The Ultimate Madrid Travel Guide
Madrid is the capital of Spain, mostly known for its football club the Real Madrid or its museums such as the Prado. Indeed, the capital is more of a cultural city but in this guide, I will let you see another face of the city, with its best hotels and rooftops, its best restaurants and of course museums! Trust me, you won’t be bored!
How to reach
Wherever you come from, the airport of Madrid called Adolfo Suárez has got many flight connections to destinations all around the globe. Whether you come from the US, Canada, Europe or even South America! The airport is fully equipped with restaurants, shops and coffees to let you enjoy your time while waiting for boarding. The city centre is accessible by bus, train, metro and taxi from the airport. The taxi is the most expensive way and will approximately cost you 30 euros, the cheapest and easiest way is the Metro by taking line number 8.
Where to stay
In this first part, I will recommend a few hotels for all types of budgets. All of them are located in the city centre allowing you to have all shops, restaurants and bars nearby.
The hat is a hotel but can also be seen as a youth hostel. In fact, you can book a night in a mixed and shared room for only 20€. But if you would like to have more privacy and your own bathroom, you can still choose another room option and book a private one. All of them are air-conditioned and equipped with a desk and a TV. Common spaces such as the living room and the kitchen are very clean and the staff very friendly! On top, you will find on its rooftop, a bar, perfect to enjoy long and hot nights outside under the moon with a couple of drinks and your friends!
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Room Mate Oscar Hotel
The Room Mate Oscar Hotel is located next to the Gran Via and the Chueca neighbourhood. This place also benefits from an amazing rooftop with an amazing view, they do have a restaurant, a bar and a pool on site. In the morning, you can choose to take your breakfast at the hotel because they provide a continental buffet. Rooms are fully equipped, comfy and really well decorated. The staff takes care of everything for you from your luggage to your laundry. Perfect to enjoy your stay without any stress and in a more luxurious way than the hat, but still not too expensive.
NH Collection Madrid Suecia
This place has got a central location because located not far from the Circulo de Bellas Artes and the Metropolis building on the Gran Via street. It is a 5-star hotel where rooms are fully equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, high-quality internet connection and its own bathroom. The hotel is perfect for families and is also pet-friendly! There is a restaurant which offers Mediterranean food, a fitness centre, meeting room and a rooftop. Indeed, on the last floor, you will have a panoramic view of the city and can sit on comfy sofas while enjoying your mojito! At night, when the music plays, the atmosphere changes for a more party one. Fun fact: the hotel once hosted Che Guevara.
What to see and do
I will now advise you a few things to do, in order for you to discover the city, benefit from its green spaces and see its most beautiful museums.
El Rastro is the biggest flea market in the city and takes places every Sunday in the La Latina district. More than a thousand artisans are here gathered to sell their old and vintage clothes, their old furniture and plates, old toys and models. But the most beautiful part is the one with the antique dealers’ shops and their very well restored statues reminding us of ancient Greece. The market opens at 9 am and is open until 3 pm. This is a place where not only tourists go but also many local people.
The archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum of Madrid is a beautiful building which gathers many statues and sculptures from ancient Greece or the Iberian Peninsula. Its most people piece of art is called the Lady of Elche and represents a women torso. As you will see, we can’t determine if the lady is a real human being r a deity. This beautiful work of art dates back from the 5th century before Jesus Christ and was found in Alicante in the south-east of Spain.
The history museum
The history museum is a beautiful building with a pink façade located in the heart of Madrid and which welcomes many models, maps, sculptures or statues but also paintings, drawings and furniture. They are all related to the capital city history and it helps visitors discover its former history and culture, how Madrid developed itself through the time, through the wars whether it is in a cultural, economical, artistical or even agricultural way! Its huge collections gather now more than 60 000 pieces and tourists are very pleased to discover how the city became what it today is.
The Caixa museum
The Caixa Museum is located just next to the Paseo del Arte, where the Prado museum or Reina Sofia ones are situated. On the inside, you will be able to find contemporary, modern or ancient art but also poetry and music masterpieces. The staircases are one of the most Instagramables locations in the city because made of white from floor to ceiling and with neon light creating a unique and unrealistic atmosphere. You will also be able to eat lunch at this place or enjoy a coffee. On the outside, you will find the first vertical garden of Spain on one of its walls, which is 24 meters high and where more than 250 species live and grow without any soil.
What to eat
One of the most renowned place in the city for its tapas is the Casa Labra. It is an old and familial taperia where I discovered bacalao or croquetas. They also have a restaurant with authentic dishes revisited to make them more modern and fit nowadays people taste. Most of them are based on the famous Bacalao fish but they also offer meat and delicious desserts like the churros with chocolate.
Horchata de chufa
There are many horchateria in Madrid but my favourite is called Orxata and is located in the Tetuan neighbourhood. This familial café opened in 1946 and it is now the 4th generation of the family which is in charge of it. They offer a wide range of products all based on tiger nut, a local product from Valencia. This drink can be compared to soy milk and it does not only taste incredibly good but it is also full of nutrients!
Hyatt Centric Gran Via
The Hyatt Hotel is a five-star hotel located on the famous Gran Vía Avenue, making it a central and very convenient place with shops, restaurants and bars nearby. Its rooftop is sophisticated and modern like the hotel. Called “El Jardín de Diana”, this place is composed of a bar and a restaurant offering delicious cocktails and typical Spanish snacks. It was designed to be a hidden haven of peace in the city and offers a view of Madrid and its surroundings. It allows you to contemplate the bustle of the city while being in a quiet location. But the hotel also has got a restaurant on the inside called “Hielo y Carbon”. It is a gastronomic restaurant which offers quality dishes inspired by the ice and the coal.
Cereal Hunters Café
The final place where I will advise you to go is called the Cereal Hunters Café. It is a paradise for all cereal lovers where you will be able to try different kinds of cereals such as the Chocapics, Crunch or Reeses’ Puffs. Once chosen, you can add toppings such as KitKat or Oreos and even syrup with honey, maple syrup or fruity ones. Then, add your milk such as semi-skimmed milk, soya milk, almond or even nut milk. Time to play with colours you can choose to tint your milk either blue, red, yellow or green! Now that you’re done, let’s dig in!