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

Should you visit Zaragoza or Madrid?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Zaragoza or Madrid, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Zaragoza

Zaragoza is a authentic, cultural, and historical city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Madrid

Madrid is a authentic, cultural, and diverse city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. Other popular activities here include museums, nightlife, and live music.

Zaragoza and Madrid: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for students
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Zaragoza or Madrid?

You'll generally find more things to do in Madrid than Zaragoza. Madrid is bigger than Zaragoza, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Madrid is better known for its food, nightlife, music, shopping, and big city activities, while Zaragoza is more popular for its museums, historical sights, and impressive beauty. Madrid is more touristy than Zaragoza and is popular for its art and architecture, its tapas and culinary scene, and its lively flamenco dancing. Also, Madrid is famous for The Prado Museum. Zaragoza is well known for its grand landmarks, local cuisine, and rich cultural scene.

How is Zaragoza different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Zaragoza
Madrid

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

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Zaragoza. For such a small city, it really has a large number of cultural and historical attractions. The Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar is the most recognizable sight, but there's also the Museum of the Roman Forum of Caesaraugusta, the cathedral of Zaragoza, and the Aljafería Palace, among others.

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 Zaragoza or Madrid? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Zaragoza
Madrid

Madrid is an amazing city to visit for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Zaragoza is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

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. 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.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Zaragoza. There are authentic restaurants that cater to locals and tourists alike. You'll also find some interesting food tours around town. Tapas are popular, as is chocolate and fresh, traditional recipes.

Is Zaragoza or Madrid Better for Nightlife?

Zaragoza
Madrid

Madrid is notable for its evening party scene. Also, Zaragoza is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife.

Madrid has plenty to do after the sun goes down. 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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Zaragoza. The nightlife is at its best on weekends, when students and young locals head out on the town. Many evenings start with tapas and wine, but there are nightclubs and dancing as well.

Is Zaragoza or Madrid Better for Music?

Zaragoza
Madrid

Madrid is an amazing city to visit for its music scene. However, Zaragoza is not a live music destination.

In Madrid you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. 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.

Zaragoza is not a live music destination.


Is Zaragoza or Madrid Better for its Old Town?

Zaragoza
Madrid

Zaragoza is a great city for its historic old town. However, Madrid does not have a historic old town.

Zaragoza is an extremely popular place to visit the historic old town area. The old town is small but filled with monumental buildings and an authentic atmosphere.

Madrid does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Zaragoza or Madrid?

Zaragoza
Madrid

Madrid is an amazing city to visit for its shopping areas. Also, Zaragoza is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for shopping.

Madrid is a world class destination for shoppers. 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.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Zaragoza. The city has many local shops selling locally produced items and interesting souvenirs. There are also boutiques, markets, and vintage shops that are fun to browse though.

Is Zaragoza or Madrid Better for Families?

Zaragoza
Madrid

Madrid is notable for its family-friendly activities. Also, Zaragoza is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Madrid is known to be 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.

Zaragoza is a family-friendly city. When your kids get their fill of architecture and history, you can head to the Zaragoza Aquarium. Also worth a visit is the Emoz Museum, which is an origami museum. And if you need a break from sightseeing, take a kayak out on the Ebro River.


Is Zaragoza or Madrid Better for Couples?

Zaragoza
Madrid

Zaragoza and Madrid are both high quality to visit as a couple.

Zaragoza is a very popular place to visit for couples. Filled with culture, beauty, and monumental buildings, this is a small and romantic city. It's particularly romantic at night when the streets are quiet and many of the buildings are lit up.

Madrid makes for a fun place to visit for 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 Zaragoza or Madrid Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Zaragoza
Madrid

Madrid is notable for backpackers. Also, Zaragoza is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

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

Zaragoza is a good city to visit for backpackers. There are enough hostels around town to choose from, and while it's not the backpacker haven that some Spanish cities are, it still sees a good number of young travelers.

Is Zaragoza or Madrid Better for Students?

Zaragoza
Madrid

Madrid is an amazing city to visit for students. Also, Zaragoza is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its student-friendly activities.

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.

Plenty of students visit Zaragoza. International students enjoy this small city because it has a local vibe where they can practice their Spanish and enjoy an authentic experience.


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

Zaragoza
Madrid

Madrid is an amazing city to visit for its public transit. Also, Zaragoza is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for times when you don't have a car.

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

Visitors to Zaragoza can move around easily with public transportation. There are buses and trams around the city.

Is Zaragoza or Madrid a more walkable city?

Zaragoza
Madrid

Madrid is an amazing city to visit for its ease of walking around. Also, Zaragoza is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its walkability.

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.

Zaragoza is very walkable. The city center is very walkable.

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

Should I spend more time in Madrid or Zaragoza?

How long in Zaragoza or Madrid?

In either Zaragoza or Madrid, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Madrid than Zaragoza because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Zaragoza, and 2-5 days is enough time in Madrid.

Families should spend more time in Madrid than Zaragoza. 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 Zaragoza. 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 Zaragoza 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 Zaragoza or Madrid? Ideal Length of Stay
    Zaragoza 1-3 
    Madrid 2-5

One day in Zaragoza or Madrid?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Zaragoza. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

Madrid is a big city with plenty to do. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


A weekend in Zaragoza or Madrid?

Zaragoza 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.

Madrid is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Madrid, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Zaragoza or Madrid?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Zaragoza. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. 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 popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Madrid, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Zaragoza or Madrid?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the compact destination of Zaragoza. 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 great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Barcelona, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Spain, The Best 10-Day Tours in Spain, and The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Spain.


Which place is cheaper, Madrid or Zaragoza?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Zaragoza is €126, 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 Zaragoza and Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zaragoza 65
    Madrid 77
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zaragoza 130
    Madrid 154
Compare Hotels in Zaragoza and Madrid

Looking for a hotel in Zaragoza 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 Zaragoza


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: Zaragoza Hotel Prices and Madrid Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Zaragoza 23
    Madrid 19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zaragoza

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zaragoza:

  • Private transfers Airport-hotel Zaragoza.: $66
  • Zaragoza Private Transfer from Zaragoza Airport to City centre: $66
  • Zaragoza Private Transfer from the city centre to Zaragoza Airport: $66
  • Zaragoza Airport (ZAZ) to Zaragoza Downtown hotels - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $55
  • Zaragoza Airport (ZAZ) to Zaragoza Downtown hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $27
  • Zaragoza Downtown hotels to Zaragoza Airport (ZAZ) - Departure Private Transfer: $27

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:

  • Madrid Barajas International Airport - Private Arrival Transfer: $22
  • Private transfer from Atocha Station to Madrid city center: $22
  • Alcobendas Private Transfer To Madrid Barajas Airport: $27
  • Hotel Madrid City Private Transfer To Madrid Barajas Airport: $27
  • Private transfer: Barajas Airport (MAD) to Madrid City Center: $29
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Barajas Airport: $40
  • Private Transfer: Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD) to Madrid: $43
  • Madrid Airport Private Arrival Transfer: $45
  • Private Transfer from Airport to the City of Madrid Round Trip: $49
  • Madrid City Center: Private Transfer to Madrid Airport: $50
  • Arrival Private Transfer by Business Car from MAD Airport to Madrid: $54
  • Madrid Airport: Private Transfer to Madrid City Center: $54

Is it cheaper to fly into Zaragoza or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid and Zaragoza 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
    Zaragoza 41
    Madrid 34

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Zaragoza

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Zaragoza.

  • Midday Market Tour and Spanish Cooking Class: $110

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
  • Paella and Sangria Workshop with Dinner and Drinks: $43
  • Madrid Tipsy Tapas Guided Food Tour with Dinner: $48
  • Tapas Crawl Food Tour with 6 Tapas and 4 Drinks: $48
  • Tapas Dinner Party Food Tour with Guide: $48
  • Drunken Tapas Food Tour with Dinner in Madrid: $48
  • Tipsy Tapas Food Tour with Drinks and Food: $51
  • Madrid Tapas Dinner Party with Guide: $54
  • The Authentic Morning Madrid's Food Tour: $60
  • Zarzuela Opera and Dinner at La Castafiore Restaurant in Madrid: $61
  • Opera and Zarzuela Show and Dinner: $62
  • Tapas Crawl in Madrid Historical Quarter for Lunch or Dinner: $64

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Zaragoza 35
    Madrid 34

Tours and Activities in Zaragoza

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Zaragoza are as follows:

  • Complete tour + wine and tapas: $205
  • Evening traditional tapas walking tour in old Zaragoza center: $105
  • Haft-day Winery tour from Zaragoza: $161
  • Kayaking in Fluvial EcoTourism with ebroNAUTAS: $44
  • Midday Olive Oil Tour and Visit to Old Town of Belchite: $103
  • Midday market and tapas tour of Zaragoza: $105
  • Monumental Walking Tour in Old Town of Zaragoza: $94
  • Olive Oil Tour and Visit to Belchite Old Town: $105
  • Olive Oil and Winery Tour from Zaragoza City: $166
  • Private custom tour with a local guide Zaragoza: $50
  • Zaragoza - Historic Walking Tour: $325
  • Zaragoza : Aquarium entry ticket: $16

Tours and Activities in Madrid

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

  • Madrid Essential: Free Walking City Tour: $1.09
  • OLD TOWN WALKING TOUR: $1.09
  • Tour Retiro Park - Madrid self-guided tour app: $2.17
  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.26
  • Self Guided Tours Madrid With 100 Captivating Audio Stories: $3.32
  • Guided tour of the Madrid of spies: $3.33
  • Madrid Mountains Free Walking Tour: $3.33
  • Escape Game and Tour: $4.35
  • App self-guided: Tour Madrid Spain: $4.35
  • Wonders of Madrid Walking Tour: $5.44
  • Marvels of Madrid Walking Tour: $5.44
  • Wonders of Madrid City Walking Tour: $5.44

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Zaragoza 14
    Madrid 20

Sample the Local Flavors in Zaragoza

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Zaragoza:

  • Wine Tasting and Tapas: $103
  • Wine Tasting and Tapas in the ancient Town of Zaragoza: $105

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 with Tapas and VIP Club Entry: $9.78
  • Madrid Pub Crawl with VIP Club Entrance: $11
  • Visit to the Winery with Wine Tasting and Appetizers in Navarra: $12
  • Guided Bar Crawl with Drinks and Nightclub Entry: $16
  • Pub Crawl Madrid Running since 2005 Bar Exploration: $16
  • Guided Pub Crawl Madrid Experience and Club Entry: $16
  • Pub Crawl Madrid & Party: $17
  • Pub Crawl Madrid-The Original since 2005-Shots-Fun-Clubs-Dance: $17
  • Pub Crawl Madrid: $19
  • Pub Crawl Madrid: $22
  • Wine Tasting Experience with 4 Spanish Wines: $26
  • Wine Tour with tasting in the Natural Park of La Mata: $38


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


Which is Bigger, Zaragoza or Madrid?

Madrid has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Zaragoza. When comparing the sizes of Zaragoza 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.