Madrid Travel Guide

Madrid Travel Guide

Monika Höfler & Jens Schwarz

Madrid is undergoing a period of astonishing creativity, resulting in a city that feels more distinctive and authentic than many other modern capital... Read More

Madrid is undergoing a period of astonishing creativity, resulting in a city that feels more distinctive and authentic than many other modern capitals. A young city by European standards, the vibe here is adventurous and unpretentious but with an eye toward quality in all pursuits of life, from architecture and design to food and wine. On the cultural front, the Spanish capital is home to many of the country’s greatest national museums, including the masterpiece-dense Prado, Reina Sofía, and Thyssen art museums. Building on their strength, at least a dozen other cultural institutions and attractions share the same sidewalks, and the surrounding streets are lined with commercial galleries. The city’s culinary reputation as more traditional than daring, dynamic Barcelona has also come unbuttoned. With chefs from across Spain and around the world joining the local talent, the city’s restaurants and bars are a major draw for gastronomes. Travel to Madrid to see its gorgeous architecture and plazas, many of which were constructed during the 16th and 17th centuries, and its lovely avenues and thoroughfares. Read Travel + Leisure’s Madrid travel guide to see why those who visit can’t get enough of this bustling Spanish city.

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Visit Madrid

Best Time To Go

Though Madrid is miles away from the sea, the city experiences a Mediterranean climate, which means warm, humid summers and mild winters. Spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) have the mildest and most pleasant weather. The very heart of winter (January and February) can be quite cold and rainy, whereas July and August can be very hot.

Transportation

Madrid has an excellent (and air-conditioned) Metro and bus network that connects virtually all the places a visitor may want to go, including the airport. A 10-ride ticket costs 12.20 euros (1.5 euros for a single ticket). For longer journeys, there are the Cercanias commuter trains and the Renfe national rail service. Taxis are abundant and provide a reliable and relatively inexpensive way to get around.

Weather

July is the hottest month, with an average high of 76°F (25°C). January is the coldest month, with an average high of 42°F (6°C).

Know Before You Go

The last decade has seen a tremendous normalization of business hours for many larger retailers and nearly all major cultural institutions, which no longer close for the long, late Spanish lunch (2 to 5 p.m.). But smaller independent shops and offices do still close at midday, and virtually all stores are closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Language

Spanish (Castillian)

Electric

Type E two-prong plug

Currency

Euro (€)