Do you have a few hours to explore Madrid during your layover? Worry not, we got you! This article covers all the possibilities you have to make it happen!
While it is uneasy to visit all the tourist attractions in a quick layover, there are plenty of plans that can make a mere 4-hour layover an enjoyable experience. Fortunately, places which are a must see in Madrid lay in a close proximity to the city center. So, make yourself comfy and get ready for a short but memorable layover.
1- Store your luggage safely in the heart of Madrid
You haven’t checked in your luggage before the start of your journey? ¡No hay problema! Our service of luggage storage Madridlockers is the most reliable in the city, with only 6 Euros you can safely store your cabin bag for the whole day.
Now that you are much lighter, let’s wander around the charming streets of Madrid without carrying any extra weight.
2- Explore Puerta del sol
Sol is without a doubt the beating heart of Madrid. It is not only the most famous square, but also the km 0 for all roads that connect Madrid to the rest of Spain. Getting there from the airport is very practical thanks to the Cercanías train, and it is exactly where your adventure starts.
Step out of the station and into Madrid downtown. Get a photo in front of Madrid’s most iconic statue, the bear and strawberry tree, or join crowds of people watching street performers in action around the square.
Also, there are plenty of quality bars and restaurants where you can try Delicious Spanish tapas and drinks.
3- Take a photo in Plaza Mayor
Afterwards and only a few blocks away from Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor (English: Main Square) practically begs passersby to take a seat, order a coffee or glass of wine. Not only do throngs of tourists pass through, but multiple street performers plant their feet here to entertain. Surrounded by cafes, bars and restaurants,The square starts getting busy in midday and will slowly grow busy as night falls.
If you find yourself in Madrid during the holidays, locals recommend visiting the holiday markets held in the plaza.
Tightly roll wrinkle-resistant garments such as t-shirts, cotton pants and jeans, and place them along the base of the bag.
4- Try something in Mercado de San Miguel
Next, and right beside Plaza Mayor, you’ll stumble across the most famous market in Spain, Mercado de San Miguel, where you’ll encounter endless selections of tapas, wine, fruits, cheeses and desserts that are beautifully displayed, making it difficult to decide what to try first. Since it’s opening in the morning, the San Miguel Market buzzes with people from all over the world excited to sample both its local and international products. The market opens from 10:00 am till midnight (2:00 am on weekends), it’s a great option for a visit during a quick layover in Madrid, day or night.
5- Visit the Royal Palace
Not even a kilometer away from the previous attractions, we find the Home to the Kings of Spain from Charles III to Alfonso XIII, Madrid’s Royal Palace will take you on a journey through the history of Spain. Although it is no longer the royal family’s home but only a venue for state ceremonies, it continues to be their official residence. It is the largest royal palace in western Europe, and has a blend of baroque and neoclassical styles.
Nevertherless, If your layover is longer than 8 hours, you have to go inside to live the full experience because the royal collections and frescoes are magnificent. There are works by Goya, Caravaggio and Velázquez, as well as stunning displays of watches, tapestries, porcelain and silverware.
6- Relax at the Retiro Park
Now it’s time to take a metro trip and go to Madrid’s most beautiful park, located 4 kilometers away from the royal palace, Retiro Park is your best escape from busy downtown streets.
As you walk in the park, you’ll discover the symbolic monument of Alfonso XII facing a beautiful lake, where you’ll get the chance to take a rowboat for a spin.
Strolling further, you’ll encounter one of Retiro’s truest gems, the crystal palace is truly worth being in your camera roll. Reaching this milestone will wrap our suggested layover visit to Madrid, but keep reading, our next suggestions may interest you.
7- Visit Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
After that, and if you are a true football fan we are sure you’ll move this suggestion to the top of your list.Visiting the world’s best football club stadium is an unforgettable experience.
The stadium is located not too far from downtown and is easily accessible trough different transport methods. Besides, the visit entry fee is 25 euros which is cheap enough for the 13 times champions league of Europe winner.
8- Take a 3-hour bike tour and see it all
If your layover in Madrid is too short to do all of the above, we suggest you a magic trick that will save you time and allow you to fit it all in 3 hours, if you’re a fan of bikes or sports in general, it is a plus!
The Madrid Essential Bike tour offered by us Tour is a guided bicycle tour with our expert guides through the places of the touristic and cultural interest of the capital. A tour that covers 10 kilometers of Madrid where its squares, parks, monuments, gardens and most representative buildings are located.Undoubtedly, a tour that will make you discover stories from other times for over three hours, facades that keep centennial secrets, buildings that have hosted the most important conversations about Spain and, of course, unique legends that speak about historical characters, Spanish nobility and street culture of Madrid.