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Emily from Ann Arbor asked

Best way to spend a day in Madrid?

I'm going to be passing through Madrid and spending only 1 day in town. What is the best way to get the most out of the city in a day? Best things to see, eat, and do?


Madrid (Spain)

6 Answers
answered by
Montserrat from Mexico City, Mexico

Hello Emily,

I don't know with whom you are travelling but anyway I hope it helps.
I think that the best way to see the city is making your own walking tour. Everything is pretty near altough you will have an exausted day but you will not miss any "must" place. Depends where you are staying but I will tell you like a short tour you can do. 

You can start from Parque del Retiro, Puerta de Alcalá, Plaza Cibeles. Go down calle de Alcala and then take gran via ( this is the av where you will find all many stors and great buildings), until Callao, you get here and go by the street Preciados until Puerta del Sol. (for me the center of Madrid), you take to Plaza Mayor, Opera, Plaza de Oriente until Royal Palace of Madrid. Then take to Plaza de España and Templo de Debod.

It sounds insane but all these places are pretty near. You will do it. In the midtime, you can eat something in Parque del Retiro, Puerta del Sol, Gran Vía. La Latina is also nice to eat (while you are around Plaza Mayor). Plaza Mayor is nice but its expensive, up to you! :)

If you still have time, walk Fuencarral, Huertas or La Latina.

For visiting Madrid in one day these is perfect.

Hope it helps if you have any questions, write me.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Parque del Retiro (attraction)
  2. Puerta de Alcalá (attraction)
  3. Plaza Cibeles (attraction)
  4. Plaza Mayor (attraction)
  5. Opera (attraction)
  6. Plaza de Oriente (attraction)
  7. Royal Palace of Madrid (attraction)
  8. Plaza de España (attraction)
  9. Templo de Debod (attraction)
  10. Parque del Retiro (attraction)
  11. Puerta del Sol (attraction)
  12. Gran Vía (attraction)
  13. Fuencarral (attraction)
  14. Huertas (attraction)
  15. La Latina (attraction)
likes (2) thanks
top answer by
Andrea from Madrid

Hi Emily,

If I had just one day to visit Madrid, I'd definitely go to the Parque del Retiro. I've been living in Madrid for a year and I go every time I can, it's a lovely place to relax and Palacio de Cristal is dreamy.

However if you will only be in Madrid one day, you may prefer visit a museum just like 'Museo del Prado or Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza' which are the most famous.

But, without a doubt you have to walk down the Gran Vía, I'd recommend you to start at Plaza de España and cross the 'Gran Vía', then you will find Puerta de Alcalá which is one of the most important monuments in Madrid.

Plus, one of the most typical things in Madrid is El Rastro, a street market that opens every Sunday with a really hippie vibe haha.

Finally, Madrid is a city full of fantastic bars and restaurants. You can eat at the oldest restaurant in the world: Botín or Restaurante Casa Lucio which is really famous in Spain because of its 'Huevos Rotos'.

If you are looking for something cheaper you might like a chinese restaurant like 'El Chino De Plaza De España' or you may prefer go to a classical tavern. Anyway, if you want to eat in Madrid you have to avoid all this places full of tourist with pictures of giants paellas. Just keep in mind that Madrid typical food are 'Callos a la madrileña' y 'Rabo de toro'.

Enyou your day in Madrid, I hope you found this info useful :)

Comments (1)

Love your answer, Andrea! By the way, just a reminder about our geo-tagging feature -- it's helpful to be able to visualize where places are. Plus, people can click through to them for more information, making your answer more helpful! I've helped you geo-tag the places in your answer on a map. In the future, you can do this yourself as you answer a question by simply typing the @-symbol followed by the name of the place. Take a look at your map next to your answer :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Parque del Retiro (attraction)
  2. Palacio de Cristal (attraction)
  3. Museo del Prado (attraction)
  4. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (attraction)
  5. Gran Vía (attraction)
  6. Plaza de España (attraction)
  7. Puerta de Alcalá (attraction)
  8. El Rastro (attraction)
  9. Botín (restaurant)
  10. Restaurante Casa Lucio (restaurant)
  11. El Chino De Plaza De España (attraction)
comments (1)
likes (2) thanks
answered by
Alfonso from Mexico City

I love Madrid!!

The city is living a fabulous moment, blooming!

Not knowing your schedule, I'll list my favorites by time of the day.

Breakfast: Stop by La Mallorquina, a traditional coffee place at Plaza Puerta del Sol (everything starts at Sol in Madrid). Wherever you want to grab your coffee and a Chocolatin to go and watch people pass thru the plaza as city comes alive or seat upstairs on a more calm scenario, no way you can go wrong here.

AM: Out of all the museums in Madrid, I would pick Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina SofíaMuseo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (refer by locals just by "Reina Sofia"). Nice collection con contemporary art. If you're not in the mood for museums and wants to relax, you can do it at the pool on the roof of trendy boutique Urban Hotel Madrid, the bar its called El Cielo del Urban.

Lunch: No questions, the best place for a quick meal with a width variety of Madrid flavors, great quality and fun environment.... Mercado de San Miguel. Grab a plate of Iberico, some wine, what about some oysters? AMAZING!

PM: Stroll thru Calle Fuencarral, you'll find nice little boutiques mixed with worldwide recognized stores. The more you adventure on the little streets around, the better. Of course, Gran Vía and Calle Preciados (read somewhere this is the street with more pedestrian traffic in the world) are good destinations too.

Sunset: DO NOT MISS SUNSET AT Templo de Debod!! Check the time for sunset on that day and go there ~30 minutes before, find some grass where to seat, a snack and enjoy. These views are beautiful!

Dinner: Best thing about dinner in Madrid is that you can do it several times each night, just to find one is better that the the previous. On the same dynamic, a good place to have small tastes, Gourmet Experience Serrano, on top of El Corte Inglés. Small restaurants with terrific quality and recognition (some of these are Michelin stars holders). If you're visiting during summer and feel like refreshing and enjoy a summer night outside, AZOTEA (best downtown view from a terrace) on Círculo de Bellas Artes. Or... just lose yourself on the streets around and get into any of the many choices for a late, late, late dinner, Madrid style, like Saporem

Enjoy! And have a Tinto de Verano for me ;)

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Plaza Puerta del Sol (attraction)
  2. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (attraction)
  3. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (attraction)
  4. Urban Hotel Madrid (hotel)
  5. El Cielo del Urban (restaurant)
  6. Mercado de San Miguel (attraction)
  7. Calle Fuencarral (attraction)
  8. Gran Vía (attraction)
  9. Calle Preciados (attraction)
  10. Templo de Debod (attraction)
  11. Gourmet Experience Serrano (attraction)
  12. El Corte Inglés (attraction)
  13. AZOTEA (restaurant)
  14. Círculo de Bellas Artes (attraction)
  15. Saporem (restaurant)
likes (1) thanks
answered by
Eric from Seattle

If you are less interested in the "primary" sights of the city and more interested in getting a feel of the day-to-day fabric of the center, I'd suggest including free-flowing walks through the neighborhoods of Malasaña and Chueca Within those neighborhoods, you could visit Mercado de San Antón for a food break and it might be a fun side-trip from walking up and down Paseo de Recoletos where some of the primary sights are.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Malasaña (neighborhood)
  2. Chueca (metro area)
  3. Mercado de San Antón (attraction)
  4. Paseo de Recoletos (attraction)
likes (1) thanks
answered by
Juanjo from Madrid, Spain

On Sunday you must go to El Rastro, a flea market, and then eat in La Latina

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. El Rastro (attraction)
  2. La Latina (attraction)
likes (1) thanks
answered by
Rocio from Costa Rica

Walk the city Emily! Madrid is a magical city. It has so many little streets to appreciate and enjoy.  Therefore, while walking the city you can enjoy Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Cibeles Palace, Gran Vía, Templo de Debod, Almudena Cathedral, Royal Palace of Madrid. Don't forget to visit and try the Spanish gastronomy of Mercado de San Miguel or Mercado de San Antón. If you have time amuse yourself with the beauty of flamenco. I suggest Tablao Villa Rosa, outstanding show and delicious food.

One day wont be never enough to appreciate the beauty of this amazing city however a sneak peak is better than nothing.


Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Madrid (city)
  2. Puerta del Sol (attraction)
  3. Plaza Mayor (attraction)
  4. Cibeles Palace (attraction)
  5. Gran Vía (attraction)
  6. Templo de Debod (attraction)
  7. Almudena Cathedral (attraction)
  8. Royal Palace of Madrid (attraction)
  9. Mercado de San Miguel (attraction)
  10. Mercado de San Antón (attraction)
  11. Tablao Villa Rosa (restaurant)
likes (1) thanks

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