Madrid is an excellent example of how medieval architecture can live side by side with contemporary design and skyscrapers. This European capital is famous for its art and cultural heritage, fabulous cathedrals, vivid nightlife, stunning parks and a variety of museums and art galleries. If you suddenly get tired of Madrid (seriously?), there’s plenty of ancient towns and cozy villages, park zones, and outlets around this marvelous city. A rental car is a wonderful idea to check out the best attractions and destinations in this city and its neighborhoods have to offer.
Peculiarities of driving regulations in Madrid
As a huge megalopolis, Madrid will delight you with the quality of the roads, but will sometimes upset you with parking opportunities. The central part of the town is very limited in free parking lots. Better get acquainted with local road regulations to feel comfortable while driving along its narrow streets. In the capital the fines are high for driving through the tunnels without dipped beams, speeding, driving with a child without a special seat, ignoring the belts and talking on the cell phone. Clearly, you can’t drive when you have had alcohol.
What you need to get a rental car in Madrid
In order to get a rental car in Madrid, you have to be not less than 21 years old and have at least 12 months of driving experience. Mind, that if you are between 21-24 years old, you’ll be charged an extra fee. Drivers of this age group are considered to be non-experienced drivers and pay additional 5-20 EUR per day. Moreover, you can’t rent a premium class vehicle.
You need to have your passport, both national and international driving licenses, and a credit card with enough sum of money to cover the expenses and the mortgage. If you have violated the rules one year prior to renting a car, a service provider may refuse to give you an auto.
Where to get a rental car in Madrid?
It’s easy to book a rental car online before your visit to the city and pick it up at any of the convenient locations after your arrival. In case you haven’t done that, there are plenty of booking offices throughout the town. You may also choose the desired vehicle at the Madrid-Barajas Airport or at the railway station. But as the town is so popular among tourists, we still recommend you to reserve a rental car in advance via an online booking service.
What car rental companies are situated in Madrid?
There are plenty of car rental companies in Madrid. The most popular international service providers are Thrifty, Hertz, Sixt, and Europcar, which operate 24/7. You can also find many local Spanish agencies like Solmar or National Atesa.
Price of a rental car in Madrid
The price for a rental car depends on the agency, the model and class of the vehicle and the season. You shall easily find an excellent automobile at a fair price of 35 dollars per day. Small Nissan Micra will cost you $17 per day. For BMW 3 Series be ready to pay $95. Mind, that the booking period longer than 7 days will give you a 30% off. Thus, for a week of driving Fiat 500, you’ll be charged only $28.
What’s included in the cost of a rental car in Madrid
If you book a rental car in Madrid, you shall get:
3000 kilometers per rental;
Road Fee / Road Licensing Fee;
Full gas tank;
One additional driver;
Always ask about the insurance before getting your vehicle. If it’s not included, you’ll have to pay extra $115 for a week of booking.
What to see in Madrid?
The megalopolis is marvelous both during day and night. When the sun is up, admire its magnificent squares and architecture, and at night dance to the tempting sounds of flamenco. Better create a list of sights you want to check out and build a route which will help you see as much as possible during your stay. Here are some of the attractions you can’t miss:
The Royal Palace of Madrid is a stunning place which mesmerizes with its inner decorations. It doesn’t surprise, as such artists as Caravaggio, Velázquez, and Sabatini have been working on the interior of the palace. Besides enjoying a walk in the Sabatini and Campo del Moro Gardens, you shall observe unique armor and weapon, art and furniture collections.
The famous Plaza de la Cibeles with the Cibeles Fountain is a favorite spot of both locals and guests. The square offers breathtaking architectural pieces of art on its territory. The Bank of Spain built back in 1884 with its stained-glass windows and a huge dome, the Cybele Palace which used to be a post office and the Linares Palace create a stunning atmosphere of majesty you can’t resist.
The major square of the city, Puerta del Sol is the center of the Spanish roads, which used to be the entry gate back in the XV century. The two most popular monuments on the plaza are the bronze statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree and the mounted statue of Charles III of Spain. Besides, there’s a beautiful building of the old Post Office, which now serves as a Presidential Office.
One-day trips from Madrid in a rental car
The Spanish capital has enough attractions and things to do during a long vacation. In case you got tired of the bright city lights and want to explore the neighborhoods, we prepared a list of places you shall easily reach on a rental car. If you want to see another Spain, here are some of the spots nearby the megalopolis:
Segovia has the biggest amount of Romanesque churches in Europe. Cozy narrow streets, mind-blowing smells from restaurants, few tourists and autos, an unbelievable atmosphere and more, all of these are located in only one hour drive from the capital.
Have you been to Versailles? The Royal Palace of Aranjuez is called the Spanish version of this grand place. Imagine wandering around more than two dozens of open royal chambers, check out gorgeous apartments decorated with famous paintings, sculptures, and porcelain. It took almost a century to erect this pompous building which used to serve as a residence of royal monarchs. The territory of the palace is charming and has three gardens, where you can get lost in the emerald maze.
Chinchón is a Spanish town with one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Its main round shaped plaza is surrounded by the cafes and houses built back in the XV century. When visiting this site, make sure you taste the chorizo - a traditional meat with garlic and spices including paprika. Another must-try is the local alcoholic beverage called Chinchon.