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8 Best Day Trips From Madrid, Spain Travel Guide

8 Best Day Trips From Madrid, Spain Travel Guide

After living in Madrid for almost 10 months we chose to visit destinations close to home, using Madrid as our hub. We are not recommending to go to these places in a particular order because everyone has their own priorities and have different tastes and interests. Yet, we thought it came handy to have the eight best day trips from Madrid if you have either one or a couple spare days in Madrid. Enjoy!

Find all: Hotels in Madrid

8 Great Day Trips from Madrid:

1. Toledo
Toledo

Toledo is a beautiful small town, just an hour away from Madrid. Toledo is rich in history and is known for the Jewish, Muslim and Christian heritage. Toledo is the hometown of the Greco and you could visit his house which now hosts his museum. You could also visit different mosques and synagogues to get a better understanding of different cultures and how they used to live.

The main attractions are the Alcazar, the Cristo de la Luz Mosque, the Transito Synagogue, the cathedral and the Greco Museum.  We went to Toledo by Alsa Bus it costs us less than 10 euros both ways or you could also go via Renfe. Renfe is half the time and the price is about the same. It also depends which location within Madrid is more convenient to you. Alsa leaves from Av. de America.

Read More: What to do and visit in Toledo

Find all: Hotels in Toledo

2. El Escorial

El Escorial

El Escorial is known for the great architectural of the Monastery. It used to be the residence of the king of Spain. It is about 45 minutes away from Madrid. You could take Cercanias (the train) for 8 euros both ways. We went by Cercanias and it took us about an hour and a half. Check the schedule so you can plan accordingly, the train leaves Madrid from Nuevos Ministerios and from Chamartin Station.

3. Segovia

Segovia

Segovia is a small town with a famous aqueduct. The main attractions in this little town are the Alcazar of Segovia, the Segovia Cathedral, the jewish quarter also know as Juderia, the old city, the mirador de la Pradera de San Marcos and the Casa de los Picos. You can get to Segovia by bus or Cercanias. We went by bus with La Sepulvedana, S.A. It costs about 15 euros and it leaves from Moncloa to Segovia Station. You can also go by Cercanias from Chamartin or from Atocha for less money but you might need to get a connection.

Read More: What to do and see in Segovia

Find all: Hotels in Segovia

4. Cuenca

Cuenca

Cuenca is known for its hanging houses from cliffs. You can get to Cuenca via bus or train. It is about 2 hours away from Madrid. The main attractions in Cuenca are the Plaza Mayor, Santa Maria de Gracia Cathedral, the hanging houses and the footbridge San Pablo, and the Mangana Tower.

Find all: Hotels in Cuenca

5. New Castle of Manzanares el Real

New Castle of Manzanares el Real

Manzanares el Real is home to El Castillo de los Mendoza, a 15th century fortress. The fortress is built entirely of granite, it has six floors and it is the perfect example of the Spanish military architecture. The castle is also the best medieval fortress preserved in the area. It is about an hour away from Madrid. To get to Manzanares el Real, you take bus 724 from Madrid’s Plaza de Castilla station. The ride only costs €3.50.

6. Avila

Avila

Avila is known for having many gothic and roman churches and cathedrals as well for being inside a city wall. It has more cathedrals and churches per capita than any other city in Spain. Avila was also a city where Jews, Christians and Muslim used to live together. The main attractions of Avila are the city walls, the Avila Cathedral, the Saint Vincent Basilica, the Saint Peter Basilica, and the Royal Monastery of Saint Thomas between other small churches

You can get to Avila via bus or Renfe train. Bus is the same amount of time as the train and sometimes cheaper. If you chose via bus you could go with Jimenez Dorado for less than 17 euros both ways.

Find all: Hotels in Avila

7. Aranjuez

Aranjuez

Aranjuez Palace was the chosen place for the monarchy of Spain to spend their spring months. Aranjuez Palace was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. Things to visit in Aranjuez are the old quarter, the royal palace, and of course the beautiful vast gardens. You can take Cercanias to get to Aranjuez.

8. Salamanca

Salamanca

Salamanca is known for its Universities and the vibrant student life. The main attraction besides the University is the Plaza Mayor, the new and old Cathedral and the shell covered Spanish palace. It is only a two and a half hour ride from Madrid to Salamanca via train or bus.

Find all: Hotels in Salamanca

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Trees Rotteveel

Wednesday 29th of March 2017

Toledo looks really nice. I did not know there was so much Jewish, Christian and Muslim heritage. I have to go there.

Travel To Blank

Wednesday 29th of March 2017

Absolutely, it has a cool mix between northern Africa and traditional European designs!

Miriam Ernst

Tuesday 2nd of August 2016

Madrid is definitely gorgeous, plus most of this places have a lot of history between their walls. El Escorial is definitely one of my favourites not only because of the monastery but the town itself is lovely.

Jane Rosewood

Tuesday 26th of July 2016

Thank you for this great recomendation. When I'll finally go to spain I'll remember this article and visit these places. Gorgeous photos as well :)

Travel To Blank

Friday 29th of July 2016

Thank you!

Carlie

Tuesday 26th of July 2016

This is a very helpful list! I love the idea of using Madrid as a hub for several smaller side trips. Great idea!

elizabeth @ Compass & Fork

Monday 25th of July 2016

A great list and very timely, we will be in Madrid in 2017!

Travel To Blank

Monday 25th of July 2016

We look forward to hearing about your Spanish experiences!