Do you have 2 days to visit Madrid?
You may not be able to see everything, but 2 days is more than enough to appreciate how special this city is and discover those corners off the beaten track to fall in love with. We suggest the things to see every day, but it is important to check the schedules of all the museums, churches and monuments that you are going to visit.
We start the day at Puerta del Sol, which houses the statue of the Bear and the Madroño and the Kilometer Zero plate (the origin of all the roads that depart from Madrid). Then we take Arenal Street to the Royal Theater, also known as the Opera. We cross the Plaza de Oriente and arrive at the Royal Palace where there are beautiful views of the Casa de Campo. Next to it we find the Almudena Cathedral.
Taking the main street, we pass through the Plaza de la Villa which, until recently, housed the Madrid City Hall. Then we continue to the San Miguel market, the Plaza Mayor and Sobrino de Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world.
We return again to the Puerta del Sol to go down the Preciados street, which is full of shops. From here we reach Gran Vía, with a multitude of cinemas, theaters and shops, down which we can stroll to get in Plaza de España. From there, taking Ferraz street we can go to the Temple of Debod, a gift from the Egyptian Government to the Spanish people.
The second day in Madrid starts at the Plaza de la Independencia, where the emblematic Puerta de Alcalá is located. We enter Retiro Park to enjoy the Rosaleda, the Grande Pond and, especially at the weekend, the shows offered by street performers. We cross it until we reach Atocha Station and from there we go to the Reina Sofía Museum.
Later, we can continue to the Fountain of Neptune, located in Cánovas del Castillo Square. Around it you can find the Madrid Stock Exchange and the Ritz Hotel. A few meters away, in the Plaza de las Cortes, you will find the Palace Hotel, the Congress of Deputies, the Plus Ultra building, which daily offers a Goyesco carillon at 12, 15, 18 and 20 hours and the Thyssen National Museum-Bornemisza.
Afterwards you can take the Paseo del Prado until we reach Plaza Cibeles, where we see the Cibeles Fountain, the Town Hall (former Post Office) and the Bank of Spain. We continue along Alcalá street to go up to the viewpoint of the Circle of Fine Arts and enjoy magnificent views of the city.
If you have more than 2 days to visit Madrid and you are there on a Sunday, you can always visit the Rastro, a market of medieval origin in the neighbourhood of La Latina, where you will also find many bars for tapas.
And if you have more time, you can always enjoy a countryside excursion and visit the surroundings of the capital: Aranjuez, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Segovia or Toledo.