We flew into Madrid, toured around, then returned there to fly home. It’s a city of 6.5 million people, so predictably noisy (day and night), crowded, but surprisingly easy to get around, walking in the old city, or whizzing along on the Metro. It also has an extraordinary history, magnificent old buildings, galleries such as the Prado and the Reina Sophia, great food and wine, (which is surprisingly cheap!)
When we arrived, jet-lagged after more than 24 hours travel, we stayed in a small, but comfortable hotel at Sol. It’s convenient, but very busy and swarming with tourists.
On our way home we stayed in a delightful little AirBnB apartment at Chueca, only 10 minutes walk from Sol, but with a much more local flavour. In fact we seldom saw any other tourists. It’s very lively and interesting, being the gay centre of Madrid.
I highly recommend a couple of day trips (by train) to Toledo and to El Escorial palace / monastery). It’s also really worthwhile to make the longer trip (still just a day excursion) to Salamanca.