Where to Stay in Madrid – Neighborhoods & Area Guide

The capital and the largest city in Spain, Madrid is as fascinating as the European cities can get. A top vacation destination for travelers within the continent, Madrid is best characterized by its astonishing cultural and artistic heritage as well as its thriving nightlife – regarded as one of the best in the world. Known for its many notable plazas and historic structures, Madrid is nestled along the banks of River Manzanares.

Madrid is home to one of the most popular football clubs universally – Real Madrid. And, you probably know some of the most distinguished celebrities who call the city home, including Enrique Iglesias, Fernando Torres, and Penelope Cruz.

Without further delay, let us now take a look at some of the most prominent neighborhoods in the city so you can pick where to stay in Madrid when you visit.

Centro

Puerta del Sol, Centro, Madrid

Source: LucVi / shutterstock

Puerta del Sol, Centro, Madrid

The official downtown neighborhood of Madrid, Centro is where you see larger-than-life plazas, street performers, local and international visitors, and countless restaurant signs that promise to serve you the best paella in the city. Many of the sidewalks in this neighborhood are wide, pedestrian-friendly shopping streets allowing for all kinds of retail therapy. Puerta del Sol, one of the most significant attractions not only in the neighborhood but in the city a well, is the giant crossroads which is a must-visit any time of the day. Plaza Mayor, on the other hand, is an ideal place to sit down for a quick lunch amidst the historic red buildings that dominate the area.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
San Francisco el Grande, San Pedro el Real, Puerta de Toledo, St. Michael’s Basilica, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • The Walt Madrid – A few steps away from the highly famous Gran Via, the Walt Madrid offers luxurious guestrooms with up-to-date facilities such as flat-screen TV with satellite channels, free Wi-Fi, minibar, and an ensuite bathroom. Guests can enjoy a variety of wines, fresh juices, teas, and famous tapas at the on-site bar. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Los Amigos Vip Rooms – Offering well-furnished guestrooms and suites equipped with flat-screen TV, soundproofing, minibar, and laptop safe, Los Amigos Vip Rooms is located a couple of hundred meters from Plaza Mayor. A 24-hour front desk is available to help guests with everything. Complimentary Wi-Fi can be accessed throughout the property. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hostal Central Palace Madrid – Boasting spectacular views of the iconic Royal Palace, this charming guesthouse offers spacious guestrooms with up-to-date facilities, a 24-hour reception area, free Wi-Fi, and a nearby car parking facility. A complimentary breakfast is available with selected room tariffs. Suitable for solo travelers and couples.

Arguelles

Calle Princesa, Madrid

Source: Manuel Ascanio / shutterstock

Calle Princesa, Madrid

Located south of the highly revered and vibrant campus of the Complutense University of Madrid, Arguelles is a fast-paced community oozing a collegiate atmosphere. Calle Princesa, the main street in the neighborhood, is dotted with college students and fresh graduates who love to hang out in the area for its cheap tapas bars, economical nightclubs, and the green spaces. Home to several significant attractions in the city, the area is noted for its Spanish apparel stores and department chains. Plaza de España, one of the neighborhood’s green spaces, is known to often host craft fairs.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Memory Arch, Parque del Oeste, Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida, Temple of Debod, and Príncipe Pío.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • T3 Tirol – Set in the heart of fashionable Moncloa-Argüelles, T3 Tirol offers well-appointed rooms with comfy beds, free Wi-Fi throughout the property, a well-equipped fitness center, and an on-site restaurant and bar. A complimentary buffet breakfast is available daily. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Exe Moncloa – Located adjacent to Intercambiador de Moncloa Station, this stylish hotel features a small outdoor pool, a multi-cuisine bar and restaurant, a fitness center, a meeting room, and a beautiful sun terrace with brilliant views of the city. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Aparto-Hotel Rosales – Featuring well-appointed guestrooms and self-catering apartment units, Aparto-Hotel Rosales offers a 24-hour reception, an on-site restaurant, and an exclusive wine selection. Rooms at the hotel come with a lounge area and a private bathroom. The helpful tour desk can suggest activities and attractions in the area. Great for all kinds of travelers.

Chamberi

Plaza Olavide

Neighborhood taverns, multi-story residential buildings with beautiful balconies, and humble storefronts make visiting Chamberi a somewhat traditional experience. Not crowded by city standards, the area is home to many cute bakeries, unpretentious cafés and bars, hardware stores, and tobacco shops. Plaza Olavide, a round square in the middle of it all, is one of the liveliest and greenest spots in the neighborhood. This is also a great place hang out with a newspaper and your morning coffee to enjoy the slow pace of life and street musicians that fill the air with their Spanish sounds.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Andén 0, Museum Sorolla, Museo Geominero, Parque Enrique Herreros, Palacio del Marques de Fontalba Fiscalia General Del Estado, and Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Gran Versalles – Located in a peaceful setting in central Madrid, Gran Versalles is a classic-style property with fully-furnished, carpeted guestrooms with satellite TV, minibar, and private bathroom. Drinks and tapas can be relished at the hotel café throughout the day. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hostal Trevinca – Set within the tranquil atmosphere of Chamberi, Hostal Trevinca offers complimentary Wi-Fi and a helpful 24-hour reception that can help guests plan for various activities and sightseeing tours in the neighborhood. Rooms here come equipped with TV, refrigerator, and private bathroom. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Agora Juan de Austria – A short walking distance from Bilbao Metro Station, Agora Huan de Austria is an elegant property with spacious, well-appointed guestrooms, a meeting space, an on-site restaurant and bar, and optional private parking. A delightful continental breakfast is served daily. Great for all kinds of travelers.

La Latina

La Latina District, Madrid

Source: VICTOR TORRES / shutterstock

La Latina

Recognized for its two, extremely contrasting personalities, La Latina is the “tapas center” of Madrid. While one side of the neighborhood comprises historic stone buildings, narrow streets, and an old-worldly charm, the other is filled with a bohemian vibe and lots and lots of youngsters rushing in and out of the neighborhood’s many stores, restaurants, bars, and coworking spaces. If you are here on a Sunday or on a public holiday, be sure to check out the streets south of the main metro station as they transform into a massive, open-air flea market with stalls selling antiques, apparel, and art.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
San Francisco el Grande, Plaza de Los Carros, Campo de la Cebada, Museo de San Isidro, and Jardín de las Vistillas.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Saga Rental La Latina – A few hundred meters from Puerta de Toledo, Saga Rental La Latina offers nicely decorated, self-catering apartment units with cable TV, dining area, washing machine, and private bathroom. Numerous restaurants, shops and bars can be founded within a 5-minutes’ walking distance from the property. Great for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.
  • LA LATINA/ SOL **Vintage & Deluxe – Offering deluxe apartment units with a Vintage décor and multiple facilities such as flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and washing machine, this property is a pleasant walk from Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol. Guests can enjoy amazing views of the city from their rooms. Suitable for families and big groups of up to 6 members.
  • L&H La Latina – A short walk from Puerta de Toledo Metro Station, L&H La Latina provides well-furnished studios and apartment units within an arm’s distance from the historic Royal Palace. In-room features include TV, kitchen, wardrobe/closet, and a private bathroom. Great for all kinds of travelers.

Chueca

Chueca, Madrid

Source: IKGM / shutterstock

Chueca

The stylish, gay neighborhood of Madrid, Chueca is an area populated with narrow streets and eclectic storefronts. Filled with a distinct urban atmosphere, Chueca gives you a peek into the other side of Madrid’s culture. Home of several rainbow-flagged bars and restaurants, the neighborhood is hip and young and warm and friendly at the same time. Despite your orientation, an evening with your new (or existing) friends at Plaza Chueca is perhaps going to be one of your fondest Madrid memories.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Museo del Romanticismo, and Museum of History of Madrid, Gran Vía.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Hostal MH Fuencarral – A stone’s throw away from the bustling streets of Gran Vía, this trendy hotel features contemporary guestrooms with modern facilities such as LCD TV, air-conditioning, and private bathroom with free toiletries. Complimentary Wi-Fi is accessible throughout the property. Several famous tapas bars and cafes are within a walking distance of the hotel. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Only YOU Boutique Hotel Madrid – Boasting uniquely designed rooms with Colonial-style interiors, a lounge area with cocktails and gourmet dishes, 24-hour room service, and a world-class spa and wellness center, this 4-star boutique hotel is set within a 19th-century historic building within a short driving distance from Barajas Airport. Perfect for luxury solo travelers, couples, and small families.
  • Vincci The Mint – Featuring a remarkable rooftop with views over some of the most famous structures in Madrid, Vincci The Mint welcomes its guests to enjoy a unique experience from the moment they enter the property and check-in to their rooms at the hotel’s reception-bar. Located right on the famous streets of Gran Vía, the lavishly designed guestrooms and suites here are second to none. Great for all kind of travelers.

Malasana

Malasana, Madrid

Source: JJFarq / shutterstock

Malasana

A mix of trendy bars and upscale art galleries, Malasana is where everyone gathers to have a good time – the young, the old, the artists, and even the pets and their owners. A usual neighborhood during the day, Malasana transforms into a thriving nightlife center during the night. Plaza Dos de Mayo is the common square in the area where all kinds of locals hang out. Conde Duque, situated on the west side of Malasana, is a notable cultural and performing arts center which is named after the huge pink fort that originally existed at the same spot. Interestingly, the neighborhood is also home to a major chunk of Madrid’s young international community.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Museo ABC, Centro Conde Duque, and Church of San Antonio de Los Alemanes.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Woohoo Suites Madrid – Guestrooms at the WooHoo Suites Madrid come with a king-size bed, soundproofing, flat-screen TV, and private bathroom. Guests at the property can relax with a cup of tea or coffee at the shared lounge or ask the 24-hour front desk for suggestions on sightseeing trips around the neighborhood. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hotel Atlántico – Set on the famous shopping streets of Gran Vía, Hotel Atlántico offers soundproofed guestrooms with a classic décor and a range of up-to-date facilities. Guests can enjoy the panoramic views of the city from one of the two terraces and savor delightful dishes at the on-site café-bar. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Petit Palace Triball – Offering free bicycle rentals and Wi-Fi access throughout the property, Petit Palace Triball is set within a classy, 19th-century building with well-appointed rooms and excellent facilities. The pet-friendly hotel also offers daily complimentary breakfast. Perfect for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 6 members.

Paseo del Prado

Paseo del Prado, Madrid

Source: Anton_Ivanov / shutterstock

Paseo Del Prado

No visit to Madrid is complete if you haven’t visited the neighborhood of Paseo del Prado. More importantly, if you haven’t visited the Golden Triangle of Art and Culture that spreads across this enthralling district, you will definitely have to come back and do so. Visited by a huge population of locals and tourists alike, the neighborhood also has several other notable art centers. Come evening, choose to spend them at one of the many rooftop bars in the area to enjoy a tasty cocktail and a compelling view of the city’s skyline.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Neptuno Fountain, Monumento a Velázquez, Museo Nacional del Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and Monument to Fallen Heroes.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • NH Collection Madrid Paseo del Prado – Offering mesmerizing views of the Neptune Fountains, NH Collection Madrid Paseo del Prado provides its guests an international restaurant, a fully-equipped gym, and brilliant guestrooms within a 19th-century, Neo-Baroque palatial building that still retains some of its original attributes. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Madrid Prado – Set in the heart of Madrid’s famous Art Triangle, Radisson Blu Madrid’s extravagant amenities include a full-service spa and wellness center, a Turkish bath, an indoor relaxation pool, and a cardio gym. All rooms at this ritzy hotel have been designed by celebrity interior decorators Sandra Tarruella and Isabel López. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Mercure Madrid Centro – Located opposite Prado Museum, Mercure Madrid Centro features sophisticated, air-conditioned guestrooms with comfy beds, minibar, and private bathroom. Themed according to Spanish history, the rooms also include a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. An optional hot breakfast is available daily. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.

Salamanca

Retiro Park, Salamanca

Source: sbellott / shutterstock

Retiro Park, Salamanca

Broad, tree-lined streets with lovely lampposts give Salamanca its picturesque quality. Comparatively quieter than other parts of the city, this neighborhood is known for its attractive upscale buildings and intriguing architecture. If you are in the city to satisfy your shopping urge, walk down the streets of Calle Jose Ortega y Gasset or Calle Serrano to find numerous small boutiques and high-end fashion stores. For a lazy day in the area or to get your morning run sorted, head out the well-maintained Retiro Park.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
El Corte Inglés, Salamanca Cathedral, Cueva de Salamanca, Casa de las Conchas, Casa Lis, and Museo Taurino de Salamanca.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Catalonia Plaza Mayor Salamanca – Located next to Plaza Mayor, this stylish property is one of the most sought-after vacation rentals in the city. A contemporary décor with classic features set in stone of Villamayor can be observed throughout the hotel. Some of the facilities at the hotel include an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a well-furnished meeting space, and a delightful restaurant. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hospes Palacio de San Esteban – Situated amidst the many historic monuments of Salamanca, this exquisite hotel is set within a former convent and sports a timeless charm. Guests can enjoy a workout at the state-of-the-art fitness center and use the sauna and Turkish bath to relax their muscles. The on-site restaurant is known for its international delicacies and a fabulous complimentary breakfast spread. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Vincci Ciudad de Salamanca – A short walk from the Salamanca Cathedral, Vincci Ciudad de Salamanca offers impeccably-designed guestrooms with wooden floors, modern amenities, and a functional design. A superb complimentary breakfast is served daily. Great for all kinds of travelers.

Huertas

Barrio de las Letras, madrid

Source: Roberto Tetsuo Okamura / shutterstock

Huertas

Once home to many illustrious literary figures, Huertas, also known as Barrio de las Letras, is Madrid’s old literary quarter. A true, off-the-beaten-path experience you absolutely can’t miss, the cobbled streets of the neighborhood are covered in quotes from prominent authors and writers from around the country. Needless to say, this is also where you find the maximum number of bookstores, new and second-hand alike. While burying yourself in the pages of a genius novel is the thing to do during the day, come night you will be equally charmed to join locals and other tourists in a wonderful cocktails-and-live music session.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Exhibition-The Amer Gangster, New York City Marble Cemetery, Merchant’s House Museum, The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, and New Museum.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Vincci Soho – A couple of hundred meters from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Gallery, Vincci Soho offers roomy accommodation options with minibar, satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, and private bathroom. Guests can savor the taste of authentic Madrid tapas at one of the two on-site restaurants. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hostal Sol Square Madrid – A few minutes’ walking distance from Puerta del Sol, the property features wonderfully decorated guestrooms with satellite TV, wardrobe/closet, safety deposit box, minibar, and private bathroom with free toiletries. Additional facilities at the property include a 24-hour front desk and private parking. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hotel Villa Real – Showcasing a fascinating collection of artworks from the 3rd century BC, Hotel Villa Real is regarded as one of the classiest hotels in the city. The hotel’s on-site restaurant is known for its creative Mediterranean delicacies, tapas, and refreshing cocktails. This luxurious, pet-friendly hotel is within a short distance from several important attractions in the city. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

Lavapies

Lavapies, Madrid

Source: Daniel Novoa / shutterstock

Lavapies

This is perhaps one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods of Madrid. In fact, it is almost hard to tell which part of the world this neighborhood belongs to as you walk past the many Indian restaurants on one side of a street while men in traditional African attires sit outside their businesses on the other. Between all the multicultural storefronts, Lavapies is also home to two gigantic art and culture centers, the charming Casa Encendida, and the famous former tobacco factory. Calle Argumosa is where the dreadlocked-clad, young crowd hang out for drinks and thoughtful conversations about art.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Museo Reina Sofía, Plaza Nelson Mandela, and Tabacalera.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • 60 Balconies Urban Stay – Featuring stylish apartment units with free Wi-Fi, soundproofing, and amazing views of the city or the nearest landmark from the balcony, 60 Balconies Urban Stay is within a 10 minutes’ walking distance from the Golden Triangle of Art. Madrid-Barajas Airport can be reached within a 15 minutes’ short drive. Suitable for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 6 members.
  • Hotel Paseo Del Arte – Boasting a fully-equipped fitness center, a 24-hour front desk, a well-appointed business center, and an on-site restaurant, Hotel Paseo Del Arte offers luxurious accommodation within a short walking distance from Thyssen-Bornemisza and Prado Museums. A complimentary breakfast is available with selected room packages. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Catalonia Atocha – One of the most exclusive hotels in the district, Catalonia Atocha has a picturesque furnished rooftop terrace lounge with a fully-stocked bar and a seasonal hot tub. The property’s on-site restaurant specializes in authentic Spanish cuisine. The Pet-friendly hotel is only 500 meters from Atocha Train Station. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
Where to stay: Best Hotels in Madrid, Spain
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List of Image Sources

Where to Stay in Madrid – Neighborhoods & Area Guide:

Puerta del Sol, Centro, Madrid

  • Puerta del Sol, Centro, Madrid: LucVi / shutterstock
  • Calle Princesa, Madrid: Manuel Ascanio / shutterstock
  • Plaza Olavide: tnarik / Flickr
  • La Latina: VICTOR TORRES / shutterstock
  • Chueca: IKGM / shutterstock
  • Malasana: JJFarq / shutterstock
  • Paseo Del Prado: Anton_Ivanov / shutterstock
  • Retiro Park, Salamanca: sbellott / shutterstock
  • Huertas: Roberto Tetsuo Okamura / shutterstock
  • Lavapies: Daniel Novoa / shutterstock