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A list of some amazing day trips from Madrid, the capital of Spain.
Madrid is an incredible city, but it’s always nice to escape the crowds while traveling.
After exploring Madrid thoroughly, there are some beautiful places scattered around the central region of Spain that make lovely day trips.
Day trips are also great for budget travelers.
Rather than constantly moving around and paying for hostels and public transport, it’s so easy to just hop on a morning bus or train before returning to your home base at night.
Also because of Spain’s great public transport network, day trips from Madrid are very straightforward and simple.
For most of these trips, you can either take public transport or book a tour.
When to take public transport
I recommend taking public transport if you want to save money.
Check Rome2Rio to find the cheapest local transport to and from your destination.
Also if you are confident in exploring the city on your own without a guide, just skip the tour.
When to book a tour
I recommend booking a tour if you just want to sit back and relax without planning your own transport.
Tours are also great for meeting other people if you’re traveling alone, and often you get the perk of a local tour guide to educate you about the destination.
I’ll be linking to some of my favorite tours from Get Your Guide.
Here are 6 of the best day trips from Madrid!
Toledo is a small city with a rich history and breathtaking views. The whole town is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s easy to see why!
Famous for its religious co-existence throughout history, Toledo is home to many churches, synagogues, and mosques. There are also some great museums.
Overall, Toledo is a very genuine and refreshing day trip from Madrid.
You won’t find many billboards, flashing advertisements, or chain restaurants; the town seems completely free of the obnoxious consumerism that plagues the world today.
Here, the people are relaxed, the shops are modest, and the restaurants are authentic.
One of the best things to do in Toledo is walk over to the Río Tajo that runs next to the city and check out the view over the massive gorge.
Full day trip to Toledo from Madrid: includes a bilingual tour guide, costs around 25 USD, 4.5/5 star rating
Just two hours away from Madrid is Salamanca, a hub for students and history buffs.
This gorgeous city is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, mainly because of its significant landmarks.
Some of the best places to see include the New Cathedral of Salamanca, the Convento de las Dueñas, the Baroque-style Plaza Mayor, and the Casa de las Conchas which is a public library covered in seashells.
Salamanca’s history is vast. It has belonged to Celtic Tribes and the Romans, and some of the Roman architecture is still there today.
But the city is most famous for its university. Salamanca University, which has been open since the 13th Century, is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in Europe.
It’s a popular city among study abroad students, and it’s one of the best places to study Spanish.
A combined visit to Salamanca and Ávila (next on the list) is a popular day trip from Madrid.
This day tour to Salamanca and Ávila includes a bilingual guide, costs 87 USD, and is rated 4.5/5 stars.
Another Spanish town with an incredible sense of history, Ávila makes an interesting day trip from Madrid.
Ávila is famous for its almost perfectly-preserved medieval walls. They run for about 2 km and have been standing tall since the 11th Century.
The walls are bordered by two towering medieval gates as well, the Puerta del Alcazar and the Puerta de San Vicente.
There aren’t many other attractions in Ávila, so you only need a couple hours at most.
That’s why day trips from Madrid often combine Ávila with another neighboring city like Salamanca or Segovia.
This breathtaking historic town is definitely one of the best day trips from Madrid.
Among the most famous landmarks in the city include the Alcázar of Segovia, a medieval castle, and the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, an 18th-century palace.
It’s cool to see an old rustic castle and a newer, fancier palace in the same city.
The intricate gothic architecture of the Cathedral of Segovia is stunning, and the ancient Roman arches of the Aqueduct of Segovia is quite astounding.
The Romans left some amazing landmarks behind in Spain!
A day trip from Madrid to Segovia with a guided walking tour costs 38 USD and has a 4/5 star rating.
Actually, the most popular option is a day trip combing Toledo, Segovia, and Ávila.
With a 4.6/5 stars rating and a cost of 145 USD, you’d actually save money doing this tour rather than booking three separate tours for each city.
Surprise! Another medieval and historic town in central Spain!
If you’re not super into architecture and history, then maybe just pick one or two of these day trips from Madrid. Doing all of them may be overkill.
But if you can’t get enough of those medieval fortresses, cobblestone streets, and rustic views, then continue exploring and head to Cuenca.
It’s only 1 hour away from Madrid by train, and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city itself sits on top of some massive limestone cliffs, so the surrounding views are gorgeous.
The Hanging Houses of Cuenca are one of the coolest things to see; these tall, narrow houses are built into the edge of a cliff and look like they’re about to fall into the gorge.
Day tour from Madrid to Cuenca: costs 65 USD, 4.6/5 star rating
6. Ribera Del Duero
Who doesn’t love a good day of wine tasting?
There is no better way to treat yourself while traveling in Europe than dressing up and tasting some delicious local wines.
Ribera Del Duero is one of the best wine regions in Spain, and it makes a super fun day trip from Madrid.
I’d probably recommend booking a tour for this rather than going on your own.
The wineries aren’t always directly connected to public transport, and if you get a bit tipsy it’s easier to just hop on a bus with your local guide.
Full day tour to Ribera Del Duero, 10 hours of wine tasting and exploring, 5/5 stars, 166 USD.
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Before visiting Spain, I recommend getting some affordable travel insurance from Squaremouth Insurance.
Also, it’s worth checking visa requirements at iVisa.com. Most travelers don’t need a visa to visit Spain, but depending on your nationality you might!
For more of my travel articles around Spain, check out these links: