3 Days in Madrid: The Best Itinerary for Your Visit
Table of contents
Start your Madrid itinerary of 3 days off by visiting the Royal Palace. It was constructed during the 18th century and contains more than 3,000 rooms. Although it is the official residence of the royal family of Spain, they actually reside in a location outside of the city. Notable attractions to explore include the private rooms of Charles III and the Throne Room. The latter features a ceiling that is adorned with gold leaf and an impressive collection of works of art from famed masters like Velázquez and Goya.
The Plaza Mayor is the spectacular main square of Madrid. It was constructed in the 17th century during the reign of Philip III. It has been a key focal point of municipal and commercial life in the area since it was built. The square frequently hosts dramatic performances and tournaments. It is surrounded by an array of cafés where you can grab a bite to eat when you are done exploring.
The Mercado de San Miguel has been operating in the city since 1916 and features stunning cast-iron architecture. It is located in the heart of the Madrid de los Austrian district and is visited by more than 10 million people each year. Inside the market, you will find the finest products from across Spain. It is the perfect place to head for a mouth-watering lunch with a variety of delights for you to sample. These range from tasty tapas to the freshest seafood. You can also purchase fruits, vegetables, meat and gourmet cheese. There is a total of 30 stands to choose from.
Founded in 1867, the National Archaeology Museum preserves the cultural legacy of Spain with exhibits that cover the country's history from prehistoric times to the modern era. From 2008 to 2014, the entire facility was remodelled. Although most of the items housed at the museum are from the Iberian Peninsula, there are also antiquities from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. During your visit, be sure to check out the Lady of Baza, the Statue of Livia and the Harsomtus-em-hat Statue.
Located on 125 hectares, El Retiro Park is home to more than 15,000 trees. It is one of the top green spaces in the heart of the city and the perfect spot to begin the final leg of your Madrid itinerary of 3 days. Within the park, you will find a variety of beautiful gardens to check out. They include the Cecilio Rodríguez Gardens and the Vivaces Garden. We also suggest taking note of water elements like the Estanque Grande. The large pond was built between 1634 and 1636. It is a popular sunbathing and boating spot.
Conclude a memorable Madrid itinerary of 3 days by exploring the best cuisine and nightlife that the city offers. We suggest booking a table for a satisfying meal before you head to the city's top party spots for an evening to remember. You will find restaurants across the city that serve authentic Spanish cuisine and international fare with something for every taste. Do you feel like starting the night out with some tapas? Visit La Casa del Abuelo and sample the garlic prawns. Casa Toni is the perfect choice if you are looking for a rustic tapas bar. DiverXO offers a Michelin-star dining experience where you can enjoy a multi-course meal, and Habanera serves a menu that focuses on Caribbean and Mediterranean flavours. When you are done with dinner, we recommend heading to the Huertas neighbourhood. It is one of the liveliest districts in Madrid and features an impressive selection of bars and clubs. We have a few recommendations for a night to remember. They include Café Central. This is one of the city's top spots for live jazz. Cheers Karaoke is another must-visit spot and features a playlist of more than 30,000 songs. If you are looking for an amazing nightclub experience, head to Planet Club. It is an all-night club known for serving cocktails and champagne.
Head just over an hour southwest, and you will arrive in historic Toledo. The entire city has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of our top recommendations for a day trip during your Madrid itinerary of 3 days. This area is famed for its medieval walls, convents, mosques, churches and synagogues. You will feel like you have stepped back in time as you explore the narrow, stone-paved streets. Key points of interest include the Museo de Santa Cruz, the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz, El Transito Synagogue and the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes.
Panoramic views of the Castilian countryside await you when you visit the historical city of Segovia. It is located roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes to the northwest of Madrid. During your visit, we suggest checking out the well-preserved Roman aqueduct that was constructed in 50 CE. It features 2 tiers of impressive arches. Other notable points of interest include the Alcázar, which dates to the 11th century.
Journey 55 minutes north of Madrid to visit the spectacular town of Manzanares el Real. The most popular attraction in the area is the imposing Manzanares el Real Castle, which was built in the 15th century. It is one of the best-preserved fortresses in the region and houses a museum that focuses on the castles of Spain. During your visit, you can also view a collection of furniture and tapestries from the 17th century.
Sigüenza is located around 1 hour and 40 minutes northeast of the city. It is another worthwhile option for a day trip during your Madrid itinerary of 3 days. The 12th-century Castle of the Bishops of Sigüenza dominates the surrounding landscape and is notable for its crenellated fortifications. It has been converted into a luxury hotel. Other notable points of interest include the Sigüenza Plaza Mayor and the Cathedral Basilica.
Choose from 46 luxurious rooms and suites when you book the Heritage Madrid Hotel 5* for your 3-day itinerary. It is located in the city's Barrio de Salamanca district and features an atmospheric terrace where you can take in stunning views.
On-site amenities and facilities include a tour desk, the Haroma Restaurant, Wi-Fi, a concierge service, air conditioning, an airport transfer service, a lift and multilingual staff members. Rooms feature a coffee machine, a safe, a hairdryer, a kettle, a mini-fridge and bathrobes.
What we like: We love the luxurious range of 5-star services offered at this popular accommodation. It is the perfect base for a holiday spent exploring the best of Madrid.
You can choose from 139 rooms at the Aloft Madrid Gran Vía 4*. It is located in the city centre and is close to top attractions like the Royal Palace and the Plaza Mayor. You will be comfortably accommodated in an elegant Aloft Room during your stay.
The hotel's facilities include a laundry service, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, WXYZ Bar, Re:Fuel Grab & Go, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre.
What we like: We love this property's eclectic ambience, which includes a brilliant rooftop bar where you can enjoy stunning city views.
Enjoy a rock and roll-themed 3-day itinerary when you book the Hard Rock Hotel Madrid 4* on Voyage Privé. The property offers a range of top-rated services and amenities that include a swimming pool and yoga classes.
On-site features include air conditioning, Wi-Fi, a fitness centre and 4 restaurant and bar locations. Rooms come equipped with a TV, a safe, a coffee machine, a hairdryer, a mini-fridge and a courtesy tray with tea/coffee.
What we like: We love the opportunity that this beautiful property offers you to enjoy innovative food, live music and a fun-filled atmosphere during your Madrid itinerary of 3 days.
With 74 well-appointed rooms, the H10 Villa De La Reina 4* is another one of our top recommendations for your Madrid itinerary of 3 days. The property is situated in the heart of the city's iconic Gran Via.
The hotel's facilities and amenities include a library, a 24-hour reception desk, Wi-Fi, the La Villa Bar and the Las Infantas Restaurant. Rooms are furnished with a coffee machine, a mini-fridge, a kettle, a safe, a hairdryer, a TV, air conditioning and a shower.
What we like: We love the impressive selection of dishes and cocktails available on-site at this fabulous property. Its outstanding location adds to its appeal as a booking option for a 3-day city break.
Located in the city centre just a short stroll from the Gran Vía, you will find the Walt Madrid. It is a great choice for a holiday spent visiting the city's leading landmarks, such as the Royal Palace and Puerta del Sol.
On-site features include a 24-hour reception desk, a laundry service, a lift, Wi-Fi and Bob's Bar. Rooms include a hairdryer, a safe, a mini-fridge, a TV and a courtesy tray with tea and coffee.
What we like: We love this property's central location, which is convenient for visits to the city's top museums, galleries, restaurants and historic sites.
We have a few tips to help you get the most out of your 3 days in Madrid itinerary. Our first suggestion is to travel on foot whenever possible. Be sure to take a good pair of walking shoes with you. You should also make use of public transportation anytime you do not plan to walk to a point of interest. The Madrid Metro is a cost-effective option for getting to the city's top locations. You can also avail yourself of the Metro Ligero, which is the light rail system. Buses are another option you can make use of. In terms of dining during your stay, it is a good idea to as for advice from hotel staff members and locals to find out where they like to eat. This will help you to avoid tourist traps. The local currency in the city is the euro. Though most businesses will accept card payments, you could run into some smaller shops that only take cash. If you need to withdraw some, we suggest choosing an ATM associated with one of the Spanish banks. Get a travel plug adapter if you plan to use any of your electronics that require a UK outlet.
The best time for a 3 days itinerary in Madrid is spring or autumn. Temperatures are still warm and pleasant during these months, but they fall outside of the peak tourist season. This will help you to avoid the highest prices for accommodation and the largest crowds.
The primary international arrivals hub for the city is Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport. Flights head out of the UK daily with an average in-air time of around 2 hours and 30 minutes.
There is no shortage of delightful local specialities for you to sample during a Madrid itinerary of 3 days. Empanadas are a must-try during your stay. These pastries are stuffed with fish or meat and are popular as a kind of street food. Huevos estrellados is a dish made by laying fried eggs over a bed of potato wedges. They are then topped with Spanish ham or other meat. Some eateries even add a bit of grated truffle to take the flavour to another level. Patatas bravas are fried potatoes that are sliced and topped with aioli or hot sauce. Churros and the softer porras are sweet treats that are made from frying dough. Churros are long and thin, and porras are larger, lighter, and sometimes include a filling of cream or chocolate. Both are commonly dusted with sugar before they are served.