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#36949 - 05/16/00 02:03 PM Is Madrid safe for a woman alone?
mmast Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/16/00
Posts: 1
I am a woman who is going to Madrid next month
alone. I do not want to miss Madrid's exciting nightlife, but of course I am concerned about my safety. Is it safe for a woman to be out alone at night? Are there particular areas of the city that I should avoid or that are safer than others? Also, is it easy to find a cab at night?

#36950 - 05/17/00 09:56 AM Re: Is Madrid safe for a woman alone?
Eddie Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 06/05/00
Posts: 1739
Loc: Phila., PA, USA
You don't want to miss Madrid's exciting nightlife but you will be there alone: You might want to consider a 'Madrid-by-night' tour offered by several Tour companies. You would be part of a group escorted to two or three night spots (incl. a tablao Flamenco) with a drink at each stop. It's likely that you would meet others in a like situation on one of those tours.
TrapSAtur is one of the tour companies that used to run such "Madrid-by-night' tours.

"Is it safe for a woman to be out alone at night?"
That's a tough one! In most cases it is but I wouldn't advise it for a stranger to the city who may not be able to communicate fluently in the language. My daughter and my wife are both fluent in castellano but I would advise them against being out alone in Madrid after 22:30: significant hour: after 22:30 is condidered 'de noche,' before that time is considered 'de tarde.' (i.e., night vs evening). Good girls don't go out alone at night.

"Is it easy to find a cab at night?"

[This message has been edited by Eddie (edited 05-17-2000).]

#36951 - 05/28/00 12:05 PM Re: Is Madrid safe for a woman alone?
Sofia Offline

Registered: 05/28/00
Posts: 166
Loc: Seneca Falls, NY
I was alone in Madrid in 1997. My only bad experience was a cab driver who charged me 5000 pesetas to go from the airport to Atocha RENFE. People who I met on the AVE paid a little more than half the taxi fare that I paid! No one hassled me while I waited three hours at the train station.

My friend who was to meet me in Seville was also alone in Madrid. She witnessed a bloody mugging near the Prado around noon.

A week later, the three women we were together in Madrid. Two young boys, ages 12 - 14, attempted to pick pocket us. There
was nothing in our pockets except for maps. I screamed. They didn't even run away.

While traveling in Madrid in the company of
men, nothing unusual has happened.

I also believe that the elderly are "targeted" more than women. I say this based on stories I have heard while in Madrid.

[This message has been edited by Sofia (edited 05-28-2000).]

#36952 - 05/30/00 08:10 AM Re: Is Madrid safe for a woman alone?
Mily Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/10/00
Posts: 15
Loc: Chihuahua, Chih. México
I just came back from the most wonderful vacation in Madrid, I went there all by myself, I was a bit scared about safety issues as my hotel (which by the way was fantastic) is very near some not quite "safe" zone. I didn't have any bad experience at all, I used to take walks at night and everything was ok, I felt quite comfortable all the time, I even went to Puerta del Sol on a Saturday night, it was packed but I didn't feel unsafe.
The only incident I had was with a taxi driver who charged me 2500 pesetas for a real short drive, it seems as if they have some kind of gadget to make the taximeter go faster, anyway it wasn't that much and when you are a tourist sometimes you expect to be paying more than the locals.
Madrid is a beautiful place to go and visit, be prepared to walk and walk and walk some more!! my feet are still swollen and blistered but it was worth it!!!
Enjoy everything!!!

#36953 - 06/07/00 08:29 PM Re: Is Madrid safe for a woman alone?
megia Offline

Registered: 06/07/00
Posts: 268
Loc: Sedona, Arizona
in my experience both men and women are safe to walk alone at about anytime, although i would use caution when strolling alone through Gran Via, Vallecas, or Campamento at 3am. invariably, if you are in Madrid for as long as a week or more, you will need to walk at night because it is so easy to get around Madrid on foot, and the pleasant aspect of the city demands it. on a regular basis i have walked from around metro stop Tirso de Molina (Blueline 1 north of Atocha station) to the Arguelles-Moncloa neighborhood near the (Greyline 6) Guzmán el Bueno stop and never had problems. i have even passed huge groups of drunks that never even looked at me, so i have always felt very safe in Madrid.

the only crime i have ever heard about that was acted upon my friend was when he was on crutches for having hurt himself in futbol and he was on Calle Princesa, right over from Plaza de España in front of the Corte Inglés. a couple of chorizos asked him for all his money or they would beat him up. and he was alone and on the crutches so he had no choice, otherwise he could have run and they never would have cought him.

all in all i think you are very safe in Madrid, just be careful in club areas late at night and alone. keep in mind that the people of Spain, in general, are very kind and willing to help you if you are lost. you could probably ask a random man to help you and he would. just remember that there are also "gentuza," or bad people too.

good luck and have a lot of fun in my beloved Madrid!

#36954 - 06/08/00 10:12 PM Re: Is Madrid safe for a woman alone?
PatM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 26
Loc: Maryland
The Hostal Lopez site recommends asking the taxi driver for an official receipt )"un recibo") which apparently keeps them honest. Maybe it's like Prague -- the drivers there are leary that you might be working with whoever oversees them.
Pat in Maryland

#89258 - 03/11/11 04:39 AM Re: Is Madrid safe for a woman alone? [Re: PatM]
MadridMan Offline

Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
I'd like to BUMP-UP this thread - after nearly 11 years!! - to get new female members' opinions about walking alone in Madrid day or night. Thanks!

Saludos, MadridMan
Visit for Barcelona information, Transportation, Lodging, & much MUCH more!

Curious about what could POSSIBLY be inside the brain of MadridMan? Visit MadridMan's Madrid Blog

#89262 - 03/11/11 08:40 AM Re: Is Madrid safe for a woman alone? [Re: MadridMan]
teachertraveler8 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 467
Loc: Detroit, Michigan
YES! Madrid is safe for a woman traveling alone. Of course, on my visits, I have stayed closer to the historic city center, but I have never felt threatened. I took the subway with luggage from the airport and also traveled by subway quite a bit.

When you are alone, it is easier to interact with people than when you are part of a group or couple. I have really enjoyed my conversations with the old couple at the diner and the Algerian at the bar. I figured that coming to Spain as a woman "of a certain age" that I would not be noticed by the Spanish men, but even at my advanced age, I still got some piropos. That's what I love about Spanish men, they can appreciate a woman of any age!

Despite the recent tragedy of Austin Bice, I would still highly encourage my children to study abroad. Of course, I would prefer Spain over Libya!

When traveling alone, it is important to use common sense and take necessary precautions, but there is something so liberating to making your own decisions based on your preferences rather than having to consider someone else's.

#89264 - 03/11/11 09:31 AM Re: Is Madrid safe for a woman alone? [Re: teachertraveler8]
GorgonaMedussa Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 12
Loc: Madrid
Okay! I agree with teachertraveler: always use your common sense, the sense less commonly used. smile

I'm from Madrid, but I'll try to be objective because security it's an important matter to consider.
If you're visiting the city alone, i would suggest to get a tour, as some user said above. It's better to have a general overview of the city first, locate the barrios and main places, so you can choose where to go on your own in your spare time. And of course being able to meet people in your same situation.

City center is usually crowded at night, so you never feel alone and, if you avoid certain streets (not the main ones), there should be no problem at all.
I'm sure the frontdesk people of the hotel where you may be staying, would be more than willing to help with indications and advise.

Of course, local people are nice and will also help you. smile

#89268 - 03/11/11 01:47 PM Re: Is Madrid safe for a woman alone? [Re: GorgonaMedussa]
laduque Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 10/02/00
Posts: 656
Loc: San Diego, CA, USA
I walk all over the city center exploring on my own and have never had a problem (knock wood). I am very alert though and don't wear a handbag that is easy to snatch. I use a small over the shoulder bag and walk with it close to my body. I also don't wear a camera hanging around my neck or any outlandish jewelry. I just don't want to stand out.

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