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Madrid

Transportation and Accommodations

Getting There

Madrid is home to the largest airport in Spain, making it easy to access from other European countries and further destinations. If traveling from within Spain, it is also feasible to travel to Madrid by train.

Getting Around

Surprisingly, Madrid is quite walkable despite being a larger city in Spain. The main destinations you will visit are centrally located. The park and the palace mark the two ends of the area you will likely spend the majority of your time, and the distance between each end is 45 minutes on foot. Taxis are also affordable if you are looking to save time.

Accommodations

Since many spots in Madrid are walkable, it is important to stay in the city center. A few key areas include Gran Via, Centro, Malasana, and La Latina.

Things to do and see

Royal Palace

Beautiful palace inside and out. Be sure to check the schedule in advance as it can be closed on random days.

Gran Via

Busiest street in Madrid with lots of shopping

The Prado

Famous museum in Madrid with pieces by famous artists including Goya, Velazquez, el Greco, and many more. There is free entry for students with valid ID and student ID.

Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

Art museum and home to El Guernica, a famous piece of art.

Buen Retiro Park

Wonderful park to just wander around

Beer Bike

If traveling with a group, this makes for a unique experience. You can rent a large beer bike that travels on the road. For 9 people, it was 15 euro for a liter of beer or 18 for a liter of sangria. The bike can be more work than expected as you truly must all pedal to make it move. For this reason, 45 minutes is plenty of time for this activity.

Puerta del Sol

Big square with shops nearby

Plaza Mayor

Another large square

Plaza Cibeles

Square with iconic building for Madrid

Puerta de Alcala

Another plaza near the park

Real Madrid Soccer Game

Participate in one of Madrid’s best experiences by going to a Madrid soccer game

Bullfight

If visiting in the proper season, attend a bullfight

Day trip to Toledo

Venture outside the city to a nearby small Spanish town

Food and Drink Recommendations

Food

El Tigre

Unique tapas restaurant with a variety of locations. You pay 6 euros for a drink and get a bunch of tapas plates with your drink. It is not unlimited but quantities are generous. It is very full and you do not sit down to eat, you stand around high tables or the bar.

San Gines Chocolateria

One of the best spots best place to get churros. They serve them warm and you get a cup of chocolate to dip them in if you get the traditional churros con chocolate

San Miguel Market

A great and fun market with lots of different food choices. It is perfect for an afternoon snack or quick lunch. Be sure to try the paella!

Nightlife

El Kapital

A seven-story club with a different vibe on each floor. There is a cover charge to get inside, and sometimes you can get a better deal with a promoter but you are almost guaranteed to have to pay something. Be sure to bring a form of ID as you will not be let in without one.

Other Notes

Duration

Many people have mixed feelings about Madrid. When visiting, go in with expectations that it resembles a US city more than a typical European city. Overall, Madrid has a lot to offer and is a great destination for a weekend. It is easy to get to and other Spanish cities are very accessible from Madrid.

Cost

Madrid is not seen as an overly expensive or cheap European destination to visit. The expenses align to expectations and one can find reasonably priced options without comprising on experience.

Navigation

Transportation and Accommodations

Things to do and see

Food and Drinks