Visit Madrid as part of a multi-stop tour around Spain with Tourlane. Madrid is one of the most authentic, charming capitals of Europe. It’s a great destination for art lovers, with world-class institutions like the Museo Prado and Museo Reina Sofia delighting visitors with their outstanding collections. Equally impressive is the city’s culinary scene, with top-notch restaurants and food markets at every corner. Plan your trip today with a Tourlane Travel Expert, who will organize your flights, transfers, accommodation, and local English-speaking guides on your behalf.
1. Puerta del Sol
2. Plaza Mayor
3. Museo Nacional del Prado
4. Royal Palace of Madrid
Puerta del Sol is the beating heart of Madrid. If you’re looking to do some shopping during your vacation, it’s a good place to start. Take Calle de Preciados to find some swanky boutiques or Calle Mayor to grab a churro drizzled in chocolate at Chocolatería de San Ginés, which has been open since 1894.
The center of old Madrid, Plaza Mayor impresses visitors with its regal columns and stately feel. Grab a snack at the nearby Mercado de San Miguel, and then head to the square to do some people watching during your Madrid vacation. Enter through one of 10 archways, and be sure to get an up-close view of the murals on the front of Casa de la Panadería on the north side of the square. You may recognize some of your favorite characters from Greek mythology: Proserpine, Bacchus, and Cupid.
If you’re interested in art, then a visit to the Prado is an absolute must. It’s home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of Goya, Greco, and Velázquez, not to mention seminal works from Bosch, Rubens, and Titian. Two hours in the museum earns you a sangria at the museum cafe and a stroll through the adjacent Retiro Park.
If you’re interested in Spanish history, visit the Royal Palace of Madrid. It’s the largest in Europe with 2,800 rooms, each one more ornate than the last. Walk the grand staircase made of San Agustin Marble and pay a visit to the Royal Armory to see pieces dating back to the 13th century. The pomp continues outside in the Sabatini Gardens. Stroll through the elaborately trimmed hedges and check out the 44 statues of Spanish monarchs stationed throughout.
One of the great things about Madrid is that it is a very walkable city. If you want to stay in an area that allows you to walk to most attractions, choose a hotel or vacation apartment close to Plaza del Sol, Malasaña, Chueca, or La Latina. Plaza del Sol is the most central location and has a number of international hotels. Malasaña and Chueca are located just north of the center; these neighborhoods have a bohemian, artsy vibe, and you’ll find many vacation apartments here. La Latina is just south, and enchants visitors with its markets, cafes, and old streets.
Madrid has one of the strongest culinary scenes in Europe, making it a great destination for foodies. For restaurant recommendations and insider tips, speak to your Tourlane Travel Expert. Mercado de San Miguel is an excellent food market that is well worth visiting. It is located centrally and offers a wide range of delicious small dishes.
Madrid is situated 385 miles southwest of Barcelona, in the center of Spain. The two cities are linked by a high-speed train, which takes just over three hours. Driving takes roughly six hours. Due to their proximity and the excellent connections between the two, Madrid and Barcelona are perfect for a multi-stop tour of Spain.
Madrid Airport (MAD) is situated about 30 minutes drive from the city center, where most hotels and vacation apartments are situated. There is also a train connection, which takes approximately 45 minutes.
We recommend spending at least three days and three nights in Madrid. This gives you the chance to enjoy all the attractions that the city has to offer, while still maintaining a leisurely pace.
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