The capital of Spain, Madrid is a big and bustling metropolis with plenty to see and do. Head to the city's busiest square, Puerta del Sol, to see the Statue of King Charles II and the magnificent Royal Post Office. One of the city's most beautiful buildings, The Royal Palace is another must-see during a holiday in Madrid and you've got to make time to see some of the museums and galleries. Get away from it all at one of the many parks situated across the city - El Retiro Park is a favourite with locals!
As a top tourist destination, there are plenty of flights to Madrid from the UK. Budget carriers easyJet and Ryainair both offer cheap flights to Madrid from a variety of airports in the UK including Bristol, London Stansted, Liverpool and Edinburgh. British Airways flies from London City and London Heathrow, while Iberia offers direct flights from Glasgow International and Manchester airports. The flight time is around two and a half hours.
All flights from the UK land at Madrid Barajas International Airport which is located 13 kilometres from the city centre. There are a number of ways of reaching your Madrid hotel. The cheapest option is by local bus and #200 and #204 both operate between the airport and Plaza Colón and Avenida de América in Madrid. Catching the train or the metro are both also affordable ways to get to the city centre, or you can take a taxi for around €32. Alternatively, car hire in Madrid is a convenient option as cars can be picked up upon arrival at the airport. Book in advance to ensure you get the best possible deals.
You don't have to spend a fortune getting around the city during a holiday in Madrid. Public transport is both affordable, efficient and reliable. If you plan on using the buses and metro frequently, it's worth considering purchasing an unlimited travel pass.
There is a plethora of accommodation options in Madrid from basic hostels to opulent five-star hotel chains. If you are on a budget and looking for cheap hotels in Madrid make sure you shop around online and book in advance to secure the best deals.
Eating out during you Madrid holiday can be done on a budget as long as you avoid the obvious tourist-orientated restaurants. Spaniards don't tend to eat lunch until 2pm, and dinner until 9pm so do as the locals do to get the best deals. Tapas can be a cheap way to get a bite to eat with most bars offering small plates – look out for bocadillos which are rolls filled with various tasty things!
Updated 22nd May 2013
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posted by rfullerWe took the official tour and thoroughly enjoyed looking around this totally majestic building. The five Stradivarius violins were a total treat but the Throme Room was pretty special too.
posted by lhookerWe were staying in the Lavapies area and this square was our local evening nightspot. Wonderful vibe but occasionally a bit scary late at night!