10 Amazing Day Trips From Madrid

Chinchón

amazing day trips from madrid chinchon
Lovers of old school charm won’t want to skip Chinchón, a city well known for its unusual central Plaza Mayor which owes its odd shape to the beautiful medieval houses that surround it.

These balcony medieval homes are a wonder to see and are one of the more popular sights in the city.  The city is filled with local craft and artisan shops so it’s the perfect place to buy souvenirs that aren’t mass produced like the ones you’ll often find in Madrid.

If you travel during certain seasons, you can also enjoy local festivals like the Garlic Festival and the Anisette Festival.

Ávila

amazing day trips from madrid avila
Those who love history will no doubt adore Ávila, whose city center is surrounded by medieval era walls that are remarkably still intact.

Other important sites in Ávila include the Gothic Cathedral, the Basilica de San Vicente, and various Gothic era churches.  Ávila also has an abundance of charming streets that lead to plazas steeped in local culture.

Travelers who want the local experience should travel during October while the festivals of Santa Teresa take place.  You’ll see concerts, carnivals, religious ceremonies and more.

El Escorial

amazing day trips from madrid el escorial
El Escorial is famous for the stunning royal building constructed on the orders of Philip II in the 16th century.

This building, which has acted as everything from a royal palace to a museum to a monastery over the past few hundred years, abounds in historical and cultural riches.

Visitors can view important historical artworks, learn about the Pantheon section which is the final resting place of various Spanish royals, view the royal library and gardens, and much more.

Local restaurants nearby serve up authentic food that will be welcomed after a long afternoon exploring the historical royal building.

Segovia

amazing day trips from madrid segovia
Segovia is renowned for its abundance in historical and cultural richness.  The city includes rustic and ancient medieval architecture including a historical Jewish Quarter which is a must see for anyone who loves to wander through beautiful old streets.

Other important sites include a 1st century Roman aqueduct, the Plaza Mayor, and the beautiful Segovia Cathedral.  Anyone with a taste for great food should try a local restaurant where you can feast on roasted suckling pig, a staple of Segovia.

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Cuenca

amazing day trips from madrid cuenca
One look at the Hanging Houses of Cuenca and you will be hooked on this remarkable, charming, and beloved old town.

Lovers of historical religious buildings will have much to see here as historical cathedrals, churches, and even old religious fortresses can all be found within the city limits.

Travelers with a taste for local food will love traditional Cuenca cuisine which combines Spanish and Ecuadorian tastes for a truly unique culinary experience.
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Aranjuez

amazing day trips from madrid aranjuez
The World Heritage Site of Aranjuez is home to the former summer palace of Spanish kings.

The palace is open to visitors and is well worth the day trip especially for travelers who find the royal palace in Madrid too crowded to enjoy.  The summer palace includes 750 acres of gardens, which are alone worth the trip to Aranjuez.

Locally grown strawberries are a staple of Aranjuez so be sure to pick some up while you’re there and visit the famous Strawberry Train which was constructed from early 1900s carriages.

Toledo

amazing day trips from madrid toledo
One look at the historical architecture of Toledo will tell you why this city is a designated World Heritage City.

Toledo is filled with old school charm like cobblestone streets, beautifully designed buildings, and a historical melting pot of Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures.

The Castle of San Servando, Alcázar Fortress, El Greco Museum, and the cathedral of Saint-Mary are all must see Toledo sites and travelers who enjoy great food won’t want to miss Toledo, which holds the honor of being Spain’s 2016 Capital of Gastronomy.

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Consuegra

amazing day trips from madrid consuegra
You might not be familiar with the name Consuegra but you’ve no doubt been exposed to its legacy thanks to Don Quixote.

The famous scene where the titular Don tries to battle windmills was set in Consuegra which is famous for its large, impressive, and historical windmills.

If you’re looking for more to do than imagine Don Quixote battling it out with these giants, you’re in luck as Consuegra also features a historical castle, beautiful saffron fields, and local workshops for items like elaborate chairs and doors.

Alcalá de Henares

amazing day trips from madrid alcala de henares
If you’re a fan of old school charm then you won’t want to miss Alcalá de Henares.  The city’s cobbled streets which wind along the river Henares give visitors a taste of old world beauty.

Lovers of history will find much to see here like the historical Gothic cathedral, Universidad Complutense.  You’ll also find recently discovered Roman era public baths and a basilica.

Whether you’re a fan of architecture admiring the religious quarters or a lover of food enjoying the city’s signature Spanish pastries, Alcalá de Henares should be on your list of places to visit.

Salamanca

amazing day trips from madrid salamanca
For many travelers, Salamanca is the epitome of Spanish culture as it boasts everything from historical sites to world famous food.

Travelers interested in history will find so much to see in Salamanca that they may want to make a return day trip or turn their day trip into an overnight one.

Along with many local restaurants well known for delicious cuisine, there are churches, royal buildings, cobblestone streets, and architecture dating back hundreds of years.
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