen Bornemisza, the Arte Reina Sofía is the largest contemporary art museum in the city. It is also the place where you will find Pablo Picasso’s famous “Guernica” painting depicting the horrors of war when German aircraft bombed innocent civilians during the Spanish Civil War.

Puerta del Sol

Marking the very centre of Spain, the Puerta del Sol is where the Spanish gather to ring in the New Year. It is also home to one of Spain’s most photographed statues “El Oso y el Madroño” (“The Bear and the Strawberry Tree”).

Estadio Santiago Bernabéu

For football fans around the globe, no visit to Madrid would be complete without touring the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Located in the north of the city you’ll find a grand football stadium that is home to the mighty Real Madrid football team. The vastness of the stadium has to be seen to be believed, as is the trophy room depicting the clubs great history.