Looking for a Spanish city break? Madrid has a lot to offer, in every season. Moreover, I am sure you’ll fall in love with Toledo!
How to get there
The airport is only 13 km from the city, there are many ways to get into the city centre from there:
- Metro, there are stations at terminal 2 and 4, and the train leaves to the city every 5 minutes. A single ticket cost 5 Euro. It takes up to 45 minutes, it depends on the lines you are taking.
- Bus, there is a direct bus from the airport to Madrid Atocha (Central station). The buses depart from the station outside the T1, T2, and T4 every 15 minutes during the day or 30 minutes after midnight. A single ticket is about 5 euro; you could buy it directly on board. It takes around 40 minutes to get to Atocha.
- Train, from T4 there is the line of Renfe Cercanias C-1 that will take you in the major station of the centre of Madrid. A single ticket cost 2,60 Euro. It takes around 25 minutes to get to Atocha. There are trains every 30 minutes. The only inconvenient is that if you are flying with a low-cost company you’ll have to take the bus outside the Terminal 1 or 2 to get to T4 (this service is free).
My suggestion? Take the Train is the faster and cheaper option.
Where to sleep
Hotels in Madrid, are not missing. Neither hostels, if you are traveling alone you could find a bed for 10 Euro/night. For more travelers, I suggest, as always, to have a look on AirBnB. There is possible to find really cheap stays, with compromises of course, but also very nice rooms with all the services near, better than a hotel if it is possible. I’ve been in this room, for only 15 Euro/night.
If you want to visit also Toledo my suggestion is to sleep in Madrid, because there the offers it is not big as in Madrid and the prices could become crazy.
Currency Euro. Out of cash? Don’t worry you could find more ATM than people in the streets. Take your Revolut.
Madrid ‘s public transport network is HUGE. A single ticket starts at 1,50 euro. There are Tourist passes that allow you to move with freedom, the go from 1 to 8 day and the prices start from 8,50 euro up to 35 euro. My suggestion is just to walk, you’ll not have to get crazy with all the metro lines and the buses, the centre is easily walkable. The main attractions are within a radius of 2 km from Puerta del Sol.
Paella and Tapas? Are you kidding me?
That are just traps for tourists. Avoid that frozen paella and look for typical food in some cerveceria of the city (maybe not in the main squares), you’ll find out that tapas are free after you order a beer.
If you are for the first time in Spain, my suggestion is 100 Montaditos:
- Traditional Food
- Cheap beer
- Sunday & Wednesday all the Menu is at 1 Euro
Ok, maybe the quality will not be the greatest but if you’re looking for a fast lunch/dinner or if you want just to get a beer that’s the place. You’ll be able to find one in any corner of the city.
In Toledo, my suggestion is La Pepa. The atmosphere inside is really nice, the menu is not so huge, but that generally, that means that the few things they do are good. Prices are lower than the other places in Toledo.
What to see/do
The places you must visit are basically really popular attraction:
- Royal Palace (Without museum)
- Plaza Mayor
- Puerta del Sol
- Gran Via, some shopping is always good!
- Prado Museum
- Reina Sofia Museum, if you are not a lover of contemporary art you could stop your visit at the second floor.
You can visit the first 4 attractions that I listed in half day, just walking in the city centre. The museums will take you some more time if you want to do a deep visit.
- Spend a day in Toledo.
From Madrid, you could easily reach this small beauty. The train is 20 euro 2 way, meanwhile, on Alsa.es you can find direct buses departing every hour for 10 euro both ways.
You’ll get in a historical city that managed to keep all his ancient appeal. The two main bridges or the walls of the city are an example. But also the Cathedral deserves a close look.
It is a pleasure to walk in that lovely small streets exploring the old city, every corner could surprise you.