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Where to Stay in Madrid in 2024 – 8 Best Areas

Explore Madrid's best neighborhoods in our concise guide, perfect for finding your ideal stay - whether you're seeking culture, nightlife, or family-friendly areas.
Where to Stay in Madrid

Madrid city center is a real gem for staying in, and personally, I find it both charming and practical. The heart of the city is a mosaic of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique flavor. But don’t forget about the other areas beyond the city center – they’re equally captivating and convenient, offering a different slice of Madrid life.

One thing I love about Madrid is its vast array of accommodation options. Whatever your needs, you’re sure to find the perfect spot. And here’s a little tip: compared to other major European cities like London, Paris, or Amsterdam, Madrid is quite budget-friendly, especially when it comes to hotels.

Another huge plus for Madrid is its exceptional transportation network. Getting around is a breeze, with speedy and straightforward connections across the city. This makes even the less central areas an attractive option for your stay. Trust me, in Madrid, you’re never too far from the action!


1. Sol-Gran Via, where to stay in Madrid for first time

Gran Via
Gran Via

The Sol-Gran Via neighborhood is where the pulse of Madrid really beats. It’s centered around the iconic Puerta del Sol, arguably the city’s most important square, and stretches along the bustling Gran Via, Madrid’s main thoroughfare. This area is the beating heart of Madrid. It might not win any beauty contests, but its central location is a huge draw.

This area is one of Madrid’s top tourist spots, and it’s easy to see why. It’s bursting with life and a shopper’s paradise. If you’re lucky enough to snag accommodation here, you’ll find yourself right in the middle of everything. And let’s talk about convenience – the area boasts a fantastic transportation network and is just a stone’s throw away from the trendy neighborhoods of Malasana and Chueca.

Pros of Staying in Sol-Gran Via

  • You can’t get more central than this
  • A shopper’s haven with an abundance of cafes, bars, and restaurants
  • Most of the city’s must-see attractions are right here


  • It might lack a bit in charm
  • It’s a magnet for crowds
  • You might find that accommodations are on the pricier side

What to see in Sol-Gran Via

  • Puerta del Sol
  • El Oso y el Madroño (Statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree)
  • Plaza Mayor
  • Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando)
  • Mercado de San Miguel

Best Hotels in Sol-Gran Via

  • (€€€) Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid: This luxurious 5-star hotel is located right on Gran Via. If I could afford it, I would definitely stay there.
  • (€€) Hotel Liabeny: A 4-star hotel just 200 meters from Puerta del Sol. It features exceptional decor and amenities, and you’ll find good prices in the off-season.
  • (€) Hostal Aresol: One of the most budget-friendly hotels in the center. Located right next to Puerta del Sol, it offers simple and bright rooms with cheerful decor.

2. Malasaña, best area to stay in Madrid

Malasaña, without a doubt, is one of Madrid’s coolest neighborhoods, especially for those who live for a vibrant nightlife. It’s a hotspot bustling with bars, pubs, nightclubs, and restaurants, becoming a magnet for fun-seekers from evening till the early hours.

I find Malasaña enchantingly close to the city center – a leisurely walk will get you there. Its proximity means easy access to the city’s shops, stretching north from Gran Via and encompassing the lively Plaza del Dos de Mayo.

The area has a bohemian, alternative vibe that’s perfect for anyone looking to dive into the energetic side of Madrid. The only downside? It can get pretty noisy at night.

The Monumento a Daoiz y Velarde in Plaza del Dos de Mayo
The Monumento a Daoiz y Velarde in Plaza del Dos de Mayo / photo: wikipedia

Pros of Staying in Malasaña

  • Incredibly charming neighborhood
  • A stone’s throw from the city center and shopping areas
  • An extensive array of bars and restaurants
  • Thriving nightlife


  • Can be noisy in the evenings
  • Tends to get crowded

What to see in Malasaña

  • Plaza del Dos de Mayo: a square featuring the Monumento a Daoiz y Velarde of the 1808 revolution
  • Conde Duque Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Museo ABC: a museum of Design and Illustration
  • Plaza Espana, a famed city square

Best Hotels in Malasaña

  • (€€€) INNSIDE by Meliá Madrid Gran VíaA luxurious hotel located very close to Gran Via avenue. It boasts modern decor, comfortable spaces, a gym, a restaurant, and a bar on the rooftop, among other amenities.
  • (€€) Hospedium Hotel Los CondesA 3-star hotel right next to Gran Via, just 200 meters from the Callao and Plaza Espana metro stations.
  • (€) Hostal Palacio LunaAn affordable and notable accommodation within close proximity to Gran Via (300 meters). It offers modern, clean, and bright spaces with all the necessary comforts.

3. Barrio de La Latina, where to stay in Madrid for food and tapas

Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor

La Latina neighborhood is a true charmer in Madrid, especially if you’re all about a lively night scene. Nestled near Gran Via and the city center, just south of Plaza Mayor, its winding streets are a delightful maze of plazas, bars, and tapas joints.

It’s a bustling area due to its rich selection of bars and restaurants, making it one of my top recommendations for accommodation. Plus, it rubs shoulders with the historic Los Austrias neighborhood, offering a similar vibe. This means you’ve got double the options for exploring and staying.

Tip: the tapas on Calle Cava Baja. Trust me, it’s a culinary journey.

Attractions in La Latina include the majestic Basilica of San Francisco El Grande, adorned with Goya’s paintings, and the imposing Moorish church, San Pedro el Real.

Pros of Staying in Barrio de La Latina

  • Incredibly charming
  • Close to the city center
  • Abundance of dining and drinking spots


  • Limited hotel options
  • Can get quite crowded
Plaza Mayor

What to see in Barrio de La Latina

  • Plaza Mayor
  • Basilica of San Francisco El Grande
  • Moorish church San Pedro el Real
  • Mercado de la Cebada
  • Jardines de Sabatini (Sabatini Gardens)
  • Catedral de la Almudena

Best Hotels in Barrio de La Latina

  • (€€) Posada del Dragón Boutique Hotel: A boutique hotel just 100 meters from Plaza Mayor and 200 meters from La Latina metro station. Offers wonderful amenities at relatively affordable prices.
  • (€€) Porcel Ganivet: Located near the Puerta de Toledo, a 10-minute walk from Plaza Mayor. Offers breakfast and features comfortable, minimalistic rooms.
  • (€) Good Stay Rooms: Charming rooms located 600 meters from Plaza Mayor and near La Latina metro station. Beautifully maintained spaces at great prices.

4. Chueca, where to stay in Madrid for nightlife

Chueca during of the WorldPride
Chueca during of the WorldPride / photo: wikipedia

Chueca, just north of Gran Via and a stone’s throw from Malasana, is the heartbeat of Madrid’s LGBTQ community. Famous for hosting the exuberant Madrid Gay Pride, it’s a neighborhood that celebrates diversity and vibrancy.

Known for its buzzing nightlife, Chueca also offers chic boutiques and popular markets like Mercado San Antón and Plaza del Dos de Mayo. Calle de Hortaleza is your go-to for a fantastic array of dining and drinking options.

If a liberated and lively neighborhood is what you’re after, look no further. You’ll find a range of mid-priced hotels and apartments for rent.

Pros of Stayin in Chueca

  • Energetically vibrant
  • Active nightlife
  • Close to Gran Via and Malasana
  • LGBTQ-friendly


  • Can be noisy due to the nightlife
Mercado de San Antón
Mercado de San Antón / photo: wikipedia

What to see in Chueca

  • Plaza de Chueca
  • Mercado de San Antón
  • Museo Romántico (National Museum of Romanticism)
  • Museo de Historia de Madrid (Museum of the History of Madrid)

Best Hotels in Chueca

5. Huertas / Barrio de las Letras, a romantic area to stay in Madrid

Barrio de Las Letras
Barrio de Las Letras

Barrio de Las Letras, also known as Huertas, is Madrid’s literary quarter, steeped in the rich history of famous Spanish writers like Quevedo and Federico García Lorca. It’s a place where literature literally lines the streets, with excerpts from these authors’ works etched into the pavements.

Nestled between Puerta del Sol and the Prado Museum, its heart beats around Plaza Santa Ana, renowned for its array of bars and restaurants, and Calle Huertas, the main thoroughfare.

This neighborhood is utterly captivating and surprisingly family-friendly. It’s just a short walk to Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol, even with kids in tow.

Pros of Staying in Huertas

  • A neighborhood with a romantic charm
  • Abundance of bars and restaurants
  • Rich in cultural intrigue


  • Limited accommodation options

What to see in Huertas

  • Plaza Santa Ana
  • The Miguel de Cervantes statue
  • Casa-Museo de Lope de Vega
  • Museo Nacional del Prado

Best Hotels in Huertas

  • (€€€) Gran Hotel Inglés: A top-tier Madrid hotel near Plaza Santa Ana, housed in a 19th-century building. If your budget allows, it’s well worth the splurge!
  • (€€) Catalonia Las Cortes: An ultra-elegant 4-star hotel close to Huertas Street and Plaza Santa Ana. Known for its superb breakfast and international cuisine.
  • (€) Hostal Alexis Madrid: A stylish yet affordable hotel near Plaza Santa Ana and the city center. Sevilla metro station is just 200 meters away.

6. Lavapiés, where to stay in Madrid on a budget


Lavapiés, once a rather neglected neighborhood, has really turned itself around in recent years. I wasn’t its biggest fan initially, but now, it’s a solid choice for budget-conscious travelers – particularly if you’re looking to stay near La Latina. It’s conveniently close to the center, making it a practical base for exploring Madrid.

This neighborhood is a melting pot of cultures. Here, you’ll encounter people from all corners of the globe and have the opportunity to taste diverse cuisines like Indian, Pakistani, and Arabic. It’s a foodie’s delight!

For entertainment, especially if you’re into the tapas scene, bars, and cafes, Calle Argumosa is the place to be. Lavapiés has a hipster vibe and is perfect for those seeking a cultural blend.

Pros of Staying in Lavapiés

  • Affordable accommodations
  • Close to the city center
  • A culinary tour of the world


  • Lacks major attractions
  • Not the most charming area

Best Hotels in Lavapiés

  • (€€) Hard Rock Hotel Madrid: A 4-star hotel with surprisingly low rates for its category. It’s a 20-minute walk from Plaza Mayor, and less than 10 minutes from two metro stops.
  • (€) Ibis Budget Madrid Centro Lavapies: Part of the popular budget hotel chain, this one is just a 15-minute walk from Plaza Mayor and very close to a metro station.
  • (€) Hello Rooms: Affordable rooms with minimalistic decor, only 700 meters from Plaza Mayor. It’s also family-friendly.

7. Salamanca, an elegant area to stay in Madrid

Salamanca, Madrid

Salamanca is Madrid’s slice of luxury. Think upscale living with world-class hotels and restaurants. This is where you’ll find Madrid’s famed “Golden Mile.”

It’s a bit of a trek from the city center – over half an hour on foot. Trust me, you’ll want to make friends with the metro to get here. But once you arrive, you’re in for a treat.

The neighborhood sparkles with glitzy cafes and bars. On streets like Calle de Goya, Calle de Velázquez, and Calle de Serrano, you’ll find chic boutiques and gourmet dining experiences.

Salamanca isn’t for everyone, both in terms of price and taste. But if your heart desires a stay in an elegant and sophisticated area, this is your go-to place.

Pros of Staying in Salamanca

  • Elegance personified
  • Luxury hotels and cafes


  • Far from the city center (metro necessary)
  • It’s a pricey area

Best Hotels in Salamanca

  • (€€€) Relais & Châteaux Heritage Hotel: A lavish 5-star hotel housed in a heritage building. It’s all about grand comfort here.
  • (€€€) Hotel Único Madrid, Small Luxury Hotels: A luxurious and ultra-stylish 5-star hotel in a 19th-century building. It’s just 500 meters from two metro stations.
  • (€€) ICON Wipton: A 4-star hotel located towards the southern end of Salamanca, closer to the center. A mere 5-minute walk to three different metro stops, offering great convenience and comfort.

8. Retiro, best area to stay in Madrid for families and kids

Parque del Buen Retiro
Parque del Buen Retiro

Retiro, east of Madrid center, is where you’ll find the famous Parque del Buen Retiro. This residential area is both enchanting and picturesque, boasting three of Madrid’s most significant museums: the Museo del Prado, the private collection of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, and the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

The neighborhood has become quite the hotspot, even Hollywood celebrities have snapped up holiday homes here.

Pros of Staying in Retiro

  • An elegant and serene area
  • Perfect for families
  • Home to three major museums


  • A bit of a distance from the city center, so the metro is your friend

What to see in Retiro

  • Museo del Prado
  • Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection
  • Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
  • Parque del Buen Retiro

Best Hotels in Retiro

  • (€€€) Mandarin Oriental, Ritz Madrid: A 5-star hotel with luxurious and stylish decor. Features a wellness center and is just 200 meters from the Museo del Prado.
  • (€€) Only YOU Hotel Atocha: A 4-star hotel housed in a 19th-century building. It boasts beautiful decor and is just 150 meters from the railway station, plus close to three metro stops.
  • (€) Agumar: A chic 4-star hotel near the central railway station and a 10-minute walk from the Museo del Prado. Offers breakfast, a bar, and a restaurant, and is surprisingly affordable for its amenities.

Madrid dangerous areas

Madrid is generally regarded as a safe city for travelers. However, it’s wise to stay alert in less crowded areas, especially those not frequented by tourists.

Neighborhoods like San Blas and Carabanchel can feel a bit less welcoming during the night, and you might want to steer clear of them. Besides, they don’t offer much in terms of attractions or tourist-friendly amenities.

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