What to see in Madrid and surroundings in 7 days

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Madrid is a cosmopolitan city that preserves one of the most important historical centers of the great European cities which blends harmoniously with the most comfortable and modern infrastructures. The Spanish capital it really has a lot to offer from a tourist point of view: famous monuments, important museums, art treasures, but also shopping, entertainment and nightlife. And above all, always happy people at all hours of the day and night. Moreover, it is really in a fortunate position: a few kilometers away, in fact, very beautiful places to see are easily reachable.

So, are you ready to leave with us? Here what to see in Madrid and surroundings in 7 days!


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. 4 day
  5. 5 day
  6. 6 day
  7. 7 day
  8. How much does a week cost in Madrid
  9. Before leaving: useful tips
  10. User questions and comments

1 day

A visit to Madrid can only begin with the very famous Prado Museum. Spread over 3 floors, the Prado houses over 5.000 paintings that rival the works of the Louvre in Paris. The whole morning will be used only for the museum (every day 10: 00-20: 00, Sunday until 19:00. Admission € 15,00). Buy the skip-the-line ticket to not miss the whole morning in line.
After leaving the museum, walk along the Paseo del Prado, the most beautiful tree-lined boulevard in the capital.

For lunch, stop at the Murillo Café (€ 20,00). After lunch take a 10-minute walk along Carrera de S. Jerónimo (alternatively metro 2 from Banco de España). You are in Puerta del Sol, the heart of the city and the liveliest square in the city. Then visit Plaza Mayor, a huge square surrounded by arcades and 3-storey buildings. Plaza Mayor has always been a place for meetings, announcements and celebrationsIt is also full of commemorative plaques, historic sites and symbols of great value. Then relax in the Retiro Park, a green oasis of 120 hectares within which there are the Rosaleda and the Palacio de Cristal.

End the evening with a dinner in the area, perhaps at the Viridiana restaurant (€ 75,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 4,2 km / 54 min
  • Places visited: Museo del Prado (€ 15,00), Paseo del Prado (free), Puerta del Sol (free), Plaza Mayor (free), Parque del Retiro (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 130,00
  • Prado Museum: direct entrance ticket
  • Lunch at Murillo Café (Get directions), Dinner at Viridiana (Get directions)

2 day

The Royal Palace will be the attraction that will keep you busy for the whole morning. Situated on a steep slope overlooking lush gardens, it is of the Spanish version of the French Versailles (every day 10: 00-20: 00, admission € 10,00). In such crowded attractions, we always suggest buying the skip-the-line ticket so as not to waste hours in the queue.
At 12 noon on the first Wednesday and Saturday of the month (except January, August and September) the solemn ceremony of the changing of the guard takes place in the Plaza de Armería.

Lunch in the nearby Café de Oriente Palacio Real (€ 45,00).
Continue the afternoon under the banner of art at the Reina Sofia Museum, an elegant modern building that it houses the most complete collection of Spanish contemporary art. In an exhibition space of 39.000 square meters there are notable masterpieces such as works by Mirò, Picasso and Dalì (Wed-Mon 10: 00-21: 00, closed Tuesday. Admission € 10,00 also with skip-the-line option).
Walking along Calle de Santa Isabel and Calle de Atocha (approximately 1 km), you reach the Monastery of las Descalzas Reales, cloistered monastery of the order of the Poor Clares (10: 00-14: 00 and 16: 00-18: 30, admission € 7,00).

Then proceed along Calle de Bailén to reach the Flamenco Las Tablas club to enjoy a typically folkloristic evening with dinner and the inevitable flamenco show (starting from € 66,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 5,9 km / 1 h 13 min
  • Places visited: Royal Palace (€ 10,00 + € 3,00 audio guide), Reina Sofia Museum (€ 10,00), Monastery of las Descalzas Reales (€ 7,00)
  • Daily shopping: € 140,00
  • Royal Palace guided tour and priority access Royal Palace of Madrid and Retiro Park: priority tour Reina Sofia Museum: priority entrance ticket
  • Lunch at Café de Oriente Palacio Real (Get directions), Dinner at Flamenco Las Tablas (Get directions)

3 day

Third day in one of the most famous museums in the whole city, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, which exhibits paintings and works belonging to the private collection of Thyssen-Bornemisza, the German steel magnate who got rich during the Second World War. You can admire masterpieces by Van Eyck, Caravaggio, Van Gogh, Gauguin (Tue-Sun 10: 00-19: 00, admission € 13,00 also with skip-the-line option).
After the visit reach the beautiful Plaza de Cibeles, also nicknamed the "sports" square, as Real Madrid fans meet here to celebrate the victories of the beloved team!

Lunch in the Revoltosa area (average cost per person € 15,00).
In the afternoon go along one of the most famous streets in Madrid, the Gran Vìa, the shopping street! Here you will find boutiques and high fashion shops, as well as numerous clubs and restaurants.
Follow them all and eventually you will arrive at Temple of Debod, an old Egyptian temple right in the center of Madrid. You got it right! It is an "out of place" attraction, but for this reason it is worth a visit (Tue-Sun 10: 00-20: 00, free admission). Also take advantage of it for a nice walk in the park where it is located.

Dinner in the area, at the fish restaurant Restaurante Marisquería La Chalana (average cost per person € 25,00)

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 3,9 km / 50 min
  • Places visited: Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (€ 13,00), Plaza de Cibeles (free), Calle Gran Vía (free), Temple of Debod (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 55,00
  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: Madrid Art Walk Pass Entrance Tickets: Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen Museums Prado, Reina Sofia & Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum Tour
  • Lunch at Revoltosa (Get directions), Dinner at Restaurante Marisquería La Chalana (Get directions)

4 day

This morning we take you to discover one of the symbols of Madrid, the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. We are talking about one of the temples of football, where Real Madrid plays, one of the strongest teams ever! This is a visit recommended for everyone, even those who are not a big football fan.
From the center it can be reached by metro line 10 to the Santiago Bernabeu stop. (Mon-Sat 9: 30-19: 00, Sun and holidays 10: 00-18: 30 in the absence of sporting events. Admission and tour € 25,00 also with skip-the-line option).

Lunch near the stadium, at The Good Burger (average cost per person € 10,00).
Then take the metro at the Santiago Bernabeu stop and return to the historic center, getting off at the Plaza de España stop, which is located just 900 meters from the afternoon attraction, the Teatro Real, one of the most important monuments of the city and among the most important cultural sites in all of Spain! It can only be visited by guided tour lasting 50 minutes with departure every hour from 10:30 to 16:30 (last tour at 15:30), the cost is € 7,00 (audio guide included).

Dinner in the center near Plaza Mayor at the Asturian restaurant El Cogollo (average cost per person € 20,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 5,7 km / 1 h 10 min
  • Places visited: Santiago Bernabeu stadium (€ 25,00), Teatro Real (€ 7,00)
  • Daily shopping: € 53,00
  • Bernabéu Stadium tour with entrance tickets
  • Lunch at The Good Burger (Get directions), Dinner at Restaurante El Cogollo (Get directions)

5 day

Day in Toledo, about 80 km south of Madrid. Accessible by high-speed train from Puerta de Atocha (30 min, approximately € 10,00); bus n. 55 from Plaza Eliptica (1 hour and a half, € 6,00); by car via the A-42 (1 hour). We recommend a comfortable 1 day guided tour from Madrid with hotel pickup and drop-off (from € 25,00)

Lying on the banks of the Tagus, in the land of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Toledo is the capital of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a city that has been able to keep up with the times without losing sight of its cultural imprint.

Not to be missed are Plaza de Zocodover, the beating heart of the city; The Primada Cathedral, a masterpiece of the Gothic style throughout Spain (open from 10:00 to 18:00, Sunday 14: 00-18: 00); there Church of San Tomè (open from 10:00 to 18:45); L'Alcazar, a former rd century fortress overlooking the city from above and inside which there is the Historical Museum (open from 11:00 to 17:00); Santa Maria la Blanca (open from 10:00 to 17:45) and the surrounding Jewish quarter.

For lunch you can stop in the characteristic La Cave (€ 25,00).
Before returning to Madrid, head up the hill (bus 71, € 1,80) for admire a fantastic view of the city from the Mirador del Valle. Then return to Madrid.

Upon returning to Madrid in the evening, you can dine in the station area from Sukaldea Atotxa (€ 25,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 165 km / 3 h 4 min by car
  • Places visited: Plaza de Zocodover (free) Primada Cathedral (€ 12,50), Church of San Tomè (€ 2,50), Alcazar and museum (€ 5,00), Santa Maria la Blanca (€ 2,80), Mirador del Valley (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 100,00
  • 1 day tour from Madrid Toledo and El Greco discovery tour and lunch 1 day tour with main attractions from Madrid
  • Lunch at La Cave (Get directions), Dinner at Sukaldea Atotxa (Get directions)

6 day

Visit of Segovia, 97 km from Madrid and reachable by high-speed train with change in Chamartin (1 hour and 7 min, from € 14,00), in 1 hour by car via the A-6 and AP-61. We do not recommend the regional train as it takes more than 2 hours. Also here we recommend a comfortable guided tour from madrid (from € 50,00 approximately)

Medieval town, Segovia is among the most beautiful and spectacular cities in Spain. Start with the city walls that once defended it (free every day until 15pm, € 00 on Saturdays and Sundays). Also worth seeing is the particular Casa de los Picos (1,00: 12-00: 14 and 00: 18-00: 20).

For lunch we recommend the Castilian restaurant El Sitio (average cost per person € 40,00).
Dedicate the afternoon to the main attractions: the Roman Aqueduct (always open to visitors), the fabulous Alcazar (10: 00-18: 00) that dominates it from above and the Cathedral, one of the few Gothic-style religious buildings in Europe from 'unusual yellow color (9: 30-19: 00; Sun 13: 00-19: 00).

Back to Madrid, dinner in the center of the La Bola tavern (€ 45,00)

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 192 km / 2 h 56 min by car
  • Places visited: walls (free, € 1,00 on weekends), Casa de los Picos (free), Jewish quarter (free), Roman Aqueduct (€ 6,00), Alcazar (€ 8,00), Cathedral (€ 3,00 .)
  • Daily shopping: € 135,00
  • excursion from Madrid with walking tour guided tour with entrance to the Alcázar from Madrid full day tour with transfer to and from Madrid,
  • Lunch at El Sitio (Get directions), Dinner at La Bola (Get directions)

7 day

Dedicate this last day to end your visit to Madrid.
Start with the Cathedral of the Almudena, a very important and relatively young building (1883) whose construction has been rather discussed, so much so that these second thoughts are reflected in the stylistic eclecticism of the church itself (10: 00-20: 30).
Then visit the Cathedral museum (9: 00-20: 30) and enjoy a walk in the beautiful Parco de Athena.
Cross Calle Mayor and join the Mercado de San Miguel, one of the main gastronomic markets in the world. Take a tour of Spanish essence and flavors and have lunch here (€ 15,00).

From Opera, take the red metro n. 2 (4 stops, 5 min); get off at Retiro and exit onto Plaza de la Indipendencia. Enjoy one in the afternoon stroll through this area admiring a series of symbolic buildings and monuments: Puerta de Alcalà, the twentieth century Palacio de Comunicaciones, the Renaissance Banco de Espana and the Baroque Palacio de Linares. All the buildings are to be admired externally, therefore free.

End the day and your trip to Madrid with an unforgettable dinner at the Taberna Pedraza (average cost per person € 50,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 5,2 km / 1 h 10 min
  • Places visited: Almudena Cathedral (€ 1,00), Cathedral Museum (€ 6,00), Parco de Athena (free), Mercado de San Miguel (free), Puerta de Alcalà (free), Palacio de Comunicaciones (free) , Banco de Espana (free), Palacio de Linares (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 80,00
  • Segway tour of downtown and Retiro Park Segway tour of the historic center
  • Lunch at Mercado de San Miguel (Get directions), Dinner at Taberna Pedraza (Get directions)

How much does a week cost in Madrid

NB: The prices expressed in the table above are to be intended "per person".

Madrid, being among the most popular tourist destinations, it's not exactly cheap, but it does not present unrealistic costs either. The "super torn" low cost flights are practically unavailable but, opting for a low season (and if possible avoiding the weekend) you can start from € 90,00 / 100,00.
For accommodation the possibilities are many and varied: hostels for € 15,00 and hotels starting from € 50,00, obviously there is no shortage of large luxury hotels. For food, the prices are similar to those in Italy. Consider at least € 25,00 for the typical paella and € 1 for 4,00 liter of sangria.

The most convenient solution for attractions and transport is the Madrid Card: it gives free access to over 50 museums and monuments (including the Prado and the Reina Sofia) and for a supplement you can supplement it with a transport pass. For the 3 museums on the Paseo del Prado, we recommend the Madrid Art Walk Pass which includes the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen with skip-the-line admissions and access to temporary exhibitions.

  • starting from € 45,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 50,00 per room -
  • Madrid Art Walk Pass: Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen museums iVenture Card: Madrid attractions at your fingertips
  • Total cost of a week, flight included: from € 790,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Madrid: all the year. The best times are the intermediate seasons, especially May, June and September. July and August can be very hot and in winter it can get very cold. In autumn it often rains - find out more
  • Barajas Airport is located about 12 km from the center which can be easily reached by metro (line 8, 12 minutes, ticket cost € 4,50), by train (ticket cost € 2,60), by bus (line 200 to to Avenida de America, ticket cost € 1,50) or by taxi (average cost € 30,00 - book transfer online)
  • the historic center is the most convenient area: Huertas, Gran Via, Lavapiès, Latina. Consider the Salamanca and Chamberì districts only if everything in the center is already full or too expensive. From here, in fact, to reach the center you have to use public transport - compare hotels and accommodations in Madrid
  • Getting around: in the center you can move on foot. Metro and bus share the same fare system based on division into zones (single ticket € 1,50). The train is convenient for getting out of the city (tickets from € 1,70) - find out more
  • Recommended cards and passes: Madrid Art Walk Pass, combined ticket for the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen museums with discount and priority entrance; iVenture Card, with guided tours, attraction tickets, discounts on activities and restaurants and other benefits

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