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Madrid Destination Guide

Exclusively Elegant Travel Since 1988

For more information, please call our Luxury Travel Specialists on:01244 897 771

Your guide from the Luxury Travel Specialists

Welcome to the Elegant Resorts Destination Guide for Madrid, created to help make your choice of luxury holiday as easy as possible. Here, you will find more detailed factual information about the destination you have selected.

If you require further information, not featured on this page, please call one of our Luxury Travel Specialists.


Language Spanish
Time Difference 2 hours
Currency Euro
Voltage 220V

Spain’s capital city, Madrid is a lively, colourful and enticing metropolis; prepare to be immersed in its rich and fascinating culture, that it so proudly exhibits in its multiple museums and art galleries, amongst the finest in the world. Simply looking up and noticing the beautiful architecture dappled with sunlight is enough to leave a lasting impression - from medieval mansions and royal palaces to wonderful Spanish contemporary architecture, it truly is a beautiful city. Alongside the stunning buildings, the culinary delights will certainly get your mouth-watering; Madrid has become one of the richest culinary capitals in Europe. The city’s nightlife is also legendary, so head over to one of the many wonderful cocktail bars before dancing the night away.

Parque del Buen Retiro

Escape the bustling streets of central Madrid for the serenity of the glorious gardens of Parque del Buen Retiro. Amble around the park’s fantastic marble monuments, luscious landscaped lawns and seek out the wonderful metal-and-glass structure of Palacio de Cristal. The locals of Madrid particularly enjoy this spot during fine weather, a perfect place to catch some rays or to read the paper in the shade. One of the main attractions is the stunning artificial lake, on which you can rent a rowing boat for an iconic Madrid experience.

Basílica de San Francisco El Grande

Recently restored, this imposing Baroque basilica is one of Madrid’s grandest churches. The magnificently frescoed dome is estimated to be the largest in Europe and the fourth largest in the world, with a diameter of 33m and a height of 56m. Each chapel is ornamented with frescoes and decorated to a different historical style; the Capilla de San Bernardino chapel is the most popular as it was painted by the famous Spanish painter Francisco Goya.

Plaza Mayor

Nestled in the tightly packed streets of central Madrid, the beautiful grand central square of Plaza Mayor is one of the prettiest open spaces in Spain. This magnificent square boasts a combination of imposing architecture and vibrant street life that makes it a must-see site in Madrid. Take a lunch break after wondering Plaza Mayor’s cobblestones and try a calamari sandwich in one of the restaurants, a culinary speciality in Madrid that is perfect alongside an ice-cold beer. If you visit Madrid during December, visit Plaza Mayor for its brilliant Christmas markets.

Art Galleries

Madrid has an outstanding artistic scene that is almost unrivalled, which is why art lovers return time and time again. The Museo del Prado, for instance, is one of the world’s premier art galleries, with over 7000 paintings held in its collection - including the royal paintings of Velazquez. Meanwhile, the fantastic Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is home to Picasso’s Guernica, possibly Spain’s most famous artwork, alongside other majestic works by Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. Whilst the Prado and Reina Sofía allow you to focus on individual artists in detail, visit the Museo Thyssen-Bornmisza to look at an incredible breadth of artistic styles.

Palacio Real

The magnificent Italianate Baroque Palacio Real used to be the residence of the Spanish royal family, until they moved to the modest Palacio de la Zarzuela. Filipe V, the first of the Bourbon kings, decided to build a palace that would dwarf its European counterparts. However, Filipe died before this gigantic palace was finished and, as a result, the palace only comprises a mere 2800 rooms, just one-quarter of the original plan. Take a fascinating guided tour of the palace, which leads you through 50 stunning rooms, holding a remarkable collection of Goyas, ornate clocks and five impressive Stradivarius violins.


Madrid enjoys more hours of sunshine than any other European capital. Spring and summer are the best times to visit, when the weather is warm and generally sunny. July and August are especially hot, making sightseeing uncomfortable.

Temperature Guide

These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Madrid.

  Temp °C Rain mm

Getting There+

Flight Information
British Airways from London Heathrow to Madrid. UK regional departures and charter flights are also available.

Flight Time
From London Heathrow to Madrid: 2 hours, 30 minutes.

Travel Documentation+

Travelling With Children or Without an Adult

Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.

Visa and Advance Passenger Information

All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.

Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.

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Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit Insect and tick bite avoidance. In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations i.e, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling. Visit the FCDO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: Foreign Travel Advice. Additional sources of information include: Public Health England, The National Travel Health And Network Centre, Foreign And Commonwealth Office and your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.

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