Practical information

  • Consejos prácticos

What is the rhythm of the city like? What are the hours? Can I drink tap water? What is the climate like? Those are some of the questions we ask when we travel to a destination for the first time.


Business hours in Madrid start around 9pm or 10am and they generally remain open non-stop until 8 to 10pm, especially those in the center. The businesses that close at lunch-time usually close at 2pm and open again between 4pm and 5pm.

Madrid’s laws allow for complete freedom when choosing business hours, so that in the touristic areas, especially those around Puerta del Sol and Gran Vía, most of the businesses, open every day, even on Sundays and holidays.

Restaurants also have longer hours and, even though Spanish people don’t usually have lunch after 3:30pm, or dinner after 11pm, you will always find exceptions and restaurants. Having tapas is always a great option! It is more flexible and it is a great choice for any moment of the day. 


In 2023, Madrid will have 14 holidays, because apart from the 12 established by the Madrid Community, there are two other local ones established by the City of Madrid. They are 15 of May (San Isidro Labrados, the city’s Patron Saint) and 9 of November (Nuestra Señora de la Amudena, patron Saint of Madrid). This year 9 of December is also holiday, as the Immaculate Conception (8 of December) falls on a Sunday, so the holiday is moved to Moday. It is worth mentioning that during local festivities, such as 15 May and 15 August, among others, streets and establishments in the Latina quarter are usually very busy.


Plentry of streets in the city center have portable public restrooms. They are part of the street furniture and they are equipped with a toilet, self-cleaning basin, hand drier, soap dispenser and toilet paper, fold-out changing table for babies, trash can, forced ventilation with an extractor fan and a coat hanger. They are also equipped with a light and a window that provides natural light. The floor is cleaned with a self-wash system and the drying is activated automatically after each use. They are usually placed strategically where there are lots of pedestrians like recreation facilities and public transportation stations.

Public restrooms are unisex and accessible for everybody including persons in wheelchairs and with baby carriages. They are open 24 hours a day and they charge a symbolic 10 euro cents.


Spain is part of the International System of Units (SI) introduced in 1889 in Paris. The mass is measured in kilograms, time in seconds, length in meters, area in square meters and volume in liters.


The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. In Spain the power plugs and sockets are of type F with two round pins and two earth clips on the side.

Finding adapters is easy if you have devices that do not work with these plugs and, of course, most hotels will provide you with one. 


Open the faucet, fill your glass and drink the water. In Madrid it is completely safe to do so. We have one of the healthiest waters in the country. It comes from the near by Sierra Norte and it is channeled directly to the consumption points, so its quality is excellent.

Here you can check the complete relation of drinking water in Madrid, as well as the ones in public streets, receation facilities, parks and gardens.


All of the establishments include the service charge, but in the hotels and restaurants you can often find signs “IVA no icluido” or “VAT not included”. This means that the the price of what we ordered will be increased by 10%. In Madrid, tipping is entirely optional. Some restaurants may add a 2- or 3-euro charge onto the bill for bread or a small tapa, a service which they are obliged to warn you about and which you are entitled to turn down. Since it's not customery to tip, it’s up to you to whether you leave a little extra as a thank you for the service received. Furthermore, it is possible to pay by card in most shops and on public transport without any limitations with regards to the amount. 


Even though the climate in Spain is a warm temperate Mediterranean climate, since Madrid is in the interior, it has a more pronounced temperature differences, with colder winters (with the temperature around 6 over average in winter) and hot in the summer (25 degrees over average in July and August).


One of the aspects we must bear in mind when travelling is information regarding access to medical care. In the event of an accident or illness during your trip,, remember that European citizens have the right to receive essential health care. However, it is advisable to apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or the equivalent document (for example GHIC in the UK) in your home country.

Visitors from outside of Europe should take out health insurance to cover any needs such as such as tests or medicines. Please note that SATE (Foreign Tourist Assistance Service) provides advice and assistance to foreign tourists visiting Madrid, who have been required to attend a police station following an incident or mishap.

Related Links:



Download free maps and guides to the city to help you plan your trip.

Discover the city's most popular sights and attractions, from one of Europe's largest royal palaces to the magnificent Prado Museum and Real Madrid's stadium. 

  • Find out more about tipping, exchanging money and tax-free shopping.

    Money in Madrid
  • Dinero en Madrid
  • Your identity card or passport, maybe your visa, and your suitcase are all you need to have a great time in Madrid!

  • Documentos para el viaje
  • Get free Internet access at any time, stay connected and explore Madrid without limits!

    Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Puntos wifi
  • Madrid is a very safe place, and there are a few laws that you may want to be aware of before arriving here.

    Legislation and Illegal Practices
  • Legislación y prácticas no permitidas


The city’s new official sightseeing and tourist travel pass.

An observation deck at 92 metres.

Our online store (in Spanish) sells artisan souvenirs.