Madrid Travel Guide
The ultimate guide to the best things to do and see in Madrid
Spain’s capital and largest city, Madrid is also Europe’s highest city! As home to over 3 million people, there’s always something fascinating going on in Madrid whether its in the arts, nightlife, shopping opportunities or food. Start here with my basic Madrid travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Madrid travel blogs.
When to Visit
Madrid is one of the driest capitals in Europe, so you’re unlikely to experience rainy days when visiting, except perhaps in spring or fall. Because of its altitude, temperatures vary a lot between summer and winter, when it can dip below freezing. Generally speaking, April to October are good months to visit for mild and warm weather, with the exception of July and August when it can get insanely hot!
Besides that, there are several annual events worth coinciding your visit to Madrid with such as the international contemporary art fair that brings together works from more than 25 countries, ARCOmadrid and takes place every February, or the lively flamenco festival, Suma Flamenca in May and June.
Best Things To Do
Eat all the churros! – This typical Madrileño snack, eaten at any time of day, is a must try in the Spanish capital. Best served with a cup of thick, dark hot chocolate for dipping, the most famous place to get these deep fried tubes of deliciousness is San Gines in downtown Madrid.
Window Shopping on Gran Vía – This famous (and very stylish!) street in central Madrid is where all the best shopping opportunities are to be found, as well as lots of great people watching moments! Though just walking up and down peering in the windows of the designer shops can be just as fun if you don’t want to break the bank!
Hammam al Ándalus – After a long day of walking around Madrid, what better way to relax than by soaking in the warm waters of a Moorish hammam? Throw in a massage and let your muscles relax in the mixed steam room afterwards, this place is the perfect escape from the otherwise hectic streets of the city.
Madrid is a big enough city that you won’t be able to see everything in one visit, but by taking a tour you’ll be able to cover a lot more ground more quickly and hit some of the highlights. Take a look at this selection of Madrid tours.
LGBT – Gay Madrid Travel Guide
Spanish cities in general are very gay-friendly, and it’s perhaps no surprise that Madrid is the best of al. Gay-friendly businesses can be found all over Madrid, though many are concentrated in the gayborhood of Chueca in the downtown. These are a few of the best things you should know about visiting gay Madrid.
Madrid Pride – The largest pride event in all of Europe, Madrid Pride attracts visitors from all over the world and consists of a week-long program of free open air concerts, parties and cultural events to celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, centered around Chueca.
Gris – With a great selection of music from the 70s onwards, this alternative place is very friendly even by Madrid standards. There’s also live music ever Saturday night and drinks are relatively cheap.
Cazador – Another hipster, indie bar with low music, so it’s the perfect place to go out with or get chatting to some new friends! Good for some pre-club drinks.
More gay travel resources here.
Madrid Hotel Deals
Madrid has plenty of cool and quirky hotels, as well as all the big chains you’d expect. They’ll likely get full when there’s a conference or special event in town, so definitely consider booking in advance. I’ve found that using Booking.com, Agoda.com or Hotels Combined can be really useful for finding last-minute deals.
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