It’s possible visit Madrid in 1 day?
¡Yes! We know that it is not long and that our visit will not allow us to explore the city in depth but with a little organization and planning we can get to know all the essentials.
We have prepared an itinerary with maps, approximate times, kms of travel and photos so that those who visit the capital for the first time can squeeze their visit to the fullest. Also, we’ve assumed we’ll spend the day out because time will allow us to.
To visit Madrid in 1 day we will have to wear comfortable clothes and shoes
We are preparing more tickets with more options for those who make an express visit for the second or third time and also for those rainy or cold days when we want to be covered.
We will visit Madrid in 1 day. ¡So let’s enjoy it!
Before we start… let’s get some strength! If you have the opportunity, go out for breakfast outside your accommodation. Much of the shops and cafés in the center of Madrid sleep well until 10 a.m.
Most of them live off tourism so the cafes you meet before will probably be full of Madridians having breakfast before entering work. You can order a chocolate with churros or a coffee accompanied by a croissant, an omelette skewer or the Madrid bread with tomato, olive oil and salt.
Now that we’ve got a full stomach, let’s get started!
These are the points we propose to visit before we sit down to eat. It is a 7.2 km route that can take you approximately 4 hours on foot. The ideal would be to do it between 10h and 14h so that we can go to eat later (we will explain in another entrance why our schedules) and be able to take advantage of the rest of the day.
Another option for those who want to do it faster and thus have more time to walk, tapas, go shopping or visit a museum would be to consider doing it by segway (approx 90 minutes) or by bike (approx 3 hours tour that also includes other points to visit).
- Plaza Mayor
- St. Anne’s Square
- Caixa Forum Vertical Garden
- Prado Museum
- Retiro Park
- Puerta de Alcalá
- Cibeles Palace
- Gran Viaa
- Puerta del Sol
We start in the beautiful Plaza Mayor, meeting point for visitors, Madrid and street artists. We can if you want to approach the tourist office that is right there to take a couple of maps that help us to orient ourselves.
From there, we will walk east until we reach the Plaza de Santa Ana. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful squares in the city, it is today the epicenter of the Barrio de las Letras. And what are we going to meet in the neighborhood? First, many references to Spanish literature.
Not for nothing was the place where much of that cultural movement of the Spanish Golden Century developed.
« Statues of writers, theatres, quotes from authors written on the ground and above all: many art galleries, concept cafes and designer shops »
We recommend you to walk around the neighborhood at your own air without forgetting that we are walking downhill to the east,
Going down we will reach the Caixa Forum museum and the vertical garden that rises right next door. More than 120 types of plants and 480 m2 of surface built by the French botanist and inventor of plant walls Patrick Blanc (https://www.murvegetalpatrickblanc.com/).
Walk now to the north until you reach the Prado Museum. We will turn right past the museum to see its entrance, the beautiful church of San Jerónimo and the old palace of The Good Retiro. We’ve finally reached the park!
We have 117 hectares to travel and winding roads can cause us to get lost so we recommend you always stay on the big avenues from which it is always easier to orient yourself.
We have entered the park through the royal gate of Philip IV (the king responsible for the construction of the park) and the first thing we will find is his royal parterre. We will follow the avenue until we reach the beautiful fountain of the Artichoke and there we will see it: it is the lake, the most famous and well-known monument of the park.
Before we stop at it, we recommend you to go and visit the nearby Crystal Palace. The best view is facing, on the other side of the small lake that accompanies it.
Once seen, we can take the same path back to the great pond and now yes, walk along the avenue to see it well. In the background and on the horse, Alfonso XII.
We will leave the park by another of the doors and meet in front with the impressive Puerta de Alcalá: our particular arc of Triumph, smaller but just as beautiful!
From there, and in about 5 minutes, we will reach the majestic Palace of Cibeles and the fountain of the same name. From the roundabout, we will see what was the old financial district of the city: the bank of Spain, the Cervantes institute, the Metropolis building.
Look at the buildings and their details. Most still belong today to banks, insurance companies or the government itself.
The Puerta de Alcalá: The first triumphal arch erected in Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire
We have arrived at the Metropolis building, where we will take Gran Vía Street. We love its architecture! Impressive buildings, with details and statues on their pristine facades.
Originally a street full of local merchants, the Gran Via is now synonymous with globalization. Traditional retailers have given way to big fashion chains. Continuing along the great road we will reach Callao (the building with advertising Swepps) and from there, we will start on the way to Puerta del Sol, its famous Bear and Madroño and Km 0.
It’s time to rest!
The ride has been long but don’t worry because the afternoon is going to be a little more relaxed. You’ll be hungry and wonder where you can eat. We propose you to return to Plaza Mayor to try the typical squid sandwiches of La Campana (X street number X) or visit the almost always crowded San Miguel Market where you can taste a thousand and a typical local and typical Spanish products.
« If you want something more relaxed and be seated a good time you can try a paella in the Daniela arrocería, a typical and simple menu of the day in Casa Antón, a few tapas of 10 in the Mini Bar or the delicious and somewhat more elaborate dishes of the Taste »
We have proposed these options because of their proximity and because we go so far and know them well, although you can always explore the area at your own speed and choose from the dozens of restaurants and fast food outlets that you will find along the way (Arenal street and Main Street are full of them). Always careful, better not to sit down to eat in the same Plaza Mayor !
A once rested, we prepare to continue visiting Madrid in 1 day..
Our next stops will be:
- Villa Square
- Eastern Opera and Plaza
- Royal Palace
- Almudena Cathedral
- Sabatini Gardens
- Debod Temple
- Spanish Steps
- Gran Via (the second section)
The square of the villa is the oldest of the squares of Madrid and the one that retains a more typical medieval look. From there, we will walk downhill until we find the Cathedral of the Almudena. Access to the interior is free and will not take you long because our cathedral is relatively modern and minimalist.
Let’s get out of the cathedral and go visit its facade. It is in front of the Royal Palace and its Patio de Armas.
If we keep moving forward we will find the Plaza de Oriente and La Opera. Presiding over the place, the statue of Philip IV. On the north facade of the palace we will see the Sabatini Gardens. Down stairs and enjoy the breathtaking view.
From there and in about 10 minutes we will reach the Egyptian Temple of Debod. Nice!
« Not for nothing this place is chosen by many Madridians and visitors to enjoy the sunset »
From the viewpoints of the park we will enjoy a great view of the Palace and the Cathedral, the south-west area of the city, the Casa de Campo park and the nearby mountains.
We will now head to Plaza de España to see the monument to Cervantes and the imposing Spain building. This is our last stop!
Plaza de España is in turn the end of Gran Vía (whose beginning we toured in the morning) so at this point, we have more than to recommend walking around it towards Callao. This Gran Via is by no means similar to the one we saw in the morning! Theatres, cinemas, shops several…
It’s time to enjoy Madrid at your own time, stop to tapas or wander in a hurry because…we’ve made it!
It’s been intense but we visited Madrid in 1 day and we can say that we’ve seen it all (or almost!).