Wondering where to stay in Madrid while on your dream vacation to Spain? Or how many days it takes to really experience the city?
As travel experts and Spain enthusiasts, we've got you. Here, we've broken down our top five places to stay in Madrid, including the five most exciting neighborhoods and the chicest hotels in Spain’s most sophisticated city.
Ready to go? Connect with one of our Fora travel advisors to get insider details, and score awesome hotel perks and upgrades (for free) in the process.
Where to stay in Madrid: 5 amazing neighborhoods & hotels
As the first destination on many Spain bucket lists, Madrid is a can’t-miss stop on an express tour of the Iberian Peninsula. Here are our top five neighborhoods to call home base while visiting. And be sure to check out our local’s guide to Madrid or guide to Madrid and its surrounding cities for the best things to do while you’re there.
1. Sol-Gran Vía: where to stay in Madrid for convenience
Sol-Gran Vía, which is technically two different but interconnected neighborhoods, is one of the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers. It’s centrally located and offers virtually everything that makes Spain so exciting to visit, from grand, Old-World architecture to some of the best tapas and authentic Spanish cuisine you’ll find in the city.
Since it’s so conveniently located, you’re close to just about everywhere else worth seeing in Madrid. It’s also one of the city's most family-friendly neighborhoods.
Best hotel in Sol–Gran Via: Four Seasons Hotel Madrid
For a more upscale option, choose the Four Seasons Madrid. Conveniently located with a four-story spa, a celebrity-chef-run rooftop restaurant and lavish accommodations, the Four Seasons Madrid offers the pinnacle of relaxation.
And remember, booking with a Fora travel advisor means free upgrades and perks galore, so you can make the most of your splurge.
2. Chueca: where to stay in Madrid for the nightlife
Chueca is Madrid’s trendiest neighborhood, and super LGBTQ+-friendly (check out our LGBTQ+ Madrid guide).
Chueca also happens to be the center of Madrid’s nightlife (perfect for Spain bachelorette party ideas). Black and White is one of the most famous nightclubs, but if you’re looking for a chiller nightlife experience, the Plaza de Chueca is a gorgeous place at which to people-watch and grab a cocktail. Just be prepared for crowds.
Best hotel in Chueca, Madrid: Only YOU Boutique Hotel
Aside from earning several awards for the best boutique hotel in the world, Only YOU Boutique Hotel in Madrid is unquestionably posh, cozy and low-key. The hotel’s prime location makes exploring Madrid effortless.
Connect with a Fora Advisor for more details, including top-notch hotel perks and personalized recommendations.
3. Paseo del Arte: where to stay in Madrid for art & architecture
In 2021, Paseo del Arte was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its grand corridors and dedication to Spain’s architectural history. Three of Europe’s most prominent art museums can be found within Paseo del Arte (aka “the Art Walk”): the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum and the Reina Sofía.
Best hotel in Paseo del Arte: Hotel Hospes Puerta de Alcalá
Living up to Paseo del Arte’s artful and elegant vibe, the Puerta de Alcalá is a beautiful celebration of Madrid. This luxury boutique hotel is located on the border of Paseo del Arte and Barrio de Salamanca, offering an easy walk to Madrid’s top museums and some of the city's best fine dining.
4. Barrio de Salamanca: where to stay in Madrid for luxury & fine dining
The Barrio de Salamanca is one of Madrid’s poshest neighborhoods. Gourmet foods, fine wines and high-end retail can all be found here. It’s glamorous and ritzy, but hardly precious (in fact, Madrid has a very friendly reputation).
If you’re interested in wine tasting in Spain, check out our guide to exploring La Rioja.
Best hotel in Barrio de Salamanca: Rosewood Villa Magna
With so many luxe hotels in the neighborhood of Barrio de Salamanca, the Rosewood Villa Magna is the standout. This swanky boutique hotel features a chic, luxurious aesthetic and close proximity to the neighborhood's top shopping experience on Calle de José Ortega y Gasset.
5. Madrid de los Austrias: where to stay in Madrid for history lovers (& foodies)
Madrid de los Austrias is one of the most unique places to visit in Spain. Madrid became the capital of Spain in the 1500s under the Habsburg dynasty, sometimes referred to as the Austrians, and much of the architecture the area is known for was established during this period.
Today, the Austrias neighborhood is also one of the best places to visit for foodies. The lively San Miguel Market boasts tons of stalls and vendors selling tapas and other street foods, plus cocktails.
If you’re eager to try the best of authentic Spanish cuisine, see our foodie’s guide to San Sebastián.
Best hotel in Madrid de los Austrias: Palacio de los Duques Gran Meliá
The Palacio de los Duques Gran Meliá is a five-star hotel filled with the works of the 17th-century Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. Elegance and class are never in short supply, and staying here is as much a vacation as seeing the city itself.
How many days in Madrid do you need to see the city?
With so much to see, we’d recommend spending at least seven days in Madrid. But not everyone has that kind of time. We’ve listed the essential experiences, based on the amount of time you have to visit.
And remember, planning with a Fora Advisor will ensure you make the best of the time you do have to spend in Madrid.
What to do if you have 1-3 days in Madrid
If you’re only able to spend a couple days in Madrid, we recommend a bus tour from Sol-Gran Vía, and at least a few of the city’s most famous attractions, like the Prado and the San Miguel Market. Also be sure to visit a few bars to experience Madrid’s exciting nightlife.
What to do if you have 5-7+ days in Madrid
You’ll get more out of your trip if you can visit Madrid for at least five or six days. Start in Sol-Gran Vía and work your way into other must-see neighborhoods like Chueca and Austrias. Each offers a distinct experience, and your advisor can help you plan accordingly.
Where to stay in Madrid? Chat with a Fora Advisor for the answer
Alongside their expert recommendations, you’ll also get VIP perks and hotel upgrades.