A Travel Price Comparison for Spain Alicante vs. Madrid for Food, Attractions, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Alicante or Madrid?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Alicante and Madrid can help you decide which place is right for you.

Alicante

Alicante is a authentic, vibrant, and cultural city. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, food, and beaches.

Madrid

Madrid is a friendly, authentic, and cultural city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Alicante and Madrid: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular for students
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Alicante or Madrid?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Madrid than Alicante. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Madrid is very popular for its food, nightlife, music, shopping, and big city activities, while Alicante attracts visitors for its museums, beaches, and historical sights. Madrid is more touristy than Alicante and is popular for its art and architecture, its tapas and culinary scene, and its lively flamenco dancing. It is also well known for The Prado Museum. Alicante is famous for its sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, and authentic restaurants.

How is Alicante different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Madrid and Alicante. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Alicante or Madrid?

Alicante
Madrid

Alicante is a great city for its historical sights. Also, Madrid is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its sights and museums.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Alicante. This port city has a number of cultural and historical sights that are worth checking out. Castillo de Santa Bárbara, Museo Arqueológico Provincial de Alicante, and Basilica de Santa María are among the most well known.

Madrid offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are a number of cultural sights in the city including Museo Nacional del Prado, the Royal Palace and Gardens, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.


Is the Food Better in Alicante or Madrid? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Alicante
Madrid

Madrid is terrific for its restaurant scene. Also, Alicante is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Madrid has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. The city has a mix of flavors that come from all of Spain. There are amazing markets where you can grab a meal or snack. There are also many high quality restaurants around town where you're guaranteed a good meal. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.

Alicante has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. It's by the sea, so you'll find plenty of seafood. Rice is the main staple for many dishes in town. This is also a vegetable growing region, so many recipes incorporate fresh vegetables. Popular dishes include arroz a banda, arroz con costra, and olleta alicantina.

Is Alicante or Madrid Better for Nightlife?

Alicante
Madrid

Madrid is well known for nightlife and partying. Also, Alicante is still popular, but not quite as popular for its evening party scene.

Madrid is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. Many tourists and international students hang out in the Huertas area, while Malasaña has a bohemian, hipster vibe with small clubs that play indie music. Chueca is a fun area that's known for being gay-friendly with many good bars. Finally, you'll find that the area around Avenida de Brasil is where famous DJs often perform.

If you're looking for night time activities Alicante has a few options to choose from. For the city's best nightlife, head to El Barrio Antiguo, which is the old district. This is where you'll find the highest concentration of bars and clubs, many of them having live music.

Is Alicante or Madrid Better for Music?

Alicante
Madrid

Madrid is terrific for its live music scene. However, Alicante is not a live music destination.

Live music, and music in many other forms, is everyone in Madrid Rock, jazz, and flamenco are all popular in the city. Some of the most well known music venues include Sala Caracol, Sala Clamores, and Costello Club.

Alicante is not a live music destination.


Is Alicante or Madrid Better for Beaches?

Alicante
Madrid

Alicante is a city with good options for its beaches. However, Madrid is not a beach destination.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Alicante. If you step away from the touristy areas, you'll find some nice sandy beaches with blue water. Playa la Fustera is northeast of the city and popular with families and couples. If you have a car you can drive to the town of Moraira, which is near several nice beaches as well.

Madrid is not a beach destination.

Is Alicante or Madrid Better for its Old Town?

Alicante
Madrid

Alicante is a city with good options for its historic old town. However, Madrid does not have a historic old town.

Alicante is a good destination for visiting its old town. The old district is filled with charming streets and some interesting museums. There are also a number of good restaurants in the area.

Madrid does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Alicante or Madrid?

Alicante
Madrid

Madrid is terrific for its shopping opportunities. Also, Alicante is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping areas.

The abundance of shops in Madrid make it a world-class shopping destination. Gran Vía is a main thoroughfare in Madrid that is also popular for shopping. Calle Fuencarral is where you'll find the fashion shops and Calle Preciados is a fun pedestrian area to explore.

Alicante has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The city is known for its leather goods, but you'll also find international brands and shopping streets with fashion and different European names.


Is Alicante or Madrid Better for Families?

Alicante
Madrid

You'll find superb kid-friendly activities in either Alicante or Madrid.

Alicante is a very kid-friendly city. This seaside city has many kid-friendly resorts, long sandy beaches, and adrenaline-filled theme parks. There's the Terra Mitica Park as well as a waterpark - Aqua Natura. Tabarca Island is also well worth a visit.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Madrid. Kids love splashing around at Madrid Río, taking a ride on the cable car (Teleférico), and exploring the city's many parks and playgrounds. There's even a maze at Sabatini Gardens. Restaurants around the city are also very kid-friendly.

Is Alicante or Madrid Better for Couples?

Alicante
Madrid

Both Alicante and Madrid are superb destinations to visit as a couple.

Couples visit Alicante frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Nice resorts, long sandy beaches, and nearby vineyard tours make this a wonderful place for a couple's getaway. There are good restaurants and nice places where couples can take a stroll, hand in hand.

Madrid is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. Fun and romantic activities around town include taking a boat ride at Casa de Campo, riding a bike in one of the many parks, and enjoy dinner and show in the evening.

Is Alicante or Madrid Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Alicante
Madrid

Madrid is well known for backpackers. Also, Alicante is still popular, but not quite as popular for backpackers and budget travelers.

Madrid is a great city to visit for backpackers. The many hostels around town make it easy for backpackers to find affordable accommodation while also meeting other travelers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Alicante. There are hostels around town, as well as many budget-friendly hotels, so this is an affordable oceanfront destination for the budget-minded.


Is Alicante or Madrid Better for Students?

Alicante
Madrid

Madrid is terrific for students. Also, Alicante is still popular, but not quite as popular for its student-friendly activities.

Students come from all over the world to visit Madrid. With several great universities, this city is popular with international and study abroad students. The city also has a diverse population and an active nightlife that appeals to students.

It's common for students to visit Alicante. It's by the water and it's an affordable city, making it a good option for students. The beaches and active nightlife will keep you entertained when you take a break from your studies.

Is Alicante or Madrid Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Alicante
Madrid

Madrid is terrific for its public transit. Also, Alicante is still popular, but not quite as popular for times when you don't have a car.

The thorough and effecient public transit system of Madrid can take you anywhere. The system includes the Madrid Metro, buses, and a light rail system.

While Alicante offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There's a comprehensive bus system through the city and region.

Is Alicante or Madrid a more walkable city?

Alicante
Madrid

Madrid is terrific for its high level of walkability. Also, Alicante is still popular, but not quite as popular for its ease of walking around.

Getting around Madrid on foot is easy. Most tourists stay in the central part of Madrid where it's compact and relatively easy to walk to most tourist sights.

Alicante is a somewhat walkable city. There are many parts of the city that can be explored on foot.


For even more information, also check out Is Alicante Worth Visiting? and Is Madrid Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Madrid or Alicante?

How long in Alicante or Madrid?

In either Alicante or Madrid, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Madrid than Alicante because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Alicante, and 2-5 days is enough time in Madrid.

Families should spend more time in Alicante than Madrid. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Alicante, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Madrid than Alicante. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Madrid that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Madrid than Alicante if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Madrid.


  • How many days in Alicante or Madrid? Ideal Length of Stay
    Alicante 2-4 
    Madrid 2-5

One day in Alicante or Madrid?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Alicante. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Madrid is a big city with plenty to do. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Alicante or Madrid?

Alicante is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Madrid is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Madrid, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Alicante or Madrid?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Alicante. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Madrid is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Madrid, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A week in Alicante or Madrid?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the colorful destination of Alicante. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Madrid is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.


Which place is cheaper, Madrid or Alicante?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Alicante is €127, while the average daily cost in Madrid is €136. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Alicante and Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Alicante 42
    Madrid 77
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Alicante 84
    Madrid 154
Compare Hotels in Alicante and Madrid

Looking for a hotel in Alicante or Madrid? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Alicante


Hotels in Madrid


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Alicante Hotel Prices and Madrid Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Alicante -
    Madrid 19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Alicante

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Alicante:

  • Private Transfer from Alicante Airport to Gandia area: $297
  • Private Transfer from Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport to Caravaca De La Cruz: $294
  • Private Transfer from Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport to Puerto Lumbreras : $285
  • Private Transfer from Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport to Moratalla: $276
  • Private Transfer from Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport to La Azohia: $272
  • Private Transfer from Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport to Isla Plana: $267
  • Private Transfer from Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport to Bolnuevo: $257
  • Private Transfer from Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport to La Drova (urbanisation): $257
  • Private Transfer from Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport to Mazarrón: $257
  • Private Transfer from Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport to Calasparra: $254
  • Transfer from Alicante/ Alicante Airport to Oliva area: $253
  • Private Transfer from Alicante–Elche (ALC) Airport to Lorca: $250

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Madrid

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Madrid are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Madrid

Also for Madrid, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Madrid Airport MAD Round-Trip Transfer in Private Van: $175
  • Private One-Way Transfer to OR from Madrid Airport with private pick up: $78
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Avila City by Business Car: $231
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid City by Van: $73
  • Arrival Private Transfer by Business Car from MAD Airport to Madrid: $53
  • Arrival Private Transfer from MAD Airport to Madrid in a Minibus: $141
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Segovia City by Minivan: $227
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Toledo or Avila by Van: $181
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Madrid MAD Airport to Madrid city by luxury car: $82
  • Arrival Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid in Private Car: $81
  • Arrival Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid in Private Van: $88
  • Arrival Transfer: Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid in Business Car: $77

Is it cheaper to fly into Alicante or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid and Alicante change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Alicante 72
    Madrid 34

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Alicante

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Alicante.

  • Secret Flavors Food Tour: $31
  • Experience a Real Neapolitan Pizza in Mallorca: $57
  • Paella and Sangria Cooking Workshop: $61
  • Paella and Sangría Cooking Workshop: $65
  • Central Market Guided Food Tour with Tapas Bars: $70
  • Alicante Food Tour: $72
  • Fuse Spanish With Italian For Dinner In Mutxamel: $90
  • Alicante PRIVATE Food Tour With Locals: 10 Food & Drink Tastings Included: $138
  • Cooking Class with Private Chef and Local Wine: $179
  • Alicante cooking class with a private chef: $182

Typical Food Prices in Madrid

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Madrid:


  • Coffee
    2.00
  • Ice Cream
    3.00
  • Kebabs (for 2)
    16
  • Croissant
    1.50
  • Lunch at Airport (for 2)
    16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Madrid

For Madrid, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Madrid Tipsy Tapas Guided Food Tour with Dinner: $39
  • Torres Bermejas Flamenco Show in Madrid with Dinner, Tapas or Drink: $39
  • Madrid Tipsy Tapas Guided Food Tour with Dinner: $42
  • Ultimate Madrid Tapas Crawl Food tour: $42
  • Tapas Dinner Party Food Tour with Guide: $42
  • Drunken Tapas Food Tour with Dinner in Madrid: $42
  • Tipsy Tapas Food Tour with Drinks and Food: $42
  • Madrid Tapas Dinner Party with Guide: $43
  • Madrid Tipsy Tapas Tour with Dinner and Drinks: $43
  • San Miguel Market and Street Food Tour: $43
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show with Dinner and Workshop in Madrid Ticket: $50
  • Flamenco Show at Corral de la Morería in Madrid with Optional Dinner: $55

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Alicante 53
    Madrid 34
Typical Entertainment Prices in Alicante

Here are a few typical costs in Alicante for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Food and Tapas Tour (for 2)
    54
  • Catamaran Cruise (for 2)
    67
  • Wine Tasting Tour (for 2)
    120
  • Walking Tour (for 2)
    60

Tours and Activities in Alicante

Here are a few actual costs in Alicante for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2-Hour Private Tour of the Basilica of Santa María de Elche: $18
  • Alcoy Walking Tour on the Modernist Route: $204
  • Alicante : E-Bike Coast Tour, Román Fishpond and Snorkeling: $38
  • Alicante : Must-See Walking tour: $29
  • Alicante : Private Custom Walking Tour with a Local Guide: $50
  • Alicante Charming Villages Tour: Villajoyosa and Altea: $76
  • Alicante City & Beach Bike Tour : $33
  • Alicante Discovery Tour from Benidorm: $28
  • Alicante Evening Tapas tour: $83
  • Alicante Food and Tapas Tour with a Local Guide : $32
  • Alicante Highlights Bike Tour(min 2p) MEDIUM CYCLE LEVEL REQUIRED: $35
  • Alicante Highlights Private Tour with Castle : $77

Tours and Activities in Madrid

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Madrid.

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.25
  • Tour Madrid of the Austrians Old City: $3.30
  • Free Tour - Majestic Madrid: $3.31
  • Guided tour of the Madrid of spies: $3.31
  • Literary Quarter Tour: $3.31
  • Escape Game and Tour: $4.33
  • Ticket Entrada al Museo del Turrón de Madrid: $5.41
  • Mapfre Foundation Entry Ticket: $5.41
  • Private Audio Guided Walking Tour in Madrid: $5.50
  • Manzanares River’s Story: A Self-Guided Audio Tour in Madrid: $5.99
  • Manzanares River’s Story Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $6.44

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Alicante -
    Madrid 20

Sample the Local Flavors in Alicante

Also in Alicante, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Santa Bárbara Castle Alicante D.O Wine Tasting: $28
  • Vineyards of Wine Tasting Tour: $74
  • Alicante Wine Tour with Wine Tasting : $75
  • Private Tour of Vinalopó Castles and Wine Tasting: $83
  • Food Walking Tour with Wine Tasting and Tapas: $146
  • Alicante Wine Tasting and Tapas for Foodies: $149
  • Wine tasting and tapas premium in Alicante : $165
  • Private premium wine tasting and tapas : $180
  • Total Alicante walking tour, tapas and wine tasting: $270

Typical Alcohol Prices in Madrid

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Madrid are as follows:


  • Beer
    5.00
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    13

Sample the Local Flavors in Madrid

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Madrid:

  • Pub Crawl with Tapas and VIP Club Entry: $9.74
  • Madrid Pub Crawl with VIP Club Entrance: $11
  • Visit to the Winery with Wine Tasting and Appetizers in Navarra: $12
  • Guided Pub Crawl Madrid Experience and Club Entry: $15
  • Pub Crawl Madrid Running since 2005 Bar Exploration: $16
  • Pub crawl & Party Tour Madrid: $16
  • Pub Crawl Madrid-The Original since 2005-Shots-Fun-Clubs-Dance: $17
  • Pub Crawl Madrid: $19
  • Madrid's Live Music Bar Crawl: $21
  • Pub Crawl Madrid: $22
  • Wine Tasting near Plaza Mayor: $22
  • Wine tasting in the heart of Madrid: $28


When comparing the travel costs between Alicante and Madrid, we can see that Madrid is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Alicante Expensive? and Is Madrid Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Alicante or Madrid?

Madrid has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Alicante. When comparing the sizes of Alicante and Madrid, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.