Budgeting for a trip can be a challenge. Or, from My Path In The World shares her advice in this Madrid Price Guide.
We know how hard it can be to budget and plan a trip to a new country. Prices online can vary and it can be hard to find a fixed range of prices for anything further than a hotel and flight. That is why we have created this Cost of Travel series where we ask travel experts and expats the travel costs and prices in their favourite countries and homes.
The exchange rate at the time of publishing (Jan 2022): $1 USD = £0.74 = €0.89
Introduction to Madrid
I fell in love with Madrid instantly. It’s a big and buzzing city, yet it feels cosy and not too hectic. Whether you’re a foodie, history and culture lover, or just looking for a great city break destination, Madrid should definitely be on your bucket list.
Rich History, architecture, culture, food, and shopping markets – all of these entice visitors from all over the world. Visit the Royal Palace of Madrid, which is home to Spain’s Royal Family. Explore Plaza Mayor, the 16th-century former main square of the old town, a spacious open space and popular hangout spot for locals. If you are an art lover, you will love this city – famous masterpieces can be found in the museums of Madrid so make sure to visit the city’s Golden Triangle of art. You will need at least 3 days in Madrid and if you have plenty of time, make sure to visit some of the other best places to visit in Spain.
Best time to visit Madrid
September to November is the best time to visit Madrid, as the temperature begins to cool but the city still stays lively. May and June are good times to visit if you are looking for warm weather but, as with most destinations in Europe, avoid July and August as these are the hottest months and often the busiest. Winter brings a bit of rain and there are less outdoor activities open but hotel rates can be cheaper at this time.
Getting to Madrid
The main international airport of Madrid is close to the city centre and offers easy connections for travellers. There are plenty of direct flights from the US, especially from Chicago and New York whilst Air Canada offers a direct flight from Toronto. Easyjet offer affordable flights from around Europe and Norwegian offer budget flights from London Gatwick.
From the airport, you can catch a train, bus or taxi to your destination in the city.
The AVE train is a modern high-speed train that connects Madrid to other cities in Spain, including Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante; perfect for those looking to explore the country.
Getting around Madrid
The easiest and most affordable way to travel around Madrid is by Metro. There are plenty of routes that will take you to most attractions in the city. You can also get a travel tourist pass to cover metro, bus and train routes. There are over 200 bus lines around the city too with night buses available for those enjoying the nightlife. You can also catch a taxi in Madrid but make sure the driver turns on the meter, they don’t always do so with tourists. Uber is also available in Madrid too. You could choose to rent a car in Madrid, but with lots of traffic and high parking fees, it is best to stick to public transport.
Madrid Price Guide
Accommodation in Madrid
€60 – €90 per night for a mid-range budget double room.
Some of our favourites are:
- Hotel Nuevo Madrid – A luxury, 4-star hotel a little further out from the city centre. Rooms start at €80 but cheaper offers available if you book in advance.
- Hostal Bruña – In the heart of the city centre, this guest house offers great value for money with rooms starting at €760 for a double.
- Hostal Oriente – This 3-star guest house is a top pick because of it’s location and value; rooms start at €74.
- URSO Hotel & Spa – A luxury spa hotel in a restored palace, URSO is located near a metro and a great option for those looking for comfort on their visit to Madrid. Rooms start at €202 per night.
- Hotel Santo Mauro, Autograph Collection – Offering ‘celebrity treatment’, this top hotel offers spacious and perfect rooms in the former residence of the Duke of Santo Mauro. Rooms start at €470.
- NH Collection Madrid Suecia – With rooms starting at €180, this is a popular hotel not only to stay but also to visit. With a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city, this hotel is a great choice for couples
- €1.50-€2 for a single Metro ticket
- €12.20 for a 10-journey Metro ticket
Food and drink prices in Madrid
- €2 – €3 for a breakfast combo of coffee and a croissant or toasts (sometimes it also includes orange juice) – There are some amazing Madrid Brunch spots so make sure you save some of your budget for these places.
- €10 – €25 for the main course at a restaurant (some restaurants offer a lunch menu called Menu del Dia. It includes 3 courses and a drink, and you’ll pay €10-€12)
- €2 – €5 for tapas
- €2 – €3 for a beer
Activities and attractions in Madrid
Up to €15 for a basic ticket to the main sights. Most attractions can also be visited for free on certain days or hours. Make sure you explore the cool things to do in Madrid and make the most out of your time in the city.
- Bottle of water – €0.64
- Cinema – €9
- Coffee – €1.40 – €2
Save money in Madrid
Although Madrid is the capital of Spain, there are some ways to save some money in this fairly expensive city.
- Use the public transport options over taxis or uber as the metro system is clean, quick and easy to navigate. You can pick up tickets in 10s too or multi day passes.
- Avoid staying in the heart of the city and instead, opt for the budget hotels that are near a metro line just outside of the city centre.
- Book any excursions or guided tours in advance to save money, especially if you want to tour the Royal Palace.
- Many museums in Madrid have free entry days and there are tapa bars all over Madrid that offer great food for free when you buy drinks.
- The Madrid card can also help you save money too, offering free entry to over 50 attractions in the city and helping you save time queueing for tickets.
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favourite travel Insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offers year coverage.
What to pack:
- No matter where we travel to, I always take these trusty hand sanitizer’s and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these, over backpack and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.