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

Should you visit Paris or Madrid?

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

Should I visit Paris 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.

Paris

Paris is a iconic, bustling, and energetic city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and theater.

Madrid

Madrid is a friendly, cultural, and diverse 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.

Paris 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
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities


How is Paris different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Paris or Madrid Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Paris
Madrid

Spend time exploring the sights and museums in either Paris or Madrid.

Travelers visit Paris from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. One of the most world famous landmarks is the Eiffel Tower. The city is also home to the world renowned Louvre, Notre-Dame, and Palais Garnier Opera House.

Many visitors head to Madrid specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. 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 Paris or Madrid Better for Food?

Paris
Madrid

Local dishes at restaurants are fun to try in both Paris and Madrid.

For foodies, Paris is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. There are countless local restaurants, markets, and patisseries to explore. Make sure you try the steak tartare, pate, and macarons.

Madrid has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. 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 Paris or Madrid Better for Nightlife?

Paris
Madrid

The vibe at night is comparable in Paris and Madrid.

Paris is a must-see party destination. Head to Pigalle or the Latin Quarter for some of the city's best nightlife. There are all-night parties, cabarets, and exclusive night clubs that you can experience.

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 Paris or Madrid Better for Music?

Paris
Madrid

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

Paris is known as a music capital around the world. Some of the most famous music venues include Le Pop In, La Mécanique Ondulatoire, and Les Disquaires.

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.

Is Paris or Madrid Better for Shopping?

Paris
Madrid

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

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Paris. Some of the best areas for shopping are Boulevard Haussmann and the Grands Boulevards, the Marais, and Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysées.

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.


Is Paris or Madrid Better for Families?

Paris
Madrid

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Paris or Madrid.

Paris is a very family-friendly destination. Check out Jardin du Luxembourg, or one of the city's many playgrounds. Also grab a treat at one of the city's many patisseries. And of course, there's Disneyland Paris.

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.

Is Paris or Madrid Better for Couples?

Paris
Madrid

With fun activities for couples, both Paris and Madrid make for a good place to visit.

Paris makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. A city filled with romance, you really can't find a more ideal destination for a European honeymoon or a couple's getaway.

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 Paris or Madrid Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Paris
Madrid

For backpackers, both Paris and Madrid are fairly comparable places to visit.

Many backpackers frequent Paris. It's a big city, so it's easy to get lost in the chaos, but there are many hostels and other backpacker hangouts around town.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Madrid. The many hostels around town make it easy for backpackers to find affordable accommodation while also meeting other travelers.

Is Paris or Madrid Better for Students?

Paris
Madrid

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

Many students frequent Paris. The city is one of the most popular destinations for international and study abroad students.

Students come from all over the world to visit 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.


Is Paris or Madrid Better for Public Transit?

Paris
Madrid

Paris and Madrid both offer public transit to get you around.

The thorough and effecient public transit system of Paris can take you anywhere. The city's metro system is very comprehensive. There's also a bus system that you can use to get around.

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

Is Paris or Madrid a more walkable city?

Paris
Madrid

Paris and Madrid are similar when it comes to walkability.

Paris is very walkable. Some streets can feel a bit overwhelming, but there are many parts of the city that are easily explored on foot.

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

Should I spend more time in Madrid or Paris?

How long in Paris or Madrid?

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

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


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

One day in Paris or Madrid?

Paris is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. 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 compact 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 Paris or Madrid?

Paris 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 Paris or Madrid?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Paris. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. 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 Paris or Madrid?

Paris is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. 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 Paris?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Paris is €184, 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 Paris and Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Paris 120
    Madrid 59
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Paris 240
    Madrid 118
Compare Hotels in Paris and Madrid

Looking for a hotel in Paris 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 Paris


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: Paris Hotel Prices and Madrid Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Paris 17
    Madrid 15
Typical Local Transportation prices in Paris

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


  • Metro
    6.40
  • Train from Airport
    9.00
  • Metro tickets
    6.80
  • Train
    20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Paris

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

  • Private transfer from Paris to London. Professional drivers, Mercedes cars!: $1,687
  • Transfer from Paris to Geneva or from Geneva to Paris: $1,431
  • Paris To Geneva - Private Vehicule Transfer Express: $1,431
  • Private Transfer from Paris to Bayeux - Up to 7 people: $1,227
  • Private Transfer from Paris to Mont Saint-Michel - Up to 7 people: $1,219
  • Private Transfer from Paris to Caen - Up to 7 people: $1,204
  • Intimate Guided Normandy Tour from Paris with Hotel Transfers: $1,106
  • Private Transfer from Paris to Honfleur - Up to 7 people: $1,025
  • Paris Private Round-trip Transfer: Paris City to Castle Castelnaud-la-Chapelle: $1,023
  • Private transfer Paris to Amsterdam - 1 to 3 people: $877
  • Private Transfer from Paris City Center to Mont-Saint-Michel: $717
  • Private transfer between Paris and London: $710

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:

  • 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 Paris or Madrid?

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

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


  • Ice Cream
    8.00
  • Breakfast
    7.00
  • Breakfast for 2
    30
  • Dinner on River Cruise
    86
  • Dinner
    57
  • Cheese
    13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Paris

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

  • Paris en Scene Boat 3-Course Dinner Cruise: $49
  • Paris River Seine Lunch or Dinner Cruise: $60
  • Italian dinner on the river Seine: $61
  • Seine River Cruise with French Dinner on Champs-Elysees Avenue: $61
  • Seine River Cruise & Dinner on Champs Elysées Avenue: $62
  • Choux cooking class for kids in Paris: $62
  • Capitaine Fracasse Boat 3-Course Dinner Cruise: $67
  • Paris Small-Group Gourmet Food Tour With Optional Lunch and Wine Tasting: $75
  • Bistro Parisien Dinner and Seine River Sightseeing Cruise Combination: $75
  • NO DIET CLUB - Unique Bike and Food tour in Paris !: $75
  • Romantic Cruise with 3-course Dinner on Seine River: $76
  • Fondue Cooking Party - Winter is Coming: $78

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.
    Paris 62
    Madrid 27
Typical Entertainment prices in Paris

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


  • Louvre Entry for Two
    18
  • Admission to Pantheon
    5.00
  • Catacombs (2)
    23

Tours and Activities in Paris

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

  • 1 Day Private Walking Tour Of Montmartre, Latin Quarter, Champs Élysées: $180
  • 1 Day in Eiffel Tower, Cruise, City Tour, and Louvre: $139
  • 1 Hour Real time Virtual Tour in Paris: $150
  • 1 hour Sainte Chapelle- skip the line access - English or Español: $51
  • 14-day Taste of Europe Tour: France, Italy, Monaco,Switzerland,Germany and more.: $1,565
  • 15+ Top Sights Paris Tour with Fun Guide: $52
  • 180° Paris by Night Tour: Exclusively for You & Your Group: $54
  • 1:30 hours tour of Louvre museum: $261
  • 1st Day in Paris Discovery Private Tour: 'How-to' Orientation & Sightseeing Fun!: $63
  • 2 Hours Paris city center walking tour: $16
  • 2 Hours Photoshoot tours at the Eiffel tower, Trocadero, Champs de Mars and more: $423
  • 2-Day Loire Valley Castles Tour from Paris: $521

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
    Paris 19
    Madrid 16
Typical Alcohol prices in Paris

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


  • Wine
    14

Sample the Local Flavors in Paris

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Paris:

  • Pub Crawl in Latin Quarter: $37
  • Guided Visit and Wine Tasting in a Royal Wine Cellar in Paris: $40
  • Guided tour and wine tasting in a historic cellar in the center of Paris: $41
  • Cheese and Wine Tasting in the Latin Quarter with Chef Alex: $47
  • Organic wine tasting in Paris: $56
  • Wine Tasting In Paris: $83
  • Paris Art of Pairing Cheese and Wine Tasting in a Cheese Cellar: $87
  • Paris Wine Tasting Session with Expert Sommelier: $89
  • Walk & Wine Tour in the Latin Quarter: $97
  • Paris Wine Tasting plus Cheese & Cured Meat Lunch with an Expert Sommelier Guide: $97
  • Paris Evening Wine Tour and Tasting: $112
  • Montmartre Hill Sweet & Savory French Gourmet Food & Wine Tasting Tour: $112

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 we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Paris and Madrid, we can see that Paris 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 Paris would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Paris than you might in Madrid.

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Paris vs. Madrid Travel Comparison

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