This city is one of the most beautiful and historic in Europe, and there is no way to see it all in just two or three days, however if you only have two days you will want to make sure your time is well spent and enjoy all there is to see in Madrid.
Tabla de Contenidos
Days in Madrid, day one: exploring the city
Puerta del sol
With all there is to see in Madrid you will want to start your day at Puerta del Sol, a busy square that is the heart of Madrid, where many of the city's most important attractions are located. In this area you'll find many restaurants and stores, as well as magnificent views of the city.
The best way to get there and save some money is to go by metro or bus: the nearest metro station is Sol and the nearest bus stop is Plaza de la Independencia.
The Plaza Mayor is one of the most popular attractions to see in Madrid and a landmark since medieval times, when it was used as a camp and market, in addition to many other purposes for which it was used over the years.
Today it is known as a place where people can shop and eat in restaurants or outdoor cafes, take pictures next to statues or fountains, or just enjoy being outdoors in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
The square is surrounded by beautiful buildings and houses many of the city's main monuments, such as the Royal Palace and can be visited at any time, but a favorite time of year for most tourists to visit is during the April Fair in April or May.
The fair attracts crowds of people who come to watch the performances of flamenco dancers and musicians. When you're not watching the dancers or listening to the musicians, you can shop at stalls selling everything from flowers to seafood. And the best thing about visiting in April or May? You'll probably be able to find a few sunny days.
The Royal Palace of Madrid
After exploring the Plaza Mayor, we recommend that you head to the Royal Palace of Madrid, a huge building that was originally built for King Philip IV to use as a residence, it is considered one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe, and is known for its ornate architecture and intricate stonework.
The palace has been the residence of Spanish monarchs since the 15th century, it is currently the official residence of the King of Spain, but it is also open to the public for tours, which makes it an attractive place to see in Madrid, during your visit, you will pass through several rooms and courtyards, such as the Hall of Ambassadors and the Throne Room. You will also be able to see some of the works of art that adorn the palace walls, such as sculptures by Canova and El Greco.
Plaza de España
If you are in Madrid and want to learn about the history of the city, head to the Plaza de España, a beautiful park with fountains, gardens and an incredible view of the city, you can stroll around the Plaza de España and see the sculptures and monuments scattered around the area, or sit in one of the many nearby cafes or restaurants for a bite to eat.
The central part of this square has been converted into an open-air shopping mall, making it an ideal place for window shopping and people-watching, and at night Plaza de España becomes a popular destination for strolling.
Temple of Debod
If you only have two days in Madrid, you should dedicate the first day to explore the city and enjoy one of the many things to see in Madrid with a visit to the Temple of Debod, one of the most important archaeological sites in Madrid. Built by the ancient Egyptians between 700 BC and 600 BC, it is a beautiful example of ancient architecture and design.
The temple was built in tribute to Ramses II and is an example of Egyptian architecture in Spain, moved to Madrid in 1968 and restored with great care by archaeologists from Egypt, today is open to visitors every day from 9 to 18 hours and admission is free.
Days in Madrid, day two: city of art
The second day in Madrid is dedicated to art, if you have time, energy and want to contemplate a large number of things to see in Madrid, the Prado Museum is a must-see.
The museum houses one of the largest collections of European art in the world, with works by artists such as Velázquez, Goya, Rembrandt and Rubens. The collection covers a wide range of genres, from Spanish Baroque and Flemish painting to Renaissance art and works from later periods.
You can spend hours touring the museum and not see everything, but if you want to make the most of your visit, be sure to book tickets in advance so you don't have to wait in line, now if you want to save some money in the process you can visit this museum during the weekend particularly on Sunday.
It is the largest park to see in Madrid, and one of the most popular places, and it is easy to see why. It is full of lush greenery, fountains and statues, an ideal place for a picnic or just a leisurely stroll, and there are plenty of places to relax and enjoy the scenery, including the lake, which is home to ducks and swans. If you are looking for more culture, there are also museums and gardens within the park.
There are two main entrances to the park: on Paseo de la Castellana (just off Calle de Alcalá) or on Avenida de Felipe II (just off Calle Bailén). Both can be easily reached by cab or public transportation as it is a 15-minute walk from the city center.
The best time to visit the park is during the spring or summer months (March-June), when it is full of life. If you don't want to deal with the crowds or people taking selfies in front of all the famous statues in the city (and who wants to?), come during the week or early in the morning; the park fills up later in the day.
If you want to enjoy all there is to see in Madrid in a different way, on the second day of your trip dedicate part of it to visit the Reina Sofia museum, the jewel in the crown of Spanish art and architecture, home to excellent collections of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts from around the world.
The museum was originally built to house the Prado Museum, but became an independent entity, now it is one of the most important art museums in the world, and not only for its collection: the building itself is beautiful, with its Moorish-inspired architecture and glass roof.
The first floor houses some of the best Spanish art from all periods, while the upper level contains more contemporary works by Picasso, Dalí, Goya and Miró. You will also find works by other artists who are not so well known outside of Spain: Klee, Kandinsky, Chagall, so if you are looking for something really different on your trip to Madrid, visit this museum!
Tapas and Wine
There are plenty of places to explore with lots of things to see in Madrid, but if you're looking for something quieter and more intimate, head to the Plaza Mayor. Here you'll find plenty of restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy tapas and wine while soaking up the atmosphere of this beautiful city.
More things to do in Madrid
The Almudena Cathedral is one of the most important religious buildings to see in Madrid and one of the best known monuments in the city, the interior of the cathedral is impressive, with stained glass windows and other architectural details that make it worth a visit, it has a number of impressive features, such as a large organ, a pulpit carved in marble and a golden dome that rises above everything else in the city.
The cathedral is open daily from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm (except on public holidays), with an entrance fee of about 8 euros per person. While you are there, be sure to see its many mosaics, designed by some of Spain's best-known artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró.
You can't visit Madrid without stopping by El Rastro, it's one of the most popular things to see in Madrid on a weekend, and it's easy to see why. This extensive flea market is one of the best places to get lost and one of the best ways to learn about the history of the city.
Don't miss our Complete guide to the Rastro of Madrid!
The market is open every Sunday morning from 9 am to 3 pm, but if you want to see it in all its splendor, come early: the crowds begin to gather around noon. Stalls are spread over several blocks along the streets of Cava Baja, Cava Alta, del Pez and Arenal. Vendors sell everything from antique jewelry to handmade shoes and vintage dresses.
You will also find many food stalls serving traditional Spanish delicacies such as Serrano ham, chorizo, calamari and Spanish omelette. If after all that meat you feel like something sweet or sugary, try a cupcake from La Casa del Dulce on Calle de Lepanto.
San Miguel Market
The Mercado de San Miguel is the place to go if you are looking for a relaxed and authentic experience in Madrid, it is much like the famous La Boqueria market in Barcelona, but with less tourists.
You may be interested in: San Miguel Market Madrid
The market is huge and has lots of fish and seafood stalls, as well as produce and meats. In this market you will find all kinds of food, from snacks like fried squid rings or potato chips to complete meals that you can eat right there or take home (like paella).
If you're in town on a Friday or Saturday, one of the things to see in Madrid that you can't miss is a visit to this little market, stocked with everything from fresh produce and meats to clothing, jewelry and home décor, it's an ideal place to buy souvenirs and enjoy a delicious meal.
Chapel of the Bishop of Madrid
If you are looking for a more spiritual side to see in Madrid, the Capilla del Obispo de Madrid is a good place to start, a beautiful, tall building with an interior full of ornate decorations, including marble walls and pillars, stained glass windows and sculptures, the chapel is open to visitors every day except Tuesdays, but it is recommended to call ahead to make sure it is open when you want to visit.
Thyssen Bornemisza Museum
The Thyssen Bornemisza Museum is a must-see for visitors who wish to contemplate in a short time all that tourists have to see in Madrid, this impressive museum houses an impressive art collection, which includes works by Picasso, Cézanne and Rembrandt. It also houses one of the largest private collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world, with more than 8,000 works in total.
When you plan your visit to this city remember that there are many things to see in Madrid and the Santiago Bernabeu is a must visit, not only is the stadium where Real Madrid plays, but it is also a museum and a cultural center where you can take guided tours of the stadium, see its art gallery and even take some souvenirs.
The oldest restaurant in the world
There are many ways to spend your time in Madrid, but if you're looking for something more unique than an ordinary gastronomic visit, look no further than the oldest restaurant in the world. Founded in 1725 and still open today, Restaurante Botín is located on Cuchilleros Street and is famous for serving some of the best seafood paella in all of Spain.
San Francisco el grande
Although Madrid is a relatively small city, it is packed with things to do. You could spend days exploring the city and still have things to do, among the best things to see in Madrid is the San Francisco el Grande building, built in the 17th century and one of Madrid's most popular landmarks, which today serves as an art museum and concert hall.
Enjoy a flamenco show
Flamenco, one of the most famous forms of Spanish dance, is a show not to be missed. There are many flamenco shows in Madrid, so be sure to choose one that fits your style.
You can find flamenco shows in Madrid in many different places: from small bars to big theaters. If you are looking for something more informal, try going to a bar where there will be music with some dancers in the background.
Explore the Malasaña area
Malasaña is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Madrid, it is known for its bohemian atmosphere, which is noticeable as soon as you enter the neighborhood. You will find many restaurants, bars and cafes along with book and clothing stores.
Malasaña is also home to two important cultural institutions such as the Bullfighting Museum of Madrid which focuses on bullfighting and other aspects of Spanish culture related to bullfighting.
Excursion to Toledo
Toledo is a great excursion from Madrid. It is only an hour and a half away, so you can easily include it in your itinerary, the city is known for its gastronomy, architecture and history.
Useful information about Madrid
When to go to Madrid?
The best time to go is summer, when it is warm and sunny, however, Madrid also has a great winter season with many festivals taking place during this time of year, meaning there will always be something to see in Madrid at any time of the year.
Is Madrid expensive?
Madrid is not a cheap city, but it is not prohibitively expensive either. If you are looking for something in the middle of your budget, Madrid will offer you many options.
While it is true that some things will cost more than they would in other cities, it is also true that there are many things that are cheaper in Madrid than in other places. So if you are planning to travel and enjoy all there is to see in Madrid and save some money here are some tips:
- Stay in a hostel or Airbnb, they are significantly cheaper than hotels, and often have kitchens and common areas where you can socialize with other guests and make friends.
- Visit museums on Sundays when they are free. Most museums offer free admission on Sundays, so plan your visit if possible.
- You can save money by cooking your own meals in your room instead of eating out every day.
Where to stay in Madrid?
When planning your trip keep in mind that there is a lot to do and see in Madrid, so if you are staying in Madrid for more than a few days, it is worth considering renting an apartment instead of a hotel room. If you choose this option, it is best to rent with someone who lives in Madrid and knows the city, to help you find the perfect place according to your needs and your budget.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for accommodation that is within walking distance of many of Madrid's main attractions, but still maintains a certain level of privacy, then our Segovia Suites may be just what you are looking for. These apartments are located right next to the Fuente de San Luis Church and the Plaza Mayor.
Where to store luggage in Madrid?
You can store your luggage at the airport, but the cost will be higher than if you store it in a hotel or apartment. There are many options for luggage storage in Madrid and these are some of the best places to store your luggage:
- The airport has a subway luggage storage room for 2 euros/day, located in Terminal 4A.
- You can also store your luggage at the NH Aeropuerto hotel for 4 euros per day. The hotel is located near Terminal 4A of Madrid Barajas Airport.
- If you are staying in an apartment or hotel nearby, ask them if they offer a luggage storage room. It may be free or very cheap, depending on where you are staying and what time of year it is (you will probably be charged more during peak periods, such as summer).
How to move around Madrid?
Madrid is a big city, so it can be difficult to get around without a car. However, there are several options to get around the city and enjoy all there is to see in Madrid without a car:
- One option is the Madrid Metro. The metro has three lines: Line 1 (yellow), Line 2 (red) and Line 3 (purple). These lines run throughout the city and connect many of Madrid's main tourist destinations.
- Another option is Madrid's bus system. There are over 250 bus lines that run throughout the city and connect many of Madrid's main tourist destinations. Buses are often cheaper than taking cabs or riding in Uber or Lyft.
- If you are looking for an even cheaper way to get around Madrid, there are also several bike sharing programs in Madrid that allow you to rent a bike by the hour or by the day so you can get around the city whenever you need to.
Is Madrid safe?
Madrid is a safe city. The city has a continuous police presence on the streets, and the main areas of interest are visited by a large number of tourists every day. However, it is always advisable to take precautions when traveling abroad: keep your valuables in a safe place, avoid walking alone at night and, if you go out at night, make sure you go with someone who knows the area well.