40

Majestic Madrid, Spain: Travel Tips and Photos

Somehow, I had forgotten just how beautiful Madrid is. You see, I’ve been to Madrid twice before: once in 2003 and a second time in 2006.  I remember that I had liked Madrid’s vibe and adored the language, but completely missed how gorgeous the city is.  Tree-lined boulevards, stately buildings, wide open plazas with heaps of flora and fountains- Madrid has got it going on. Keep reading for my snaps of the city and a few of my tips for traveling to Madrid, Spain:

tips for traveling in madrid spain

A bull on the Spanish flag commemorating San Fermin

tips for traveling in madrid spain

Plaza de Cibeles

 

 

Take the metro or the express bus to/from the airport

Don’t take a taxi if you can help it. Save your money for tapas: Madrid’s Barajas airport is only about a 30-minute bus drive from the centre in a moderate amount of traffic.  I took the express bus ($7 USD) from the airport and got dropped off at Atocha bus/train/metro station, but the bus also has stops along the Gran Via, one of Madrid’s main throughfares.  From there it’s a 10 minute walk from one of Madrid’s most popular squares, the Puerta del Sol.

tips for traveling in madrid spain

Pretty architecture at the Puerta del Sol

 

tips for traveling in madrid spain

Madrid’s busy centre

At approximately $7 USD, the metro is also a cheap and easy alternative to make your way to and from the airport, and can be quicker than the bus depending on traffic.
tips for traveling in madrid spain

The Gran Via, one of Madrid’s main drags

Find centrally located accommodation so you can explore by foot

I love walking and Madrid’s wide boulevards are particularly enticing.  Benefit from the beauty of Madrid’s centre by finding centrally located accommodation- it’ll allow you to use your own two feet to get you where you need to go!  HostelBookers graciously provided me with a room at the Petit Palace Embassy Serrano, a lovely 4-star hotel in one of the nicest areas of Madrid.  I was able to window-shop at all the poshest stores as I made the 10-minute walk from the hotel to the Plaza de Alcala. Twenty-five minutes at a leisurely gait brought me from the hotel to the Puerta del Sol.

tips for traveling in madrid spain

My lovely room at the Petit Palace Embassy hotel

 

Expect to spend $25 USD and up for a hostel and $50 USD and up for a decent hotel room (single occupancy)

I was surprised to see that accommodation in Madrid is still pretty cheap by Western European standards.  When I found myself stranded in Madrid overnight because trains to Pamplona were booked solid, I paid $27  USD for a bed in an 8-person dorm at HostelOne.  Mid-range single-person accommodation in the centre will run you approximately $50 USD a night. The 4-star Petit Palace Embassy Serrano is only $89 USD for a single room. *Note: you can find hostels for $20 USD but they aren’t very nice! It’s worth it to pay just a little extra for better accommodation, in my opinion!

Pack a picnic lunch and eat in the park

Hanging out in Madrid’s Parque del Retiro is a great way to spend an afternoon.  Plus, it’s free! Grab a few provisions from the market and have sandwiches in any one of the plethora of grassy areas throughout this huge park. Fun, cheap, visually stimulating… I like!

tips for traveling in madrid spain

tips for traveling in madrid spain

 

Do you have any tips for traveling to Madrid, Spain? Whether you have or haven’t been, what do you think of the city?

 

 

You Might Also Like

40 Comments

  • Reply
    DebbZ
    August 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Yes, I’ve been to Madrid in 2009. But I missed the picnic in the park. I think it’s a nice thing to do with a bunch of friends. Great picture, Oneika 🙂

    • Reply
      Oneika
      August 20, 2012 at 7:52 am

      Great reason to go back! 😉

  • Reply
    Idun
    August 15, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I was in Madrid just a few months ago, in June, visiting a friend, and she took me to see all the places you mentioned here, (as well as a number of others). We even had lunch in Parque del Retiro and where I fed some sparrows which were brave enough to come eat the food from my hand. It’s really a beautiful city, I liked it a lot more than I expected, as I normally don’t like big cities (I’m Norwegian, and we don’t have really big cities here).

    • Reply
      Oneika
      August 20, 2012 at 7:51 am

      Glad you liked it! It is one of my favourite cities. The weather is great even in the winter!

  • Reply
    Andi
    August 15, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Madrid is so beautiful! I prefer Barcelona, but I still would return in a heartbeat!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      August 20, 2012 at 7:50 am

      Spain is just amazing all around!

  • Reply
    Deidre
    August 15, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I’ve never been to spain, but it looks gorgeous!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      August 20, 2012 at 7:50 am

      Honeymoon destination!?!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    August 15, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Madrid is on my list of places to visit more than once. I’m glad to hear that hotel accomodations are so affordable. Great pics.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      August 20, 2012 at 7:50 am

      Yes, the agreeable prices shocked me!

  • Reply
    Christian
    August 15, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I absolutely LOVE Madrid! I’m probably a bit bias only because I lived in Spain for 8 months and visited Madrid 6 times. Everyone that loves fashion should visit the Malasana area via the Tribunal Metro Stop and do some shopping damage at the many Vintage shops! Also, venture over to the North side of town via the Cuidad Lineal Metro Stop and have the best Paella of your life at La Arroceria de Maria(make a reservation for lunch between 2 and 4pm). I have more tips and info for visiting Madrid(and Spain) on my blog: http://www.willworkfortrips.com
    Love your blog!

  • Reply
    Bernadette Kennedy
    August 16, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Beautiful!

    I’ve been to Seville & Cadiz, Spain — many moons ago! These pics make me want to check out Madrid (and maybe a bit of Barcelona, too!). I’ve done a lot of European travel, so I’m looking forward to checking out other continents, too.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      August 20, 2012 at 7:48 am

      Loved Seville and have heard great things about Cadiz! There’s something about Spain…

  • Reply
    Sarah Thériault
    August 17, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Looks beautiful! I’d kill to visit Spain….I can definitely see myself sitting on a patio with tapas and sangria!!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      August 20, 2012 at 7:47 am

      Let’s do it when you move to London!

  • Reply
    CityWinks Madrid
    August 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Just discovered your travels blog with your post on Madrid. It´s great to hear about your tips. The “Don’t take a taxi if you can help it. Save your travel money for tapas” is pretty useful ; ) You might want to check out our blog and follow our winks! Have a nice weekend!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      August 20, 2012 at 7:44 am

      Glad you enjoyed it! Will check you guys out!

  • Reply
    Catalina
    August 18, 2012 at 2:12 am

    I love el retiro! I liked Madrid but I prefer Barcelona…

    • Reply
      Oneika
      August 20, 2012 at 7:42 am

      Most people do! I think I’m in the minority, because I wasn’t that impressed with Barca!

  • Reply
    Fly Brother
    August 19, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Oneika…great recap of a great city! Don’t be surprised if you catch word of me moving there. 😉

    -FlyBro

    • Reply
      Oneika
      August 20, 2012 at 7:41 am

      Thanks, love! I’ll be coming to visit for sure… 😉

  • Reply
    Teresa Rhyne
    August 20, 2012 at 3:35 am

    I’ve been away from your blog for a bit, but it’s so nice to return. I have not been to Madrid, but definitely want to one day. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities, so I have high hopes for Madrid too!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      August 20, 2012 at 7:34 am

      I’m so glad that you’re back! I had a problem with rigging my RSS feed from my old blog to this new one and JUST managed to fix the issue last night! Funnily enough, I enjoyed Madrid more than Barcelona, though I think I may be in the minority.

  • Reply
    Beatrice
    August 26, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Love your blog chica! I read it every week! I’ve booked a ticket to Madrid for my two week October break. I am dying to see Sevilla and Granada (inspired by http://www.adventurouskate.com) and I’d love to make it to Morocco. love your post about Madrid. I’ve been before but you are getting me to see it in a refreshing light. I’m going to check out the Petit Palace Hotel and Roomarama. Thank you for writing so well and for inspiring my travels and my life! 🙂 Jordan, Israel and Turkey are on my radar….. December/January or April breaks…..
    Besos amiga

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    September 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Museo de Jamon for cheap beer and tapas!
    I love Madrid, i think that it is a big city with a small town, friendly vibe!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      September 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      I’m going to have to eat there next time!

  • Reply
    Chanelle
    November 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Let me first say that I love your blog and it is great to see that your having a fab time travelling the globe. It is inspiring to see a sister doing her thing globally (I’m a Jamaican living in the UK). I will be making my way to Indonesia to teach English in the new year. I can’t wait!!!

    I LOVED MADRID!!!! The architecture,the huge squares and of course the cheeky Spanish chappies(banter in Spanglish is hysterical). It was the first time I visited Spain and I was there visiting a friend who lived and worked there I want to count it as solo trip because I spent the majority of the days by myself) I spent my five days visiting a couple of the museums and a football stadium (I’m a fan),doing the walking tours,drinking a lot of Spanish beer and of course spending time with my gal pal.

    My day in Retiro was spent snoozing in the shade after a heavy night but still such a lovely place. I would like to do Spain again but maybe Barcelona for maybe one of the music festivals or San Sebastian.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      November 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Chanelle!! So glad you’re enjoying! Where are you at in the UK?

      • Reply
        Chanelle
        November 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

        Oops sorry for the slow reply. I just moved in with my beau’s parents near Liverpool after spending four years in Glasgow with said beau while he was getting his PhD. Thus currently unemployed Before that, I was in Leeds where I was student and worked for a little while before my move north of the border.

        I’ve been to York for a day out and thought it was nice little cathedral city. If you are planning another trip to the North of England;you should go to Liverpool for a weekend. I’ve been a few times now and if shopping and restaurants (there is a delightful French restaurant here) are your things you are in for a treat. That being said it is winter now and it rains alot here.

        We should definetly have a wee chat about our adventures and get some advice on starting a blog for my upcoming travels to Indonesia.

        Keep up the good blogs!

        • Reply
          Oneika
          November 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm

          I hope to make it to Liverpool sometime next spring! It’s too cold now!

  • Reply
    Pola (@jettingaround)
    December 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I didn’t spend nearly enough time in Madrid, due to a missed flight… Long story. I hope to go back again, because I liked the vibe too and know there is so much more to see there. Nice photos!

  • Reply
    Matthew Hirtes
    February 26, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I’m not Madrid’s biggest fan, reasoning that there are other cities I’d rather see that I haven’t visited yet on the Spanish mainland. But if I do return, these hints and tips will come in handy. Thanks, Oneika.

  • Reply
    Sophie
    October 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Hey, I’ve stumbled across this post as I’m currently studying in Madrid and LOVING it… if you’re going again, DEFINITELY recommend a tour of the Real Madrid stadium… I went as part of study group, but when my family come to visit we will be going back to do it ourselves… it was awesome, recommend it to anyone coming to Madrid 🙂

    http://goo.gl/PBi7hO

  • Reply
    Madrid Tourist Attractions / Travel Guide / Tips / Blog
    February 19, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    […] Majestic Madrid, Spain: Travel Tips and Photos […]

  • Reply
    Katy Nikolaou
    June 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Very beautiful pictures – many years since I last visited this glorious capital. I truly recommend every to go (Spain is not only Andalusia and Barcelona) 😛

    • Reply
      Oneika
      June 20, 2014 at 6:26 am

      Agree!

  • Reply
    Hanna
    March 26, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Oooh Madrid! I want to come there again, I’ve felt so nostalgic reading your post 🙁
    When I went there the weather was not so good but I really enjoyed it anyway. Spanish food is just so amazing, and the city is beautiful even when it’s raining. I also went on a free tour with some guys I met on Puerta del Sol – I believe the company was called MADride – to enlighten on Madrid history a little bit, it was so nice! But the best thing there were tapas – of course!

    • Reply
      Oneika
      March 28, 2015 at 5:12 am

      Awww, I’m dying to go back as well!

  • Reply
    Sheri Young
    May 6, 2016 at 12:52 am

    Went to Madrid on a high school trip…many moons ago. In 2010 when I was on a sabbatical and wanted to return to Spain, I chose Barcelona….nice, it was ok….wished I had gone back to Madrid or Granada….This blog is so timely as I want to go to Madrid for the tennis open next year…Could you suggest a B&B…as I might want to do my first solo trip…

  • Reply
    Nicole
    October 5, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    My cousins and I are planning a trip for next May, I would also like to travel over to Barcelona and then down to the Rock of Gibraltar. As a black woman did you have any issues? I’ve heard some bad things from some other people. Thoughts?

  • Leave a Reply