My tips for a stop over in Madrid
A 1 day or over night stop over in Madrid is always a treat!
When flying from Australia to Morocco I usually find the best value flights via Spain. Then it's just a quick 2 - 3 hour flight across to Marrakech, Tangier or Casablanca from there.
So I love to make the most of just a few hours or an over night stay in Madrid to hit the streets for some shopping, and of course the food!
Here's my list of my go-to spots to eat and drink, favourite neighbourhoods for a stroll, as well as recommendations from friends and Madrid locals that I haven't tried myself yet but are on the list for next time.
Major Sites to See
The stroll from Puerta Del Sol through to Plaza Mayor, and along Gran Via is the usual loop to take in all the grand architecture and big department stores.
If you're around in December the Plaza has Christmas markets in full swing and the Christmas lights on display which is always fun and festive.
If you're here in Summer the plazas are full of people eating, drinking and relaxing in the sun.
The Prado Museum and Retiro Park are the other near by sites if you have the time.
A Tapas Tour of Madrid
Let's be honest. I can shop at home. What I'm really here for is the food and a 2 euro glass of local wine with my tapas!
Some food stops to save to your Google maps are:
Mercado De San Miguel - the central gastronomic market with tapas bars around the perimeter and shared tables through the centre making this a great stop for lunch.
Casa Rua - Quick stand up bar and snack just off Plaza Mayor
La Campana - Brewery bar with bar snacks near Plaza Mayor
Galeria Canalejas - Luxury shopping and gourmet food hall
Casa Labra - An institution for Madrid's best croquettas and a stand up beer at the bar
La Ardosa - This one probably my favourite! Super authentic traditional tiled tapas bar for a vermut and with your jamon
Juana La Loca - Modern tapas restaurant (A local's recommendation, so I'm tipping it's excellent!)
Platea - I haven't been here yet, a huge event space with food and entertainment
Calle Ponzano - uber trendy food street with lots of options for tapas and bar hopping
Other Neighbourhoods in Madrid to Explore
Salamanca - an upmarket neighbourhood with beautiful grand boulevards full of designer brands and the Mercado De La Paz food market near by.
La Latina - on old medieval neighbourhood with small streets to explore filled with tapas bars and the El Rastro open air market.
Where to stay in Madrid
There's a couple of hotels that I'd recommend from my stays that have cool interiors, rooftop bars with views over the city, and great locations for exploring.
$$$ Vincci The Mint - beautiful design led boutique hotel
$$ Dear Hotel - rooftop bar with plunge pool and panoramic views
$ There's plenty of really good affordable hostels in Madrid too. I've tried a few - they're all really modern and great for a stop over if you're flying solo.
Getting into Madrid from the Airport
if you're just heading in just for the day there's paid luggage storage at T4 arrivals and departures, and an outdoor luggage storage at T1 that's all pretty straight forward.
It's approx 45 minutes into the city centre if you take the Metro from T4, jump off at Nuevos Ministerios and then take the next train to Sol.
You'll pop out at Puerta Del Sol which has all the main shopping streets and museums and sites near by.
Extra Tip: if your onward flight is booked on Iberia they now let you check in and leave your bags up to 24 hours before your flight. Makes it all super easy if you don't have much time.
So I hope this helps you plan your stop over in Madrid! Enjoy!
Got some more of your own recommendations? Let me know below - I'd love to add them to my list for next time.