Car Rental in Madrid
Spain’s capital city is one of Europe’s top travel destinations offering stunning architectural gems, vibrant cultural events and many more things for travelers to enjoy. Along with the endless array of landmarks and attractions around the city, travelers in Madrid can quite easily reach other significant destinations in the region including several UNESCO-listed attractions with a car.
Where to rent a car in Madrid
International car rental agencies at Adolfo Suarez Madrid Airport, the primary airport serving Madrid, include Sixt, Budget, Hertz, Europcar and Avis. You will be able to find counters in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 4 after arriving at the airport. You don’t necessarily need to collect your vehicle immediately from the airport as car rental providers also have a presence within the city. Be advised that if you are under the age of 25 you will need to pay an additional surcharge to get a rental vehicle in Spain.
Driving in Madrid
It can be a pain getting around central areas of Madrid in your own vehicle due to the almost constant congestion and the many narrow streets around the old town area, not to mention the difficulty in finding parking. However, a rental vehicle is ideal if you are planning on exploring some of the many incredible heritage sites and nature spots surrounding Madrid. The city itself is well-connected to the rest of Spain via highways and the quality of the roads are generally very good, although up in the mountainous terrain surrounding Madrid you might find the roads are often narrow and winding.
Parking in Madrid
If you plan on finding parking in central Madrid you may have to drive around for a while to find a spot as spaces are at a premium. If you need parking in central Madrid you are much better off finding a multistorey carpark or underground parking to avoid this. Street parking in the city is managed by a zone system and is payable via parking meters. Blue marked spots allow stays of up to 2 hours and green spots are prioritized for residents but allow up to 1 hour stays for visitors. Parking zones are in operation from 09.00-21.00 on weekdays and up to 15.00 on Saturdays. The city benefits from an extensive public transport network so it is often much easier to leave your vehicle parked up somewhere on the outskirts before catching public transport into the center to avoid the congestion and limited parking availability. You should also check with your hotel whether they provide parking.
Where to go around Madrid
While Madrid’s most recognizable landmarks are located around the city center there are still plenty of things to see and do across the city’s districts. Visit the Museum Triangle district to explore the many world-class museums and galleries, or enjoy a day at the Faunia Zoo, especially if you are traveling with kids, which is in the Vicalvaro district just 20 minutes from the center. Many of Spain’s most memorable heritage sites, several of which are UNESCO-listed, are within driving distance of Madrid such as the walled city of Toledo, the 11th century fort town of Avila and the famous Aranjuez with its stunning Royal Palace.
* This information is correct as of December 2018