Madrid city breaks

Madrid is a modern capital city that dances to its own rhythm, often until the sun comes up. If you’re looking for people-watching opportunities, find them at one of many scenic pavement cafes. Along the Paseo del Arte, discover more collections of fine and modern art than you can squeeze into one visit. Wander stylish shopping streets, and visit the home ground of one of Europe’s most famous football teams.

Things to do

There are lots of fantastic things to do in Madrid. Visit one of Europe's most famous football grounds, spend an afternoon among beautiful nature in one of the hidden gardens and explore the beautiful designed buildings, iconic artwork and spectacular churches. You're bound to find something interesting to see and do in this vibrant city.

World class art

Madrid is famous for its arts scene, and if this is the reason for your visit then the only place to start is at the Museo del Prado. This historic museum is one of the world’s foremost art galleries, and you can excitedly browse both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Continue discovering the other components of the Golden Triangle of Art and head to the Museo Reina Sofía and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

Great for exploring

Dip into another aspect of Madrid’s culture and make for the famous El Rastro flea market. You might want to leave some space in your suitcase for the fantastic buys you can pick up from the myriad of stalls, especially as the Mercado de San Miguel is another must-see. If all that shopping leaves you needing a dose of peace and quiet then head to the alluring El Retiro Park, and lose yourself in the pretty gardens as you stroll between historic statues and towering trees.

Wonderful nightlife

Madrid has an excellent dining scene that’s perfect if you love eating out. There are countless restaurants to choose from, and you can spend a leisurely evening trying local delicacies or taking your time over some tapas as you sip on Spanish wine. Dance away your meal with a night at a salsa club, before heading to a discoteca to party until the early hours.

Map of Madrid

world_map
25 ℃

Best time to visit: Madrid’s gardens and green spaces tend to be at their prettiest in spring.

View live forecast

2.5 hours

Fly to: Madrid-Barajas airport, around 15km northeast of central Madrid. 

Alternative transport: Madrid is well connected by rail, to France. From the UK, France is easily accessible by Eurostar. Madrid is also accessible from the whole of Spain and Europe by coach.

Madrid is best for...

Art lovers: Wander the Paseo del Arte, Art Walk, to see famous art collections spanning the ages.

Football fans: Walk on the hallowed home ground of one of the world’s greatest soccer success stories: Real Madrid.

Stylish shoppers: Explore Madrid’s network of stylish shopping streets, with labels ranging from trendy high street to high-end designer.

Fast facts for Madrid

Language: The language spoken in Spain is Spanish.

Currency: The currency used in Madrid is the euro (€).

Local time: Madrid is one hour ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Madrid-Barajas airport is around 15km northeast of central Madrid. 

Alternative transport: Madrid is well connected by rail, to France. From the UK, France is easily accessible by Eurostar. Madrid is also accessible from the whole of Spain and Europe by coach.

Flight time from UK: 2.5 hours.

Tourist Information: Further Madrid tourist information can be found at www.esmadrid.com.

Getting around Madrid

Madrid Metro: Madrid’s metro is the fastest and cheapest way of getting around the city. Hop on one of the 12 lines linking the whole of Madrid and some of the suburbs too. Pick up a Tourist Travel Pass for unlimited use of all of Madrid’s public transport.

Bus: For places that the metro doesn’t quite reach, Madrid’s buses do a great job. At your service almost around the clock, during peak hours they run every 4-15 minutes.

Cercanías suburban service: If you fancy taking a trip outside the city, hop aboard one of the cheap and fast suburban trains.

Events in Madrid

Kick up your heels: Held each June, Suma Flamenca is a festival that celebrates flamenco dancing in all of its forms, from the traditional to the modern, to a soundtrack of Spanish guitar.

Street party: Mulafest brings you the best of underground music, theatre, skateboarding, films, breakdancing, custom motorcycles and cars. Held in June, this is the place to sample street food ranging from flavourful Vietnamese noodles to familiar fish and chips.

Celebrate Madrid: Straddling February and March, Carnival showcases Madrid’s imagination, through colourful fancy dress costumes and masks as well as a lively programme of activities.

Madrid safety and security

Visa / health: Before you travel, visit the UK government travel advice for Spain for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Madrid.

Madrid weather

Temperature: July and August see an average temperature of 25 (°c), which decreases to 6 (°c) in January. Thankfully cloudless skies are common during winter in Madrid.

Best time to visit: Madrid’s gardens and green spaces tend to be at their prettiest in the spring. Things can get dry and very hot in summer. While autumn can be wet, it’s a great time to wrap up warm and see the leaves turn a rainbow of golden colours.

Best hotels in Madrid

Similar destinations

Types of holiday in Madrid