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Where to stay in Madrid? A guide to the different neighborhoods

Are you planning to visit Madrid soon and don’t know where to stay? In this article, you’ll find a guide to the different neighborhoods !

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There are so many options when it comes to where to stay in Madrid that it’s sometimes hard to know which neighborhood to choose. Between Malasaña and its trendy lifestyle or Salmanca, Madrid’s luxury district, there’s no shortage of choices. Having spent a few days in Madrid on a number of occasions, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a short guide to these different neighborhoods, as well as pointing out a few nice places to stay in Madrid.

The prices shown below are for May 2023 for one night and two people. Prices may vary depending on when you travel!

Where to sleep in Madrid: a guide to the different districts

Choosing where to sleep during your stay in Madrid is a pretty important decision, as it will allow you to live the Madrid experience that suits you! On my first visit to Madrid, I stayed in the Centro district, which was perfect for a first visit !

Centro – for a 1st visit

The Centro district is located, as its name suggests, in the city center. It’s a wonderful place to stay for a first visit to Madrid. The Centro district, though touristy, is the perfect place to enjoy a magical Madrid experience. This part of Madrid is home to many of the city’s historic buildings and landmarks.

The must-sees

  • Via Grande
  • Plaza Mayor 
  • Puerta del Sol

Where to stay in Centro

Lavapiés – a multicultural experience

This is one of, if not the, most multicultural neighborhoods in Madrid, with over 88 different nationalities. In Lavapies, you’ll find all kinds of restaurants of all origins, as well as numerous alternative bars and cafés. This district is perfect for visitors on a budget, who want to stay in the center of Madrid and enjoy an international experience in a multicultural city.

The must-sees

  • Mercado El Rastro
  • Museum Reina Sofia
  • La Tabacalera 

Where to stay in Lavapiés

Chueca – the perfect place for party people

One of Madrid’s friendliest neighborhoods. With its youthful, bohemian ambience, Chueca is the perfect place to spend a holiday in good spirits. Chueca is also known as the city’s LGBT district, which partly explains its good vibes.

The must-sees

  • Romantism Museum
  • Marquis de Matallana Palace
  • Mercado San Anton

Where to stay in Chueca

Malasaña – the most popular district

Malasaña is one of the most popular districts for young travelers and students because of its nightlife. It offers options for all budgets and tastes. It’s the perfect place to stay in Madrid if you want to stay somewhere trendy with a hipster twist!

The must-sees

  • Street art
  • Plaza del Dos de Mayo
  • Marcado de San Ildefonso

Where to stay in Malasaña

This is the guide about where to stay in Madrid

Salamanca – a luxurious stay

With its elegance and class, Salamanca is a wonderful place to stay in Madrid for travelers looking for a luxurious stay. With its designer boutiques, fine restaurants and slightly off-center location, this part of Madrid offers a little more peace and quiet.

The must-sees

  • National Museum of archaeology
  • La Puerta de Alcala 
  • La Plaza Columbus

Where to stay in Salamanca

Chamberi – a local experience

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Madrid off the tourist trail and immerse yourself in Madrid life, then Chamberi is the place for you. With its mix of tradition and modernity, this neighborhood offers everything you could want from a stay in Madrid. You’ll discover traditional architecture from its bourgeois past, as well as magnificent parks.

The must-sees

  • La Calle de Fuencarral
  • Museum Sorolla
  • Plaza Colon

Where to stay in Chamberi

This is the Chamberi Neighborhood in Madrid

Retiro – the perfect place for families

This is the perfect place to stay in Madrid when traveling with the family. The Retiro is a neighborhood that has nothing to envy its neighbor Salamanca, but with a more relaxed atmosphere. The proximity of El Retiro park offers a green bubble from the hustle and bustle of the Spanish capital.

The must-sees

  • Park El Retiro 
  • Museum Prado 
  • Palacio de Cibeles 

Where to stay in Retiro

Argüelles – lively by day, quiet by night

Argüelles is just a stone’s throw from Madrid’s city center and close to a number of must-see places. This district is also popular with students and families alike. Lively during the day, thanks to its many tapas bars, it remains very quiet at night. It’s the perfect place to stay in Madrid if you want life during the day and peace and quiet at night.

The must-sees

  • Debob Temple
  • Plaza de España
  • National Palace  

Where to stay in Argüelles

This is where to stay in Madrid Spain

Where to stay in Madrid: a summary

  • A luxurious stay: Salamanca
  • A stay on a budget: Lavapies or Chueca
  • A family getaway: Retiro
  • A nightlife experience : Chueca and Malasaña
  • A gourmet getaway: Centro, Lavapies and Argüelles

My experience in Madrid

It’s true that choosing where to stay in Madrid can be a bit tricky at first, but I hope this guide has helped you discover Madrid’s different neighborhoods and their highlights.

If you’re still in a bit of a quandary, I’d recommend checking out this hotel in the center of Madrid. It’s the one I recommend most to people I know, and it’s also my favorite!

Hostal Persal (150 CHF/USD) 

Want to discover a little more of Madrid

⛲ Discover the 10-best activities to do in Madrid, Spain

🗺️ How to spend 3-days in Madrid, Spain

🏰 The best day-trips to do around Madrid, Spain

Want to support me while preparing your trip

Planning your next trip? Here are the sites I use to book my flights, hotels and tours! These affiliate links make it easy for you to make your reservations while supporting my work. And the best part is that it won’t cost you anything extra 🙂 Thank you

Booking – allows me to find great deals on accommodations
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Get your guide – If I need a tour to book online, this site is a nugget
Rentalcar – the platform I use for all my car rentals abroad

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