Where To Stay In Madrid: 8 Of The Best Neighborhoods To Stay In Madrid
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Where to Stay in Madrid: Advice from a local expat and travel blogger about the best neighborhoods to stay in Madrid, Spain!
We created this guide in collaboration with Sam Anthony, freelance writer, photographer and blogger at Alternative Travelers. After spending a year in Madrid in 2014, the city called her back, and she lives in Madrid currently.
Disclosure: This Madrid Neighborhood Guide contains affiliate links. That means we earn a commission when you use the links on this site to book a hotel, buy your travel insurance, etc.. You dont pay anything extra. If youd like to learn more about how this works, you can read more under our Disclaimer page.
Chueca Where To Stay In Madrid For Nightlife
If youre looking for the most vibrant and fun area in the center of the city, let me tell you: Chueca is the right choice for you!
Chueca is located right near Malasaña and its an area full of amazing food places, pubs, cafes and, of course, countless clubs. This neighborhood is also highly LGBTQ-friendly and its the place where Madrids Gay Pride takes place.
Some of the unmissable spots in this area include Plaza de Chueca, Mercado de San Antón and the numerous colorful shops where you can find everything your heart desires.
If youre interested in dancing the night away during your stay in Madrid, here are the best accommodation options in Chueca that you can choose from:
- URSO Hotel & Spa, a Small Luxury Hotel of the World This 5-star hotel located in the heart of the neighborhood is my recommendation for all travelers that want to feel spoiled and enjoy one of the best services out there. Plus, youll be close to many bars and restaurants, as well as Plaza de Chueca!
- The Principal Madrid Heres another amazing 5-star accommodation that offers an impeccable service. Some of the top advantages of staying here include the on-site gym and superb rooms.
Best Places To Stay In Malasana
L& H Gran Vía Selection This aparthotel boasts decidedly cool Instagrammable interiors. The rooms here feature a very design led aesthetic with their wooden floors, neutral color palettes, crisp white linen, and minimalist style furniture theres even cool artwork on the walls to admire. Theyd suit anybody with an eye for design. Choose from a studio or an apartment and then the city is yours. The location here is also pretty amazing: the nearest metro is a mere minutes walk from L& H Gran Vía Selection, and so is the lively shopping, eating and drinking street of Gran Vía.
Leonardo Hotel Madrid City Center Another well connected Madrid hotel , this 3-star hotel is a great place to stay. Though its a modern hotel with facilities to match, the rooms here feature traditional decor and come complete with a terrace or balcony. Leonardo Hotel Madrid City Center is the perfect place to return to after a day of exploring the buzzing Spanish capital, since its set on a quiet, leafy street its almost like returning home.
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Best Hotel In Centro: Mayerling Hotel
The Mayerling Hotel is a great base for first-time visitors to Madrid. It is close to restaurants, bars and Madrids top tourist attractions.
This quaint two-star hotel has a rooftop terrace, a coffee bar, and good-sized rooms. Enjoy modern amenities and authentic Spanish charm in the heart of the city.
Hostel Era Alonso Martinez
If you dont care to stay in a shared room, Hostel Era Alonso Martinez is a good option. This hostel is near Alonso Martinez metro station, but you can have a walk and arrive easily at other places in the city, like Chueca or Malasaña.
They offer free continental breakfast and the reception is open 24 hours.
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Where To Stay In Madrid: Madrid De Los Austrias Is Central And Beautiful
Moving a bit west and a bit south of Sol, youll stumble into Madrid de los Austrias, or Austrian Madrid. If you spot a building with a peaked roof in Madrid, its likely that it was built by the Habsburgs, the Austrian dynasty who occupied Madrid starting in the 16th century. This small area is home to Plaza Mayor and ends around the Opera metro station. More laid back than Sol, but still right in the heart of the action, Austrian Madrid retains a more traditional feel.Plaza Mayor is considered Madrids main square and has seen many major events over its storied history. Expect to pay a bit more for restaurants and bars here, which might be worth the splurge just to enjoy and soak it all in. You can walk from Plaza Mayor to the Royal Palace in about 8 minutes. For a relatively inexpensive traditional tapas and a caña , stop by the well-liked La Ideal on Calle Botoneras, a block south of Plaza Mayor.
Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques
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Chueca Where To Stay In Madrid On A Budget
Best for Trendy Travelers Looking for an LBGTQ Vibe
Chueca is a stylish, trendy neighborhood in Madrid, and is the hub for the cities LGBTQ community. Chueca has loads of trendy cafes, bars, restaurants and shops, and visitors in the summer will enjoy the many outdoor terraces in Chueca. The main square of this neighborhood is Plaza de Chueca. The neighborhood is right in the center of Madrid, and accessible via the Metro, so its a great place to stay in Madrid, with easy access to transportation all over the city. Wondering where to stay in Madrid for the first time, Chueca is the place for you!
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Best Places To Stay In La Latina
Posada del León de Oro Boutique Hotel A great base to explore the lively area of La Latina, youll love staying in this hotel if you like a touch of the finer things in life. The building itself dates all the way back to the 19th century and you can even see the former old wine cellar of the building through the cool glass floor of the onsite restaurant. Getting around is easy, thanks to the nearest metro station being a few minutes walk away, but Madrids main square is also very easily walkable. Great location.
Posada del Dragón Boutique Hotel Posada del Dragón Boutique Hotel is true to its name: this is definitely a boutique hotel, and comes complete with stylish interiors to match. This 4-star hotel is also well connected: youll be at the nearest metro station in under 10 minutes by foot. Theres also a cool Spanish restaurant onsite, as well as a bar to match. One of the coolest things about this place, however, is the fact that its set in a 16th century building that was once a barn. The sense of history is strong here!
Best Places To Stay In Madrid: Luxury Hotels
Hotel Ritz: Opulent and exclusive, the Ritz Madrid offers an experience unlike any other. One of Europes greatest hotels, it overlooks the Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía with the Picasso collection. If you are looking for classy luxury, this could well be your choice.
URSO Hotel & Spa: With its neoclassical façade, grand marble entryway, delicately floral-wallpapered breakfast room, and modern spa, this 78-room former palace adds a gracious note to a quiet side street near the trendy Malasaña and Chueca neighborhoods.
Hospes Puerta de Alcalá: This charming boutique hotel is located on the Plaza de la Independencia, and within walking distance of major sights such as the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía Museum and the Cibeles Fountain. Formerly a 19th century townhouse, the rooms have huge wooden doors and high ceilings although all are different, they are decorated in calming shades of white, grey and purple. Definitely one of the best places to stay in Madrid!
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Best Neighborhood For Families: Retiro
Located on the quieter, eastern side of El Retiro , Retiro is a peaceful district and the best place for taking advantage of the park. Its especially good if you have kids who like verdant, leafy landscapes. The 17th-century park, once owned by the Spanish monarchy, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021.
Best Places to Stay in Retiro
- BUDGET: Ayre Gran Hotel Colón Set further east from the park, Ayres 338 rooms are bathed in natural light. They all have the modern trappings youd expect, such as wireless internet, TVs, safe boxes, etc. Theres also a gym and daily laundry service.
- MID-RANGE: Hotel Claridge Located in the heart of the neighborhood, Claridge has affordable rooms all with the trappings of luxury. Rooms are big, and there are work desks, AC, leather headboards, and nice bath products.
- LUXURY: Hotel Palacio del Retiro If you want extreme luxury in Retiro, youll have to wander across the park to this chic hotel. Rooms have plush king beds, complimentary bottled water, coffee makers, and tubs, and some have outstanding views of the area.
Best Hotel In Malasaa: Ibis Madrid Centro
This great two-star hotel has a range of modern amenities. From massage services to free wifi, it has everything you need for a great stay.
It is conveniently located in Malasana and its close to hip bars, trendy restaurants, and cultural and historic tourist attractions. Enjoy a delicious meal at the restaurant or relax in the lounge bar at this delightful Madrid hotel.
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Chueca: The Gay Heart Of Madrid
Chueca is the gay district in Madrid par excellence and is located next to Malasaña.
Around this neighbourhood, youll find something to do each day of the week since there are hundreds of bars and clubs on Chuecas sidewalks that welcome all members of the LGBTQ community.
In addition, its an easy task to move from Chueca to other places in Madrid since it is connected through metro, including its own station.
Chueca is the best area to stay in Madrid for nightlife if youd like to dance like theres no tomorrow in one its many weekly theme parties, listening to pop hits while tasting avant-garde dishes with fruity drinks. Its up to you!
On the other hand, hotels in Chueca can be very expensive during Pride , and booking a room in advance is recommended if youre planning to visit Madrid during that time.
The nightlife in this area includes:
- Bearbie Madrid
Hand-picked hotels in this area
- Our Top Pick
LGBT-oriented Room Mate Oscar is an elegant hotel located in the center of Madrid, between the Gran Vía and the Chueca neighborhood. There is free Wi-Fi, a rooftop bar and rooms with a flat-screen TV.
What To Do In Madrid
Indeed there are countless reasons why to visit Madrid: visit the numerous museums, go for artisan shopping, tapas gastronomy in Madrid or even hiking.
The main reasons why you should definitely visit Madrid are the following:
- Museums: Madrid boasts a mere infinite number of museums. Even in the 2 years, I lived there, I didnt manage to visit them all. The most famous one is the Museo Nacional El Prado. If you visit only 1 museum in Madrid, El Prado is the one! The permanent collection includes the most important names of the Spanish history of art: El Greco, Velázquez, Hieronymus Bosch, Goya to name only a few. Read more about the best museums in Madrid.
- Food: Madrid is the ultimate travel destination for foodies. Read more about traditional food to eat in Madrid here.
- Theaters: Madrid has one of the most lively theater scenes in the Spanish-speaking world. You should have a decent level of Spanish in case you want to assist one. There is a very broad range of spectacles that you can assist.
- The Teatro Real, opera of Madrid is probably the most spectacular building
- Teatro de la Abadia
- Teatro de la Zarzuela and many more.
- You should also look for the small, private theaters in La Latina and Malasaña neighborhood.
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Where To Stay In Madrid Spain: Our Madrid Accommodation Guide
There are so many amazing options for places to stay in Madrid, from beautiful hotels to diverse neighbourhoods. After spending one month in Madrid and exploring the different areas, here are our picks for best Madrid hotels and where to stay in Madrid Spain
- Hotels In Madrid Under $300/night
- Hotels In Madrid Under $250/night
Where To Stay In Madrid: A Note From Sam Our Madrid Expert
When I first moved to Madrid, I had come from the hectic and fast-paced New York City. Madrid taught me to slow down and savor each moment, and I quickly settled into the laid-back rhythm of the city, relishing sitting in sunny plazas enjoying a café con leche and walking the charming streets. I had come to Madrid as a recent college graduate, and taught English through the popular conversation assistant program through the Spanish government. When my year in Madrid was up, I left, never imagining Id live here again.Fortunately, Madrid wasnt done with me yet! A few years later, Ive found my way back, and currently live in Madrid as a freelance editor and writer while my partner, Veren, teaches English. Together we run Alternative Travelers, a blog dedicated to sustainable slow travel and plant-based eating on a budget.Enjoy your stay in Madrid!
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Best Places To Stay In Madrid: Hostels
The Hat Madrid: Just a 2-minute walk from Plaza Mayor, The Hat hikes up the standard of Madrid hostels with the style of a boutique hotel and lots of good ideas for a comfortable, fun stay without paying silly prices. Sights, shops and restaurants are on the doorstep and there is a groovy bar up on the roof. Unsurprisingly, it attracts all ages.
Sungate ONE: The mixed or female dorms and double rooms are spacious, bright and specially designed for backpackers. All of them are equipped with air-conditioning and lockers. There is a nice common area you can chill out or socialize with fellow travellers and the staff, or make a good use of the fully equipped kitchen.
Ok Hostel Madrid: This hostel is housed in a historical building located in the bohemian neighborhood of La Latina. You are surrounded by restaurants, and tapas bars with La Latina metro station is only 200 meters away. The rooms are painted in a combination of bright red and white and are furnished with pale wooden desks and bed frames.
Suites Barrio De Salamanca
Suites Barrio de Salamanca offers gorgeous, comfortable family suites where everyone will feel at home. They regularly offer special promotional deals for families, and even welcome pets at no additional charge! The hotel is clean and cozy, located in a quiet residential area of the neighborhood with easy access to public transportation.
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Best Airbnb In Paseo Del Prado: Bright And Spacious Home For 4
Located next to Glorieta de Bilbao, the apartment is surrounded by restaurants, shops, and other popular attractions. The flexible check-in and check-out schedule is one of the best things about this apartment. With one king-size and a sofa bed, the apartment is perfect for 3 4 guests. The living room has a large balcony that looks across to old Madrid. The apartment has an open plan kitchen that is fully stocked and a good place to prepare meals and engaged with friends or family. The kitchen has a dishwasher, washing machine, and a fridge.
Best Area: Central District
The Central District is the oldest area of Madrid and it is where youll find the most historical attractions of the Spanish capital.
This district includes the main tourist sites of Madrid.
Among the things to see in the centre of Madrid, youll find the spectacular Gran Vía, Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor and Calle Mayor, just to name a few.
In addition, it is the main commercial area of Madrid and hosts a large number of shops and department stores, especially along the Gran Vía Avenue.
Staying in the centre of Madrid has many advantages, including its proximity to the attractions and its many public transport connections that include the Sol metro station, one of the most important in the city.
The Central District is also the best area to stay in Madrid for foodies since it has the San Miguel Market, where you can taste exquisite varieties of Iberian ham, tapas and other typical dishes of the Spanish cuisine.
What makes this the best area to stay in Madrid
- Heart of the city
Hand-picked hotels in this area
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Best Places To Stay In Letras
Catalonia Las Cortes Set in a historic area of Madrid, this 4-star offering is housed in a beautiful historic building to match. The more expensive suites here even boast original 18th century features, but other than that, all of the rooms at Catalonia Las Cortes are decidedly plush and refined. If youre hungry you dont have to go very far: theres a restaurant here that serves up international cuisine.
Hostal Alexis Madrid This wonderful place to stay in Madrid is closer in all aspects to a hotel than a traditional Spanish hostal. Its new and clean, but a little compact. The central location is a huge plus, however. Its situated right next to the Plaza Santa Ana and is a short walk from the ever bustling Puerta del Sol. Hostal Alexis Madrid is all about its amazing location, but the staff also help make this a great place to stay in Madrid theyre helpful and friendly, making your trip to the capital an even better experience than it could have been.