Madrid is a bustling, cosmopolitan city. Its central location in the middle of Spain makes it the perfect city for hosting national events and grants it excellent access to other cities in Spain. It has a sunny, continental climate for most of the year and is famous for its cultural activities and nightlife. Some of the country’s best theatres, cinemas, restaurants and nightclubs can be found in Madrid. For a break from the city’s hectic pace, take a stroll along the River Manzanares or through the Retiro Park. A walk through the city centre reveals its impressive buildings, including the emblematic Plaza Mayor, with plenty of opportunities to sample delicious Madrid cuisine.
At Friendly Rentals we have a wide selection of apartments in Madrid: modern lofts, studio flats for business trips, ideal apartments for families with four or more bedrooms, perfect apartments for couples, apartments with views, with a swimming pool, with a terrace… All our apartments are fitted with all the latest mod cons to ensure you feel right at home. We have some of the best apartments in the centre of Madrid (Palacio, Sol, Embajadores, Universidad, Justicia, Cortes) and also in the most charming and authentic neighbourhoods, a far more affordable option than staying in a luxury hotel and with the added benefit of enjoying your own private space.
Our holiday apartments in Madrid give you the chance to discover the city at your own pace and get to know locals’ way of life, sample their delicious cuisine and take part in the city’s many festivities, including San Isidro, the parade of floats for the Three Kings and the Motín de Aranjuez, declared a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest by the Spanish government.
What is there to see in Madrid?
Madrid bowls visitors over with its majestic buildings, including the Plaza Mayor, the emblematic Puerta del Sol and the Cibeles Fountain. History buffs mustn’t miss the Palacio Real, and art lovers are spoiled for choice: the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía are three of the top museums in Madrid.
The Puerta de Alcalá and the Rastro Flea Market are two other city icons. The Rastro dates back to the Middle Ages and draws hordes of locals and tourists alike in search of antiques and second-hand arts and crafts, records, clothes and other vintage items. If you want to buy some good Madrid food, the San Miguel Market has lots of market stalls. Another striking sight is the coloured roof of the Almudena Cathedral. Football fans should check out the impressive Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home to Real Madrid.
To escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, take a stroll through the Retiro Park, with its lake, Crystal Palace and Statue of the Fallen Angel (the only statue in the world dedicated to the Devil), Velázquez Palace and Galápagos Fountain.
If you want to take in the best views of Madrid, we recommend the Mirador del Templo de Debod, where you can admire stunning sunsets. The 100 m high Faro de Moncloa, the Teleférico de Madrid, the dome of the Almudena Cathedral, the Mirador de los Jardines de las Vistillas, the Colinas del Parque de las Siete Setas, the rooftop of the Círculo de Bellas Artes, the gardens at the Palacio Real and the Mirador del Ayuntamiento de Madrid also boast great panoramic views over the city.
Eating out in Madrid
There are lots of restaurants and eateries where you can eat well in Madrid. Although it’s not easy in a city where you’re spoiled for choice! The city’s star dish is the cocido madrileño, a rich stew made with chickpeas, meat and vegetables. We can also recommend huevos rotos (fried eggs and potatoes), besugo a la madrileña (sea bream), gallinejas (fried lamb chitterlings), callos a la madrileña (tripe), sopa de ajo (garlic soup) and the lovely sopa de almendras (almond soup). If you’re after something quick and easy, the classic squid sandwich never fails!
Those with a sweet tooth will love the city’s typical desserts. Don’t leave without trying buñuelos de viento, torrijas, bartolillos, huesos de santo, panecillos de San Antón or rosquillas de San Isidro, all of which are traditionally eaten for certain festivities. Two desserts you can find all year round are barquillos (wafers) and hojaldre (pastry). Perhaps the most typical dessert of all is porras (fritters), perfect for breakfast after a night on the town or for dipping in chocolate as an afternoon snack.
Shopping in Madrid
Going shopping in Madrid is a true pleasure. Bursting with shops and boutiques for all taste, Madrid is the perfect shopping destination. The Salamanca district is home to the top fashion brands, and Gran Vía is also dotted with famous brands. Locals tend to go shopping in the city centre, packed with lively shops open every day of the year, including the area around Príncipe de Vergara, with its famous Chamartín Market, and the shopping area at Bravo Murillo, with its Mercado de Maravillas and wide range of products and services.
If you’d rather go to a shopping centre, you can choose from ABC Serrano, very close to the Milla de Oro in the Salamanca district, Centro Comercial Príncipe Pío, in the former Estación del Norte, Moda Shopping, just off Paseo de la Castellana, as is the modern Castellana 200, or La Vaguada, the oldest shopping centre in the city. Bargain hunters should head for Las Rozas Village, a fantastic outlet for snapping up your favourite brands at unbelievable prices.
Madrid by night
Madrid by night is anything but boring. Simply pick an area and get in the party mood! Las Letras is a neighbourhood with lots of different styles of music; Malasaña is perfect for fans of the 1980s, when the city was at its hedonistic peak; cool Salamanca throws glamorous parties; Princesa is popular with young partygoers; and Chueca is the centre of the LGBT world. La Latina has some of the best cabarets and flamenco shows, as well as the traditional La Paloma festivities in August. Lavapiés is a multicultural paradise at night, with flamenco, rock, reggae, hip hop and even belly dancing!
Some of the best-known nightclubs in Madrid include Kapital, Joy Eslava, El Sol, Siroco, ThunderCat Club, Barco, Tupperware, Ohm and New Garamond. If you aren’t planning on hitting the town, you can always take in a musical on Gran Vía. You won’t be disappointed!
Visiting Madrid with kids
Visiting Madrid with kids is a wonderful experience. There are plenty of great places for keeping children entertained, which makes Madrid the perfect destination for an unforgettable family holiday. The Casa de Campo, the city’s biggest public park, is home to lots of kids’ attractions. If they like animals, they’ll love the Zoo Aquarium, the only zoo in Spain with panda bears! If you’re looking for a day of fun, the Parque de Atracciones funfair is the place for you. A trip on the Teleférico cable car from Casa de Campo to Parque del Oeste is also a memorable trip.
The Science Museum, CaixaForum, Planetarium, Waxwork Museum, Aquopolis and Micropolix, a 12,000 m2 city designed especially for kids, are other fantastic options for a great day out. Last but not least is the Warner Park, where you can meet Silvester, Tweety Pie and even Bugs Bunny himself, among many more.
The weather in Madrid
The climate in Madrid is mostly dry, with little rain for most of the year. Summers are fairly hot with average temperatures of 25 ºC. The average temperature in winter is 6 ºC. It doesn’t often snow, but when it does the city is a sight to behold. It boasts bright blue skies almost all year round. Madrid in autumn is a spectacular show of colours: don’t miss the Retiro Park in shades of ochre and red!
What is the best time of year to visit Madrid?
The isn’t really a best time of year to visit Madrid: it has a generally mild climate all year round and the city is always full of surprises. In summer, you can join in with the La Paloma festivities in La Latina, with processions through streets decorated with lights, garlands and flowers in honour of the Virgin Mary. In spring, the city celebrates the Comunidad de Madrid and its patron saint, San Isidro, with music and shows for all ages. Winter in Madrid is a very special time, thanks to its charming Christmas markets: Plaza Mayor has over 100 stalls, together with Plaza de España and Plaza de Santo Domingo, as well as the Mercado del Gato with miniature nativity scenes and lots more besides. If you decide to visit Madrid in autumn, All Saints’ Day is great for sampling typical pastry dishes such as huesos de santo, buñuelos de viento and coronas de la Almudena, made to celebrate the Virgen de la Almudena, the city’s patron saint.
What is there to see near Madrid?
There are lots of interesting trips out of Madrid. San Lorenzo del Escorial boasts an impressive monastery that is a Unesco World Heritage Site, as is the Real Sitio y Villa de Aranjuez. We also recommend visiting the Castillo de los Mendoza in Manzanares el Real, the best-conserved castle in the whole of the Comunidad de Madrid and one of the most beautiful in Spain.
Alcalá de Henares, where Cervantes was born, has a rich historical and cultural heritage, as well as major archaeological remains. Another World Heritage Site is the stone and slate village of Patones de Arriba, and Miraflores de la Sierra is wonderful for escaping into nature.
Why rent an apartment with Friendly Rentals?
At Friendly Rentals we are specialists in managing holiday apartments. With over 14 years’ experience under our belt, we now operate in 22 cities around the world. Our apartments in Madrid are located in the best neighbourhoods and fitted with everything you need to make you feel right at home. We have studio flats for a romantic getaway, apartments with plenty of bedrooms for families and properties with terraces and pools that are great for large groups. Choose one that works for you and enjoy your holiday in Madrid.
All our apartments in Madrid are regularly inspected to ensure they meet the highest quality standards. We aim to offer customers the very best service possible. You can contact us at any time, both within office hours or on our 24-hour hotline.