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Beautiful architecture in downtown Madrid

Madrid, the vibrant capital of Spain, is renowned for its art, royal palace, bustling markets, and of course, fútbol! Exploring Madrid was an unforgettable experience -from admiring the grandeur of the royal palace to cheering on Real Madrid at a soccer match! Dive into our ultimate Madrid travel guide for all our favorite recommendations when planning your next trip to this beautiful city!


How to Get to Madrid


A trip from Seville to Madrid is an easy 3-hour train ride that offers a glimpse of the Spanish countryside. Alternatively, a 1-hour flight for about $80/person is a quick travel option. Once we arrived in Madrid, a taxi quickly took us to our AirBnB. However, there's plenty of public transportation for a more budget-friendly option.


Getting Around Madrid


Navigating Madrid is easy with major landmarks conveniently accessible by foot or connected by public transportation. If catching a fútbol match is on your agenda, keep in mind that the stadium is located outside the city center. Whether you opt for Uber, taxi, or public transportation, it's well worth it for the excitement of the game.


Where to Stay in Madrid


Malasaña

The Malasaña neighborhood offers art, lively bars, nightlife, restaurants, and shopping.


Our choice was a 2-bedroom apartment in Malasaña. With restaurants, bars, and shopping within close walking distance, it was an ideal spot. This apartment is also within walking distance to Calle Gran Vía with some of the best shopping in Madrid.


Located along Gran Vía, INNSIDE by Meliá Madrid Gran Vía offers luxury amenities with a convenient location. This hotel offers a restaurant, fitness center, and rooftop bar that overlooks the popular street!


Salamanca

Salamanca, an upscale neighborhood, offers high-end experiences in Madrid. Salamanca provides many deluxe hotels, Michelin-starred dining, and luxury shopping. Within this area you can explore the 19th-century boulevards, shop the Golden Mile's high-end boutiques, and visit museums. This exclusive neighborhood isn't within walking distance to top tourist locations, so you will need to take the metro to visit these spots.


Relais & Châteaux Heritage Hotel

A 5-star hotel near the Golden Mile, Relais & Châteaux Heritage Hotel offers a rooftop terrace and a restaurant run by the Michelin-awarded chef, Mario Sandoval.

Photo Credit: Relais & Châteaux Heritage Hotel via Booking.com


Situated near shopping, restaurants, and museums, El Madroño boasts 66 rooms each with a kitchenette. The convenient location and private gardens contribute to a relaxing stay in Madrid.

Photo Credit: VP El Madroño via Booking.com


Things to Do in Madrid


Watch a Soccer Match

We were excited to watch a soccer match during our visit and even more so when we realized it was a rivalry match between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. The energy was unmatched and it was such a fun experience. Tickets were about $150/person, but watching a soccer match in Spain is definitely worth it.


Palacio Real

The Palacio Real is the official residence of the Spanish Monarchy and the largest royal palace in Western Europe with over 3,400 rooms! Although this palace functions as the royal family’s official residence, it’s only used for state ceremonies and it is open to the public. With so much art, architecture, and history, this palace was incredible to explore. We highly recommend the audio tour and purchasing tickets ahead of time to skip the line!


Mercado de San Miguel

This busy food market is a must-visit with a wide variety of food in one area. From sipping sangria to wandering between stalls, it's a great place to explore and people watch.


Shop Along Gran Vía and the Golden Mile

The Gran Vía and the Golden Mile are known for the best shopping in Madrid. Gran Vía is lined with popular retail shops and the upscale Golden Mile offers high-end boutiques. Explore these popular streets while shopping and taking in the historic architecture.


Where to Eat in Madrid


Amazónico - $$$$

This Amazon-themed restaurant is a fusion of Asian, Mediterranean and Brazilian cuisines. We enjoyed dinner at Amazónico with its unique atmosphere, fun cocktails and delicious food. We loved the unique cocktails, tandoori rolls, river prawn with coconut curry, and duck chaufa.


Located in Malasaña, La Mucca offers salads, pizza, burgers, and more! We stopped here for a quick lunch and tried the black pizza with activated charcoal, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives.


You can't visit Spain without trying churros con chocolate -- perfectly fried churros with warm chocolate. Established in 1894, this popular churrería was the perfect spot for us to try this classic treat!


The Ultimate Madrid Travel Guide Takeaways


Coming from Chicago, we were more excited to experience the smaller towns of Spain but loved the city of Madrid! We came here mostly to experience a fútbol match but ultimately fell in love with the city and can't wait to visit again to explore more of Madrid!


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