Skip to Content

Chocolate, Soccer, and the Prado

Share with a friend

371 days. It’s about time I wrote my Madrid trip report. Thanks to an amazing British Airways Business Class sale, a couple of friends and I spent 5 days in Madrid last January.

Madrid Trip Report

Introduction: Chocolate, Soccer, and the Prado

Madrid wasn’t high on my bucket list. But I’m not really a bucket list traveler.

I travel wherever I can find a good deal. Whether it’s a mistake fare, an airline sale, or an opportunity to use airline miles. I’m not picky. I’ll just go.

So when my friends, Sagy and Steve, emailed me about the British Airway Business Class sale, I was in.

I don’t care what country. Just tell me where to show up.

Sagy picked Madrid, Steve and I followed. You gotta love great travel companions. They make travel and life more interesting.


We booked round-trip Business Class tickets from Los Angeles to Madrid through British Airways. But we didn’t fly on British Airways. We flew on American Airlines, thanks, to their codeshare agreement. The total cost for airfare: $766.99.

But we didn’t fly on British Airways. We flew on American Airlines, thanks, to their codeshare agreement.

Because we flew on American Airlines, we earned American Airlines elite qualifying miles and redeemable miles.

The total cost for airfare: 30,000 British Airways Avios plus $766.99.

Pro-tip: You can use British Avios points to reduce the cost of your airline ticket.

4 Nights Hotel

If you’re a regular blog reader you know I usually bounce hotels each night. But for this trip, I stayed all 4 nights at the Westin Palace Madrid.

Steve and I have Hyatt Diamond elite status but Sagy was on track to become a lifetime Platinum member with Starwood. So we booked all 3 rooms under Sagy’s name…using points. 🙂

The cost for hotel: $0

Pro-tip: You can earn stay credit for multiple room bookings with Starwood.

Pro-tip: Rooms booked with points earn stay credit with Starwood.


Like many European cities, Madrid is very walkable. We walked everywhere except for the few times we used Uber and when we took the train to Toledo.

The total cost for transportation: 81.75 euros

Activities and Tours

Madrid is amazing. From the Prado to the Plaza Mayor and everything in between. I’ll detail our activities in a separate post.

  • Ticket to Real Madrid Game: 75 euros
  • Round-trip train ticket to Toledo: 20.60 euros
  • Hop on, Hop Off bus in Toledo: 9 euros
  • Admission to Da Vinci tour: 4.5 euros
  • Admission to San Juan de los Reyes: 2.5 euros
  • Admission to Santa Maria la Blanca: 2.5 euros
  • Admission to the Prado: 0 euros

Cost for activities and tours: 114.10 euros


Food prices are incredibly reasonable in Madrid. It’s absolutely crazy how inexpensively you can eat and eat well. Food costs include alcohol.

Food: 171.50 euros


I hope you enjoyed this brief Madrid trip report. I’m trying to get caught up on all my trips from last year.

Traveling two weeks of every month has created a huge backlog of trips. I either have to stop traveling so much or write faster…

Stay tuned for how to get to Madrid using miles and points.

Have you been to Madrid? Share your favorite thing in the comments.

Pin this to your travel, vacation, or Spain board:

Chocolate, soccer, and the Prado: the best of Madrid. Keep reading for my Madrid trip report. Traveling Well For Less

Comment, tweet, or share this post.

Get the best credit card signup bonuses.

Follow us on Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube

Got a question? Or want help, suggestions, travel tips, learn how to travel for free, find out about travel deals, and maximize your miles and points? Use the subscription box below to sign-up and get post updates by email.

Traveling Well For Less has partnered with Your Best Credit Cards for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling Well For Less and YBCC may receive a commission from card issuers.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best card to get started in the world of miles and points. It is the first card you should get to start traveling for free because the welcome offer is 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5X points on travel when booked through the Chase portal (2X if direct purchase), 3X points on dining, $50 yearly credit on hotels booked through the Chase portal, no foreign transaction fees, and transferring points to 13 airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, United, and Southwest.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is one of my favorite cards for earning cash back card and travel rewards. It offers a welcome offer of an additional 1.5% cash back on all your purchases up to $20,000 your first year.
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal, 3% cash back at drugstores and restaurants (including delivery and takeout), 1.5% cash back on all other purchases and no annual fee. When paired with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card or Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, you can use your points to travel for free.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Carol Cassara

Monday 6th of February 2017

Madrid is a lovely place and there's so much good food as well! i would love to go back someday soon. Thanks for this trip report, it's really helpful to people who want to travel more!

The Cubicle Chick

Wednesday 1st of February 2017

Those airline ticket glitches are the best I always find out about them after they are gone. :-( I hope to catch one soon before it's gone. Glad you all enjoyed yourselves. - yolonda


Tuesday 31st of January 2017

I love to travel and hope one day to do a lot more of it. Madrid is a beautiful place. I was there a long time ago but would love to see it again as an adult.


Tuesday 31st of January 2017

How great that you have travel buddies who can just get up and go when a great deal comes along! How generous of your friend to use his points so you can all get a free stay at the hotel - that deserves a beer for sure!


Monday 30th of January 2017

Much more fun when you can just pick up and go. I love my kids, but I'm looking forward to being able to do this again.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.