Your Guide to the Best Day Trip to Madrid

Cover photo by Robert Tjalondo on Unsplash

A lot can happen in just one day. You can binge your way through an entire TV series, discover your passion for the culinary arts, and learn all there is to learn about knitting in 24 hours. You can also embark on a day trip to one of your favorite places in the world.

Madrid is one of our favorite places to visit. It’s a city with style, culture, and tons of great places to eat. But hey, what else would you expect from the capital of Spain? There’s just something so incredibly enchanting about Madrid. Even if you could only visit for one day, the city would leave a big impression on you. That is, if you know how to make the most of that trip.

That’s where we come in folks. Today, we’re going to show you how to make the most of a Day Trip to Madrid. We’ll share some of our favorite restaurants and museums with you, and we’ll discuss some of Madrid’s most famous and popular landmarks. We’ve got lots to see and even more to do. Before you get too carried away, drop off your extra gear at a Madrid luggage storage locker to see the sights hands-free.

Casa Botín

Every city has a restaurant or two that feels like it’s been around forever. For Madrid, that restaurant is Casa Botín. Only, it doesn’t just feel like it’s been around for a long time — it’s genuinely been around for centuries. Established in 1725, Casa Botín holds the Guinness World Records for being the oldest active restaurant on Earth. 


Your day trip to Madrid wouldn’t be complete without visiting this world-famous restaurant at least once. You see, Casa Botín hasn’t managed to stay in business by chance. Their food is so amazing that people have brought their children, their children’s children, you get the idea. Entire family trees have fallen in love with Casa Botín, so we’re pretty sure you’ll like their menu too.

El Capricho Park

There ought to be a photo of El Capricho Park next to the word “picturesque” in every dictionary. Right off the bat, one of the first things you’ll notice about this venue is its lush, green trees. After that, you’ll probably find some of El Capricho Park’s attractions. We say “some” because a lot of this park’s coolest features are hidden. You actually have to go exploring to find attractions like the hedge maze and the rotunda. There’s an air of mystery to this place, but that’s what makes it so unforgettable in our opinion.

Los Montes de Galicia

The term “Spanish cuisine” always seemed a bit broad to us. After all, Spain is an enormous country with tons of distinct regions and communities. Galicia is one of those communities, hence the term “Galician food”. And when it comes to Galician food, Los Montes de Galicia is second to none. Guests can look forward to ordering empanadas, grilled carabineros, confit pig with spices, clams in sailor sauce, and much, much more.

Museo del Romanticismo

Some think of Art as ancient history, but it’s really more like a living entity. It’s always changing, always evolving, constantly shifting from one phase to the next. The Romanticism movement began in the late 1770s and spread all around the globe. It technically “ended” in the mid-1800s, but places like the Museo del Romanticismo keep the movement alive and well. You’ll find plenty of Romantic art pieces , such as paintings and statues, that haven’t lost their ability to excite and inspire.

Plaza Mayor

In a sense, Plaza Mayor is the heart of Madrid. This venue serves as the city’s main public square; countless community events have been held over the years, and it’s the best place for newcomers to go if they’re ever feeling lost. Plaza Mayor is also just plain gorgeous to look at. We recommend stopping by here at the start of your day trip to Madrid and again near the end.

Royal Palace of Madrid

The Royal Palace of Madrid is truly a sight to see. Filippo Juvarra and an army of other architects built this grand structure during the 1700s. With a gorgeous garden and pristine pool, the Royal Palace of Madrid is one of the most visually stunning structures in the city, as well as one of the oldest. If you can, sign up for a tour so you can take a look inside this castle.

Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

Football fans know Santiago Stadium all too well. Real Madrid trains, plays, and greets fans at this venue. During the off-season, scores of football fans make their way to the stadium. It’s kind of like a pilgrimage of sorts. Even if you’re not the biggest sports enthusiast, we still think you should stop by Santiago Stadium at some point during your day trip to Madrid.

Temple of Debod

It’s a bit funny how a 2nd Century Egyptian Temple found its way to Spain. Back in the 1960s, the temple was nearly destroyed by accident while the Aswan High Dam was being built. Egypt’s leaders wanted to preserve the temple, but they didn’t have anywhere else to put it. Spain essentially chimed in and said, “hey, we don’t want such an awesome structure to go to waste”. So, Egypt and Spain worked together to transport tons of Ancient Egyptian stonework from Africa to Europe. Now, the Temple of Debod rests on Gran Via Street, Madrid.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Have you ever heard about Madrid’s “Golden Triangle of Art”? It refers to three national museums that are cherished by the city. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is one of those locales. The Thyssen is the 2nd largest private collection of art in the entire world. The Thyssen family started this collection back in the 1920s. Since then, members of this clan have added more than 1,600 works of art to this prestigious venue.

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