Where to Stay in Madrid for a first time visit? An insider's guide

Where to Stay in Madrid for a first time visit? An insider’s guide 2021

Where to Stay in Madrid for a first time visit? An insider's guideWhat is the best location to stay in Madrid? This is a question we always receive. Therefore, we created this guide on where to stay in Madrid.

It includes the best areas for first-time visitors, families, couples, luxury travelers, design travelers, groups, solo-travelers, nightlife-seeking travelers and budget travelers.

We even included a big map with the top 10 sights in Madrid, so you can organize your trip to don’t miss anything!

(This guide is always up to date, the last updated April 2021.)

But, first things first:

Question: Where to stay in Madrid for a first-time visit?

Answer: The center of the city is the best option. Staying central will help you in easy access to the major tourist destinations in the city.

The very city center includes:

  • Centro
  • La Latina
  • Las Letras
  • Malasaña

These are the most central and historical areas of Madrid, and probably those are the most convenient areas to stay because they have direct access to the airport, public transport and many of the major sights nearby.

Why do I recommend these areas?

The transport usually works very well in Madrid, the metro service starts at 6 am and ends at 1:30 am; and the train service starts at 5:30 am and ends at 23.30 am.

This means that the last metro or train departs at that time, so you can find service later, but I don’t recommend you to wait so late, just in case. The bus service starts at 6 am and ends at 23 pm, but there are buses service all night, known as nocturnes buses and identified by an N (and the line number) on the bus.

Good to know: Make sure you read our handwritten guide to 7 days in Madrid – and how to prepare properly!

But remember that Madrid is a city that you can tour by walk. It is true that maybe the distances are long but sometimes I have walked so far and it is not weary at all.

Here’s a full map for you to understand the different areas.

We added our best places to stay in Madrid as well as the top sights. Read our guide on the best fun things to do in Madrid for more details.

1. Best areas and handpicked hotels for Madrid

As mentioned, the city center of Madrid is the perfect place for first-time visitors, it is not like a huge city, it is more like a big town, and that is its charm.

I also understand that different travel styles match different needs so I created an overview of this.

Here you will find some options for families, couples, luxury travelers, design travelers, groups, solo-travelers, nightlife-seeking travelers and budget travelers.

You will notice some areas are excluded or added to the previous recommendation.

Also, I would like to include an amazing discount on your stay: In case you prefer Airbnb, here you have a 35€ discount for your AirBnB stay.

Let’s see handpicked hotels.

Continue scrolling or pick your group and travel type on the menu:

1.1 Families
1.2 Couples
1.3 Luxury Traveler
1.4 Design Traveler
1.5 Groups
1.6 Solo-Traveler
1.7 Nightlife-seeking traveler
1.8 Budget Traveler

1.1 Families

As a historical neighborhood, Austrias and Las Letras are great places to stay for families. There are many things to learn (pieces of poetry written on the floor, the house of Lope de Vega and Cervantes…

But at Las Letras, there are many bars, so at night there is a lot of noise on the weekends. For this, I recommend you to stay in this neighborhood but near Paseo del Prado.

So you can stay in a beautiful area of Madrid but also near Museo del Prado (great if you want to learn about art and admire hundreds of artworks) and Parque del Retiro, where you can have a relaxing walk, a picnic… and cycling or skating, of course. Maybe the best option for families is an apartment.

For families we recommend the following districts:

  1. La Latina
  2. La Letras
  3. Malasaña

This map shows you the areas recommended for families:

Handpicked accommodations for families

Flexibility is a must while traveling with a family group, that is why the best option would be to look for an apartment centrally located or nearby the beach, depending on the family purposes.

Also, check if you need self-catering facilities, such as a kitchen. For me, this is always useful to have.

Barceló Torre de Madrid

Complete with amenities and activities for the whole family, Barceló Torre de Madrid is the perfect place to stay.

Enjoy the indoor pool and fitness center together with the whole family. They also have sauna baths and therapy rooms for amazing massages.

But what’s great about the hotel is that it is just beside the Plaza de España Metro Station which makes it very convenient to go around Madrid.

Book Barcelo Torre de Madrid here

Barcelo Torre De Madrid Indoor Pool Barcelo Torre De Madrid Living Area Barcelo Torre De Madrid Bar

Behap Madrid De Las Letras

These apartments in Behap Madrid De Las Letras are near Museo del Prado and the Botanic Garden. They offer familiar rooms, and all the rooms have TV, private bathroom and coffee maker.

You will also find the property very near Plaza Mayor, Retiro Park, and The Prado Museum. Mercado San Miguel is also conveniently located near the apartments.

Book Behap Madrid De Las Letras here

Behap Madrid De Las Letras Room Behap Madrid De Las Letras Bedroom

Suites You Zinc

Suites You Zinc apartments are in Calle Arenal, one of the streets from Puerta del Sol. There are no cars in these streets, so it is great to go with kids.

All the rooms have private bathroom, TV, coffee maker, balcony and views to the city.

And just like home, the apartments and studios have fully equipped kitchens you can use to make your meals.

Book Suites You Zinc here

Suites You Zinc Madrid Room Suites You Zinc Madrid Living and Dining Area

1.2 Couples

Love is in Madrid’s air too, of course. If you want to do a romantic picnic and see the sunset, you can do it! If you want to have a walk in the old streets of the city and then have a cold coffee (or a cold beer), you can do it, of course.

And what about rent a bike and cycling in the beautiful Parque del Retiro? Madrid offers a lot of plans for couples, and the best areas to stay are:

  1. La Latina
  2. Barrio de Salamanca
  3. Retiro

This map shows you the areas recommended for couples:

La Latina Apartment

La Latina Apartment is a great option for couples because there is a bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom.

You will find it near La Latina metro station. And there are so many squares to visit (Plaza de la Plaja, Plaza de Los Carros) and other romantic places as Jardin del Principe de Anglona.

Also, it is 15 minutes walking to Palacio Real and 10 to Plaza Mayor.

Book La Latina Apartment here

La Latina Apartment Madrid Living Area La Latina Apartment Madrid Room

Only YOU Hotel Atocha

Enjoy the romantic and wonderful views of Paseo Infanta Isabel and Calle Alfonso XII in Only YOU Hotel Atocha.

You can also expect a very sweet romantic dinner at the hotel’s rooftop bar with amazing views of the city.

Rooms have minibars and a flat-screen TV. Also, rooms are soundproofed for a more intimate and private stay at the hotel.

Book Only YOU Hotel Atocha here

Only YOU Hotel Atocha Rooftop Bar Only YOU Hotel Atocha Room

1.3 Luxury traveler

If you are a luxury traveler, I just can recommend you Barrio de Salamanca, where you will find all the shops like Chanel, Prada, etc in a street known as “Milla de Oro”.

This neighborhood was built in the 19th century and here you can find the embassies, and it is normally a place you can see politicians and bourgeois people.

So the best option to stay for a luxury traveler is:

  1. La Letras
  2. Malasaña
  3. Retiro

This map shows you the areas recommended for Luxury Travelers:

Eurostars Madrid Tower

One of the famous and sophisticated hotels in Madrid is the Eurostars Madrid Tower.

You can find this elegant hotel in the Cuatro Torres business area where it is a few minutes away from Real Madrid’s football stadium, the Santiago Bernabéu.

And since it is nestled in a skyscraper, expect wonderful views of the city from a bird’s eye view.

Book Eurostars Madrid Tower here

Eurostars Madrid Tower Indoor Pool Eurostars Madrid Tower Room Eurostars Madrid Tower Restaurant

Palacio de Los Duques Gran Meliá

Just a few walks from Madrid’s Royal Palace, the Royal Theater and the Cathedral is Palacio de Los Duques Gran Meliá.

Stay in elegant rooms with 49-inch LED TV, Nespresso coffee machine with private bathrooms which have heated floors, rain showers, and Clarins free toiletries.

And for a wonderful dining experience, the hotel gives you three restaurants that serve Spanish and French cuisines.

Book Palacio de Los Duques Gran Melia here


Gran Hotel Inglés

Set on a 19th-century that continuous to feature its original art and style up to this day is Gran Hotel Inglés.

The property is a 5-star hotel set in Barrio de las Letras which puts you close to Madrid’s main museums and El Retiro Park. On the other hand, the Royal Palace is just a 20-minutes walk from the hotel.

You will also find a cocktail-bar to grab a few drinks or enjoy Mediterranean cuisines at the hotel’s restaurant.

Book Gran Hotel Ingles here

Gran Hotel Ingles Madrid Jacuzzi Gran Hotel Ingles Madrid Room