Madrid in One Day
If your time in Madrid is limited and 1 day is all you have, then you are going to experience an exhausting day so be well rested before you start off.
You should be able to manage 8 stops in one day including a rest and recovery pause for refreshments.
- Prado Museum. Don’t try to see everything stick to the highlights and stay focused. Don’t be side-tracked by all that you see. Limit your time to 1 hour and also limit the number of works and the number of artists you view. For example Velazquez Las Meninas then off to Goya and Sorolla. On Sundays, entrance is free so be aware that you will face long lines of eager visitors.
- Botanical Gardens: No need to go far as the Gardens adjoin the Prado. You can take a leisurely and revitalising stroll through the tranquil green walkways and admire the myriad variety of plants and shrubs. In this tranquil setting, you will think you have been transported out of the city.
- Paseo del Prado: Continue your walk along this tree-lined the avenue, the most beautiful in Madrid. Leaving the Prado behind you, you will come to the Thyssen museum and pass by the Ritz Hotel. Your walk will be just a small slice of the 19th century, Bourbon Madrid.
- Congreso de Diputados: At the Neptuno, fountain turn left and you will find yourself in the Plaza del Congreso. If you have a handheld device you can take a virtual tour of the interior as you stand among the granite pillars and bronze lion statues of this 19th-century parliamentary building.
- Ateneo de Madrid: Here you will need to ask politely if you can enter. Once inside and in your own personal time machine, you go back in time to Unamuno, Ortega y Gassett and the literary giants of 1898 (Generation of ’98).
- La Mallorquina Pasteleria: Time to sit and take a break. Wind your weary way through the hustle and bustle of the downstairs bar-shop and up the stairs to a really pleasant and peaceful space where delicious pastries and really good coffee await.
- Puerto del Sol: Refreshed and back on the road again you will discover this bustling hub rather like entering Times Square or London’s Piccadilly Circus and hear the chimes of the ornate clock and see the delightful little statue El Oso.