Where To Stay In Madrid

The ultimate guide of where to stay in Madrid to get the most out of your city break. The city is made up of many districts, each with a distinct style and personality, but this makes it difficult to choose. Discover which barrio is best for you to rent a holiday apartment in Madrid.

The best time to visit Madrid is during the spring, autumn or winter. In the summer, temperatures reach scorching heights which can make wandering around the city unpleasant. Most Madrileños escape the coast during July and August, leaving the unbearable heat behind. For family holidays to romantic breaks, hang out in the coolest neighbourhoods, party like a Madrileño, explore the culture and visit iconic monuments. 

Where to stay in Madrid for couples

One of the best things you can do as a couple is to take a romantic break to Madrid. Spend the day exploring together, wandering down cobbled streets, visiting museums and relaxing in city parks. At night sample the vibrant nightlife, from cosy tapas bars to authentic Spanish restaurants, clubs and roof terraces.

La Latina is one of the best places to stay in Madrid for couples. This barrio oozes romance. With bustling tapas bars, little streets and stunning historic monuments. Discover one of the city's oldest neighbourhoods together. La Latina is one of the most authentic places in Madrid, many locals frequent the cafes and bars here after work. On Sundays and public holidays, El Rastro market pops up. This open-air flea market has stood here for 400 years and is the perfect place to wander around together on a Sunday morning. Pick up everything from clothes and accessories to books and old records. After the market, the terraces in La Latina are the place to be for Vermouth and tapas. 

One of the best things to do as a couple in Madrid is to go to Retiro Park. This spot is the picture of life in the capital. In the heart of the park lies a large lake where you can rent little boats and row around. No couple visits without venturing out onto the lake, risking falling overboard to get the perfect selfie together.

Rent a holiday apartment in Barrio de las Letras, Madrid's romantic literary and art neighbourhood. This area was once home to famous writers of the Spanish golden age and Ernest Hemmingway's favourite spot in the city. Stroll around this district and find quotes from iconic authors mounted in gold on the pavements. This barrio is located between Madrid's most popular museums; Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza - you will also come across little independent art galleries.  

Where To Stay In Madrid For Nightlife

Where to begin with the nightlife in Madrid - the vibrant energy of the city is palpable and can be found in every corner of the city. The nightlife here is not like that of the UK, if you go to a bar before 11 pm, don't be surprised if you're the only one there. A typical night starts with dinner around 10 pm, then on to a bar around midnight, then to the club around 3 am, to arrive home as the sun rises. Party like a Madrileño in the neighbourhood of Malasaña or stand shoulder to shoulder with locals eating tapas in La Latina. For a cosmopolitan atmosphere head to Salamanca, Chamartín or Chamberí.

Rent a holiday apartment in Malasaña to be at the heart of the "cool" neighbourhood in Madrid. From Tribunal to Chueca, if you are looking for the city's hipster vibe, this is the place to be. This barrio is always lively, inviting and up to date with the latest trends. Wander around and you will find a venue that fits your style. There are places with music to suit all tastes, with bars and clubs playing everything from indie to house music. Chueca, the best area to stay in Madrid for LGBTQ friendly nightlife and hosts some of the best pride events in Spain. Unapologetic and liberal, this barrio welcomes everyone to party.  

Las Letras has a more laid-back bohemian take on nightlife. Soak up the arty atmosphere of this neighbourhood with tapas and a few drinks. The pedestrianised areas mean people often spill out of the bars onto the streets where famous writers once walked. Just across from Las Letras is La Latina - the best place to go for tapas and vermouth in Madrid. Many locals frequent the terraces in this area in the afternoons and early evenings. 

The neighbourhood of Lavapiés is fast becoming the new favourite spot for hipsters and young professionals. Understatedly cool and culturally diverse, sip on cocktails in alternative bars and take in the artistic atmosphere. In the second week of August, this barrio celebrates "Verbena de San Lorenzo". The streets are adorned with colourful decorations and the people come together with street dances, costumes, eating and drinking; and in the vicinity of San Lorenzo church, the community celebrates the festival of "Los Mayos" in May - one of the most important cultural manifestations of the Madrid festive calendar.

Salamanca is where the wealthy go to party and the area is often frequented by famous actors and football players. Rub shoulders with Madrid's high-flyers and the social elite. Head to one of the many stylish bars and clubs around Calle Serrano and be prepared for your wallet to take a hit.

Just a few metres from Salamanca, you will find Calle Ponzano in the Chamberí district. This has become the place to go in Madrid for great food, tapas taverns and trendy cocktail bars. This street has been made popular in recent years with city professionals for after-work drinks, particularly on Thursdays and Fridays. This area of the city is also home to some of the best theatres making the nightlife in Chamberí a perfect mix of tradition and elegance.

Some of the best nightlife in Madrid can be found on the rooftops. One of the best rooftop bars in Madrid is The Hat - this trendy hangout is just 100 metres from Plaza Mayor, serving coffees, cocktails, spirits and beers. For a luxury setting to watch the sunset over the city, head to Terreza Cocktail Bar Cibeles. Set on the roof of one of Madrid's most iconic buildings, this venue was once the home of the postal service and now hosts different art exhibitions. 

Don't miss the many music festivals held in Madrid throughout the year. They draw visitors from all over Europe and are ideal if you just have the weekend to spend in Madrid. Two of the most popular are Download and Mad Cool festival.

Family-Friendly Neighbourhoods in Madrid

Madrid is a very family-friendly city. With entertainment opportunities everywhere you go, choose from theme parks, museums, monuments and a spot of shopping, find something for every family member. 

Sometimes children can get a little bored visiting museums and galleries all day. One place where they can burn off some steam is Parque de Atracciones, Madrid. Located just outside of the city centre, choose from thrilling rides to fun shows, you and your family can easily spend the whole day here. 

If you are staying in Madrid's city centre, one of the simplest things to do with your family is to go to El Retiro Park. Take a picnic and spend the day exploring together. Children will love venturing out onto the lake on the boats, running around the gardens and admiring the crystal palace. There are always a number of entertainers in the park too; from artist to dancers, get an ice cream and watch their various performances. 

If you have football fans in your family, take them to visit Real Madrid's home ground, Santiago Bernabeu. The stadium offers guided tours where children can get up close to trophies, see the players dressing room, press room and of course the pitch. 

When travelling with children, you want to be assured that where you are staying is safe. A great option is a holiday apartment in Salamanca, Madrid's city centre. This district is ideal, as it is located to all the major attractions and is considered one of the safest neighbourhoods in Madrid. If you don't want to take your children around all the sights in Madrid, if you visit just one, go to the Royal Palace, a short walk from Salamanca. Explore the lavish halls, banqueting rooms, the throne room, residential areas and large courtyard. 

Best Places To Stay In Madrid For Culture and Sight-seeing

As the capital of Spain, there is an abundance of things to see and do in Madrid. The sophisticated metro system makes the whole city easily accessible and in the centre, you can walk from one neighbourhood to another. All of the neighbourhoods in Madrid have a unique cultural offering, with areas famous for art, museums, bars and shopping. Wherever you choose to stay, you will experience the special atmosphere of life in this vibrant city. 

The Retiro neighbourhood is beautiful and located near one of Madrid's most famous tourist attractions, Retiro Park. Stay here to be closely connected to the rest of the city and to explore all the park has to offer - from the Palacio de Cristal, rose garden, cafes and lake. 

Rent a holiday apartment in Puerta del Sol to be located at the heart of the city. The Puerta del Sol originated as one of the gates in the city wall that surrounded Madrid in the 15th century. Today it is one of the busiest areas bustling with people and is a great place to stay to be well-connected to all of Madrid's tourist attractions. On new years eve, thousands of people gather here and the whole nation tunes in to do the countdown with grapes, bringing in the new year together. This neighbourhood is within walking distance of Madrid's most famous square, Plaza Mayor. Full of terraces, archways and pretty balconies, no one visits the city without stopping here. 

Barrios de Las Letras is the literary, quirky district. It is also the ideal place to stay to be near the best museums in Madrid - located in the art triangle consisting of the Prado Museum, Reina Sofía, and Thyssen-Bornemisza.

Stay in La Latina to experience local life in Madrid. As part of the historic centre, this neighbourhood is comprised of narrow streets, cute squares, beautiful churches and old buildings full of character. This is the place for tapas and vermouth culture in Madrid from late afternoon to until the early hours of the morning. 

Malasaña is the best neighbourhood to stay in to experience the young hipster vibe of the city. Find groups of friends, couples and young tourists milling around the narrow streets, dipping in and out of the cool bars, clubs and vintage shops. Not far from this Barrio you will find the Ancient Egyptian Temple of Debod, donated to Spain from the Egyptian government. This stunning monument dates back to the 2nd century BC. The structure reflects beautifully in the water that surrounds it, especially at sunset. 

If you are staying in the historic centre of Madrid, visit the Palacio de Real. This is the official residence of the Spanish royal family but nowadays is only used for state ceremonies. There are usually long queues to get into the palace, so bear this in mind before you go, especially if you are going with children. But once you are inside, explore the lavish decor, the throne room and royal chapel. Over the other side of this neighbourhood, you will find the monumental fountain of Madrid, Fuente de Cibeles. In recent years, this has become the spot where the Real Madrid football team celebrate their triumphs. 

You don't have to go to the south of Spain to see Flamenco culture. Experience the passion of Flamenco in Madrid. All around the city you will find venues displaying flamboyant flamenco shows. 

Cheaper Neighbourhoods in Madrid

Holidays to Madrid don't have to be expensive, and one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Madrid is also one of the most affordable. Rent a holiday apartment in La Latina to be located near stunning historical monuments and some of the best tapas bars in the city. The barrio of La Latina is where a lot of young professionals from Madrid hang out, with countless terraces and picturesque squares, find jam-packed bars and affordable food. 

Another cheaper neighbourhood in Madrid is Lavapiés. Rent a holiday apartment in Lavapiés, the cool, multicultural barrio in the city. This up and coming part of town is located just south of the centre and a 10-minute walk from Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor. With street art on every corner and bustling bars dotted throughout the streets, this neighbourhood is ideal for young travellers. One of the world's most famous Museums, La Reina Sofia is situated at the edge of this barrio where you can admire the works of Dalí and Picasso. 

Apart from places to stay in Madrid on a budget, there are many free things to do. One of the most iconic landmarks in the city is free to enter - El Retiro Park. Spend a day wandering around the lake, soaking up the lively atmosphere and admiring the Palacio de Cristal. You will see many locals here enjoying picnics with friends and family. Many museums in Madrid also have free entry or have specific hours where you can enter for free. 

A great thing about Madrid is its sophisticated public transport and metro system. Day tickets are fairly cheap and you can easily get from one part of the city to another. Alternatively, explore the history, architecture and unique atmosphere that each neighbourhood of Madrid has to offer on foot. 

Luxury Areas in Madrid

There are many places to rent a luxury apartment in Madrid. The city is comprised of elegant streets, cosmopolitan districts and beautifully groomed parks. Madrid has a rich offering of European art, trendy bars and fashionable restaurants. Some of the most luxurious neighbourhoods in Madrid are Chamberí, Salamanca, Retiro

Rent a holiday apartment in Chamberí - historically known as the aristocratic part of Madrid. This district is characterised by art galleries, swanky bars and up-market restaurants. Wander down the streets lined with stately buildings and breath the quiet and sophisticated atmosphere of this neighbourhood. Head to Plaza Olavide to experience the tapas culture in the part of Madrid - a bustling square full of locals enjoying tapas on terraces. 

Salamanca presents some of the finest buildings in the city. Homes with elegant foyers, facades and interiors. To be near the designer shops, rent a holiday apartment in the district of Salamanca. The luxury street of Calle Serrano is where you will find all the high-end brands and stunning boutiques. Treat yourself to pieces from luxury Spanish fashion houses such as Loewe and Manolo Blahnik. 

Retiro is one of the most sought-after postcodes in Madrid, with its stately homes and majestic buildings. Sitting across from the perfectly sculpted gardens of the Retiro park, this neighbourhood is one of the most lucrative areas in the city. From here there are great connections to the rest of the city for you to explore the main museums and monuments in Madrid.

Shopping in Madrid

No one plans a city break to Madrid without carving out some time to go shopping. One of the most expensive shopping streets in Spain is Calle Serrano - this is where all of the designer shops can be found. Even if high-end brands are not within your budget, it is still worth wandering down the boulevard, admiring the shop windows and to experience the chic ambience. 

Stay in a holiday apartment in the centre of Madrid to be located near the main shopping area of the city, Gran Vía. With 1300 metres of shops, this is where you will find all the main high street brands - ideal if you have packed all the wrong clothes in your suitcase for your holiday to Madrid. 

A huge flea market pops-up every Sunday and on public holidays in La Latinas called El Rastro. This is the place to pick up little treasures and trinkets as well as Spanish souvenirs. You can find everything from clothes to antiques. This market always attracts a lot of people meaning it's often a popular spot for pickpocketers so keep your valuables close to your body. 

The best place for vintage shopping in Madrid is in the neighbourhood of Malasaña. Sometimes referred to as the "hipster" district of the city, here you can pick up vintage clothes and accessories as well as second-hand books, records and antiques. For vintage denim head to The The Storage for all things retro, head to Alphaville

For foodies, there are a number of Mercados in Madrid selling fresh Spanish food. Vendors will welcome you to taste their products. Some of the best are; Mercado de San Miguel in the historic centre, Mercado de la Paz in Salamanca and Mercado de San Antón in Chueca. 

Safest Neighbourhoods in Madrid

In general, Madrid is a safe city to travel to. As it is the case in all cities, it is important to keep your wits about you. This means, keeping personal belongings close to you at all times, and if you are wearing a rucksack, turn it around and wear it on your front as pickpockets do operate in busy areas. At night, keep to well-lit streets and avoid empty streets and un-lit parks. 

Some of the safest areas to stay in Madrid are in and around the city centre, such as Retiro and Salamanca. They are well lit and there are always people around. However, wherever you are, you should feel safe walking around the streets of Madrid. It is not unusual to see police around the parks on horses and in the centre on bikes, they are friendly and approachable. If you find yourself lost or in an area you do not want to be, you can easily hail a taxi that will take you to your holiday accommodation. The people from Madrid are known for being open and friendly, and many will speak some English (if not fluently), if you feel unsafe don't hesitate to approach someone for fear of them not speaking the same language.