If you are like me and are playing the work/life juggling act, this itinerary to Madrid is for you! We used 4.5 days of PTO and were able to fit three cities into our trip! In summation, we had 2.5 days to explore Madrid along with two different day trips! Included in this post is a quick outline of a great way to spend yours days in the Madrid area (not a detailed, hour-by-hour breakdown 😉).
P.S. Flying during the week like this itinerary is usually cheaper than flying on the weekends 🙂
Travel day! Whether you have to use this day as a PTO day or not depends on where your departing city is. We leave from Arkansas, so we used half a day of PTO to catch a 4:40 pm flight to Dallas and then an overnight flight from Dallas to Madrid! If we lived in Dallas or anywhere that would like to take us across the pond directly, we wouldn’t have had to use ANY PTO!
Land in Madrid in the AM ( we landed around 11:15 am).
Use the rest of the day to start exploring Madrid!
- I recommend heading to Parque de El Retiro as your first stop because it is kind of on the other side of Madrid compared to the other sites. The park is beautiful and needs to be seen SOMETIME on your trip!
- Palacio de Cibeles is also on this side of town. So I recommend going to the observation deck to watch sunset and have a drink while you are over there!
- Then, I recommend Gustos at the Plaza Mayor for dinner. It may be in the “tourist” section of town, but it had a beautiful inside downstairs section or a patio option, the food and sangria were amazing and the price was affordable!
Day trip to Segovia! There are two day-trips from Madrid on this itinerary. I suggest going to Segovia on Saturday due to it being a less-common day trip and may be cheaper and less crowded on a Saturday.
A small guide to Segovia will be coming soon, including how to get there and what to see when you get there! Train tickets to Segovia can be purchased here!
- Start with a walking tour in the morning. We learned some history of the city and had a better idea of the layout of the city after the walking tour!
- Our tour ended at the Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral. I suggest exploring these after your tour! The cathedral is free unless you want to go into the dome.
- To get into the dome of the cathedral you have to purchase a ticket to the museum. You also have to pay to enter the palace. This is totally based on personal-preference.
- The walking tour will likely start in Plaza Mayor or Puerta de Sol, but you’ll see both during your tour. I recommend further exploring after the tour as well.
- Do a Flamenco show with dinner included to top off the day!
I honestly think an itinerary to Madrid isn’t complete without a day trip to Toledo. It is easy to get to and such a neat city!
It is about a 30 minute train ride from Madrid and so worth it! It was once the capital of Spain and is a beautiful city on a hill surrounded by a wall.
A mini guide to Toledo is coming soon!
Finish exploring Madrid!
- Do a tapa and sangria hop! These two were some of my favorite things about Madrid! While you are hopping around restaurants, stop at any missed sites you would like to see in Madrid
- Have dinner at the oldest restaurant in the world, Sabrino de Botin! If this seems too “touristy” for you, you need to at least stop and see the Oldest Restaurant (there is only one in the WORLD)!
Travel day back to the US! With the time difference, you’ll gain a few hours and be back in time for work on Thursdsay!
Itinerary to Madrid Recap
Is this a fast-paced itinrary to Spain? Yes it is. However, we felt like we had a good feel for Madrid with the 2.5 days exploring and we loved both of the day trips we took to Segovia and Toledo! Spain is a country that, I believe, has a million beautiful, clean towns that you could spend months exploring. However, if you are working, you don’t have that luxury. So this itinerary gives you a taste of the big city and small city life of Spain while using minimum PTO days!
Looking for specific things to do in Madrid? Here are 10 things we enjoyed while exploring!