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

Should you visit Dubai 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 Dubai and Madrid can help you decide which place is right for you.

Dubai

Dubai is a modern, glamorous, and opulent city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Madrid

Madrid is a friendly, cultural, and diverse city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It's also popular because of the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Dubai and Madrid: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities


How is Dubai different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Dubai or Madrid Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Dubai
Madrid

You'll find a number of museums and attractions in both Madrid and Dubai.

Many visitors head to Dubai specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The city's most famous landmark is the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world. Head to the observation deck for stunning views.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Madrid can be an interesting and educational experience. 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 Dubai or Madrid Better for Food?

Dubai
Madrid

Foodies will find both Dubai and Madrid both to be unique destinations.

Dubai has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The national dish in the area is khuzi, or ghuzi, which is a meal of roasted lamb or mutton, prepared with rice vegetables and nuts.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Madrid is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. 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.

Is Dubai or Madrid Better for Nightlife?

Dubai
Madrid

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find comparable options between Dubai and Madrid.

People head to Dubai just to party. Frequented by the wealthy and opulent, the city has world class night clubs and DJs that travel from around to world to perform.

The nightlife in Madrid is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. 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.

Is Dubai or Madrid Better for Music?

Dubai
Madrid

Dubai and Madrid are both destinations where visitors can find live music.

Dubai has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. The city attracts world famous international DJs and musicians giving it one of the world's best music scenes.

Madrid is a world class music destination. 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.

Is Dubai or Madrid Better for Shopping?

Dubai
Madrid

If you're looking to go shopping, Dubai and Madrid both offer plenty of spots.

Many people travel to Dubai specifically to go shopping. With its many malls, souks, and shopping areas, this is the place to go for luxury shopping. Popular items to purchase include gold and diamond jewelry, shawls, and Persian rugs.

Madrid is a famous shopping destination with plenty of 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.


Is Dubai or Madrid Better for Families?

Dubai
Madrid

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

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Dubai. This city has family-friendly resorts, skyscrapers with spectacular views, and amusement parks that are fun for the whole family. There are also plenty of fountains that the kids can splash around in.

Madrid is a very family-friendly place to visit. 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 Dubai or Madrid Better for Couples?

Dubai
Madrid

Both Dubai and Madrid are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Dubai is a good city for couples to visit. From the spectacular views to the high end resorts, couples can enjoy a romantic retreat to the city.

Madrid is a very popular place to visit for couples. 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 Dubai or Madrid Better for Students?

Dubai
Madrid

For students, both Dubai and Madrid are fairly comparable places to visit.

Students come from all over the world to visit Dubai. Many major universities from around the world have campuses in this city, making this a top destination for international students.

Madrid is a great destination 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.

Is Dubai or Madrid Better for Public Transit?

Dubai
Madrid

Madrid has better public transit to get you around.

With a huge network, the transit system in Madrid can get you around easily. The system includes the Madrid Metro, buses, and a light rail system.

Dubai has a few public transit options. The city's public transportation system includes buses, water buses, a monorail system, and a metro.


Is Dubai or Madrid a more walkable city?

Dubai
Madrid

Madrid is more walkable than Dubai.

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.

Dubai is generally not very walkable. It is one of the less pedestrian-friendly cities around the world. There is lots of road work, even in the more walkable areas, so getting around on foot can be challenging.

Should I spend more time in Madrid or Dubai?

How long in Dubai or Madrid?

In either Dubai or Madrid, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Dubai than Madrid because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Dubai is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Madrid is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Dubai or Madrid? Ideal Length of Stay
    Dubai 3-7 
    Madrid 2-5

One day in Dubai or Madrid?

Dubai is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

In Madrid, many people enjoy the live music and food that this friendly big city offers. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Dubai or Madrid?

Dubai is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Madrid. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Dubai or Madrid?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Dubai. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. 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 fun place to experience. In Madrid, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this big city destination offers. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A week in Dubai or Madrid?

Dubai is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the compact big city of Madrid. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Which city is cheaper, Madrid or Dubai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dubai is $198, while the average daily cost in Madrid is $111. 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 Dubai and Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dubai $136
    Madrid $62
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dubai $272
    Madrid $124
Compare Hotels in Dubai and Madrid

Looking for a hotel in Dubai 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 Dubai


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: Dubai Hotel Prices and Madrid Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dubai $10
    Madrid $16
Typical Local Transportation prices in Dubai

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Dubai:


  • Taxi Ride
    $12
  • Airport Taxi
    $12
  • Sea Taxi
    $0.54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dubai

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

  • Versace VIP Spa Journey- chauffeur transfer, gourmet food and champagne: $1,524
  • VIP Desert Safari Package with Stretch Limousine Transfers: $999
  • BollyWood Parks Family Package With Private Transfer for 1 to 6 people: $924
  • Ferrari World Trip with Private Transfer: $868
  • Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi with Private Transfer From Dubai for 1 to 6 people: $808
  • Dubai Wild Wadi Water Park With Private Transfers for 1 to 6 people: $685
  • 2 Hours Buggy Can Am X3 with Transfers for 2 Persons: $654
  • IMG Theme Park Dubai with 2 way Private Transfer for 1 to 5 people: $654
  • Private Night Vintage Land Rover Desert Safari & Astronomy with Dubai transfers: $622
  • Exclusive Yacht with Private Transfer: $597
  • Overnight Camping in Ras Al Khaimah- transfer from Dubai/Sharjah/Ajman: $542
  • La Perle by Dragone Dubai VIP with Transfers: $480

Typical Local Transportation prices in Madrid

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Madrid

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

  • Private one way transfer from Madrid to Seville with private pick up & drop off: $1,081
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Biarritz: $890
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Biarritz Airport: $890
  • Private Weekend Trip to Madrid with Private Transfers and Private Tours: $840
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Pamplona: $753
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Pamplona Airport: $753
  • DUCA - Hassle-Free transfer from Madrid to Vicentine Coast: $743
  • Private Transfer from Madrid to Bilbao Cruise Port: $739
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Bilbao: $739
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Bilbao Airport: $739
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Santander Airport: $677
  • Private Transfer from Madrid to Santander Port: $677

Is it cheaper to fly into Dubai or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid and Dubai 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
    Dubai $45
    Madrid $29
Typical Food prices in Dubai

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


  • French bread
    $0.95
  • Sumo salad in Dubai Mall + Juice
    $10
  • Lemon Mint Tea
    $4.36
  • Coffee & Cake
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $5.45
  • Shawarma
    $1.91

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dubai

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

  • Romantic Dhow Creek Dinner Cruise With Live Shows and International Buffet: $17
  • Sightseeing Dhow Cruise Dinner: $18
  • Dubai Deira Cruise with International Buffet Dinner with Live Shows: $19
  • Cruising with Dinner and Live Shows at Dubai Creek: $20
  • Dubai Creek Dhow Cruise Dinner: $20
  • Dhow Dinner Cruise at Dubai Creek (Without Transfers): $20
  • Sail along the Dubai Creek Dhow cruise with a delectable Dinner from AED 60: $21
  • Sightseeing Romantic Dhow Cruise Dinner: $21
  • Dhow Cruise Dinner Dubai: $22
  • Dhow Cruise Dinner on Dubai Creek: $22
  • Evening Dhow Dinner Cruise in Dubai: $22
  • Dubai Creek 2-Hour Romantic Dhow Cruise Dinner: $23

Typical Food prices in Madrid

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


  • Coffee
    $2.08
  • Ice Cream
    $3.12
  • Kebabs (for 2)
    $16
  • Croissant
    $1.56
  • 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.
    Dubai $15
    Madrid $28
Typical Entertainment prices in Dubai

For Dubai, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Visit to the Dubai Museum
    $0.82

Tours and Activities in Dubai

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

  • "Glimps of History"-4 Hrs Dubai city tour: $163
  • 04 Days Best of Dubai With Desert Safari, Dhow Cruise and City Tour: $305
  • 1 Day 2 Tours Combo: $76
  • 1 Hour Jet Ski Tour of Dubai Atlantis: $153
  • 1 Hour Private 800cc Buggy Tour Good for 2 persons: $220
  • 1 Hour Private Jet Ski Tour in Dubai: $195
  • 1 hour Mina Seyahi Jetski Tour: $160
  • 1.5-Hours Dubai Historic Old Town Walking Tour: Covid-19 safe & PRIVATE tour: $60
  • 1001 Adventure Tour: $71
  • 12 Hours Dubai Stopover Tour: $350
  • 12-Minute Dubai Helicopter Tour: $176
  • 2 Days TRIO-Dubai City Tour with Desert Safari and Full Day Abu Dhabi City Tour.: $136

Tours and Activities in Madrid

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

  • 10 Days Tour Heart of Spain: $1,592
  • 10-Day Andalusia and Morocco escorted tour from Madrid: $1,680
  • 10-Day Guided Tour Morocco and Andalusia from Madrid: $1,709
  • 11-Day Portugal and Andalucia Guided Tour from Madrid: $1,735
  • 12-Day Morocco and South of Spain Tour from Madrid: $1,722
  • 13-Day Mediterranean Capitals Guided Tour from Madrid: $2,114
  • 2 Hour Hidden Oasis Retiro Park Madrid Small Group Segway Tour: $33
  • 2 Hours Secrets of Madrid Retiro Park Tour: $11
  • 2-Day Guided Tour Cordoba and Seville from Madrid: $404
  • 2-Day guided tour Caceres & Sevilla from Madrid by Bus and High Speed Train: $361
  • 2-Hour Patisserie Experience for Dessert Lovers: $50
  • 2-Hour Tour of Prado Museum in Madrid: $72

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dubai $18
    Madrid $16
Typical Alcohol prices in Dubai

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Dubai:


  • A Couple Drinks
    $25

Typical Alcohol prices in Madrid

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


  • Beer
    $5.21
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    $14

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 we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Dubai and Madrid, we can see that Dubai is more expensive. And not only is Madrid much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Dubai is in Middle East and Madrid is in Europe, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Madrid would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Madrid and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Dubai would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Dubai than you might in Madrid.

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Dubai vs. Madrid Travel Comparison

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