Luxury Travel Guide to Madrid
Madrid, the city that never sleeps that boasts more bars in one city than anywhere in the world is also the perfect destination for 24-hour luxury. With a rich history, majestic architecture, a passion for all things culinary and plenty of culture, Madrid is the ideal city for every kind of elite traveller.
Though Barcelona has always won over the hearts of its visitors, more and more people are discovering the hidden gem that is the capital, the beating heart of Spain. As a young, vibrant city which is still steeped in tradition and culture, it makes for a fascinating city to spend a weekend.
From dancing the night away, wandering the streets in the early hours to dining at some of the hippest bars and terraces overlooking the twinkling lights of the city, Madrid has it all.
For history, arts and cultural or musical events, every day there is something new, pay a visit to the Prado Museum or wander the hallways of the Reina Sofia Modern Art Museum to see the masters such as Picasso, Dali and Velazquez.
Madrid is also in the centre of Spain and within easy reach of incredible historic destinations such as the aqueduct in Segovia, the winding cobbled streets of Toledo and even vineyards producing excellent wine are just a short drive from the heart of Madrid.
Here in our luxury guide to Madrid we will show you the hidden gems that the city has to offer for those who are willing to discover them.
This guide is perfect for those who are travelling to Madrid on a luxury. We will show you what to do in Madrid, where to stay, what to eat and how to get around, whether it’s a weekend in Madrid or a long term stay.
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The best time to visit Madrid
Madrid is best visited during springtime between the months of March to May and also again in the Autumn between September and October.
Due to daylight saving time, during these months the days are very long and it’s not uncommon for people to be out on the streets until the early hours and the sun doesn’t set till around 9:00 or even 10:00 pm!
This allows you plenty of daylight to experience everything, though there is also much to discover when the sun sets too.
The worst time to visit Madrid is during the sweltering summer between June and August, in August most Madrileños leave the city and head to the coast or Northern Spain to avoid sauna-like temperatures. In fact, many restaurants and businesses close during August making it a bit of a ghost town.
March to May can be the rainiest period to visit Madrid, temperatures are excellent all year around with highs of 18 degrees in spring during the day and with highs of 20 + degrees in the autumn.
In the summer, temperatures can reach around 40 degrees centigrade. Winters are also pretty cold with temperatures sometimes dropping to below zero.
Luxury things to do in Madrid
Experience the art and culture of Madrid
Art lovers will be spoilt for choice with stunning museums featuring incredible works by some of Spain’s greatest artists including Picasso, Velazquez and Salvador Dali.
For a truly luxurious experience you can go on a small-group guided tour of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum or The Reina Sofia Museum where you can experience these artworks up-close and avoid the crowds, as well as new insight into the artists and their works as told through a museum guide.
Go on a food tour
Madrid is home to an endless array of restaurants and bars, with a reputation for having more bars than there are stars in the sky. What better to do in Madrid than go bar-hopping on a food tour where you can taste amazing bitesize tapas and enjoy some great Spanish wine.
On this three-hour intimate foodie tour you will be guided by an experienced foodie through four different restaurants in the heart of the city.
Savour prime quality produce such as Iberian ham and traditionally prepared cod, or if you have special requests for food, they can be accommodated by the tour company.
Dance the night away
Madrileños love to party, if you want to dance the night away in hip and happening Madrid you will be spoilt for choice!
The best luxury clubs include GRAF nightclub, one of the most exclusive clubs in town where you can reserve a table in the VIP area and enjoy an unforgettable night out.
Boom Room is another great option, known to be a favourite haunt of Madrid’ elite and is the perfect place to immerse yourself into Madrid nightlife.
See the city skyline
Madrid has its own catchphrase: “De Madrid al cielo” which means “from Madrid to heaven” and it is surprisingly the perfect place to experience stunning views of the starlit skies from one of its many trendy bars with rooftop terraces.
Some of the very best include Picalagartos, on the rooftop of Gran Via’s NH Collection hotel where you can enjoy 360º views of the city skyline as you sip on a cocktail or enjoy a romantic dinner under the stars.
Another favourite is the trendy Gingko Sky Bar on the rooftop of VP Plaza España hotel, with its swimming pool with a transparent floor which is an experience not to be missed, it’s also a great place to enjoy the views of the sunset over the Templo de Debod and the Palace.
Another great terrace with a pool is the stylish Terraza at Hotel Urban where can enjoy Polynesian themed cocktails, a dip in the pool or fine-dining with a view.
If you have no fear of heights, head to Hotel RIU Plaza España and walk their newly inaugurated sky bridge, 28 stories above street level and enjoy a view like no other!
VIP experience at Bernabeu Stadium
For football lovers, Madrid is home to the famous Bernabeu Stadium of the internationally renowned Real Madrid football team.
If you happen to be in Madrid during a big match at the stadium, make sure to get some VIP tickets to catch 360 views of the action on the pitch.
The ticket also includes a visit to the Real Madrid Museum situated at the stadium itself and also enjoy fine-dining from the on-site restaurants and five-star hospitality.
Savour local wines at a vineyard
The Capital of Spain may not seem like the vineyard capital of Spain, however you can escape the city and visit a nearby vineyard just a short 30 minute drive from the city.
Valquejigoso Vineyards, a family-run winery is the ideal place to sample some Spanish wines including Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
This vineyard produces exclusive wines including only 1,500 bottles of V1 wine.
4 x 4 tours of the vineyard grounds and wine tastings can be organized with an experienced oenologist and you can learn about the culture and tradition of winemaking in Spain.
Experience a personalized shopping trip
Madrid boasts a huge selection of designer shops where you can shop till you drop, but if you want a truly luxurious experience, hire a personal shopper to help you make the best selections to suit your style and personality.
Emilia de Havilland is a fashion blogger who provides personal shopper services that will enhance your shopping experience. A two-hour personalized shopping trip starts from €120 per person.
Catch a show
Madrid is full of cultural activities and offerings and is an ideal place to catch a show. The Lion King was such a success that it has been a permanent show on Gran Via for years! Butaca Oro tickets will ensure you have the best view in the house, prices for tickets start from €144 per person and includes a backstage behind-the-scenes tour!
If you prefer something more authentic and Spanish, there are plenty of Tablaos where you can catch a flamenco show and one of the fieriest and most passionate flamenco shows can be found at Casa Patas.
Here you can experience the essence of gypsy flamenco and even enjoy a dinner at the venue! A flamenco show and dinner will set you back €82 per person and is an absolutely unforgettable experience!
Where to stay in Madrid – Luxury Hotels
The five-star Westin is an iconic hotel in Madrid which is situated in the green shaded area near the Prado Museum and only a few minutes’ walk from the lush greenery of Retiro Park.
The rooms echo a classic style which includes rich mahogany furniture and furnishings from another era, suites offer living areas and Bang & Olufsen sound systems.
There is a stunning restaurant which sits beneath a domed stained-glass roof and the hotel also boasts an excellent Cantonese restaurant and Sushi restaurant. There is also a 24 hour gym room, spa, sauna and three grand ballrooms.
Situated overlooking the beautiful Plaza de España park and in the bustling heart of Madrid near Gran Via is this trendy and modern five-star hotel.
The hotel has two terraces and a trendy restaurant with enviable views over the city, it also has a rooftop bar and pool and gym.
Rooms are equipped with Nespresso machines, minibars and flat screen televisions. If you upgrade to a suite rooms can include balconies, exercise machines, living areas and butler service.
This brand new five-star art-deco style hotel is situated in the city centre and boasts a permanent art exhibition, rooftop pool, trendy rooftop terrace and cocktail bar, gym and also its very own Michelin-starred restaurant, Cebo.
The original and stylized design of the lighting and decoration evokes the essence of Asia. Rooms are beautifully decorated and sound-proofed.
The hotel is also only a short walk from the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum as well as Puerta del Sol, the beating heart of Madrid.
Luxury eats in Madrid
Madrid is Spain’s best kept foodie secret, you can find incredible fine-dining restaurants as well as cuisine from all over the world.
If you want an authentic dining experience, look no further than the markets which have now become hubs for various cuisines and the place to savour the local flavours away from the tourist crowds, the most upmarket places include Mercado de Barceló and San Antón, where you can rub shoulders with the locals while sampling delicious morsels and fresh seafood without breaking the bank.
Finally, no trip to Madrid would be complete without a visit to a famous Cocktail bar. For the best cocktails head to the fashionable Museo Chicote, where many a celebrity has graced the bar stools and sipped at the signature cocktails including Bette Davis, Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner.
Other great cocktail bars include 1892 Dry Bar, situated off a side street from the main nightlife district in Malasaña, or to Del Diego, one of Madrid’s most well-renowned cocktail bars.
Here is a list of some of the very best Michelin-starred offerings in Madrid.
This three-starred restaurant is the brainchild of the rebel chef Dabiz Munoz who combines his playful attitude and outlook with prime ingredients in stunning fusions which he calls “canvases”. This is the only restaurant with three Michelin stars and is well worth a visit.
This two-star Michelin-starred hip urban restaurant fuses Mexican, Spanish and Japanese cuisine in an exciting flavour explosion! Unique and unusual dishes include Huitlacoche corn turned into delicious Japanese mochi as well as Peking Duck and Sea Urchin served up with bright citric flavours.
Situated in the majestic red-carpeted Casino in the city centre is La Terraza del Casino. This two-starred Michelin restaurant is stunning to see and to experience, the décor evokes a rich luxurious feel from another era and you can also enjoy spectacular views over the Madrid skyline.
Sitting amongst the plush furniture, with the glinting crystal chandeliers hanging from above, you can enjoy a delicious fusion menu featuring unexpected combinations of Spanish seafood and other prime quality ingredients.
Michelin fine-dining doesn’t need to burn a hole in your pocket, in fact, there are several one-star options that will allow you to savour the very best of local cuisine including Iberian cured ham, spider crab crème brûlée, lobster and many more flavours!
The restaurant offers a modern and relaxed vibe downstairs by the bar, with a more elegant dining restaurant upstairs for lavish meals.
Another excellent choice is CEBO, which has won one Michelin star and offers elegant tasting menus with surprising twists on Spanish classics such as Russian salad served with anchovies and dashi, Tocino (a rich Spanish dessert) served with red caviar and other innovations.
Luxury tours to do in Madrid
Fly over Segovia or Toledo in a hot air balloon
Take an unforgettable flight over Madrid’s most stunning neighbours, Toledo or Segovia in a hot air balloon. Your adventure begins from your hotel in Madrid, where you will be transported by air-conditioned minivan to the balloon site.
Once you’re up in the air you can either enjoy the stunning views over the panoramic landscape of the River Tajo and the Alćazar of Toledo from the comfort of the hot air balloon or select a breathtaking ride in Segovia with views of the Gothic historic architecture and colossal Roman aqueduct.
Upon landing, you will enjoy a delicious brunch and a glass of sparkling cava and toast to your adventure in the skies. The tour is three-hours long and includes hotel transfer, brunch, cava, flight certificate and photos.
Learn about Madrid’s food culture on a food tour
For enthusiastic foodies, look no further, this is the tour for you! On this gastronomy tour you will walk the city centre of Madrid and learn about the culinary delights and traditions of Spanish cuisine.
On a tapas tour you can sample prime quality Iberian ham, enjoy artisanal cheeses and taste the locally-produced wines and beers.
The tour is 3.5 hours long and you will get the inside scoop on the best places to eat in the city as well as discover the history and folklore of this fascinating city.
This four-hour tour will take you through the Royal Palace which is the official home of the historic Kings of Spain on a guided exploration through its 3,000 rooms.
Marvel at the collections of paintings, ceramics, musical instruments and tapestries and learn about the history of Spanish royalty.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city by escaping to nearby Segovia, here you will enjoy exploring the nature of Segovia on horseback, visit the medieval Alcazar de Segovia and also the iconic Roman aqueduct.
See the city from a unique perspective and enjoy a day out in nature. The price includes private transfers to and from your hotel in a Mercedes V Class, tickets to the Cathedral of Segovia, horseback riding for an hour and a half and a bilingual guide.
The beautiful royal city of Aranjuez is situated a short distance from Madrid and makes for a perfect day trip from Madrid. On this five-hour tour, you will explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Aranjez and visit the stunning Royal Palace and gardens dating back to the 19th century with the guidance of an experienced, bilingual tour guide. The tour starts is an ideal way to explore one of Madrid’s most charming neighbouring cities.
Recommended luxury tours in Madrid
- Madrid Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour
- Madrid Food Tour – Spanish Local Gastronomy & History 3-course Lunch or Dinner
- Small-Group Wine Tasting Day Trip from Madrid
- Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Toledo or Segovia with Optional Transport from Madrid
- Three Cities in One Day: Segovia, Ávila & Toledo from Madrid
- Tour Madrid Toledo Classic Car
- Tours from Madrid 8 hours to Avila and Segovia in luxury cars with driver
- Tour Madrid, In Classic Car Rolls Royce, Luxury Experience Across The City.
- Royal Palace and Madrid Oldtown Experience Tour
- Private Group Walking Tour: Secrets of Madrid
- Tourist tour with photographer, Secret Gardens of Madrid