6 Easy Day Trips From Madrid That You Shouldn’t Miss
By Leah Freeman-Haskin
Centrally located, Madrid provides quick access to many small towns and villages that are steeped in history, culture, and artistic beauty. If you are looking for a convenient day trip outside of the city, here are a few locations to consider.
Located just an hour outside of Madrid, Toledo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on a gorge that offers incredible views of the Rio Tajo. Once home to great artists like El Greco, the town is full of artistic charm and history. Toledo is often referred to as the City of Three Cultures, due to it being home to harmonious communities of Christians, Jews, and Muslims for decades.
Cuenca is often overlooked by tourists, but worth the two-hour drive from Madrid. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cuenca is home to the Hanging Houses that sit cliff-side and are not for the faint of heart. Other attractions include the Bridge of San Pablo and nearby hiking throughout the surrounding hills and mountains.
Explore the Spanish countryside on the two-hour train ride from Madrid to Córdoba. The medieval city is over 1,000 years old and was the capital of Spain during the Roman and Moorish times. The Mezquita (mosque) is in the center of town and the main attraction of the city with its stunning architecture that reflects the city’s diverse history with influences of Roman, Gothic, and Islamic architecture.
A two-hour journey from Madrid, Salamanca is another UNESCO World Heritage Site that is steeped in history and culture. If you are interested in gothic architecture, Casa de las Conchas is one of Salamanca’s hidden gems that is covered from top to bottom in seashell motifs.
Segovia is the most popular day trip from Madrid. At just around two hours from the capital city, Segovia is small enough to enjoy in just one day. Make sure you have time to explore the Aqueduct of Segovia, Alcázar of Segovia (a medieval castle), and the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso. The Aqueduct was built by the Romans and consists of 167 arches.
Just 62 miles from Madrid, Avila is a historic walled city where you will find cathedrals dating back to the 12th-century and gothic palaces that should not be missed. Visitors are able to walk along some sections of the towns’ walls for breathtaking views of the town and beyond.