How to Spend Winter in Madrid

Traveling all year long is a great pleasure and a way to spend some quality time, getting to know the world around and all the amazing and historic places we have heard all about. When it comes to traveling in Western Europe, most people choose to travel between April and October, waiting for the nice weather to be perfect condition for traveling. However, there is something magical about winter time, which makes traveling during winter pretty unique, especially during the time around Christmas and New Year.

Are you planning to explore Madrid this winter? If your answer is yes, here are all the things you can do to spend an exciting winter in Madrid.

Stay in an apartment Madrid

Staying in an apartment in Madrid provides many advantages over staying in a hotel. If you have never decided to rent an apartment before, this would be one more reason to try this type of accommodation. During winter, the number of tourists gets lower than during summer, only to peak again during winter holidays, but try booking apartment in Madrid online as a safe way to ensure you have accommodation in the city for your winter holiday.

Visit holiday markets

At the first hint of winter and upcoming Christmas, holiday markets open up around Madrid, and they usually stay open from late November until a few days into the New Year. During this period, there will be enough time for you to visit one of those markets and experience true meaning of the holiday atmosphere and cheerfulness, with Christmas songs heard on every corner, plenty of flashy lights and colorful decorations suggesting that holidays are upon us. You can buy all sorts of things on the holiday markets, but Christmas decorations and gift are the most commonly sold items, together with food stands selling typical Spanish dishes.

Here are two holiday markets we would suggest visiting:

  • Christmas market at the Plaza Mayor

Dates: 26 November – 31 December, 2016

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10 am until 9 pm; Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am until 10 pm.

  • Christmas market at the Plaza de España

Dates: 10 December – 5 January, 2017

Opening hours: Everyday from 11 am until 9 pm. The market closes at 3 pm on the 24th and 31 December, and it is closed on the 25th December and 1st of January.

Source: http://www.xmas-markets.org/madrid-christmas-market/

Explore the Christmas lights

The Christmas lights are something that has become a sort of a tradition in Madrid, and it got to the point where there is a tour of all the Christmas lights in the city. The tour is called the Navibus tour (Navi is for Navidad, meaning Christmas in Spanish). The Christmas lights are turned daily from 6 pm until 10 pm. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve the lights will be on until late into the night. Light decorations of all kinds of shapes and colors hand around the streets of Madrid, and together with beautifully decorated shop windows they create a magical surrounding.

A walk down the decorated streets of Madrid

A walk down the decorated streets of Madrid

 

Discover nativity scenes

Since Spain is a Catholic country, the nativity scene is an important part of traditional Christmas celebration, so during the month of December you will find a lot of nativity scenes around the city. The scenes are usually set up in the mid December and most of them will remain intact until the mid January, when most of the Christmas decoration is being taken off. Some of the popular nativity scenes are at the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral and the Plaza Mayor. Therefore, if you are exploring the center of Madrid, you could visit these nativity scenes as well.

Have a hot chocolate

Tired of all the walking around the city? If yes, it is time for hot chocolate. Although moderate climate in Madrid does not allow harsh winter weather, it still can get a bit cold especially during the evenings. The best way to enjoy the Christmas lights is during the evenings, so try to grab a hot beverage to keep you warm as you walk around the streets and admire Christmas scenery all around you. Hot coffee or tea might be a nice option but there is something Christmassy about hot chocolate. You can have it with sweet marshmallows or with cream on top, or you can try traditional churros con chocolate.

Christmas shopping spree

Winter time is a great period to shop in Madrid. You will come across beautifully decorated shop windows, with plenty of Christmas decorations and creative ideas that will leave you speechless. The center of the city is perfect place to start your shopping spree, as this is where shop owners go overboard with Christmas decor. Besides shops, the entire central area will be decorated with winter lights and ornaments, so the Christmas cheer will be all around you.

Winter usually starts off with new collections and this would be an opportunity to refresh your winter wardrobe, especially if you are interested in Christmas inspired clothing, such as Christmassy jumpers or pajamas. As the holidays approach, the merchants offer better prices, so you will find a lot of sales as the winter time goes on. It is a general rule that the best deals are available after the holidays, in late January, because most stores will offer discounts for the winter items, trying to clear out the shelves and prepare for the spring collection.

Admire Cortylandia

Each year, El Corte Inglés, well-known Spanish department store, brings out a lovely decoration in front of its store at the Plaza de la Puerta del Sol, 10. It has become a sort of a tradition for people in Madrid, as decorations are brought out in the late November, and they signify the beginning of the holiday season. The theme of the set changes every year, but the main idea remains the same – it is all about the children. Usually, the theme revolves around children stories, tales, animals, cartoons, etc. The characters move and the songs are played as a part of a 15-minute show which is on a couple of times a day. Here is the schedule of the shows for this year:

Cortylandia 2016 Schedule:

  • Monday  – Friday

Morning: 12:00, 13:00 and 14:00. Afternoon: 18:30, 19:30 and 21 hours.

  • Saturday, Sunday and Holidays

Morning: 12:30, 13:30 and 14:30. Afternoon: 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 hours.

 

Special schedule

  • Friday 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 December

Morning: 12:00, 13:00 and 14:00 hours.

Afternoon: 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 hours.

  • Monday 05 and Wednesday 07 December

Morning: 12:30, 13:30 and 14:30 hours.

Afternoon: 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 hours.

  • December 24 and 31 December 31

Morning: 12, 13, 14 and 15 hours.

Afternoon: 18, 19 and 19:30 hours.

 Christmas decoration Cortylandia at the Puerta del Sol

Christmas decoration Cortylandia at the Puerta del Sol

Source: https://www.elcorteingles.es/centroscomerciales/es/eci/centros/centro-comercial-preciados-callao/eventos/vuelve-la-magia-de-cortylandia

If you happen to be visiting this winter, especially if you are visiting Madrid with kids, make sure you do not miss this traditional fairy-like setting. You are going to love it, and it sets you in that Christmas spirit, together with the rest of the decorations around the city central area. This tradition has become so popular and loved by the locals, that it has even been replicated in many other cities in Spain.

Go ice skating

One of the great symbols of winter season, as well as the holidays, is ice skating and many people love spending cold winter evenings on the skates twirling around. Madrid has a couple of indoor ice rinks, some of which are open during the entire year, but during winter in Madrid, you will find a couple of outdoor ice rinks, which is a great opportunity to spend an evening out in the city. Here are some of the outdoor ice rinks in the city:

  • Plaza de Oriente (Royal Palace)

Hours: every day including holidays from 10 am – 10 pm until January 20th.

Price: 5€ on weekdays and 7.50€ Saturday and Sunday including skate rental.

  • Plaza de la Luna

Hours: everyday from 10 am – 10 pm until January 10th

Price: 5€ on weekdays and 7.50€ Saturday and Sunday including skate rental.

  • CentroCentro Cibeles

Hours: everyday from 11 am – 9:30 pm

(On December 24th and 31st, 11 am-6 pm) until January 7th.

Price: 5€ on weekdays and 7.50€ Saturday and Sunday including skate rental.

Source: http://www.cheapinmadrid.com/ice-rinks-in-madrid/

When it comes to indoor ice rinks, they are open during the entire year, but they have a different schedule depending on the season, so if you would like to visit one of those ice rinks, it is best to check the schedule for the exact dates. Here are two ice rinks open during the entire year:

  • Palacio de Hielo

Calle Silvano 77 – Metro Canillas

www.sporthielo.com

  • La Nevera

Poligono El Caralero – Majadahonda

http://lanevera.net

Celebrate New Year at the Puerta del Sol

Traditional New Year celebration takes place each 31st of December at the Puerta del Sol and it gathers thousands of people, locals as well as the tourists. The official countdown is announced from the clock on top of the Casa de Correos building in Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid, accompanied by a hundred-year old tradition to eat Twelve Grapes, one on each chime of the clock. Parties are organized in various places around the city, and they last late into the night.

This time of the year is very festive in Madrid, and the weather is still nice enough that you can enjoy outdoor. You can still visit famous Madrid landmarks, but make sure you enjoy some of these activities typical of winter period.

 

 

 

Madrid Travel Guide

The excitement and anticipation that overwhelm you when preparing for a trip can sometimes distract you from planning every single detail about your upcoming travel. With so many things to consider, such as booking a ticket, packing and making the flight in time, you might forget about planning the itinerary for the actual time you will be spending in Madrid.

You do not need to worry, because we have a perfect Madrid travel guide, which is going to help you with practical information you will need when staying in Madrid, as well as suggestions on places to visit.

Few facts about Madrid

When traveling to Madrid, you will benefit from knowing few things about the city, such as:

  • Madrid is the capital city of Spain.
  • The metropolitan area has population of approximately 6.5 million, making it the third-largest city in EU.
  • Official currency is Euro.
  • Official language is Spanish.
  • Time zone: CEST – Central European Summer Time (UTC/GMT +2 hours)

Getting to the city

There are several ways to get to the city, and airport is one of the most convenient ways if you are traveling from abroad. Madrid-Barajas Airport is located 13 km from the city so once you get to the airport, you will easily reach the center of the city. There are several types of transport available to you at the airport:

  • Rent a car – Although a more costly option, this is something you could consider if you would like to be mobile while in the city, if you are planning on visiting landmarks that are away from the city center or shopping malls located in the outskirts.
  • Take a taxi – It is certainly a cheaper option, but provides the same convenience when it comes to traveling from the airport to the accommodation. Lots of taxi drivers are circulating around the arriving terminals, so you do not need any phone numbers in advance. You will see them once you leave the terminal.
  • Shuttle – This is specialized taxi service with fixed pricing of 23 Euros. However, this is not an exclusive ride and you will have to share the taxi with other passengers in case you are traveling solo.
  • Airport Express (Exprés Aeropuerto) – Buses operate 24 and take passengers from the airport’s terminal T1, T2 and T4 to one of these three places in the city: O’Donell, Plaza de Cibeles and Atocha. Ride at 5 Euros is certainly the main benefit for choosing the bus, but since it is an express bus, it has only three stops in the city, after which you will have to find other ways to reach your final destination.
  • Commuter train – Terminal 4 is connected to Atocha and Chamartin train station with a commuter train C-1. The train is available from 6 am until 10:30 pm with a ticket from €2.60.
  • Metro – Line 8 goes to Nuevos Ministerios station from all terminals, but to reach city center you will have to change metro line twice, which might be inconvenient if you have a lot of luggage.

In case you would like to use a train to arrive to Madrid, there is a connection with the French coast and Paris. Buses connect the city with major cities in Europe, and these international departures are scheduled from the Estación Sur de Autobuses. Metro is quite near the bus station, providing great connection with the rest of the city.

Finding apartment in Madrid

Preferably, you will have already found your accommodation prior to arriving to the city. Even though Madrid has a lot to offer when it comes to tourist accommodation including hotels, hostels and apartments in Madrid, during the peak season it can become more difficult to find accommodation. Therefore, it is advisable to book accommodation in advance. Due to conveniences and flexibility, we would suggest apartments in Madrid rather than any other type of accommodation. When it comes to how to rent an apartment in Madrid, we suggest browsing online as the best way to find available apartments in the city.

Finding your way around the city

Madrid has excellent public transport, allowing travelers to easily find their way around the city even if they are first time visiting. Different parts of the city are connected with 12 metro lines. The entire map of metro lines is available online.

 Metro and Light Rail Network - Madrid

Image source: https://www.metromadrid.es/export/sites/metro/comun/documentos/planos/Planoesquematicoingles.pdf

When walking around the city and looking for interesting landmarks to see, you will need a map. Tourist offices will have different kinds of maps available, including the one with metro lines, but you can always use an online map. Here is an interesting map of the central area of the city with the most important landmarks being represented through small graphics.

 Map of the central area - Madrid

Image source: http://www.esmadrid.com/sites/default/files/documentos/mapa_bloc_esp-ing_22082016.pdf

Going around the city with your map exploring the local landmarks is a great way to explore the city and get to experience your unique tour of Madrid. However, you will get in contact with a lot of locals, so learning a couple of Spanish phrases can be very helpful. Plus, the locals will be delighted by your trying to learn their language. Here are a couple of phrases you might need:

Hello/Hi (informal) – Hola
Have a good day – Que pase un buen día
How are you? (informal) – ¿Cómo estás?

How are you? (formal) – ¿Cómo está usted?
Fine, thank you – Muy bien, gracias.
Thank you – Gracias
I’m sorry – Lo siento / perdón
Goodbye – Adiós, Hasta luego
I speak a little Spanish. – Hablo un poco de español.
I can’t speak Spanish (well) – No hablo (bien) español
Do you speak English? (informal) – ¿Hablas inglés?
Do you speak English? (formal) – ¿Habla usted inglés?
Yes – Sí
No – No

If you need more helpful Spanish phrases, if you want to learn the numbers and how to tell time in Spanish, here is a great phrasebook which includes instructions on how to pronounce each phrase: Spanish Phrasebook.

Sightseeing of Madrid

Since the purpose of this travel guide is to help you get acquainted with the city and how to get the most when exploring the capital city of Spain, here are some suggestions on what to visit in Madrid.

  • Enjoy the art

If you are fond of art, Madrid is a place where you will absolutely enjoy! Permanent and temporary collections in the museums are always available and all you need to do is pick a museum in Madrid you would like to visit and have amazing time. Some museums offer free admission, while those that do charge the admission fee usually have group discounts and days when they offer free admission for everyone. When paying admission fee, the tickets start from 1.5 Euros and they can be up to 17 Euros. The prices in one museum may vary depending on the exhibition you want to visit. Most museums in Madrid are closed on Mondays and have shorter working hours on weekends.

However, there is more art to be seen apart from the museums. You could visit galleries and attend exhibitions. You could find out more about the Spanish royals by visiting the Royal Palace of Madrid and explore the art works displayed inside. Either way, you will get to experience the art works, some of which are centuries old and for an art lover, this would be an art tour of Madrid you will remember forever.

  • Admire the architecture

Madrid is well-known for its architecture that preserves the original look of historic neighborhoods especially in the central area of the city. As you walk down the streets of the city you get to admire the buildings and constructions that are product of different epochs, each of them leaving the traces on both interior and exterior. The Paseo del Prado is one of those streets where you get to see how the city landscape has changed over the centuries, preserving the best of the city’s history and heritage that will last for generations to come and still be symbols this city can be proud of.

 Madrid - Arquitecture

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/madrid-building-architecture-385104/

  • Indulge in the local cuisine

Since Spanish cuisine is renowned worldwide, it is only fair to explore these famous dishes and tastes in the original surrounding. Numerous restaurants, cafes, pasty shops and bars are scattered around the city, especially in the central area. Dinner is typically served later in Spain, so an ideal time to have dinner when in Madrid is around 8 or 9 pm. Here is a guide with interesting places you could visit when it comes to eating out: Madrid Gastronomic Guide.

  • Visit the landmarks

Visiting the landmarks is your primary goal when visiting Madrid as a traveler, but as you explore the map of Madrid, you will notice that there is so many interesting places you could visit. If you are going to spend only a few days in the city, you might find it difficult to choose which places to visit, and which ones you will have to leave for some other trip to Madrid. The three must-see places in Madrid we would recommend are the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Retiro Park and the Gran Via Street. They are all located in the city center, so if you rent an apartment in the center of Madrid, you will certainly have time to visit them, regardless how short your stay is.

  • Explore further

While most travelers tend to focus their stay in the central area where they go sightseeing, as most of the landmarks are in fact located in the center of the city, there is more to be seen in Madrid than the central part. Visiting outskirts of Madrid is an amazing opportunity to see some historic places and small towns surrounding Madrid. Alcalá de Henares and Toledo are two of those, both of which are UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

  • Have fun

If you would like to find out about even more about what to do in Madrid, here is the list of ten things to do in Madrid. The city of Madrid is also well known place to go out and have fun, so all those outgoing people will enjoy the friendly atmosphere in the local cafes and bars. Another popular form of entertainment in the city are festivals. Most of them are organized during the period of nice weather which start from April and ends in October. Explore some options and suggestions related to festivals in Madrid here.

Ten Things to Do in Madrid

When you first arrive to the capital city of Spain, you might face a great dilemma when it comes to which places to visit and what things to do in Madrid. Since the city is such a popular tourist destination, you might have some general idea on which places are the most visited in Madrid, but it is always helpful to have a quick guide to discover things you need to experience in Madrid.

As a provider of apartments in Madrid, we have met a lot of tourists from all over the world, coming to the city eager to explore it and learn about its culture and customs, and we have come to know the most popular places every tourist would love to see. We are going to highlight the most commonly visited places, and if you are visiting Madrid, this is a great list of the things you could do while in the city.

Visit the museums

Famous center of culture and art, Madrid is a place one could not leave without visiting at least one museum. The abundance of museums scattered around the city provides all sorts of exciting collections and exhibitions which will satisfy all sorts of travelers. The most popular area is certainly in the Paseo del Prado, with the Prado Museum being located there. As the most visited museum in the city, it stands out as the place most tourists are eager to visit. The main reason for this is the rich collection owned by the museum and displayed in an impressive interior as you are exploring different epochs and enjoy the works of art created by both local and international artists. Two other museum located close by include Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Together, all three of them make the famous Golden Triangle of Art, a common point of interest for all art lovers visiting the city. Convenient location and impressive collections make these three the most visited museums in Madrid, but the city has so much more to offer. If you are interested in more ideas on which museums to visit in Madrid, here are some suggestions: Museums to Visit in Madrid.

Have coffee at the plaza

Squares in Madrid are known as plazas, and they have historically been places of great interest for the local life. They usually were the places where local celebrations, fairs and other public events took place, but today they are still essential part of the city, where you will meet a lot of people, find a lot of shops and cafes. Nice weather and great company are enough reasons for you to decide to enjoy a cup of coffee in one of those cafes at the plaza in Madrid. While there, you will enjoy the view and perhaps plan some impromptu shopping adventure nearby.

Go for shopping adventure

Traveling is a great way to experience new places and meet new traditions, but for all shopaholics out there, this is also a great opportunity to scout some new stores and check out the latest items that have just found their way into the stores. When it comes to shopping in Madrid, the central area is the best way to start, as most stores are located in this part of the city. Of course, if you prefer indoor shopping, which is particularly recommended during the bad weather conditions, you might want to visit one of the shopping malls. While in Madrid, make sure you check out some of the famous Spanish brands, such as Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull&Bear, Sfera, etc. Although you might have these stores in your home town, it is always nice to visit the stores in the Spanish capital, where these brands originated from.

Walk around the Retiro Park

Although there are so many wonderful parks around Madrid, the Retiro Park is certainly the most famous one in the city. It is also the largest one, with so many activities for the visitors, which is the reason why we include this landmark in the list of ten things to do in Madrid. Walking around the park and enjoying the nature is an amazing way to spend an afternoon in Madrid. Of course, if you are up for some sightseeing, the Crystal Palace, the Monument to Alfonso XII and Rosaleda del Retiro are some of the places you will find worth visiting while in the park. Depending on the time of the year you visit, you might come across book fairs, exhibitions, street performances, fireworks and other entertaining activities organized for the park visitors.

 

Retiro Park

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/input-park-removal-madrid-door-1523566/

Enjoy the view from the cable car

It might be an unusual way to explore the city, but when in Madrid you will have a unique opportunity to see the city from the cable car going above the buildings and houses from the Paseo del Pintor Rosales street over the River Manzanares and into the Casa de Campo park. The cable car, called el Teleférico, was built as a part of the amusement park Parque de Atracciones. It reaches the height o 40 meters above the ground and this exciting ride takes around 10 minutes from start to finish, with the route being approximately 2.5 kilometers long. As you reach the top at the Casa de Campo park, you will get to enjoy panoramic view of the city, so prepare yourself to take lots of cool photos.

Try local specialties

When traveling to new places, one of the must-do things is embracing the local tradition and trying specialties that are typical for the cuisine of the country you are visiting. Madrid and the Spanish cuisine are well-known around the world, so you have probably heard about the dishes such as paella, tortillas, croquetas, huevos rotos, curros con chocolate, etc. Even though you might have tried these dishes, there is nothing better than visiting one of the local restaurants and coffee shops to taste dishes prepared based on traditional, decades-old recipes that actually created specialties that have been replicated in many restaurants around the world.

Information about which places to visit is available in this gastronomic guide, with tips and recommendations for choosing some of the best and the most popular restaurants, pastry shops and tapas in Madrid.

Explore the city on a bike

Hop on/hop off buses and similar city tours are part of every large city tourist offer, as they are popular and convenient way to explore large part of the city more efficiently. However, bike tours are growing in popularity, being a more eco-friendly solution, as well as healthier and more interesting option for travelers. If you are in a good shape, and if you are comfortable riding a bike for great lengths (usually up to a couple of hours, with breaks), exploring the city on a bike is a perfect choice for you. You can rent a bike and come up with your own route of famous landmarks, but it is more advisable to join a group of travelers exploring the city on their bikes, with a guide, knowing just which streets to avoid and how to safely reach a specific destination.

Admire the architecture

Wherever you go around Madrid, you will be able to see plenty of notable buildings designed under many art influences throughout the city’s rich history. Many of those centuries-old buildings are preserved nowadays as remnants of the turbulent past and city life that has been present in the central areas for centuries now. The Royal Palace of Madrid and the Royal Theatre are two architectural landmarks worth visiting as notable buildings of historic importance and great cultural value. The Gran Vía is also great place to visit when it comes to admiring the architecture as it showcases patterns ranging from Vienna Secession style, Plateresque, Neo-Mudéjar, Art Deco and other styles influencing the final outcome we know today.

 

Madrid - Architecture

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/spain-madrid-architecture-capital-985372/

Visit the Mercado de San Miguel

A covered market located in the central area of Madrid, the Mercado de San Miguel has become one of the greatest symbols of the city’s tradition and one of the places you need to visit when in the city. The food market is designed to showcase the amazing dishes of Spanish cuisine in pleasant surroundings. Variety of different specialties offered is what attracts so many tourists turning this into a landmark worth visiting.

Relax with a glass of sangria

Regardless if you would rather drink wine, or if you prefer the sweet taste of sangria, Madrid is the place to be for all fond of a glass of wine in the evening. When in Madrid, visit a cafe or a bar where you will be provided with the finest selection of local wines or sangria. In some bars, you will be able to order tapas with wine, making this a typical evening out in Madrid. Most popular places are located in the center of the city, which makes it very convenient to visit them. And since you are on vacation, relaxing with a glass of sangria or wine is what makes this visit even more complete.

Once you get back to your apartment in Madrid, you are left with a unique experience as you finished a fulfilled day of sightseeing. As the impressions start to pile up, you will get to sum up everything and plan the next day of your Madrid adventure.

What-to-Pack-When-Visiting-Madrid-with-Kids

What to Pack When Visiting Madrid with Kids

Traveling with kids is not easy, but these moments you get to share with your family members are priceless, and those are the ones you are going to cherish forever. When visiting a city such as Madrid, you have so many things to think about, such as finding accommodation, an apartment in Madrid for example, and how to get from the airport to the city center. If Spanish is not your native language, things can get even more stressful. You should also think about getting a map once you arrive to the city and finding a place to get some rest from the trip, such as having dinner in a restaurant in Madrid. You could also check out the Madrid guide with plenty of useful information for travelers visiting the Spanish capital.

Something that all parents have in common when traveling with young children is packing. We all know packing can be tedious for you alone, but having kids brings things to a completely new level. This article if a practical guide that is going to help you learn what to pack when visiting Madrid with kids.

 What-to-Pack-When-Visiting-Madrid-with-Kids

 

Documents

When traveling with kids to an international destination, brining all the documents is one of the most important task and the first thing you need to pack. Adults need a valid passport to enter the country, while minor children will need either passports or original birth certificates. If only one parent is traveling with kids, you should bring written consent from the child’s biological parent(s) along with the child’s birth certificate.

You might also want to bring some medical documents in case your kid is suffering from allergies or any chronic conditions, as this way you will have documents ready to show them to the doctors in Spain, in case there is an emergency situation and you need to seek medical assistance.

Clothes

Packing clothes is the most time-consuming part of packing for a trip, because you need to think about the weather you can expect in Madrid, the types of outfits you would need, if those are casual or formal, while in the same time having in mind the number of days you are going to stay in the city.

When visiting Madrid with kids, the situation is even more complicated. Kids can be restless and they like playing around, without worrying much if they roll in the grass or lie in the sand. They do not care much about being dirty, but you as a parent do, so you need to think about your kids’ habits when thinking about the clothes to pack. You will probably need some extra outfits than when it comes to your own clothing, as you have to be prepared that kids might get messy at lunch, and you will need an extra T-shirt for that day.

In general, the weather between May and October is quite warm and you will probably need a lot of T-shirts. Make sure you always have a sweatshirt or a jumper for your kids, especially if you are out early in the morning or late at night, as the temperature tends to drop several degrees in comparison to the temperature in the middle of the day. The hottest weather is in July and August, so if you are planning to visit Madrid during these two months, you will need a lot of summery clothes, such as light dresses, shorts, T-shirts, etc.

Madrid has a lot of interesting attractions, and a lot of those are perfect when visiting with kids as they will find a lot of interesting things to do, starting from Parque de Atracciones, a popular amusement park, to watching animals at the Zoo-Aquarium de la Casa de Campo. If your kids love cartoons, they will love visiting Parque Warner in Madrid, a theme park where you can find all the Looney Tunes characters. In all of these cases, sightseeing can be very exhausting for kids, so make sure you pack some comfortable shoes for walking for both you and your little ones.

Stroller

If you have a baby or a toddler, you must not go anywhere without a stroller. This is a true savior when you have kids that are too small to walk around all day on their own, but too big to be carried around. Even though it might be pretty difficult to pack it and the stroller tends to take up much space even when folded, it still is an essential to pack when traveling with small kids. In case you are traveling by plane, you will have an option to check in the stroller as a delivery, meaning the stroller will be available to you at the airport until the moment you enter the plain, when the workers will pack it up with the rest of your luggage.

Another benefit of having a stroller is the fact that you will be able to carry your bag on it, or to put some extra things in the case which is usually available below the seat. This can be quite handy, because when you go sightseeing with kids, you will need a lot of extra things to bring, such as spare clothing, documents, snacks, perhaps even some toys. Also, if your kids get tired, they can easily sleep in the stroller while you have lunch or coffee.

Snacks

Traveling with kids means that you will need a lot of snack, much more than you would carry if you were traveling solo. If it happens to be that your kids are fussy eaters, the situation is even worse, as you cannot simply buy them something to eat at the airport. In this case, you will need to pack in advance and bring some of their favorite biscuits, cookies, fruit or any other type of snack they love to eat. Luckily, you can use some portable food containers to pack different types of snacks and have them ready at any moment.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is recommended during the entire year for both kids and adults, but it is especially needed during the summer season when the temperatures are the highest. Make sure you pack a sunscreen that is designed for kids’ skin, which usually has high SPF. Besides sunscreen, you might also bring hats and sunglasses as an additional protection from the sun.

Toys

As much as you think that packing toys is a waste of space in your suitcase, the toys are absolutely necessary when traveling with kids. Every parent knows that there is no better way to keep the kids busy, than by giving them their favorite toy. This is especially important when you have to wait at the gate of an airport or if you are in a queue waiting to see some of Madrid’s attractions. Most parents bring toys even when going short distances, such as taking the kids to the park, so when you plan to visit Madrid with kids, make sure you bring along a couple of toys your kids love, just in case they ask for it.

Books

Books are also great distraction for kids. You could go for story books which you can read to your kids, or you could buy those coloring books, allowing your kids to spend some creative time as they are coloring the pages of the book. Books with stickers are also very interesting for children, as they usually follow a story.

Toiletries and other essentials

The kids’ cosmetic is especially designed for their sensitive skin, so make sure you bring along all the toiletries your kids usually need. You might be able to buy some of the products for yourself when you arrive to the city, just to avoid packing to much in your suitcase, but when it comes to kids it’s always better to bring the products they are used to, in order to avoid being in a situation where you cannot find the right product.

You should also bring some medications, even if your kids do not use them, just as a precaution. Kids’ health is very sensitive and they are more prone to catching a cold than adults due to their sensitive immune system. Therefore, in order to make sure that your trip to Madrid, or any other city for that matter, goes without any problems, bring some necessary medication that could be given to your kids in case they feel poorly.

Camera

Finally, in the era of high tech mobile phones, it feels redundant to say, but still, make sure you bring camera, regardless if you use a professional camera, a portable one, or you decide that mobile phone camera is all you need. Capturing those precious moments of traveling with kids is an amazing way to create memories that will last forever. There is something magical about going back to old albums and looking at photos from different travel, remembering the things you have seen. This is even more important when having kids, as they grow up so quickly and it is wonderful to see them enjoying a family trip when they were younger.

Don’t forget your own suitcase

Traveling with kids can be overwhelming, every parent would agree, but you must not forget packing your own suitcase and everything you would need for your stay in Madrid. You need to have everything packed to have a great holiday with your kids, which means devoting some time to yourself, and packing the things you need when traveling in general.

Once you have everything set up and organized, you are ready to go to Madrid. Upon your arrival to the city, the first place you will head to is the accommodation, such as an apartment you rent in Madrid. It is best to go there first, as it allows you to leave your luggage in one place. Also, your kids might be very tired from the trip itself, depending on the time you have spend in transport, so if you go to the apartment first, this will be a great opportunity for your kids to have some rest. It is also good for you to freshen up and perhaps even unpack some of the things you will need immediately, such as new clothes for lunch or dinner you will be having later in the day with your family.

How to Rent an Apartment in Madrid

Madrid is one of the most exciting cities in Spain, and as such it is visited by millions of people each year. Visitors from all over the world arrive to visit Spanish capital and to get the glimpse of local tradition and culture.

Having in mind that we have been specializing in apartment renting in Madrid, we have years of experience to helps us providing helpful tips and advice on how to rent an apartment in Madrid, which is why we have decided to compile a list of things to know that will help with apartment hunting in Madrid.

Browse online an apartment in Madrid

Before you even consider booking a flight and buying a ticket, you need to start looking for an apartment in Madrid. Even though it might seem unnecessary to start with apartment hunt first, it usually is, especially during the peak season, which is between May and October, and any time of the year during public holidays. Most people choose particularly this period to visit the city, hence this is the peak season, and if you are one of those wishing to visit the city in that period, make sure you start browsing online well in advance.

Take advantage of websites for booking apartment online, as this way you will be sure that the accommodation is waiting for you, and that you will not end up apartment hunting once you arrive, taking all of your luggage with you as you walk around the city, trying to find a place to rent. The internet is a great tool to use when looking for an apartment, as you can manage everything from the comfort of your own home. This gives you enough time for browsing and selecting accommodation that really suits your needs and your budget.

Research an apartment in Madrid

Start by determining where you want to rent an apartment. Madrid is a huge metropolitan city and it might be overwhelming when you first try to determine the part of the city you want to stay in. Use your computer and take advantage of tools such as Google Maps, and explore the area. Besides amenities that are nearby, focus on how that particular area is connected to the airport. Being a traveler, these two criteria are probably high up on your list of priorities when you look for an apartment to rent.

Rent an apartment in Madrid

Landscape of the central area in Madrid

Make a checklist

Although nearby amenities and connection to the airport are important, people have many different demands when renting apartments, which is perfectly common and something we are used to at Apartamentos Madrid. However, we do suggest creating a checklist to keep everything and make sure you end up with an apartment that truly fulfills your needs and requirements.

When we talk about checklists and requirements, here are a couple of things that should come to your mind:

  • The size of the apartment
  • The number of rooms
  • Safe in the apartment
  • Air-conditioning
  • Heating
  • TV
  • Telephone
  • Hair drier
  • Completely furnished kitchen
  • Table for ironing
  • WiFi
  • Reception
  • Garage (if you are traveling by car)

These are some of the most popular requirements we have highlighted throughout the years of experience in working with travelers from all over the world. However, each travel and every traveler is different, so we always suggest everyone to create their own list of things they want and need to have when renting an apartment. That is the main benefit of serviced apartments in Madrid, you are more flexible when choosing and you have more opportunities when it comes to specific requirements. This is why this type of accommodation is recommended for families with children. Additionally, having a checklist helps with speeding up the process and making sure you spend your vacation in Madrid in an apartment that you will love.

Join online groups

Using the Internet as a resource is a great way to prepare for your trip to Madrid. Besides using it to do the research and explore the city through virtual maps, you could also start learning some basic Spanish phrases, that will turn out to be very useful when strolling around the city. In addition, online groups are very useful source of information related to many different aspects of staying in Madrid. Starting from learning about your rights as a tenant in Madrid, to finding out about the best places to eat in the center of the city, you can find almost everything you need to know before you head to Madrid. Being well-informed is a great plus when traveling in general, especially when it comes to long-term stay in a city such as Madrid. Learning about the city and city life is also helpful when looking for a way to rent an apartment in Madrid, regardless if you are considering short-term or long-term stay in Madrid.

The best way to use the power of the Internet in this purpose is to join online groups on social media, or to join travel forums. You could also check out review websites, to find the best places to visit, the best restaurants and cafes. User reviews and comments are great source of information, as you get to read about someone else’s experience, and learn how things go in real life. People can share their knowledge about the public transport, prices, etc.

If we talk about international travelers, it is helpful to join online groups where you can meet a lot of people from your own country or city. This way you can compare things between the two countries or between the two cultures, which makes traveling so much more interesting and exciting.

Have an open mind

Even though you have your checklist ready and you know exactly what type of apartment you want to rent, you should always have an open mind. While you might have everything planned and figured out, the reality might be different from what you have expected. You might need to compromise and sacrifice certain things and necessities from the apartment, if the location is very convenient to you. On the other hand, you might choose an apartment that is a bit away from the city center, but the interior is just the way you imaged, plus the price works really well for you due to a limited budget.

Regardless the reasons, try to be think realistically and keep an open mind, so that you are able to find the apartment that suits you. Make sure you consult your travel companions as well, as they might have a different say in all of this, and their requirements might not match yours in every single aspect.

Choose a credible renter

There are a lot of renters in Madrid. Some are companies, while some are individuals, but they all want to reach you and many other travelers who are visiting the city. The main goal for all of the renters is to rent their accommodation, but you should have in mind that not all renters are equal. You should not think that you could go for any accommodation and that you can expect your experience to be perfect.

What all respectable renters in Madrid are trying to achieve is reputation. With years of being in this industry, we know how good name is important for travelers when making a decision where to rent an apartment in Madrid. Having positive reviews and good feedback from the travelers in the past has helped us tremendously when reaching out new travelers, and this is why a lot of travelers trust us when it comes to finding great accommodation in Madrid.

This is very important aspect to have in mind, as you want your vacation to goes smoothly, and worrying about the accommodation should not be on the list of your things to do once you arrive to Madrid. Instead, you should take care of everything online, or by calling the accommodation provider via phone, so that you have accommodation waiting for you when you arrive.

Act fast

Although as a traveler, you need to go through this process of making a checklist, doing research and finding credible renter, you should not delay the decision-making process too much. What does this mean? Well, the peak season in Madrid is known to be sort of a rush hour. While there are a lot of accommodation opportunities around the city, as this still is a popular tourist destination, when you find that perfect accommodation you should book it immediately, as chances are you will not find quite the same accommodation again.

Also, due to a large number of tourists in the city during the peak season, the selection of accommodation can be rather limited, especially if you were hoping to book accommodation last minute, and you have not considered booking a couple of weeks in advance. The added stress to this situation might be caused by the fact that you have fixed dates when you have to leave, or if you have already purchased plane tickets for the specific dates. In this case, you will have to be very resourceful and use the power of Internet to explore all of the options that are available. You will probably have to be more flexible and to make compromises when choosing an apartment to rent, as you might not have too many apartments available to choose from.

And once you find that apartment that would be a great fit, contact the owner as soon as possible, in order to make sure no one beats you to it.

Since apartments provide so many benefits for travelers, they are becoming increasingly popular when it comes to selection of types of accommodation, but as you can see there is a certain process one must go through when trying to find and book an apartment in Madrid. What you need to have in mind is the fact that you want to spend your vacation enjoying visiting the city and exploring its landmarks, so make sure you arrange everything related to your accommodation before you arrive. Besides the dates of arrival and departure, this should also include the time for check-in and check-out, as these sometimes can be more flexible to fit your schedule.

Madrid Gastronomic Guide

If gastronomic tour is a part of your trip and you want to explore this side of Madrid, the guide we have here will be very helpful as we will share some of the best restaurants, tapas and taverns you can visit in Madrid. Most of the popular places are located in the center of the city, so if you are staying in an apartment in the city center, you will easily reach them. On the other hand, you can also use metro in Madrid as a very convenient and efficient way to travel around the city.

Restaurants

Casa Lucio

There is no better way to start gastronomic tour of Madrid than by eating at a traditional restaurant with authentic Spanish food on the menu. If you want to explore the rich tastes of Spanish cuisine and enjoy a bit formal atmosphere in a well-known restaurant in the Spanish capital, this is the place for you. Meals with meat, fish and veggies are popular items on the menu, together with seasonal meals and traditional dishes such as huevos estrellados. The best way to enjoy the meal is to accompany it with local wine. The restaurant is closed during the month of August.

Location: Calle Cava Baja, 35

Opening hours: Every day between 1 pm and 4 pm, and then again between 8:30 pm and
midnight.

Website: http://www.casalucio.es/en/ho/home.html

Restaurante Casa Lucio

 

Mercado de San Miguel

Here is another traditional restaurant in Madrid, one of the favorite places to visit for all the gourmands visiting Madrid. It is a remarkable gastronomic experience, making this place one of the major tourist attraction of the city. Being located near the Plaza Mayor makes Mercado de San Miguel even more convenient to visit. A great selection of high quality food includes variety of meat products, seafood, vegetables, cheese, sushi, as well as fruit, chocolates, wines and sangria.

Location: Plaza de San Miguel

Opening hours: From Sunday to Wednesday between 10 am and 12 am. From Thursday to Saturday open between 10 am and 2 am.

Website: http://www.mercadodesanmiguel.es/en/

 Mercado de San Miguel

El Restaurante Vegetariano

Even though traditional Spanish cuisine favors meat, you will still find a couple of restaurants for vegetarians, and in this guide we recommend El Restaurante Vegetariano. It is a perfect choice for vegetarians and vegans, as well as everyone who likes Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine. Dishes with veggies such as soups, lasagnas, pastas, as well as homemade desserts are something you can find on the menu of this restaurant. The restaurant is closed during the month of August.

Location: Calle Marques de Santa Ana, 34

Opening hours: From Tuesday to Saturday between 1:30 pm and 4 pm, and again between 9 pm and 11:30 pm. On Sundays between 1:30 pm and 4 pm. Closed on Mondays.

Website: http://www.elrestaurantevegetariano.es/

El_Restaurante_Vegetariano

 

El Sobrino de Botín

Sobrino de Botín was founded in 1725 and it is the oldest restaurant continuously operating in the world. With such rich history and heritage, this restaurant represents a true landmark of Madrid. Additionally, the food is of the highest quality and you will find some of the traditional Spanish dishes, prepared based on the recipes that have been around for generations. It is advisable to make a reservation, even up to a week or two in advance, as it can be very difficult to get a table during lunch and dinner time, when the restaurant is actually open.

Location: Calle Cuchilleros, 17

Opening hours: Every day between 1 pm and 4 pm, and again between 8 pm and midnight.

Website: http://www.botin.es/en

 

Pastry shops

La Mallorquina patisserie

This may be one of the most famous pastry shops in the city with a 100-year long tradition. Large seating area allows you to enjoy delicious pastries in the shop or you can order take out. Besides pastries, deserts and croissants, coffee is also recommended here. Have in mind that due to such great popularity among both tourists and locals, it tends to get crowded, especially during the breakfast time.

Location: Calle Mayor, 2

Opening hours: Every day from 9 am to 9 pm.

Website: www.pastelerialamallorquina.es

Pastelería La Mallorquina

 

 

Chocolateria San Ginés

A famous traditional sweet, churros con choloclate, is one thing you absolutely must try when visiting Madrid, which is why we recommend the most famous place in Madrid specialized in this particular treat, as a part of our Madrid gastronomic guide. The busiest time is around noun and in the evening, between six and eight. Although churros are specialty here, you can also have coffee and other types of cakes and cookies as well.

Location: Pasadizo San Ginés, 5

Opening hours: Open every day, 24 hours.

Website: https://chocolateriasangines.com/

 

Pastelería Nunos

If you love chocolate, this is a place for you. This is a modern restaurant specialized in delicious sweets and pastries, and they even make their own chocolate. Pastry chef José Fernández-Ramos guarantees the high quality of the pastries and sweets served here. His reputation and numerous awards support the fact that even though the shop might lack long tradition the previous two have, it certainly has the quality to become among the top places to visit in Madrid.

Location: Calle Narváez, 63

Opening hours: Every day between 9 am and 9 pm.

Website: http://www.pasteleria-nunos.es/


Antigua Pastelería del Pozo

While you enjoy exploring different options from out gastronomic guide of Madrid, we have to mention a pastry shop that has been in the city for over 180 years. In fact, this is the oldest pastry shop in Madrid, and as such it rightfully deserves to be included in this guide. Antique interior design, with handmade treats prepared and baked inside the shop are the qualities that make this pastry shop so special and unique.

Location: Calle Pozo, 8

Opening hours: Between Tuesday and Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm, and then again between 5 pm and 8 pm. It is closed on Mondays.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/antiguapasteleriadelpozo/

 

Tapas

El Tigre

This famous tapa bar in Madrid is one of the favorite places to go out and have a drink, a chance to try some of the delicious Spanish wines. However, just because you are in a bar it does not mean you will be hungry. At least that is the case in Madrid. Each drink is served with free tapas, which are a perfect snack when drinking and chatting with friends. There are a variety of different tapas to choose from. El Tigre brings this culture of eating and drinking which is common in Spain.

Location: Calle Infantas 30

Opening hours: From Monday to Thursday between 11:30 am and 2 am. On Fridays and Saturdays between 11:30 am and 2:30 am. Closed on Sundays.

Website: http://eltigre.delsurweb.com/
Sidrería El Tigre

 

 

Casa Pello

This tapa bar is a perfect choice for all those wine lovers. Spending an evening with friends in a relaxing atmosphere chatting over a glass of traditional Spanish wine is what some consider ideal way to end a day in Madrid. However, since this is a tapa bar, you can have a snack while drinking wine. This restaurant offers a great variety of tapas, including tapas with vegetable, meat or fish, or you could opt for a combination of these. Tortillas, croquetas and huevos rotos are other dishes you will find on the menu and since these are all typical Spanish dishes you must try at least one of those when visiting Casa Pello restaurant.

Location: Alberto Alcocer, 49

Opening hours: Every day between noon and 2 am.

Website: http://www.casapello.com/

 

Restaurante Casa Pello

 

Casa Gonzalez

Casa Gonzalez is considered a place which perfectly depicts romantic Spanish bar scene. Small restaurant with tiled floor and beautifully adorned interior deserves highest recommendation and has become one of the most popular tapas in Madrid.

Location: Calle León, 12

Opening hours: Opened every day from 9:30 am until midnight (from Monday and Thursday) or until 1 am (Friday and Saturday). On Sundays, the restaurant is opened between 11 am and 6 pm.

Website: http://www.casagonzalez.es/

 

Casa Gonzalez

 

La Castela

Renovated in 1989, this restaurant is actually founded on the grounds of old tavern that has been in Madrid since 1930s. Most travelers who visit this restaurant praise the good selection of food and great prices. Since restaurant has a separate bar and dining area, a lot of guests prefer starting with eating tapas and having a drink in the bar, then to be seated in the restaurant area for the full course meal. Reservations in advance are recommended as it may get pretty busy here especially on the weekend nights during the summer season. However, since the restaurant also has a bar, you can also wait there until there is room in the restaurant.

Location: Calle Doctor Castelo, 22

Opening hours: The bar is opened every day between 12 pm and 4:30 pm, and then again from 7:30 pm to 00:30 am. The restaurant is opened every day between 2 pm and 4 pm, and then again from 9 pm to midnight. La Castela is closed on Sunday evenings.

Website: http://restaurantelacastela.com/

Restaurante La Castela

As you can see the choice of restaurants, tapas bars and places to eat in Madrid is very vast, and this Madrid gastronomic guide features only a handful of those places you can discover as you explore Madrid and what it has to offer. One thing is for sure. Exploring gastronomic side of Madrid is very exciting and fun way to experience the city and local culture. It is a great opportunity to learn local customs, to try out new dishes you might have never tried before, and to enjoy wines Spain is so famous for. While you enjoy eating and drinking, you will get to experience the local friendly atmosphere, and with the sounds of traditional music you will slowly embrace that joyful feeling of life in Madrid.

 

Guía Gastronómica de Madrid

Si hacer un tour gastronómico es una parte de tu viaje y quieres explorar esta faceta de Madrid, esta guía que hemos publicado te será muy útil ya que encontrarás algunos de los mejores restaurantes, pastelerías y tabernas que se pueden visitar en Madrid. La mayoría de estos lugares están situados en el centro de la ciudad, así que si te hospedas en un apartamento en el centro de Madrid, te será fácil llegar a ellos. Por otro lado, también puedes tomar el metro de Madrid como una forma muy conveniente y eficiente de viajar por la ciudad.

Restaurantes

Casa Lucio

No hay mejor manera de empezar un recorrido gastronómico por Madrid que comer en un restaurante tradicional con auténtica comida española en el menú. Si deseas explorar los ricos sabores de la cocina española y disfrutar de un ambiente formal, uno de los restaurantes más conocidos de la capital española es sin lugar a dudas Casa Lucio. Los platos de carne, pescado y verduras son muy populares en el menú, junto con platos de temporada y platos tradicionales como los huevos estrellados. La mejor manera de disfrutar de la comida es acompañarla con vino de la tierra.

Localización: Calle Cava Baja, 35

Horario: Todos los días de 13:00-16:00, y de 20:30 a 24:00. Agosto cerrado.

Website: http://casalucio.es/es/

Restaurante Casa Lucio

 

Mercado de San Miguel

Uno de los lugares favoritos para visitar para todos los gourmets que visitan Madrid es el Mercado de San Miguel. Es una experiencia gastronómica extraordinaria, haciendo de este lugar una de las mayores atracciones turísticas de la ciudad. Al estar situado cerca de la Plaza Mayor hace que el Mercado de San Miguel sea aún más conveniente para visitar. Una gran selección de comida de alta calidad que incluye variedad de productos a base de carne, mariscos, verduras, queso, sushi, así como frutas, chocolates, vinos y sangría.

Localización: Plaza de San Miguel

Horario: De domingo a miércoles abre de 10:00 a 24:00 y de jueves a sábado de 10:00 a 2:00

Website:http://www.mercadodesanmiguel.es

 Mercado de San Miguel

El Restaurante Vegetariano

A pesar de que la cocina tradicional española favorece la carne, también queremos recomendar este restaurante, ya que es una opción perfecta para los vegetarianos y veganos, así como para  todos a los que les gusta la cocina mediterránea y española. Los platos con verduras tales como sopas, pastas, lasañas, así como postres caseros se pueden encontrar en el menú de este restaurante.

Localización: Calle Marques de Santa Ana, 34

Horario: De martes a sábado de 13:30-16:00 y de 21:00-23:30. Los domingos de 13:30 a 16:00. Cerrado los lunes. Agosto cerrado.

Website: http://www.elrestaurantevegetariano.es/

El_Restaurante_Vegetariano

 

El Sobrino de Botín

El Sobrino de Botín fue fundado en 1725 y es el restaurante más antiguo en funcionamiento continuado en el mundo. Con tan rica historia y patrimonio, este restaurante representa un verdadero hito de Madrid. Además, la comida es de la más alta calidad y se pueden degustar algunos de los platos tradicionales españoles, elaborados en base a las recetas que han existido durante generaciones. Es recomendable hacer una reserva, incluso de una semana o dos de antelación, ya que puede ser muy difícil conseguir una mesa durante la comida y la cena.

Localización: Calle Cuchilleros, 17

Horario: Cada día de 13:00 a 16:00 y de 20:00 a 24:00.

Website: http://www.botin.es/

 

Pastry shops

La Pastelería Mallorquina

Esta es una de las más famosas pastelerías de la ciudad con una larga tradición de 100 años. Tiene una amplia sala que permite disfrutar de deliciosos pasteles en la tienda o se pueden pedir para llevar. Además de pasteles, postres y cruasanes, también es muy recomendable el café. Debido a la gran popularidad de esta pastelería entre los turistas y locales, suele estar muy concurrida, especialmente durante la hora del desayuno.

Localización: Calle Mayor, 2

Horario: Cada día de 9:00 a 21:00.

Website: www.pastelerialamallorquina.es

Pastelería La Mallorquina

 

 

Chocolatería San Ginés

Un famoso dulce tradicional, los churros con choloclate, es algo que no debes perderte cuando visites Madrid, por lo que te recomendamos el lugar más famoso de Madrid especializado en esta particular delicia. El momento más activo es por la tarde, entre las seis y las ocho. Aunque los churros son la especialidad de esta chocolatería, también se puede tomar un café y varios tipos de pasteles y galletas.

Localización: Pasadizo San Ginés, 5

Horario: Abierto cada día las 24 horas del día.

Website: https://chocolateriasangines.com/

 

Pastelería Nunos

Si te gusta el chocolate, este es tu lugar. Se trata de un moderno restaurante especializado en deliciosos dulces y pasteles, e incluso hacen su propio chocolate. El pastelero José Fernández-Ramos garantiza la alta calidad de los pasteles y dulces servidos aquí. Su reputación y numerosos premios apoyan el hecho de que a pesar de que la tienda puede carecer de la larga tradición los dos anteriores, tiene sin duda la calidad para convertirse en uno de los mejores lugares para visitar en Madrid.

Localización: Calle Narváez, 63

Horario: Cada día de 9:00 a 21:00.

Website: http://www.pasteleria-nunos.es/


Antigua Pastelería del Pozo

Mientras disfruta de explorar diferentes opciones de guía gastronómica de Madrid, tenemos que mencionar una pastelería que se abrió hace más de 180 años. De hecho, esta es la pastelería más antigua de Madrid, y como tal,  merece ser incluida en esta guía. El diseño interior y su antigüedad, con golosinas hechas a mano y horneados preparados dentro de la tienda son las cualidades que hacen de esta pastelería un sitio tan especial y único.

Localización: Calle Pozo, 8

Horario: De martes a domingo de 9:00 a 14:00 y de 17:00 a 20:00. Lunes cerrado.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/antiguapasteleriadelpozo/

 

Tapas

El Tigre

Este famoso bar de tapas en Madrid es uno de los lugares favoritos para salir a tomar una copa, la oportunidad de probar algunos de los deliciosos vinos españoles. Sin embargo, aunque sea un bar no significa que pasará hambre. Al menos ese es el caso de Madrid. Cada bebida se sirve con tapas gratis, que son un aperitivo perfecto para beber y charlar con los amigos. Hay una gran variedad de tapas diferentes para elegir. El Tigre trae esta cultura de la comida y la bebida que es común en España.

Localización: Calle Infantas 30

Horario: De Lunes  a Jueves de 11:30 a 2:00. Viernes y Sabados de 11:30 a 2:30. Domingos cerrado.

Website: http://eltigre.delsurweb.com/
Sidrería El Tigre

 

 

Casa Pello

Este bar de tapas es una opción perfecta para todos aquellos amantes del vino. Pasar una noche con los amigos en un ambiente relajado con una copa de vino tradicional español es lo que algunos consideran la manera ideal de terminar un día en Madrid. Sin embargo, ya que este es un bar de tapas, se puede tomar un aperitivo mientras se bebe vino. Este restaurante ofrece una gran variedad de tapas, incluyendo tapas con verduras, carne o pescado, o se puede optar por una combinación de estos. Tortillas, croquetas y huevos rotos son otros platos que encontrarás en el menú ya que estos son todos los platos típicos españoles.

Localización: Alberto Alcocer, 49

Horario: Cada día de 12:00 a 2:00.

Website: http://www.casapello.com/

 

Restaurante Casa Pello

 

Casa Gonzalez

Casa Gonzalez se considera un lugar que representa a la perfección un bar español. Es un pequeño restaurante con suelo de baldosas y su interior bellamente adornado merece la más alta recomendación y se ha convertido en una de las tapas más populares de Madrid.

Localización: Calle León, 12

Horario: Abierto cada día. De 9:30 a 24h (de lunes a juebes) y hasta la 1:00 (viernes y sábados).  El domingo abren de 11:00 a  18:00.

Website: http://www.casagonzalez.es/

 

Casa Gonzalez

 

La Castela

Reformado en 1989, este restaurante se ubicó en los terrenos de la antigua taberna que estuvo en Madrid desde el año 1930. La mayoría de los viajeros que visitan este restaurante alaban la buena selección de comida y buenos precios. El restaurante cuenta con una zona de bar y comedor independiente, una gran cantidad de clientes prefieren comenzar con unas tapas y una copa en el bar y, a continuación, sentarse en la zona del restaurante para la comida. Se recomienda reservar con antelación ya que suele estar bastante lleno, sobre todo en las noches del fin de semana durante la temporada de verano. Sin embargo, ya que el restaurante también tiene un bar, también se puede esperar allí hasta que haya mesa libre en el restaurante.

Localización: Calle Doctor Castelo, 22

Horario: El bar cada día de 12:00 a 16:30 y de 19:30 a 00:30. El restaurante abre cada día de 14:00 a 16:00 y de 9 a 24:00. La Castela cierra los domingos por la noche.

Website: http://restaurantelacastela.com/

Restaurante La Castela

Como se puede ver, la variedad de restaurantes, bares de tapas y lugares para comer en Madrid es muy amplia, y esta guía gastronómica de Madrid muestra sólo un puñado de estos lugares que se pueden descubrir a medida que se explora la ciudad. Una cosa es segura, explorar el lado gastronómico de Madrid es una forma muy interesante y divertida de conocer la ciudad y la cultura local. Es una gran oportunidad para aprender las costumbres locales, para probar nuevos platos que es posible que nunca hayas probado antes, y para disfrutar de los famosos vinos españoles. Mientras comes y bebes, el ambiente agradable y los sonidos de la música tradicional te van a abrazar lentamente con la sensación alegre de la vida en Madrid.

 

Madrid City Guide

Are you planning to visit Madrid? Do you want to spend your holiday in the city famous for its cultural and historical importance? Do you want to experience the best of Madrid and make the most out of your holiday in the Spanish capital?

If your answer is yes, you will need a city guide to help you find your way around the city and ensure you do not miss any of the important landmarks worth visiting.

When to go?

Depending on your situation, choosing the period for your visit might not be as flexible, due to work, school or university classes, etc. These are the reasons that will influence not only the period of the year you will visit the city, but it will also affect the length of stay. Luckily, when it comes to Madrid, Mediterranean climate with mild cool winters and hot summers, creates great weather conditions throughout the year. July and August are the hottest months, with daily temperatures going over 30 °C, and January is the coldest month.

How to get to the city?

The answer to this question mainly depends on where you are traveling from. If you are visiting from another city in Spain, it is likely that you are going to use bus or train to get to Madrid. On the other hand, traveling from a different country, or perhaps from a different continent means you will probably be using a plane to arrive to Madrid. Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport is the main international airport in Madrid. With over 47 million passengers each year and regular flights towards all Europe’s large cities, as well as great connection with Americas, Madrid is considered as one of the largest and business airports in Europe. Conveniently, it is located around 13 kilometers from Madrid city center, which is why tourists can easily reach the historic center of the city.

Transport from the airport:

  • Aerocity – This is a type of specialized taxi service, available at 23 euros. One of the downsides is that you may have to share this taxi with two or three more passengers.
  • Airport Express (Exprés Aeropuerto) – This is perhaps the most affordable and yet the easiest way to get to the city center. The buses operate 24 hours, every 15 minutes during the day and every 35 minutes during the night. There are stops at terminals T1, T2 and T4, and three stops after the airport: O’Donell, Plaza de Cibeles and Atocha. The cost of transport is 5 euros. The main drawback is that there are only three stops in the city where the bus can take you, meaning you will have to walk or use other types of public transport to arrive to your destination.

Where to go first?

The first place you will visit in Madrid is certainly the accommodation you have booked for yourself, regardless if your choice is a hostel, a hotel or an apartment in the center of Madrid. In case an apartment is your preferred type of accommodation, and you have decided to stay in an apartment in Madrid, you might want to use Aerocity transportation service from the airport, as you will arrive exactly at the destination where you will be staying. Another thing to have in mind is that renting an apartment in the center of Madrid is always advisable if you are visiting for the first time and if you are in the city for a short trip, as this is very convenient when it comes to sightseeing, going out, etc.

Things to know when you first arrive

Since the purpose of this guide is to help you quickly learn how things in Madrid work, here are some things to know if you are visiting for the first time:

Local currency: Euro

Time zone: CEST (UTC/GMT +1)

Language: Official language is Spanish. Even though you will find lots of people being able to communicate using basic English phrases, you will still be much better off if you speak Spanish, or at least understand some basic travel terms.

Working hours: Siesta is an important part of Spanish culture, so you should have this in mind when you explore the city during the day. Siesta is an afternoon rest or a nap, during which most restaurants, cafes and even shops are closed. Therefore, working hours are usually from 9 am until 1:30 pm or 2 pm, and then again from 4 pm or 5 pm until the evening hours. Some restaurants or cafes remain open even until midnight.

Emergency phones: There are a few emergency phones you need to know when you visit the city. Have in mind that they are all toll-free.

  • General emergency services – 112
  • Madrid City Council Information – 010
  • Fire service – 080
  • National police – 091
  • Municipal police – 092
  • Ambulance – 061 or 112

Around the city

Choosing accommodation in the center of the city is great way to explore the city on foot. In this case, you would only need transport to get from the airport to the apartment in the center of Madrid, and you are ready for sightseeing. Most of the landmarks are actually situated in the historic center of the city, enabling you to easily walk from one point of interest to another. On your way, you will definitely enjoy city’s architecture and artistic display, present all around the city.

However, in case you do want to use public transport, here are a few useful tips that will help you optimize your journey around the city and choose the most convenient way to reach a certain location.

  • Madrid Metro

Metro in Madrid is known to be very fast and cheap way to travel around the city. It runs from 6:00 am to 1:30 am, in intervals between 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the line. The map of the lines is available at the airport, at the bus or train stations, and in tourist offices. You can also check out the online version of the metro map here.

  • Madrid Card

The Madrid Card is a great solution for tourists, as it combines free public transport with a pass for major museums and attractions in Madrid. The Madrid Card includes a tour around the Real Madrid Stadium and the Atlético de Madrid stadium, the Las Ventas bullring tour and a trip on a Cable Car. It also included discounts for restaurants, gift shops, etc.  The card contains your name and it cannot be transferred to another person. It is activated the first time you use it, and it is valid on consecutive days, as the card is purchased for the period of days. The price of the ticket starts from 47€ (one-day card).

Madrid Card

Image source: http://www.madridcard.com/en/que-es-una-tarjeta-turistica

  • Travel Pass

Travel Pass is also a personalized ticket, allowing you to use all types of public transport, and it is valid for 30 day. The price and the type of the ticket depends on the zones you want to visit in Madrid, so the best way to check if this card is what you need is to consult the official page of metro Madrid travel pass.

  • Tourist Card

Since most travelers are in the city for a couple of days only, the most practical way for them to use public transport is to use tourist card, which can be purchased in five different types, depending on the number of days the card is valid (1, 2, 3, 5 and 7).  There are two zones, but most tourist will be satisfied with Zone A (including the municipal district of Madrid) and the price of the tourist card is from 8.40€.

What to visit?

When it comes to places you should visit, each visit is distinctive and unique. There is no universal itinerary that will be perfect for organizing a trip around the city of Madrid, but Madrid is generally known as a place of culture and rich cultural heritage, with lots of landmarks preserved throughout the history as a legacy that proudly showcases the cultures and art movements that were part of Madrid’s city life.

This is the reason why most tourists choose to visit these particular landmarks in Madrid:

Royal Palace of Madrid is one of the most remarkable buildings in the city, originally constructed in the 18th century, with several renovations over the years. It consists of almost 3500 rooms and it represents one of the largest and most important royal palaces in Europe.

Royal Palace of Madrid

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/madrid-castle-palace-architecture-328126/

The Golden Triangle of Art is a great place to visit if you are interested in art and culture. The complex is comprised of three most important museums in Madrid, which include: the Prado Museum (National Museum featuring pre-20th-century art), the Reina Sofía Museum (National Museum featuring 20th century modern art), and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (private museum, historical through contemporary art). Of course, Madrid has a lot more museums, depending on the historic period or art movements you are interested in, which is why we suggest this guide featuring most important museums to visit in Madrid.

The Plaza Mayor is a large square, rectangular in shape, surrounded by three-story residential buildings, which their distinctive red façade and flower-decorated balconies. The square has had tremendous importance in the history of the city, and today is a very important landmark in the center of the city.

The Plaza Mayor

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/main-square-madrid-spain-722707/

The Puerta del Sol is another square in Madrid, which is known as the busiest place in Madrid and favorite meeting point of the locals.

Another landmark you would not want to miss when visiting Madrid is Gran Vía, the upscale street known for its remarkable 20th century architecture and well-known shopping area in the city. It leads from Calle de Alcalá to Plaza de España.

Madrid is known as a green city, with lots of parks and green surfaces inside the central area, but the most famous one is certainly the Retiro Park, which is also the largest park in Madrid. Wonderfully decorated, with lots of interesting landmarks inside the park and cultural events organized throughout the year, this park is definitely one of those must-see places in Madrid.

Where to eat?

The central area of the city is full of restaurants and cafes, where you can have a light snack or a full-size meal. Regardless if you would like tapas or pizzas, if you prefer Italian or Chinese cuisine, or you simply want to try out local specialties such as patata bravas, croquettes, Spanish Tortilla or paella, you will find a lot of interesting restaurants in Madrid.

La Musa Latina – a cheap restaurant offering a large selection of tapas, grill, roasted vegetables and desserts.

Botín – a very popular tavern, serving traditional meals and wines in a lovely surrounding.

La Bodega de los Secretos – seafood, pastas, as well as roasted meat are some of the delicious specialties on the menu of this restaurant in the center of Madrid.

Where to shop?

When we think about shopping in Madrid, we usually associate it with Gran Vía street, where most of the high-end shops are located. Apart from Gran Vía, central area of the city has a lot of shops scattered around so you will find lots of them in the Paseo del Prado or in the Paseo de la Castellana. Mentioning the most famous Madrid’s flea market is also important, so if you prefer flea market instead of big fancy shopping malls, you should visit El Rastro de Madrid.

Which places are on your list of places to visit in Madrid? If you have already visited Madrid, which one of these would you recommend?

 

Visiting the Outskirts of Madrid

When traveling, most people tend to stay around in the center of the city or town they visit, as by the rule the most important landmarks are usually located nearby. This is also the case when visiting Madrid, the capital city of Spain. Additionally, if you happen to find an apartment in the center of Madrid, the chances are you will probably spend your trip circulating around central area and visiting nearby landmarks, such as the Plaza Mayor, the Puerta del Sol, the Royal Palace, the Retiro Park, etc.

However, the outskirts of Madrid are just as interesting and worth visiting, which is why we would like to suggest some of the best locations which are good enough reason for you to think about visiting the outskirts of Madrid.

Alcalá de Henares

Alcalá de Henares is a small city 35 km east of Madrid, especially known by its historical center which is one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The city has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, being a home to many different cultures, that affected the region and played an important part in developing the scenery we know today. The city now has population of around 200,000 people and many historical sites that attract the tourists who want to explore the outskirts of Madrid.

One of the major landmarks in the city is certainly the university. The Universidad Complutense, which is known to be one of the oldest universities in the world, is actually founded in Alcalá de Henares in 1293. The university largely became popular during the Renaissance, but it was moved to Madrid in the 19th century. A new university, Universidad de Alcalá, was founded in 1977, occupying some of the old university buildings, as well as some newly built modern buildings.

Apart from the campus and wonderful old buildings that were built for the original university, Alcalá de Henares Cathedral is another architectural masterpiece you should visit in the city. The original chapel was built in the 5th century, but it was destroyed in the 11th, only to be rebuilt at the same place in the 11th century. Additional reconstructions and the process of adding a tower followed in the subsequent centuries, until finally the cathedral was declared a national monument in 1904. The Cathedral of Alcalá is notable as one of only two churches in the world to be granted the special title “Magistral”. Belgian St. Peter’s Church is the only other church in the world granted with this title.

The most important person to be born in Alcalá de Henares is Miguel de Cervantes, and the city hosts a ceremony the Cervantes Prize, on the 23rd of April, the anniversary of Cervantes’ death and the World’s Book Day.

Segovia

Segovia is the capital of Segovia Province, located around 80 km away from Madrid city center. The old city of Segovia was declared as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1985, due to a number of historic buildings, as well as a lot of sites of Jewish origin.

Aqueduct of Segovia is perhaps the most famous site in Segovia dating back to Roman period. This Roman aqueduct is considered to be the best oldest preserved monument on the Iberian Peninsula, dating from the period between 1st and 2nd century.

Alcazar of Segovia is the royal palace, which is also worth visiting while you are in this area. The Alcazar was the favorite residence of the monarchs of the Kingdom of Castile, which is why it is also known as Fortress of the Kings of Castile. The historic data show that the palace dates back from the 12th century, but it may be even older as there is no information to confirm that the building existed prior to this period. Around the building there are two courtyards and two towers. You can visit the palace from 10 am in the morning during the entire year, but you should have in mind that there is an entrance fee for visiting the palace and the towers.

 Alcazar of Segovia

The view of the Alcazar from the heights of “El Parral” or “La Fuencisla”
Image source: http://www.alcazardesegovia.com/en/#section-multimedia

Segovia Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in the mains square of Segovia, the Plaza Mayor. Besides its historic and religious importance, the church is considered to be an architectural master piece, showcasing the best of Spanish architecture.

Segovia also has many beautiful gardens and parks, several museums, including the Gastronomic Museum of Segovia and the Museum of Witch Craft, and you can attend local festivals, most of which are held between June and September, including the biggest festival of all, Virgin of the Fuencisla, Patroness of Segovia, taking place on the 25th of September.

Toledo

Located 70 km south of Madrid, Toledo is another one of the World Heritage Sites in the outskirts of Madrid. The town has been declared a cultural and monumental heritage in 1986 by UNESCO, as one of the best places to illustrate the merge of Christian, Muslim and Jewish culture. This is one of the reasons why the town is also known as “the city of three cultures”, where people and their different cultures co-existed over the centuries in the past.

Toledo is located on a mountaintop and surrounded by Tagus River on three sides. The Alcázar of Toledo is a fortress located in the highest part of Toledo, and perhaps the most important landmark you can visit in this town. It was used as a palace by the Romans back in the 3rd century, proving the long history and importance it had for Toledo and its inhabitants throughout the history. The Alcázar of Toledo is opened for visitors every day between 11 am and 5 pm, except on Wednesdays, when it is closed for visitors.

 Alcazar of Toledo

The Alcázar of Toledo located in the highest part of the city
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alc%C3%A1zar_atardeciente.jpg

Toledo Cathedral, fully named the Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo, is another landmark in the town of Toledo you should visit while you are exploring the outskirts of Madrid. It dates back to 13th century and it is built in Gothic style. Its richly designed interior and exterior is breathtaking and it represents a true masterpiece of the style and craftsmanship of the architects who set up the grounds, as well as those who participated in subsequent renovations and preservations of the church.

Toledo has been home to El Greco, a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance, during his later years, so today the town of Toledo even has El Greco Museum, a house-museum designed as a recreation of the artist’s home, where several of his paintings are kept.

Toledo is also famous gastronomy center, with many different gastronomy tours organized in the town. The local cuisine is heavily influenced by the routed traditions of the three cultures that co-existed in this location, making it diverse and unique in many aspects. The most famous food productions in Toledo are Manchego cheese and marzipan.

Aranjuez

Aranjuez is another town you should consider when you are visiting the outskirts of Madrid. It is located around 40 km south of Madrid. It has been one of the Royal Estates of the Crown of Spain since 16th century. Along with others, this town has also been enlisted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1983.

One of the most notable landmarks in the town is certainly the Royal Palace of Aranjuez, the residence of the King of Spain. The palace is open for visitors as one of the Spanish royal sites. Besides the impressive building and intricate details on the façade of the palace, the huge gardens are also part of this amazing site, which has been worthy of being a residence of generations of Spanish royals. The Royal Palace of Aranjuez even features an art collection, which includes the Museo de la Vida en Palacio, displaying the daily lives of Spanish monarchs.

 The Royal Palace of Aranjuez

The view of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez
Image source: http://www.traveltosun.com/2011/06/16/the-royal-palace-of-aranjuez/

When it comes to festivals and local events, there are many events you could visit, and the most remarkable one is certainly the Mutiny of Aranjuez, organized during the first week of September. The events organized during this festival include funfair, sports events, food and drink stalls, a concert at the Royal Palace, dramatic streets re-enactment, fireworks, etc. This celebration is very important for the locals, it gathers a lot of visitors and it has been declared a cultural event of National Tourist interest.

El Escorial

The Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, commonly known as El Escorial, is an hour drive away from Madrid and it represents a great place if you want to spend a day far from the city noise. El Escorial is a complex of buildings, representation of the Spanish Renaissance, as most of the complex was built during the second half of the 16th century. Due to the fact that it is located near Madrid, and yet holds such an immense value in terms of historical and cultural heritage, El Escorial is one of the most visited landmarks in the outskirts of Madrid.

This location was chosen by King Philip II of Spain for the place to construct a royal palace so this location represents an important site in the lives of the Spanish royals. The interior of the Escorial was decorated by many notable Spanish and Italian artists of the 16th and 17th century.

The complex consists of a royal palace, a monastery, a college, a church and a library. There are also towers in the corner of the complex. The basilica of San Lorenzo el Real, a Gothic cathedral, is located in the center of the building complex. The exterior is also beautifully decorated with gardens and fountains. While you walk around and explore, you will feel like you are able to vividly depict the life centuries back, where the complex and its beauty was just as impressive as nowadays, for tourists visiting the town.

El Escorial is open for visitors every day between 10 am and 8 pm between April and September, while the complex is closed at 6 pm during the period between October and March. The complex is closed on Mondays. Besides a tour of the actual complex, San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a small town perfect for walking around and enjoying the view of the mountains.

 el-escorial-1237573_1920

The view of the El Escorial’ façade and tower
Image source: https://pixabay.com/

Valley of the Fallen, in Spanish Valle de los Caídos, is a Catholic basilica in San Lorenzo de El Escorial which you can visit after El Escorial. It represents a historic monument for all the victims of the Spanish Civil War. The basilica is a product of the 20th century architecture, constructed under the influence of Spanish Neo-Herrerian style. You can visit this landmark any day of the week between 10 am and 7 pm, except on Mondays, when the site is closed for visitors.

As you can see, the outskirt of Madrid is just as impressive and worth visiting for all travelers who come to Madrid. If you choose one of the apartments in the center of Madrid, you can easily reach any of these places using a car, or going by bus or train. In case you are staying in Madrid for a couple of days, make sure you pick at least one of these places to visit on a day trip away from Madrid city center.

Why You Should Rent an Apartment in Madrid?

When you come to stay in a city of Madrid, you get a lot of opportunities to find accommodation. A city so big and diverse offers so many different places to live in, regardless if we talk about the size of the apartment, location, etc.

Needless to say, when you want to look for an apartment, you will have a lot of online resources and booking websites that will help you with both finding and booking the apartment you would like to stay in while you are in Madrid.

Being a part of this industry and working with travelers from all over the world, our team at Apartamentos Madrid knows how renting an apartment is always a great option of travelers. This is why we want to focus on explaining some of the main benefits and reasons why you should rent an apartment in Madrid.

 

Long-term or short-term apartments in Madrid

The first thing to think about when renting an apartment in Madrid is the length of your stay. This is a very important aspect of your travel, as it significantly affects the type of accommodation you will need during your stay.

For short-term stay you will feel more flexible and it will be easier to find a type of accommodation you want. You will be less picky, as you know that you will be in the city for only a couple of days, which means that there is no need to invest too much time into finding an apartment to rent in Madrid. In general, when it comes to short stay, travelers are most likely to spend a lot of time sightseeing and exploring the city, so they do not actually spend much time in the apartment, except to go have some rest and sleep.

Still, having your own apartment even when you are supposed to stay in the city for a couple of days only, is no reason to give up on your daily routine, diet, etc. Living in a serviced apartment will make this all easier to you.

Apto.40habitacion04

When it comes to long-term apartments, things are different here. Besides travelers, there are a lot of people who relocate due to a business opportunity, continuing education, attending seminars, etc. All of those who plan to stay in the city for a longer period of time must think about apartments as a perfect way to feel comfortable, even though they might miss home and are having difficulties adjusting to a life in a new city.

Staying in an apartment for a longer period you also get to sort of settle down, despite the fact that you are a newcomer, and you might still know only a few people in the city. And this feeling of settling down, feeling of belonging, is important for people who move home, regardless if the period we talk about is two months or two years. Either way, people have the need to feel like they belong somewhere, as this helps them feel good about themselves, to be happy and fulfilled. In the end, it also helps with overcoming that nostalgic feeling most people have when they leave behind a place where they grew up or people they care about so deeply.

 

Renting an apartment vs. staying in hotel

As a traveler, you must have been in a situation where you would consider between renting an apartment and staying in a hotel. These are both types of accommodation commonly available to travelers, but there are a lot of differences between staying in an apartment and staying in a hotel.

One of the major benefits of renting an apartment, as opposed to staying in a hotel, is comfort. Hotel rooms are usually small and you are confined to a tiny area, where you barely have enough space to place your suitcases, especially if you are not traveling lightly. On the other hand, apartments are available in various different sizes, so you can choose exactly the size of the apartment you would find comfortable. There is no need to be confined to a small space, just because you are traveling. Sacrificing comfort when on vacation is not always the answer, especially if you plan on staying in the city for a week or more.

In a situation like this, it seems pointless to choose smaller space, and limit your comfort, as you know you will need to be able to relax. Holidays are all about having fun and enjoying time you get to spend away from home and away from work, so make sure you feel comfortable when staying in apartment.

Another major difference between these two types of accommodations is particularly related to travelers who plan on staying in the city for a longer period of time. Long-term apartments in Madrid are much more suitable option for finding accommodation than staying in a hotel as the cost of accommodation is significantly lower. Apart from comfort, which we have already mentioned as a great benefit of choosing apartment rentals instead of any other type of accommodation, the cost of an apartment is usually much cheaper when you rent for an extended period of time.

Unlike hotels, where the main characteristic when it comes to payment is paying per night of your stay, apartment owners and agencies usually have different payment options. Those options most commonly depend on the length of the stay.

For example, if you need to stay in an apartment in Madrid for two or three days you will pay per day. In this case, the price of your accommodation can be similar to the one you would pay in a hotel, as you get to pay per night. On the other hand, you might need to stay in the apartment for a month, in which case you would ask for the price of renting that apartment for a month. In this situation, you end up paying much less when you pay for the entire month, than in cases where you would have to pay for thirty separate nights, because a monthly rental is not an option.

The same goes for different periods of time, such as a couple of months or even a year. Paying a monthly rental is much more affordable solution in this case, and it is a solution we recommend to most travelers who are supposed to stay in Madrid for a longer period of time.

 

Traveling with family or friends

Now we come to another situation where you should rent an apartment in Madrid, instead of selecting any other type of accommodation and here is why. Traveling with family and friends is a period where you travel with a group of people, regardless if that is a group of two, three, four, etc.

There are two main reasons why people travel with family (sometimes two families can travel together) and friends. First we have a pleasure of sharing a travel adventure with people you love spending time with. Obviously, in this case, spending a lot of time together, bonding and having fun together is the goal of your travel. The second reason is the fact that people traveling together want to share the travel costs. Travel costs most commonly include cost of accommodation, but they also include a situation where friends could share money for fuel by traveling in one car, instead of all of them buying tickets and traveling separately.

When it comes to accommodation costs, staying in an apartment is a much better solution for people who are traveling together. Instead of renting two or three separate bedrooms, family and friends can all stay in one apartment. Obviously, you will need a two-bedroom or even three-bedroom apartment, so that everyone feels comfortable, but even so, this alternative will turn out to be much cheaper solution that staying in a hotel. Apart from sharing the price of the actual apartment rental, you also get to share food expenses, especially if you choose to cook in the apartment. Staying in and eating at home is usually much affordable than ordering food or eating out.

Additionally, while you stay in an apartment, you will have much more time to spend together, as you can spend a lot of time in the living room, watching TV, playing games, chatting, etc. You could also cook and eat meals together. All of these activities are more difficult to organize in a hotel, especially if you end up being located on different floors.

This aspect of bonding and spending time together is very important when we talk about a family traveling together, especially in cases you are traveling with kids. It might be stressful to travel on its own for some people, but traveling with kids is even greater endeavor. Kids easily get bored, they might hungry, tired, etc. Regardless the reason they can cause you problems when you need to focus on preparing all the documents, carrying your luggage and paying attention to your kids at the same time. In some cases, one room in a hotel might not be enough, so you should always consider renting an apartment in these situations, as you will end up spending much more time together as a family. And when it comes to eating habits of your kids, you are the one who knows them best. As some kids might be fussy eaters, preparing food on your own, in the kitchen of the apartment you rent, might be much more suitable for you when traveling, instead depending on different options such as eating out or eating in a hotel’s kitchen.

In the end, all that matters is that you are having fun during your travel to Madrid, regardless the amount of time you are going to spend in the city, and regardless if you are in the city to work, study or explore its culture. What you need to have in mind is that travel or relocation is a great opportunity to experience something new, to enjoy trying out new things, visiting new places and meeting new people. This is all part of your life, part of your experience which makes you who you are.

Having all of this in mind, we can safely conclude that staying in an apartment has much more benefits, which is why you should rent an apartment in Madrid. Although comfort is the number one benefit, and it is commonly the main reason why travelers choose this type of accommodation, we cannot neglect other benefits such as costs and possibility to stay with family and friends.

Each travel is different and unique in its way, but what all travelers have in common is that they want to find accommodation easily. They also want it to be comfortable and affordable, which all together lead us to believe that apartments are exactly what most travelers are looking for, as only apartment rentals fulfill all of these conditions, thus enabling travelers to enjoy and take the most out of their travel while in the Spanish capital.