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

Should you visit Bucharest 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 Bucharest 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.

Bucharest

Bucharest is a less touristy, undiscovered, and cultural city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Madrid

Madrid is a diverse, compact, and friendly 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 live music, food, and shopping.

Bucharest and Madrid: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Bucharest or Madrid?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Madrid than Bucharest. 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 Bucharest attracts visitors for its historical sights. Madrid is more touristy than Bucharest 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. Bucharest is famous for its wide avenues and longstanding religious institutions.

How is Bucharest different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Bucharest
Madrid

Plenty of people visit the nice sights and museums in both Bucharest and Madrid.

Bucharest offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. The city is rich in landmarks and historical buildings. Popular sights include the Romanian Athenaeum, the Palace of the Parliament, Stavropoleos Church, and Curtea Veche.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Madrid. 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 Bucharest or Madrid? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Bucharest
Madrid

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

Eat your way through Madrid, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. 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.

Bucharest is becoming an appealing option for foodies. Many Romanian recipes have been passed down through the generations and they still use traditional flavors. You'll see some German or Hungarian influences, but the flavors are still uniquely Romanian. Popular dishes include ciorba (tripe soup), cabbage rolls, and mici (grilled meat rolls).

Is Bucharest or Madrid Better for Nightlife?

Bucharest
Madrid

Madrid is well known for nightlife and partying. Also, Bucharest 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 Bucharest has a few options to choose from. The city has come to life with its party scene, with many bars and clubs that you can choose from. There are rooftop bars, chic dance clubs, and cozy pubs where you can pass the evening. You'll find most of the upscale clubs in the northern part of the city, with a more casual scene found in the downtown areas around Universitate and Romanā.

Is Bucharest or Madrid Better for Music?

Bucharest
Madrid

Madrid is renowned for its live music scene. However, Bucharest 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.

Bucharest is not a live music destination.


Is Bucharest or Madrid Better for its Old Town?

Bucharest
Madrid

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

Bucharest is a good destination for visiting its old town. The old town dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries, with much of the historical charm seen in the architecture. Many of the buildings have been restored, but others are still awaiting repairs. This gives the area a sense of authenticity that you often miss in other old towns.

Madrid does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Bucharest or Madrid?

Bucharest
Madrid

Madrid is renowned for its shopping opportunities. Also, Bucharest 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.

Bucharest has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The residents love fashion, and you'll find many shopping centers around town where you can find a good deal. In addition to the many malls, there are also antique shops, flea markets and boutique clothing stores where you might find a hidden gem.

Is Bucharest or Madrid Better for Families?

Bucharest
Madrid

Madrid is well known for its family-friendly activities. However, Bucharest is not particularly known for its kid-friendly activities.

Madrid is a very kid-friendly city. 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.

For families, Bucharest is not always the best place to visit. Kid-friendly activities include kid's play areas, museums such as the Museum of the Senses, and water centered activities like rowing in the park or visiting the wellness center Therme.


Is Bucharest or Madrid Better for Couples?

Bucharest
Madrid

Madrid is well known for its romantic activities. However, Bucharest is not particularly known for couples.

Couples visit Madrid frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. 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.

Bucharest is not always the best place to visit for a couple. The city has some romantic settings such as wandering down Victory Avenue or exploring the historic Cotroceni Neighbourhood. There are also several gardens and a number of nice cafes to explore.

Is Bucharest or Madrid Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Bucharest
Madrid

Madrid is well known for backpackers. Also, Bucharest 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.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Bucharest. The city is affordable, but it's often overlooked by backpackers. Part of the charm for many is the sense of authenticity that can often be hard to find in travel these days.

Is Bucharest or Madrid Better for Students?

Bucharest
Madrid

Madrid is renowned for students. However, Bucharest is not popular with students.

Madrid is a very popular place to visit for students. 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.

Bucharest is not popular with students.


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

Bucharest
Madrid

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

Madrid has a great public transit system. The system includes the Madrid Metro, buses, and a light rail system.

Bucharest offers a very effecient public transportation network. Public transit options include trams, buses, and trolley buses.

Is Bucharest or Madrid a more walkable city?

Bucharest
Madrid

Madrid is renowned for its high level of walkability. Also, Bucharest 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.

Bucharest is a somewhat walkable city. Many of the tourist attractions are within a walkable area.

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

Should I spend more time in Madrid or Bucharest?

How long in Bucharest or Madrid?

In either Bucharest or Madrid, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Madrid than Bucharest because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Bucharest, and 2-5 days is enough time in Madrid.

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

Couples should spend more time in Madrid than Bucharest. 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 Bucharest 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 Bucharest or Madrid? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bucharest 1-3 
    Madrid 2-5

One day in Bucharest or Madrid?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Bucharest. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

People visit Madrid because there is so much to do. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A weekend in Bucharest or Madrid?

Bucharest 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.

People visit Madrid because there is so much to do. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Bucharest or Madrid?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Bucharest. 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.

People visit Madrid because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

A week in Bucharest or Madrid?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the cultural destination of Bucharest. 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 popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


Which place is cheaper, Madrid or Bucharest?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Bucharest is $139, while the average daily cost in Madrid is $147. 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 Bucharest and Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bucharest $64
    Madrid $83
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bucharest $128
    Madrid $166
Compare Hotels in Bucharest and Madrid

Looking for a hotel in Bucharest 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 Bucharest


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: Bucharest Hotel Prices and Madrid Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bucharest $26
    Madrid $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bucharest

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bucharest:

  • Bucharest to Sofia Private Transfer: $453
  • Transfer From Bucharest Airport To Sofia Bulgaria: $294
  • Transfer Bucharest Airport to Brasov: $291
  • Bucharest to Tulcea - Private Guided Transfer - Driver and Car : $287
  • Bucharest to Mihail Kogalniceanu Airport Constanta - Private Guided Transfer : $287
  • Bucharest (Romania) to Veliko Tarnavo (Bulgaria) - Private Guided Transfer : $287
  • From One-Way Private Transfer to Craiova: $283
  • Bucharest to Constanta or Mamaia Beach - Private Transfer - Car and Driver: $276
  • Bucharest to Fetesti - Private Transfer - Car and Driver: $276
  • Bucharest to Sighisoara - Private Guided Transfer with Driver and Car : $276
  • Bucharest to Brasov - Private Guided Transfer - Car and Driver: $276
  • Bucharest to Galati - Driver and Car - Private Guided Transfer : $276

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Madrid

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $28

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: $226
  • 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: $81
  • 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 Bucharest or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid and Bucharest 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
    Bucharest $59
    Madrid $36

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bucharest

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

  • Dinner at the Museum of Communism - Traditional Food Tour: $54
  • Cooking Class traditional food: $66
  • Mystical beliefs, traditions & history - Walking Food Tour: $71
  • Bucharest Historical Food Tour in Old Center: $72
  • Street Food Tour with a Local Guide: $75
  • Unhealthy Food Tour of Bucharest – 4 hours: $76
  • Bohemian Bucharest Markets and Mahallas Walking Food Tour: $83
  • Bucharest Evening Tour and Traditional Dinner: $86
  • Bucharest Evening Tour and Traditional Dinner - 3 hours: $87
  • Cooking traditional dishes with locals: $105
  • Private Bucharest Food Tour with a Local Foodie: $130
  • Historical and Cultural Tour with Romanian Cuisine dinner: $142

Typical Food Prices in Madrid

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


  • Coffee
    $2.16
  • Ice Cream
    $3.25
  • Kebabs (for 2)
    $17
  • Croissant
    $1.62
  • Lunch at Airport (for 2)
    $17

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Madrid

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

  • Torres Bermejas Flamenco Show in Madrid with Dinner, Tapas or Drink: $39
  • Ultimate Madrid Tapas Crawl Food tour: $42
  • Madrid Tipsy Tapas Guided Food Tour with Dinner: $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 Tipsy Tapas Tour with Dinner and Drinks: $43
  • Madrid Tipsy Tapas Guided Food Tour with Dinner: $43
  • Madrid Tapas Dinner Party with Guide: $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.
    Bucharest $15
    Madrid $37

Tours and Activities in Bucharest

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

  • Bears Sanctuary, Dracula's Castle, Brasov Day Trip Private Tour from Bucharest: $252
  • Bucharest Panoramic Sightseeing - Private City Tour: $75
  • Dracula's Castle & Peles Palace Tour from Bucharest Including Brasov Old Town: $187
  • Transylvania Heritage Tour at Peles Bran and Cantacuzino Castles: $94
  • Walking Tour - Delightful Bucharest (Old Town & Victory Avenue): $14
  • 1 Day 4x4 Tour in Carpathian Mountains: $175
  • 1 Day ATV Tour in Carpathian Mountains: $210
  • 1 Day Castles Tour - Sinaia and Bran: $139
  • 10 h Ceausescu Communism Private Tour in Bucharest plus Dracula's Grave : $230
  • 10 hours Private Apiary Tour in Romania - From Bucharest: $276
  • 10h Bucharest City Tour & Snagov Monastery (Dracula's Grave): $235
  • 14 Days Private Tour in Romania, Moldova & Transnistria: $4,306

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
  • Guided tour of the Madrid of spies: $3.31
  • Literary Quarter Tour: $3.31
  • Free Tour - Majestic Madrid: $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
    Bucharest $9.29
    Madrid $21

Sample the Local Flavors in Bucharest

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

  • Weekend Pub Crawl: $24
  • Bucharest Pub Crawl in the Old Town: $25
  • Private Bucharest Pub Crawl: $32
  • Pub Crawl Bucuresti Experientã de top în Bucuresti: $33
  • Bachelors Party in Custom Bar Crawl: $38
  • Private Bar Crawling in Bucharest Old City: $43
  • Private Wine Tasting in Bucharest: $44
  • Bar Crawling: $44
  • Pub Crawl in the Old CIty and Rooftop Hopping in Bucharest: $44
  • Wine Tasting in Bucharest: $45
  • Pub Crawl in the Old CIty and Rooftop Hopping in Bucharest: $48
  • Private Romanian Wine Tasting in Urlați: $52

Typical Alcohol Prices in Madrid

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


  • Beer
    $5.41
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    $14

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 Bucharest 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 Bucharest Expensive? and Is Madrid Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Bucharest or Madrid?

Madrid has a larger population, and is about 66% larger than the population of Bucharest. When comparing the sizes of Bucharest 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.