- Madrid is home to some of Europe’s best galleries as well as plenty of other attractions, bars, restaurants and more. In order to help travellers decide what to do during a stay in Madrid, we asked you for your insider tips for visiting this city in central Spain over at our Hostelworld.com Facebook page. Here’s what you told us...
Enjoy local favourite ‘churros con chocolate’
Devin Cummins says:
CHURROS CON CHOCOLATE is a must!!! my favorite place to have them is at San Ginés in SOL. cute, adorable, cheap, and delicious. there is always a line to get in, but the wait is so worth it!! mmm, makes me hungry just thinking about it this is a great breakfast or snack for anyone at any time
Chocolateria San Gines is a really popular café with both locals and visitors looking to enjoy Madrid’s famous churros and chocolate. The delicious churros are a little like long, straight doughnuts and are especially tasty when dipped in a comforting mug of rich hot chocolate. A definite favourite, both for breakfast and as a late, late snack after a night out.
Location: Pasadizo de San Gines.
Visit the Museo Reina Sofia
Renan Souza says:
Go to the museum Reina de Sofia on sunday, it's free.
MaryLouise Tucker says:
If you're going to visit Museo Reina Sofia, queue early (before 9am opening time) to avoid long lines later in day.
Dedicated primarily to works by Spanish artists, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is one of the city’s top attractions. Picasso and Dali are just two of the world-renowned artists whose paintings hang on the walls of this breath-taking gallery.
Location: Santa Isabel, 52.
Opening hours: Mon & Wed-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-2.30pm, closed Tuesdays.
Check out the Prado Museum
Alicia Tejera says:
If you wish to visit el Prado Museum, you have to count on at least 3 days, to see it properly, but is worth it.
Solange Petrescu Iusco says:
And to the Prado every evening after 6pm. (free entrance every evening).
A huge number of paintings are displayed in this museum and art gallery which also features drawings, coins, decorative objects and much more. Along with works of art by many Spanish artists, you’ll also see pieces by a number of international artists including Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and Peter Paul Rubens.
Location: Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 9am-8pm, closed Mondays.
Spend some time enjoying the city’s famous tapas culture
Jenna Rosenfeld says:
Learn the culture of tapas and siestas & embrace it. We were completely unprepared for the tradition of light meals in the afternoon, dinner around 10pm and nightlife beginning around 1am.
Susan Kilner says:
Whenever I'm in Madrid, I have to head for Calle Victoria (off Sol) and straight to Casa del Abuelo, which translates as House of the Grandfathers. It has been run by 4 generations of the same family for over 100 years. This small tapas bar specialises in prawns - served grilled a la plancha, or in bubbling olive oil flavoured with chilli, garlic and parsley, or in croquettes - These are three of only six items on the menu. Certainly quality is more important here than quantity! Also famed for its sweet wine from Alicante that accompanies these delicious morsels. Standing only. A traditional bar, where napkins and prawn shells are thrown onto the floor.
Elly Brown says:
Tapas bar El Rocio, Pasaje Matheu, 2 - cheap, authentic tapas with a free jug of wine and the best mussels in town!
Nadia Rinaldi says:
Tapas El Rastro....
Jook Prapassorn Choobutr says:
Museo del Jamón which has something more than HAM, is another good choice to eat, besides it's not that expensive :)
Allison Newton says:
Tapear (go for tapas) down "la cava baja (metro la latina)" enjoy a beer and a tapa in several of the little bars...very very madrileño!
The daily siesta is an important part of Spanish life, and it’s important to remember that the opening hours of most shops, bars and restaurants will be arranged around it. Along with this, it’s important to keep in mind that the nightlife here is a bit different than many other cities, with things really getting going much later in the night. Until things really kick off, you’ll be able to enjoy some delicious food at the numerous tapas bars dotted around the city.
Check out a football game at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Tomaž Menič says:
go and see a football match at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Jessica Grenier says:
Ohh wow Madrid the Santiago Barnabeu stadium to watch a game of Real Madrid :D
One of the most impressive football stadiums in the world, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is home to hugely popular Spanish soccer team Real Madrid. The stadium was initially completed back in 1947 and today the ground can hold over 80,000 people.
Wander around Madrid de los Austrias
Belen Foncillas says:
Have a walk in the Madrid de los Austrias (centre, around the Plaza Mayor). You'll have beautiful sights, wonderful bars to have beer (the best beer in Spain you can have it in Madrid) and tapas, and also nice shops to buy in.
Madrid de los Austrias is another name for the old city centre in and around Plaza Mayor. Here you’ll come across a number of interesting buildings including the Palacio de Santa Cruz, the Iglesia de San Andrés and plenty more.
Invest in a ‘Metrobús’ ticket
Michelle Sultana says:
If u r staying in Madrid for a few days, get a packet of 10 tkts for train journeys as it will work out cheaper than buying singles.
Madrid boasts an impressive metro system which is the city’s most widely used form of public transport, Made up of 11 different lines, the metro is a great way to get around the city. If you’re going to be using the metro quite a bit, it’s a good idea to pick up a ‘Metrobús’ ticket which will cover 10 different metro journeys and save you some money.
Sample Madrid nightlife at La Via Lactia
Dirk 'el Loco' Haage says:
la via lactia, not for diner, but for some nice music and drinks late at night.
Dating back to the 70s, this bar remains one of the city’s popular nightspots. Inside the walls are lined with rock-star posters, while the music is a cool mix of rock and hip hop.
Location: Velarde 18.
Stroll through the Buen Retiro Park
João Matias says:
Parque del retiro without any question....Amazing!!!
Yang Sheng Martín says:
El Parque del Retiro!!
Covering around 130 hectares, Buen Retiro is the largest of Madrid’s parks. This beautiful spot is perfect for a stroll and is home to a stunning collection of flowers including those in the renowned rose garden. Statues, fountains and more can also be seen in this oasis of calm.
Location: Plaza de la Independencia s/n.
Opening hours: Daily from 6am-10pm.
Check out the Mercado de San Miguel
Reda Kisieliute says:
The Mercado de San Miguel - colorful, delicious, perfect for socializing and very local! Similar to Mercat de Sant Josep in Barcelona. A must see..!
Recently re-opened following wide-ranging renovations, the Mercado de San Miguel is home to 30+ vendors selling a large range of fresh foods including fish, vegetables and more. This Mercado remains lively even after the shoppers have moved on to the day thanks to its selection of popular eateries.
Location: Plaza de San Miguel.
Opening hours: Sun-Wed 10am-12am, Thurs-Sat 10am-2am.
Follow any (or all) of the following suggestions for an enjoyable visit to Madrid
Sarah Blanquet says:
If you want to experience a great weekend like real madrileños do, just follow this: First, go to a museum on Saturday morning (La casa encendida, Caixaforum, Mapfre...) and visit a free exposition of the best art. Then walk by Fuencarral, Gran Vía, Plaza de España and Opera. Head to la latina and eat some tapas, and walk in the multicultural streets of Lavapiés. In the afternoon, relax in el Retiro and sleep a little siesta under the sun to get ready for the night. Eat a bocadillo de calamares and go out dancing in the student part of the city (Moncloa). Wait up till 6 am and go to San Ginés for the best churros con chocolate in town. And, before going to sleep again, walk through the streets of the Rastro.
Damien Concordel says:
My tip: Learn how to go out, enjoy yourself, eat and drink your fill... paying hardly anything! For example, wander the streets of the Sol area, run into a guy who'll offer you a free drink in a bar he knows, enjoy that drink, then feel free to leave and do it all over again... Or, take a walk a bit further north to the Tigre (near Santo Domingo metro station), buy a beer and get as much food as you want for free with it. And what's more, it's not the cheap easy and uninviting food one might expect for that price but sizzling dishes of chiles rellenos, steak, Spanish ham, etc. Up by Tribunal you'll find, a half a block down the street from the well-known (and to many overrated) Pacha, a small bar called the Cherokee where a pint-sized cocktail costs about as little as a pint of beer. Nice hangout, plenty of locals, friendly waiters, good vibe... Take your pick!