one of the streets close to Plaza Mayor
One of the many lanes close to Plaza Mayor


Madrid is the least touristy city I have been to on my solo travels. In spite of being Spain’s capital, it has a very relaxed atmosphere. It is a city full of amazing architecture and wide avenues lined with high end shops. The popular plazas with their terraced dining areas serve exquisite, traditional Madrilenian dishes such as bocadillo de calamares. Leading from the plazas are a maze of narrow lanes with a wealth of interesting shops and tapas bars.

It is easy to navigate your way around by foot and by travelling on its’ comprehensive Metro system.

Metro in Madrid
Metro in Madrid

Madrid Hotels

A room in the Melia Madrid Serrano - a great place to stay if you are solo in Madrid
My room in The Melia Madrid Serrano

Downtown Madrid has a number of hotels which vary in their star ratings, close to the main tourist attractions. However, there are many attractive areas to stay slightly further afield too. For example, the Melia Madrid Serrano in the upmarket Barrio de Salamanca area.

Things to do in Madrid

solo in Madrid - visit Cripta de la Almudena
Cripta de La Almudena

Things to do in this city are diverse. The shopping is fantastic. El Corte Ingles is a high end Spanish department store well worth a visit. Other attractions include visiting Cripta de la Almudena, popular museums, flamenco shows, admiring the architecture, plazas, gastro markets or watching a sunset from a rooftop bar.

Madrid Restaurants

Sobrino de Botìn, oldest restaurant in the world
Sobrino de Botìn, oldest restaurant in the world

Madrid is heaven for ‘foodies’. The quality and choice is outstanding. Typical Madrilenian favourites such as roast suckling pig, churros with chocolate and squid sandwiches are a must when visiting this city!!! Dining options include gastro markets, traditional tapas bars and alfresco dining on the Plazas. Madrid is also blessed to be home to the oldest restaurant in the world, Sobrino de Botìn, a very special place to come to.

Local Laws and Customs in Spain

Note that not all destinations have the same local laws and customs as your home country. Click on the link to take you to the UK Government’s website which provides up to date information about local laws and customs in Spain.

Suggested Further Reading:

Solo Travel Tips

Norwegian Air – London Gatwick to Madrid review

Solo Travel Destinations – other places I can recommend for solo travel