A Solo Traveler's Guide to Madrid

The Almudena Cathedral in Madrid
The Almudena Cathedral in Madrid | © Luis Garcia/Wikipedia
Lori Zaino

Thanks to friendly locals and plenty of outgoing travelers, Madrid is an easy city to visit alone. With a variety of language exchanges, hostels and an epic nightlife scene, traveling to Madrid solo can be loads of fun. Here’s a guide with tips and tricks if you plan to travel solo to Madrid.

What to see and do

Enjoy nature in the city’s parks

Spending time outside among trees and flowers in one of Madrid’s many parks is a great opportunity for solo reflection. The Retiro Park is Madrid’s most central and most famous park. You can jog, walk or picnic there, or even row in a small boat along the lake. Don’t miss the the Palacio de Cristal, a stunning building made of glass that often hosts temporary art exhibitions inside. Or, visit Madrid’s largest park, the Casa de Campo. You can get here via metro, bus or teleferico (cable car).

The Crystal Palace I

Visit a museum

The art scene in Madrid is especially awesome, and you can’t go wrong with visiting one (or all) of Madrid’s top art museums, a great activity to do alone. Visit the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía to see some modern art, especially the famous Guernica painting by Pablo Picasso and the the immense Dalí collection.

La Guernica

If it’s more traditional art you’re after, The Museo del Prado is one of the most famous museums in the world for classical and religious art, with masterpieces from Francisco Goya, Bosch, El Greco, Murillo, Zurbarán and Velázquez.

Museo del Prado, Paseo del Prado, Madrid

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Calle de Santa Isabel, 52, Madrid

Where to eat

Chill at a coffee shop for breakfast

Having breakfast at one of Madrid’s coffee shops is a great way to get some free WiFi, enjoy good food and maybe even make a new friend at a language exchange. The Malasaña area is full of great cafes and tiny coffee shops to check out.

Coffee shops are ideal for a solo traveler to hang out I

Where to stay

For something quaint and boutique, try the Only You Chueca, a new and trendy spot that’s located near some of the best bars and restaurants in the city.

If you’re in the mood to meet new people, stay at The Hat Madrid, a hostel with hip minimalist decor and a fun rooftop bar at the top.

Practical tips

Watch your belongings

Madrid isn’t a dangerous city and you shouldn’t be concerned about traveling there solo, but pickpocketing is common in crowded and tourist-filled areas. So keep an eye on your personal items, especially when riding the metro and visiting tourist attractions. As in any destination, watch how much you drink and avoid roaming the streets alone very late at night.

Don’t worry about food and tap water

You can drink water from the tap in Madrid and you shouldn’t worry about food sanitation or hygiene. If you do find yourself ill, there are plenty of 24-hour pharmacies in the city.

Getting around

Madrid is easy to navigate and walking the city is the ideal way to get around. However, the metro is also cheap and easy too, as well as the bus system. If it’s late at night, using a taxi or Uber to get home may be a good idea.

Getting around Madrid is easy

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