Spain may have travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

MadridSpain

A city of cool shaded alleys, and wide sunny parks, grand palaces and even grander plazas, this is a place that lives up to its motto of 'Madrid never sleeps'.

In the 18th century, a new dynasty – the Bourbons – were on the Spanish throne, and they didn't like the shabby look of their capital and decided to make a few changes. You can see their efforts in the splendour of Madrid's parks, monuments and palaces – and in the curious contrast between old Madrid's tight-packed streets, and its many beautiful open parks. You can thank the royal connection for those – the Casa de Campo, a huge tract of parkland in the west, was once a royal hunting ground. Now it has an amusement park, boating lake and zoo.

To the east is the more formal park of El Retiro, actually the gardens of the old Habsburg palace. Its 121 hectares of tree-lined avenues, waterways, Romanesque gardens are the perfect 'back lawn' for Madrid's best-known museum – the Prado Museum, which houses a world-class collection of European Renaissance and Classical paintings. Close by are two other art galleries – the Reina Sofia Museum, with its famed Dali's and Picasso's and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum. Taken together, they form Madrid's Golden Triangle of Art.

Starting at the old town's gateway of Puerta De Alcala, follow a string of beautiful plaza's, from the famous fountains of the Plaza De Cibeles, to the vibrant Puerta Del Sol and finally the Plaza Mayor – Madrid's jaw-dropping square. A perfect contrast to that plaza's wide open skies is nearby El Rastro, Madrid's infamous and ancient flea-market of a thousand stalls.

But if you keep going along the Calle Mayor, and you'll find yourself at the Royal Palace, where Spain's kings moved to in the 19th century, and which still hosts royal events. Next-door is the grandeur of the Almudena Cathedral, the elegance of the Royal Theatre, and the beauty of the Sabatini Gardens. To the north, the gardens lead you onto one last 'must-see' plaza – the Plaza De Espana. This is where you'll find a fabulous monument to Spain's greatest author – Cervantes, the 16th century creator of Don Quixote. This monument to past glories sits beneath two enormous, yet stylish, post-war tower blocks. Incongruous, quirky but done with style – you could say that's Madrid all over.

Where to stay in Madrid

Top hotels in Madrid

Hotel Riu Plaza España
Hotel Riu Plaza España
4 out of 5
C/ Gran Via, 84, Madrid
The price is NZ$142 per night from 1 Dec. to 2 Dec.

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! (949 reviews)

"The location is perfectly situated for seeing Madrid and the hotel itself is in great condition. Currently due to Covid, several of the expected services were not available but that is to be expected. The other issue is the fact that the road in front and Plaza de España are being ripped apart and ..."…"

Reviewed on 4 Oct. 2020

Hotel Riu Plaza España
Hotel Maydrit Airport
Hotel Maydrit Airport
4 out of 5
Piragua 1, Madrid, Madrid
The price is NZ$119 per night from 1 Dec. to 2 Dec.

Located in Barajas, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of El Capricho Park and Plenilunio Shopping Mall. Estadio Wanda Metropolitano and IFEMA - Feria de Madrid ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,130 reviews)

"Nice and clean. Some minor changes due to COVID-19, however still works smoothly"…"

Reviewed on 29 Aug. 2020

Hotel Maydrit Airport
Hotel ILUNION Atrium
Hotel ILUNION Atrium
4 out of 5
Emilio Vargas, 3 y 5, Madrid, Madrid
The price is NZ$95 per night from 1 Dec. to 2 Dec.

Located in Ciudad Lineal, this eco-friendly hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Las Ventas, Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and IFEMA. El Retiro Park and WiZink Center ...

4.3/5Excellent! (495 reviews)

"Shower pressure was amazing! Sink had an issue draining. Towels could have been cleaner. Also smelled kinda weird in the hallway. Thankfully our room was nice. Easy access to bus to go to city center."…"

Reviewed on 9 Mar. 2020

Hotel ILUNION Atrium
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Holiday Rentals in Madrid

VP El Madroño
VP El Madroño
3.5 out of 5
C/ General Díaz Porlier 101, Madrid, Madrid
The price is NZ$82 per night from 6 Dec. to 7 Dec.

Located in Salamanca, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Paseo de la Castellana and U.S. Embassy. El Retiro Park and Nuevo Teatro Alcala are also ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (448 reviews)

"Great location warm and friendly"…"

Reviewed on 29 Jan. 2020

VP El Madroño
Vegas Apartments Palacio Real
Vegas Apartments Palacio Real
4 out of 5
Plaza Alamillo 8, bajo izquierdo, Madrid, Madrid
The price is NZ$170 per night from 1 Dec. to 2 Dec.

Located in Centro, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of City Hall, Royal Palace of Madrid and Plaza Mayor. Almudena Cathedral and Mercado de ...

3/5 (1 review)
apartamento amplio y agradable

"es un departamento que no tiene ningún servicio"…"

Reviewed on 31 Jul. 2017

Vegas Apartments Palacio Real
Slow Suites Bellas Artes
Slow Suites Bellas Artes
3.5 out of 5
Calle de los Madrazo, 20, Madrid, Madrid
The price is NZ$133 per night from 14 Dec. to 15 Dec.

Located in Centro, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Teatro de la Zarzuela, Gran Via Street and Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum. Puerta ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (70 reviews)
Spacious apartment in central location

"The hotel is in a great location of Madrid, plenty of restaurants and shopping. The apartment itself is very spacious and comfortable. Would be fine for longer stays. We loved it!"…"

Reviewed on 9 Jan. 2020

Slow Suites Bellas Artes
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Madrid

Top activities in Madrid

Reviews of Madrid

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
134
5 - Excellent 59.030837004405285%
4 - Good
79
4 - Good 34.801762114537446%
3 - Okay
14
3 - Okay 6.167400881057269%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

25 Feb. 2020

Even with constant crowds it is fairly easy to move about. Festivals in the major plazas are offered daily. GPS though is sometimes unreliable in narrow streets.

5/5 - Excellent

Chris

18 Jan. 2020

Enjoyed every single part of Madrid, all the places, Food, culture, streets, shopping and people.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

4 Jan. 2020

We spent 4 nights 3 days in Madrid. We could have easily condensed this into 2 days which would have left us more time to spend in Segovia and Zaragoza which we loved.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Jan. 2020

I definetly will recommend to my friends and relatives to visit Madrid, it is a safe place to travell and to visit and the people are very friendly and helpful.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

20 Nov. 2019

Vibrant city with lots to see and do. I loved walking around the city, it felt safe and had a great atmosphere. Retiro Park, the Prada museum, the palace and the hospitality were all very good.

5/5 - Excellent

dee

23 Oct. 2019

Amazin :)

Cities near Madrid

Other places like Madrid