Solo Travel in Madrid

Solo Travel in Madrid

Types of Girls about the Globe – Arty & Museum GatG

Below is our guide to how to travel solo in Madrid as well as lots of practical information such as where to stay, which tour company to use and how to get around. Find out how to get from the airports and what to do in each place. All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article.

Contents

Solo travel in Madrid

About Madrid

It may not have the beach like Barcelona but what Madrid does have is an authentic Spain experience. As the capital of Spain, Madrid is bursting with culture, architecture, and art.

The highest capital city in Europe (at 650 metres above sea level), Madrid was rebuilt after the Spanish civil war and has a mix of buildings old and new, making it a beautiful city to visit.

Situated on the Manzanares River, you’ll find skyscrapers and international headquarters alongside old chapels and cobbled lanes.

Known for its art, museums and historical plazas, Madrid is also becoming a trendy place to visit with new gastro bars and cafes constantly popping up.

It’s easy to navigate your way around the city. Spend some time at the Prado, then pop next door to the Botanical Gardens before spending an afternoon at Retiro Park.

Wander around the side streets, or relax in one of the many plazas before admiring Palacio Real, one of the most popular places to see in the city. See the Plaza de Colon, and the Colombus monument before making a wish at the grand fountain. Then admire the Palacio Fernán Núñez, an 18th century palace once residence to former kings, in the heart of the city.

See the unique red-brick buildings of Plaza Mayor which date back to the 17th century, and the 400 year old statue of King Philip III which stands proudly in the square. Then do as the locals do and spend the evening in Los Austrias or Puerta Solo, enjoying the vibe of the restaurants and bars. Or have a bite to eat in La Plaza de la Paja, another of the city’s most historic squares.

Madrid is rich in culture with festivals such as San Isidro, and La Virgen de la Paloma. The city is one which still holds its bull fighting tradition. If you don’t like the heat avoid visiting the city in July and August when it becomes too hot to sightsee.

* Click here to discover all activities and things to do in Madrid

Stay for – 2/3 nights

Safety Tips

Madrid is a safe city with a friendly buzz but with any city beware of pickpockets and avoid unlit streets and around the train stations at night. You may find beggars and homeless on the streets.

Did you know? Madrid became the capital of Spain in 1561. The name Madrid comes from the arabic “magerit” which means ‘place of many streams.'

Accommodation in Madrid

Good areas to stay in

Whether you prefer to stay in a hostel or have your own private room in a hotel, there are many accommodation choices in Madrid. Staying in the city centre is the most expensive option but you can find cheaper alternatives on Calle Fuencarral, Toledo Street or near the port terminal.

Solo Travel in Madrid

Way Hostel Madrid

This hostel is great for a late check in. It has a 24 hour reception and is close to a metro station which is ideal when you first arrive in the city. You’ll find restaurants and bars nearby so you don’t have to go far to grab a bite to eat. As well as organising weekly events the hostel can also arrange tours for you. Choose from a 6 to 12 bed dormitory or a 6 bed female-only dorm with private bathroom. 

  • Prices from £16 for a 12 bed dorm with shared bathroom
  • To book, check prices or availability for Way Hostel Madrid

Solo Travel in Madrid

Pil Pil Hostel Madrid

This friendly hostel is in the heart of the city and has a 24 hour front desk making it an ideal choice if you arrive late at night. There isn’t a kitchen that you can use but there is an option for a light breakfast. They have a female- only dorm with 8 beds or you can choose to stay in a 4, 6 or 10 bed mixed dorm, or a double room. 

  • Prices from £18 for a bed in a 10 bed dormitory room
  • To book, check prices or availability for Pil Pil Hostel Madrid

Solo Travel in Madrid

Grand Via 63 Rooms

Central with friendly staff, this guest house has both air-con and heating so you can visit year-round. All rooms come with a flat-screen TV and you can even treat yourself to a double room with a spa bath if you’re feeling flush. The small room is small so don’t expect that much room but the friendly staff definitely make up for a small bathroom. Breakfast is an optional cost. It is on Grand Via so it can get a bit noisy at night if your room faces the main street. 

  • Prices from £69 for a small double room 
  • To book, check prices or availability for Grand Via 63 Rooms

Solo travel in Madrid

48 Hours in Madrid

24 Hours

Madrid is easy to navigate by yourself. If you follow Calle Mayor, you will find some of the city’s main landmarks. Start your Madrid self walking tour at Puerta del Sol, one of the most known squares in the centre of the city. Take a stroll along Calle Mayor to marvel the red-brick buildings at Plaza Major and the medieval buildings which include the former town hall and jail.

At the end of Calle Mayor is the Catedral de la Almudena, an impressive cathedral which is free to enter. Then follow the signs to the crypt, a hidden gem nearby. Just next to the cathedral is the Palacio Real, Madrid’s largest building, and the largest royal palace in Western Europe. Open to the public, the former palace is home to important works of art.

Walk along to the Jardine del Campo del Moro and the Plaza de Oriente before relaxing in the Sabatini Gardens.

If you haven’t yet found somewhere for lunch, stop for a bite to eat in Plaza Santa Ana before spending the late afternoon at Museo de Prado.

48 Hours

Start your morning at the Basilica San Francisco el Grande. This Neo- Classical Roman Catholic church was built in the late 18th century on the ruins of a monastery.

Walk along Grand Via de San Francisco to the Puerta del Toledo, a giant city gate which is definitely worth a photo opportunity.

Then either take the metro or walk to the Parque del Retiro at Plaza de la Independencia to spend time strolling through the lawns, cypress trees and King Alfonso XII monument. You can even rent a rowing boat to spend some reflective time on the lake. Take a picnic with you and choose your own tapas to enjoy some lunch within the park’s surroundings.

Then walk to the Palacio de Cibeles, another famous landmark in the city which dates back to 1904. The palace has been open to the public since 2011 and is definitely worth a look inside. You’ll find couches and free Wifi to plan your next day trip.

Next is the Puerta de Alcalá monument, once a former entrance to Madrid and another photo opportunity.

Spend the afternoon in the museums. View modern art by Picasso at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, amongst its thousands of artworks.

If you have time to make sunset, see a taste of Egypt in Spain at the Temple de Debod. One of the best places to see the sunset in the city.

Spent the evening watching a flamenco show or at one of the recommended tapas bars, dining until the early hours.

Solo Travel in Madrid

Sightseeing in Madrid

Top Must-Sees for solos

Plaza de Cibeles

Plaza de Cibeles is the city’s most famous square. Home to the stunning white fountain of the Roman goddess Cybele, the plaza is located along Calle de Alcalá, and is near the Prado Museum. The Palace of Communications is the main building in the square. (TIME 1-2 hours)

The Royal Palace

As the official residence of the royal family, this 18th century palace just oozes opulence. Used only for ceremonies, inside you’ll find tapestries and sculptures amongst royal antiques. Take a tour of this grand palace to get a glimpse of marvel at giant chandeliers and Renaissance paintings before admiring the beautiful Puerta del Moro gardens. (TIME 2-3 hours)

Buy your Royal Palace skip-the-line guided tour ticket here

The Prado Museum

Although this is a museum, it is definitely one of the must-sees here. The Museo Nacional Del Prado is the country’s national art museum and one of the best art galleries in the world. Inside you’ll find sculptures, and drawings from some of the continent’s finest artists.

There are so many masterpieces here that you can spend hours within its walls admiring more than 7,000 paintings of European art, which date back as far as the 12th century. It’s near to el Parque de El Retiro so it’s easy to combine the museum with some nature for a full day out. Find at: Calle Ruiz de Alarcon 23. (TIME 2-3 hours)

Buy your skip-the-line Prado museum entrance ticket here 

Or you can take a guided tour to learn more about the Spanish art and masterpieces that you’re seeing, and learn about the story of Spanish and European art through the centuries.

Buy your Prado Museum skip-the-line guided tour here 

Solo travel in Madrid

Escape the crowds at

Caprice Park – a park which is only open at the weekends. Parque El Capricho is a 14 hectare garden located at Alameda de Osuna. It dates back to 1784 and includes a labyrinth within its peaceful gardens. It is one of the most beautiful spots in the city.

Lose yourself at

Descalzas Reales Monastery. Home to a community of nuns, this monastery dates back to the 16th century and has a great collection of artwork to admire.

Get a great view at

The observation deck at the Palace of Communications. Go at night for a more spectacular view.

Interact with the locals at

  • Barrio de las Letras – A popular bohemian neighbourhood where you’ll find plenty of students hanging around at Santa Ana Square. It’s the right place to come to get inspired as many Spanish authors wrote their works here.
  • Join the locals as they flock to Retiro Park on Sunday mornings to enjoy the exhibitions and laze around the boating lake.

Places to enjoy the sun

Catch the sun as it goes down at the Temple of Debod, a piece of Egyptian history in Spain.

Markets

  • If you like markets, head down to Mercado de San Miguel, a traditional city- centre market which has been transformed into a gourmet food hall. Here you can eat to your heart’s content and fill up on Spanish tapas and international cuisine. You can also enjoy a fine sherry with your food at the Sherry Corner.
  • The Mercado de Maravillas is Madrid’s biggest old-style covered market. It’s huge and has more than 250 stores so leave yourself a couple of hours to browse around it. This is the market to buy fresh produce such as meat and cheese. You have to take the bus to get there (Calle Bravo Murillo 122) and it’s not open on Sundays.
  • If you visit Madrid on a Sunday you’ll be there for Madrid’s largest open air flea market, held at El Rastro.

Local’s Tip – “Venture into Chamberi, a small residential area which is filled with Gothic and Modernist architecture.”

Solo’s Tip – “Admire the street art in the vibrant area of Lavapies.”

Solo Travel in Madrid

Activities in Madrid

Active GatG

If you need somewhere to jog during your trip, Paseo del Prado boulevard is an ideal place to run with routes for cyclists, walkers and joggers. If you prefer company for cycling join a 3-hour guided bicycle tour through the streets of Madrid. You'll pass monuments and landmarks as you go. 

Check dates, availability and prices for Madrid Highlights: 3-hour cycling tour 

Adventure GatG

If you don’t mind heights, get your blood pumping on a hot air balloon. As well as flying high over the meadows and forests at Guadarrama Regional Park, you can enjoy a Spanish brunch with your fellow hot air ballooners.

Check prices, dates and availability for a hot air balloon ride

Arty & Museum GatG

There are so many art galleries here that you could be staring at masterpieces for days. The Golden Triangle of Art is where you’ll find the creme de la creme of museums and art galleries.

Here are our recommended few if you’re short on time:

1, Museo Nacional Del Prado

Known as being one of the largest museums in the world, the Museo Nacional Del Prado is also one of the richest and has more than 8,000 paintings of European art within its collections. The museum is home to Velazquez’s 1656 painting “Las Meninas,” and The Black Paintings by Francisco Goya.

Buy your skip-the-line Prado museum entrance ticket here 

2. Museo Nacional Centre de Arte Reina Sofia

Next to the Prado is the Museo Nacional Centre de Arte Reina Sofia. Inside the glass and steel facade are the inspiring works by Spanish art Joan Miró, and Salvador Dali. But the most impressive collection here is by Pablo Picasso, particularly his monochrome masterpiece – the Guernica, a symbol of the tragedy of war. With more than 20,000 works within its walls, allow some time to see all of the collections before admiring the views from the terrace before you leave.

3. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

The last museum that makes up the Golden Triangle of Art is the Thyssen- Bornemisza Museum. This museum takes you on a journey through seven centuries of European paintings from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. It is home to the Thyssen family’s private art collection and is one of the largest private collections in the world. Visit to marvel at Renaissance painters such as Caravaggio and Holbein or to see a Van Gogh or Monet. If you love art, this museum really is in a class of its own.

Buy your Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza ticket here

4. Museo Sorolla

This mansion adorned with paintings of Mediterranean beaches, was once the home of Joaquin Sorolla, an Impressionist painter. Find out about his life’s work including his personal ceramic collection. The Andalusian-style gardens are a lovely place to relax afterwards.

5. Museo Arqueologico Nacional

Situated at the back of the National Library building, the National Archaeological Museum is not only cheap to visit but is also a learning experience. Find out more about the history of what you are seeing at the Virtual Reality points throughout the museum. Discover ancient coins and artefacts from the prehistoric age to the Renaissance period.

6. For fine arts, the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts Museum is worth a visit. This 18th century building houses a collection of paintings from artists such as Picasso, and Van Dyck. It’s never crowded either so you can enjoy some solitude from the city.

Solo travel in Madrid

Budget GatG

There is free entrance to El Prado National Museum from Monday to Saturday, 6pm to 8pm, and Sundays and holidays from 5pm to 7pm. Or if you prefer performances, watch the streets artists at Plaza Mayor.

Cultural GatG

  • For culture, you can’t get more cultural than La Casa Encendida, the social and cultural hub of Madrid. From exhibitions to talks and performing arts you’ll find anything and everything such as the “She Makes Noise” festival celebrating women in experimental and electronic music. Buy tickets online.
  • If you love film, learn about Spanish cinema and its impact on Madrid on a social-impact tour. The Explore Spanish Cinema in Modern Madrid tour is organised by Asociación Cultural Cibeles, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the exchange of culture and ideas.
  • Discover the El Rastro Neighbourhood and explore Madrid’s traditional architecture whilst learning about the typical houses called ‘corralas,’ on a Madrid City Tour. Your tour costs are invested into activities to help spread and share local culture with this non-profit organisation. Find out more.
  • Watch a live flamenco show at one of Madrid's intimate venues. Cafe Ziryab holds performances every day of the week (except Tuesdays). Flamenco shows start at 9:30pm and the ticket includes a drink of your choice.  Check dates and prices for the flamenco show

History GatG

  • Plaza de la Villa is the oldest square in Madrid and one of the city’s prettiest. With a unique blend of architecture you can see the 17th century town hall in a baroque style, as well as the Casa de Cisneros, which was built in the 16th century. During the Medieval period the square was a central point in the city due to its notable buildings.
  • Debod Temple – Finding an Egyptian temple in Spain may seem a little odd, but this 2,000 year old temple was given to Spain as a thanks to the Spanish archaeologists who helped save Abu Simbel from flooding. It’s free to visit and is a great spot to watch the sun go down. You can organise a tour here too.

Solo travel in Madrid

Nature GatG

Retiro Park is the perfect place to enjoy some nature in the city. Take some time out to discover these sprawling gardens with lavish statues and fountains which were once owned by the Royal Family. If this large green space isn’t enough you can continue through to the Botanical Gardens.

Shopping GatG

  • There are lots of places to shop in Madrid. Amongst the international chain stores are many independent boutiques.
  • For a pair of traditional espadrilles pop into Casa Hernanz at Calle Toledo 18.
  • For top-end shopping, Milla de Ora (otherwise known as Madrid’s “Golden Mile”) is a street for window shopping at luxury brands such as Tiffany’s and local designers like Señorita Martita, and Alfredo Villalba.
  • For more high-end luxury, head to Grand Via, or the leafy streets of Salamanca which is lined with designer boutiques.
  • Cheuca is a buzzy neighbourhood where you can shop at boutiques and enjoy lunch at one of the numerous street cafes.
  • You can take a shopping tour to Las Rozas shopping village, a designer outlet village which has over 100 boutiques at a fraction of the price. The tour includes transport and meeting other shoppers.
  • If the idea of a shopping tour sounds too much, you can find outlet shoe shops at Calle Augusto Figueroa instead.

Sporty GatG

If you love football and follow Real Madrid, get yourself down to Real Madrid Bernabéu Stadium for a tour of the stadium. You can set eyes on the dressing rooms of the players, the press room and then walk through the tunnel to the pitch, following in the footballers footsteps.

Wellness GatG

Enjoy an Arabian bath at Madrid’s Hammam Al Ándalus where you can sip on a mint tea and enjoy a massage. Built by the Moors, these Arabian baths have candle-lit walkways, thermal baths and a steam room.

Wine GatG

  • Tempranillo – Not only is this one of the best tapas bars in Madrid but it also is a beautiful wine bar. Located in La Latina, you’ll be rewarded with tapas when you order your wine. It does get busy so get there early to sit at the bar and choose your favourite vino. Find at Calle Cava Baja 38.
  • If you prefer to have some company for wine tasting (and who wouldn’t?) how about joining a Spanish wine tasting? It’s more expensive than sampling wines yourself but you’ll get to sample 6 different vintage wines within a hosted environment and chat about your favourites.

Solo travel in Madrid

Have a tourist moment

  • On the hop-on hop-off tour bus. Don't start at Sol station because it's too crowded.
  • If you’re brave enough to go to a theme park alone, be a tourist for a day and scream to your heart’s delight on the rides at Warner Bros Park. Embrace your inner child and be a kid again.

Don’t have much time?

If you don’t have much time follow our 48 hour itinerary or take the hop on hop off bus to see as much as you can.

Where to wear your heels

At a flamenco dance class where you can show off your fancy moves or at one of the shows.

Things To Do At Night in Madrid

In The Evenings

If you haven’t yet seen a flamenco show where better to see one than in the Spanish capital.

Walk along Gran Via, known as Madrid’s Broadway past the theatres and high end shops and stop in one of the bars. This “Great Avenue” lights up the city at night and you can witness the iconic Metropolis Building in all its glory. Watch the street performers at Plaza Santa Ana or just sit in a wine bar and people watch.

See Madrid at night and get some exercise on a Madrid at night bike guided tour. lasting two hours it starts after sunset and shows how captivating the city can be after dark.

You know that feeling when you have to dine alone? Well, how about joining a tapas evening tour where you get to sample three of Spain’s bars and tapas restaurants on an eating tour. It’s a great way to spend an evening and you won’t have to dine alone. As they say, when in Spain…

Partying in Madrid (Party GatG)

If you like to party, the nightlife starts late here. The Spanish don’t venture out before midnight so have a late dinner then move onto one of the vibrant nightlife areas in the city. Santa Ana is a good place to start with wine bars and terraces with a good vibe. Then head to either Arenal Street, Atocha Street or Barcelo Street. The Chueca area and Huertas area has vibrant nightlife.

If you prefer to be with others join the Madrid 5-hour Pub Crawl which takes you to some of the city's best bars and clubs. The ticket includes a free shot at every bar bar and free entry to one of Madrid's top clubs.

Buy your Madrid 5-hour pub crawl ticket here 

For the best clubbing experience, Teatro Kapital is the best club in the city with 7 floors each playing different music. There are dancers, international DJs and an open rooftop, and although it’s a bit pricey it is definitely a clubbing experience.

Where To Meet Others

Where to meet others

Along the banks of the river at Rio Park where they hold concerts and cultural events. This green area attracts locals who hang out in the restaurants and bar terraces and walk and bike along the routes. Strike up a conversation during the day but avoid the area at night if you can.

Pop into J&J Books and Coffee during the day to browse second-hand books and strike up a conversation with other bookworms. They also hold an intercambio night on Thursdays (check before you go) where you can practice your Spanish with others.

Interact with the locals

At Mercado de la Paz – For a taste of authentic Madrid, hang around this swanky Salamanca neighbourhood and mingle with the locals whilst sampling some of Spain’s delicacies at their favourite market.

Solo travel in Madrid

Tours in Madrid

If you love football, take a selfie of yourself at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. This famous football stadium is open for tours. You can get a panoramic view of the stadium, see the Presidential Box, the dressing room and the press room. A must for any football fan.

Sandemans offer free Madrid walking tours where you pay a donation at the end depending on how much you enjoyed the tour. These tours are always good entertainment value and help you to get your bearings around the city whilst learning more about it. They have more than one tour a day that starts from Plaza Mayor. 

If you prefer company to a wine bar you could join a Madrid wine bars and gastropubs tour. This way you get to sample some of the country’s unique wines and enjoy some Madrid tapas like a local.

Instead of trying the traditional Spanish dishes, why not learn how to make your own? At a Madrid tapas cooking class you’ll learn how to make different types of tapas and you get to eat it too!

Get Your Guide Day Tours – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated activities and day tours in worldwide destinations including Madrid. Choose from a Royal Palace skip-the-line guided tour, a Madrid city tour, or a tapas experience walking tour. They also offer day trips from Madrid to places such as Toledo and Segovia. There are several to choose from and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online.

* Check all Get Your Guide tours, prices and availability for Madrid

Spain Tours From Madrid

G Adventures – Madrid is easy to travel to alone but if you are planning on seeing more of Spain and looking for some company to do it with, sustainable companies such as G Adventures offer tours from a 4 day La Tomatina Festival to a 15 day Classic Spain tour. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them for solos.

Most tours have an average of 10 people and there is no upper age limit. Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there.

* Click here for the full itineraries, prices, and start dates

Intrepid Travel  is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on each tour. Over 50% of people who book their trips are solo travellers. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation hence the trips can appear a bit more than G Adventures. Their tours range from an 8 day North Spain Discovery to a 24 day Spain, Portugal and Morocco tour. With both tour companies you share a room with someone of the same gender or you can pay extra for your own room.

* Click here for the full itineraries, prices, and start dates

Solo Travel in Madrid

Where to Eat & Drink

Being Spain the typical food is tapas accompanied by a Spanish wine. Madrid is brimming with bars that serve tapas so you’ll never be short of somewhere to eat and drink.

Some of the restaurants close between 4pm until 8pm. One of Madrid’s dishes is a crispy baguette filled with fried squid called a “bocadillo de calamares,” which you can find in the side streets of Plaza Mayor. Others specialities include callos – a beef tripe stew, and cocido – a vegetarian traditional chickpea stew.

If you like fish, besugo (in English = sea bream) can be found in the restaurants here.

Where To Eat in Madrid

$$ – Astor. This hidden gem is away from the touristy area of Plaza Mayor. Not only is the food good but the owners are really lovely and attentive. Serving International dishes as well as Mediterranean and Spanish, you can enjoy a truffle pasta with one of their srucmptious cocktails. Find at Calle Del Almendro 9.

$$ – Restaurant Botin. If you want to experience dining in one of the oldest restaurant in Spain, try this restaurant for size. Founded in 1725 you will definitely be transported back into time within this cave dwelling. Luckily the food isn’t as old with roast suckling pig their most popular dish. If you want to dine in a cave and be a part of history this is definitely a cool place to dine. Find at Calle de los Cuchilleros, 17.

$$ – Fonda La Lechuga. This restaurant is a blend of old and new with a welcoming feel. Located down a side street, the owner and staff are so friendly that they will make you feel right at home. Choose from salmon, port or beef dishes or go veggie and enjoy a chick pea salad instead. The dishes are from Europe and the Mediterranean and are delicious. Find at Calle Lechuga S/N.

Restaurants for typical cuisine

$ – El miniBAR. This bar is a great cocktail bar and eatery with lots of other options too. The staff really care about their customers and will even recommend food for one. Sit outside on the terrace and enjoy a Tinto de verano with a crispy boar roll. The portions are huge! Find at Meson de Panos, 1.

$ – Tinto 7 Tapas. It may be small but they say that the best things come in small packages and this restaurant is no exception. Friendly staff, good service and equally as good food make a winning combination. Whether you prefer tapas, empanadas or pizza, you’ll enjoy a modest portion of freshly prepared food. Plus they have stools at the bar – perfect for us solos. Find at Calle Almaden 14.

$$ – Taberna el Sur. This restaurant may be small but the staff are really welcoming. From croquettes to seafood paella, and goat cheese salad, the food is amazing (and the sangria is delicious too). The homemade cakes are also to die for. A great little place for solos. Find at: Calle Torrecilla Del Leal 12.

Vegetarian Restaurants in Madrid

$$ – Inclan Brutal Tapas Bar & Restaurant. As a popular meeting point this tapas bar and restaurant serves traditional Spanish cuisine for a healthy and gluten-free diet. Enjoy a Bao Vegetal in a causal, relaxed, modern environment. Find at Calle de Alvarez Gato 4.

$$ – Vega. This vegan restaurant offers tasty organic food all homemade. Choose from mushroom croquettes, soups or hummus. You can even wash down your vegan dessert with a local wine. Friendly staff and a welcoming vibe. Find at Calle Luna 9.

Coffee Shops Madrid

There are so many cafes here. Chueca is a good area with lots of cafes. Here are our favourite:

J&J Books and Coffee – I love this concept. If you feel awkward about having a coffee alone, you should definitely visit here. Not only can you mingle with others but you can buy a second-hand book to take with you.

Find at Calle Espiritu Santo 47.

Chocolate – Here you can enjoy one of Spain’s specialities – hot chocolate and churros. The staff speak English and you’ll find this cute cafe attracts the locals too. They also have crisp churros and chocolate cake on the menu – a chocolate lover’s paradise. Find at Calle/ Santa Maria, 30.

Cat Cafe – Madrid has its very own cat cafe. If you are missing a furry friend on your trip La Gatoteca (ABRIGA) is a non-profit organisation and cat cafe which is dedicated to caring for rescued cats.

Street Food

For the best street food head down to Mercado de San Miguel for some of the freshest Spanish cuisine. You can find everything within this traditional gourmet food hall from tortillas to paella. With so many specialist stalls it’s a great place to try some of the typical Spanish delights.

Solo Travel in Madrid

Madrid Bars

Bars

Baton Rouge – If you’re after a touch of chic and elegance, Baton Rouge has the ambience to match its cocktails. Choose from a coffee expresso cocktail or a classic martini. The bartender is really friendly so you can be guaranteed that you’ll have someone to talk too whether you’re been shaken or stirred. Find at Calle de la Victoria 8.

QW Sportbar – If you’re after a bar with some atmosphere this sport bar is perfect. With a Latin American vibe it attracts the kind of clientele who want to rumba. A great spot with a party atmosphere. Find at Calle Vergara N12.

El Tigre Sidrería – Located in the nightlife district of Chueca, this vibrant bar is a great place to mingle with the locals. Each drink you order comes with a huge plate of delicious tapas. It does get crowded on the weekends so it’s definitely an authentic Spanish experience. Just don’t get put off by the animal heads on the walls. Find at Calle Infantas 30.

Solo Travel in Madrid

Getting Around Madrid

The centre of Madrid is walkable but the city does have a good transport system which is straightforward to navigate.

Driving here isn't recommended due to the traffic and high parking prices.

The metro is the best way to get around Madrid as it connects the whole city. A single ticket costs 1.5 Euros to travel for 1 to 5 stations. If you are planning on taking a few trips consider buying a Bus travel card 10 for 12.20 Euros which is cheaper than individual tickets. You can also use these on the EMT buses. Find out more about the metro here.

Buses stop at various points in the city and have their own lane but it can be quicker to take the metro. You pay onboard. Find out about the bus routes here.

Taxis here aren’t that expensive compared to other European cities. To take a taxi look for the official white cars with the red stripe. If they have a green light they are available.

Solo’s Tip – ”One of the best ways to explore Madrid is with the Tourist Pass, which gives you unlimited journeys. You can buy a day pass for the city centre for 9 Euros or a 3 day pass for 19 Euros.

* Search for flights, trains and buses in Madrid

Madrid Barajas Airport

  • Both Terminal T2 and Terminal T4 have Metro stations which run to the Nuevos Ministerios Metro station in the centre of Madrid from 6am in the morning until 2am. Tickets cost 5 Euros
  • To take a taxi, head to the taxi rank outside of the airport terminal. Taxis cost at least 30 Euros and take approximately 20 minutes.
  • An express bus runs 24 hours a day to Atocha RENFE and takes 40 minutes.

Travelling Onwards

The main train staton in Madrid is called Puerta de Atocha. From here you can travel to other cities in Spain such as Barcelona, Malaga and Valencia.

Busabout are a hop on hop off bus company which travel from Madrid to Valencia and Barcelona, or to Lisbon in Portugal. If you prefer company whilst you travel, they are a really good way to travel and meet like-minded others as you do it.

Local’s Tip – “Use Madrid as your base to take a day trip to Toledo.”

Map of Madrid

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