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

Should you visit Tokyo or Madrid?

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

Should I visit Tokyo 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.

Tokyo

Tokyo is a vibrant, iconic, and eclectic 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 nightlife, live music, and food.

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 food, shopping, and museums.

Tokyo 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
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 Tokyo different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Tokyo or Madrid Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Tokyo
Madrid

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

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Tokyo has many famous sights for visitors. This iconic city is filled with recognizable landmarks and world class museums including the Meiji Shrine, the Sensō-ji Temple, and the Tokyo Skytree.

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 Tokyo or Madrid Better for Food?

Tokyo
Madrid

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Tokyo and Madrid.

For foodies, Tokyo is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. With an astonishing number of Michelin star restaurants, this is one of the most interesting and impressive food destinations in the world. Not all restaurants are high end though. You'll find plenty of cheap eateries that offer their own rewarding culinary experience. Must try local dishes include okonomiyaki, ramen, and of course, sushi.

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 Tokyo or Madrid Better for Nightlife?

Tokyo
Madrid

The vibe at night is comparable in Tokyo and Madrid.

Tokyo is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. The professional urgency that you feel during the day morphs into a vibrant, laid back city at night. The neon lights turn on and locals head out to destress. There are karaoke bars, casual pubs, high energy nightclubs, and more. Popular areas for nightlife include Roppongi, Shibuya and Shinjuku.

Madrid has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. 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 Tokyo or Madrid Better for Music?

Tokyo
Madrid

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

Tokyo has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. The music scene features both national and international artists and the music style is as eclectic as the city itself. You'll find many underground venues, vintage record stores, and local bars that have each created their own niche.

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 Tokyo or Madrid Better for Shopping?

Tokyo
Madrid

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

Many people travel to Tokyo specifically to go shopping. The city is known for its electronics, anime products, and trendy fashion brands. Many neighborhoods are also shopping districts with malls or markets throughout. Prices can be steep, but products are generally high quality. For some of the city's best shopping, head to Shinjuku, Shibuya, or Ginza.

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 Tokyo or Madrid Better for Families?

Tokyo
Madrid

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Tokyo or Madrid.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Tokyo is a very family-friendly destination. This is an incredibly kid-friendly city. There's Disneyland, but there are also many other entertainment centers, amusement areas, a zoo, aquarium, and more. Kids will also enjoy experiencing the city's fascinating culture. They can visit temples, museums, and the Tokyo Tower. Another fun local experience is to go to a baseball game.

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 Tokyo or Madrid Better for Couples?

Tokyo
Madrid

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

Tokyo is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. This high tech city offers luxury hotels and spas, award winning restaurants, and unique date night opportunities like karaoke or sushi making classes. The city has many parks and gardens as well as malls, dynamic neighborhoods, and interesting museums.

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 Tokyo or Madrid Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Tokyo
Madrid

Travelers usually think of Madrid as a better destination for backpackers than Tokyo.

A large number of backpackers visit Madrid, as it is a very popular city for budget travelers. The many hostels around town make it easy for backpackers to find affordable accommodation while also meeting other travelers.

Tokyo is a good city to visit for backpackers. Known for it's high prices, it can be a bit difficult to visit this city on a budget. There are dorm rooms available but they still come with a high price tag. Food is a bit easier as the eateries are diverse with many options on the cheaper side.

Is Tokyo or Madrid Better for Students?

Tokyo
Madrid

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

Many students frequent Tokyo. The city attracts many international students and there are a number of prestigious universities to choose from. Perhaps the biggest challenge is navigating the language difference, but that is all part of the experience when studying abroad.

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 Tokyo or Madrid Better for Public Transit?

Tokyo
Madrid

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

Tokyo has a great public transit system. Trains, subways, and buses make up the complex transportation system and, while it may seem overwhelming at first, the system is actually very clean, efficient, and reliable.

Public transit in Madrid is top-notch. The system includes the Madrid Metro, buses, and a light rail system.

Is Tokyo or Madrid a more walkable city?

Tokyo
Madrid

Tokyo and Madrid are similar when it comes to walkability.

Tokyo is a very easy city to get around on foot. Many neighborhoods are very easy to explore on foot, so it's fun to just wander without a plan, seeing where you end up.

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 Tokyo?

How long in Tokyo or Madrid?

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

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


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

One day in Tokyo or Madrid?

Tokyo 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 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 Tokyo or Madrid?

Tokyo 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 Tokyo or Madrid?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Tokyo. 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 Tokyo or Madrid?

Tokyo 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 Tokyo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tokyo is $153, while the average daily cost in Madrid is $116. 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 Tokyo and Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tokyo $72
    Madrid $64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tokyo $144
    Madrid $128
Compare Hotels in Tokyo and Madrid

Looking for a hotel in Tokyo 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 Tokyo


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: Tokyo Hotel Prices and Madrid Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tokyo $19
    Madrid $16
Typical Local Transportation prices in Tokyo

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


  • Metro from Airport
    $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tokyo

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

  • Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT in Luxury Car: $401
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Narita Airport NRT by Luxury Van: $302
  • Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT in Luxury Van: $299
  • Tokyo Departure Private Transfers from Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT: $299
  • Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Haneda Airport HND in Luxury Car: $290
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tokyo City to Narita Airport NRT by Minivan: $284
  • Private Departure Transfer : Central Tokyo City to Narita International Airport: $267
  • Tokyo Private Transfer from Tokyo central to Narita Airport (NRT): $261
  • Tokyo Departure Private Transfers from Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT: $249
  • Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Narita Airport NRT in Business Car: $236
  • Tokyo Airport Transfers: Tokyo City to Tokyo-Haneda Airport HND in Luxury Van: $236
  • Yokohama Private Arrival Transfer : Tokyo Hotels to Yokohama Port or Hotels: $230

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:

  • 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 Tokyo or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid and Tokyo 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
    Tokyo $36
    Madrid $30
Typical Food prices in Tokyo

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


  • Late Night Noodles
    $6.16
  • Conveyor Belt Sushi Snack
    $6.16
  • Meal at Airport
    $8.03

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tokyo

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

  • 1-Hour Tsukiji Fish Market Food Tour with Local Guide: $26
  • Unique Private Cooking Class with a Tokyo Local Emi: $78
  • Local Food Tour on Sunamachi Ginza Street: $83
  • West-Side Walking & Street Food Tour: $95
  • Private Ramen and Gyoza Cooking Class from Central Tokyo: $108
  • Private Japanese Cooking Class with a Local Chef: $120
  • Tokyo Food Tour: 3-Hour Culinary Adventure: $129
  • Gyoza Cooking Classes in Tokyo: $135
  • Private Dining: Wagyu and sake pairing dinner in Shinjuku: $136
  • Private Market Tour and Traditional Japanese Cooking Class in Asakusa: $142
  • Tokyo Private Food Tour: From Ramen Bars, Vending Machines To Cat Cafes: $174
  • 3-Hour Food Tour of Shinbashi at Night: $182

Typical Food prices in Madrid

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


  • Coffee
    $2.17
  • Ice Cream
    $3.26
  • Kebabs (for 2)
    $17
  • Croissant
    $1.63
  • 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:

  • 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.
    Tokyo $67
    Madrid $29

Tours and Activities in Tokyo

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

  • Akihabara: Anime & Gaming Adventure Tour: $67
  • Ancient Meets Ultra-Modern - Tokyo History Experience: $83
  • Christmas In Private Experience With A City Host: $83
  • Customize your 8-hours private tour with a local guide Tokyo: $81
  • Discover Japan Tour: 15-day Small Group: $8,972
  • Eat Like A Local - Sushi Experience: $146
  • Explore Japan Tour: 20-day Small Group: $12,049
  • Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi Tour: $993
  • Geisha Encounter: Cultural Experience at Chaya in Tokyo: $78
  • Highlights of Japan Tour: 10-day Small Group: $5,639
  • Intro to Japan Tour: 8-day Small Group: $4,357
  • Introduction To Tokyo & Highlights Private Walking Tour With A Local: $83

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
    Tokyo $31
    Madrid $17
Typical Alcohol prices in Tokyo

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


  • Sake
    $4.62

Typical Alcohol prices in Madrid

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


  • Beer
    $5.44
  • 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 Tokyo and Madrid, we can see that Tokyo is more expensive. And not only is Madrid much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Tokyo is in Asia 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 Tokyo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Tokyo than you might in Madrid.

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Tokyo vs. Madrid Travel Comparison

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