I spent three and a half days in Madrid during my solo trip and thought I would write about my highlights and suggestions. My first tip to seeing Madrid in 3 days is not to go in July, haha. This is true if you want to maximize your time here, especially if you were like me and going everywhere by foot and metro.
It was incredibly hot and didn’t help that I was still recovering from heat sickness I got in Valencia, but in spite of this, I had a really amazing time thanks to the people I met and those who welcomed me into their homes.
Thanks to Room 007, the hostel I stayed at, I was able to easily meet new people who kept me company on my solo travels. I was also super fortunate to be in Madrid during a Wanderful meetup so I met a lot of great women, and one of them opened up her home to me, making an authentic Spanish dinner that was just so delicious and generous of her and her family.
Here again is a Google Map I made specifically to help your travels in Madrid. Every place that I mention in this post is marked, along with other points of interests for next time! Save it to your account so you can access it during your next trip.
Museo Nacional Del Prado: with free entry Monday through Saturday from 6pm-8pm and Sunday from 5pm-8pm (otherwise €14 entry) you must make time to stop by this museum. An outstanding collection of art of some of the greats. When I went they had a temporary Picasso collection that was well worth the trip.
Museo Arqueológico Nacional: This museum was not first on my list of things to see, and I just happened to stop by because I wanted out of the heat. Entry is just €3 and worth every bit. The museum exhibit starts from the earliest findings of human ancestors and follows the artifacts through time specifically found in the Iberian Peninsula. I advise to take it easy, and trying to read everything will take you an entire day!
Palacio Real de Madrid (The Royal Palace): I was most excited for the palace. I went inside to see the rooms and armory and it was worth the €10 – if you are interested in those types of things. I have never seen such a complete armory, or thought I could even be interested in seeing one, but it was cool. The rooms were breathtaking, each one more impressive than the next. No pictures were allowed unfortunately so you will have to see it for yourself!
Almudena Cathedral: On a site that used to be Madrid’s first mosque is now an interesting Gothic revival/Neo-Gothic interior cathedral. You can pay €6 to visit the museum, the square cupola, and view from the top, which also includes entrance into the cathedral.
Personally, I was unimpressed by the museum and view. You can enter the cathedral for only €1. The interior is quite interesting and modern looking. As you can see in the photos the stained glass and ceiling details.
Retiro Park: The perfect day break in Madrid. It is full of trees and paths to walk on, grass to lay on, and even water to boat on!
Puerta del Sol: A famous plaza in the center of Madrid. Mid-summer this is definitely all sun and no shade. From here you can easily access all parts of the city.
Plaza Mayor: A beautiful plaza in the center of Madrid. I loved walking around viewing the artwork on the buildings.
Around the city, the street signs are done with a ceramic with a picture for each one. It was one of those tiny details that made it a beautiful city to wander.
Mercado San Miguel: A bit on the pricier side, but still so much fun to walk through. I loved walking through viewing all of the little bits of food they have prepared.
Cafe del Rio: Perhaps a bit out of the way from the center, but a great spot for dinner one night. I went to a Wanderful meet up here and met a lot of amazing women from all over the world. The food was …. amazing. It is a shame I didn’t take pictures, but trust me, it was really nice and full of so much flavor.
Ojala: Recommended by a friend I thought I would give it a try. Located in the neighborhood, Malasaña, it is a cool restaurant bar with a fresh menu. I enjoyed an awesome chicken salad. In the basement, the floor is all sand! I hear at night it is a great place for drinks and relaxing.
Museo del Jamon: There are several of these establishments around the city and a must see! I had so much fun eating at the bar with everyone. They give you free tapas which are delicious, and for a ham sandwich and beer, you spend €1.90. It can’t be beaten!
I barely scratched the surface while in Madrid. It is a huge, amazing, beautiful city. I look forward to exploring it again in the future. If you have any other tips to add to the list leave a comment! And as usual below is a map with all of the sites listed above and more so you can save it easily to your phone and use it on your next trip!
Thank you for reading along. I hope I have inspired you to take a trip to sunny Spain. If you want to follow my adventures live, then follow me on Instagram! @wanderinghelene
Owner of wanderinghelene.com. Anthropologist, content creator, castle explorer, coffee drinker, and lover of markets and very old places!