Madrid Hotels

There are tons of things to do in Madrid!


Take a look at Madrid's top rated and most preferred hotels.

The History of Madrid

Occupied since prehistoric times, Madrid has always been an important settlement on the Iberian Peninsula. Way back into the mid-9th century, Muhammad I of Córdoba established the city by erecting a castle where you can find the Royal Palace today. While there’s no definitive story to how the city got its name, many believed it came from the nearby Manzanares River. Early Muslims called the river “al-Majrīṭ” (Arabic for “source of water”), which through the ages was corrupted into “Madrid.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Madrid Culture

Madrid is a very modern city, and is the leading economic, educational, cultural and technological center of the Iberian Peninsula. It stands in stark contrast to the relaxed, lost-in-time atmosphere of the Mediterranean. Don’t expect to find siestas here; the city is always awake and offering a variety of things to see and do. Despite being so modern, the city offers a wide scope of traditional and historical monuments, some reaching far back into medieval times.

Historical Places in Madrid

To get a quick sense of the history of Madrid, begin with a casual stroll through Habsburg Madrid (“Old Madrid”), the old side of town. Here you will find mazelike, narrow streets adorned with gilded storefronts and lanterns. It’s the perfect place to spend an evening meandering from one traditional tavern to another.

Most notable to the city’s history is the Royal Palace. This beautiful, baroque palace stood throughout the nation’s history and is open to visitors today. The Royal Palace contains a stunning 3,418 rooms constructed from fine, high-quality materials. While the Royal Palace typically charges €11 for admittance, on some days you can enter for free.

If you love experiencing old palaces, don’t stop at the Royal Palace. You must visit El Escorial Palace in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, which is just 45 northwest of the capital. El Escorial is the historical residence of the King of Spain, which completed construction in 1584. Taking 21 years to build, the phrase “la obra de El Escorial” came to be known for something that would take a long time to complete. Buen Retiro Park is a famous garden and the largest park in Madrid. It is one of the city’s most famous attractions thanks to its beautiful sighs and the many events hosted there. Stroll through Retiro Park built in 1505, to view magnificent sculptures and statues throughout. If you’re visiting in the summer through early fall, stop by one of the many free concerts at Retiro Park.

The Best Madrid Hotels

The average cost of Madrid Hotels is about €117 ($141) per day for a couple. Because it’s so close to the city, there are plenty options for hotels near Madrid Airport and hotels in Madrid city centre. Whether you’re looking for cheap hotels in Madrid, Spain or luxury Madrid hotels, there’s an option for any budget or preference.

Notable hotels near Madrid Airport include the Meliá Barajas and Hilton Madrid Airport. Both hotels near Madrid Airport are just five minutes away via shuttle, making them convenient choices for those searching for Madrid hotels within easy reach of their flight. Meliá Baraja offers rooms with a relaxed interior and soundproofed walls, so you can sleep easily without worrying about the sound of planes overhead.

If the most luxurious spots are what you’re after, look no further than the Hotel Ritz Madrid. This gilded building is just a short walk from the city’s hottest museums, including Prado Museum. Feel like royalty in these plush, beautiful rooms, and enjoy a decadent Hotel Ritz Madrid Sunday brunch on your stay.  
The Westin Palace Madrid is another famous luxury option, and is one of the best hotels in Madrid, Spain. It’s played host to many famous clients, including Pablo Picasso, Buster Keaton, Salvador Dali and Marie Curie. It’s well-known for its beautiful baroque exterior, making it one of the best hotels in Madrid in terms of architecture.

Vincci The Mint and Hotel Indigo Madrid are two affordable Madrid hotels that provide great value. You’ll find Hotel Indigo among the hotels in Madrid city centre, right near the Callao metro station. It’s low-key and unfussy, offering a breathtaking rooftop bar and pool to soak in the sights that other Madrid Hotels would be jealous of. Meanwhile, Vincci The Mint is among the most fun Madrid hotels; in fact, its reception desk is itself a bar! 

Hostels provide a budget-friendly alternative to expensive Madrid hotels, and serve as the best option of cheap hotels in Madrid, Spain for younger travelers. The Hat is a stylish hostel with a rooftop bar. They host activities and provide a nightlife guide to help guests enjoy fun activities while remaining safe in an unfamiliar city. TOC Hostel is low-key and informal, spreading a bar, lounge and kitchen area across the entire floor. This ranks it among the best hotels in Madrid, Spain for meeting fellow travelers.

Things to Do in Madrid

There are tons of Madrid attractions throughout the city, from exploring historical sites to many of the leading museums in the world. We’ve already discussed famous historical spots like Retiro Park, the Royal Palace and El Escorial—but what other things to do in Madrid?

What to Do in Madrid

You can’t visit the city without exploring its museums. Prado Museum, Reina Sofia Museum and San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts Museum are the most famous art museums in the city, and serve as popular cultural Madrid attractions. The Reina Sofia specifically houses 20th century art, providing a modern view of Spain culture. Prado Museum and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts feature collections across time; the former serves as Spain’s primary national arts museum.

Football fans won’t miss the opportunity to experience the Real Madrid Bernabéu Stadium Tour. Spanning about an hour and a half, visitors can explore the stadium and view dugouts, the pitch, the presidential box, dressing rooms and more. It’s every fan’s dream!

As one of the city’s first open markets and event spaces, Plaza Mayor is among the must-see Madrid attractions for a lazy day. Offering a variety of shops, tents and fairs, this 15th century square offers plenty things to do in Madrid no matter what day it is.

Madrid Dining

Madrid is well known for its tapas, so you can’t leave without trying one. Enjoy the traditional food from some of the oldest taverns in the city, including Casa Labra and Lhardy. Both make excellent tapas, a testament to their being open for generations. Another popular traditional meal is Spanish rice; try some at La Parrilla de Madrid or Los Arroces de Segis, both of which specialize in this Spanish delicacy. Of course, don’t forget churros! These crispy ropes of fried dough are famous within the region and abroad, and are a favorite pastry in the city. Enjoy authentic churros alongside a thick cup of hot chocolate. Churreria Siglo XIX and Los Artesanos 1902 are two famous and long-running cafes for ordering the snack.

The city’s many food markets are Madrid attractions you won’t want to miss if you want to browse for exotic ingredients and home-cooked meals. Stop by San Miguel Market for a casual place to meet and greet locals while browsing a variety of food and drink.

Shopping in Madrid

One of the best things to do in Madrid is to shop. Whether you’re looking for fashion-forward outfits or unique, handmade treasures, there’s always something special to find in the city’s shopping districts. Cheuca and Fuencarral is a district featuring hip, avant-garde fashion you won’t find anywhere else. For delightful handmade trinkets and crafts, stop by Barrio de las Letras.

If you want a more commercial shopping experience, visit Azca. This shopping mall is stocked with favorite fashion brands, a plethora of food and drink options and more. If you’re uncertain what to do in Madrid on any given day, Azca is a great place to take a breather.

Nightlife is One of the Biggest Madrid Attractions

When it comes to things to do in Madrid at night, nothing compares to city nightlife. This is the Spanish city that never sleeps, full of lively entertainment districts and fun places to dance and party. Huertas is among the popular Madrid attractions for nightlife, with a variety of bars, clubs and music venues. Malasana is similar, but hipper and more bohemian in its clientele; come here for indie, rock and metal music as well as cozier hole-in-the-wall places to drink.

Arts and Music Festivals near Madrid Hotels

One of the biggest Madrid attractions is the city’s art scene. You can imagine that a city packed with art galleries would feature impressive festivals dedicated to the arts. Madrid Art Film Festival attracts crowds ever year to display innovate, modern film—making it one of the prime Madrid attractions for cinema lovers. If you’re big on music, the Mad Cool Festival is a new but already incredibly popular music festival hosted by the city. Its past performers include Neil Young, Die Antwoord and Jane’s Addiction. Madrid Live is another popular music festival hosted at WiZink Center, and is available for just one day. If you love experiencing a foreign city’s culture first-hand, there are plenty things to do in Madrid!