Where to Stay in Madrid: Ultimate Guide for First-Time Visitors | RatesToTravel


Spain’s vibrant capital city, Madrid is filled with talented artists, culinary revolutionaries and non-stop nightlife aficionados. The city’s stunning architecture, from Baroque palaces to mansions, pairs perfectly with its cocktail bars, renowned Spanish tapas culture and proud football traditions.

With more than 400 million annual visitors to RatesToTravelinfo, we’ve delved deep into this enigmatic city to bring you the best Madrid neighbourhoods and hotels for first-time visitors. From the vintage clothing stores of Universidad to the art and literary culture of Cortes, Madrid’s distinct neighbourhoods offer a wealth of enticing attractions.

The stately ambience of Chamberí extends from its engaging museums and art galleries to the sophisticated tapas restaurants and upscale nightclubs. Staying in Chamberí gives you an excellent mix of locals and visitors with six diverse barrios to explore. Shop for chic clothing in the local boutiques, catch a Spanish film in a trendy cinema or relax in one of the sprawling parks.

Must-Do Chamberí Experiences

  • Witness a local play or musical in the intimate Teatro de La Abadía.
  • Browse the books and contemporary art in the Centro de Arte Moderno.
  • Explore the restaurants and shops around the Glorieta de Quevedo intersection.

Top Hotels in Chamberí

Hotel Orfila

Hotel Orfila

Hotel Orfila showcases Madrid’s timeless elegance with its finely furnished rooms boasting antique decor alongside modern amenities. There are only 32 rooms at this intimate hotel, including 12 suites with the added luxury of dressing rooms, hydromassage baths and sitting areas. Save money with the Superior Double room, which has a king-size bed and mini bar.

Indulge in sumptuous tasting plates and Spanish cuisine at El Jardín de Orfila, which is run by the two-Michelin-starred chef, Mario Sandoval. There’s also a cosy lounge bar and an outdoor courtyard for relaxing with a tea or glass of wine.

Nearby Attractions 

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 341 – USD 1,736
Guest Rating: 9.7
Address: Orfila 6, Almagro, Madrid, Spain

Hotel Santo Mauro Autograph Collection

Hotel Santo Mauro Autograph Collection bedroom

You’ll find a perfect blend of luxury and rich history at the 5-star Hotel Santo Mauro Autograph Collection. Inspired by the 19th-century, this stately hotel is reminiscent of Parisian palaces and boasts the Art Deco-inspired Gin Bar and a stylish restaurant in the former library of the Duke of Santo Mauro. Visit the Chinese Lounge to admire Oriental artwork or wander through the surrounding gardens, home to centuries-old chestnut trees.

Choose from 49 rooms and suites, starting with the Deluxe Room, which has a king-size bed and sitting area. The Junior Suite has butler services and a living area, while the Luxury suite boasts a dining table, balcony and garden vistas. Alternatively, stay in the opulent Royal suite for two bedrooms, a whirlpool bath and luxe linens. 

Nearby Attractions

  • Museo Sorolla (500 metres)
  • Clamores music hall (750 metres)
  • Museo Lázaro Galdiano (1.2 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 334 – USD 645
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: Zurbano, 36, Almagro, Madrid, Spain

Hotel Location

Universidad is known for its counter-culture scene, which is driven by a prominent student population and a variety of creative types. This is an ideal neighbourhood for embracing Madrid’s nightlife, thanks to the numerous bars and clubs that overflow with revellers most nights. It’s also lined with narrow streets that lead to alfresco cafes, small parks, concert halls and unique boutiques.

Must-Do Universidad Experiences 

  • Admire the contemporary art and video library at Conde Duque Cultural Center.
  • Enjoy a drink with locals at Casa Julio or a boozy brunch at Carmencita Bar.
  • Dance to live music at the Sala Siroco concert hall.

Top Hotels in Universidad

Hotel Atlantico Madrid

Hotel Atlantico Madrid

Hotel Atlantico Madrid caters to a range of travellers with its Single Rooms, Double Rooms and Deluxe Double Rooms. All of these boast air conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, mini bars and bathrobes. The upgraded room types, however, also come with wider double beds and welcome products.

Enjoy a range of on-site services at Hotel Atlantico Madrid, from the cocktail bar on the Upper Terrace overlooking Gran Via to the hi-tech business centre and first-floor cafe. Start off your day with a delicious buffet breakfast at the hotel before exploring the shops, museums and theatres in Universidad. 

Nearby Attractions

  • Plaza del Callao (150 metres)
  • Casino de Madrid (700 metres)
  • Casita- Museo de Ratón Pérez (500 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 180 – USD 604
Guest Rating: 9.3
Address: Gran Via 38, Universidad, Madrid, Spain

Tryp Madrid Cibeles

Tryp Madrid Cibeles

HotelsCombined visitors rave about the excellent location of Tryp Madrid Cibeles, as it’s surrounded by some of Madrid’s best boutiques and international stores. The contemporary hotel also has a buffet breakfast restaurant serving cold cuts, fried eggs, churros and Spanish omelettes every morning. Kick back in the lounge bar or head up to the rooftop for panoramic city views.

The rooms and suites cater to a range of budgets, from the affordable Tryp Room with two single beds and a flat-screen TV to the enticing Premium Room Gran Via View with a signature Dreamax bed and views of Gran Via. Families will appreciate the bunk beds in the Family Room, while active travellers can choose to have a treadmill or stationary bike in the Fitness Room. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Teatro Rialto (350 metres)
  • The Grassy Clock and Watch Museum (650 metres)
  • Sala Republik Club (300 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 142 – USD 350
Guest Rating: 8.2
Address: Calle de Mesonero Romanos, 13, Sol, Madrid, Spain

Hotel Location

Sol is a barrio in Madrid’s Centro district, with most of the action typically focused around the public square, Puerto del Sol. This area is considered the heart of Madrid and is interwoven with pedestrian shopping streets lined with department stores and tapas bars. At night, Sol keeps the party going with its bars and rooftop clubs, while neoclassical theatres host movies and plays.

Must-Do Sol Experiences 

  • Join the masses in Puerta del Sol to watch street performers.
  • Take a guided tour through the circa-1850 Teatro Real before watching a show.
  • Dine on authentic Mediterranean cuisine at Restaurante La Finca de Susana.

Top Hotels in Sol

Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid

Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid bedroom

Positioned near Gran Via, one of Spain’s biggest shopping strips, the 5-star Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid complements its excellent location with gourmet dining at Hielo Y Carbon, which has a charcoal kitchen, and cocktails and local beer at Crudo Bar. You can also admire city views from the rooftop bar, El Jardín De Diana, join a mixology course or nibble on small plates in the tech-inspired Ondas: Vermuteria + Lounge.

Every room and suite at this modern hotel comes with custom furnishings, a spacious work area, a flat-screen TV and complimentary Wi-Fi. Stay in the 1 King Terrace room for a king-size bed and private terrace overlooking Gran Via or opt for the Executive Suite for a bath and walls of windows. The Fenix Suite offers the most luxury with its terrace, living room and rain shower. 

Nearby Attractions

  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (1.1 kilometres)
  • Palacio de los duques de Santoña (1 kilometre)
  • Teatro Lope de Vega (550 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 232 – USD 717
Guest Rating: 9.6
Address: Gran Via 31, Sol, Madrid, Spain

Intur Palacio San Martin

Intur Palacio San Martin bedroom

Looking for affordable accommodation near the centre of Madrid? You’ll find excellent value for your money at Intur Palacio San Martin, which has Ground Floor Economy Rooms with plush bedding and work desks, Double and Triple Rooms and spacious Junior Suites with living areas and wall-mounted TVs.

The hotel is housed within a beautiful 19th-century building and blends its rich history with modern facilities, such as a fully-equipped gym and a flexible meeting room. Don’t miss dining at the on-site Antigua Embajada Restaurant, which serves traditional tapas on a terrace overlooking a public square.

Nearby Attractions 

  • Teatro Real (300 metres)
  • Museo de Medicina Infanta Margarita (400 metres)
  • Plaza Mayor (350 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 189 – USD 322
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: Plaza San Martin 5, Sol, Madrid, Spain

Hotel Location

Architecture enthusiasts will love the grand buildings in Palacio, which depict various moments in Madrid’s rich history. Dating back to the 1600s, the Plaza Mayor sits alongside an 18th-century palace and 19th-century theatres. You’ll find one of Madrid’s best sunset viewing spots on the Almudena Cathedral steps, while the sprawling parks are ideal for afternoon strolls. 

Must-Do Palacio Experiences

  • Hop from one tapas bar to the next under the arcades at Plaza Mayor.
  • Admire the luxe period furnishings and manicured gardens at the 18th-century Royal Palace of Madrid.
  • Watch an opera or live dance performance at the Teatro Real.

Top Hotels in Palacio

Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques

Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques

Housed inside a former 19th-century palace, the magnificent Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques is part of the exclusive group, “The Leading Hotels of The World”, and has been inspired by the works of the Spanish painter, Velázquez. It boasts a 1,000-square-metre garden, a seasonal top-floor whirlpool and swimming pool, a solarium, cocktail bar and three restaurants.

Stay in the Classic Room for a queen-size bed and LCD TV or upgrade to a Premium for a king-size bed. The suites offer incredible luxuries, such as private butler and terrace with sun loungers in the Presidential Penthouse Suite and a hydromassage bath in the Royal Suite. Don’t forget to book a pampering massage or body treatment at the on-site Thai Room Wellness spa. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Royal Palace of Madrid (450 metres)
  • Plaza Mayor (550 metres)
  • Museo de San Isidro (1 kilometre)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 334 – USD 6,241
Guest Rating: 9.5
Address: Cuesta de Santo Domingo, 5, Palacio, Madrid, Spain

Hotel Indigo Madrid – Gran Via

Hotel Indigo Madrid - Gran Via

You’ll fall in love with the rooftop Sky Lounge & Bar at Hotel Indigo Madrid – Gran Via, which pairs perfectly with a rooftop infinity pool boasting beautiful sunset views. You also have access to a well-equipped gym, a 24-hour business centre and private parking. The on-site restaurant showcases the country’s delicious cuisine, offering a menu with hearty breakfast options and creative cocktails.

All of the rooms have either queen or king-size beds, rain showers, LCD TVs, Nespresso coffee machines and complimentary Wi-Fi. The Deluxe Room offers exceptional comfort and affordable rates, while the Panoramic Suite is an opulent haven with an in-room Jacuzzi and panoramic city vistas. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Monumento a Felipe IV (550 metres)
  • Teatro Real (400 metres)
  • San Miguel Market (700 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 172 – USD 329
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Silva, 6, Palacio, Madrid, Spain

Hotel Location

One of the furthest neighbourhoods from the city centre on this list, Goya is a laid-back barrio where locals enjoy dining at tapas bars and visiting large department stores. You’ll also find a large concert hall and live-music arena, along with various historical monuments and restaurants that are a staple for any first-timer’s itinerary.

Must-Do Goya Experiences

  • Time your visit for a memorable live music concert or basketball game at WiZink Center.
  • Browse upmarket clothing at Massimo Dutti, Sfera and peletería carlos.
  • Dine on authentic Spanish tapas at Los Torreznos Bar Goya Cervecería en Madrid.

Top Hotels in Goya

Novotel Madrid Center

Novotel Madrid Center

Located within the stylish Salamanca district in Goya, the executive Novotel Madrid Center has contemporary rooms with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, air conditioning and work desks. Travelling with the kids? Families can opt for the spacious Family Rooms and enjoy a seasonal terrace pool, the on-site kids’ club and bicycle rentals.

The hotel also boasts a fully-equipped fitness centre, a lounge bar and a restaurant serving delicious food all day, including a hearty breakfast buffet. Guests can use the complimentary “Handy” smartphones during their stay, while the 22 flexible meeting rooms cater to business travellers. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • WiZink Center (190 metres)
  • Monument to Goya (500 metres)
  • Nuevo Teatro Alcalá (600 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 166 – USD 474
Guest Rating: 8.3
Address: Calle O’Donnell, 53, Goya, Madrid, Spain

Vincci Soma

Vincci Soma

Vincci Soma brings a cosmopolitan vibe to Madrid with its gourmet on-site dining at Soma A-la-Carte Restaurant, which serves contemporary Mexican cuisine. It also offers a fresh breakfast every morning, picturesque wedding spaces, 12 adaptable meeting rooms, a sauna and gym. At the end of a long day, grab a beer or cocktail at the on-site lounge bar.

Unwind in one of the modern rooms and suites, which range from the Double Room with a mini bar and bath to the Junior Suite with a furnished private terrace and separate living area. Solo travellers can save money in the concept XS Room, which has a single bed, while those seeking self-contained Madrid accommodation should opt for an Apartment with a kitchen and dining table.

Nearby Attractions

  • WiZink Center (700 metres)
  • National Archaeological Museum (1.1 kilometres)
  • Nuevo Teatro Alcalá (240 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 141 – USD 388
Guest Rating: 8
Address: C/ Goya, 79, Goya, Madrid, Spain

Hotel Location

Art and literature lovers will find their next home away from home in Cortes, where you can stroll along a street filled with famous literature quotes, visit a former poet’s house and browse various art galleries. The Apollo Fountain and its surrounding park offer a tranquil environment, while the global restaurants and cocktail bars kick on until the early hours of the morning.

Must-Do Cortes Experiences

  • Wander down Huertas Street to read quotes by Don Quixote author, Miguel de Cervantes.
  • See European masterpieces, from the 13th to the 20th century, in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
  • Watch live flamenco shows while enjoying tapas at Casa Patas.

Top Hotels in Cortes

NH Collection Madrid Palacio de Tepa

NH Collection Madrid Palacio de Tepa bedroom

Enjoy 5-star services and facilities and a historic palace setting at the alluring NH Collection Madrid Palacio de Tepa. This boutique hotel charms you from arrival to departure with its on-site wellness area offering massages and beauty treatments, a 24-hour gym and a range of hi-tech business amenities. The restaurant overlooks the street and serves Mediterranean cuisine, while the bar has tapas and Spanish wine.

Stay in the Premium Room or Deluxe Room for a king-size bed and rain shower or opt for a Junior Suite for a separate lounge room. The Family Room can accommodate three guests, while the Suite features a work desk, king-size bed and lounge area.  

Nearby Attractions 

  • Lope de Vega Museum (400 metres)
  • Cardamomo Tablao Flamenco (290 metres)
  • Casa Patas (190 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 281 – USD 535
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: San Sebastian, 2, Cortes, Madrid, Spain

Westin Palace Hotel

Westin Palace Hotel bedroom

Westin Palace Hotel treats you to elegant rooms inside a former palace, which offer modern touches like timber work desks, flat-screen TVs and heavenly king-size beds. The Premium Room View is an excellent option if you want a sitting area and a view of Neptuno Fountain. The suites have added luxuries, such as the dining room, library-cum-study and Jacuzzi in the Royal Suite.

Stay active on your holiday with the 24-hour on-site fitness centre or truly indulge at one of Madrid’s best Asian restaurants, Asia Gallery. You can also dine at the Green T Sushi Bar or visit 1912 Museo Bar to sip cocktails in the same setting as Ernest Hemingway and Salvador Dalí.

Nearby Attractions 

  • Museo Nacional del Prado (400 metres)
  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (290 metres)
  • Bodega de los Secretos (600 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 303 – USD 9,674
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Plaza de las Cortes, 7, Cortes, Madrid, Spain

Hotel Location

When deciding where to explore first in Madrid, it’s often best to simply start walking and let the streets lead you to the city’s fascinating neighbourhoods filled with bodegas, tapas bars and centuries-old markets. You can’t go wrong with staying in any of these alluring barrios, where you’ll find hotels offering unbridled luxury in the form of swimming pools, gourmet restaurants and presidential-esque suites.

Where do you want to stay in Madrid? Let us know in the comments.

Author: Ben Stower

I’m enamoured with travel, whether it’s finding the quiet, local sanctuaries in touristic cities, venturing into rock vaults in a distant jungle or spending hours on a Spanish beach. I can’t see an end to my travelling. Just another chapter and another story to tell.



GET THE LOWEST AVAILABLE HOTELS RATES