Best Day Trips From Madrid

By Jessica Russo


There is so much to do in Madrid, you could spend weeks exploring the city and still discover new surprises. And while experiencing Madrid is a must, it's important to step outside its city lines and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and day-to-day culture of other areas. With Madrid as an amazing base, consider these wonderful day-trips to broaden your Spanish horizons. From mountainous national parks to old-world medieval towns, start your engines and see the splendors of Spain!

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Segovia

Driving time: 1h 40m

AVE High-Speed Train: 30m

If you're a fan of history, medieval charm, and amazing architecture, head to Segovia now. This city just northwest of Madrid boasts incredible sites, like the towering Aqueduct of Segovia and 12th-century castle. Explore old plazas, royal palaces, and more!


Sierra de Gredos

Driving time: 2h 25m

This jaw-dropping regional park is a protected natural area covering over 200,000 acres of Spanish land. Hike through gorgeous mountainscapes, gaze into the sparkling Laguna Grande, and take tons of photos. A day of natural beauty is a perfect getaway from the bustling city!


Toledo

Driving time: 1h

Train: 35m

Holy Toledo! This holy ancient walled city is a fan-favorite. Gawk at 13th-century Toledo Cathedral and the grand cloisters of 15th-century Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes. Stroll through charming streets lined with unique shops and fantastic restaurants! Pro-tip: When visiting Toledo, be sure to visit Consuegra, a small area just 45-minutes away, known for its postcard-worthy windmills.


Cuenca

Driving time: 1h 40m

You can get there by train, but it's a bit of a hassle.

Perched on a limestone cliff above the Jucar and Huecar rivers, this fascinating city is a historic wonderland. It's most known for its "casas colgadas," or "hanging houses," and is filled with cobblestone streets and medieval castle ruins.


Avila

Driving time: 1h 20m

Train: 1h 30m

Ah, Avila. This city boasts some of the most fairytale-like, well-preserved medieval walls in all of Europe. You'll feel like you're inside a giant castle! Once you enter the city, explore ornate cathedrals and stroll down charming narrow streets. Pro-tip: You might want to combine Avila and Segovia into one day-trip. They're less than an hour from each-other and are quite easy to get to.


Salamanca

Driving time: 2h 30m

Train: 2h

As you arrive in Salamanca, you'll feel yourself gasp at the beauty of its ornate architecture. Spot sky-high cathedral peaks and find the River Tormes rushing down below. This dynamic city is filled with 15th- and 16th-century structures, all boasting sandstone facades and Gothic style. Once you've seen all the historical stuff, mosey around the Plaza Mayor and treat yourself to some refreshing sangria!


Bonus: Bilbao

Driving time: 3h 40m

This may seem like a long drive, but it's also one of the most beautiful drives you'll ever take in your life. Time flies when you're havin' fun! Stop off at a winery in the La Rioja region, then continue north to bustling Bilbao. Surrounded by green mountains and known for its art-rich downtown, this city will sweep you off your feet. Be sure to visit the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum and historic Plaza Nueva - a beautiful contrast of old and new.

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