Flight and hotel Madrid
Madrid, Spain's Vibrant Capital City
Madrid is one of the great European capitals, beloved for its wide avenues, formal parks, and beautiful architecture. Whether you're interested in world class Old Masters at the Prado Gallery, sampling the Spanish tapas tradition, or designer shopping, Madrid package holidays offer something for everyone. Centrally positioned in Spain, Madrid's location also means that it's easy to get out into the surrounding countryside, and visit some towns and historic places which played a key role in Spanish history.
Getting to Madrid: What You Need to Know
After you book a Madrid flight and hotel, you'll arrive at Barajas airport, 11km out of the city centre. This is Spain's largest airport and has four separate terminals. Flights to Madrid from UK airports usually arrive at T1, but if you are booking a flight to Madrid from Manchester, or from another airport connecting through another European city, you might arrive at a different terminal. There is a wide choice of flights from London to Madrid on premium and budget airlines. From the airport, take either the metro or low level train to connect with other parts of the city, or the 24 hour express airport bus. Taxi fares from the airport to the city centre are set at a standard rate.
When Is the Ideal Time of Year for Madrid Package Holidays?
Spring and autumn are by far the best seasons for Madrid city breaks. The weather is typically pleasant and warm, crowds are fewer, and major attractions are open. Winter is also a popular time, especially December, with the buzz of the Christmas lights and street markets. June to August are peak travel months, and as locals tend to take their holidays in August, some bars, restaurants, and shops may be closed. July's the hottest month in Madrid, with an average temperature of 25°C, and in January days are cold but dry, with an average temperature of 6°C.
What Sort of Break Does Madrid Offer?
Over the course of a weekend in Madrid, you can easily balance art, sport, and great cuisine. The city's cultural scene is world-class, with paintings by the likes of Picasso, Goya, and Velasquez on display in the city's galleries, particularly in the stately, historic Barrio de Las Letras neighbourhood where you'll find the Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid is also home to two of the top Spanish football sides; both Atletico and Real Madrid's stadiums are open for tours, and if you're lucky you might even get a ticket for a match. Nightlife in Madrid also has something for everyone, from upscale nightclubs to local tapas bars. The trendy neighbourhood of Malasaña is a great place to start for a pleasant mix.
Top attractions in Madrid
Madrid city breaks involve prioritising, as there's just so much to see and do in this big city. Make the most of any Madrid weekend by choosing a few of your favourite sorts of places and experience them in depth.
- The Prado museum is one of Europe's largest and finest. Don't miss 'Las Meninas', the most famous work by Velazquez, or 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' by Bosch.
- Spain's most famous painting, Picassp's 'Guernica', is housed at the Reina Sofia gallery in a room on its own, and protected by bulletproof glass.
- The Buen Retiro park next to the Prado offers 19th century formal gardens with elegant walkways and burbling fountains, perfect for escaping the noise of the city streets.
- Madrid's huge Plaza Mayor is the heart of the city in the neighbourhood of Sol. Here you'll find restaurants and shopping aplenty.
- Nowadays only used by the Royal Family on formal occasions, the Royal Palace has over 3,000 rooms. Visitors can explore the State rooms, painting gallery, armory, and even the Victorian palace kitchens.
Eating Out in Madrid
City breaks in Madrid call for adventurous eating and late dinners. Tapas are perhaps the most typically Spanish experience, and going from bar to bar, enjoying a beer and few small dishes is a delight. You can also try everything in one place at the Mercado de San Miguel, frequented by both locals and visitors. A classic local dish is cocido madrileño, a warming stew made from pork, chorizo, and chickpeas. Those with a sweet tooth will love chocolate con churros, thick and tasty hot chocolate served with fried doughnuts for dipping. A favourite spot for these is Chocalatería San Ginés, open 24 hours a day.
Madrid Souvenir Shopping
There are lots of classic souvenir shops in the central area of Madrid near the Puerta del Sol. Head to shops in neighbourhoods like Chueca or Malasaña to look for small independent producers of leather goods, ceramics, and textiles. An easily portable souvenir is the sweet treat of turrón, a type of hard Spanish nougat.