Best place to stay in Madrid

Accommodation - Best place to stay in Madrid

Madrid, a city for all budgets

If you are planning to visit Madrid, one of your first thoughts should be how to choose the best place to stay in Madrid and enjoy your vacations in the capital of Spain to the fullest.

The accommodation offer in Madrid is wide, diverse and for all budgets. That’s why it can make it tricky that you find the right place that fits your style, interests, and budget.

Here you have an insider’s guide to where to stay in Madrid, with my personal recommendations for affordable hotels, apartments and hostels in the city center, as well as the best areas and neighborhoods to stay in Madrid.

  • Why pay more for the same service?
    No matter the type of accommodation you choose, booking in advance is essential to get the cheapest price. Especially during the peak season from June to September.

Madrid is one of the biggest cities in Europe, and the top attractions are spread throughout the city center.

It’s important to choose the best area to stay in Madrid so you can enjoy walking to the main points of interest of the city.

You can easily visit the more distant landmarks due to the efficient public transport in Madrid. It allows you to easily move in the city center no matter the neighborhood where you stay. Public transport will be your ally to visit the best attractions in Madrid.

Best place to stay in Madrid

Accommodation outside the main tourist areas will usually be cheaper. However, you need to take into account the costs of transport and especially the waste of time to get to the old town.

If you stay in downtown Madrid you will be in the middle of it all. Downtown is cultural, inspiring and cosmopolitan.

An Insider’s Guide to Where to Stay in Madrid

My favorite areas to stay in Madrid are:

  • Madrid de los Austrias:

Madrid’s most historic neighborhood.

The Royal Palace, Plaza de Oriente, La Almudena Cathedral, and the Royal Theatre are some of the most remarkable landmarks in the Austrias neighborhood.

Besides, the Plaza Mayor is an astonishing construction and one of the most important points of interest in Madrid.

This area is also great to eat some tapas and a beer on a terrace enjoying the nice weather in Madrid.

  • Sol - Gran Via:

Spain’s Kilometer Zero of the whole Spanish road network is in the middle of Madrid’s Puerta del Sol. Sol is the most common meeting place for locals and tourists, due to its privileged location, and there are a lot of bars, restaurants, and shops.

Gran Via probably is Madrid’s most famous street. It’s amazing to walk along the street looking at some of the most interesting buildings in the city, like the Metropolis or the Telefonica.

No doubt this is one of the best zones to stay in Madrid.

  • La Latina:

La Latina occupies the place of the oldest area in Madrid overlapping with Madrid de los Austrias neighborhood. You will find narrow and winding streets broken up by small squares like Plaza de la Paja or Plaza de San Andrés.

La Latina neighborhood provides tourists with fun and tradition at the same time. La Latina gest very busy during the weekends and is great for socializing. The terraces of the bars and restaurants are always full of a vibrant crowd.

You will enjoy Cava Baja Street, one of the most famous streets for tapas in Madrid.

  • Salamanca - Retiro:

Salamanca neighborhood is one of the most exclusive zones in Madrid. It was built as a residential area for the aristocratic classes but nowadays it’s also the focus of high commercial activity.

Streets like Serrano, Goya, Ortega y Gasset, and Claudio Coello are part of Madrid´s Golden Mile. Loewe, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Chanel, Carolina Herrera, and Adolfo Domínguez are a few examples of both national and international designer stores you will find in this area.

Malasaña is a trendy and bohemian area, one of the best areas to stay in Madrid
  • Chueca - Malasaña:

Chueca and Malasaña are great options to consider when you are looking for the best place to stay in Madrid.

Chueca is known worldwide for its tolerant and diverse atmosphere and is Madrid’s main LGBTI neighborhood. You will never get bored in Chueca during the day and night.

Malasaña is one of the city’s trendiest and cosmopolitan neighborhoods, a paradise for foodies and hipsters. In this bohemian shopping area, visitors will find lots of fashionable brands, cupcake stores, tattoo parlors, interior design shops, bookshops, and plenty of vintage stores. 

Malasaña is the neighborhood where the underground movement called “Movida Madrileña” (or just “La Movida”) was born, which inspired the culture and arts in Madrid during the eighties.

If you like wandering around and find hidden gems in Madrid, you will love to stay in Chueca or Malasaña.

» If you like to know what to do in Malasaña, Check out: Best things to do in Madrid in winter.

  • Castellana:

Paseo de la Castellana is one of the longest, widest, and famous streets in Madrid.

Many businesses and major financial centers are located along La Castellana or its immediate proximity. Therefore, this area has excellent connections with Madrid´s old town using public transport, which makes it one of the best places to stay in Madrid.

You’ll find the tallest skyscrapers, department stores and shopping streets, and the Santiago Bernabeu football stadium, where Real Madrid play their home games.

  • Princesa – Chamberi - Argüelles:

Chamberi has become one of the Madrid’s most popular areas for eating out. It is a residential area so it is very interesting if you are looking for a quiet zone with plenty of bars and restaurants for dining out.

Booking.com
Booking.com

In my opinion, these are the best zones to stay in Madrid. So, don’t worry if you cannot find a hotel close to the old town. Accommodation in contiguous areas like Chueca, Salamanca, Chamberi, and all along Castellana Street is very well located and communicated too.

In fact, as I said, it is really easy, cheap, and quick, to access Madrid’s old town from all these nearby areas. You will stay and sleep in a more peaceful area with enough bars and restaurants to have some fun.

Getting away a little from the very center also implies a cheaper price most of the time.

These are the best areas to stay in Madrid. I personally recommend Castellana and Princesa – Chamberi – Argüelles for families with kids, and Chueca – Malasaña for groups and young people.

Do you want to find affordable accommodation in all these neighborhoods?

Let´s continue with one of the aspects which most directly impact the price, the type of accommodation. Should you book a hotel, an apartment, or a hostel?

Hotels are the best place to stay in Madrid

Find the best hotels in Madrid

Hotels are one of the best places to stay in Madrid, as the wide offer of hotels in Madrid suits all budgets.

In my opinion, having visited many cities in Europe, accommodation in Madrid is quite affordable and has very good quality. You will find big price differences though, depending on the season.

Similar to flights, flexibility and anticipation are essential to finding cheap hotels in Madrid. Therefore, try to avoid holidays and peak seasons. If you can´t try at least to book your hotel in advance to get the best prices. Many hotels have free cancellation until 48 hours before the booking date.

Another option to make the most of your travel budget is to book hotels with a non-refundable rate. They usually have a higher discount in exchange for not canceling your booking.

I usually find that hotel breakfasts are much more expensive than having breakfast at a local café. Accordingly, unless breakfast is included in the offer, I prefer to pay just for the nights. This is an easy way to save some additional money on your city break to Madrid.

Booking.com, the best hotel price search engine

I always book my accommodation on the recognized website booking.com, for its good reputation and best price guaranteed. Besides, in most cases, you will not pay anything until your arrival or even departure and you will usually have free cancellation until 48 hours before arrival.

Booking.com is really easy to use, all you need to do is enter your destination, dates, and number of people.

I love the way you can sort and filter the results. The accommodation offer in Madrid is so wide that you can feel overwhelmed, so the first thing to do is to make some filters on the left of the screen to narrow the results of your search.

  • My favorite filters are budget, star ratings, property type, facilities, neighborhood, and review score. I recommend you to apply these filters to find cheap hotels in Madrid.

If you have doubts about the location of the hotels, click the “Map View” icon to see all of the properties marked on a map. You can hover over each marker to see which hotel it is.

Booking.com has a price match guarantee for accommodations. If you find the same hotel, during the same dates, and with the same cancellation policy, for a lower price, Booking.com will change the price to match the lower one.

image of a healthy breakfast in one of the best accommodations in Madrid

Find the best apartments in Madrid

Apartments may be an excellent alternative to a hotel when you are searching for the best place to stay in Madrid. They are as clean as hotels, and they usually are cheaper, more spacious, and have a kitchen, which gives you more flexibility for meals. You will also have more privacy.

I usually stay in apartments on my trips, especially when I travel with my family.

Airbnb, the best platform to search for apartments

Airbnb is one of my favorite alternatives to hotels when I travel and it will help you to find the best apartments in Madrid. Airbnb acts as an intermediary between people looking for a place to stay (guests) and the owners of the property (host).

In order to properly choose your apartment, apart from the price I recommend you to pay attention to the location, the pictures, the amenities, and the house rules. Besides, I usually check the Airbnb Plus verified places and the Airbnb’s top-rated and most experienced hosts (Superhost).

  • Once you have selected a few possible apartments, read the reviews of the previous guests. I find that reviews are usually quite accurate and representative of the actual condition of the spot.

If you have a question about the apartment, you can contact the owner directly through Airbnb’s website before the booking. Most of hosts answer within 24 hours.

For obvious security reasons, make the payment through the Airbnb platform and refuse to pay in cash if any host offers you this option, no matter if they offer a discount.

Finally, read the cancellation policy of the accommodation. There are six different cancellation policies available, from flexible to super strict.

Enter now Airbnb to find the best place to stay in Madrid.

You can book your vacation rentals with Airbnb, and when using it for the first time you can get an Airbnb discount coupon of $37 that in some places could mean free accommodation for a night or two!

Click here to claim your Airbnb discount.

hostels are a cheap alternative to hotels and aprtments, a perfect option to consider when searching for the best place to stay in Madrid

Find the best hostels in Madrid

If your budget is a bit tight, you should consider hostels in search of the best place to stay in Madrid.

A hostel is a type of accommodation, usually cheaper than hotels and apartments. Hostels focus on a shared social experience that will allow you to meet people from all over the world.

Staying in a hostel will help you to make the most of your travel budget. They are more basic and have fewer amenities than hotels. They are usually noisier too.

  • Also, while hotels have private rooms with bathrooms, hostels have dorm-style rooms and bathrooms that you will share with other people. Sometimes there’s one bathroom per dorm room, while in other hostels there are shared bathroom facilities down the hall. There are private rooms too in most of the hostels at a higher price.

But most times that’s not the only reason to choose a hostel.

Hostels usually have common areas to hang out and socialize with other travelers. Fans of the hostels believe that staying in a hostel can transform a trip into a more meaningful experience.

In my opinion, hostels are as safe as the other types of accommodation. However, how safe you feel will depend on the people you share the room with and the area where the hostel is located. For female travelers, some hostels offer female-only dorms.

Most hostels have security staff and lockers in the dorms for you to lock away your valuables.

A low price must not be your only priority when searching for hostels. The cheapest hostels could be dirty, uncomfortable, and away from the best neighborhoods.

I have always booked my hostels with booking.com, visit now the website if you have decided to find the best hostel in Madrid.

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