A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Brussels vs. Madrid for Food, Nightlife, Backpackers, and Attractions

Should you visit Brussels or Madrid?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Brussels and Madrid. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Brussels

Brussels is a multicultural, historic, and cosmopolitan city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Madrid

Madrid is a compact, friendly, and cultural city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's also known for live music, food, and shopping.

Brussels and Madrid: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities


How is Brussels different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Brussels or Madrid better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Brussels and Madrid have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Brussels. Popular sights include Saint-Michel Cathedral, Place Royale, and the Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts.

Madrid offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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.

Brussels
Madrid


Is Brussels or Madrid better for Food?

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Brussels and Madrid.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Brussels makes for a great culinary experience. While the city is most known for its waffles and fries, the diversity of dishes and international restaurant selection continues to grow. Other popular dishes include moules-frites, waterzooi (a stew), and stoemp (made with mashed potatoes and vegetables).

For foodies, Madrid is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The city has a mix of flavors that come from all of Spain. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.

Brussels
Madrid

Is Brussels or Madrid better for Nightlife?

Party-goers will usually choose Madrid over Brussels.

Madrid is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. 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 Brussels has a few options to choose from. The city's nightlife is quieter and more mellow than some other major cities around Europe. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of dance clubs and bars where you can hang out. Keep your wits about you after the sun goes down as some areas are a bit rougher than others.

Brussels
Madrid

Is Brussels or Madrid better for Shopping?

Shopping is a popular activity in both Madrid and Brussels.

Brussels is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Although it's famous for diamonds, the city also has many shopping streets where you can find designer brands, vintage shops, and other unique boutiques that are fun to explore.

Known for shopping, Madrid draws large crowds to its stores. 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.

Brussels
Madrid

Is Brussels or Madrid better for Families?

Both Brussels and Madrid are family-friendly destinations.

Brussels is a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of unique kid-friendly activities including a Mini-Europe Museum, a Comic Strip Museum, and Train World. The city is also a chocolate lover's dream with many factories and chocolate shops around town.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Madrid is very family-friendly. 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.

Brussels
Madrid


Is Brussels or Madrid better for Couples?

Brussels and Madrid both fun destinations for a couple.

Couples visit Brussels frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. From beautiful buildings and museums to shopping, dining, and chocolate shops, there are plenty of romantic spots around town.

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.

Brussels
Madrid

Is Brussels or Madrid better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Brussels and Madrid are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Brussels. The city has an active nightlife and a number of hostels that are great for backpackers, but do take note that some areas can get a bit rough at night, so make sure you understand where you are.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Madrid is extremely popular for backpackers. The many hostels around town make it easy for backpackers to find affordable accommodation while also meeting other travelers.

Brussels
Madrid

Is Brussels or Madrid better for Students?

Brussels and Madrid are comparable places to visit for students.

Many students visit Brussels. The city has a number of universities that attract students from around the world. The multicultural setting is great for students of the world.

Many students frequent 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.

Brussels
Madrid

Is Brussels or Madrid better for Public Transit?

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Brussels and Madrid.

Brussels has a great public transit system. Transit options include train, tram, metro, bus and waterbuses.

Public transit in Madrid is top-notch. The system includes the Madrid Metro, buses, and a light rail system.

Brussels
Madrid


Is Brussels or Madrid a more walkable city?

Brussels and Madrid both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Brussels is very walkable. If you stay in the historical area, it's easy to walk around and many boulevards are being converted to pedestrian areas.

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

Brussels
Madrid

Should I spend more time in Madrid or Brussels?

How long in Brussels or Madrid?

In either Brussels or Madrid, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. You can fill a similar amount of time in either place.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Brussels is 1-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Madrid is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Brussels or Madrid? Ideal Length of Stay
    Brussels 1-5 
    Madrid 2-5

One day in Brussels or Madrid?

Brussels is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day is often enough time to spend here.

The city of Madrid offers museums and nightlife. 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 Brussels or Madrid?

Brussels is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the shopping, as that's what most people do. 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 around the area.

Five days in Brussels or Madrid?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Brussels. Don't miss the shopping, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. 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 area has lots to do.


A week in Brussels or Madrid?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the multicultural big city of Brussels. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. 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 city is cheaper, Madrid or Brussels?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Brussels is €109, while the average daily cost in Madrid is €107. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Brussels and Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Brussels 58
    Madrid 59
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Brussels 116
    Madrid 118
Compare Hotels in Brussels and Madrid

Looking for a hotel in Brussels 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 Brussels


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Brussels 13
    Madrid 15
Typical Local Transportation prices in Brussels

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


  • Subway Pass
    4.50
  • Atomium train ticket (2)
    8.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brussels

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Brussels:

  • Private Transfer from Bruxelles to Honfleur - Up to 7 people: $1,920
  • Transfer from Brussels city (any hotel or address) to Paris: $995
  • Private Transfer from Brussels to Zurich with Luxury car: $970
  • Transfer from Brussels city (any hotel or address) to Paris: $829
  • Group transfert Brussels To Paris CDG Airport: $807
  • Privat arrival transfer from brussels city or Airport to Paris: $796
  • Brussels To Paris Luxury Transfer: $790
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Brussels Airport to Paris by Business car: $766
  • Transfer from Brussels city (any hotel or address) to Amsterdam: $763
  • Transfer from Brussels city (any hotel or address) to Luxembourg: $763
  • First Class transfert BRUSSELS TO PARIS: $734
  • Private Transfer from Brussels to London By luxury car: $734

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:

  • Airport Transfer Chauffeur Drive: $122
  • Arrival Private Transfer Business Car MAD to Madrid: $51
  • Arrival Private Transfer Luxury Car MAD to Madrid: $78
  • Arrival Private Transfer MAD to Madrid in a Minibus: $140
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Avila City by Business Car: $247
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid City by Luxury Van: $70
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid City by Standard Minibus: $126
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid MAD to Madrid, Toledo or Avila Luxury Van: $69
  • Arrival Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid in Private Car: $58
  • Arrival Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid in Private Van: $56
  • DUCA - Hassle-Free transfer from Madrid to Vicentine Coast: $743
  • Departure Private Transfer Luxury Car Madrid to MAD: $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Brussels or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid and Brussels 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
    Brussels 31
    Madrid 27
Typical Food prices in Brussels

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Brussels:


  • Ice Cream & Macaroons
    4.60
  • Dessert (Turkish Delights)
    4.75
  • Cheese
    5.60
  • Olives and Snacks
    6.98
  • Waffle
    3.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brussels

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

  • Classic Belgian cooking class and lunch: $79
  • Your Private Tailored Belgian Food Tour with a Local: $93
  • Private Food Tour – 10 Tastings with Locals: $112
  • Cooking Lesson and Gourmet Belgian-Inspired Meal with a Local in Brussels: $115
  • Private Brussels Food Tour (walking lunch or dinner): $373

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:

  • Virtual Cooking Class: The Spanish Paella Experience: $24
  • Florida Retiro Dinner Show: $38
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $49
  • Virtual cooking - spanish "tortilla de patatas": $50
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $50
  • Flamenco Workshop and Show with Dinner and Drinks: $51
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show with Dinner and Workshop in Madrid Ticket: $52
  • Homemade pasta cooking class and lunch in the heart of Madrid: $58
  • Mamaz Social Italian Dinner in Madrid: $60
  • 3-hour Virtual Spanish Cooking Class in Madrid: $62
  • Iberico Ham and Spanish Wine Small-Group Food Tour: $67
  • Authentic Italian Dinner in Madrid: $68

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Brussels 18
    Madrid 27

Tours and Activities in Brussels

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

  • 2-Hours Private Sightseeing Trip in Brussels: $83
  • 3 hours Private walking tour of Brussels with ParisRio Local guide: $345
  • 3-Day Rail Tour - Brussels to Bruges & Amsterdam (Return): $683
  • 5 Day Rail Tour - Belgium & The Netherlands: $1,000
  • 5-Day Rail Tour - Brussels, Bruges & Amsterdam: $890
  • 7 Day Rail Tour - Belgium & The Netherlands: $1,207
  • 7 Day Rail Tour - Bruges, Antwerp and Amsterdam (Brussels Return): $1,166
  • Amsterdam Private City Tour from Brussels with licensed Guide and Limo Driver: $683
  • Antwerp Private City Tour Half-Day From Brussels +Licensed Guide and Limo Driver: $311
  • Antwerp Private Tour From Brussels: $450
  • Artistic Bruges on a Private Tour with a local: $75
  • BEST Brussels Sightseeing Tour Including View of the City from the Basilica Dome: $386

Tours and Activities in Madrid

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

  • Prado Museum Self-Guided Audio Tour App: $3.97
  • Madrid's Private Tour with your Family: Highlights & Hidden Gems: $4.04
  • A local's Tuck into the city's history and some tapas on an audio tour: $5.00
  • History Tour of The Town Too High To Die Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.13
  • Let's Tapear! The Madrid Tapas Route Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.43
  • Madrid from the Inquisition to Multiculturalism Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.43
  • Madrid Private Tour: Fun Old Town Exploration Game: $7.45
  • Skip the Line: Museo Lázaro Galdiano Admission Ticket: $8.71
  • Madrid 90 Minutes Kickstart Private Tour: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: Ticket for the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid: $9.95
  • Tours from Home: Intro to Madrid: $10
  • 2 Hours Secrets of Madrid Retiro Park Tour: $11

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Brussels 10
    Madrid 16
Typical Alcohol prices in Brussels

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


  • Bottle of Wine
    10
  • Beer
    6.00

Sample the Local Flavors in Brussels

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Brussels:

  • Brussels Pub Crawl: $14

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 in Madrid: $15
  • Pub Crawl Madrid by Madpartycrew: $19
  • Wine Tasting near Plaza Mayor: $20
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $32
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $43
  • Madrid Tapas and Mysteries Walking Tour with Private Option and Pub Crawl: $47
  • Wine Tasting and Flamenco Master Class in Madrid: $58
  • Segovia and Spanish Versailles Full-Day Tour with Wine Tasting: $62
  • Old Town Madrid Gourmet Tapas and Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $82
  • Gourmet Tapas & Wine Tasting Experience In Madrid: $91
  • Madrid Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour: $93
  • Madrid Tapas Diaries- A Premium Food & Wine Tour in the old city of Madrid: $123


When comparing the travel costs between Brussels and Madrid, we can see that Brussels 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.

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Brussels vs. Madrid Travel Comparison

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