Updated: May 29
Madrid is the capital of Spain, and it is a city filled with lively street life, delicious food, and much more. Madrid is rich with its culture and even though it doesn’t have beaches like Barcelona, it is still worth a visit. I’ve lived in Madrid for almost a year and it is a must visit, you will find a lot of different things to do, and you will get to enjoy the life of the Madrileños.
1. How to Get Your Visa for Spain
5. Best Time to Visit Madrid
2. 10 Reasons Why to Visit Madrid
6. Accommodations in Madrid
3. How to Get to Madrid
7. Best Cafes & Restaurants in Madrid
4. How to Move Around Madrid
How to Get Your Visa for Spain
You can get the visa by going to the embassy, or visiting the official website, or getting it with an agency like iVisa. iVisa provides 100% online travel documents such as: Visas, health declaration forms, embassy registrations, passport photos, passport renewals, tourist cards, and other travel documents. It is the simplest solution to process your travel visa.
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10 Reasons Why to Visit Madrid
1. Amazing Architecture
If you love architecture then you will definitely love Madrid, every step you take there you will be surrounded by mesmerising architecture. Madrid is general is a pedestrian friendly city, so you will be able to enjoy the beautiful buildings on foot to take it all in. The most famous place to visit is Plaza Mayor which is basically an open area that is surrounded by amazing buildings. You can also go see Palacio de Cibeles or Palacio Real.
2. Its Nightlife
Madrid is known for its nightlife, in general people in Spain tend to stay up later that the rest of Europe, for example restaurants open for dinner from 21:00 until 23:00, so during the weekends people stay out later than that. So, if you love nightlife, then you will love Madrid, and it is completely safe to walk around the city at 03:00 or even later than that. Be aware that public transport such as the metro close around 02:00 and 02:30, so if you are planning to stay out later than that, then know that you will need to order an Uber or a Cabify.
3. Delicious Cuisine
Spain is known for its delicious cuisine, and I know I keep saying this, but in my opinion one of the best ways to explore and get to know another culture is through its cuisine. Spain is known for its amazing and incredible tapas, and you will be able to find some amazing hidden tapas bars in Madrid. If you aren’t sure where to start, you can always go on a food tour ;) You can book a tour through GetYourGuide or even go on unique culinary experiences through EatWith.
4. Balance Between City & Nature
Madrid is a big city and crowded as well since it’s the capital of Spain, but you can still spend a lot of time in Nature since Madrid is filled with a lot of great parks where you can rewind and relax. You will find a lot of green spaces that are scattered around Madrid such as Retiro Park and Madrid Rio.
5. The Capital of Art
Madrid is know for being the capital of art, since there is a Golden Triangle that consists of the Prado, the Thyssen Museum, and the Reina Sofia Museum, which are all within walking distance from each other. The Prado is a beautiful museum that has some of Spain’s most famous art pieces, while the Thyssen Museum shows the history of art since the 12th century, so if you love art, then you will definitely love Madrid.
If you love shopping then you will defiantly love Madrid. You will find a lot of different stores and famous brands so you can enjoy your shopping, and you will also find a lot of lovely little boutiques that are hidden, point is there are many options that suits all tastes. The main streets for shopping are Goya, Velazquez, and Ortega y Gasset, and these are the streets with a mixture of high-street brands and luxury brands, but if you are looking for boutiques, then Fuencarral street and the district of Chueca are your go to options.
7. Rich History
Madrid is known for its rich history which I would say you should read about before visiting, but this should be said about any place you plan to visit. When walking around and exploring the city of Madrid, this will become evident especially when visiting places such as Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Cibeles, Temple of Debod, and many other places.
8. Amazing Transport
I lived in Madrid for almost a year, and I’m not joking when I say that it has one of the best public transport in Europe. It is efficient, easy to use, and clean, in comparison to other major European cities. The metro is a great way to move around the city, and everyone uses it, and you won’t get lost since it is easy and pretty straight forward, so you will easily switch from one line to another and can reach your destination.
Madrid is actually not expensive in comparison to other European capitals, so if you are travelling on a budget, then Madrid should be an option for you. Things in general are a lot more cheaper that other European capitals, which includes accommodation, transport, food, restaurants, bars…etc. Also keep in mind, that your trip to Madrid can be luxurious, it simply depends one where you stay, where you go, and what you do.
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10. Energetic City
Besides its nightlife, Madrid is actually a lively city, I honestly often wondered when do people sleep, it is always awake. It doesn’t matter if it’s the weekend or just a regular busy week day, you will find people out in the streets, having fun and enjoying life, it is an energetic city.
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How to Get to Madrid
The best & easiest way to reach Madrid is by plane since it has an international airport, Adolfo-Suárez Madrid Barajas Airport, since it is a large international airport, you will be able to find a lot of flights depending on where you are. Also, if you are in Europe, you can easily find train and buses through Omio, FlixBus, and Kiwi.com.
I like to use Omio to find either buses or trains in Europe, and if I am looking for a flight I would use WayAway to find cheap flights. You can also use this promo code - TP-385219 - for WayAway Plus or you can directly visit this link! (You will get 10% off WayAway Plus subscription!)
How to Move Around Madrid
To move from the airport to the city or to your accommodation, it is pretty easy and straightforward since the metro is connected to the airport, after claiming your baggage, simple follow the metro sign at the airport and from there you will find ticket machines to get your ticket.
Madrid is actually a pedestrian friendly city, and it is not an extremely large city, so you can definitely explore most place on foot, but you can use public transport, and it is actually easy and good. I lived in Madrid for a year and it has one of the best public transport in Europe, it is convenient and easy to use, so you won’t get lost and you will be able to move from one place to another easily using the metro or even the bus.
Best Time to Visit Madrid
Madrid weather is actually pretty contrast since the winters are really cold and the summers are really hot and dry. People who live in Madrid tend to go to the coast during the summer, so try to avoid that time because the heat is unbearable, and because of this, the city becomes quiet and also most places might be closed such as restaurants. The best time to visit Madrid would be during spring or in September and October. If you’re okay with the cold, Christmas will be a great time for you to visit, as you will get to see the Madrid lights and the Christmas Markets during that time.
Accommodations in Madrid
There are a lot of amazing neighbourhoods in Madrid, my favourite is Lavapies since it is multicultural and lively. You will find a lot of different options which will suit your budget no matter what it is. Most people tend to stay in Salamanca since it is the central area but it is a little expensive. You can easily find a hotel through Booking.com, or if you prefer you can stay in a hostel and find one through HostelWorld. Other options to find accommodation are through Agoda, Trivago, Oyo, and Hotellook.
Best Cafes & Restaurants in Madrid
Agrado Café (Coffee & Cakes)
El Perro De Pavlov (Coffee & Cakes)
Honest Greens (Vegetarian & vegan options)
Samara (Egyptian cuisine)
FOUR (Great lunch option)
Grosso Napoletano (Pizza)
Nina Pasta Bar