What to do and see to visit Madrid in 2, 3, 4 or 5 days? Which routes to choose to enjoy your trip to the Spanish capital? Discover the must-sees in Madrid, as well as the most interesting and unusual things to do during a trip to Madrid with family, friends or lovers. Let’s go!
- Best things to do in Madrid🤩
- Nice areas to visit 📍
- Getting to the city center from the airport 🚖
- Nice restaurants in Madrid 😋
- Itineraries to visit Madrid in 2, 3, 4 or 5 days 👍
1. Best things to do in Madrid in 2, 3, 4 or 5 days
Here is the list of the 12 must-sees and places to visit in Madrid, then, further on, more details on each of these places.
- Discover the Plaza Mayor
- Visit the Royal Palace of Madrid
- See the Almudena Cathedral
- Take a walk in the Royal Botanical Garden
- See the Real Theater in Madrid
- Go to San Miguel Market in Madrid
- Take a walk in the Retiro Park
- Discover the Temple of Amun
- See the Bullring of Las Ventas
- Visit the Reina Sofia National Art Center Museum
- Visit the Prado Museum
- Discover the Palace of Cybele
How long to visit Madrid? It is quite possible to visit Madrid during a weekend of 2 or 3. If you have even more time, that is fine. If you stay 4 or 5 days in Madrid, you will not be bored either.
1.1 Discovering the Plaza Mayor of Madrid
The Plaza Mayor is one of the most famous squares in Madrid, and it is clearly the place to visit absolutely. The Plaza Mayor is located in the heart of Sol, one of the most central areas of Madrid. It is also one of the best areas to stay in when visiting Madrid. On the other hand, this district is rather very touristy. If you are looking for more authenticity, then you can choose the La Latina district instead. To find out more, read our blog post: Best neighborhoods to visit and stay in Madrid.
1.2 Visiting the Royal Palace of Madrid
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain! Almost twice the size of the Palace of Versailles, the Royal Palace is the largest Royal Palace in Western Europe, but also one of the largest palaces in the world. If you are going to visit Madrid, you can discover the magnificent interiors of the Royal Palace, as well as the royal collections of works of art housed there.
Avoid waiting. In the middle of the tourist season, there may be a wait to visit the Royal Palace of Madrid. To save time, you can take skip-the-line tickets (check the prices here).
1.3 Seeing the Almudena Cathedral
Built opposite the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral is interesting to visit for its museum, but also for the magnificent view that opens from its dome over the city of Madrid!
Visit in English. If you are going to visit Madrid in 2 or 3 days, you may not have enough time to discover the whole city and its monuments. So, in order to enjoy your weekend even more, it is possible to book a guided tour in English! This is an opportunity to get to know Madrid better, and make a striking and unusual visit by segway! Find out more about this tour here.
1.4 Taking a walk in the Royal Botanical Garden
What to do in Madrid? Visit the Royal Botanical Garden! Here you will find more than 5000 different species of plants and trees to discover, as well as pleasant terraces and paths to walk around.
1.5 Seeing the Real Theater in Madrid
The Royal Theater of Madrid is located a few steps from the Royal Palace, but also from the Botanical Garden of Madrid. It is one of the main opera houses in Spain. If you are going to visit Madrid, you can take the opportunity to see a performance at the Royal Theater of Madrid (find out the program on the official website).
1.6 Going to San Miguel Market in Madrid
The San Miguel market (open in Google Maps) is located in the heart of the historic center of Madrid. Here you will find a large selection of tapas, vis and Spanish specialties. It is a noisy place, but also rather touristy. However, it is still worth a visit: you will definitely have a great time there. The atmosphere is warm and friendly, and the tapas delicious!
1.7 Taking a walk in Madrid’s Retiro Park
If you come to visit Madrid in 3, 4 or 5 days, the Retiro Park must be part of your itinerary, especially if the weather is good. It is a huge park where you can walk and take a pleasant break in the shade. Entrance to the park is free.
Good to know! One of the most popular places in Retiro Park is the Crystal Palace. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in the park, but also the most romantic. So, if you are going to visit Madrid as a couple, this place is perfect.
1.8 Discovering the Temple of Amun
What to see in Madrid? Madrid. The Temple of Amun in Madrid will surprise you. Originally from Ancient Egypt, this temple is over 2000 years old! Free entry.
1.9 Visiting the Ventas Bullring in Madrid
Inaugurated in 1931, these arenas organize more than 30 bullfights a year today. It is possible to discover the bullring of Madrid during a bullfight, or quite simply during a visit outside the shows or bullfights. Photos and more info here: tickets with audio guide in English to better understand the history of this mythical place in Madrid.
1.10 Visit the Reina Sofia National Museum in Madrid
The Reina Sofia National Museum in Madrid is a good place to learn about Spanish history, including the Spanish Civil War. This is where we can see Picasso’s famous painting, La Guernica. You can buy skip-the-line tickets here: Tickets to the Reina Sofia National Museum in Madrid.
1.11 Visiting the Prado Museum in Madrid
In the Prado Museum in Madrid, there are mainly works by painters such as Goya, Vélasquez or Bosch. This is an excellent address in Madrid for art lovers.
1.12 Discovering the Palace of Cybele (or Palace of Cibeles)
The Palace of Cybele is a very pretty monument in Madrid. Visitors appreciate the architecture of this monument, but also the 360 degree view it offers over the city of Madrid. Entrance to the terrace is 6 euros, then deductible from your consumption on site. This is an interesting place to visit in Madrid at sunset.
2. Best areas in Madrid
The best areas to stay in Madrid are Le Sol, Los Austrias, La Latina, La Chueca and La Malasana. The Sol is the most central district, it is here that the prices are among the highest. If you are going to visit Madrid with your family, you can opt for the first four districts. For a romantic trip to Madrid, La Latina seems to be the best area and place to discover the city and make the most of it.
For an unforgettable romantic trip to Madrid. If you are going to discover Madrid as a couple, in our top hotels and accommodation, there is: Room Mate Alba and Intur Palacio San Martin. And if you prefer to avoid hotels and have a small kitchen during your trip, discover the apartments of Plaza Mayor Suites & Apartments.
Visiting Madrid with the family. In order to visit Madrid with your family, you can choose to take an apartment, which is sometimes cheaper than taking two hotel rooms. Among the best addresses in our opinion, you have these two apartments, one of which has a terrace: Behap Madrid Plaza del Carmen.
A charming hostel. Discover one of the most charming hostels is Cats Hostel Madrid Sol. Ideally located, this hostel is perfect for a trip to Madrid with friends.
Find out more about the neighborhoods in our blog post: Where to stay in Madrid.
3. How to get to downtown Madrid from the airport?
In order to reach Madrid city center from Barajas airport, there are at least 4 possible solutions: bus, metro, train or taxi.
By bus. The express bus takes approximately 30 minutes to travel from Barajas Airport to Madrid city center (departures every 15 minutes). However, it only makes 3 stops in the city. It is therefore necessary to check if one of these stops is suitable for you.
By subway. Madrid metro line 8 goes to the airport, terminals T2 and T4. The price is equivalent to the bus: count about 5 euros per person. Good plan: if you plan to take public transport during the trip, you can immediately take a ticket for 10 journeys in order to save money.
By train. If you are going to visit Madrid by plane, you can reach Madrid city center from the airport by train. Two lines of the Spanish railway company RENFE connect Madrid and its airport: C1 and C10 (every 15-20 minutes). Departures are from Terminal T4.
By taxi. The taxi is the best option to reach your accommodation in Madrid from the airport, especially if you have suitcases, or you are two or more. The taxi drops you directly at the address of your accommodation: no change, no time wasted waiting for transport.
4. Nice restaurants in Madrid
Here are some good places to eat in Madrid! Click on the name of the place to open it in GoogleMaps.
Mantúa Madrid: Spanish cuisine, nice setting, lively music, a very good place to spend an excellent evening in Madrid.
Restaurante Morgana: inventive cuisine with flavors from Galicia!
La Malontina: another very good address in the heart of old Madrid for lunch or dinner.
5. Itineraries to visit Madrid in 2, 3, 4 or 5 days
Here are some ideas for itineraries to do in Madrid in 2, 3, 4 or 5 days.
5.1 Visit Madrid in 2 days
If you are going to discover Madrid in 2 days, you will have to focus on the must-sees:
- See the Plaza Mayor
- Visit the Royal Palace of Madrid
- Stroll through old Madrid and the La Latina district
- Enjoy tapas at the San Miguel market
- Climb the Almudena Cathedral
5.2 Best things to do in Madrid for 3 days
In addition to what we mentioned above, you can add:
- Go to Retiro Park and discover the Crystal Palace
- See the Royal Theater of Madrid
- Visit the bullring of Las Ventas de Madrid
5.3 Visit Madrid in 4 days
If you are going to visit Madrid in 4 days, in addition to what we have mentioned above, you can:
- Visit the Reina Sofia National Museum
- Discover the Temple of Amun
- Go up to the terrace of the Palais de Cybèle
- Take a guided tour with wine and tapas tasting (for example: 2.5 tasting in Madrid)
5.4 Visit Madrid in 5 days
What else to do in Madrid?
- See a Flamenco show in Madrid (check prices and book here)
- Visit the Pardo Museum in Madrid
To visit Madrid is to visit one of the most beautiful European capitals! Among the best times for a trip to Madrid are the spring and autumn months, but also winter. In summer, Madrid can become a very stuffy city, and therefore less pleasant to visit.