Where to Stay in Madrid—Best Areas & Accommodations

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Traveling to Spain and looking for where to stay in Madrid? This guide has all the details you need to know about the best neighborhoods and hotels. 

As the capital of Spain, Madrid has stolen the hearts of most of the travelers that come here, including my own! You’ll quickly become obsessed with the culture, the architecture, the history, and, of course, the tapas!

Since Madrid will keep you busy the entire time you’re there, make sure you have a safe and comfortable place to rest your head at the end of each night. With an abundance of hotels, apartments, and hostels, finding a place to stay in Madrid is easy. 

And with this guide, booking the perfect place is even easier!

phillip square in madrid, king philip riding on a horse statue right in the middle of the square

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Best Madrid Accommodation—Quick Guide 

Need a place to stay quick? Here are my top three picks from around the city. 

BudgetOK Hostel Madrid: One of the best things about Madrid is that there are tons of hostels for the young budget traveler to choose from. OK Hostel is also one of the best areas to stay in Madrid because it’s right in the city center. They have private rooms and dorm rooms with four and 6-bed options. There is also a lounge and a kitchen. 

Mid-RangeRadisson Blu Hotel, Madrid Prado: If you’re looking for where to stay in Madrid with your family, this is the perfect place. The large suites with kitchenettes are perfect for families needing extra space. There is also a tapas restaurant on site. It’s within walking distance to the Reina Sofia Gallery. 

LuxuryGran Hotel Ingles: This beautiful hotel is set in an old 19th-century building within walking distance of Puerta del Sol and many museums. The breakfast options are amazing, with both hot and cold options. There is also a cocktail bar on site. 

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Centro & Sol

I put these two neighborhoods together because Centro has a lot of the main attractions, but most of the hotels there are expensive and not great. However, Sol is still considered to be the city center and is where most tourists stay when visiting Madrid for the first time. 

You can easily walk to places like the Royal Palace. You can also find endless opportunities for restaurants and shopping without needing to hop on the metro. 

BudgetCats Hostel Sol: If you want a cheap place to stay in Sol, this is the place to book. It’s one of the best places to stay in Madrid for young travelers because they offer free Wi-Fi and they have an on-site nightclub. This hostel is special because it used to be a 17th-century palace and has been converted into this super cool hostel. 

Mid-RangeHotel Regente Madrid: This is a nice basic hotel within walking distance of many important places like the Royal Palace and the Plaza Mayor. They also have suites that add a sitting room with a pull-out bed if you’re traveling with a family or a large group. They have a cool cafe and a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning. 

LuxuryHotel Moderno Madrid: For an elegant and luxurious stay in Madrid, I recommend Hotel Moderno Madrid. All the rooms have air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and TVs. The hotel is right next to Puerta del Sol, so it’s very centrally located. There are also numerous tapas bars and restaurants just around the corner. 

metro sign in madrid showing the stop for sol neighborhood, areas in madrid, hotels in madrid central, madrid where to stay

Madrid de Los Austrias 

There are two main reasons why I recommend this area when visiting Madrid. The first is that the architecture is very different since this area of the city was constructed while the Austrian Hapsburgs were controlling Spain. 

Another great reason to stay here is that it’s very central but generally has fewer tourists. You can still walk to many places, but you will need to take the metro to other places. On the metro, most attractions are only a few stops away. 

BudgetHostal La Perla Asturiana: Although this hotel is pretty basic with not many amenities, the location makes staying here worth it. You’re right in the center and can walk everywhere, whether the local tapas bars or Plaza Mayor. The hotel also has free Wi-Fi and air conditioning, which is a bonus for coming during the hot summer. 

Mid-RangeOriente Palace Apartments: These lovely apartments are just a one-minute walk from the Royal Palace. If you don’t want a full apartment, they also have regular rooms you can book. When you exit the apartments, there’s a metro station and plenty of restaurants on the main street. They also offer complimentary breakfast every morning. 

LuxuryPetit Palace Plaza Mayor: This elegant hotel is probably the most centrally located hotel in the neighborhood. You can get to Puerta del Sol and the Royal Palace in about 5 minutes. If you’re interested in local food or souvenirs to take home, you should also check out the San Miguel Market right across the street. 

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This neighborhood has a great mix of locals, expats, and tourists. Many expats live here because there are many coffee shops, and most have Wi-Fi. It’s a very trendy neighborhood, with boutique shops and vintage stores. 

Although it’s a little further away from the attractions and central part of town, you can easily take the metro everywhere. Accommodation is also a bit cheaper here, which helps those who might be on a budget. 

BudgetHostal Charlotte Gran Vía: This is a great budget hotel with free Wi-Fi and free breakfast. They have a small restaurant on site with local dishes, and the nearest metro station is just a few minutes away when walking. 

Mid-Range7 Islas Hotel: This hotel is in the middle of Malasaña. The metro station is right around the corner, making getting around the city easy. The rooms are very elegant, with marble bathrooms. If you can, get a room with a terrace to see beautiful city views. 

LuxuryINNSIDE by Melia Madrid Gran Via: I love hotels by Melia and always try to book one when traveling. This one is no exception. They have an exceptional complimentary breakfast, including a buffet option or a la carte choices. 

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Top Things to Do in Madrid

If you’re done chilling in your hotel for the day, make sure to hit the streets of Madrid. Here are the best activities not to miss. 

  • Check out the Prado Museum. This incredible museum has one of the largest art collections in the world. The building itself is also beautiful. Admire the outside before heading in and checking out all the exhibits. 
  • Walk around Parque del Buen Retiro. This park is massive and really special. Even though it’s right in the middle of the city, you feel like you’re out in nature. Make sure to walk around the Rose Garden and check out all the monuments and statues inside the park. 
  • Tour the Royal Palace of Madrid. Make sure to head here right after breakfast before it gets too busy. The palace is still the royal family’s official residence, although it is mainly used for ceremonies. 
  • Do a walking tour. Walking tours of Madrid are one of the best ways to see all the sites and get some information from an experienced guide. Many walking tours are free, but you can also go on a paid one with a local lunch! Whether you choose a free one or not, tip the guide!
  • Check out the art exhibits at the Reina Sofia Museum. Although smaller than the Prado Museum, these exhibits are worth seeing, especially if you enjoy 20th-century art. It has pieces of artwork from many famous artists, including Picasso. 
aeriel view of the royal palace where you can see the palace layout, things to do in madrid

How to Get to Madrid

Madrid has a large international airport (MAD). You can find flights to here from all over the world, but you may have a few connections depending on where you are coming from. 

It’s also very easy to fly into Madrid’s airport directly if you come from elsewhere in Europe. 

If you’re already in Spain or a close European country, you can also take a train or bus to Madrid. Although it takes longer, it’s often much cheaper and a good option for budget travelers. 

How to Get Around Madrid

The best and fastest way to get around Madrid is by using the metro. It’s super easy to use and goes everywhere in the city. You can even catch a metro to the airport and to the surrounding suburbs. 

Most metro lines run well into the night and early morning hours. They come every few minutes during the daytime and evening, so it’s convenient. 

Madrid also has many other transportation options, including the bus system, taxis, and bike rentals. 

When to Visit Madrid

Madrid has pretty cold winters and can have very hot summers.

When I visited during the summer, they had an especially bad heat wave. Most apartments and restaurants do not have air conditioning. So, locals and travelers overcrowd the shopping malls where they can sit in the A/C, which is not a pleasant way to spend your vacation. 

For the best weather, come to Madrid in March to May or September to November. You can also come in the winter if you want cheaper hotel rates, and don’t mind wearing layers to keep warm!

What area is best to stay in Madrid?

Centro is the best place for first-time visitors who want to be close to all the tourist attractions. Hotels are more expensive in this area, but you can definitely save money on taxis and metro tickets because you can walk everywhere. 

red building in centro madrid, spanish architecture, people in the streets walking and shopping

Where to not stay in Madrid? 

If you’re traveling as a family or like to avoid noisy nightlife, I recommend staying away from La Latina. While the abundance of clubs and bars is great for some, many people find it too loud. 

Centro/Sol is my top recommended neighborhood, especially for those who want to be close to everything. However, some areas are not well-lit and a bit sketchy. 

In general, the closer you are to the main attractions, the better the area is, so always look at a map before booking anything. 

What are the safest neighborhoods in Madrid? 

While everyone wants to ensure they stay in a safe place while in Madrid, safety is especially important for solo travelers and those coming with kids. 

The areas in Madrid with the lowest crime are Retiro and Chamberí. Even if you stay in these places, you still want to ensure you are being cautious, just like you would in any city or country. 

Is Madrid safe to walk around at night?

Madrid is generally safe both for locals and tourists. Violent crime is rare, but petty crime has increased in the last few years. 

The most common crime is pickpocketing, so always keep your belongings close. 

Where to Stay in Madrid: Book One of These Amazing Places!

I hope this guide helped you know exactly where to stay in Madrid! As a large city with many different neighborhoods and hotels, most people need some guidance on the best places to stay in Madrid because there are too many places to choose from. 

Make sure to book one of the amazing places from this guide, as you’ll be sure to have a cozy and safe place to chill out after a long day of walking around and touring. 

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