Best Areas to Stay in Madrid: 12 Neighborhoods You’ll Love

Wondering what are the best areas to stay in Madrid? Wonder no more. After spending several months (in total) in Madrid while staying in different places around it, I know I can help you.

Trust me when I say that my favorite city in Spain has you covered with several central neighborhoods I know you’ll love (seriously, just talking about it makes me want to book a flight). Plus, it’s incredibly easy to get around, so you can also find accommodation in quieter areas and use the Metro.

So without further ado, here’s my guide to the best neighborhoods to stay in Madrid (including highly-rated accommodation options for every budget!).

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Madrid accommodation guide: If you're wondering where to stay in Madrid Spain, here 10 of the best areas to stay in Madrid including travel information about each neighborhood.


Planning a last-minute trip? Check out:

Top accommodations in Madrid:
Hostal Alexis Madrid (budget/mid-range)
Apartosuites Jardines de Sabatini (mid-range)
Oriente Palace Apartments (mid-range/luxury)
7 Islas Hotel (mid-range/luxury)

Top tours in Madrid:
Free walking tour of Madrid
A 3-hour walking tour of Madrid’s historic center
Wine and tapas tour
Skip-the-lines Royal Palace guided tour / Royal Palace fast-access entrance ticket

Top day tours from Madrid:
Wineries of the region of Madrid
Segovia and Toledo
El Escorial and Valley of the Fallen
Avila and Salamanca



THINGS TO NOTICE WHEN LOOKING FOR THE BEST ACCOMMODATION IN MADRID

Elevator: Many guesthouses and hostels in Madrid are housed in residential buildings that don’t have elevators. If having an elevator is important to you, be sure to include that in your search filters.

Breakfast: Many accommodations do offer breakfast, but I personally don’t think it’s necessary. There are so many amazing cafes in Madrid to have breakfast or brunch, and to me, that’s a big part of getting to know a city.

Location vs noise: Madrid is a city that never sleeps, and a lot of central streets can get quite noisy at night, so consider that when booking your accommodation. If that’s a deal-breaker to you, read the reviews to see if there are any complaints about noise.

Air conditioning/heating: Depending on when you’re visiting, be sure to look for accommodation with air conditioning and heating.

Parking: There’s no reason to rent a car while you’re staying in Madrid. The center is big, but there are Metro stations everywhere, and with a walkable itinerary and comfortable sneakers you’ll be good to go.

Good to know: The word ‘hostal’ usually refers to a guesthouse and not the backpacker’s hostel that might come to mind.

Good to know #2: Almost all the neighborhoods I mention in this post are a part of Madrid’s city center. Each one is relatively small, so all of them have a great central location.

Tip: If you have an early flight to catch, you can also find hotels and hostels near Madrid’s airport.

A street in Madrid


WHERE TO STAY IN MADRID: QUICK RECOMMENDATIONS

To make it a bit easier for you before you dive into this massive post, here’s my quick Madrid accommodation guide (keep reading to discover a few more optional areas to stay):

Sol-Gran Via: The heart of the city center, packed with restaurants and shops and located within a walkable reach of other areas. Stay at Hostal Royal Cruz.

Los Austrias: The oldest part of Madrid, perfect for sightseeing. Stay at Oriente Palace Apartments.

Barrio de las Letras: Central but has a unique, authentic charm (my favorite neighborhood). Stay at Hostal Alexis.

Malasaña: A combo of hipster and bohemian, modern, and great for nightlife. Stay at Hostal Adis (a part of Malasaña, but close to Gran Via street).

– La Latina: Ideal for old-town charm and tapas bar addicts. Stay at Posada del Leon de Oro.

Salamanca: Best hotel location in Madrid for luxury travelers. Stay at Hospes Puerta de Alcalá.

Chueca: Best LGBTQIA-friendly neighborhood. Stay at Woohoo Rooms Chueca.

Plaza Oriente Madrid


BEST AREAS TO STAY IN MADRID

THE HEART OF THE CITY CENTER: SOL-GRAN VIA

Probably the most famous and busiest tourist area in the city, this neighborhood is located in the heart of Madrid between Gran Via Street and Puerta del Sol (and its surrounding streets).

Apart from the countless shops and restaurants, you’ll find the iconic statue of El Oso y el Madroño (The Bear and the Strawberry Tree) representing the coat of arms of Madrid, the Insta-famous Metropolis Building, and the 18th-century Royal Post Office.

I also highly recommend exploring the Gran Via in the evening as it lights up and becomes even more lively.

BUDGET/AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION IN SOL-GRAN VIA

Room007 Ventura Hostel: For those who don’t mind sharing a room with other travelers, this hostel offers dorm rooms with lockers and a private bathroom. The reception works 24/7, there’s an on-site restaurant, and you can also choose whether to pay for a continental breakfast. Read reviews and check prices here.

Hostal Pio Centro: Located right between Puerta del Sol and Gran Via, this guesthouse offers simple yet clean double rooms equipped with an electric kettle, a minibar, a safe, a flat-screen tv, and air conditioning. Browse the latest prices and availability here.

MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION IN SOL-GRAN VIA

Hostal Aresol: Offering both budget and superior double rooms, this family-run guesthouse is perfectly located on Arenal street, only a minute away from Puerta del Sol. Read reviews and book it here.

Hostal Royal Cruz: This central 3-star guesthouse offers cozy double rooms, a 24-hour front desk, and a shared lounge for you to enjoy. Browse its latest prices and availability here.

LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN SOL-GRAN VIA

Preciados: Housed in a restored 19th-century building, this 4-star hotel offers modern and spacious rooms, optional breakfast and dinner, an on-site restaurant, and many other services. It’s also located only a minute walk away from Gran Via Street. Read reviews and check prices here.

Gran Via street
Gran Via street
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THE OLDEST PART OF MADRID: LOS AUSTRIAS

Located west of Sol-Gran Via, this central neighborhood is filled with Madrid’s most famous historical landmarks like the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor (one of the prettiest European squares), and the Almudena Cathedral.

Another famous place to visit is the indoor food market, Mercado de San Miguel, but there are plenty of other places to eat and drink in the area. Many venues and cafes in Las Austrias also host live music shows for you to enjoy.

BUDGET/AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION IN LOS AUSTRIAS

Hostal La Casa de La Plaza: Located near Plaza Mayor and Mercado de San Miguel, this guest house offers private rooms (for up to 4 people) with shared bathrooms. Read reviews and check prices here.

MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION IN LOS AUSTRIAS

Hostal Met Madrid: With a super central location and basic yet clean rooms, this guest house gets 9+ scores on every aspect including comfort and value for money. Read reviews and check prices here.

Oriente Palace Apartments: Located right next to the Royal Palace, this apartment hotel offers stylish double rooms and fully equipped apartments, 24/7 reception, and optional breakfast. Read reviews and check prices here.

LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN LOS AUSTRIAS

Escala Opera: Housed in an 18th-century building near the Royal Palace, this boutique hotel offers uniquely decored suites and standard double rooms. It also gets great reviews for its staff. Check out the latest prices and availability here.

Royal Palace Madrid
The Royal Palace

FULL OF SPANISH LITERATURE HISTORY (AND MY FAVORITE AREA): BARRIO DE LAS LETRAS

I completely fell in love with the boasting-of-charm Barrio de las Letras (Literary Quarter). It’s a central neighborhood (located near Sol-Gran Via), but it has a more authentic vibe.

With its typical (and beautiful) Madridian streets, traditional taverns, and rich cultural history, I was hooked from the very first second.

Spain’s finest writers and artists like Cervantes and Lope de Vega found a home in this neighborhood, and their influence is still very present today.

You’ll see Cervantes’ house and grave, the statue of Federico García Lorca, old theatres, literary quotes written on the ground, and a lot more. Both intriguing and central, it is a great area to stay in Madrid (my personal favorite).

Tip: To learn more about the neighborhood’s history (not in a boring way), I highly recommend taking this INCREDIBLE free walking tour (temporarily not available in English – see this similar tour).

BUDGET/AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION IN BARRIO DE LAS LETRAS

Hostal Alexis Madrid: Offering spacious equipped rooms, this highly-rated 3-star guest house is located near Plaza Santa Ana and Puerta del Sol. Read reviews and check prices here.

MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION IN BARRIO DE LAS LETRAS

Hotel Miau: Located near Santa Ana square and housed in a 19th-century building, this sweet hotel offers fully equipped double and triple rooms, a 24/7 reception, and an optional buffet breakfast. Read reviews and book it here.

Hostal Alfaro: Also located near the beautiful Santa Ana square, this guesthouse offers clean, cozy single and double rooms. It also gets extremely high scores in terms of the staff’s kindness and attentiveness. Browse its latest prices here.

LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN BARRIO DE LAS LETRAS

CoolRooms Atocha: Offering big elegant rooms and suites, this 4-star hotel also has two on-site restaurants and a courtyard with a small pool. The price can also include a breakfast buffet. Read reviews and check prices here.

Best location to stay in Madrid - Barrio de las Letras
One of the best neighborhoods in Madrid – Barrio de las Letras

HIPSTER AND VIBRANT: MALASAÑA

Located north of Gran Via Street, Malasaña has to be one of my most favorite neighborhoods in Madrid. I’m especially drawn to its hipster/bohemian and youthful vibes that can win you over in a heart bit.

From the abundance of trendy cafes and traditional tapas bars to art galleries and concept shops to colorful street art and a lively nightlife scene, anyone can find something to love about Malasaña.

BUDGET/AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION IN MALASAÑA

Hostal Silserranos: Located near the Metro station of Tribunal, this 2-star guest house offers simple and clean rooms for up to 4 people. The reception works 24/7, and there’s a coffee vending machine for your convenience. Read reviews and check prices here.

MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION IN MALASAÑA

Hostal Maria Cristina: I had a great experience in this place. Apart from its central location right between Malasaña and Chueca, my room was spacious, super clean, and comfortable, and the staff was always welcoming. Read reviews and check prices here.

Hostal Adis: Offering cozy double rooms and a fantastic central location, it’s no wonder why this guesthouse gets a score of 9+ for ‘value for money.’ Read reviews and book it here.

LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN MALASAÑA

7 Islas Hotel: This modern 4-star boutique hotel offers standard, deluxe, and penthouse double rooms. There’s also an on-site bar and an optional breakfast. Read reviews and check prices here.

Best area to stay in Madrid - Malasana
Malasaña

BEST AREA TO STAY IN MADRID FOR TAPAS BAR ADDICTS: LA LATINA

Located southwest of Sol-Gran Via, La Latina has it all. From medieval streets and squares to the most amazing tapas bars to El Rastro flea market to throbbing nightlife, you will never be bored here.

La Latina is also home to some of Madrid’s oldest churches and several museums. Its old-town magic and its liveliness create a unique atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else.

BUDGET/AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION IN LA LATINA

Good Stay Rooms: Located near La Latina metro station, this guesthouse offers affordable, sound-proof double rooms equipped with an electric kettle, a flat-screen tv, and air conditioning (some rooms also have a balcony). Browse the latest prices here.

MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION IN LA LATINA

Ganivet: This 3-star hotel is located next to Puerta de Toledo Metro station and offers spacious rooms, 24/7 reception, and an optional breakfast served at the on-site cafe/bar. Read reviews and check prices here.

LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN LA LATINA

Posada del León de Oro: Located near Plaza Mayor, this 4-star boutique hotel offers both standard double rooms and suites, an optional breakfast buffet, and an on-site restaurant. Read reviews and check prices here.

best neighborhood to stay in Madrid - La Latina
La Latina

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD TO STAY IN MADRID FOR LUXURY TRAVELERS: SALAMANCA

If you’re a luxury traveler, you’ll love the elegant and exclusive Salamanca, the neighborhood located north of El Retiro Park.

With high-end stores, Michelin-starred restaurants, and posh nightclubs and cocktail bars, you can understand the type of vibes you’ll feel in this area.

MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION IN SALAMANCA

Avenida De America Tijcal: This apartment hotel offers fully equipped modern apartments, 24/7 reception, and a shared lounge area. Read reviews and check prices here.

Velázquez 45 by Pillow: Located in the heart of Salamanca, this 3-star guest house offers modern spacious rooms, an optional breakfast, and a shared lounge area. Read reviews and check prices here.

LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN SALAMANCA

Hospes Puerta de Alcalá: Housed in a 19th-century building, this 5-star hotel offers big elegant rooms as well as many VIP services and facilities including a spa area. It’s also located right next to El Retiro Park. Read reviews and check prices here.


MULTICULTURAL AND DIFFERENT: LAVAPIES

While not nearly as glamorous as Salamanca, Lavapies is another unique area in Madrid. Located south of Sol-Gran Via and Barrio de las Letras, it has always been the home of the lower classes, and it’s considered a multicultural neighborhood.

In Lavapies, you’ll find cultural spaces and theatres, an international culinary scene, and examples of traditional Madridian residential buildings called corralas.

MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION IN LAVAPIES

Hola Rooms: Offering stylish private rooms for up to 4 people and a central location near Tirso de Molina Metro station, this guest house gets high scores on every aspect. Read reviews and check prices here.

LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN LAVAPIES

Artrip Hotel: Apart from standard rooms, this hotel also offers suites for those looking for something more upscale. The reception works 24/7, and you also can choose to pay for a continental breakfast. Read reviews and check prices here.

colorful street in Lavapies, Madrid
Lavapies

STAY NEAR MADRID’S FAMOUS PARK: RETIRO

The iconic and beloved El Retiro Park covers most of the area of this neighborhood, so this is the place to stay if you want easy and quick access to it.

MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION IN RETIRO

8Rooms Madrid: Located south of the park, this guest house offers simple and clean double rooms. Read reviews and check prices here.

LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN RETIRO

Claridge Madrid: This 4-star hotel offers elegant rooms, an optional breakfast, and an on-site restaurant. It’s also located right next to the Metro station of Conde de Casal. Read reviews and check prices here.

Where to stay in Madrid - Retiro Park
One of the best places to stay in Madrid – the area near Retiro Park

WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO STAY IN MADRID FOR ART LOVERS: PASEO DEL ARTE

Even if you’re not an art fan, a trip to Madrid has to include at least one of its three major art museums – the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, and the Reina Sofia Museum.

If you want to be at the reach of these world-famous institutions, as well as other cultural spots, choose to stay along the Paseo del Arte (located west of Retiro).

You can visit these museums for free at certain times (consult them on my roundup of free museums in Madrid), but they can be more crowded.

To skip the lines, book a guided tour of all three museums or purchase individual tickets in advance:

MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION IN PASEO DEL ARTE

Hostal Bruña Paseo del Prado: Located right between all three museums, this guesthouse offers simple single, double, and triple rooms. Read reviews and browse its latest prices.

LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN PASEO DEL ARTE

Hotel Paseo Del Arte: This 4-star hotel offers spacious modern rooms, an on-site restaurant, and an optional breakfast. Some rooms also have a balcony overlooking the city. Read reviews and check prices here.

Prado Museum, Madrid
Best location in Madrid for art lovers – Paseo del Arte

LGBTQIA-FRIENDLY: CHUECA

Located north of Gran Via Street, Chueca is known as Madrid’s LGBTQIA neighborhood. With a buzzing nightlife scene, modern cafes and restaurants, and plenty of shops, this area is full of life 24/7.

In Chueca, you’ll also find the incredible indoor food market Mercado San Anton and the Museum of Romanticism.

BUDGET/AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION IN CHUECA

Bastardo Hostel: Though it also offers mid-range double rooms, this colorful modern hostel has dorms and affordable private rooms for up to 6 people. Read reviews and browse prices here.

MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION IN CHUECA

Woohoo Rooms Chueca: This guesthouse offers both double rooms and family rooms for four people and has a fantastic location in Chueca near Gran Via. Browse its latest prices and availability.

LUXURY ACCOMMODATION IN CHUECA

Lusso Infantas: Housed in a 19th-century building, this 4-star hotel offers modern spacious rooms equipped with everything you’ll need including a smartphone with internet access you can take with you and use for free while wandering the city. There’s also an on-site bar and an optional continental breakfast. Read reviews and check prices here.

San Anton Market
San Anton

CLOSE TO THE CENTER BUT NOT AS CROWDED: MONCLOA-ARGÜELLES

Located north of the Royal Palace and west of Malasaña, this small area is close to the city center, yet it’s less touristy. It is home to points of interest such as Plaza de España, Debod Temple, and Oeste Park, and you’ll also find plenty of cafes and restaurants here.

MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION IN MONCLOA-ARGÜELLES

Apartosuites Jardines de Sabatini: Located right next to the Royal Palace, this apartment hotel offers fully equipped and spacious studios and suites, 24/7 reception, and a highly-rated breakfast. Read reviews and check prices here.

Hostal Overnight Madrid: Situated right next to the Metro station of Argüelles, this budget-friendly guesthouse offers modern double rooms and a convinient location in a lively shopping area. Read reviews and check prices here.

Debod Temple
Debod Temple

LIVELY AND A LITTLE LESS CENTAL: CHAMBERI

Located north of Malasaña, Chamberi is a lively and a lot less touristy neighborhood in Madrid. It’s also a bit less central, but you can get to the area of Sol in no time, and you’ll find plenty of places to eat here and some cool museums like Anden 0 and Sorolla Museum.

MID-RANGE ACCOMMODATION IN CHAMBERI

The Match Madrid: With high scores for location, cleanliness, and comfort, this self-check-in simple guesthouse offers both rooms for 1-3 people and an entire apartment for up to 15 people. Read reviews and check prices here.


* I haven’t stayed at every hotel I mention in this post (because I also stayed in many Airbnbs in different neighborhoods in Madrid), but each one is well-researched (by me) and has high ratings of 8+ on Booking.com. That said, you should always read the reviews and all the details about the facilities and services to see if they match your needs.

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About Or Amir

Hey, I'm Or! I'm a passionate traveler with a severe coffee, chocolate, and pastry addiction (or any other carb for that matter). Obsessed with anything Spain-related, I'm always planning my next trip (and the excitement alone can bring tears to my eyes, not that it's difficult to make me cry).

2 thoughts on “Best Areas to Stay in Madrid: 12 Neighborhoods You’ll Love”

  1. I just came across this a few months after returning from my trip and just wanted to say thank you for helping me decide on Barrio de las Letras several months ago! It was absolutely perfect, location-wise, and had the exact ambiance I was looking for. I also loved how easy it was to explore its surrounding neighborhoods, and of course, the close proximity to el Retiro and various museums. In general, I kept referencing your blog when planning my trip, so thank you again! I fell in love with Madrid and cannot wait to return.

    Reply
    • This means so much to me (I literally have tears in my eyes right now), so thank you for your sweet words! I’m so happy you love Madrid as much as I do, and I agree that it doesn’t get much better than Barrio de las Letras which is totally magical 🙂

      Reply

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