What to do in Madrid on one day

Madrid has a lot to offer! Reduce this long list to a route of a day is an arduous and complicated task. However, we succeeded. Here are our suggestions for those who have not rushed and cannot spend more time in Madrid.

Wake up early to enjoy the rush hour in Puerta del Sol, the main square of Madrid. This square is built on the geographic center of Spain. It is also in this mystical place where thousands of locals come to welcome the New Year every December 31st. To calm things down, I recommend a traditional breakfast with churros and hot chocolate in the famous Chocolatería San Ginés.

Churros and hot chocolate

After breakfast we suggest a walk through the Plaza Mayor, one of the most emblematic places in Madrid and one of its main tourist attractions. This old market square was modernized and promoted to royal site in the sixteenth century. The surrounding buildings are the work of several royal architects and they exemplify the architecture of the period Habsburg reign in Spain.

Continuing the route take Calle Mayor to visit the Royal Palace and la Almudena Cathedral. The Royal Palace was the Spanish monarchs’ residence until the Civil War. The past King and the actual live in La Zarzuela, a small palace in the Casa de Campo Park. Meanwhile, the Almudena Cathedral is a newer construction; it began to be built in the nineteenth century –something difficult to believe regarding the neo-Gothic style that dominates the interior of the building.

Plaza Mayor at night

If you have time take a small walk around los Jardines de Sabatini and Plaza de Oriente.  Then, take the Cuesta de Santo Domingo, a medieval street that take you directly to the Santo Domingo Convent. This building was one of the first convents located outside the walls in Madrid. Unfortunately, the building from the 12th-century was demolished giving way to the Plaza Santo Domingo.

Then take the famous Gran Vía de Madrid, known as the Spanish Broadway since it concentrates almost every important theater and movie in the city. Enjoy walking with the locals, in the corner with Hortaleza Street, take it and walk for about five blocks to the Mercado de San Antón. This antique market has been transformed into a gourmet food court, enjoy like a local eating tapas in each of the stalls.

Pond in the Retiro Park Madrid

Provably you have eat too much… walk just 5 minutes by calle Prim, cross the Paseo de Recoletos and present your respects to the goddess Cibeles in Madrid’s famous fountain. Then cross de Puerta de Alcalá, the last city’s door standing nowadays. You have reach the popular Parque del Retiro! As the saying “wherever Rome do as the Romans do”, find a shade to honor the tradition of the siesta says. Just, 10 minutes of resting in horizontal position will gave you enough energy to keep discovering the city on your own!

If you think this itinerary is too much for you, take a look to our Essential Madrid Walking tour -2.5 hours with a professional guide to visit the most important monuments and places in Madrid- or check our Sightseeing tours -2.5 hours journey comfortably seated in a bus though the best places in Madrid.

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