If you are planning to solo travel to Madrid you might be wondering: Is it safe? Is it expensive? Is the capital of Spain a good destination? Is it easy to travel alone to Madrid?
Keep on reading to find all the information you must know before taking a solo trip to Madrid.
Table of contents
- Is Madrid a good destination for solo travel?
- Is it safe to travel to Madrid alone?
- Is Madrid an expensive destination to travel solo?
- Is it easy to get around Madrid?
- What is the best time to go to Madrid for a solo traveler?
- Where to stay if you are traveling solo to Madrid?
- How can solo travelers enjoy Spanish gastronomy?
- 5 Best Things to Do in Madrid on your own
- Tips for solo travel to Madrid
Is Madrid a good destination for solo travel?
Yes, it is. Madrid is an awesome destination to discover on your own.
These are just a few reasons to help you in your decision to travel solo to Madrid:
- Madrid is a worldwide reference in art and culture. The capital of Spain collects some of the most important monuments and unique art pieces in the world.
- Madrid is one of the safest cities in the world to travel solo.
- In case you want to socialize, you will have no difficulty making new friends and finding people with the same interests. Locals are very friendly and open to chatting with tourists.
- Prices are, in general, affordable compared to other major capital cities in Europe and America. Traveling solo means that you cannot share expenses, and the cheap prices in Madrid will help you to make the most of your trip. You will find the prices of alcoholic drinks especially competitive.
- The sunny weather prevails. You can enjoy even 15 hours a day of sunlight to enjoy a whole day of sightseeing and later sit back on a terrace to enjoy some tapas and a fresh drink.
- You will taste the famous, delicious, and healthy Spanish gastronomy and its most popular culinary specialties.
- There are many awesome locations close to Madrid that you can visit on a day trip like Toledo, Segovia, and Avila.
- Being one of the biggest cities in Europe, you can walk to the most popular tourist attractions.
- Madrid is known for its efficient, affordable, and convenient public transport. You can safely get around the city on your own using subway, bus, train, taxi, and even electric bikes.
- There are numerous fun activities to do at night. Flamenco shows, musicals, theaters, concerts, soccer games, and, of course, unique nightclubs.
- Madrid is a tolerant and respectful city. The Madrid Pride festivities are famous worldwide.
Is it safe to travel to Madrid alone?
As I explained in my specific post about safety in Madrid, the city is a safe destination for everyone. And it is currently open to national and international tourism.
Madrid has high living standards and levels of personal safety, even at night. And it is not only my opinion, the capital of Spain ranks extremely well in the Safe Cities Index by The Economist, much better positioned than other top-rated tourist destinations in Europe and America.
Violent crimes are extremely unusual, and pickpocketing is the most common type of offense. If you travel solo to Madrid, be careful and don’t leave your belongings unattended.
Regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, you need to know that Madrid has an excellent healthcare system. Furthermore, Spain is one of the countries with the highest percentage of adults with the full dose of the vaccine.
Is Madrid safe for solo female travelers?
Yes, it is. However, the perception of safety depends on everyone.
I’ve lived in Madrid for more than 40 years and have always felt safe there. However, it is true that it is my city. I have personally never encountered any incidents in Madrid that threatened my personal safety.
But, as in any other city in the world, it is important that you stay always alert. Safety starts with awareness, so remember to avoid dark and isolated areas, keep your phone charged, and your valuables (and beverages) close.
I am sure that if you finally decide to travel solo to Madrid you will be safe and you will feel safe.
Just be ready for one of the best experiences in your life.
Is Madrid an expensive destination to travel solo?
Not at all.
Budget is usually a concern when traveling alone, as you cannot share some expenses like accommodation.
Accommodation prices in Madrid can vary depending on when you visit the city. But they are in general much more affordable than in other European and American major cities. Besides, there is a wide offer of places to stay so you can easily find something that fits your budget.
You can also find affordable plane tickets to Madrid if you book in advance and follow my tips to find cheap flights to Spain.
You will find that the prices of food, drinks (even alcoholic), public transport, and shopping are pretty cheap too.
A tight budget in Madrid should not be a problem to enjoy some great vacations even if you are traveling solo.
Is it easy to get around Madrid?
Yes. Madrid is a beautiful city to explore on foot and most attractions are within walking distance. Besides, the weather is usually perfect to enjoy a stroll.
In case you need to cover longer distances or you are in a hurry, Madrid´s public transport is fast, affordable, safe, and comfortable.
If you are traveling solo to Madrid and you cannot share the cost of a taxi, I would recommend using the Metro to get around the city.
With more than 300 hundred stations and 2,400 trains, Metro lines are identified by both their number and their color, as you can see on the official metro maps.
With Metro Madrid, you can easily get to any point in the city center in just a few minutes at a very affordable price.
What is the best time to go to Madrid for a solo traveler?
Every season is special but, in my opinion, Spring and Autumn are probably the best times to visit Madrid.
When searching for a new trip, the weather, prices, and crowds are critical factors in my decision.
In Spring and Autumn, the temperature is great and you will have a good number of sunshine hours to fully enjoy the day. Also, out of the peak season, prices and crowds tend to decrease.
This way, you will make the most of your stay and your budget.
Where to stay if you are traveling solo to Madrid?
The accommodation offer in Madrid is wide, diverse, and for all budgets.
My recommendation for solo travelers to Madrid is to stay close to the city center. This way you will be able to walk to the main tourist attractions and historic neighborhoods.
If you stay in Madrid downtown you will be in the middle of it all. The city center is cultural, inspiring, and cosmopolitan.
Chueca and Malasaña are fun areas where you will find plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants.
If you finally decide to get your accommodation in the outskirts, at least be sure that you have a nearby subway station. I also recommend you avoid Lavapies, Usera, and Villaverde boroughs.
What is best for solo travelers to Madrid: apartments, hotels, or hostels?
I usually book an apartment when I visit a city with my family. You have more privacy, they are more spacious and convenient, as they have a kitchen.
But in case you are traveling solo to Madrid, you could prefer a hotel room. If you book in advance, you can get some bargains.
Hotel breakfasts are usually 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.
If your budget is too tight, you should consider a hostel. Apart from the common dorm-style rooms, you can also find private rooms too. Hostels usually have common areas to hang out and socialize with other travelers. This is one of the reasons why many solo travelers choose hostels.
If you go for a hostel, don´t look only at the price but pay attention to other travelers´ opinions before you make the reservation. For your convenience, these are my 10 favorite hostels in Madrid.
How can solo travelers enjoy Spanish gastronomy?
It is true that locals love hanging out with friends and family to share some tapas or other Spanish culinary specialties.
But don´t worry, Madrid is a city where it’s normal to eat alone. If you travel solo to Madrid, don´t be shy, tasting the most popular foods and drinks should be a must on your bucket list!
If you have tried a Spanish restaurant out of Spain you could have been disappointed. Based on my personal experience, they do not reflect the actual level of Spanish cuisine.
You will find out that Spanish gastronomy is much more than Valencian paella and Iberian ham. Some Spanish chefs are currently at the forefront of contemporary cooking worldwide.
In addition, wine-producing regions like La Rioja have gained international recognition. If you are eating out, you should taste some of the country’s excellent drinks.
5 Best Things to Do in Madrid on your own
You could be interested in visiting my section with step-by-step itineraries. You will find them really convenient and you will save plenty of planning time.
Besides, these are some of the best activities and things to do if you are visiting Madrid on your own:
1. Visit some of the most famous museums
Madrid has an extraordinary cultural offer, there is something for everyone.
In particular, Madrid houses 3 of the most captivating museums in the world in less than one mile, the Art Triangle.
The Prado, Reina Victoria, and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums house unique paintings and works of art. Furthermore, there are some specific times when you can visit them for free.
This is the perfect indoor activity for solo travelers in Madrid.
2. Discover the best parks and gardens by bike
Madrid’s beautiful parks and gardens offer plenty of room and fresh air away from the bustle of the city center.
The sunny weather of the Spanish capital is perfect to visit some of the most well-known green spaces like El Retiro, Madrid Rio, and Casa de Campo.
And one of the fun ways to do it is by renting a bike or booking a guided bike tour.
It is a healthy and sustainable activity. And you will enjoy the route accompanied by a professional bilingual guide with a deep knowledge of Madrid´s history and culture.
Besides, tours are a great opportunity to meet people if you are traveling on your own.
If you are not a regular rider, you can also go for an electric bike offered by the BiciMAD public program. This way, you will benefit from the electric technology with pedaling assistance.
3. Go shopping
Most visitors consider Madrid to be a haven for shopaholics.
If you are traveling solo to Madrid there are many places you can check out. And, in general, prices are more affordable than in other major cities.
You’ve probably heard of Zara, one of the most well-known Spanish fashion companies in the world. The world’s largest Zara flagship store is located in Plaza de España.
And Las Rozas Village is the best outlet if you are searching for bargains. It is a beautiful open-air space that offers more than 100 boutiques from exclusive national and international fashion and lifestyle firms with discounts up to 60% on the recommended retail price.
4. Discover some amazing views of the city
Madrid’s heights are home to many fantastic restaurants and bars.
The best rooftop bars in the city will allow you to enjoy a refreshing drink or a cocktail while admiring breathtaking panoramic views. They are also popular photogenic spots that offer some of the best sunsets in Madrid.
Le Tavernier, Bianca Madrid, the Dani Brasserie at the top of the Four Seasons Hotel, and the 360º Sky Bar at the RIU Hotel are a few of my favorite locations.
Don´t skip this experience if you are traveling alone to Madrid.
5. Go on a day trip
Madrid’s position in the center of the country allows solo travelers to easily explore the amazing adjacent locations.
The area surrounding the capital of Spain is extremely rich in cultural attractions and natural beauty.
The offer is almost unlimited if you are traveling solo, but I strongly recommend Alcalá de Henares, El Escorial, Aranjuez, Segovia, Toledo, and Ávila, to name just a few of these interesting locations.
Tips for solo travel to Madrid
These are some tips I have learned when I have traveled alone. And they are applicable to all destinations, not just Madrid:
- Keep always an eye on your belongings. Especially in crowded places like El Rastro flea market and the subway.
- Leave your valuables and passport in your hotel safe. Just take with you a copy of your documentation.
- Pack light. Traveling alone to Madrid with heavy luggage can be less convenient and there is more risk to leave some of your belongings unattended.
- Be prepared for the unexpected, and get travel insurance in advance.
- Don´t get drunk and stay always alert, especially at night.
- Avoid dark and isolated areas and keep your phone always charged.
- Stay connected. Try to maintain regular contact with friends and family.
- Use an anti-theft invisible wallet and use indoor ATMs to withdraw money.
- Learn some basic words in Spanish that could help you in case of an emergency.
- Remember the emergency phone number in Madrid. Dial 112, a toll-free number that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the EU.
- Officially register your trip. For example, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program allows U.S. citizens to enroll their trips and the Embassy can contact you in an emergency.
- Take a taxi. If you are alone and feel unsafe at night, it is the perfect way to get safe and quick to your accommodation.
Finally, don´t forget to check out my post with the 30 best travel essentials for women.