Locals Guide: My Favorite Neighborhoods To Stay In Madrid
After calling Madrid my home for almost 2 years, in several neighborhoods, I want to show you my favorite neighborhoods and places to stay in Madrid according to the expectations of your visit.
You can also find here in this Madrid neighborhood guide where to stay in Madrid with family.
In order to give those queries a detailed answer, I decided to write this in-depth guide on where to stay in Madrid Spain.
Accommodation places are categorized by location and budget, each time in the best neighborhoods in Madrid Spain.
So before you head to Madrid, first you need to decide if you want a cultural city trip, a quiet city break, luxury holidays or outdoor adventures. Because you can even go skiing in Madrid!
The opinions of this post are based upon my professional experience in the Spanish tourism sector and upon my stay in Madrid during which I visited numerous hotels.
In total, I lived 2 years in a row in Madrid but visited several times before and after.
Altogether I stayed in Madrid for a minimum of 3 years, so I am comfortable saying these are the best places to stay and live in Madrid, Spain!
Best Neighborhoods In Madrid For Airbnb Stays
Do you want to explore Madrid like a local? Then, there is no better way than by staying in an Airbnb.
In the last years, plenty of cool AirBnBs are popping up with amazing options for Madrid holiday rentals.
There is an Airbnb in Madrid for any budget which makes it the best area to stay in Madrid for tourists.
Whether you are a backpacker or a stylish interior design is important for you, there is an Airbnb in Madrid that will suit your needs.
The best AirBnBs can be found in the neighborhoods of Malasaña, La Latina and in Centro.
Best AirBnBs in Madrid
- Best Airbnb in Madrid for Luxury TravellersLuxury Aprt. Trendy Chueca
Retiro Best Neighborhoods In Madrid For Families
Similar to Salamanca, El Retiro is a very elegant district comprised of various distinguished and exquisite neighborhoods such as Estrella, Pacifico, Ibiza, and Adelfas. This is a very family-friendly district anchored by the El Retiro Park, which is one of the greenest places in Madrid.
Cibeles Plaza and the Atocha Train Station are two places you must visit here, but once you venture a few blocks east towards the Marroquina district, you will find even more green spaces, parks, and botanical gardens.
On the other side of the El Retiro park, you can tour landmarks such as the Naval Museum, which has a fascinating exhibit on the discovery of the Americas.
El Retiro is often mentioned on celebrity gossip websites because Hollywood stars are known to either spend some vacation time or purchase a seasonal apartment here. With this in mind, there are many long-term rental opportunities here, but some of them are located within mansions and can be quite pricey.
Some hostels are in the periphery of the district, and they are priced accordingly. When luxury is at the forefront of your decision where to stay in Madrid, you will want to evaluate the hotels located on the western end of El Retiro, for they are among the most well-appointed in the capital.
Of all the areas to stay in Madrid, this one is one of the most peaceful.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN RETIRO
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A Quick Primer On Madrids Geography
Before we jump into specific places to stay in Madrid, we think it would be useful to take a step back and talk about the layout of the city.
It makes sense to start with medieval Madrid, which is the area around Plaza Mayor in the center of the city. Madrid was founded by the emir of Cordoba in the 9th Century, though there is evidence of people living where the city stands today well before that. At that time, the main center of power in the area sat in Toledo, so Madrid was little more than a fortress on a hill.
In the 16th Century, Philip II decided that he liked Madrid, and opted to basically move the capital of his empire from Toledo to Madrid. And it has been that way ever since .
Today, Madrids growth has continued for centuries, transforming it from a humble fort-town into a huge city the biggest in Spain.
To understand Madrids geography, its helpful to think about the city split into halves, bisected by Gran Vía, which runs west to east through the center of the city and serves as the main artery to go from one side of the city to the other. The modern boulevard was built in the 19th Century, when urban planners realized they needed to create an easy way to get from one side of the city to the other.
Gran Vía is framed by the Royal Palace and Plaza de España on the western end and Museo del Prado and El Retiro park on the eastern side .
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Where To Stay In Madrid: Malasaa Is Hipster Cool
Directly east of Chueca is Malasaña, where craft coffee shops, vintage stores, and tattoo parlors abound. The area is a great place to stay in Madrid that is not too touristy, although in Malasaña has become increasingly popular with international students and English teaching expats for its cool factor. The neighborhood is steeped in history: its the spot where the uprising against Napoleon too place, and was the center of the La Movida Madrileña movement in the 1980s after the fall of Francos dictatorship.
4.5 / 5 on Trip Advisor
Hotel Atlántico Shopping, dining and famous sights are all within arms reach. Well designed with double glazed windows and electric shutters for minimal street noise. Two rooftop terraces offer relaxation and wonderful views, and theres a nice cafe and bar on site. Located on Madrids famous Gran Via, the metro is right outside the door, 10 minutes or less to walk to many attractions 15-minute walk to Prado Museum.
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Hostal Abami II
4.5 / 5 on Trip Advisor
Hostal Abami II With basic but clean rooms and private bathrooms, this is an affordable, no frills hotel. There is no lift, but past guests have managed to deal, considering the price. This place is all about being a good value for the money. Close to the metro and Gran Via. Walk to the Royal Palace or Plaza Mayor in 10 minutes, and the Prado Museum in about 20 minutes.
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Ibis Madrid Centro
4.5 / 5 on Trip Advisor
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Where To Stay In Madrid: Lavapis Is Edgy And Affordable
To the east of La Latina is the less-touristy neighborhood of Lavapiés, a veritable mishmash of international cultures. Immigrants make up the fabric of this neighborhood, and it has traditionally been one of the cheaper areas. That said, due to its alternative and underground scene, Lavapiés has become more popular in recent years as an edgy and cool neighborhood in Madrid.Along Calle Lavapiés. youll find numerous Indian restaurants , and tucked on side streets are African and Middle Eastern shops and eateries. Plaza Lavapiés is a central meeting point for young Madrileños to congregate before heading out for a night on the town.
Artrip Hotel Clean and artsy, and very well located for the Museum Triangle, the Reina Sofía Museum is just a 6- or 7-minute walk. Offering 24hr reception, air conditioned rooms and bathrooms that are very modern , some rooms have a balcony. Past guests said the other museums and sites like the Royal Palace are a bit of an uphill walk, but the metro is very close by, as is the train station.
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Why Stay In Tetuan
The Real Madrid football stadium the “Bernabeu” is located in Tetuan. Around the stadium, you will find many local shops, restaurants and markets.
Hotels located in Tetuan are usually quite modern with spacious air conditioned rooms. Some well-known luxury hotels and chains will be in this area. If you stay in Tetuan you will be well connected to the Metro network and Madrid’s main train station Chamartin is also nearby.
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Why Stay In Retiro
Apart from the fact that you will be closed to Retiro Park, this neighbourhood is also famous for the “Golden Triangle”, Madrid’s three most important art museums. Sometimes this area is referred to as Madrid’s art triangle. Find the world-class Museo del Prado directly on the Paseo del Prado, while the private collection of Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is across the street. Visit the Reina SofÃa Museum located on the south end of Paseo del Prado, which is Madrid’s biggest and best repository of contemporary art.
Best Areas To Stay In Madrid: 12 Neighborhoods Youll Love
Wondering what are the best areas to stay in Madrid? Wonder no more. After spending several months in Madrid while staying in different places around it, I know I can help you.
Trust me when I say that my favorite city in Spain has you covered with several central neighborhoods I know youll love .
Plus, its incredibly easy to get around, so you can also find accommodation in quieter areas and use the Metro.
So without further ado, heres my guide to the best neighborhoods to stay in Madrid .
*Please consult the constantly-changing local restrictions and safety guidelines before making any travel plans. Note that not all sites and services operate as normal, so check the latest updates on their correspondent websites.
*This post may contain affiliate links from which I earn a commission at no extra cost to you . As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Planning a last-minute trip? Be sure to get your Royal Palace entrance ticket in advance and check out:Top accommodations in Madrid:
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Retiro Where To Stay In Madrid For Family
Llocated close to Paseo del Prado and Av de Menéndez Pelayo,the family-friendly district of Retiro is famous for its El Retiro Park and home to the Golden Triangle. Retiro Park is safe to visit day and evening.
The primary feature of the Retiro district is Madrids most famous park, Parque del Retiro, which was first opened to the public in 1868. It was originally built for King Philip IV, has damaged during the War of Independence, later became a place for commoners and royals.
This sprawling 125-hectare estate has more than 15,000 trees, the lungs of Madrid are a great place to relax.
Retiro Park boasts Crystal Palace that has been converted into exhibition centers, a large artificial lake with the option to hire a rowboat and spend an afternoon on the water, and a number of statues, art installations, and fountains including the monument to King Alfonso VII.
For families with young children, the Teatro de Títeres is a puppet theatre that performs shows every weekend, to keep little ones entertained in between trips to the various playgrounds.
Such a large open space makes an ideal venue for festivals, which includes the annual book fair, held early each summer, that sees publishing houses from across Spain gather to display their titles.
Dont despair if you cant make it for the fair though, as the Cuesta de Moyano book market is situated nearby, with over 30 permanent stalls forming an open-air bookshop, selling books both new and secondhand.
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.
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Best Apartments In Madrid Spain
If youre the type of traveler that wants to enjoy a homey atmosphere during your travels, maybe booking an apartment instead of a hotel room might be the best choice for you! An apartment is also an excellent solution if you want to save some money and if youre a bigger group that wants to stay together, such as a family, for example.
Luckily for you, Madrid has tons of amazing Airbnbs that you can choose from and below I have made a selection of the top 6 ones I could find in Centro, all sorted by budget. Here they are:
- The best luxury you can dream in Madrid Center Of course its possible to enjoy a luxurious experience in an apartment, just take a look at this place! By the way, its right in the heart of the capital, so it doesnt get better than this!
- NQN Aparts & Suites Heres another excellent option for an upscale experience very close to Gran Via and Royal Palace of Madrid. The decor is simply superb, just check out the pictures!
- Centrica Hab.Doble This private room has some incredible rates and its located in a nice apartment right in the heart of the capital!
- Precioso Apartamento Centro In case you want to stay on a budget without renouncing all the comforts of a good accommodation, check out this fully equipped apartment, you will love it!
Best Neighborhoods For Bed And Breakfasts In Madrid
B& Bs are a great choice if you want breakfast taken care of every morning.
It can be stressful trying to find the perfect breakfast place somewhere new, and its nice to just wake up to a home-cooked meal or buffet.
If you want to stay at a bed and breakfast, Madrids El Centro district is the best area in Madrid to stay.
Nearly all the best B& Bs are here, and youll find a wide range of options of bed and breakfasts in Madrid no matter your budget.
Another upside to staying at a B& B in Madrid is that they tend to be smaller and more personal, so you can get recommendations from the staff for fun alternative things to do in Madrid.
Best B& B in Madrid for familiesPosada del León de Oro Boutique Hotel****
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Where To Stay For First
The sun, or sol in Spanish, is the center of our solar system. And so Sol, or the lovely plaza Puerta del Sol, is the center of Madrid. If its your first time in Spains capital, this is the place to plant yourself for a while. All the main sites of the city are either in Sol or near it. Be sure to spend some time lingering there to people-watch and get a sense of the local pace of life.
Best Places to Stay in Sol
- BUDGET: The Hat Hostel This boutique hostel is centrally located and really comfortable. It has an excellent breakfast spread, free Wi-Fi, and an outdoor terrace, and is walking distance to all the main sights in the area.
- MID-RANGE: Petit Palace Puerta del Sol Housed in a 19th-century building a few steps from Puerta del Sol, this 64-room property is a bargain given its amenities and location. The rooms have flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, hardwood floors, and hydro-massage showers. Request a streetside room for a lovely view.
- LUXURY: Four Seasons Madrid The new Four Seasons might be the most expensive hotel in town, but its also comfortable to the nth degree. The 200 rooms are fit for a prince, and the indoor pool and rooftop restaurant might make you want to trade some of that city exploring time for hotel exploring instead.
Where To Stay For Shopping
Combing an old-world atmosphere with upscale boutiques, Salamanca is a favorite place to stay for shopping. Search for the latest fashions, then savor a leisurely lunch at one of the posh restaurants. Book accommodations along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana, with its pedestrian lanes, luxury shops and al fresco dining. Consider a hotel in Puerta del Sol in the center of the city for big-name brands like H& M and Zara and department stores.
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Where To Stay In Madrid: Neighborhood Guide
Madrid is a fairly big city it is Spains capital after all and its full of lively neighborhoods just waiting to be explored.
Each area of Madrid offers visitors something different, whether its divine food, unbeatable shopping, or a rich cultural experience.. But no matter where you end up, you wont be disappointed.
Heres a breakdown of some of the most popular areas in Madrid and what you can expect from each of them.
Atocha Best Location To Stay In Madrid
Best for Convenience Seeking Tourists
Not far from Huertas, Atocha is another chic Madrid neighborhood that has something for everyone. Some of Madrids best art museums, such as the Reina Sofia art museum and the Anthropology museum are found in the Atocha neighborhood. It is also home to the Atocha train station, Spains largest train hub, where you can catch a high-speed train to other areas of Spain, or commuter trains will take you to other neighborhoods in Madrid. Within many of Atochas historical buildings, youll find many guesthouses and hotels to choose from.
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