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

Should you visit Edinburgh or Madrid?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Edinburgh and Madrid can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a vibrant, ancient, and charming city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, live music, and shopping.

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. Visitors also love the nightlife, live music, and food.

How is Edinburgh different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Edinburgh or Madrid better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Edinburgh and Madrid.

The museums and tourist attractions in Edinburgh are world-renowned. The most famous sights include the Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the National Museum of Scotland.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into 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 Edinburgh or Madrid better for Food?

For a nice culinary experience, head to Madrid, which is well known for it's local dishes.

Many restaurants in Madrid have been singled out for their culinary prowess. 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.

Edinburgh offers some easy restaurants to choose from. The city has some unique but famous dishes to try including haggis and black pudding. For slightly less intimidating options, check out the cullen skink, porridge, or smoked salmon.

Is Edinburgh or Madrid better for Nightlife?

The nightlife scene is relatively similar in Edinburgh and Madrid.

Edinburgh has a large number of nightlife venues. With so many students, the nightlife stays very active. There are a wide range of bars, clubs and pubs to choose from.

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.

Is Edinburgh or Madrid better for Music?

It can be fun to see live music in either Edinburgh and Madrid.

With so many music venues, you're guaranteed a show any night of the week in Edinburgh. In addition to a wide range of live music venues, there are also a number of music festivals held in town.

Madrid is known as a music capital around the world. 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 Edinburgh or Madrid better for Shopping?

Shoppers can find a variety of stores in both Edinburgh and Madrid.

Edinburgh is well-known for its shopping. Head to Princes Street in the New Town to visit department stores and other name brand shops. Nearby George Street has more boutique style shops and less crowds.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Madrid. 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 Edinburgh or Madrid better for Families?

Both Edinburgh and Madrid are fun to visit with kids.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Edinburgh is very family-friendly. There are a variety of unique activities for families in town including exploring Edinburgh Castle, a visit to the Edinburgh Dungeon, and of course, following the Harry Potter Trail.

Madrid is a very family-friendly destination. 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 Edinburgh or Madrid better for Couples?

Both Edinburgh and Madrid are good destinations for a couple's getaway.

Edinburgh makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With its castle and the Royal Mile, there are many romantic places to explore as a couple. There are also good restaurants and some nice hotels.

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 Edinburgh or Madrid better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Edinburgh and Madrid are both good destinations for backpackers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Edinburgh. The city has some good hostels and an active nightlife, so it's not hard to find other travelers to hang out with.

Madrid is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. The many hostels around town make it easy for backpackers to find affordable accommodation while also meeting other travelers.

Is Edinburgh or Madrid better for Students?

Both Edinburgh and Madrid are popular destinations for students.

Students come from all over to stay in Edinburgh. This multicultural city is popular with international students because of its excellent research and academic centers as well as its unique history.

Madrid is a very popular city 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 Edinburgh or Madrid better for Public Transit?

Madrid generally offers a better public transit system than Edinburgh.

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 Edinburgh offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. Buses are the best way to get into town from the outer edges if you don't have a car.

Is Edinburgh or Madrid a more walkable city?

Edinburgh and Madrid are similar when it comes to walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Edinburgh. The Old Town in particular is fun to walk around

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.

Edinburgh and Madrid: Pros and Cons

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


Should I spend more time in Madrid or Edinburgh?

How long in Edinburgh or Madrid?

In either Edinburgh 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 Edinburgh is 1-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Madrid is 2-5 days.


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

One day in Edinburgh or Madrid?

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the quaint destination of Edinburgh. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day is often enough time to spend here.

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 Edinburgh or Madrid?

Edinburgh 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 Edinburgh or Madrid?

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

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 Edinburgh or Madrid?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the ancient destination of Edinburgh. 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 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 city is cheaper, Madrid or Edinburgh?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Edinburgh is £116, while the average daily cost in Madrid is £91. 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 Edinburgh and Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Edinburgh £62
    Madrid £51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Edinburgh £124
    Madrid £102

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Edinburgh £13
    Madrid £13
Typical Local Transportation prices in Edinburgh

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Edinburgh:


  • Local Bus
    £3.60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Edinburgh

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

  • Edinburgh To Aberdeen Private Premium Transfer With Chauffeur: $804
  • Edinburgh to Inverness Private Premium Transfer With Chauffeur: $758
  • Edinburgh to Oban Luxury Taxi Transfer: $697
  • Edinburgh to Aberdeen Luxury Taxi Transfer: $655
  • Edinburgh To Oban Private Premium Transfer With Chauffeur: $559
  • Luxury Airport Transfer Service from , Edinburgh ,Glasgow ,Aberdeen & Inverness: $538
  • Airport Transfers , Edinburgh to Aberdeen , or Aberdeen to Edinburgh: $538
  • Edinburgh to Trump Turnberry Luxury Taxi Transfer: $483
  • Edinburgh to Trump Turnberry Private Premium Transfer With Chauffeur: $427
  • Edinburgh to Dundee Luxury Taxi Transfer: $414
  • Edinburgh to Inverness Luxury Taxi Transfer: $369
  • Edinburgh to Gleneagles Resort Luxury Taxi Transfer: $317

Typical Local Transportation prices in Madrid

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


  • Taxi Ride
    £22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Madrid

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

  • Ultra - Madrid Private Airport Transfer from city centre to Madrid airport MAD: $9.41
  • Ultra - Madrid Private Airport Transfer from Madrid airport MAD to city centre: $9.41
  • Transfer to Lisbon from Madrid with stop in Évora (1hour): $658
  • Transfer to Lisbon from Madrid: $585
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Madrid City to Madrid Barajas Airport: $31
  • Transfer in private minivan from Madrid City to Madrid Barajas Airport: $50
  • Transfer in private minivan from Madrid Airport to City: $50
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Madrid Barajas Airport to City: $31
  • Transfer from/to Madrid Barajas Airport: $55
  • Transfer From Madrid To Lisbon Portugal: $485
  • Royal Palace and Prado Museum – With Transfer Included: $98
  • Round trip transfer in private vehicle from-to Madrid Barajas Airport in Madrid: $63

Is it cheaper to fly into Edinburgh or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid and Edinburgh 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
    Edinburgh £31
    Madrid £23
Typical Food prices in Edinburgh

For Edinburgh, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Breakfast
    £8.50
  • Dinner at Filling Station
    £10
  • Lunch for Two
    £15
  • Sandwich
    £1.85
  • Cheese & bread
    £7.23
  • Thai Restaurant Dinner (for 2)
    £25
  • 2 Coffees and Scones
    £5.80
  • Turkish Delight
    £1.40
  • Soup at the Pub
    £5.90

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Edinburgh

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

  • Scottish Classic Desserts private cooking class with professional chef: $66
  • Discover Royal Mile-Old Town & ENJOY Indian Dinner ~ Walking Tour!: $79
  • 3-Hour Guided Secret Food Tour: $94
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Curry Cooking Class – pure comfort food for the soul!: $97
  • Curry Around The World Cooking Class: $97
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Edinburgh: $106
  • Relaxing Handmade Pasta with meal and wine - Safe Cooking Class: $110
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Curry Private Cooking Class with professional chef: $116
  • "Curry Around The World" Private Cooking Class with professional chef: $116
  • Private Food Tour with a Local Expert including 10 Tastings in Edinburgh: $136
  • Handmade Pasta Cooking Class & Dinner with professional chef for private groups: $137
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Edinburgh w/ Private Tour Option: $228

Typical Food prices in Madrid

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


  • Coffee
    £1.71
  • Ice Cream
    £2.56
  • Kebabs (for 2)
    £13
  • Croissant
    £1.28
  • Lunch at Airport (for 2)
    £13

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.
    Edinburgh £16
    Madrid £23
Typical Entertainment prices in Edinburgh

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Edinburgh's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Show Tickets
    £32
  • Movie Tickets for Two
    £12
  • Donation for Storytellers
    £6.00

Tours and Activities in Edinburgh

For Edinburgh, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 1 Day Malt Whisky, Craft Gin, & Craft Beer Tour: $116
  • 1 day Outlander tour: $723
  • 2 Day Loch Ness, Glencoe, Glenfinnan Viaduct & St Andrews Tour: $123
  • 2 Days Private Custom Tour of Scotland from Edinburgh: $1,104
  • 2 Hours Ghost Tour - English Tour Guide: $18
  • 2-Day Highlands and Loch Ness Tour from Edinburgh: $228
  • 2-Day Inverness and the Highlands Small Group Tour from Edinburgh: $112
  • 2-Day Lake District Tour from Edinburgh: $344
  • 2-Day Loch Ness and Inverness Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh: $237
  • 2-Day Outlander Experience Small Group Tour from Edinburgh: $248
  • 2-hour Whisky Tasting Tour of Edinburgh: $54
  • 3 Day / 2 Night Scottish Highland Experience from Edinburgh: $446

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
    Edinburgh £12
    Madrid £13
Typical Alcohol prices in Edinburgh

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Edinburgh from other travelers:


  • Beer & Wine
    £14
  • Half Pint at Tollbooth Tavern
    £1.65
  • Pint of Beer
    £3.50

Sample the Local Flavors in Edinburgh

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

  • The Orange Pub Crawl - Edinburgh: $18
  • Edinburgh Brewery Tour: $22
  • Holyrood Distillery Gin and Whisky Guided Tour: $24
  • Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour: $24
  • Guided Gin Tasting at 56 North Distillery: $34
  • Pickering's Gin Distillery Tour with Gin Tastings: $34
  • Loch Lomond, Stirling, and Glengoyne Distillery Tour from Edinburgh: $52
  • Rosslyn Chapel, Scottish Borders & Glenkinchie Distillery from Edinburgh: $54
  • Loch Ness, Highlands and Whisky Distillery Day Tour from Edinburgh: $66
  • Bike, beers and brewery tour: $90
  • Edinburgh and Golf and Distillery Tour with Private Driver: $259
  • Whisky Distillery Tour from Edinburgh by Private Vehicle: $284

Typical Alcohol prices in Madrid

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


  • Beer
    £4.27
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    £11

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 Edinburgh and Madrid, we can see that Edinburgh is more expensive. And not only is Madrid much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. 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 Edinburgh would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Edinburgh than you might in Madrid.

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Edinburgh vs. Madrid Travel Comparison

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