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Key facts for hiring a car in Madrid
Best time to visit
The city is generally most comfortable in spring and autumn. The summer can be extremely hot and as Madrid is landlocked, there’s no refreshing sea breeze to offer any respite.
Most suppliers in Spain will only rent you a car if you are 21. Drivers under 25 may be subject to a young driver fee.
The car-park – el aparcamiento
My driving licence – mi permiso de conducir
Euro (EUR, €)
GMT + 1
Hire a car in Madrid
Madrid has a relaxed rhythm, and local life moves at a more enjoyable pace than that of many other frenzied capitals.
The capital of Spain may get less attention than its more popular cousin, Barcelona, but get to know Madrid and you’ll unravel far more than stifling summer heat and jugs of sangria.
Madrid strikes the balance between extravagant palaces and hipster neighbourhoods with ease, and it’s the kind of city you’ll want to return to again and again.
Top rated suppliers for Madrid
Average Rating 8.0 – “The counter staff were very helpful and spoke perfect English. We received the car that we booked and it was a pleasure to drive it.”
Average Rating 7.9 – “Service was fast and efficient, car was good, easy to locate.”
Average Rating 7.7 – “Helpful and supportive staff rendered good support on the go . A dependable car hire company.”
Average Rating 7.3 – “Good car at a good price with reasonable options.”
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Drive out of the city
Discover the capital of Spain
Head to the charming Cine Doré for a bargain trip to the movies. For just €2.50, you can go back in time and see a classic film. Occasionally, silent movies are accompanied by a live orchestra. So, swap your popcorn for empanadas, and enjoy!
The neighbourhood of Malasana is possibly the coolest, most artistic barrio in Madrid. Street art, quirky decor, bookshops and gastronomic delights. Need we say more?
Drive out of the city
Make the most of Madrid
- There are many roundabouts in Spain, so make sure you are familiar with how they operate.
- You must use headlights when driving through a tunnel.
- There are pedestrian crossings in Spain (large white striped lines). Pedestrians have right of way here, and you must stop. Also look out for cycle crossings (these will have bikes painted on them).
- Blue lines indicate parking bays. These may not be free so check the signs. Yellow lines along a road mean no stopping at all or certain times. Again, check the signs to be sure.
A foodie's heaven
Al fresco dining is pretty much compulsory in Madrid; and Andalusian tapas the cuisine of choice. Delve into fluffy croquetas, fiery chorizo and salty chocos (cuttlefish) served in clay bowls.
Visit the street markets for open top sandwiches and deep-filled baguettes: toppings range from deep fried squid, to tortilla and foie gras.
It is common practice to dine well into the night in Madrid – typically people eat at around 10pm. If you are looking for more than just food, there are many interesting ways to fill your evening.
Soulful jazz clubs are ideal for a sophisticated meal with your closest amigos. The rooftop terrace above Circulo de Bellas Artes is a good dinner-with-a-view option. When the night is over, in true Spanish tradition, head to a 24-hour cafe serving soft, hot churros with an overflowing mug of molten chocolate.