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How Many Days Do You Need To Fully Enjoy Your Trip To Madrid?

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by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Pia V.

Last updated : May 21, 20247 min read

Itinerary Ideas

The city of Madrid is visited by over 2 million people each and every year. Visitors are drawn to Spain's vibrant capital by its rich history, excellent museums, lively art scene, and delicious cuisine. If you're planning a trip to Madrid, you might be wondering how many days you should allot for exploring the city. Do you need a full week to take it all in, or can you get a good feel of this metropolis in just a single day? 

 

Whether you have a day, a weekend or a week to spend in Madrid, this guide will break it all down for you, providing tips and insight into which sites to include on your itinerary. If you are on a limited schedule, we strongly recommend a private tour with a private guide that'll introduce you to all the best attractions without any hassle.

 

Day Trip

 

If you only have a day to spend in the city, you're in luck, as Madrid is one of the easiest cities to navigate even on a limited time frame. The city is easily accessible directly from the Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport, with metro and train lines taking you from the airport to downtown Madrid in 30 minutes or less. Additionally, the city itself is very walkable, so getting around will be easy.

 

So, what should you see during your 24 hours in the city? A good place to start is Plaza Mayor, Madrid's lively central square. This has been the heart of the city for centuries, having first been established during the 1600s. The square continues to be used for different events, from Christmas markets to Easter parades. It's a great place for taking in the local history (the statue of King Philip III at the center of the square dates back to 1616), while also getting lost in the vibrant buzz of modern-day Madrid.

 

Only a short walk from Plaza Mayor, you will find the impressive Royal Palace of Madrid, the second-largest royal palace in Europe (the largest being Vatican City's Apostolic Palace). You don't just have to settle for admiring the building from afar, either, as the palace is open to the public. Close to the palace, you can visit the beautiful Almudena Cathedral, which was the first cathedral located outside of Rome to have been consecrated.

 

If you only have time to visit one museum in Madrid, you should definitely choose Museo del Prado. This is the most important art museum in the country, and it's thought to house some of the most important European art collections in the world. The museum houses celebrated works from masters including Francisco Goya, Titian, Diego Velázquez, and many others.

 

2 Day (Weekend) Trip

 

Who could resist a weekend trip to Madrid? On a two-day itinerary, you have the opportunity to explore more of the city, as well as see it transform from day to night. Madrid is one of Europe's more nocturnal cities (some clubs don't even open until midnight), so be sure to bring your dancing shoes! Whether you prefer to linger around a table of tapas and wine, or want to dance the night away, there is a club, pub, or restaurant in Madrid that's sure to tickle your fancy. Live music is also on offer practically every night of the week - ask a local guide for tips on finding the best venues! To find the highest concentration of bars and restaurants, the Malasaña and Chueca neighborhoods are your best bets.

 

After exploring museums and historic monuments, and perhaps enjoying a late night out on the town, you might find yourself craving some fresh air and greenery. Parque del Buen Retiro, or El Retiro for short, offers the perfect nature escape in the heart of the city. In this huge park, you can get out on the water by renting a little boat to cruise around the lake, or simply settle down for a yummy picnic and enjoy some of the best people watching in the city while you eat. While exploring the park, pay attention to the multiple statues dotted throughout this leafy green area.

 

While enjoying the park, you can also visit Palacio de Cristal, or the Glass Palace. This stunning, UNESCO-protected conservatory was originally used as a greenhouse. Nowadays, the space is used to host exhibitions by the local Reina Sofía Museum. The sheer design of the building makes it well worth visiting.

 

5 Day (Week-long) Trip

 

If you are lucky enough to have a full week to spend in Madrid, you will be able to see the city at your own pace. With several days to spare, you can even venture beyond the city limits. One of the most rewarding day trips from Madrid is to head out to the beautiful city of Toledo

 

Located about an hour's drive from Madrid (or just 30 minutes on a high-speed train), Toledo is a beautiful hilltop city which dates back more than 2,000 years. Thanks to its stunning architecture and prominent works of art, most notably those by El Greco, Toledo was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. Besides admiring the city's artful heritage, Toledo is also a great place for picking up local souvenirs. Toledo is famous for its glass and metal artisans. Those with a sweet tooth will love the local marzipan!

 

Once back in Madrid, you will also have time to really dive deep into the local culinary scene. From hearty paella to spicy chorizo and traditional tortilla de patatas, Spanish cuisine is guaranteed to leave you asking for seconds. When it's time for dessert, you just can't go wrong with churros. As with any popular city, it's best to steer clear of the most touristic restaurants to ensure an authentic experience. The best way to get a real taste of the local flavors is by touring Madrid's famed restaurants, lively markets, and hidden gem eateries with a well-versed local guide.

 

Conclusion

 

As you can see, Madrid has so much to offer, regardless of your time frame! While this beautiful Spanish city is definitely worth a full week-long trip, you can also get a lot out of the city in a weekend or even just a day trip. Whether you have a weekend or a full week to spend in Madrid, our local guides can help you plan and execute the perfect itinerary, ensuring you get the best possible experience.

Madrid Tour Guide - José enrique  A.

José enrique A.

5.00 / 5
(1 reviews)
Spain

Hello everyone!!! My name is José and I'm official Tour Guide in Spain!!! I was born and raised in Madrid and I really love my city, I would like you to join me in a tour around the Medieval Madrid,. a spot really unknown even for the citizens of my town which was the core of Madrid!!! You will not regret the experience. You will also have the chance of getting to know other places of my beautiful hometown and the surrounding areas of Madrid, such as Alcalá de Henares (World Heritage by the UNESCO), San Lorenzo del Escorial and Aranjuez.                                                                                                                                 

Madrid Tour Guide - Oscar  V.

Oscar V.

5.00 / 5
(2 reviews)
Spain

I am a tour guide with licence and I have a Van with capacity for seven people with public licence. I can offer tours in Madrid, Toledo, Avila and Segovia how a driver- guide.                                                                                                                                 

Madrid Tour Guide - Enrique G.

Enrique G.

Spain

I have been guiding for the last 16 years, I am a historian and an official Madrid guide, so having the opotunity to guide has been a great luck for me. I am a proud Madrileño and I will be real happy if I have the chance to take you around my great city, which is filled with History, Monuments and great vibe!! If you come on one of my tours, you won't regret it!! Welcome to Madrid                                                                                                                                 

Madrid Tour Guide - Leire I.

Leire I.

5.00 / 5
(2 reviews)
Spain

Being a guide for me is more than a job; Being able to show the culture, history and art of this country is something that I am passionate about, being the bridge between my country and the people who visit it. I discovered this profession almost ten years ago and since then I know that my future is here.                                                                                                                                 

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