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

Should you visit Granada or Madrid?

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

Should I visit Granada or Madrid? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Granada

Granada is a cultural, historic, and beautiful city. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, food, and hiking.

Madrid

Madrid is a compact, friendly, and authentic city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Granada and Madrid: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Alhambra
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • 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 public transit
  • Big city activities
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights


Is there more to do in Granada or Madrid?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Madrid than Granada, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Madrid is more popular for its food, music, shopping, and big city activities, while Granada is known for its museums, historical sights, hiking, and impressive beauty. Granada is popular for its Islamic architecture, charming old town, and the stunningly impressive Alhambra. Madrid is popular for its art and architecture, its tapas and culinary scene, and its lively flamenco dancing. It is also home to The Prado Museum.

How is Granada different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Granada
Madrid

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

Travelers visit Granada from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. Many visitors head to Granada specifically to visit the famed Alhambra. The palace and fortress complex will not disappoint. The gardens are beautifully maintained and the palace is filled with intricate details. It's easy to spend hours wandering around. In addition to The Alhambra, the Granada Cathedral is also impressive to visit. If you have kids or extra time to fill, head to Parque de las Ciencias, which is the city's Science Park.

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 Granada or Madrid? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Granada
Madrid

Madrid is a world-class destination for its restaurants. Also, Granada is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

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. 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.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Granada. It's a very touristy city so restaurants can be hit or miss. There are some amazing local eateries, but you'll also find a number of places with lower quality, overpriced food. Classic local dishes include Churros, Plato Alpujarreño, and Habas con Jamón. Tapas are very popular and many restaurants provide free tapas with drink orders. There are also a number of Moroccan restaurants around town.

Is Granada or Madrid Better for Nightlife?

Granada
Madrid

Both Granada and Madrid have excellent vibes after the sun sets.

Granada has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The nightlife scene kicks off around 11 pm, when most people have finished up a late dinner. There's a laid-back atmosphere with pubs, live music, and dance clubs that stay open late into the night. There are several popular streets at night including Calle Elvira, Calle Reyes Católicos, and the Realejo District.

The people in Madrid know how to have a good time. 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 Granada or Madrid Better for Music?

Granada
Madrid

Madrid is a world-class destination for live music. However, Granada is not a live music destination.

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.

Granada is not a live music destination.


Is Granada or Madrid Better for its Old Town?

Granada
Madrid

Granada is renowned for its historic old town. However, Madrid does not have a historic old town.

The old town of Granada is one of the most recognized in the world. The Old Town spills out around the Granada Cathedral and is filled with charming pedestrian streets, lively plazas, and many great shops.

Madrid does not have a historic old town.

Is Granada or Madrid Better for Hiking?

Granada
Madrid

Granada is a great city for hiking. However, Madrid is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors go to Granada for the hiking trails. Ruta de Los Cahorros is a great hike about 25 minutes outside of Granada that begins in the town of Monochil. It crosses many bridges and weaves through dramatic canyons. There are places where you can wade in the water or check out a hidden waterfall. It's well worth the time and can be reached by taxi or public bus.

Madrid is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Granada or Madrid?

Granada
Madrid

Madrid is a world-class destination for shopping. Also, Granada is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping opportunities.

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.

Granada offers some nice shopping areas. The town is filled with souvenir shops and places to buy local items. It's fun to wander through the old town and pop into the many different shops.


Is Granada or Madrid Better for Families?

Granada
Madrid

Madrid is an excellent place to visit for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Granada is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Granada. While the highlight of the city is the Alhambra, kids will likely enjoy exploring the shops or seeing a Flamenco show a bit more. Just outside of town is a wonderful hike, Ruta de Los Cahorros. It begins near the town of Monachil which is easily accessible by taxi or public bus. The hike goes through canyons and across bridges and its a wonderful activity for the whole family.

Is Granada or Madrid Better for Couples?

Granada
Madrid

With fun activities for couples, both Granada and Madrid make for a excellent place to visit.

Granada makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It is a beautiful city that is filled with charm and history. Couples will enjoy exploring the Alhambra, taking in a Flamenco show, or sipping Sangria with tapas. The city is incredibly beautiful with stunning views and many great restaurants.

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.

Is Granada or Madrid Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Granada
Madrid

Granada and Madrid are both excellent destinations for backpackers.

Granada is very popular with the backpacker crowd. It's a touristy city and it's a popular destination for backpackers as well. There are plenty of hostels around town and the city has social atmosphere with many opportunities to meet other 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.


Is Granada or Madrid Better for Students?

Granada
Madrid

Madrid is a world-class destination for its student-friendly activities. Also, Granada is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for students.

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.

Granada is very popular with students. It's a popular study abroad destination. Accommodation for students is usually affordable and this is also a great city for integrating into the local culture. You may even end up with a Spanish roommate.

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

Granada
Madrid

Madrid is a world-class destination for times when you don't have a car. Also, Granada is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

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.

You'll find some public transit in Granada, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There is a comprehensive bus system around town that many tourists take advantage of. Taxis are also very affordable, so for many visitors, that is an easy option.

Is Granada or Madrid a more walkable city?

Granada
Madrid

Madrid is a world-class destination for its walkability. Also, Granada is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.

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

Granada is a very walkable city. Most of the touristy areas are easy to explore on foot, but there are some steep hills so put on your walking shoes.


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

Should I spend more time in Madrid or Granada?

How long in Granada or Madrid?

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

Families should spend more time in Madrid than Granada. 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 Granada. 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 Granada 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 Granada or Madrid? Ideal Length of Stay
    Granada 2-4 
    Madrid 2-5

One day in Granada or Madrid?

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

Because Madrid is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Granada or Madrid?

Granada is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the museums, 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.

Because Madrid is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Madrid has to offer.

Five days in Granada or Madrid?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Granada. Don't miss the museums, as that's what most people do. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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 great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Madrid has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.


A week in Granada or Madrid?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the historic destination of Granada. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Madrid. Many people enjoy the live music and food when visiting Madrid. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Madrid, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Barcelona, The Best 10-Day Tours from Madrid, and The Best 10-Day Tours from Barcelona.


Which place is cheaper, Madrid or Granada?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Granada is €123, 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 Granada and Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Granada 59
    Madrid 77
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Granada 118
    Madrid 154
Compare Hotels in Granada and Madrid

Looking for a hotel in Granada 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 Granada


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: Granada Hotel Prices and Madrid Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Granada 22
    Madrid 18
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Granada

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


  • 7 Trip Bus Pass
    5.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Granada

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

  • Granada to Cordoba Private Transfer: $271
  • Private Transfer from Granada to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $247
  • Granada airport private arrival transfer, Mercedes minivan: $223
  • Private Transfer from Carchuna to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $212
  • Granada Private Intercity Transfer to Malaga: $178
  • Malaga: Private Transfer to Granada: $174
  • Private Transfer Granada to Granada Train Station by Luxury van: $78
  • Departure Transfer from Granada City to Airport GRX by Luxury van: $78
  • Private Transfer from Granada Airport to Granada by Luxury van: $78
  • Granada Private Transfer from the city centre to Granada Airport: $56
  • One-Way Private Transfer From/To Granada Airport: $51
  • Granada Airport Private Departure Transfer: $46

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:

  • Vehicle transfer with driver included in Madrid: $145
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Madrid APT-HTL (MAD): $61
  • Transfers Madrid Airport to Madrid Center in Vans up to 7 Passengers: $48
  • Transfer to Madrid, travel calmly and comfortably: $147
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Madrid City - Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD): $39
  • Transfer in private minivan from Madrid City - Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD): $75
  • Transfer from the Airport to Madrid: $111
  • Segovia: Full-Day Tour with Transfer to and from Madrid: $457
  • Roundtrip Transfer Private Vehicle Madrid Airport (MAD) - Madrid city: $121
  • Roundtrip Transfer Private Minivan Madrid Airport (MAD) - Madrid City: $149
  • Round Trip Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid by Sedan: $79
  • Private transfer from Madrid city/airport to Segovia: $92

Is it cheaper to fly into Granada or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid and Granada 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
    Granada 37
    Madrid 34
Typical Food Prices in Granada

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


  • Sangria
    2.50
  • Sandwich to go
    3.00
  • Bocadillo & Drink
    6.25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Granada

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

  • Dinner and Show flamenco in the Albayzin Granada: $64
  • 2-Day Geopark Desert, Ancient Culture and Food Tour: $173

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 Sunset Walking Tour with Optional Flamenco Show and Dinner: $27
  • Flamenco Show with dinner, drinks and optional class: $38
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show, Dinner and Workshop Madrid Ticket: $53
  • Corral de la Moreria Madrid Flamenco Show with Optional Dinner: $56
  • The Authentic Morning Food Tour!: $58
  • Opera and Zarzuela Show and Dinner: $62
  • Tapas Crawl in Madrid Historical Quarter for Lunch or Dinner: $64
  • San Miguel Market and Street Food Tour: $64
  • Madrid San Miguel Market and City Center Street Food Tour: $65
  • Madrid Old Town Tour & Flamenco Show with Optional Dinner: $66
  • Paella and Tapas Cooking Workshop in Madrid: $67
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Granada 28
    Madrid 33

Tours and Activities in Granada

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

  • 2-Hour PREMIUM Tour Visiting the Alhambra and Generalife: $188
  • 2-hour Tour of the Alhambra and Albaicín Bajo: $72
  • Albaicín & Sacromonte Walking Tour: $18
  • Albaicín and Sacromonte sunset tour: $25
  • Albaicín and Sacromonte’s Iconic Sights: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $8.99
  • Albaicin & Sacramonte Electric Bike Tour in Granada : $39
  • Albaicin and Sacromonte Private Tour : $95
  • Albaicin guided tour with dogs: $28
  • Albayzin Express Electric Bike Tour with Play Granada: $39
  • Albayzin Express Segway Tour with Play Granada: $28
  • Albayzin and Sacromonte Guided Walking Tour in Granada: $16
  • Alhambra & Generalife Skip the Line Premium Tour including Nasrid Palaces: $66

Tours and Activities in Madrid

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

  • Madrid Photo Tour with Pro Photographer Lifestyle and Portrait: $95
  • Ávila & Segovia and Alcazar Day Tour from Madrid lunch included: $166
  • 1 hour tour in Madrid in Tuk Tuk through the best of the city: $156
  • 15 Cultural Madrid 10- Hour Private Tour: $761
  • 2 Days Guided Cultural Tour in Madrid Royal Palace and 3 Museums : $212
  • 2 Hour Madrid Walking Tour : $5.57
  • 2 Hours Private Tuk tuk Tour in Madrid: $167
  • 2-Hour Patisserie Experience for Dessert Lovers: $61
  • 2-Hour Walking Tour on the History of Islamic Medieval the origins: $39
  • 2.5-Hour Evening Tapas Tour through Madrid: $163
  • 3-Hour Tapas Walking Tour of Madrid Food and Drink Included: $95
  • 3-Hour Walking Tour in Madrid: $326

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Granada 24
    Madrid 19

Sample the Local Flavors in Granada

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Granada:

  • Wine Tasting in Granada: $51
  • Granada Tapas and wine tour!: $73
  • Granada Traditional Tapas and Wine Tour - by Oh My Good Guide!: $78
  • BEST OF Flamenco, Tapas and Wine Tour: $103

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 Madrid Erasmus & International Meet and Party(New): $6.09
  • Original Pub Crawl With VIP Club Entry: $11
  • Visit to the Winery with Wine Tasting and Appetizers in Navarra: $12
  • Pub Crawl Madrid's Night time: $15
  • Pub Crawl Madrid Running since 2005 Bar Exploration: $16
  • Guided Pub Crawl Madrid Experience and Club Entry: $16
  • Guided Bar Crawl with Drinks and Nightclub Entry: $16
  • Pub Crawl Madrid: $19
  • Pub Crawl Madrid: $22
  • Wine Tasting near Plaza Mayor: $22
  • Wine Tasting Experience with 4 Spanish Wines: $33
  • Wine Tour with tasting in the Natural Park of La Mata: $38


When comparing the travel costs between Granada 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 Granada Expensive? and Is Madrid Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Granada or Madrid?

Madrid has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Granada. When comparing the sizes of Granada 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.