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Madrid Tourism: Best of Madrid

The storybook capital of Spain, fueled by Spanish food and wine
If Madrid feels like a fairytale, it’s partially because so many buildings here have a confectionary, castle-like look to them. Even City Hall is astounding, with its white pinnacles and neo-Gothic features. A self-guided architecture tour can begin by the great bear statue in the central Puerta del Sol. Wander by the fanciful Royal Palace before absorbing the natural beauty of Retiro Park, then visit one of the city’s many art museums. Artistry can also be found on your plate and in your glass, so close out each day sipping Spanish rioja and sampling tapas.

Travel Advice

Essential Madrid

Traveler Guides

Madrid Is Great For

Foot-stomping flamenco

Dazzling food markets

All-hours nightlife

Madrid Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Madrid

Madrileños eat lunch around 2 p.m. and dinner roughly at 10 p.m. As such, don't expect restaurant kitchens to be open before 1:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively.
Most museums in Madrid have time slots when you can visit for free. Check it out.
The ‘Bocata de Calamares’ (calamari sandwich) is both a Madrid speciality and local favorite.
Inés R
Walking is the best way to enjoy the city centre, but for places outside that area, you can buy a 10-trip pass for the metro.
Savvy shoppers know that the best time to hit the stores in Madrid is during "Rebajas". These huge end-of-season sales take place in winter (usually January-February) and summer (July-August).

In the words of those who've been there before ...

Inés R
The city is a melting pot for people from different Spanish provinces and all over the world.
The Spanish capital has much to offer to the curious traveler.
Madrid is always on our "let's go there again, I miss it" list.
Inés R
Cozy coffee shops, excellent cuisine, beautiful parks and stunning sunsets make Madrid the perfect place to enjoy a romantic weekend that you and your partner will never forget.

What is the best way to get there?


International flights land at Madrid Barajas Airport (Adolfo Suarez), from where you can hop on the metro or take a shuttle or taxi into the city.


Madrid has two main railway stations—Chamartin and Atocha. AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) runs high-speed trains to Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, and many other cities around Spain.

Do I need a visa?

If you’re visiting Madrid from overseas, use Schengen Visa info to see if you need a visa.

When is the best time to visit?

Summer temperatures can reach more than 86°F (30°C) in the city and many locals head out to the provinces in July and August. Many local bars, restaurants, and shops close down during this period. Spring and fall offer more pleasant weather for sightseeing, as well as festivals such as the San Isidro festival (May), Flamenco Madrid festival (June), and the European White Nights Festival (Sept.).


Bicimad is a bikeshare system with over 100 bicycle stations located across Madrid.

Visitors can purchase hourly, daily, or multi-day subscriptions either at the docking stations or online.


Madrid’s metro is the fastest way to get around, with 13 lines linking all corners of the city. Trains run daily from 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.

For more information about the network and fares, see here.


EMT operates Madrid’s local bus system daily from 6 a.m. till 11:30 p.m. (10 a.m. till 11 p.m. on weekends).

For more information about the network and fares, see here.


Madrid taxis are white with a red band on the front door. Although it’s possible to hail one on the street in Madrid, it’s generally easier to go to an official taxi stand, located by all the main streets and plazas.

You can also book a taxi online or on your smartphone by downloading the Madrid TXMAD or Free Now apps.


Uber is available in Madrid, but most locals use Cabify.

On the ground
What is the timezone?
Central European Standard Time
What are the voltage/plug types?
The standard voltage in Spain is 230V and the standard frequency is 50Hz. The plug has two round pins.
What is the currency?
The Euro
Are ATMs readily accessible?
Are credit cards widely accepted?
How much do I tip?
Tipping is not obligatory in Madrid, however, a 10-15% tip for exceptional service is always appreciated.

Are there local customs I should know?

The federal legal age for buying and drinking alcohol is 18 years old.
Public transport
Allow others to disembark before boarding, don’t take up more than one seat, and stand to offer seating to pregnant women or someone with a disability.
Try to speak the language
Most locals will speak some English, but mastering a few basic Spanish phrases will be appreciated.
Watch where you sit
Be aware that prices often vary in bars and restaurants depending where you sit—the cheapest seats are at the bar or indoors, while a terrace table is typically about 10% more expensive than dining inside.
Prepare for some late nights
Many locals dine as late as 10 p.m. Nightclubs in Madrid don’t start getting busy until midnight and often stay open until 6 a.m.
Take a siesta
Many shops close from 2-5 p.m., especially during the hottest months of the year.
Don’t expect speedy service
Spanish culture is laid-back, and service is equally leisurely. You will need to ask for the bill when you have finished your meal—it won’t automatically be brought to you.
Frequently Asked Questions about Madrid

Madrid is known for some of its popular attractions, which include:

If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Madrid between December and February, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between September and November.