Madrid is the capital of Spain. It is located at the banks of the Manzanares River and it is best known for its culture and its art. Madrid's nightlife is very boisterous. Madrid is the third largest city in the European Union. Madrid's most famous attractions are the huge museums, the cathedrals, and the king's palace, which is the king current residence, according to the flag on the flagpole outside the building. The city also has a number of well-maintained and large parks. For Music lovers the city offers the world famous flamenco performances and operas.
Monthly Weather Conditions
Madrid has weather that changes throughout the year, but every season has its attractions. The most rainy and snowy days are from November to February but still there are places to visit.
The best months to visit are in the autumn, September to November or in spring from March to May, at these times the city comes alive and the climate is temperate. Peak tourist season is in summer, despite the high temperatures.
More information: Madrid forecast and weather conditions monthly
Madrid 12 most important sights:
- Prado Museum: The Prado has one of the largest art collections in the world, and is best known for its diverse assortment of works by Velasquez, Goya and El Greco.
- Retiro Park (Parque del Retiro): Peaceful urban park centered around a beautiful lake.
- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza): The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum gives visitors an overview of art from the 13th century to the late 20th century.
- Bernabeu Stadium (Estadio Santiago Bernabeu): An all-seater football stadium.
- Royal Palace of Madrid: Luxurious, over-the-top rococo palace with more than 2,000 opulently gilded rooms.
- Mercado San Miguel: The most popular market among tourists in Madrid.
- National Archeological Museum (Museo Arqueologico Nacional): Works dating mostly from Hispanic prehistory to the modern age.
- Cerralbo Museum: Museum that houses the collection of Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa, Marquis of Cerralbo.
- Fundacion Mapfre Recoletos: Small private museum with mostly free exhibitions from known Hispanic painters.
- Queen Sofia Arts Center (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia): World-famous modern art museum featuring a diverse collection of 20th-century Spanish art.
- Plaza de Cibeles: A square with a neo-classical complex of marble sculptures and fountains that has become an iconic symbol for the city of Madrid.
- Madrid Rio: Park
Recommendation for one day:
- First, go to Retiro Park (Parque del Retiro), a peaceful urban park centered around a beautiful lake.
- Visit Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza), which offers visitors an overview of art from the 13th century to the late 20th century. Or go to Adventurous Appetites Tapas Tour for a lot of good food & drink.
- Definitely visit the Royal Palace of Madrid, a luxurious, over-the-top Rococo palace with over 2,000 opulently gilded rooms.
- Sign up for a Bravo Bike-Day Tour, now entering its 15th year providing high quality Madrid cycling tours with e-bikes as well as regular bikes. Their range covers the most popular classic and private sightseeing tours as well as a Casa de Campo (nature) and Full Day City Tour.
- Cap off the evening with a trip on the Winebus, you'll get to enjoy travelling from Madrid to nearby attractive wineries, without having to drive, getting to taste wonderful wines and having a great story to tell.
The recommended accommodation areas for Madrid are:
Cheap area: Plaza Mayor
Central location: Alcalá Street, Paseo de la Castellana
Nightlife: Calle de Atocha, Calle Del Arenal
Compared to prices worldwide, Madrid is an average price destination.
On a tight budget, the daily budget is approximately $43.00, which includes hostel accommodation, budget meals and public transportation.
On a moderate budget, the daily budget is approximately $201.47, which includes a moderately priced hotel, meals at moderate priced restaurants and transportation costs.
- Hotel (2 stars): $59.87
- Hotel (3 stars): $76.75
- Hotel (4 stars): $103.88
- Hotel (5 stars): $218.38
- Taxi ride (3 miles): $11.29
- Taxi ride (6 miles): $18.66
- Beer in a restaurant (16 ounces): $2.79
- Meal, McDonalds: $7.82
- Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant: $11.17
Madrid has been classified as safe with security classification 4/5.
Safety index values (higher is better):
- General: 69.5 (better than United states average 48.9)
- Walking alone during daytime hours: 85.5 (better than United states average 69.0)
- Walking alone at night: 69.0 (better than United states average 41.3)
More information: Madrid safety
Things which affect the renting of the car:
- Driver’s license: In the European Union / Schengen a driver's license from an EU country is sufficient, although for North Americans it is recommended to carry a separate international driving license, in addition to the American driving license.
- Direction of traffic: In Europe the traffic is mainly right-handed. The exception is Great Britain, which is left-handed traffic.
- Insurance: In Western Europe, all rental cars include some kind of insurance, so additional insurance policies are often unnecessary (unless you are going to Russia or Eastern Europe).
- Driving abroad: You can drive a rental car almost everywhere within all countries of the European Union / Schengen territory without additional fees. Eastern European countries and Russia are the exceptions and you should always ask the car rental company in advance about the rules.