24 Hours Madrid | The Best Itinerary For A Perfect Day!
Not everyone has unlimited time when they travel and often have a quick stopover or are just passing through a place. I always love to share these types of posts because if I had a limited time in a place I would want to have the best possible day. So if I were to have a dream day in the Spanish capital this is what 24 hours in Madrid would look like!
Coffee + Tortilla
No morning is morning in my life without coffee and when I’m in Spain it seems like all I ever do is eat tortilla or Spanish omelet. I actually love mornings in Spain because I am not sure what I love more than gorging on a nice gooey tortilla with a bit of bread and downing a couple of cortados. What is a cortado? It’s a coffee drink with equal parts espresso and equal parts milk.
I stayed in Barrio Salamanca (near Retiro Park) and I was about a block and a half away from Casa Dani inside of Mercado de la Paz which is said to have one of the best tortillas in Madrid. I have to say I loved it! Another place where I had tasty tortilla was Bar Cerveriz on the Devour Madrid food tour.
A tasty cortado at Casa Dani
Omg look at that creamy dreaminess
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- Flights: Find a cheap flight using Skyscanner or Momondo. I like these two booking sites because they both search all websites and airlines around the globe including budget airlines.
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- Travel Insurance: Having gotten sick on my travels in the past, I never travel without being insured. You never know when something may happen. For my round the world trip and extended long-term travel, I use World Nomads. For other trips, I have used Roam Right and they cover activities like extreme sports.
Outdoor Time At Retiro Park
I love myself a bit of outdoor time and people watching. If that’s your thing, head over to Retiro Park. Here you can stroll around and watch the Madrileños relax or run, go see an installation at Crystal Palace, smell the roses, and more. I definitely would not miss out on adding Retiro to my 24 Hours Madrid schedule!
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Eat Lunch At A Mercado
I love to visits markets when I travel and in Madrid there are loads!! It’s a definite must for me. Mercado San Miguel is definitely the most popular one. Don’t worry because not only do tourists go there but locals as well. You can have some paella or snack on little bites all throughout and wash it down with some vermouth.
Mercado San Miguel
Snack time at Mercado San Miguel
Other mercados to check out:
- Mercado de San Anton
- Mercado de la Paz (more of a local neighbourhood spot but Casa Dani is in there!)
- Mercado San Ildefonso (a young hipster-oriented mercado with food stalls
Read more: The Best Markets In Madrid
Mercado de San Anton
After you’ve stuffed yourself with some tasty Spanish tapas, just walk around!! I love just walking without an aim and checking out some neighbourhoods and local life. My favourite areas are Lavapies and La Latina.
Patio life in Malsaña. Photo courtesy of Flickr
If you cannot resist the urge to shop some good shopping areas are Malasaña on Fuencarral or over near Sol on Calle del Carmen, Preciados, or de la Montera. If you’ve got a bigger budget go shop on Serrano where all the luxury shops live. I stayed close to their in
I loved shopping in Madrid. Great prices and a much better fashion than in North America! Photo courtesy of Flickr
Visit A World Class Museum
There are loads of museums in Madrid and many of them have free hours so if you don’t mind a bit of a line (obviously in peak travel times they can be very long) and waiting till the evening, then you can save yourself some Euros! Both Museo Prado and Reina Sofia have free evening hours and at the Thyssen, Mondays afternoons are free! I’m a big Museum nerd so even with only 24 hours in Madrid, I need to visit at least one!
Museum time at the Prado
Seeing Guernica by Picasso alone is worth any long time IMO. Photo courtesy of Flickr
Tapas and drinks!
Soooo everyone loves them some tapas! But the best part about tapas in Madrid/Spain, order a drink and you’ll get a little snack for free usually. So whether you order some tinto verano or sangria, a caña, or a tinto rojo, you will usually get a little plate of snacks like olives, anchovies, meatballs, etc. The best is bar hopping and trying out different tapas.
Tapas and tinto verano (red wine + sparkling lemonade)
So for me, that would be my ideal 24 hours in Madrid. If you still have some energy to burn and don’t want to stop, it is really easy to stay out all night in Madrid. One evening I found myself drinking cañas till 5 am with a friend. I never visited any nightclubs but I definitely saw the young folk in club gear that night.
Do you have any suggestions for the perfect 24 Hours Madrid? Share in the comments with me!