Long Layover in Madrid
There is so much to do in Madrid, your choices may seem overwhelming when planning a visit for less than a day. We already pointed out the top three instagrammed places in the city and since we know you’ll have your device on you, we included the second and third most instagrammed on this list as well.
If your long layover is during business hours, you’re in luck. Just follow the below itinerary and we promise, you’ll get a great feel for the city in just a short time.
The journey from the airport is only 20 minutes with a taxi but with other public transportation can take anywhere from 40-60 minutes. Choose your method of transport wisely, in order to maximize your time.
Place to Visit During your Layover in Madrid
- Atocha Station
- El Retiro Park
- Prado Museum
- Puerta del Sol
- Royal Palace
Start here. It is the southern most point on your tour which will allow you to optimize your short visit.
Inside the station, the lush tropical garden will surprise and delight you. Like an oasis in the middle of the bustling station, this concourse was repurposed in the 90’s to serve as a greenhouse to a variety of plant life.
El Retiro Park
Just a quick 14 minute walk from Atocha station will land you at the third most instagrammed spot in Madrid. Wander through the rose gardens, past the babbling fountains, under the leafed enclosures and around the ornate statues that the Spanish royal family enjoyed as their private garden until the late 19th century.
It’s a quick 6 minute cross of the street to your next destination – the famed Prado Museum. You can’t leave Madrid without stepping inside this esteemed art museum.
Puerta del Sol
Your next stop will be to the busiest square in the city, just 10 minutes away. Also of note, this square houses the point where all Spanish roads originate from; the 0km mark. Grab a bite to eat while you absorb the energy around you. Don’t forget to take a pic at the second most instagrammed spot in the city.
Your last destination is the regal Royal Palace, a 10 minute walk from the square. See how the royal family once lived with over 3 thousand rooms staged in all their historical glory. Don’t miss the changing of the guard if you happen to visit on a Wednesday.
The above itinerary consists of about 1.5 hours in travel-time, including round trip to the airport via taxi. Then depending on how long you choose to stay at each place, at the least, you can plan on using 3 hours total for all. This means you will need at least 4.5 hours of time in the city to fully enjoy all the best spots.
Many of the above places are quite expansive and can demand several hours or days of your time. For a quick trip, you will have to be very particular about which areas you want to see at each stop.