No doubt, Madrid makes one of the top destinations for tourists, students, and professionals. This is because of some of the amazing study and work opportunities available here. Also, this city has a rich culture, heritage, and lifestyle which attracts people from around the globe. Additionally, people choose it because it is close to several other tourist destinations which they can reach out during a day trip.
Of course, Madrid is a dream place to live in but sometimes, there also comes a time when you don't feel like staying in the city. In such times, you can think of arranging a weekend day trip to the amazing rural escapes and other tourist destinations surrounding Madrid. This way, you can take your stay to another level by visiting the nearby gateways during weekends.
According to UNESCO, Spain has 15 cities which are considered as world heritage sites. While three of them (Segovia, Avila, Toledo) are those which you can reach in a day trip from Madrid. And we know that you’ll never want to miss such opportunities to explore the nearby locations. After all, it is the goal of every visitor that they should visit at least the most famous destinations so that people in their home country might be able to listen to many exciting stories about our wonderous Spain!
In this article, our TEFL academy in Spain has listed the most beautiful destinations close to Madrid which you can easily explore during weekends. From Toledo to Lisbon and Segovia to Cordoba, every magical place offers you a world of endless adventures and breath-taking views that you never want to miss out!
This amazingly beautiful city is located in the South of Madrid. Toledo was once the capital of Spain as well. This city is not only famous for its aesthetic beauty but also due to its historical value. Once you get there, you’ll feel that the place holds the collective footprints of three civilizations, Hindus, Muslims and Jews who lived here in harmony for centuries. This kind of unique interaction can also be visible in the city’s architecture.
There are many places to visit but nothing can beat the charm of getting lost into the windy, and tiny streets. You can make your day trip to Toledo even memorable by adding the taste of local savory foods and beverages.
How to Get There:
Reaching Toledo from Madrid is pretty easy. It’s only at a distance of one-hour drive if you are going through a car. You can also get there via train in just half an hour. Or by bus which will take one and a half hours to reach Toledo. Also, if you decide to extend your trip overnight, there are plenty of options for accommodation as well. You can easily get accommodation in luxury mansions or at small family-run hotels (in case you have a limited budget).
This beautiful town was recently declared as the Property of Cultural Interest. Riaza can be your next destination on a day trip. This place is specifically attractive for those who want to spend an adventurous day at a gateway that other tourists seldom visit. One of the must-watch places in Riaza is Plaza Mayor here. This plaza will definitely catch your attention since almost all the streets from the town connect here. Additionally, there are stone steps with cast-iron rails and also the buildings have unusual and irregular heights. You can also head towards Nuestra Señora del Manto Church after your visit to Plaza Mayor since the church is nearby. This stunning church is made in renaissance style and holds its own cultural value.
Some of the popular cuisines that you can enjoy in Riaza include roast suckling pig, roast lamb cooked in a traditional wood-fired oven. Spending a day in this beautiful town and eating all these fun foods can be your most memorable trip during your stay in Madrid.
How to Get There:
You can easily go from Madrid to Riaza via bus or car. The car ride will take about one and a half hours to reach there. While there is also a direct bus service between these two places which you can utilize to visit this cultural town. The bus will take a little more as compared to the car and you'll reach there in one hour and forty minutes approximately. Find more info about the bus from Madrid to Riaza.
This beautiful town is another world heritage site and is located in the south of Madrid. Aranjuez was used as a summertime palace and hunting place by the royals back in the days. That's why the magnificent palace, as well as lush gardens here, are what attracts a number of tourists every year. Also, the best time to visit Aranjuez is during spring or summer so you may be able to watch all the amazing colors during the blooming days.
Another significant feature of Aranjuez is that unlike other towns near Madrid, Aranjuez has no tiny and congested streets but has more spacious boulevards. This feature makes Aranjuez stand out among all other historical towns. Also, the lush gardens are sprawling over 750 acres and offer a breathtakingly amazing view. All these qualities collectively make Aranjuez a worth visiting place during a day trip.
How to Get There:
Either you are going via bus, train or car, it won’t take more than an hour to reach Aranjuez traveling from Madrid. But if you want to have a more authentic as well as memorable travel experience, try using a Strawberry Train. This train is actually made up of wooden carriages that were restored from the early 20th century. During your Strawberry Train ride, you can also enjoy eating fresh strawberries grown in Aranjuez.
This Portuguese capital is less touristy which makes it a perfect destination if you are looking for a calm afternoon stroll. But now more and more people are getting aware of the fact that this magical place is like a hidden gem. From its iconic trams to tiled walls and streets, everything is worth watching. Additionally, you’ll also experience a unique culture scene here which can never be found elsewhere.
From a gastronomy point of view, the city is filled with bars and restaurants where you can enjoy the local food at every budget. Also, if you made up your mind to have a night stay here, finding cheap accommodation is very easy because of a limited number of tourists.
How to Get There
This beautiful city is easily reachable from Madrid via budget flights that would take not more than six hours to get there. Or else, if you’re adventurous enough, you can also take the night train or bus to get there. All these options are good enough even if you have a limited budget.
Segovia is a must-visit place during your stay in Madrid. It is only 30 minutes away from Madrid on a train journey. The places to see here include a huge Roman aqueduct dating back to the first century, Plaza Mayor, Segovia Cathedral and The Alcázar castle which is believed the inspiration for Cinderella’s Castle of Disney.
Segovia is another world heritage site according to UNESCO and is among the most favorite day trip destinations from Madrid, but an overnight stay will totally worth it. Once the tourist buses stop, you can dive in to enjoy the nightlife here. Also, it will give you a chance to view the culture more closely. Plus, the sight-seeing of architectural masterpieces here is worthy of all your time. Also, don’t forget to taste the famous roast suckling pig here – a famous cuisine of Segovia.
How to Get There
Segovia is only 95 km away from Madrid and reaching it is also very easy. The high-speed AVE train would take only 30 minutes. While you can also take a bus from about €10 and within just an hour, you would be enjoying the beauty of a picturesque city with all its ancient charms.
Cordoba was once the capital of Islamic Spain and still hold the historic importance of that time. It is no doubt a city of cathedrals which has preserved its ancient structures even if the overall outlook of the city is pretty modernized. The amazing sights that you can see here can never be found elsewhere. One of the magnificent landmarks to visit here is Moorish Mesquita which is the perfect representation of Islamic Architecture of ancient times.
How to Get There
There are lots of options available to travel between Madrid and Cordoba. You can use the services of high-speed AVE train which would take not more than three hours. While the bus will take around four to five hours.