In recent years, Madrid has received a slight facelift. Streets, sights, palaces and museums have been refurbished and are even more inviting. It is said that no city in the world is more vibrant than the Spanish capital.
The Arabs, who once ruled Spain, called the area Magerit – the water-rich land. In 865, Emir Muhammad I established a fortress in the village that was then called Mayrit, which can be translated as “many waterways”. From there, the road is not long until we end up with “Madrid”. This is how it is with language and name.
City break in Madrid
Madrid’s history is quite intense, with a lot of warfare and conquests, different royal houses and rulers. It has given the city a rich and unique starting point as a melting pot, which is reflected in the architecture, museums, palaces, parks and impressive avenues. It is also felt in the people, the food traditions, and in art and culture in general. Therefore, a city break in Madrid will be a very special experience.
One of the best things about Madrid is the pulse and life pattern of its inhabitants. One can get the impression that they never sleep, whether they are bar flies, jazz people or flamenco fans. That is why Madrilenians are often called “gatos”, slang for “cats”. As is well known, cats thrive best in the dark. Madrid is almost open 24 hours a day, so it’s no wonder they need a siesta.
Recommended hotels in Madrid
- Only YOU Boutique Hotel –Superb and quiet 4-star spa hotel. The hotel is for adults only, perfect for couples who want a quiet and relaxed alternative. The hotel has great facilities, with a nice spa, fitness room and its own restaurant. The hotel gets a lot of praise from previous guests who have stayed there.
- Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques-If you want to stay luxuriously when you are in Madrid, this is the hotel for you. The hotel has 5 stars and a high standard with first class facilities. Here we can mention our own spa, several restaurants, a beautiful roof terrace and beautiful rooms. Not the cheapest hotel in Madrid, but in return you get a lot of luxury for the money.
- VP Plaza España Design– Beautiful hotel with spacious rooms and almost perfect location in Madrid. Here you are within walking distance to both sights and shopping. High standard and good facilities.
Travel to Madrid
Norwegian and Iberia Express have direct flights to Madrid several times a week, with flight times of approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes. If you fly with SAS or the other major airlines, you must stop over. With a stopover, you can still get there reasonably quickly, often in about 5-6 hours, if you choose the right company and the right time. Madrid is a popular destination, which means that the competition for travelers is fierce. That’s why you can often find cheap tickets on the search engines, almost no matter what time of year you want to travel.
Stay close to what you want to experience
Choosing a hotel in Madrid is both easy and difficult. The city is big, so you may end up in the wrong place in terms of living close to what you want to experience. At the same time, finding good and affordable hotels in Madrid is no problem. Here is a mini guide you can use as a starting point:
- Stay in the area around Gran Via and Plaza de Espana if you want to see monuments and explore the countless shopping galleries.
- You can also stay in the Barrio Salamanca district if you are completely hooked on shopping. There are the most exclusive brand stores.
- If you want to be a little quieter and greener around you, and at the same time have easy access to the most important museums, stay in the area around El Retiro or Paseo del Prado.
- Stay in the Malasana, Lavapies or Chueca neighborhoods if you want cool nightlife right outside your hotel door.
- If you want to see Real Madrid play a football match, stay in the Santiago Bernabeu business district.
A walk you should treat yourself to
Start at Plaza de Cibeles, then walk on Calle Alcalá so you pass Banco Espana. After about 200 meters, turn left at the Edificio Metropolis building on the corner of Calle de Alcalá and Gran Via. Continue down the approximately 1300 meter long Gran Via. You are now in the heart of Madrid and the city’s best shopping area. Architecturally, this is also a really great part of town.
When you get down to the Callao metro station, Gran Via takes a half right turn. From there, the street goes down to the Plaza de Espana. If you still want to stroll a bit, you can head towards the statue of Estatua de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and then get the Templo de Debod right in front of you inside the park. You can also turn left and then get the Jardines de Sabatini in front of you, before reaching the Palacio Real de Madrid.