The Complete Guide to a Madrid Honeymoon for a Cultural Escape

Get swept away by art, gardens and dancing in the Spanish capital.
Madrid skyline with Cathedral of Saint Mary
Photo: Alexander Spatari | Getty
james wong - the knot contributing writer and travel expert
James Wong
james wong - the knot contributing writer and travel expert
James Wong
Travel Writer & Expert
  • James Wong is a freelance travel writer and expert.
  • He's reported for publications including VOGUE, GQ, Time Out and Thrillist.
  • James has lived in London, Tokyo and New York; and has traveled to almost every corner of the world.
Updated Apr 16, 2024
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A Madrid honeymoon caters to every kind of couple: art aficionados, foodies, night owls… even social introverts. The Spanish capital is packed with choices and that makes it one of the top honeymoon spots in Europe, especially for US travelers. Non-stop flights run frequently via all the major cities from LA (11 hours) and NYC (seven hours). Upon arrival, you can expect to hit the ground running no matter what time you pull into Madrid–Barajas Airport.

If you arrive in time for breakfast, couples should head to a local coffee stop for a café con leche (or a café carajillo if you fancy a splash of rum— no judgment here). If you land in this amazing European destination in the afternoon, take a romantic picnic to Retiro Park or wander the Royal Botanical Gardens to unwind before a siesta. Arriving late? Well, jet lag needn't be an issue when you can dance till dawn. Madrid is forever experiencing a renaissance, and your romantic getaway is the perfect occasion to witness it.

Madrid Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

    Tourists on a boats enjoying the day on a lake in Madrid Retiro Park, Spain
    Photo: Yuki Mao | Getty

    Best Time to Honeymoon in Madrid

    As with much of Southern Europe, the best times to visit are spring and fall when the weather is mild, the crowds are light and the prices are fair. Winters can be quite crisp and sunny if you don't mind a chill.

    Best weather: May to June, September, October.
    Festival highlights: The San Isidro Festival in May, celebrating Madrid's patron saint with music, traditional costumes and bullfights; and the Autumn Festival in October, featuring a range of theater, dance and cinema from international artists.

    Madrid Honeymoon Planning Tips

    As one of the world's liveliest cities, there are options to pique the interests of all couples, no matter how varying their tastes. Most places of interest are reachable via foot, public transit, or affordable taxi ride. For American citizens, where Spanish is the most studied foreign language, basic language skills can be enough to get by in day-to-day situations.

    You'll need to be flexible in your routine when exploring Spain. Generally, evening events (including dinner) take place later than what most nations experience. Do as the locals do: embrace the siesta, get tapas at 10 pm, and begin marrying the night.

    When planning a honeymoon in Madrid, consider booking accommodations and experiences well in advance, especially if your visit coincides with popular festivals or events. Opt for a centrally located hotel or apartment to minimize travel time and maximize immersion in the city's vibrant atmosphere. Also, consider purchasing a tourist pass for public transportation to simplify travel and save money.

    Here are a few more things to keep in mind before buying plane tickets for your honeymoon in Madrid.

    Entry requirements: A US passport that is valid for at least 3 months. Starting in 2025, US citizens will need to have an ETIAS for Spain.
    Location: Madrid is the capital city of Spain, located in the center of the Iberian Peninsula.
    Currency: The Euro (EUR).
    Flight time to Destination: From New York City, direct flights are approximately 7 to 8 hours.
    Getting around: Madrid has extensive public transportation, including metros, buses and trains, but taxis and rideshare services are also readily available. Renting bikes or exploring on foot are pleasant ways to explore more central districts.

    Pro tip: Considering including a honeymoon planning expert on your team of vendors. Browse travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Madrid honeymoon expertise, reviews, testimonials and more.

    Best Hotels and Resorts in Madrid for a Honeymoon

    Finding the perfect honeymoon accommodations in Madrid can turn a great trip into an unforgettable experience. Madrid offers a variety of options that cater specifically to honeymooners, ranging from luxurious hotels to charming boutique establishments. Here are some recommendations to help you find the best place for your honeymoon adventure.

    Plaza Mayor in Madrid at sunset
    Photo: Travelpix Ltd | Getty

    Westin Palace Madrid

    Located in the heart of Madrid within the Art Triangle sits the grand Westin Palace Madrid. 470 guest rooms and suites drip with Belle Epoque elegance, outfitted with modern tech and signature Heavenly Beds. Their La Rotonda Restaurant is an excellent choice for dinner or cocktails.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    The Principal Madrid

    This boutique hotel was the first five-star hotel on Gran Via. Inside The Principal Madrid, expect the atmosphere of a private members club, with a secluded garden, flourishing terrace, spa treatment cabins, and 76 cozy guest rooms featuring Egyptian cotton sheets, south proofing, and Serena, Mallorca bathroom amenities.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Santo Mauro, a Luxury Collection Hotel

    Once a 19th-century mansion belonging to the Duke of Santo Mauro, this French-inspired hotel spans three buildings surrounded by perfectly manicured greenery. The Duke's old library is now their acclaimed restaurant, and the garden is dotted with ancient chestnut trees and ornate fountains.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Pro tip: If you're looking for Madrid honeymoon accommodations that may provide more privacy or affordability, you might also want to consider staying at a romantic Airbnb or VRBO.

    Madrid Honeymoon Itinerary Ideas

    Madrid is filled with romantic activities for couples, including strolling through the lush Retiro Park, enjoying a sunset at the Temple of Debod and exploring the Royal Palace. Read on for a few more things to add to your Madrid honeymoon itinerary.

    Palacio de Comunicaciones in Madrid, Spain
    Photo: Image Source | Getty

    Watch a Flamenco Show

    No Spanish adventure can begin without a flamenco booking. Though the traditional dance originated in Andalusia, Madrid is home to some of the finest talent and most beautiful candlelit caverns around. Airbnb Experiences offers intimate underground sessions that include an introduction to the history and origins of flamenco before the singing, dancing and music extravaganza brings your cave to life.

    Dine in the World's Oldest Restaurant

    Founded in 1725, Casa Botlin is recognized as the oldest continuously operating restaurant on planet earth, and it's still going strong today. Come and sample what they're best known for; juicy suckling pig and lamb roasted Castilian style. Both slowly browned under old oven heat that's fed with holm oak wood. The result is a tender and flavorful cut like nothing you'll ever have had.

    Treasure Hunt at El Rastro

    Another historic destination and one that'll unearth one-of-a-kind souvenirs. El Rastro dates back to 1740 and is held every Sunday and public holiday on Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores. What's up for grabs? Well, a sprinkle of everything. The crowded flea market has vendors bringing in items from vintage clothing to vinyl, homeware to antiques, and art to jewelry. You're unlikely to leave empty-handed.

    Row a Boat in Retiro Park

    Retiro Park is a gorgeous 350-acre green space, which locals take advantage of when they need a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Originally designed as a retreat for Spanish royalty, it became public in the late 19th century. At Estanque del Retiro, the park's lake, couples can rent adorable little rowing boats for less than 10 bucks for 45 minutes.

    Immerse Yourselves in Art

    If art is your passion, then Madrid offers a buffet of galleries, museums and creative experiences. Start with the Prado Museum for fine art, then head to the Reina Sofia Museum where Picasso and Salvador Dalí masterpieces await. For something off-the-beaten-path, Airbnb experiences hosts a tour of hidden art galleries and an artist's studio in the Salesas neighborhood, culminating with a discussion over wine and cheese.

    Pro tip: Add Madrid honeymoon experiences to your gift registry and allow your loved ones to pitch in on the honeymoon fun. Make sure to post a few photos to your wedding website—this way all of your guests (including those without social media accounts) will be able to see what you're up to.

    What to Pack for a Madrid Honeymoon

    A happy couple sitting under brick arches
    Photo: Mikel Taboada | Getty

    The locals find flip-flops unsightly and seldom wear them unless they're at the beach, so you probably won't want them on your packing checklist. Follow their trend and opt for sandals instead during the hotter months. Winters are chilly, so throw a hat, scarf and gloves in your honeymoon luggage. Finally, if you weren't paying attention at school, remember to bring that Spanish phrasebook.

    Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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