City Guide

A guide to the best attractions, practical information and things to do in Madrid

Travel

Practical information

All the essential Madrid travel and visitor information you need in one place

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Things to do

Free things to do

Find out how to visit Madrid's museums, monuments, parks, clubs and more without spending a cent

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Restaurants

Best restaurants

A dozen of the best Madrid restaurants with creative cuisine prepared by the city's top chefs

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Things to do

20 great things to do

Festivals, culture, cuisine… discover all the capital has to offer!

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Madrid with kids

Parque de Atracciones

With over 30 attractions for both children and adults, the city's amusement park is one of the most popular weekend destinations for both locals and tourists. It's divided into different areas including tranquillity, nature and mechanization. In the children's area you can enjoy a leisurely boat ride through a truly 'living' jungle, get child-size thrills on a mini roller coaster, and even take a trip around the fun fair aboard a zeppelin. Thrill-seeking adults can try the famous vacuum drop on the Lanzadera shuttle, take your chances on the exciting Tornado ride, and have a go on the dizzying Máquina. In summer there are often long queues, especially for the water attractions.

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Zoo Aquarium

The zoo and aquarium are located just a few metres from the amusement park in the Casa de Campo. You’ll see very few bars or wires here; instead the tigers, bears, lions and other wild animals are separated from the public by moats with or without water. It currently houses about 6,000 animals of 500 different species, some unique in Spain like the koala, the anteater and the panda, which is one of the stars of the zoo. Its aquarium is spectacular, and kids will have fun with the shows starring sea lions and dolphins.

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Parque Warner

This theme park on the outskirts of Madrid is where you can find all the Looney Tunes characters romping around posing for photos and signing autographs. Built with the aim of competing with other major leisure facilities including Port Aventura and Disneyland Paris, it has six dizzying roller coasters, dozens of children's attractions and some water rides, as well as numerous restaurants and shops. You’ll also find shows in its theatres, workshops and, above all, lots of fun.

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Faunia

In this large natural area, animals, including peacocks, run around loose over most of its 14 acres. With 4 ecosystems and 13 thematic areas adapted to each species, the zoo can be visited in four or five hours, if you stop to enjoy its carefully preserved natural surroundings, lakes and ponds and exhibits, like the flight of birds of prey. The penguin enclosure is one of the most popular exhibits and is great fun for children. Another crowd-pleasing attraction is the latest animals to arrive, the Komodo dragons. The best thing about Faunia is that visitors can interact with the animals. So children can stroke sea lions and feed goats and donkeys.

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More places for kids in Madrid

Top hotels

Westin Palace Hotel

In the middle of the Art Triangle, formed by the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía museums, is where you'll find the Westin Palace, a landmark since King Alfonso XIII commissioned its construction to have a place to receive members of high society who visited Madrid in the early 20th century. Throughout its history, the hotel, famous for its glass dome and the events hosted there, has been a haven for international celebrities such as Picasso, Dalí, Einstein and Madame Curie.

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Hotel Ritz by Belmond

Located just a stone’s throw away from the Retiro, in the neighbourhood of the same name, this exclusive luxury hotel was built in 1910 on the orders of King Alfonso XIII. The facilities of the hotel, which is decorated in classical style, include a luxury spa, parking and free Wi-Fi. Its location makes it a handy base for visiting the Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums.

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Hotel Puerta América

The Puerta América will not be to all tastes, least of all, probably, those of the business travellers attracted by its proximity to the airport, but is a wonderland for design buffs. Each of its 12 floors and public spaces is designed by an all-star cast of architects, taking in Norman Foster, Richard Gluckman, Marc Jewson and Ron Arad. Guests can select the floor of their choice on arrival, but most popular tend to be Zaha Hadid's rooms (which appear to be sculpted from snowdrifts) or Arata Isozaki's studies in Japanese minimalism. The building itself (along with the pool and gym) was designed by Jean Nouvel.

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Relais & Châteaux Orfila

This small mansion in a tranquil residential area has been transformed into a quietly elegant five-star hotel. Built in the 1880s as a private home for an artistic family, the Orfila also housed a theatre and a literary salon during the 1920s. Thankfully, the hotel has held on to its 19th-century decor, not to mention its façade, carriage entrance and dramatic main stairway. The bedrooms are wonderfully quiet – once installed it's hard to believe you're in the middle of a bustling city – and one of the four suites is intimately tucked away in the attic. The elegant restaurant looks on to the lovely garden patio, and guests take tea in the lobby in the afternoon.

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Hotel Miguel Ángel

Near Paseo de la Castellana, bordering the Salamanca district, stands the Miguel Ángel hotel, with a total of 267 fully equipped guest rooms and a variety of five-star amenities. Its elegant facilities, spa service and fitness centre, along with world-class dining and attentive staff offer guests a more than comfortable stay.

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Hotel Wellington

More than half a century after it opened, the Wellington is still extremely graceful, with chandeliers, marble and murals, and groups of guests in formal eveningwear milling around the lobby. Polite staff are on hand to cater to guests' every need. The hotel is just a stone's throw from the city's most expensive shopping area, Salamanca, and has a summer pool with terrace – ideal for relaxing on after all that retail therapy. Rooms vary in size and are decorated in a conservative but classic style, and the hotel's main restaurant, Goizeko, serves Basque dishes in elegant surroundings.

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More hotels in Madrid

Tickets & Attractions

Madrid City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Get a unique view of Madrid aboard this open-top double-decker bus. There are two tours covering all of the city's highlights, from historical sites and monuments to the modern Madrid of skyscrapers and cosmopolitan architecture. 

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Madrid Super Saver: El Escorial Monastery and Toledo Day Trip from Madrid

Pay less and get more on this Madrid Super Saver tour, which combines a visit to El Escorial Monastery with a half-day tour of Toledo. Spend the morning at El Escorial monastery and the Valley of the Fallen monument, erected in memory of the millions who died in the Spanish Civil War. 

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Private Tour: Skip-the-Line Prado Museum Tour

Skip the line at the Prado Museum in Madrid, and see some of the most influential pieces of European artwork with your own private guide! Hear the history of the iconic building while walking around admiring masterpieces like Velazquez’s ‘Las Meninas,’ and learn about the different artistic movements that the museum represents.

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Madrid Card

Discover the rich history and culture of Madrid with your Madrid Card. Gain entry to over 50 museums, partake in a "Discover Madrid" walking tour or visit the Real Madrid Stadium Tour. With the choice of a 24 hour, 48 hour, 72 hour or 120 hour card, you can also enjoy discounts on shopping, restaurants and nightlife such as a flamenco show.

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The best of the barrios

Things to do

Malasaña

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Things to do

Barrio de las Letras

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Things to do

Chueca

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Things to do

La Latina

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Things to do

Lavapiés

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Things to do

Alonso Martínez

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