What you should know before hiring a car in Madrid
|Madrid city centre|
|Aeroporto Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas (MAD): 9 mi from city centre|
Car hires in Madrid: practical information
Where to rent a car in Madrid
There are few cities that compare to Madrid. Bursting with more than 3 million people, Madrid is one heck of a party-city with smashing museums, palaces and shopping during the day and non-stop tapas and club music by night. It gets straight 10's for cultural and artistic heritage. If you've already booked tickets from London to Madrid, get on to checking out cheap car rental deals in Madrid. There are just as many treasures outside the city as in! You can find car rental companies at the Madrid Barajas Airport as well as at all the main train stations. At the airport you'll find Avis, Hertz and Europcar between the first and second arrival halls and in Terminal 1.
As for Madrid car hires city, head to the biggest train and bus stations: Chamartin, Nuevos Ministerios, Sol and Atocha. Also, most big hotels will have their own car hire services available to their guests or at least be able to recommend a car hire company Madrid that is located close to your hotel in Madrid.
Driving in Madrid: parking and other tips
As in most cities with populations in the millions, Madrid also suffers from traffic and lack of parking in the city centre; too many cars and not enough space for them. Parking can take a long time and unless you're extremely skilled in parallel parking, stick to car parks for your economy Madrid car rentals. Also if you park in the street you run the risk of getting your bumpers nicked and scratched by other drivers trying to squeeze into a spot.
There are underground car parks near most metro stations as well as at major shopping junctions. Just look for the signs for El Corte Ingles, a major Spanish department store. Usually they have their own car park which can be used by non-clients as well.
Road trips from Madrid: what to do, what to see
Alcalá de Henares
There is actually an art to designing a university city and the first was Alcalá de Henares. It was build for the sole purpose of being a city for intellectuals and was, at the time, the ideal in urban planning. The university, which stands central, was founded in 1499 and was the most famous centre of learning in the Renaissance. Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quijote, was born here and you can visit his house along the main street, just a short walk away from the university.
Aranjuez is a recognized UNESCO site and makes a really great day-out of the city. The Palacio Real was used as the summer residence for the Bourbons and dates back to the 18th century. It is truly an architectural jewel on the Spanish landscape. Also, don't miss the Casa del Labrador along the Tagus River. It takes less than an hour to reach Aranjuez by rent car from Madrid.
Toledo, another UNESCO site just outside of Madrid is amazing, to put it lightly. There is tons of El Greco art to discover here, sometimes in such casual places. The cathedral here is one of the most impressive in Europe. In the spring all the trees are in bloom and the whole city comes alive. If you have time, spend the night here. It's a nice change of pace and a great side-trip while on holidays in Madrid.