Always leave yourself plenty of time to prepare for your trip to Europe – the following Madrid travel tips will assist you in getting the most out of your travels. In this day and age, any European country’s travel conditions could fluctuate at any moment. Always be aware of any local changes so that you are kept well-informed. With so much to see in the beautiful capital, it’s important to plan ahead and bring a hearty appetite with you!
If you want to stay in Spain for less than 90 days and are an Australian tourist, you don’t need a visa per the Schengen Convention. This convention also allows ease of travel between France, Italy, and other compliant nations. However, once your planned stay surpasses 90 days, you’ll need to establish contact with an embassy or consulate.
The currency in Spain is the euro (€). The second-most traded currency in the world is the ‘eurozone’, which consists of 19 member countries of the European Union. When moving between nations, any cash amounts under €10,000 are not required to be reported. The word “euro” was adopted officially in Madrid on December 16, 1995.
The food in Madrid is a delicious mix of regional Spanish recipes and migrant cuisine. You can find everything from hearty stews to light seafood dishes, with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options available too.
Tipping in Madrid
Although it is not expected, you are welcome to tip in Madrid if you received exemplary service. Hospitality workers in Spain, like the rest of Europe, earn a salary and do not need tips to supplement their income.
Spain Electrical Plugs and Voltage
If you plan on using your Australian appliances while in Spain, purchase a type F adapter. Spanish electrical plugs are the same as those throughout Europe and use a standard voltage of 230V and frequency of 50Hz. Do not attempt to force an Australian type I plug into a Spanish socket – it won’t fit.
Language in Madrid
Spanish is the official language of Madrid. As a result of Madrid’s significant tourist industry, English is a well understood language, but it may be beneficial to brush up on some essential words and expressions before traveling. Other languages spoken in Madrid include Catalan, Galician, and Basque, although Spanish is the most frequent.
The Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD), which serves as the main international airport for Madrid, is located 12 kilometers to the southeast of the city. As one of Europe’s major airports, Madrid-Barajas handles around 50.4 million passengers each year. The airport is named for the renowned former Prime Minister who helped Spain regain its democracy in 1975. The Madrid Metro connects the airport with central Madrid, and it’s clean, quick, and straightforward to use.
Things to do in Madrid
Madrid has everything a tourist might want. There are so many activities to do in the city that you’ll be busy for days on end. Try authentic Spanish tapas in an old restaurant dating back to the 1500s. Shop till you drop at some of Europe’s finest luxury shopping destinations, and fall in love with Madrid’s top art galleries. In Spain’s beautiful capital, there is something to see around every corner.
The Real Madrid Football Club is based in the Spanish capital of Madrid and plays at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. With a capacity of 81,044, it’s one of the world’s largest stadiums. If you’re lucky enough to attend a game, you’ll be just as entertained by the lively spectators as you are by the sport!
Palacio Real (Royal Palace of Madrid)
The Palacio Real is a magnificent tribute to royalty, formerly the home of the Spanish Royal Family. The beautiful Berniniesque palace now serves as a venue for state events and guided visits. Artistic masterpieces, sculptures, and historic items adorn every available corner. Walking in the footsteps of royalty is an opportunity not to be missed.
The Palace of Zaragoza, also known as El Escorial, is a historical home of the Spanish king. The large structure has also served as a monastery, basilica, royal palace, pantheon, library, museum, university, and hospital since completion in 1584. The magnificent and unashamedly opulent building with its formal gardens are well worth a day trip from Madrid to see one of Spain’s golden age gems.
Where to eat?
You’ll never go hungry in Madrid, where the restaurant scene is as exciting as the food. For a traditional dining experience, head to Salamanca, Las Salesas or Barrio de las Letras. Or try some of the local flavors at a bustling marketplace. There’s something for everyone!
Where to stay in Madrid
With so many options, it’s hard to choose where to stay in Madrid. But don’t worry- each of the city’s barrios (neighborhoods) has something special to offer any traveler. You can find anything from unbridled luxury to more authentic homespun experiences depending on what you’re looking for. And every street and building holds a piece of Madrid’s rich history within its facade. So whether your decision is based on affordability or comfort, you’ll be able create an unforgettable experience tailored just for you.
In La Latina, you’ll find what you’re looking for if tapas, beer and mojitos sound good to you. This is the right neighbourhood for anyone who wants to experience Madrid’s vibrant nightlife scene. Tradition is very important in La Latina, and this is reflected in the many terrace bars and restaurants that can be found here. Home to the legendary Casa Lucio, you can enjoy sumptuous local cuisine that has been approved by Spanish royalty, American presidents and Hollywood A-listers alike.
The Gran Via is one of the most fascinating and thriving parts of town, located right in the city centre. If you’re looking for a world-class performance, this is the place to be – Madrid’s answer to Broadway. You can find musicals, ballet, comedy and flamenco playing at any time in the Gran Via district.
Salamanca is a stunning city. The broad streets are lined with magnificent stone structures dating back centuries. The Renaissance style’s architecture and design are evident throughout the city. The beautiful Plaza Mayor is one of Salamanca’s most notable features. Salamanca also serves as a center for Madrid’s student culture after dark. With fun, gaiety, and excitement, the neighborhood comes to life at night.