Madrid is often overlooked in favor of Barcelona. Still, Madrid is a great destination in its own right and should definitely not be overlooked. You will get to experience a laid back atmosphere, great food, stunning architecture, and a variety of activities as well as sights that the city has to offer. There is plenty to do and see for everyone!
Madrid is located right in the middle of Spain. The city is huge and diverse, so each area is different. Atocha, for instance, is known for its art galleries and traditional Spanish restaurants, while Nuevos Ministerios is the financial district filled with skyscrapers. Important areas for travelers are Centro (the city center), the popular and authentic neighborhood Chueca, the bustling Malasaña, Retiro (the oldest district in the city), and the diverse Lavapiés. This varied city is great for just wandering around and discovering your own gems.
Important sights in Madrid include the Palacio Real (the Royal Palace), Retiro Park, archeological museum, and the three internationally known art museums: Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Of course, there are many more sights, including architectural, historical, cultural, and natural sights. Also, take the chance to watch the Flamenco and maybe even learn a few steps yourself.
Shopaholics are in the right place also since Madrid is a great shopping destination. You will find the malls around Puerto del Sol, Calle Princesa, Calle Goya, and Paseo de la Castellana to your liking. Calle Gran Via is also an important shopping street. Close by Calle Gran Via are Calle de Fuencarral and Calle Preciados. Calle del Arenal is a car free street with mostly Spanish stores and Calle de Jose Artega is the high end shopping street of Madrid. With all this shopping going on, do not forget to visit the enormous flea market El Rastro.
Besides all this, Madrid is known for its nightlife and the amount of bars, clubs, and discotheques as well. The neighborhoods Chueca and Malasaña are especially popular during the day as are Sol and Las Huertas during the night.
Madrid has an extensive infrastructure, with highways to all parts of the country and four ring roads. If you want to visit parts outside of Madrid’s city center, renting a car is a good idea to get around. Thanks to Madrid’s location between the mountains, it is great to go hiking or even skiing during the winter, in the mountains of Sierra de Guaderrama. You can also take a daytrip to the colorful Spanish town of Segovia, or to the former home of the Spanish royal family El Escorial.
Not sure what kind of car would fit your needs? We at Orbitz offer low rates and rental car classes for everyone, whether you are looking for a compact car or an SUV. Easily choose your ideal car in advance to pick up at Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport.