Travelling to Madrid
You have several solutions to come to the Sapnish Capital: by car, by train or by plane. The city is well connected to the highways so you will not have problems going there, nevertheless there can be traffic in the city, so it is not always very fast to go from a point to an other. If you come by plane, you can take the metro to reach the city, it can go directly in the centre if you want. But there are also buses outside the airport that will take you in the city, or you can order a taxi.
Most of hotels offer an airport pick-up, as an extra, which can be a very good plan not to stress about where you have to go, which metro or tren you have to take, or just faster.
Madrid Airport is international so you can come from a lot of destinations and go to a lot of destinations too.
The other possibility is to come by train, which will stop at Atocha station. Atocha is closer from the city center and as all the trens pass by Atocha Station, you will be able to take any line of the Cercanias (tren driving mostly undergound in the city of Madrid) and go where you want in Madrid. Furthermore, Atocha is a beautiful station to see, with a tropical garden, so it is not a waste of time to arrive there.
Usually from the airport until the centre of Madrid, it takes about 35 minutes in metro and cercanias, and from atocha about 15 minutes. (taking as reference Sol Metro and Cercanias station)
Accomodation in Madrid:
In Madrid, you have various solutions for accomodation. Indeed, you can house in hotels, hostels -which are little hotels, with not enough requirements to be qualified as an hotel, inns, touristic flats, or apartment-hotels, where you have the comfort of an hotel while being in an apartment.
First, let's talk about the hotels. They are classified with stars, from 1 to 5. A 1 star hotel is a very basic hotel while a 5 star hotel is a luxuous and comfortable one. To know how many stars a hotel worth, the commission looks for the cleanliness, numbers of rooms, quality of services, the services the hotel offer to the customers etc.
According to the category of the hotel and its location, you won't find the same prices (note that it also depends on the season you go to Madrid) but compared to hotels in England or France for instance, the prices are very low and affordable for 4 and 5 stars hotels. In the last few years, Spain has seen its number of 4 and 5 stars hotel grew, in Madrid there are about 50 000 places in hotels of which 50% are 4 and 5 stars.
There are less low-cost chains of hotels in Spain than what you can find in France or other countries, because there are plenty of little independant hotels, 2 or 3 stars that make competitive prices. In Madrid you will find a 3 stars hotel for about 70 or 80 euros per night according to the location and season.
Now that you have these informations in mind, you can start looking for the best quarter in Madrid. Those we recommend are Sol/Gran Via quarter, Austrias quarter, and Retiro/Prado quarter.
-Sol and Gran Via zone is very living, there are plenty of shops, plenty of things to see and do, and they have a large choice of hotels from 2 to 5 stars. Moreover, it is very central and near various metro and tren station, which can lead you to other parts of the city quite easily.
-Austrias zone is also called Hasburg neighborhood. This is the historical quarter of Madrid, including the famous Plaza Mayor, so you'll have a lot of things to do and see there too, not to forget there are not only hotels , but also hostals and apartment-hotels in this zone.
-In Retiro/Prado quarter, you will find, as the name suggest, the Retiro Park and Prado museum, wich are two famous spots to visit. But nearby there is also Reina Sofia Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza museum. There are not a lot of hotels, but this is a great place to stay while you are in Madrid, called the Paseo del Arte (Art path).
-An other quarter to stay is near IFEMA, the congress centre, if you are travelling for businness and that your conventions, prensentations etc, take place there. You will find various hotels between the airport and IFEMA, to stay in. Also, if you are near a metro station, it won't be coplicated to reach the city centre.
Secondly, we can mention the hostals. There are like hotels, but with not enough equipments to be qualified as such. Nevertheless, they usually have private bedrooms with bathrooms and propose clean and modern rooms, they can even be up to 3 stars. The price is also lower than in hotels, so this is a good way for young people or backpackers to stay in Madrid. Some of them can have shared rooms and bathrooms, although we tried to put in our map only the one offering privacy. The cheapest ones are often in Sol/Gran via zone.
An other category of accomadation are the apartment-hotels. In Madrid, you can find various establishments like that. A mix between an apartment and a hotel. You have a bedroom, sometimes a living room, a kitchen (or kitchenette) and a bathroom. So you can be completely independant but in the same time you have all the benifits from a hotel: cleaning, breakfast buffet or room service, luggage facility, tourist informations etc.
Those are the types of accomodation we chose to present in our map, but private tourist flats, that you can rent by trip advisor or booking.com, airbnb or an estate agency are also possible and a good way to be in family, if you don't want to pay an apartment-hotel. Let's not forget about campings that is an other option for staying in Madrid.
NB: Almost all the hotels in Madrid are equipped for reduced mobility persons, it is always said on their website. Not a lot accept pets, ask the hotel before booking a room.
Author: Hélène Marchandise