Where to Stay in Madrid for Sightseeing

Last Updated on November 28, 2022 by Helen E. White

Where to Stay in Madrid? It is one of the most frequent questions we receive from people planning to visit the city. The capital of Spain has many tourist attractions. In it, you will find countless monuments, squares, museums, theaters, and restaurants… most of which are concentrated in the center. Choosing the best neighborhood to sleep in Madrid is not an easy task.

Where to Stay in Madrid

What we do recommend is to book as far in advance as possible, especially if your visit to Madrid coincides with a cultural event or a fair because in those seasons the city fills up with people.

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As we know that choosing a hotel to sleep in the Spanish capital is a headache, here we tell you about the best areas to stay in Madrid. Let’s start!

What is the Best Area to Stay in Madrid?

The best area to stay in Madrid is in the center of the city since the main points of tourist interest are located there. The most central neighborhoods to stay in are Sol, Los Austrias, Huertas, Gran Vía and Paseo Del Prado, although there are also several nearby ones that are a good option for sleeping in Madrid.

Best Areas to Stay in Madrid

The city has an excellent metro infrastructure, so if you want to stay in more remote and cheaper areas, you can always do so near a metro stop that will surely take you to the city center in a few minutes.

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We tell you the advantages and disadvantages of what are, for us, the best areas to stay in Madrid.

1. Gran Vía, a Central and Commercial Area to Stay in Madrid

Another of the most central areas to stay in Madrid is Gran Vía and its surroundings. This avenue is one of the most commercial in the city, with a large number of shops, theaters and restaurants. It is also an excellent option to stay in the city if you go to work.

From there you can walk to the main tourist places to see in Madrid in a few minutes.

The great street at night also has a lot of atmospheres, although there are some narrow streets nearby (such as Calle de la Montera) that are a bit uglier and, personally, I would not recommend them.

2. Malasaña, the Most Bohemian Area to Sleep in Madrid

Surely many of you have heard of the Madrid movement of the 80s, as it began in the Malasaña neighborhood.

This neighborhood has a very bohemian and alternative atmosphere, with a lot of nightlife and wide gastronomic and commercial offers.

Its location is quite good because in about 20 minutes’ walk you will be at Puerta del Sol.

3. Barrio De Los Austrias is the Best Area to Stay in Madrid for Sightseeing

The so-called Madrid de Los Austrias is the best area to stay, and without a doubt, our favorite area of ​​the city. It is one of the most central neighborhoods in Madrid, next to Sol and full of charm.

There is the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral and a lot of churches and squares full of charm. My favorite is the Plaza de Oriente, I love that area to sleep in Madrid!

Also in the Austrias neighborhood, you will find La Latina, an area with many tapas and bars, with a great atmosphere.

4. Huertas, the Neighborhood of Letters in Madrid

Next to the Sol neighborhood is the Huertas neighborhood, another very good area to stay in Madrid, known as the neighborhood of letters by the famous writers who lived there, such as Cervantes or Quevedo.

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It is a very lively neighborhood, both during the day and at night, with pretty cafes, restaurants and cocktail bars.

If you want to rest, try to choose a hotel that does not face a bar area, otherwise, you may have too much noise.

5. Chueca, an Area With a Lot of Nightlife to Stay in Madrid

On one of the sides of the Gran Vía is the Chueca neighborhood, one of the areas with the most nightlife to sleep in Madrid, known for being the favorite neighborhood of the gay community.

It is a very lively neighborhood, both day and night, with plenty of restaurants and cocktail bars.

Its location is great, since it is about 15-20 minutes from Puerta del Sol, but if you don’t feel like walking it is perfectly connected with the metro.

6. Barrio De Salamanca, One of the Quietest Areas to Stay in Madrid

The Salamanca neighborhood is one of the best areas to stay in Madrid if you are looking for tranquility and want to get away from the most touristy areas. It is a high-class residential neighborhood, where the fashion stores of the most exclusive designers are located.

It is not usually chosen by tourists because it is a little further from the points of interest, but you can reach the center in a half-hour walk or by metro.

Most of the hotels that you will find there are usually quite expensive, although if you look carefully there are some medium-priced ones that are not bad at all.

Salamanca is not the neighborhood that we would recommend if you are going to visit Madrid for tourism, but if you want to go shopping in the capital of Spain it is the perfect place.

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7. Chamberí, a Modern and Quiet Neighborhood to Stay in Madrid

Chamberí is another of the fashionable neighborhoods among the upper-middle class people of Madrid. It is a very quiet residential neighborhood, where you can find several museums and art galleries.

If you fancy something quieter and you don’t mind being a bit far from the center, sleeping in Chamberí is a good option. In addition, it is perfectly connected with the metro to the city center.

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8. Paseo Del Prado, One of the Most Elegant Areas to Stay in Madrid

Our second favorite area to sleep in Madrid is the Paseo del Prado and its surroundings. It is a very elegant neighborhood with mostly high-end hotels.

In the Del Prado area, there are several important museums with the Del Prado Museum, the Congress of Deputies and the Retiro Park.

It is a very central neighborhood, located about 15 minutes walk from Puerta del Sol.

9. Puerta Del Sol, the Most Touristic Area to Stay in Madrid

This iconic place is the zero kilometers of Madrid, from which all the roads in Spain start and from where every December 31 the chimes that mark the beginning of a new year are given.

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Puerta del Sol is the most touristy area to stay in in Madrid and the most central point of the city. There you will find a lot of shops, department stores, restaurants… and you can walk everywhere.

10. Moncloa, a Cheap Area to Stay in Madrid

If you are looking for a student atmosphere and nightlife, you will find it in the Moncloa/Argüelles area, next to Chamberí. It is one of the best areas to stay in Madrid if you are still studying. It is also one of the cheapest areas to sleep in the city.

Being close to the University, there you will find a lot of university atmosphere with a lot of cheap bars to have a drink.

It is a bit far from the center to walk to but perfectly connected by public transport.

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How Many Days Are Recommended to Stay in Madrid?

In Madrid, there are a lot of places to visit. If you only want to see the city and wander the streets, in 2 days and one night you will be able to visit the main tourist places. But if you also want to enter museums and enjoy the nightlife, we recommend you sleep in Madrid for 2 or 3 nights.

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