Top 15 Best Day Trips From Madrid

15 Popular Day Trips From Madrid

Spain’s capital city, Madrid, is among the continent’s most visited destinations in Europe. It is a city that truly does have something for everyone. From the capital, there are many day trips you can enjoy. Here are the top 15 destinations you should not miss.

1. Barcelona

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Even if it’s quite a distance, you can get to Barcelona from Madrid in a day. Must-see attractions in Barcelona include the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. There will be plenty of time for football lovers to schedule a visit to Camp Nou, the home of one of the most successful football teams, Barcelona. If you consider yourself a “foodie,” you should not miss La Boqueria, Barcelona’s world-famous indoor food market.

2. Patones De Arriba

Patones is perched on a mountaintop, making it so remote that it was treated as a sovereign nation until the 18th century. Most of the town’s inhabitants left for adjacent suburbs decades ago, leaving Patones a relic of a bygone era.

Patones have a distinctively dark appearance thanks to the slate used for their walls and roofs. The Senda del Barranco is a good place to begin a day of hiking because it is an ecological path suitable for all ages and skill levels.

3. The Purple Fields

Lavender Fields in La Mancha Spain
Lavender Fields in La Mancha Spain

The Purple Fields contains one of the largest lavender fields in Europe, which blossoms in July. During this time, the city also hosts festivals and events. Add it to your summer holiday itinerary, and you will return home with countless stunning photographs.

4. Segovia

Segovia Aqueduct photo via DepositPhotos.com
Segovia Aqueduct photo via DepositPhotos.com

Segovia is a popular Madrid day trip. Start your visit with the Roman Aqueduct in the city center. From Plaza Azoguejo, you can explore the city’s medieval streets. You’ll witness the Segovia Cathedral’s stunning Gothic architecture as you travel. Next, visit the Jewish Quarter and the Corpus Christi Convent, a historic synagogue. You may explore the castle and see Segovia and beyond.

5. Toledo

Toledo, Spain cathedral and rooftops at dawn via Depositphotos
Toledo, Spain cathedral and rooftops at dawn via Depositphotos

If you’re seeking places to visit outside of Madrid, the medieval city of Toledo is an easy choice. Christians, Jews, and Arabs all left significant marks on the city, making it a fascinating study in cultural exchange.

The city’s ethnic history is reflected in the architecture of the 13th-century Cathedral of Toledo. Elsewhere you’ll find castles and churches that were once synagogues. Finally, there is the enormous Alcazar stronghold, a former royal palace now a military museum.

6. San Lorenzo de El Escorial

San Lorenzo de El Escorial is home to one of Spain’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Royal Palace, Royal Mausoleum, Royal Library, Royal Basilica, and Royal Memorial can be found at this destination. Check the murals in the Gallery of Battles, the stunning library, and the basilica in the monastery’s Pantheon of the Kings, which houses the remains of ancient kings and queens.

Most tourists who visit El Escorial also go to the nearby Valley of the Fallen, which features a basilica and a massive cross that stands 150 meters tall as a memorial to the victims of the Spanish Civil War.

7. Avila

Avila, Spain - A UNESCO World Heritage Site photo via Depositphotos
Avila, Spain – A UNESCO World Heritage Site photo via Depositphotos

Many Spanish cities have medieval walls, but only a few compare to Avila‘s and 90 towers. Walk down one of the open areas and view them from afar. Then, head behind the walls to visit Avila Cathedral. Along with the cathedral, you’ll find churches, monasteries, and convents, including Convento de Santa Teresa and Basilica of San Vicente de vila.

8. The Lozoya Valley

A trip to the Lozoya Valley is a good reason for packing your hiking gear. The Lozoya Valley’s trails are well marked and great for hiking or riding bikes. A couple of my favorite spots in this region include the Finnish Woodland and the Purgatory Waterfalls.

9. Alcalá De Henares

Alcalá de Henares has a university-town ambiance. During Spain’s golden age, the most prominent literates studied at this great institution. Its aesthetic buildings include Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso. Alcalá’s city center is excellent for a stroll and al fresco for dining.

10. San Martín De Valdeiglesias

View of San Martin de Valdeiglesias by Miguel Angel Masegosa Martinez via Wikimedia cc
View of San Martin de Valdeiglesias by Miguel Angel Masegosa Martinez via Wikimedia cc

Many people don’t realize that Madrid is home to some excellent wines. San Martin de Valdeiglesias is a great destination for a day excursion to the vineyards and wineries of the region.

In the summer, there are free concerts of classical music and other events held in the park for the public. Take a plunge in the San Juan reservoir to cool off on hot days. The destination is a 15-minute drive away from Madrid.

11. Aranjuez’s Gardens

Aranjuez is one of Madrid’s most relaxing day trips. It is near Madrid and can be reached by train in forty minutes. The remarkable architecture of the city reflects its history as a royal home. Explore the Royal Palace and Casa del Labrador for the ultimate sightseeing experience.

12. Seville

Royal Alcazar of Seville via Depositphotos
Royal Alcazar of Seville via Depositphotos

Seville, Andalusia’s capital, is considered southern Spain’s most visually appealing and romantic destination. The small, cobblestone alleyways are great for taking it easy with a plate of tapas and watching the world go by. The city is quite old and still preserves some of the traces of its complex cultural past. A good thing is that you can reach Seville by train. You can book your train tickets via Omio.

13. Cuenca

Start your tour at Plaza Mayor in the city’s historic core, where the beautiful Gothic architecture of Cuenca Cathedral will welcome you. Cuenca’s renowned hanging houses, traditional residences proudly perched on cliffs above the Huecar river canyon, are located further into the city. The easiest way to see these amazing houses is to cross the gorge on the historic San Pablo Bridge.

14. Valencia

City of Arts and Sciences Valencia
City of Arts and Sciences Valencia

Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, is one of the country’s top tourist destinations. You can visit Valencia Cathedral, which houses the Holy Grail. Next, stroll through El Carmen and have Valencian paella. Visit the Jardn del Turia, L’Oceanogràfic aquarium, and Hemisfèric planetarium to witness Valencia’s modern side.

15. Chinchón

The town of Chinchón is a magical setting in which time passes slowly. As you walk around, you’ll have the distinct impression that you’ve gone back in time.

The small city is popular among tourists because of its distinctive plaza mayor, which is in the shape of an oval, and the well-preserved structures from the 18th century surrounding it. Anise liqueur, the best drunk on a sunny terrace, is one of its surprising local specialties and has helped make the city famous.

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