- Discover Madrid
The capital of Spain is located at the heart of the country. There are lots of monuments and museums in what is a truly beautiful city. There is also a fantastic nightlife. Drink on one of the many terraces during the hot summers. A good place to go out is Calle Huertas, where there are many pubs, clubs, and restaurants in a small area. Make sure to try tapas.
Plaza Mayor is one of the main tourist stops in Madrid, lined with shops, cafes and restaurants. Statue of Philip III sits in the middle of the square. The Plaza is situated right in the historic centre of Madrid. The square itself was once the place of public executions, bullfights and crowning ceremonies. Today it is just a great place to hang out.
Stroll through the Parque del Retiro, or hire a boat to take on its lake. You may also catch some free open air concerts here during the summer.
The Prado Museum is considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest art galleries. It hosts a huge display of works by major Italian and Flemish artists. The museum itself is in an 18th Century Neo-Classical building.
The Golden Triangle of Art, the Prado Museum, Thyssen Bornemisza museum and the Reina Sofia Museum are located along the Pasco del Prado.
In Cibeles Square you have the famous Cibeles Fountain as well as Cibeles Palace. The Square is named after the Roman Goddess Cybele. The fountain depicts the Goddess in her chariot being pulled by two lions. The beautiful Palace was built in 1909 and is now the Madrid City Hall.
Plaza Toros Las Ventas
Considered the home of bullfighting Plaza Toros was built in 1929, on the grounds of the former bullring that was constructed in 1874. Although highly controversial worldwide, bullfighting remains a proud tradition in Spain and other latin countries such as Mexico and Venezuela. The best time to watch a bullfight would be in May and June, during the San Isidro Fiesta.
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
The Bernabeu is home to the most successful club in European Cup history, Real Madrid. You can take a tour of the stadium where you can visit the trophy room, dressing rooms, the bench and pitch.You can get the metro to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium station.
Running from Plaza de Alcalá square to the Plaza de España Gran Via is Madrid's most famous and central street, full of shops, hotels, restaurants, cinemas and more. The buildings along this street are very impressive.
If you want to catch a Flamenco show get some food in the Corral de la Moreria. There are many bars around Madrid that host Flamenco dancing but the Corral is one of the best.
Barajas airport is 12km north east of the city. It’s a very large airport and most major airlines fly in here.
Flight times to Madrid
Dublin 2 hours | London 2.5 hours | Hong Kong 13 hours | New York 7 hours | San Diego 11.5 hours | Sydney 21.5 hours
International trains from Lisbon in Portugal, Milan in Italy, Paris in France and northern Spain arrive into Chamartin Station whilst those from the south arrive into Atocha Station.
Estation Sur de Autobuses is the main departure and arrival point for international buses into Madrid, but there are many large bus stations in Madrid so know where exactly you are arriving into.
Getting from airport
You can take the airport express to the city centre. There are three stops, O’ Donell, Plaza de Cibeles and Atocha. The bus runs every 15 minutes during the day, every 35 minutes at night and will take a little over half an hour. Tickets cost €5, buy on board.
The metro offers a very quick way of getting to the city centre, around 10 minutes. Trains leave from Terminals 2 and 4 every 5 minutes.
To get a taxi, go to the taxi ranks outside the terminals, do not accept a lift from drivers who are hanging around inside as you may get ripped off. It should cost you around €25 to the centre of Madrid.
There is an excellent metro system in Madrid, easy to use and cheap. The most you will pay one way is €2. You should consider buying a 10 trip metro ticket if you are staying a few days. These cost €12.30 and can be used by more than one person. The metro runs from 6am to 2am.
Bus tickets cost €1.50, and you can also use your metrobus ticket on them. An alternative would be to take a hop-on hop-off tour. These cost €21 per day.
Taxis can be hailed on the street or at one of the many taxi ranks around the city. Make sure the meter is turned on. Official taxis will either be black or white with red bands.
Madrid is a lively and safe city with the main problem being thieves and pickpockets. Be careful on busy trains and public transport. Don’t let yourself become a victim of distraction scams. Leave most of your valuables, cards and passport back in the hotel safe if possible.