Following a 9-day trip through the Canary Islands – including Tenerife and Gran Canaria – Madrid would be the last destination of our Spanish adventure. We had started out our journey with short visits to Girona and Barcelona, so it was fitting that we should end with a 3-day break in the country’s capital.
Arriving late in the evening at Madrid airport, we were keen to discover how straightforward our transfers into the city would be, and how our selected hotel on the Gran Vía in the center of the city would measure up.
Madrid – Airport Transfers: By Metro & Taxi
Madrid is served by an extensive metro system connecting all of the airport terminals to the city center. We paid €4.50 each to travel from Terminal 2 to Plaza de España, at the western end of the Gran Vía.
The journey in by metro is quite straightforward. To get to the central Plaza de España, you take line 8 from the airport, travel 5 stops and then change at Nuevos Ministerios. From here, you take line 10 in the direction of Puerta del Sur, and get off after 4 stops at the Plaza de España (see Madrid Metro Map).
Also handy to know is that getting to and from the airport by taxi is regulated at a fixed price. This price is set at €30 for a one-way journey for all registered taxis.
Madrid – Where to Stay
We had booked 3 nights at the Espahotel Gran Via, aptly located towards the northern end of the Gran Vía in Madrid’s city center. We paid €66 per night for a small apartment – including taxes but excluding breakfast.
We calculated that there would be plenty of breakfast options in the immediate vicinity of the hotel – which indeed is the case.
Our studio apartment was compact but clean and functional, and even had a view on the Royal Palace. The main advantage of the Espahotel is it’s central location – within easy walking distance of most attractions, and close to a variety of tapas bars.
Our room also included a small kitchenette which is a big bonus when staying in the city.
What to do in Madrid?
Madrid has a lot to offer, so our 3-day agenda was going to be eventful. We had plans to visit the Thyssen Museum, the Prada Museum, and the Royal Palace.
We also wanted to get an elevated view of the city from the Cable Car, visit the Bull fight arena, and enjoy a dinner and Flamenco show.
In addition, Madrid is home to the Botín restaurant – which was founded in 1725 – and is the oldest restaurant in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. It is one of the touchstones of Madrid’s traditional cuisine, and has to be worth a visit.
All this and more is detailed in Madrid Attractions and Eating Out.
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