Madrid, Spain’s vibrant capital, is a city that lives and breathes artistic, creative energy. Elegant buildings and leafy streets give some indication of its refined heritage and if you want to explore this side of the metropolis further there are many museums and art galleries to visit. Madrid’s cuisine is likewise steeped in tradition but with contemporary twists that make eating in the city a novel and exciting experience. Once the sun sets the locals come out to party and the streets fill with life and energy - Madrid has no shortage of cocktail bars and nightclubs. We have a range of cheap holiday packages and fun-packed holiday deals to Madrid and there’s never been a better time to visit this beautiful city.
Things to know before visiting Madrid
Madrid is one hour ahead of the UK. Spain is a member of the European Union and the currency is the euro. If you’re going on holiday to Madrid on a flight from London to Madrid or a flight from Manchester to Madrid then you will probably fly into Madrid-Barajas Airport (also known as Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas). This is the busiest airport in Spain with millions of passengers passing through every year. It is about 12 miles north-east of the city centre and there are several options linking it to downtown Madrid. You can catch an Airport Express bus – this is cheap and runs frequently, taking about 40 minutes. You can take a train on the Metro, though this may mean transferring lines a couple of times. Or, of course, you can simply take a taxi – these can be booked online in advance or you can pick up a cab from the taxi ranks outside the terminal. Check out our discount holidays and book a flight to Madrid today.
What is the weather in Madrid?
Madrid sits over 600 metres above sea level in the middle of the country. It has a continental climate but this is far milder than many other continental cities. Summers are hot and sunny with average temperatures about 25 degrees Celsius and highs around 35 degrees. The air is dry which makes the heat quite agreeable and evenings are very pleasant: about 15 to 20 degrees. Rainfall is very rare in summer but in other seasons showers can occur, though rainfall, in general, is not plentiful – the surrounding landscape is semi-arid. Spring and autumn are variable but often sunny and warm. Winters can be mild to somewhat cold, typically about 5 degrees. Book a holiday to Madrid with us for some Spanish sunshine.
What to see in Madrid?
The city’s major attractions combine history and art with beautiful green spaces. Depending on how you like to spend your time, your holiday to Madrid could take in the following sights:
Gran Via – Madrid’s main tourist street with famous landmarks and shops
Museo del Prado – Madrid’s premier art museum in imposing neoclassical building
Reina Sofia – collection of modern and contemporary Spanish art
Thyssen-Bornemisza – formerly the private art collection of Baron Hans-Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza
CaixaForum – contemporary museum and cultural centre with impressive vertical garden
Casa de Campo – vast green space with boating lake, funfair and sports facilities
Zoo Aquarium Madrid – landscaped zoo with pandas, gorillas, dolphin and sea lion shows and a train ride
Parque del Buen Retiro – central park with pond, pleasant walks and monuments
Real Jardin Botanico de Madrid – attractively terraced botanic garden
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales – natural science museum with huge whale skeleton and Diplodocus replica
Plaza Mayor – famous square in Madrid’s historic district
Palacio Real – official residence of the royal family
With our range of fantastic flight and hotel deals you could soon be on a plane to Madrid so start planning your trip now.
What to eat in Madrid?
A holiday to Madrid is a great chance to try out some of Spain’s most famous dishes and the city also has its own distinctive cuisine as well as no end of international restaurants. Lunches and dinners here are long, joyful affairs, filled with wine and companionship, and there’s always time in the day for coffee, pastries and tapas. Stews tend to be served in winter while summer is the time for snacks and cold soups. If it’s typical Spanish or local food you’re after on your holiday to Madrid then you should try these out:
Cocido Madrileno – traditional hearty Spanish stew, Madrid style, with chickpeas, vegetables, pork and chorizo
Huevos rotos – fried potatoes topped with eggs
Bocadillo de calamares – the city’s famous fried squid sandwich
Callos a la Madrilena – smoky stew with beef tripe, chorizo, blood sausage and paprika
Tortilla – Spanish omelette with all kinds of filling, including potatoes, onions, mushrooms and sausage
Gazpacho – cold soup with tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and onion
Iberian Serrano ham – aged, dried and salted ham, one of the city’s most famous delicacies
Patatas bravas – potatoes with spicy tomato sauce, a classic Spanish dish
Manchego cheese – Madrid’s most typical cheese
Churros con chocolate – delicious fried pastries often served with hot chocolate and considered a great late-night snack
Compare holidays with us now to kick off your Spanish gastronomic adventure.
What to bring from Madrid?
Madrid has all kinds of typical Spanish items that make great mementos or gifts. Check out the city’s boutique shops or head to El Rastro, the main flea market, on a Sunday. Here are some ideas:
Ceramics – beautifully painted plates, bowls, trays, jugs and more
Fans – traditionally made from specialist shops or cheaper alternatives from El Rastro
Shawls – intricately embroidered wraps for your next flamenco performance
Other flamenco clothing – dresses, vests, hair combs, gloves and shoes
Chocolate – decadent bars for churros con chocolate
Violetas – delicious floral candies exquisitely wrapped from La Violeta
Olive oil – Spain is the world’s number-one producer so it’s a fairly typical gift!
Look at our holiday packages and holiday deals to Madrid and book your trip today.