Itinerary for Madrid Spain

itinerary Madrid spain

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MADRID, SPAIN

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two day itinerary Madrid

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2 day Madrid itinerary

COUNTRY FACTS FOR SPAIN

Country: Spain

Capital: Madrid

Languages: Spanish

Time Zone: Central European Time Zone (GMT +01:00)

Weather by season: Winter (high 50’s), Spring (high 50-60’s), Summer (high 70’s), Fall (high 50-60’s)

Currency: Euro

Exchange Rate for the USD: 1 USD = 0.82 Euro (upd. Feb 2018)

International telephone dialing country code: +34 for Spain

Food they’re known for: Tapas (appetizers), Iberian ham

Drinks they’re known for: Cava (sparkling wine), Sangria

Tipping Expectations: 7% Tip is already included at restaurants but if you want to tip more do only 5-10%

Popular Shopping Goods: Ceramics, Espadrilles (shoes with rope soles)

Common Shop Hours: 9am-2pm and 4pm-8pm for an afternoon siesta (nap!)

Taxi Information: There’s no Uber but download the “MyTaxi” app to call a taxi with similar technology

Hotel/Accomodation Recommendations in Madrid

Here are the top five accommodations in Madrid that are in a convenient location to all the action, have a romantic ambiance, and are good enough for our fine readers. They are listed below from most budget-friendly to least. Take a quick glance at them, book one, and download our Organized Travel PDF so you can write the booking details in your “Organize the Essentials List”.

Name

Avg Cost per Night

Stars

Address, City (Neighborhood)

Check In Time

Checkout Time

BOOK

Gran Melia Fenix

$226

5

Hermosilla, 2

3pm

12pm

BOOK

Barcelo Emperatriz

$202

5

Calle de Lopez Hoyos, 4

2pm

12pm

BOOK

H10 Villa de la Reina Hotel

$212

4

Gran Via, 22

2pm

12pm

BOOK

7 Islas Hotel

$165

4

Calle Valverde, 14-16

2pm

12pm

BOOK

Silken Puerta Madrid

$96

4

Juan Rizi, 5 (outside city center)

2pm

12pm

BOOK

If you are looking for a more affordable option, an apartment rental is the way to go. Using Airbnb you can rent an apartment anywhere in the city. You typically don’t get the amenities of a concierge, breakfast, gym, pool, etc so you can get your stay for less than half the price of a hotel. You’ll want to book far in advance to get a great place with good reviews. Get $40 off your first booking here: BOOK AN AIRBNB

Destination Dorworth is a participant in affiliate links for Booking.com and Airbnb. These links are of no extra cost to you, and simply go towards the costs of keeping our site running! Thanks in advance for your support.

Transportation Recommendations in Madrid

Here are the sources we recommend you use to book transportation within the city. In Madrid we recommend you walk when possible, ‘app’ a taxi when needed, and use trains from city to city. Renting a car is stressful and difficult in a country where the language and signage is different.

Type (rental car, taxi, train)

Company

Website

Taxi

MyTaxi

https://us.mytaxi.com/index.html (download the app on your phone)

Train

Loco2

www.loco2.com

Booking Recommendations

In the itinerary charts below, you’ll notice we mention “book now” or “book later”.  If it says “book now” you truly must book tickets now, months in advance, as it’s a popular thing to do that sells out at peak times.  If we say “book later” you could book it just before leaving or you could even just show up to the location and buy tickets that same day.

2 day itinerary Madrid

Trip Overview for Madrid, Spain

2 DAY TRIP

DAY 1 Feel like a royal and stroll along the main street of the city before checking out a Flamenco show

DAY 2 Enjoy some parks, a little art, and the sport of bullfighting

DAY 1 AT A GLANCE

Today’s Goal to Crush: Feel like a royal.

This morning should start with a tour of the Palacio Real. It’s the Spanish royal palace that is lavish and over the top (but who’s complaining). With 3,418 rooms, you get to tour through parts of the palace with an audio set to learn about the architecture and the theme of each room. Buy your ticket online the night before to skip the outrageously long line outside. The time and money it must have cost to build this palace is incredible. You can literally spend hours here because the details in each room will light up your eyes! While here, checkout the Armeria Real or the royal armour room that has old armour and weapons and is included in the tour. The royal family no longer lives here but they do hold ceremonies here occasionally still.

Once you’ve taken in a bit of history and seen how it is to live like a royal, take a stroll down the main street of Madrid: Gran Via. You’ll pass by many shops and restaurants, including some good souvenir shops. Part way down the street, you can make a detour to the Plaza Puerta del Sol which is the center point of Spain (called the “Gate of the Sun”). Look for the bear statue here which is their symbol of the city. Take a break for some people watching in the Plaza de la Villa which is home to the town hall or Plaza Mayor nearby. Or grab some food at some of the many options along the way. We found a lovely Italian restaurant called DiBocca for a romantic dinner because we needed a break from a week of all Spanish food.

When you need a snack break, stop at the Chocolateria de San Gines which is famous for their chocolate churros. They are basically sugary churros you dip into a mug of warm chocolate. Yes, it’s super yummy and worth searching out!

After a long day of exploring, wind down the day with a flamenco show at Tablao Flamenco Las Tablas. They have the most incredible dancers and musicians there that you will leaving feeling more alive than ever! And possibly even attempting some of their dance moves- emphasis on attempt.

>>Today’s Google Map<<
Madrid 2 day itinerary
2 day Madrid itinerary

Palacio Real

DAY 1 DETAILS

Destination

Hours

Address

Price/Cost

Website

Palacio Real

10am-6pm

Calle de Bailén

8-10E

WEBSITE

[BOOK NIGHT BEFORE]

Armeria Real

Mon-Sat 9am-6pm and Sun 9am-3pm

Calle de Bailén

Included in the palace entrance above

Same as above

Gran Via (main street/broadway)

-

Gran Via

-

-

Plaza Puerta del Sol (main plaza)

-

-

-

-

Plaza de la Villa (square)

-

-

-

-

Tablao Flamenco Las Tablas

8pm or 10pm nightly

Plaza de Espana, 9

29E

WEBSITE

[BOOK NOW]

Oh So Tasty Food Options Nearby:

Restaurant

Hours

Type of Food

Address

Price

Website

Chocolateria de San Gines

Open 24hr 365 days a year

Chocolate with churros

San Gines, passage 5

$

WEBSITE

DiBocca Gran Via

12:30pm-11:30pm

Italian

Gran Via, 59

$$

WEBSITE

Cerveceria 100 Montaditos

Sun-Thur from 9am-8pm; Fri-Sat from 9am-2am

Sandwich shop

Gran Via, 63

$

WEBSITE

Taberna La Bola

Open 1:30pm-4pm and 8:30-11pm; Sunday afternoons only

Spanish

Calle de la Bola, 5

$$

WEBSITE

Restaurante Sobrino de Botin

Open 1-4pm and 8pm-midnight

_ (oldest restaurant in the world)

Calle Cuchilleros, 17

$$$$

WEBSITE

RESERVE

Madrid 2 day itinerary
Madrid itinerary
madrid 2 day itinerary

Palacio Real

Madrid 2 day itinerary
Madrid itinerary
Madrid itinerary 2 day

Plaza Puerta del Sol

Madrid 2 day itinerary
Madrid itinerary 2 day

Flamenco show


DAY 2 AT A GLANCE

Today’s Goal to Crush: Act like a local and dress up for a bullfight.

Today you are heading to the East side of downtown Madrid to visit one of the top museums in the world: Museo del Prado. It is a Spanish national art museum with the best collection of Spanish art in the world which brings many people from all over the world to see it.

Then cross the street and head to the oh-so-grand Retiro park! The Estanque Grande del Buen Retiro is like New York’s Central Park in a way. You can stroll through the park for hours to see all it has to offer. From a gorgeous lake with row boats to street musicians, it’s truly a magical place. Especially once you walk inside the Palacio de Cristal which is a gorgeous all metal and glass structure: a piece of art. PS- look for the tree that looks like monkey bread!

If you have extra time, checkout the Plaza de Cibeles city center area that has fountains which have become an iconic symbol for the city. They’re gorgeous!

After a relaxing day in the museum and the park, it’s time to freshen up for a bullfight at La Plaza de Toros de las Ventas. Hopefully you’re visiting from March-October when it’s bullfighting seasons (otherwise spend a night out on the town). The locals take their bull fights seriously. They dress up and are extremely supportive of their local bullfighters. The stadium holds over 23,000 people so arriving early is important as there are large crowds of people. Be sure to buy your tickets early and splurge when you get there on the seat cushions.

After the fight, grab some dinner and drinks out. We highly recommend catching a ride over to El Jardin Secreto for an intimate dining experience. First off, this restaurant has some of the most unique decorations ever; like mini hot air balloons hanging from the ceiling, vines growing on the walls, mini twinkling lights, and even a swing! Just wait until you see the menu though. It’s very extensive but everything we ordered was amazing. Save room for an “orgasmic” dessert! Their dessert menu is the longest we’ve ever seen and worth every single calorie.

>>Today’s Google Map<<

DAY 2 DETAILS

Destination

Hours

Address

Price/Cost

Website

Museo del Prado

Mon-Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 10am-7pm (free 2hr before closing)

Ruiz de Alarcon Street, 23

15E entrance; 4E audio guide

WEBSITE

BOOK LATER

Estanque Grande del Buen Retiro

Sunrise to sunset

Between C. Alfonso XII and Avenida de Menendez Pelayo

Free

WEBSITE

Plaza de Cibeles

-

Cibeles square

Free

-

La Plaza de Toros de las Ventas

Fights typically at 6pm

Calle Alcala, 237

14.20E+ depending on shaded/sun seats

WEBSITE

[BOOK NOW]

Oh So Tasty Food Options Nearby:

Restaurant

Hours

Type of Food

Address

Price

Website

El Jardin Secreto

Open 6:30pm-2:30am

Spanish, European, Desserts

Calle Conde Duque, 2

$$

WEBSITE

Bazaar

Open 1:15-4pm and 8:30-11:30pm

Modern European

Calle Libertad

$$

WEBSITE

La Finca de Susana

Open 1pm-11:30pm

Spanish, Modern

Calle del Principe, 10

$$

WEBSITE

Madrid itinerary 2 day

Estanque Grande del Buen Retiro

2 day itinerary Madrid
2 day Madrid itinerary
Madrid itinerary
Madrid itinerary 2 days

Palacio de Cristal

Madrid itinerary

churros with chocolate

Madrid itinerary
2 day Madrid itinerary

Plaza de Cibeles

2 day Madrid itinerary

Bull fight

2 day Madrid itinerary
2 day Madrid itinerary

[instashow]
destination dorworth
destination dorworth
Madrid spain itinerary

About the Author

Hello, we are Zach (@zachdorworth) and Steph (@stephdorworth). We are Mr & Mrs traveling the world one romantic city at a time while perfecting obsessively organized travel.

  • […] For more tips on what to see and do in Madrid, I recommend this post from Destination Dorworth. […]

  • Anu says:

    That is one hell of a comprehensive travel guide for Madrid. I like that you have chosen different experiences like bullfight and museums. Are there any walking tours that you recommend?

    • admin says:

      Anu, thank you so much! We didn’t do a walking tour formally, we mostly wandered on our own through the parks and downtown.

  • Danila Caputo says:

    I haven’t been in Madrid in over 15 years and with hubby we’ve been talking a lot about visiting, together. This post is the cherry on the cake, so informative and in-depth! It’s good to know that we won’t have to rent a car, not much because it’s stressful but because it’s going to be cheaper!

  • I’m not sure I’d want to see a bullfight – though the flamenco dancing sounds great! I’ve been to Madrid a few times and never quite managed to see a show. Which of the hotels do you personally recommend and why? It’s useful to have a price ordered list but I’d love to know what makes each one special.

    All in a very comprehensive guide if you are new to Madrid though.

  • That is a really detailed itinerary. For people who like to plan every hour of their trip, this would be of great help. Did you follow this strictly to a ‘T’ too? I loved the Sunday flea market…did you go?

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much! We don’t plan by the hour, instead we plan which things we want to see each day so we can spend more or less time in places we like. 🙂

  • Danik says:

    I have to admit, I am not a big fan of Madrid and it didn’t appeal to me. It has its pros and cons like any other city but I am just a sucker for nature or the smaller Spanish towns. But I did enjoy looking at your photos, it did bring back some good memories. But the bit I am going to research on is the Restaurante Sobrino de Botin, how do they know they are the oldest restaurant in the world. Now I do want to look into this as a foodie and go and check it out. 🙂 So Madrid is not all that bad 🙂

    • admin says:

      Danik, yes we liked Barcelona and Valencia better. But Madrid’s parks and culture were great. Thanks for reading!

  • Claire says:

    Considering I lived in Barcelona for 3 years, I really didn’t see much of Madrid! I only visited once in August when it was too hot to do anything, so I’d like to go back and spend more time there – and eat more churros! There is no way I’d go to a bullfight though, it has been banned in some parts of Spain for a long time and I’m glad about that, I think its barbaric.

  • Karla says:

    This itinerary made me miss madrid. We rested in parque de retiro. But one of our favorite activity in madrid is the food tour. i super loved the food in spain.

    I want to go back

  • Hannah says:

    I adore Madrid – it totally blew Barcelona out of the water for me. I loved visiting the Prado and the Royal Palace as you did – they have such a rich history. Great info regarding attraction ticketing etc! I didn’t get to Estanque Grande del Buen Retiro, so will have to visit on my next trip there. Madrid has something for everyone (but I recommend the cava sangria ;-))

  • Jennifer says:

    I definitely wouldn’t want to see a bullfight. The best thing I did in Madrid, though, was go on a Madrid food tour with Devour Tours. They truly know the best addresses in the city and I dream of going back just to eat some of the delicious things we had like the mushrooms and the shrimp in garlic wine. Yum!

  • I had to cancel my trip to Madrid last year so this post is bitter sweet for me, but I really want to visit and you’ve given me loads of great new ideas! I wouldn’t be keen on seeing a bullfight, but I really want to see a Flamenco show (with lots of tasty wine and tapas!) and visit the Palacio Real. Can’t wait to finally go!

  • It’s a long post but very helpful for someone planning a trip to Madrid. I am thinking of getting to Spain in September this year although I am not sure and the itinerary, with all details, is extremely useful. I really want to see flamenco so thank you for the recommendations and also, the architecture of these places, as well as the food, looks superb. I am bookmarking the post!

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