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Exploring Madrid: How To Make The Most Of 24 Hours In Spain's Capital City 🇪🇸

Madrid is the capital of Spain, and it is a city filled with lively street life, delicious food, and much more. Madrid is rich with its culture and even though it doesn’t have beaches like Barcelona, it is still worth a visit. I’ve lived in Madrid for almost a year and it is a must visit, you will find a lot of different things to do, and you will get to enjoy the life of the Madrileños.


10 Things Do Do In 24 Hours In Madrid

1. Palacio Real (Royal Palace of Madrid)

The Palacio Real which translate to the Royal Palace, is the biggest building in Madrid that is surrounded by wide open square gardens. You will be able to see the countryside that surround Madrid from the terrace level while there. Since it is the largest Palace in western Europe, it is worth a visit, as it has nearly 3,500 rooms, and fun fact is that it is open to the public despite still being the head of the state’s residency.

It is open from 10:00 until 18:00 from Monday to Saturday, and from 10:00 until 16:00 on Sunday, but the gardens are accessible until 18:00. You can enter for free from 16:00 until 18:00 from Monday to Thursday. Tickets cost €12, and you can book a guided tour if you want.

2. Catedral De La Almudena (Almudena Cathedral)

Catedral de la Almudena or its full name Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena, is a catholic church and the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid, and it was consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993.

It is open from 10:00 until 20:30 everyday. It is free to enter so you don’t need a ticket.

3. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is a part of the "Golden Triangle of Art” which includes the Prado and the Reina Sofía national galleries. It is within a walking distance from the other two museums, and if you love art, it is a must visit.

It is open from 10:00 until 19:00 from Tuesday to Sunday, and from 12:00 until 16:00 on Monday. Tickets cost €13.

4. Museo Nacional Del Prado (Prado Museum)

The Prado Museum is one of the most famous museums in the world, and if you are an art lover then it is a must visit. It is a 200 years old building with a grand interior and amazing columns.

It is open from 10:00 until 20:00 from Monday until Saturday, and from 10:00 until 19:00 on Sunday. Tickets cost €15.

5. Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofía (Reina Sofia Museum)

The Reina Sofia Museum is a modern and contemporary art centre which has some of the greatest artists like Picasso and Dali. People come from all over the world in order to see Picasso’s Guernica which is a famous piece. Besides the art there, the building and the architecture are absolutely beautiful.

It is open from 10:00 until 21:00 from Monday to Saturday, and on Sunday it is open from 10:00 until 14:30, and it is closed on Thursday. It is free to enter the museum from 19:00 until 21:00, or on Sunday from 12:30 until 14:30. Tickets cost €12 and you can either get it there or buy it online.

6. Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor is a large square that is surrounded by amazing buildings with beautiful architecture, and it is the most famous square in Madrid. This is where locals meet and enjoy a drink in the evening. It is a must visit when in Madrid. During Christmas, there is a market held there so you can enjoy many stalls that surround the Christmas tree located at the centre.

7. El Retiro Park

If you want to escape the city life while still being in Madrid, then you can visit El Retiro Park and enjoy the nature and quiet. El Retiro Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, where you can find some amazing open-view in the shade of some enormous oaks, horse chestnut, and cypress trees. You will also find that the oldest tree planted there was in 1633, also another fact is that El Retiro Park used to belong to the Spanish Royal Family until it became public in the 19th century.

El Retiro Park is open from 06:00 until 00:00 from April to September, and from 06:00 to 22:00 from October to March. It is easy to reach by metro since you have to go to the station called Retiro and simply walk from there.

8. Palacio De Cristal (The Glass Palace)

Palacio de Cristal is literally the glass palace, and it is located in El Retiro Park. It reaches a hight of 22 meters and it is in the shape of a Greek cross. During the summer, the stunning colours of the trees surrounding it are simply beautiful. This palace used to be greenhouse but now it is own by Reina Sofia Museum as they use it as a unique space to hold art exhibitions during the year.

It is open from 10:00 until 21:00 from April to September, and from 10:00 until 18:00 from October to March. It is closed on major Spanish holidays, and it is free to enter so you don’t need tickets to visit.

9. San Miguel Market

The San Miguel Market has been around since the early 1900s, and it is a food market that is pretty famous in Madrid. It’s know for its gourmet so it is a must visit, as you need to try the food there. The locals love to go there so it will be busy especially on Saturday mornings.

It is open from 10:00 until 00:00 from Sunday to Thursday, and from 10:00 until 01:00 from Friday to Saturday. If you wanna get there by metro, then get off at the Sol station.

10. Wander Around The Streets

Madrid is great to walk around and enjoy its streets, you will feel great and enjoy your walk. You can walk around districts such as Malasana, Chueca, La Latina, and my favourite which is Lavapies.


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🔒 Choose Insurance

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How To Get To Madrid

The best & easiest way to reach Madrid is by plane since it has an international airport, Adolfo-Suárez Madrid Barajas Airport, since it is a large international airport, you will be able to find a lot of flights depending on where you are. You can find cheap flights on WayAway. Also, if you are in Europe, you can easily find train and buses through Omio, FlixBus, and


How To Move Around Madrid

To move from the airport to the city or to your accommodation, it is pretty easy and straightforward since the metro is connected to the airport, after claiming your baggage, simple follow the metro sign at the airport and from there you will find ticket machines to get your ticket.

Madrid is actually a pedestrian friendly city, and it is not an extremely large city, so you can definitely explore most place on foot, but you can use public transport, and it is actually easy and good. I lived in Madrid for a year and it has one of the best public transport in Europe, it is convenient and easy to use, so you won’t get lost and you will be able to move from one place to another easily using the metro or even the bus.


Best Time To Visit Madrid

Madrid weather is actually pretty contrast since the winters are really cold and the summers are really hot and dry. People who live in Madrid tend to go to the coast during the summer, so try to avoid that time because the heat is unbearable, and because of this, the city becomes quiet and also most places might be closed such as restaurants. The best time to visit Madrid would be during spring or in September and October. If you’re okay with the cold, Christmas will be a great time for you to visit, as you will get to see the Madrid lights and the Christmas Markets during that time.


Accommodations In Madrid

There are a lot of amazing neighbourhoods in Madrid, my favourite is Lavapies since it is multicultural and lively. You will find a lot of different options which will suit your budget no matter what it is. Most people tend to stay in Salamanca since it is the central area but it is a little expensive.

You can book your accommodation through, which is the one I use the most, or if you wan to stay in a hostel you can book through HostelWorld. You can also use Agoda, Trivago, or Vrbo to book your accommodations. I know most people have a favourite website or app to use, so just choose what you prefer best.


Best Cafes & Restaurants In Madrid

  • Nomade Cafe

  • Agrado Café (Coffee & Cakes)

  • El Perro De Pavlov (Coffee & Cakes)

  • Honest Greens (Vegetarian & vegan options)

  • Samara (Egyptian cuisine)

  • FOUR (Great lunch option)

  • Grosso Napoletano (Pizza)

  • Nina Pasta Bar

  • Sahuaro Madrid

If you wan to find more cafes & restaurants to try, then you can do so through TripAdvisor.



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