Madrid Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Madrid. How to get there and more…
The third largest city in the EU, Madrid is the modern European capital, imperialistic renaissance and sleepy suburbs. And as you move between those three personalities you’ll start to get the feeling that Madrid is different from its Spanish sister cities. There’s a formality, a refinement, an imperial polish that doesn’t exist anywhere else in Spain.
How To Best Get From the Airport to Central Madrid
Madrid is served by Adolfo Suarez Airport. One of the biggest airports in Europe. The Madrid airport is extremely well connected to Madrid itself.
Line 8 of the city’s excellent metro system goes right to the airport. And the local commuter rail service goes from central Madrid directly to Terminal 4 at Adolfo Suarez Airport.
The metro ride from the Airport to Nuevos Minestereos station, where you can transfer to the other metro lines takes 25 minutes and costs just €5. The airport has two metro stations, so check the map for which station is closest to your Terminal.
While you can take a taxi from the Airport into Madrid, unless you’re trying to reach a corner of the city where the metro can’t reach or you have a lot of luggage – it’s hard to justify that €30 flat rate fare commanded by the cities legion taxis.
Nevertheless if you fall into one of those categories you can grab a taxi just outside the Terminal.
Beware of Madrid’s taxi drivers. Madrid taxi drivers don’t have the best reputation. They could take routes that are much longer than they need to be. And if you’re paying with a credit card, be aware so that they don’t charge you twice for the ride. A cheap trick they use to make an extra buck and your ride twice as expensive.
As of November 2019 you will be able to take an Uber or Lyft in Madrid, after many years of strikes and protests from the local taxi drivers, Uber is finally operating in Madrid too. And that’s of course a cheaper option and also a safe option to not get scammed, since Uber gets paid online and through your account.
Enjoy The Great Public Transport in Madrid
Due to the sheer size of this country and of course the joys of rail travel in continental Europe, you can very well be arriving in Madrid by train. And arguably the best, easiest, and most comfortable way to get from Madrid to Barcelona is by train. The ride takes just 2,5 hours.
And if you’d like to take that trip, you’ll be arriving at Atocha Station. As with so many European central stations, public transport is integrated into the station itself. So you can jump on the metro to your final destination with ease.
Speaking of the metro, Madrid has the second largest metro system in Europe, only behind London for sheer scale of reach. The Madrid metro truly is excellent. It’s cheap, it’s safe, it’s clean, it’s relatively efficient. It is by far the best way to get to almost every corner of this city.
A single journey on the metro costs between €1.50 and €2 depending on distance. And you can buy your ticket from the multilingual ticket machines located throughout the stations. The machine will also sell you a 10 trip pass as well. And don’t forget that your metro ticket is also valid on the city’s extensive bus network.
Finally, if you feel like you will be moving around the city a lot while you’re here – the tourist pass is well worth looking into. It’s valid for all of the public transportation: the metro, buses and local trains across the zones A and T. The tourist pass can be purchased in increments of 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 calendar days.
Best Places To Stay in Madrid
Madrid is reasonably priced when it comes to hotels and there’s an overwhelming amount of great hotels in the city center. The prices are almost identical to AirBnb and therefore renting a hotel can be prefered. Hotels start at €40 per night, with a mid level hotel at €100 per night and a luxurious hotel in the city center costs €200+ per night per.
Recommended hotels are:
Cheap: The Hat €40 per night
Medium price: Erik Vökel Madrid Suites $100 per night
Luxurious: Gran Hotel Ingles €215 per night
Forget About Your Beach Body While In Madrid, Enjoy The Food and Drink Culture
Taverna’s are neighborhood hubs found all over Madrid. You’re never far away from a refreshing beer and a complimentary snack. And each one will have a specialty. Chicken wings, tapas, tortillas, calamares.
Spain is a society that celebrates and circulates around food. Food is the excuse to socialize with people in Spain.
That’s how people engage and so the bars allow the locals to gather with their friends after playing football and go and have some beers after.
Like in Ireland it would be a pub. In Madrid and Spain there’s the Taverna’s. A Taverna is like a bar where the major currency is food.
Every neighborhood has their two or three bars that everyone in the neighborhood knows.
The people of Madrid choose the bar based on the food. How much free food they give you, what kind of tapas they give you. How good the tortillas are in that place.
Bocadillos are one of the local foods you’ll find in Madrid. It’s like a baguette bread roll with all kinds of ingredients. From meat to fish, to omelett to vegetables and even calamares. It truly won’t be hard to satisfy your taste buds when in Madrid.
Locals usually don’t eat much breakfast but in Madrid everyone usually stops at 11.00 and goes from the office to have a snack, like a bocadillo because they serve lunch around 14.00 or 15.00, which can be seen as quite late compared to most places.
Spain is known for its excellent wine culture, they also have great drinks and beer. Madrid will leave you filled up and satisfied.
7 Places You MUST Visit In Madrid
- The Prado
One of the worlds best and most popular art museums, here you can experience Spanish artists like Velazquez and El Greco, and also Rembrant, Brueghel among other world class art.
2. Retiro Park
Just a few steps from the Prado is the stunning Retiro Park. Up until the 19th century it was royal property before opening up to the public. Enjoy the pond, monuments and beautiful architecture in the sun.
- Royal Palace
Magnificent in itself, you only have to look at the building to get filled with history and times long gone. Built in the 1700’s when you go into the Royal Palace you’ll experience the royal collections and frescoes.
- National Archeological Museum
Spain’s rich history is displayed in this gorgeous building. With some treasures and sculptures that are over 2500 years old, take a trip back in time and soak it in.
5. Puerto del Sol
This grand square is a popular meeting place that almost every spanish person recognizes. On every New Years eve the clock on the square is televised as the countdown for the new year begins.
- Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Football fan or not, if you’re in Madrid you can’t miss out on the majestic 85.000 seater home to Los Blancos, Real Madrid. A guided tour will get you into the stadium and dressing rooms and get a feeling of the history of this legendary stadium and club.
- Gran Via
This Madrid’s centre where entertainment, shopping and culture all blend together. In the day time you’ll find shopping and at night people come in and out of cinemas, musicals and nightclubs. This place never goes to sleep.
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