Historic Madrid in 2 Days

My husband and I arrived in Madrid on a Sunday at 09:30 in the morning, only 03:30am back home in the East Coast of the United States. I read somewhere that the best way to get over jet lag is to plod on. So, we did!

After checking in at our hotel, and quickly freshening up, we headed out to start our 7-day itinerary in Spain.

We spent 2 days exploring the historical center of Madrid. Here are the attractions that we experienced and visited.

Day 1

Madrid Hop On Hop Off

Officially known as Madrid City Tour, the hop on hop off bus is an open top double decker that travels 2 routes: Historic Madrid and Modern Madrid. Visitors may buy a 1 Day Pass or a 2 Days Pass. From March to October the bus runs from 9AM to 10PM every 8 minutes. During the low season, it runs every 15 minutes from 10AM to 6PM. Prices and details at the Madrid City Tour website.

Museo Nacional del Prado

The Prado Museum is a must see in Madrid. It houses the greatest collection of paintings of European masters, including Las Meninas by Diego Velasquez considered to be the world’s best painting.

My husband and I spent about 3 hours at the Prado with the goal of seeing paintings by Caravaggio, El Greco, Fra Angelico, Goya, Velazquez, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Titian.

It is best to buy tickets online to skip the line. Check for updated details and pricing at the Prado Museum website.

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia 

The Reina Sofia is a Modern Art museum. On Sundays, from 13:30PM to 1900PM, visitors may enter for free. However, not all collections are open for viewing. This was not a problem for us because we only went to see one exhibit, Picaso’s Guernica. He painted the mural to show the destruction of the bombing of the town of Guernica. Photography is not allowed in the museum, so we were not able to take a picture of the mural.

Pablo Picasso’s Guernica (Photo from Wikipedia)

Hours and cost for the Reina Sofia Museum can be found here.

Day 2

Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol is site of Spain’s symbolic center, ‘kilometer zero’. King Charles III established Puerta del Sol as the city’s hub. There is a statue of a bear pawing a tree at the square. This has been the symbol of Madrid since medieval times. The county governor’s office is also located here.

Plaza Mayor

Madrid’s former main square is enclosed by four-story symmetrical buildings. It is a historical site where major events such as bullfights, royal pageantry, executions, and celebrations were staged. Although Puerta del Sol is now Madrid’s main square, Plaza Mayor is still a popular place for people to hang out.

Devour Madrid Food Tour

With only two days allotted for Madrid in our itinerary, I thought it best to book a food tour that features Madrid’s most classic dishes at 100-year old eateries. We would not have gone to all the stops in the tour on our own with the time constraint. My husband and I did Devour Madrid’s Ultimate Spanish Cuisine tour which took 4 hours. The food tour included dishes for breakfast, lunch, and merienda (snack time). We learned a little bit of history and devoured delicious food and drinks.

Catedral de Nuestra SeΓ±ora de la Almudena

Madrid’s Cathedral was consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993. It is fairly new as construction started in 1879 and was completed in 1993. Then crown prince Felipe VI and journalist Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano got married here in 2004. Entrance to the cathedral is free, but a 1 donation is most welcome.

Palacio Real de Madrid

Madrid’s Royal Palace is a place of opulence. It shows Spain’s wealth before it declined. It is Europe’s largest palace covering nearly 1.5 million square feet with its 2,800 rooms. No longer a residence, it functions as the ceremonial palace for formal state receptions, royal weddings, and a tourist attraction. Purchasing tickets online help to skip the line at the ticket booth. Click here for cost and details.

On our previous visit with family, we enjoyed hanging out at Jardines Sabatini, Plaza de Espana (presently covered in tarp for restoration), and checking out the Gran Via. This time, we definitely saw more of Madrid. There is more to see. Perhaps, next time.

About Dee Gilbert

I am one half of a couple who loves to travel; the half who likes to write and share travel experiences. Reading about travelers' experiences inspire me more to see the world. So, I thought, perhaps in my own little way I could inspire others, too. :)
Gallery | This entry was posted in Europe, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Historic Madrid in 2 Days

  1. I visited Madrid 22 years ago, and boy how it has grown. I would love to go back. Seeing the pictures brought back wonderful memories. I went for eight days alone. Beautiful pictures. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Five Things to Do in Madrid | Dee to the World 🌎

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s