Travelling To Madrid? What to keep in mind & how the locals live. Preparing for a holiday to Spain will be all the more enjoyable and memorable if you are aware of local traditions.
Madrid is a beautiful city with plenty of sights to see and activities to experience. The people are friendly and generally accommodate tourists as well.
Your stay, regardless of whether you are traveling for work or for leisure, should be as stress-free as possible.
To prepare for your stay, here are eight things to consider when you travel to Madrid.
Get Ready to Commute
Madrid is not a very car-friendly city. The streets are confusing because they can suddenly turn into one-way streets or become narrow. And of course, dealing with fast traffic in any city can be a hassle, not just here.
It is recommended that you invest in a public transport card (TTP) instead. You can pick one up at any train station around the city. Buy ten journeys at a time and then reload as needed.
Book accommodation in advance
As with most top European destinations, Madrid offers a wide range of accommodation options for international travelers. Choosing one that meets various criteria can be challenging. For visitors that plan to stay in the city for a few days or weeks, it’s recommended to choose a hotel or an Airbnb. As two of the most popular lodging choices in Madrid, you will be able to find many good places to stay in the city center.
For travelers that plan to stay in the city for a longer period (more than a month), then renting an apartment in Madrid on a monthly basis sounds like a more convenient option instead of going to a hotel. This is because they offer the same amenities and are in strategic locations, but for more competitive and flexible rates.
Prepare for the Hot Weather
The best time to visit Madrid is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) seasons. This is because the city is Europe’s sunniest capital. Even though it does not have any beaches, Madrid experiences around 300 days of sunshine every year!
With that said, it’s easy to get sunburnt if you do not come prepared. Regardless of when you will be visiting, look for places with plenty of shade. Make sure to pack a bottle of sunblock, a hat, and sunglasses as well and of course do make use of Madrid Luggage storage Nannybag when it all becomes too much to carry and you need a safe and convenient place to temporarily store your valuables.
If you find yourself visiting between July and August, avoid walking or waiting for public transport outside. The city is mostly filled with low buildings, so it is difficult to find shade. Order an Uber wherever you are and make sure they have air conditioning.
Plan Your Wardrobe Ahead
We’re not just talking about preparing for the heat. The people in Madrid are super fashionable. They make an effort to wear tailored and ironed clothes. Women often go out with a full face of makeup and jewellery. This is not the time to bring out your flip flops!
Try Investing in a VPN
If you still want to watch your favourite TV shows while you are in Madrid, you will need to think of getting a virtual private network (VPN). There are data blockers online that may prevent you from accessing certain content. A VPN will help you get around that by concealing your IP address while you are online. This way, your programs will not be able to tell if you are out of the country.
Madrid is Super Affordable
Feel free to splurge a little in Madrid! It’s one of Europe’s cheapest capitals and has plenty of variety to suit any traveller’s preferences. You can choose to pamper yourself in a fancy hotel suite, or save up by staying in cheap hostels for only 20 to 50 euros a night.
If you are looking to satisfy your alcohol cravings, beers will cost you a little over one euro, a glass of wine will set you back by two to three euros, and a three- or four-course meal will be any between 15 and 30 euros.
Include Siestas in Your Itinerary
While Madrid is definitely a posh metropolitan area, plenty of small businesses in the locale still choose to close from 2pm to 5pm. If you have any important errands, then you need to plan ahead and finish them in the morning. That way, you can enjoy the afternoon siesta with the locals and take a little nap as well!
Additionally, prepare your stomach for late meals. In Madrid, lunch usually starts at 2pm and dinner starts at 9pm.
The People Here Party Hard
Remember what we just said about late meals? You’ll need to prepare yourself for late nights too! Madrid is not a city for the earlybirds. Nightlife can start around 2am and run until 6am or much later.
The tapas culture is also strong in the city. This refers to sharing small bites with friends, as opposed to having lavish meals. It’s supposed to encourage conversation because people don’t need to focus as much on their food. Madrid has tons of tapas bars and most of the “authentic” places are standing rooms only. So prepare your legs and your stomach!
Bring Universal Travel Adapters
There are two types of outlets used in Spain: type C and type F. Type C is the plug with two cylindrical conductors sticking out, while type F is the same but with two earth clips on the side. Differentiating between the two can be a nuisance, especially when you need to start charging your electronics ASAP. That’s why we recommend investing in some universal travel adapters.