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Capital cities are never a cheap place to visit, and hotels in Madrid can be particularly expensive, almost on a par with prices in London, Paris and Rome. When visiting Spain's beautiful capital, renting an apartment is a great way of saving enough euros to really enjoy your holiday - particularly if you're bringing the whole family with you.
Madrid is the financial and cultural hub for Spain, and much of Southern Europe. There is a huge amount to see and do there, as well as excellent nightlife in terms of bars, restaurants, clubs and entertainment. As the area has been inhabited since Roman times, there are also plenty of historical sites to explore and enjoy. At the other extreme, you can also visit the Bernabéu stadium, home of Spanish football giant Real Madrid. This is usually popular with the younger members of the family, and many of the older ones! For art lovers you are torn between the Prado Museum, with works from the 12th to 19th Centuries including Goya, Velasquez and Rubens, or you can go to the Reina Sofia Museum for art from the 20th Century and beyond. The Reina Sofia houses Picasso's most famous painting Guernica, as well as key works by artists such as Salvador Dali - it gets incredibly busy but is a crucial place to visit!
While Madrid is a huge city, and it is easily possible to spend a whole holiday exploring, there is also a lot to see outside the city itself. Renting an apartment gives you the confidence and freedom to roam further afield, unfettered by needing to stick to hotel mealtimes, and giving you a kitchen to prepare a packed lunch or picnic. Suggested excursions include Toledo, former capital of the country and a medieval city full of charm, and Segovia with its extraordinary castle which was used as inspiration for Walt Disney's iconic castle logo.
It makes great sense to rent an apartment in Madrid, to get a slightly more authentic sense of Madrid city life than can be found cooped up in a budget hotel. As well as being much cheaper (from around £20 a night for a central rented apartment), there won't be the inevitable temptation to order ham, egg and chips in the hotel restaurant each night, and you will either be cooking for yourself with local ingredients, or venturing into the many restaurants that Madrid has to offer, sampling Iberian pork and other local delicacies, with a bowl of olives alongside. Go to Madrid just outside the peak season, and you will be able to find great deals on rental apartments, wonderful food and still idyllic weather.