Madrid

Madrid is the capital city of Spain, nested in the center of the country. Other than its exceptional architecture and museums, the city life is exceptional in itself: the tapas restaurants and bars, the music scene and the city nightlife has nothing to envy to other European capitals.

SAFETY INDEX

See others cities in Spain

Although the country is very safe,  the number of tourists in Madrid attracts a lot of pickpockets and crooks who take advantage of the crowds on the city’s streets. SafeAround will allow you to see on a map the city’s safest and most dangerous neighborhoods and areas, details on scams and other risks, as well as some useful travel advice.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : LOW

Madrid is a safe city. With a rating of 85% Spain, is ranked 17th out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries. Madrid is a bit more dangerous because of the high number of tourists being targets for pickpocket .

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

As a top touristic destination, there is a high pickpocket risk in Madrid. A few simple precautions will minimize your chances of being pickpocketed. Be careful around Museums, and the Plaza del Sol.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : LOW

Madrid is a safe city regarding mugging and kidnapping risks, although some areas are best to be avoided at night.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

As in any touristic place, there may be people trying to scam you in  Madrid. Be aware of “gold ring” tricks, fake petitions, groups of teenagers acting strangely or trying to distract you; and people offering help with your luggage.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

There might be some risk while taking public transport in Madrid.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW

There are no natural hazards in Madrid and Spain.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

Madrid has not recently been targeted by terrorist attacks, but it is best to stay alert.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Madrid is generally very safe for women travelers.

Carte

WHAT TO DO?

Plaza Mayor Area

The historic and touristic center of Madrid is also the oldest part of the town. It is located near the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) and the impressive Nuestra Senora de Almudena Cathedral. The city center attracts a lot of pickpockets and bag-snatchers on the crowded streets near Plaza Mayor. Keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

La Latina & Lavapiès

South of Plaza Mayor are the neighborhoods of  La Latina and Lavapies. La Latina is a medieval-like area, with some great churches, museums, and some of the best tapas bars in the city. On Sunday, the Rastro flea market is the best place to buy old clothes, antiques and try some street food. Lavapies, on the other hand, is a more popular area, and is often avoided by tourists for being a “no-go zone” (drug-dealers and prostitutes are known to operate in the area). The Rastro is also known for attracting its fair share of pickpockets, so be careful with you belongings. Lavapies is not recommended for tourists, especially at night, unless if accompanied by locals who know where to go.

Puerta Del Sol & Santa Ana

The Puerta Del Sol is the official center of Madrid, where all Madrilenans get together on New Year’s Eve or to have a drink. It is also the best neighborhood for shopping, as all the major brands have a store on the Gran Via. Plaza de Santa Ana is located near Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, one of the most prestigious art galleries in Spain. High caution should be exercised on Plaza Del Sol, especially because of pickpockets working in groups during the day. Street performers and mimes will not usually let you take a picture of them for free, and can get angry.

Retiro

The Retiro park is the green heart of Madrid, and is located near the most famous in Spain, the Prado Museum, which has some of the finest collections of Goya, Velasquez and other Spanish painters. The museum area attracts pickpockets, and the while the Retiro Park is very safe during the day, it can be dangerous at night.

Continue reading for more details about how dangerous is Madrid.

Useful Information

Visas are not usually required for stays under 90 days, and EU nationals (Schengen) can stay in the country as long as they want. Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to the country you’re visiting. www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.
The currency in Spain and most of Europe is the Euro. Spain is cheaper than other European countries, but the costs can add up in the main cities. Allow a budget of at least 70€ per day including accommodation.
The weather in Spain is hot and dry, the best time to visit is around summer (June-September), although major cities can be visited year-long.
The main international airports are in Madrid (Barajas) and Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Málaga, Alicante, Girona, Valencia, Ibiza, Seville and Bilbao. There are also airports at Almería, Asturias, Jerez de la Frontera, Murcia, Reus, Santander, Santiago de Compostela and Seville. If you’re looking fore cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar.
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page.