11 Best Day Trips From Madrid (& How To Get There)
As the capital of Spain, Madrid is an enormous city with lots to offer for everyone. But in the region of this beautiful city, there are many wonderful places that are really worth a visit! That is why we have put together a list of the 11 best day trips from Madrid (& how to get there)!
Although Salamanca is a bit further away than the rest of the places on this list, it is definitely one to consider. This beautiful and vibrant student city has a great history and the historic centre is a sight to behold (it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason). Some sights to add to your list are La Rana de Salamanca, Ieronimus tower, Plaza Mayor, the old and new cathedral, Convento de San Esteban and the Roman bridge.
How to get there: Salamanca is a bit further away than other places on this list, and you can only reach this place by car. The drive will take you a bit under 2,5 hours.
Toledo is one of the oldest cities in Spain and was even the capital until the 16th century. The historical centre of this city is also on the UNESCO World Heritage list and will astonish you. Since the Hebrew, Muslim and Christian cultures lived side by side for centuries, Toledo is often called ‘the city of the three cultures’. Don’t forget to visit the Alcázar, Monasterio San Juan de los Reyes, Sinagoga del Tránsito, Mirador del Valle and the Cathedral of Toledo.
How to get there: If you decide to drive to Toledo by car, it will take you just under an hour. You can also take the bus from Plaza Eliptica to Toledo, which takes around 1,5 hours.
Ribera del Duero
Ribera del Duero is a wine region in the north-west of Madrid, where wine has been produced since the 9th century. The vineyards here stretch as far as the eye can see, with more than 300 beautiful traditional and modern wineries in between. Some well known among wine lovers are Vega Sicilia, Pingus, Protos, Tinto Pesquera and Viña Pedrosa.
How to get there: Ribera del Duero can only be reached by car, and the drive takes just under 2 hours.
Another beautiful city that can be found on the UNESCO World Heritage List is Segovia. This city has a long history, which can be seen everywhere. Segovia is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, where you can easily spend the whole day looking around. A few places of interest are Roman aqueduct, Alcázar de Segovia, the Cathedral, Mirador de la Pradera de San Marcos, Plaza Mayor, Palacio Real de La Granja de San Ildefonso and Iglesia de la Vera Cruz.
How to get there: If you go to Segovia by car, it will take you just over 1 hour. You can also reach Segovia by taking the train to Segovia Guiomar from Estación de Madrid-Chamartín-Clara Campoamor. Once there, you can take bus 12 to the centre of Segovia. This journey will take you around 55 minutes in total.
An authentic and hugely surprising city with a picturesque medieval centre, Cuenca is built on a ridge between the Huécar and Júcar rivers. The city is mainly characterised by its hanging houses (casas colgadas) above the ravine. In Cuenca you’ll find the Puente de San Pablo, Museo de Arte Abstracto & Casas Colgadas, Mirador Barrio del Castillo and Plaza Mayor.
How to get there: Driving to Cuanca by car takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes. If you take the AVE train from Atocha to Estación de Cuenca-Fernando Zóbel, then take the train from there to Cuenca, it will take you 1,5 hours.
Avila is the highest city in Spain at 1132 metres. The centre of Avila is completely surrounded by medieval city walls, and this city is also on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The city has many Catholic influences. If you are in Avila, you should definitely try a ‘yemas’. This biscuit of sugared egg yolks is a local speciality. There is also a lot to see in Avila, such as the city walls, Los Cuatro Postes, Basilica de San Vicente, Convento de Santa Teresa, Real Monasterio de Santo Tomás and Plaza Mercado Chico.
How to get there: You can only reach Avila by car, and this will take you 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Pedraza is a real undiscovered gem in Spain, where you go centuries back in time. The village has remained intact since the 17th century and there was not even electricity or running water until 1950. Places in Pedraza you really shouldn’t miss are the Plaza Mayor, the castle of Pedraza, the old gateway and the medieval prison.
How to get there: You can only reach Pedraza by car, which is a 1,5 hour drive.
Palacio Real de Aranjuez
The Palacio Real de Aranjuez is a residence of the King of Spain in the city of Aranjuez. The imposing building makes a great impression, but the gardens are particularly beautiful. The palace gives a fascinating insight into the history of the royal family and is definitely worth a visit.
How to get there: Palacio Real de Aranjuez is only a 40 minute drive by car. If you take the train from Atocha to Aranjuez, it will take you just over 1 hour.
Sigüenza is a lively and charming town with a lot of medieval impressions. The old town is very inviting and the medieval castle is really a must visit during your day in Sigüenza! The Cathedral of Santa Maria, Plaza Mayor, Casa de Doncel and Mirador de Ronda are also definitely worth a visit.
How to get there: To reach Sigüenza, you can go by car, which takes around 1,5 hours. If you decide to take the train from Estación de Madrid-Chamartín-Clara Campoamor to Sigüenza, it will take you 1 hour and 45 minutes. However, you can also take the Medieval train, which takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes and is a very unique experience on its own!
Alcalá de Henares
Alcalá de Henares is best known as the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, author of the world-famous book about Don Quijote. You will find a statue of him in the Plaza Cervantes, for example, and his birth house has been converted into a museum. Alcalá de Henares is also the first European university town. But apart from all this, the city is above all beautiful. The medieval city centre with the narrow streets and the city walls is lovely to stroll through.
How to get there: The drive to Alcalá de Henares by car is only just over 30 minutes. If you go by train, you can reach the destination in 45 minutes by taking the train from Atocha to Alcalá de Henares.
Puerto de Navacerrada
You would not expect to go to Spain on holiday for skiing. But Puerto de Navacerrada ski resort would suggest otherwise! Skiing in Spain is a very special experience. So if you have a day to spare while staying in Madrid, it would be such an awesome experience to hit the slopes!
How to get there: Driving to Puerto de Navacerrada by car will take you 55 minutes.
Unfortunately, not all destinations are reachable through public transport. While traveling through Spain, Sem and I often used the app BlaBlaCar. This app allows you to ride with someone who is already driving in a certain direction for a small fee and is widely used in Spain.
If you would like to explore Madrid, make sure to read our Ultimate Madrid Travel Guide!