Madrid, Spain is one of the best destinations in Europe. Between its thriving nightlife to its legendary art scene and stunning architecture, the capital of Spain has so much to do. With so much to do and see, Madrid should be your next European vacation. Here’s everything you need to know for planning your trip to the Spanish city.
Best Time to Visit
Fall between September to November or spring between March to May are the best times to visit Madrid since the weather is the most pleasant during this time of year. Peak tourist season is in the summer, even though the weather becomes unbearably hot. Keep in mind that many Madrileños close up shop and take up vacations during the summer.
How to Get Around
The best way to get around Madrid is by metro, bus, or taxi. You can also rent a car, but traffic is always bad in the city.
Where to Stay
BLESS Hotel Madrid
BLESS Hotel Madrid is the place to be for a pampering holiday. The 5-star hotel has the Magness Soulful spa which has a dry sauna, Jacuzzi tub, and sensory showers. Other services offered at the spa include facials, massages, and hair removal treatments. There are also several restaurants on-site as well as a 24-hour on-site fitness center that has personal trainers, cardio machines, and a room for e-workouts.
One of the best parts of this small 5-star hotel is its location—it’s just north of Madrid’s city center and within walking distance of Retiro Park, Plaza de Cibeles, and the Prado Museum. The hotel can also set up excursions like horseback riding, golf, or bike tours. For added luxury, private chauffeur services in the property’s Mercedes-Benz around Madrid can be arranged for an additional fee.
Only You Boutique Hotel Madrid
This 4-star hotel is located in Madrid’s Las Salesas neighborhood which has tons of trendy shops, bars, and cafes. On-site there’s a cool book shop, bar, restaurant, and spa. Other perks of the hotel include 24-hour a la carte breakfast, 24-hour room service, and flexible check-in and check-out times.
What to Do
Located in the heart of Madrid, this square surrounded by cafes and bars is the perfect place to order food, people watch, and see street performances. During the holidays there are holiday markets held in the plaza that shouldn’t be missed.
El Retiro Park (Parque del Buen Retiro)
East of central Madrid, El Retiro Park which can be translated into “Park of the Pleasant Retreat” has gorgeous greenery, gardens, lakes, playgrounds, and cafes. Previously the 300-acre park housed Felipe IV’s palace and gardens and it began being open to the public in the late 19th century.
Prado Museum (Museo Nacional del Prado)
Prado Museum, one of Madrid’s most famous museums, opened in 1819 with the encouragement of Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza (King Ferdinand VII’s wife), has 8,600 paintings and more than 700 sculptures. The most famous works include Velazquez’s “Las Meninas,” Goya’s “The Third of May 1808,” and El Greco’s “Adoration of the Shepherds”.
What to Eat
The most popular food in Madrid is Jamón Ibérico, which is a dry, cured ham that comes from Black Iberian pigs. Compared to other hams, it has a higher fat content.
These fried breadcrumb rolls are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. They’re typically filled with cheese, mashed potatoes, and meat.
This Spanish version of fried potatoes is cut into cubes and usually served with a spicy aioli or tomato sauce dip.