A trip to Madrid is often compared to a journey through an enchanted fairytale with its castles, palaces, massive cathedrals, entrancing churches and enchanting architecture. Everything about Madrid lifts one’s spirits, it has an extremely mild and comfortable climate, a generous variety of cuisines to try out, a rich selection of wines and a pleasant abundance of greenery.
Without a shred of a doubt, you could just spend your time by walking the streets of the city, stopping for coffee at cozy cafes and taking pictures with an antique building, but we are here to give you a deeper understanding of the city, which is well worth a closer look. We have chosen some of the best spots for you and your canine friend to check out, the most comfortable benches to catch your breath and the most mesmerizing temples and cathedrals to awe at.
Dog-friendly Places of Madrid: A Tourist Sightseeing Guide
We are going to begin our journey from the city's central (and most beautiful) square - the Plaza Mayor, which is the perfect staging ground for our tour, due to its perfect location. The square itself was built in the late 16th century and bears the shape of, well, a (perfect) square! The buildings surrounding the Plaza Mayor were built in the early 18th century, after a fire burned down the previous structures, carrying the sharp corners and square shapes to match the almost perfect square shape of the Plaza Mayor itself. The plaza was built in the style of Madrid’s barocco and has changed many names during its lifetime, being once the main marketplace of the city, it was called Plaza del Arrabal, then following the Spanish Constitution of 1812 its name was changed to Plaza de la Constitución. In 1814, when the Borbón dynasty was restored, the plaza was changed to Plaza Real. In 1873 its name was again changed, now to Plaza de la República and finally, after the end of the Spanish Civil War, the name was changed to what we have now - Plaza Mayor. This is a great place to visit to admire the scale of the architecture and the beauty of the facades of the buildings surrounding it.
Next, to solidify the experience you just had at Plaza Mayor, head to the Royal Palace. The Palacio real is one of the main tourist landmarks of the Spanish capital. The facade of the palace virtuosically combines the barocco, rocco and Western architectural styles. Despite the Royal Palace being the official residence of the Spanish royal family in Madrid, it is used exclusively for state ceremonies.
Within walking distance of the Palace you will find another famous landmark that is worth visiting - the Almudena Cathedral. Bearing the full name of Santa María la Real de La Almudena, the residents of the town have shortened it and call it simply Almudena. Despite being relatively young (built in 1879), this cathedral is among the most beautiful in the city, with the interior designed using the traditional gothic style architecture, with a large number of arches and dazzling stained glass windows. Almudena Cathedral gets its name from the Arabic word Al Mudayna, which translates to citadel. Legend has it that during the Moorish occupation of Madrid, the site where the current Almudena Cathedral currently stands used to be a castle, and during the reconquest of the city by King Alfonso VI soldiers found a figure of Virgin Mary, where they erected a temple. A statue of Virgin Mary can still be found at the Almudena Cathedral even today!
After taking in both of these landmarks with the company of your canine friend, we recommend taking a leisurely stroll, which should take you roughly half an hour, to the Puerta de Alcalá (Gate of Alcala). The gate was built in the latter end of the 17th century on the road from Madrid to the nearby town of Alcalá de Henares, which is how it gets its name. At the moment of its construction, this was the main entrance to the city, which was shouldered on both sides by stone walls. Over time the walls were slowly dismantled, leaving only gates, which became one of the main historical landmarks of Madrid.
Continue your leisurely stroll for another 10 minutes to get to the Puerta del Sol (Gate of the Sun). This gate and square complex was also part of the stone wall that surrounded the city, with the Puerta del Sol being the most eastern gate, facing the rising sun, which is how it gets its name. Nowadays the Puerta del Sol is one of the most lively places in Madrid, perhaps due to it bearing the “Km.0” mark, which was used as the starting point for any roads or route calculations within Spain. Citizens of Madrid fervently believe that if you are to stand on the Km.0 plaque on the square floor and make a wish, it will certainly come true. Make sure you visit Puerta del Sol with your puppy!
After taking in the lively square of Puerta del Sol we recommend visiting another tourist favorite landmark - the Gran Via (Great Way). Commonly dubbed as Broadway of Madrid, this street never sleeps. Here you will find vibrant bars and movie theaters with vibrant street lights and signs, elite boutiques and fancy restaurants. The higher floors of the buildings surrounding the street are residential apartments, which are worth a mention in of themselves, as each one of them is unique and can be justly classified as architectural marvels (which many of them actually are). A stroll down Gran Via will surely brighten your spirits and fill you with joyous emotions.
If you liked the Gran Via, chances are you will also enjoy the “Pearl of Madrid '' - the Plaza de Cibeles.
The square gets its name from the sculpture of a Phrygian goddess Cybele, which stands on a pedestal in the middle of the fountain. If you take a look around, you will notice an ensemble of the most beautiful buildings of Spain - the Bank of Spain, the Palace of the Marquis of Linares, the Beunavista Palace and, perhaps the most dazzling, the Cybele Palace. Built using the art nouveau style of architecture, this snow-white building strikes you with the grace of its towers. During the evenings when the palace is artificially illuminated, it resembles a sculpture made from pure ivory or pearls.
Another architectural marvel which is worth a visit is the Biblioteca Nacional de España (National Library of Spain). This library is the biggest one in Spain and is included in the list of architectural landmarks of Europe. Built in the neoclassical architectural style, the building looks more like a palace than a public institution. We recommend checking out the statues of famous historical figures to take in the depth of the literary and cultural heritage stored in the building.
If you are a history buff and want to quite literally “touch” history, we strongly recommend visiting the El Rastro de Madrid.
This small trade zone is the perfect spot to find some of the most remarkable memorabilia, be it antique furniture, musical instruments, Spanish sweets, rare books or clothes. The El Rastro de Madrid flea market is open on Sundays in the La Latina district, and is a great place to get lost in the labyrinth of streets and shops.
It is worth mentioning that you can find much more than just historical landmarks in Madrid. One such example is the Plaza de Castilla, housing two leaning towers, built at a 15 degree slant toward each other. Each tower is almost 115 meters tall and fits in 25 floors. Due to their appearance, these towers are commonly called the “Gates of Europe”. While looking at their seemingly flimsy, yet incredibly sturdy structure, you start understanding why these towers became a symbol of modern Madrid.
If you are feeling exhausted from the busy streets of Madrid, grab your puppy and come to the Parque del Buen Retiro (Park of the Pleasant Retreat). Located in the center of Madrid, this green oasis is a wonderful spot to recuperate your strength and recharge, plus it has charming shady walkways that your pet will definitely appreciate. As you are walking under the shade of chestnut trees, check out the Crystal Palace and the pond that surrounds it. Built solely out of metal and glass, the palace looks like a massive polished gem from a distance. If you are in the area after sundown, make sure to check out the Crystal Palace, as it is impossible to convey over text the enchanting feel it radiates. Inside the palace you will find a substantial volume of tropical plants and flowers, as well as a staircase that leads directly to the pond’s surface. All in all, this is an excellent place for a walk and it will leave you full of emotions.
If the Crystal Palace and Parque del Buen Retiro are still too populated for you, we have just the spot you may be looking for! The Casa de Campo park is somewhat secluded from the busy city life of Madrid and once was the royal hunting ground for the Borbón family. The townsfolk call Casa de Campo the “Lungs of Madrid” and it is one of their favorite places to spend the weekend. The park has many alleys and walkways with plenty of shade, perfect for a picnic beside a lake or a stroll with your pup.
One thing you may not think of when you think of Spain is Egypt. Despite those two countries being separated by thousands of kilometers, Madrid has its very own (ancient) Egyptian temple, and it is not locked behind some museum paywall either! The Temple of Debod is located in the Parque del Oeste (Western Park), so you can combine the pleasantness of an evening stroll with your furry friend with a sightseeing tour of a small part of Egypt in Madrid. The temple is dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis and once was built on the very shores of the Nile around 200 BC. During the construction of the great Aswan High Dam in 1960 several of the historical landmarks had to be moved to save them from the inevitable flooding. Spain was one of the leading aids to Egypt during the construction of the dam, and as a sign of their gratitude the Egyptian government gifted the Temple of Debod to Spain, thus giving the residents and guests of Madrid a chance to take in (and touch) the architectural heritage of sunny Egypt.
Before you continue your stroll with your puppy, we would like to offer you a wide selection of comfortable beds in quiet suites in dog-friendly hotels.
Dog-Friendly Hotels of Madrid
Hotel Los Condes (✪✪✪)
The Hotel Los Condes is located on a quiet street beside the Gran Via and not too far from a subway station. All suites come with air conditioning, a mini-bar and a TV, as well as a small desk for your laptop and the morning necessities of a coffee maker and a teapot.
Bathrooms have a wide shower, a hygiene set and a hair dryer. A point worth noting is that the bedsheets are made from comfortable egyptian cotton, so quality rest and sleep is guaranteed.
The restaurant has a cafe that serves breakfasts at a buffet and a 24 hour food room service, but the hotel is located in close proximity to many cozy cafes, restaurants and tapas bars, so you are not limited in the food department.
If you decide to stay at Hotel Los Condes with your dog, make sure that your puppy weighs less than 12 kilograms, and note that there will be an additional surcharge of €16.5 per night.
This dog-friendly hotel is located in close proximity to the Moda and Orense shopping centers, to guarantee a pleasant day of shopping, and walking distance from several quality restaurants and bars.
All suites are stylishly furnished, have an AC unit, a small work desk, a safe, a mini-bar and even an iron for your clothes. Bathrooms are equally well designed and come with the mandatory fan and hygiene set. A good selling point for the NYX Madrid is the presence of a small fridge in all of their suites, as it enables you to spend the evening at the hotel, not leaving for any food runs. Wi-Fi is free and works throughout the whole area of the hotel.
The hotel kitchen serves a buffet-style breakfast to guarantee a healthy and enjoyable beginning to your day of adventures.
Puppies (and doggos) are allowed to stay with you for your stay at the NYX Hotel Madrid, as long as their weight does not exceed 20 kilograms and there will be a solitary additional surcharge of €25 for the whole duration of your stay.
Petit Palace Santa Bárbara (✪✪✪✪)
The hotel and its suites are located in a small palace in the Chamberí neighborhood and are brightly and colourfully decorated.
All suites come with air conditioning, a TV and a spacious bathroom.
Breakfast is served fresh daily from a wide variety of traditional continental dishes, and during the evenings the inner courtyard becomes a bar, where you can spend some time sipping on a few boozy cocktails and meeting new people. If you feel peckish during midday, the hotel restaurant will offer a wide selection of traditional international dishes, as well as several healthy choices. Petit Palace Santa Barbara has its very own terrace, which doubles down as a lounge area, that has its own mini-bar with a wide selection of cocktails.
If you feel the desire to explore the city, you have the option to rent an electric scooter, or, if you are feeling sporty, you could grab yourself a free rental bicycle for your urban exploration.
Another awesome point about this hotel is that all pets are welcome to stay with you at absolutely no additional cost and the hotel will provide your furry friends with food and water bowls.
Hotel Infantas by MIJ (✪✪✪✪)
The Infantas by MIJ is located in a popular Chueca neighborhood of Madrid, a five minute walk from the Gran Via. The building of the hotel itself was constructed in the 19th century, yet does not afroego any of the modern quality of life amenities, such as air conditioning, a TV and Wi-Fi. The hotel suites also sport a quality hygiene set, as well as a safe and a small office desk. A cool feature of the Hotel Infantas is that the staff will give you an option of pillows, to match your sleeping style to guarantee quality sleep.
The reception desk works 24/7/365 and provides various services, such as bicycle rentals or tour guides of the city. If you are ever in a pinch and in need of printing out tickets, passes or finding something on the web, the hotel has a computer which can be used freely.
If you wish to stay at the Hotel Infantas by MIJ with your puppy, make sure that his weight does not exceed 20 kilograms and note that there will be a daily surcharge of additional €12 per pet.
Urban Hotel (✪✪✪✪✪)
This excellent dog-friendly hotel is famous for its fashionable and bright design, as well as its small museum. The Urban features a penthouse swimming pool, a spacious summer terrace, a fancy cocktail bar and a fitness room.
Another notable feature of the Urban is its restaurant, which serves delicious dishes and is the proud owner of several Michelin stars. If gourmet meals are not your cup of tea, the restaurant also has a solid gastropub to satisfy your comfort food cravings.
If you thought those are the only awesome features of the hotel, we are just getting started! The hotel has an astoundingly pleasant design, using natural wood and stone for its interior. The hotel team did not cheap out on its electrical work and the lighting of the vestibule and foyer is remarkable and hand-picked to provide excellent illumination for the works of oriental art that accent the place. Yet another awesome feature is the complete noise-insulation of the hotel suites, meaning you are guaranteed a restful sleep.
The Urban is located in the center of the city, putting you at arm's reach of famous landmarks and tourist destinations. For example, if you decide to take a stroll to the Puerta del Sol square with your canine companion, the trip should take you no more than 10 minutes (leisure pace), as it's literally 300 meters away!
Perhaps the one blemish on a so-far unstained record of this hotel is the pet policy. You can bring your pets to stay at the hotel with you, as long as their individual weight does not exceed 15 kilograms. There will also be a daily surcharge of €33 per pet, but the hotel will give your pet food and water bowls.
So, Madrid… What can we say that we haven’t said already… It’s a bright and colourful place, where you can easily delight yourself in authentic Spanish cuisines and fill up on your yearly requirements of Vitamin D. Madrid is a very dog-friendly city, allowing you to easily visit the overwhelming majority of landmarks, hotels and restaurants with your pet.
Come to Madrid, journey through the atmospheric streets and architectural landmarks, take in the Spanish culture and be reinvigorated by the dazzling energy of the capital!