Skip to Content

Local’s Guide: Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Madrid | Where To Stay in Madrid in 2021

Where To Stay in Madrid: The Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Madrid

A Guide to Madrid: Best Areas to Stay in Madrid for a city trip

For too long, Madrid was overshadowed by its eternal competitor Barcelona. However, in the last years, Madrid has become increasingly popular among travelers for city breaks, shopping sprees, cultural visits or outdoor activities. Madrid is huge in size and it might be overwhelming when looking for the best neighborhoods to stay in Madrid.

Madrid is not only to the perfect weekend city trip but also perfectly suited for extended stays which include day trips to the surrounding gems like Toledo, Avila or Segovia.

Even though Madrid hasn’t the beaches of Barcelona, it has tons of other attractions that make the Spanish capital the perfect getaway. Often at much more competitive rates than its Catalan competitor on the coast.

After living and working for 2 years in Madrid, I get frequently asked about the best places to stay in Madrid or where to stay near Madrid. I’d say that it largely depends on the type of traveler you are and the expectations on your visit to Madrid. 

Well, here it goes: The Ultimate Guide on The Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Madrid, one of the most vibrant European capitals out there.

Thanks to affiliate links, I pay my bills. If you make a purchase through them, I may receive a small commission (for which I’m deeply grateful) at no cost to you. All opinions are always mine. Merci!

Useful Travel Information About Madrid

⚘ Avoid tourist traps and get the customizable “Spain Like a Local” itinerary. – Get it here

✈ Book cheap flights to Madrid with Skyscanner

✔ Book tours in Madrid with GetYourGuide

➳ Find the best hotels in Madrid with Booking

❖ Rent a car with the best discounts with DiscoverCars

☘ Get the best outdoor gear (outlet) with REI.com

✎ Never leave without travel insurance. I get mine at SafetyWing. It is easy to set up, cheap and reliable.

$ Withdraw money without hidden fees, and avoid exchange rates with TransferWise (you’ll get a free card on top!)

Local’s Guide: My Favorite Neighborhoods to Stay in Madrid

24 hours in madrid, one day in madrid, spain, one day itinerary madrid, what to do in madrid for one day, 1 day in madrid, museums, shopping, food, hotels, flamenco
Shopping in Madrid 🙂

After calling Madrid my home for almost 2 years, in several neighborhoods, I want to show you my favorite neighborhoods and places to stay in Madrid according to the expectations of your visit.

You can also find here in this Madrid neighbourhood guide where to stay in Madrid with family.

In order to give those queries a detailed answer, I decided to write this in-depth guide on where to stay in Madrid Spain. Accommodation places are categorized by location and budget, each time in the best neighborhoods in Madrid Spain.

So before you head to Madrid, first you need to decide if you want a cultural city trip, a quiet city break, luxury holidays or outdoor adventures. Because you can even go skiing in Madrid!

The opinions of this post are based upon my professional experience in the Spanish tourism sector and upon my stay in Madrid during which I visited numerous hotels.

In total, I lived 2 years in a row in Madrid but visited several times before and after. Altogether I stayed in Madrid for a minimum of 3 years. Read here about Madrid’s less known highlights.

Best Neighborhoods in Madrid To Stay If You Are A Party Animal

Best Neighborhoods in Madrid To Stay If You Are A Party Animal

1. Malasaña

Malasaña is the hipster neighborhood of Madrid, located just behind the most important avenue Gran Via.

It boasts numerous trendy bars and its quaint cobbled streets invite for long walks in the afternoon. It’s one of the most prominent Madrid neighborhoods with a very specific athmosphere.

For ages, Malasaña has been the creative and youngest neighborhood. By far, it’s my favorite neighborhood and a visit to Malasaña is a MUST when I visit Madrid. It just has such positive, creative energy!

However, Malasaña is also a great location to party. There are countless bars and clubs which attract a wide range of music styles. And it’s mandatory to taste some of the new tapas creations in the bars of Malasaña before clubbing. 

Malasaña is definitely one of the coolest neighborhoods in Madrid and for party-lovers the best neighborhood to stay in Madrid but not that much for people looking for where to stay in Madrid with kids.

Some of the most popular clubs in Malasaña are:

Best Places To Stay in Malasaña, Madrid

Best Places To Stay in Malasaña, Madrid

Budget

Woohoo Suites Madrid **
Hostal Silserranos **
Hostal Abami II **
Hotel Life Gran Via **

Mid Range

7 Islas Hotel ****
Tryp Madrid Cibeles Hotel ****
Petit Palace Triball ***
Hotel Atlántico ****
Leonardo Hotel Madrid City Center ***

Luxury

Urso Hotel & Spa *****
Barceló Torre de Madrid *****
VP Plaza España Design *****
Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid *****

2. La Latina

La Latina has a long tradition of nightlife. The barrio (neighborhood) is not only famous for its delicious and affordable tapas, but also for its vibrant clubs. For those who love to be out, La Latina is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Madrid. 

The best way to discover the pleasures of La Latina is to change bar after each drink. Indeed every bar has a very different mood, different tapas and drink creations.

It would be such a shame to stay only in one bar. (When I moved from Madrid, I took this impulsion with me: never more than 1 drink in the same bar!).

The bests streets for tapas are Cava Baja and Cava Alta. You can’t skip La Latina while looking for the best area to stay in Madrid, Spain.

Some of the most popular clubs in La Latina are:

  • Contraclub: live music ranging from varied styles such as jazz, hip-hop and flamenco
  • Marula: international music
  • Corral de la Moreria: flamenco & dinner
Best Places To Stay, Madrid La Latina Area
Almudena Cathedral

Best Places To Stay, Madrid La Latina Area

Budget

Mayerling Hotel **
Ganivet ***
HRC Hotel ***
B&B Hotel Madrid Centro Plaza Mayor **

Mid Range

Posada del Dragón Boutique Hotel ****
Eurostars Plaza Mayor ****
Catalonia Puerta del Sol ****
L&H La Latina

Family-Friendly

BNBHolder Peaceful & Elegant La Latina
Grand Apartment La Latina
Pestana Plaza Mayor Madrid ****
Posada del León de Oro Boutique Hotel ****

Best Madrid Neighborhoods for Luxury Holidays

Best Madrid Neighborhoods for Luxury Holidays
Rooftop Views

1. Barrio de Salamanca

Salamanca is Madrid’s “poshest”, more exclusive neighborhood. It was originally designed for Madrid’s aristocracy and bourgeoisie. It’s thus the best neighborhood to stay in Madrid for a luxury getaway.

You’ll see the most beautiful mansions sharing the quarter with international, luxury and designer brands.

Some of Madrid’s finest restaurants are at home in Barrio de Salamanca which offers very chic dining options with the finest Iberian products.

The most expensive and exclusive streets are Calle de Serrano, Calle de Goya, and Calle de Velásquez. You’ll easily find an upper-scale hotel for a perfect luxury stay in Madrid.

Best Places To Stay in Salamanca, Madrid
Streets of Madrid

Best Places To Stay in Salamanca, Madrid

Mid Range 

Totem Madrid ****
Icon Wipton by Petit Palace ****
VP Jardin de Recoletos ****
Melia Madrid Serrano  ****

Something Special

Hotel Villa Magna ***** (has the most expensive suite in Madrid !)
Dormirdcine **** (rooms themed on movies)

Luxury

Hotel Fenix Gran Melia *****
Hotel Único Madrid *****
Relais & Châteaux Heritage Hotel *****
Icon Embassy by Petit Palace *****

2. Paseo del Prado

Madrid’s other exclusive quarter is the historic area of Paseo del Prado.

It is one of the main boulevards of Madrid and particularly famous for its great museums such as Prado Museum, Caixa Forum Madrid, Maritime Museum Madrid, or Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. No wonder that the area is also known as “Triangle of Art”. 

It’s perfect for a stroll under its tree-lined promenade on a lazy afternoon and you’ll be amazed by the intriguing, historic house fronts. Most of them are of major artistic and historical interest, being erected in the eighteenth century.

Some of Madrid’s most renowned and prominent hotels are located at or near the Paseo del Prado. It’s the perfect location to enjoy a more exclusive side of Madrid.

Best Places To Stay near Paseo del Prado

Mid Range

Hotel Princesa Plaza Madrid ****
Mercure Madrid Centro ****
CoolRooms Atocha ****

Something Special

Westin Palace Hotel ***** (check out their “Opera Brunch” on Sundays !)

Luxury

NH Collection Madrid Paseo del Prado *****
Hotel Urban *****
Hotel Villa Real *****
Hospes Puerta de Alcalá *****

Best Areas to Stay in Madrid Spain for a Quiet City Break

Best Areas to Stay in Madrid Spain for a Quiet City Break

Even though Madrid is one of the liveliest and vibrant cities I visited in Europe, it also has more quiet areas which are perfect to unwind and relax.ago

1. Retiro Neighbourhood

The Retiro neighborhood is located right next to Madrid’s most famous park. It is a rather traditional, a bit chic neighborhood, which is particularly answered on what neighborhood to stay in Madrid for families.

As it’s close to one of Madrid’s largest green areas, it is quite a coveted quarter. The area is mostly residential but has gorgeous historic house fronts.

Even though hotels are a bit outside from the center, but easy to reach by public transport, it will provide you the retreat from the buzzing streets of Spain’s capital.

For those who love a relaxing stay, El Retiro is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Madrid.

Best Places To Stay in Retiro, Madrid

Budget

Hostal Arco Iris
La Llave de Madrid
NH Madrid Sur ***

Mid Range

Ayre Gran Hotel Colón ****
Novotel Madrid Center****
Petit Palace Savoy Alfonso XII ****

Luxury

Only You Hotel Atocha ****
H10 Puerta de Alcalá ****
Hotel Palacio del Retiro, Autograph Collection *****

best museums in madrid spain prado museum, roal palace, reina sofia, travel blog, blogger spain, goya, tickets, entry, madrid museum pass

2. Chamberí

Chamberí used to be the quarter for the older, more traditional Madrileños. Not many visitors included Chamberi into their Madrid 24h-itinerary.

However in the last years, countless new eateries popped up and little designer shops are opening, making Chamberí the new place to be.

Some of the places you can’t miss in Chamberí are:

However, the quarter still preserved some of its traditional, bourgeois atmospheres which makes Chamberi the perfect place to spend a relaxing city break.

Definitely keep an eye on it when looking for the best neighborhoods to stay in Madrid.

Best Places To Stay in Chamberí, Madrid

Best Places To Stay in Chamberí, Madrid

Budget

Hostal El Brezo
Ibis Madrid Centro
NH Madrid Chamberí ***

Mid Range

Courtyard by Marriott Madrid Princesa ****
Exe Moncloa ****
The Pavilions Madrid Hotel ****
One Shot Fortuny 07 ****

Luxury

Sercotel Gran Hotel Conde Duque ****
Relais & Châteaux Hotel Orfila *****
Hyatt Regency Esperia Madrid *****
Hotel Santo Mauro, Autograph Collection *****

Best Neighborhoods To Stay in Madrid for Shopping City Break

Best Places To Stay in Chamberí, Madrid

1. City Center Madrid

I love shopping in the city center of Madrid. Not only will you find here all the international brands (around Gran Via, Callao, Puerta del Sol, etc.) but you’ll also find some very old, historic shops which have a long tradition in Madrid.

If you fancy a shopping trip, El Centro (city center) is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Madrid and definitely the best place to stay in Madrid for shopping.

They mostly sell artisan, handmade products and are thus the perfect, valuable souvenir from your stay in Madrid. The city center is also the best place to stay in Madrid when you only have 1 day in Madrid.

Some of these traditional shops that can’t be missed are the following:

Best Places To Stay in City Center of Madrid

Best Places To Stay in City Center of Madrid

Budget

Generator Madrid
Hostal Met Madrid
Artrip Hotel **
Toc Hostel Madrid

Mid Range

Petit Palace Plaza del Carmen ****
Eurostars Casa de la Lírica ****
Catalonia Las Cortes ****

Family-Friendly

Eurostars Madrid Gran Via ****
NH Collection Madrid Gran Via ****
Pestana Plaza Mayor Madrid ****

Luxury

Palacio de Los Duques Gran Meliá *****
Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid *****
Gran Hotel Inglés *****

2. Salamanca & Malasaña

Malasaña is definitely my favorite place to shop! There are so many quirky, original and creative shops that it will be very hard to choose where to start.

On top the area is changing a lot, thus you’ll find different stores than in your previous visit.

The location, the narrow streets of Malasaña provide as well a great setting for shopping. Thus you should definitely consider Malasaña when looking for the best neighborhood in Madrid.

Some of my favorite shops in Malasaña are:

Malasaña might get a bit loud during the weekends, thus I recommend staying in Salamanca neighborhood.

Shopping in the chic quarter of Salamanca is definitely an exclusive experience. It’s one of the most stylish districts, featuring many international designer brands. However, you’ll also find luxury Spanish brands.

The best streets in Salamanca neighborhood for luxury/fashion shopping are:

  • Calle Serrano (Tesla, Kenzo, ZARA, Prada, Loewe, Armani , Chopard , Yusty, etc.)
  • Calle Ortega y Gasset (Christian Dior, Tiffany & Co.,Hermès, Chanel, etc.)
  • Calle Jorge Juan
  • Calle Ayala

Where to stay – Madrid Shopping: Malasaña & Salamanca

Budget

Mad4You Hostel
Madrid Suites San Mateo
Hostal Abami II **

 Mid Range

Only You Boutique Hotel Madrid ****
The Pavilions Madrid Hotel ****
Tryp Madrid Cibeles Hotel ****
Preciados ****

Luxury

Relais & Châteaux Hotel Orfila *****
Hotel Santo Mauro, Autograph Collection*****
VP Plaza España Design *****

Where is the Best Place to Stay in Madrid For Hiking & Outdoor Holidays?

1. El Escorial

Only a few people that travel to Madrid include going hiking or doing outdoor activities as their first plan. Indeed most see Madrid as a huge city, being impossible to feature outdoor leisure activities. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.

If hiking is in your plans, this is the best place to stay.  Madrid, El Escorial area is the departure point of many hiking routes.

Not only is it a perfect day trip from Madrid due to its monumental monastery and delicious gastronomy, but due to its natural setting in the mountains, El Escorial is a coveted destination for hikers, trekkers, birders, and climbers.

El Escorial is about 1h ride with the cercanías train departing from Madrid City Center.

And the perfect reward for your physical efforts will be a delicious, traditionally Castilian meal and some of the best food in Madrid.

Book Here Your Day Trip to El Escorial from Madrid

el escorial madrid
El Escorial

Best Places To Stay in El Escorial, Madrid for Outdoor Activities

Budget

Hotel Florida ***
Posada Don Jaime **

Mid Range

Miranda & Suizo ***

Luxury

Exe Victoria Palace ****

2. Guadalajara

Guadalajara
Mountains of Guadalajara

Guadalajara is a town located east from Madrid which is easy to reach by cercanías railway from Madrid.

Guadalajara is close to the mountains and surrounded by protected natural spaces. It’s thus the perfect departure point for excursions and treks.

Guadalajara is perfectly connected with the city center of Madrid by the cercanías railway.

If you stay in Guadalajara, you can’t miss visiting the famous “black Villages“. Those villages are the cutest and it looks like time stands still in them. Other places worth visiting are the villages of Brihuega, Atienza and Sigüenza.

As usual, food in the rural places of Spain is delicious and the province of Guadalajara is particularly famous for its roast lamb or kid.

Best Places To Stay in Guadalajara, Madrid

Mid Range 

AC Hotel by Marriott Guadalajará Spain ****
Tryp Guadalajara Hotel ****

3. Manzanares El Real

Manzanares El Real was one of my favorite weekend excursions. The village itself is very cute (again, amazing food here!) and boasts a gorgeous castle which is considered the best-preserved one in the Community of Madrid.

The surroundings of Manzanares El Real are a declared Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO.

The nearby La Pedriza area, dotted with unique granite peaks, is perfect for hiking and climbing activities.

Another great hiking area is Cuenca Alta Manzanares Park. The lake next to the village, Santillana Reservoir is perfect for fishing and cycling.

Book Here Your Hiking Day Trip from Madrid

Manzanares El Real
Castle of Manzanares El Real

Best Places To Stay Near Madrid for Outdoor Activities

Budget

Los Espinares **
Hostel La Pedriza
OYO Hostal La Chata

Mid Range

Hotel Prado Real ***
Hotel Rural La Pedriza Original
El Barondillo ***

Luxury

Parador de La Granja *****
Hotel El Rancho ****
Hotel Arcipreste de Hita – Adults Only ****

Best Location to stay in Madrid as a Backpacker

1. La Latina

Even though Madrid is the capital of Spain, one of the most touristy countries in the world, the town remains a very affordable destination. As long as you pay attention to where you stay.

Indeed the neighborhoods of Madrid and its prices vary a lot. If you are traveling on a budget, La Latina is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Madrid.

For many years La Latina neighborhood is known for the good price-quality relationship.

It’s not only a very young neighborhood with many historic monuments, but it’s also close to the city center and has some of the best tapas restaurants in Madrid.

The area hosts many hostels which make it the best place to stay in Madrid for backpackers who want to make the most of their trip and their money.

Best Hostels To Stay in La Latina, Madrid

Budget

Ok Hostel Madrid
Hostal Macarena **
The Citadel by Pillow *
Way Hostel Madrid
Toc Hostel Madrid

lavapies madrid
Street Art of Lavapies, Madrid

2. Lavapies

Lavapies neighborhood is located further south from La Latina, but still in what is considered the city center of Madrid.

Historically Lavapies was inhabited by the lower classes. But nowadays Lavapies is probably the most multicultural neighborhood in Madrid and you can easily find shops selling typical products from very specific African countries.

When looking for a quirky side of Madrid, Lavapies is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Madrid.

I particularly like Lavapies for its eclectic energy and having the best food (for cheap money) from all over the world.

Due to its affordable prices, Lavapies is the perfect place to stay in Madrid for those traveling on a budget.

Best Madrid Hostals To Stay in Lavapies District
Lavapies Area in Madrid

Best Madrid Hostals To Stay in Lavapies District

Budget

Cats Hostel Madrid Lavapies
Ibis Budget Madrid Centro Lavapies *
Far Home Plaza Mayor *

Best Neighborhoods in Madrid for AirBnB Stays

Do you want to explore Madrid like a local? Then, there is no better way than by staying in an Airbnb. In the last years, plenty of cool AirBnBs are popping up in Madrid.

There is an Airbnb in Madrid for any budget which makes it the best area to stay in Madrid for tourists.

Whether you are a backpacker or a stylish interior design is important for you, there is an Airbnb in Madrid that will suit your needs.

The best AirBnBs can be found in the neighborhoods of Malasaña, La Latina and in Centro.

Check the best AirBnBs in Madrid here

las ventas bullring madrid
Bull Ring of Las Ventas, Madrid

Best AirBnBs in Madrid


Short FAQ about Where to stay in Madrid

When is the Best Time to Visit Madrid?

24 hours in madrid, one day in madrid, spain, one day itinerary madrid, what to do in madrid for one day, 1 day in madrid, museums, shopping, food, hotels, flamenco

My favorite time to visit Madrid is in spring (early March – beginning of June). After a long and cold winter, the entire town starts to bloom and people invade the terraces on the quaint plazas. On top, these months are full of sunshine and relatively warm temperatures whereas Northern Europe is still freezing.
Another option to visit Madrid is in autumn. Again, the town boasts long days filled with sunshine and warm climate whereas it’s getting cold again in Northern Europe.
I wouldn’t recommend visiting Madrid in summer as temperatures can easily reach 40°C! On top, during the afternoon many shops will close and the streets are empty until 7 pm. Most madrileños travel to the coast in July/August in order to escape the heat. In spring and autumn, the temperatures are bearable. 
Even in winter, Madrid is a nice getaway. Even though it might get quite cold (Madrid has a continental climate) you have a broad cultural and leisure offer. You might even consider going skiing in the mountains surrounding Madrid (like in Puerto de Navacerrada).
Other perfect occasions to visit Madrid are its traditional festivals like San Isidro (15th of May), La Paloma (12-15th of August) or San Lorenzo Verbena (9-11th of August).

What To Do in Madrid?

day trip from madrid to segovia, madrid day trip to segovia, segovia day trip, how to et form madrid to segovia, segovia itinerary

Indeed there are countless reasons why to visit Madrid: visit the numerous museums, go for artisan shopping, tapas gastronomy in Madrid or even hiking. 

The main reasons why you should definitely visit Madrid are the following:

  • Museums: Madrid boasts a mere infinite number of museums. Even in the 2 years, I lived there, I didn’t manage to visit them all. The most famous one is the Museo Nacional El Prado. If you visit only 1 museum in Madrid, El Prado is the one! The permanent collection includes the most important names of the Spanish history of art: El Greco, Velázquez, Hieronymus Bosch, Goya… to name only a few. Read more about the best museums in Madrid.
  • Food: Madrid is the ultimate travel destination for foodies. Read more about traditional food to eat in Madrid here.
  • Theaters: Madrid has one of the most lively theater scenes in the Spanish-speaking world. You should have a decent level of Spanish in case you want to assist one. There is a very broad range of spectacles that you can assist.
    • The Teatro Real, opera of Madrid is probably the most spectacular building
    • Teatro de la Abadia (a former church converted into a theatre in Chamberí)
    • Teatro de la Zarzuela (best place to enjoy Spanish lyrical tradition) and many more.
    • You should also look for the small, private theaters in La Latina and Malasaña neighborhood.
  • Shopping: Shopping in Madrid is an experience on its own. The best is that the shops vary with the neighborhood. Luxury shopping is in Salamanca, hipster shops are in Malasañaa and edgy designer shops in Chueca. What I particularly like about Madrid, is that you can still find traditional, very ancient shops.
  • Football: Some only visit Madrid for its infamous football clubs, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. Indeed assisting a football match of one of Madrid’s legendary clubs is a spectacle on its own. The entire town is in tension and following the football match from TV screens in crowded bars or directly from the football stadium Bernabeu. If possible, even if you’re not a football fan, include a Real Madrid football match to your visit to Madrid. It will be a once in a lifetime experience. – Get here your Bernabeu Stadium Tickets
  • Hiking: Not many associate Madrid with hiking or outdoor adventures. Well, Madrid is surrounded by high mountains in the north and has an extended network of great hiking trails. There are trails for every level and the Mediterranean nature is simply gorgeous. – Book Here Your Hiking Day Trip from Madrid
  • Day trips from Madrid: You could easily travel to Madrid and spend your entire trip visiting the quaint and historically important surrounding towns.

Book here your Skip-The-Line Tickets to Madrid’s most popular attractions


Accommodation Map for the Best Areas to stay in Madrid

best neighborhoods in madrid, accommodation map

I hope this Madrid neighborhood guide helps to familiarize yourself with the best neighborhoods to stay in Madrid. 

Do you still have doubts? Please do not hesitate to contact me. I am sure there’s a place in Madrid that perfectly meets your needs.

Have you already been to Madrid? I would love to hear about your favorite places to stay.


Before You Go: Top Tips for your Trip 



Share the love!

KLOW: a Sustainable and Ethical Fashion Experience
← Previous
Salty Bag: Upcycled Purses Awaking the Sailor in You
Next →