Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace, the Prado, Santiago Bernabéu and more: there’s so much to do and see in Madrid. Just because it’s packed with ‘must-sees’ though, don’t think you’re confined to the city. See Madrid excursions as part of the city experience. You won’t be betraying Madrid. You’ll be taking advantage of its location: right in the heart of Spain and near some of its greatest treasures! From the beautiful walled city of Ávila to the politically charged town of El Escorial, you’ll soon see day tours from Madrid competing with the best of Madrid’s attractions!
Toledo is a beautiful and historic city, famous for what the Spanish call “convivencia” (living together in harmony). Day trips from Madrid to Toledo will include transport (a comfortable coach with air-conditioning). You can either take yourself around or book a guided tour. If you don’t opt for a guided tour, we recommend still going to many of the same places. The old quarter is one such example. Here, you’ll find a mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and Arabic architecture, all filled with history.
Visit Toledo’s medieval castle, Santa Maria La Blanca Synagogue and some Doménikos Theotokópoulos’ (nicknamed “El Greco”) best-known paintings in the Church of St Tome. A guided tour will also take you to the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes and the home (now a museum) of the prominent sculptor Victorio Macho.
Ávila is a city northwest of Madrid, famous for its imposing city walls (Muralla de Ávila). It’s only about 1h 20 minutes from Madrid by bus. Join a tour and transportation is included! If you opt for public transportation, you’ll need at least 2 - 2.5 hours! You can spend hours wandering around Ávila marveling at the 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) of city walls. At night they are lit up which you can see if you wish, as there are evening buses. Enjoy a number of churches, palaces, and a 12th-century cathedral. Most famously, there is a convent and museum dedicated to Santa Teresa de Jesus, also called Santa Teresa de Ávila, who was a big figure in both the Spanish Renaissance and the Catholic Church as a whole.
Not only is Segovia a fairytale-like town (in summer or winter), it also contains some of Spain’s most spectacular relics from history. Your return bus trip to Segovia is included within most tour packages. It takes approximately 1hr 20 minutes each way. Once there, you will be able to feast your eyes on the UNESCO 1st-century Roman aqueduct: the greatest example of Roman engineering in Spain!
Some day tours from Madrid to Segovia include tickets to the Alcázar of Segovia. Also, visit the royal palace and home to many kings of Castilia; this fortress has also been a college, military academy and even a prison! It looks a little bit like Notre Dame or Hogwarts (take your pick!), built atop a near-unscalable hill at the confluence of Eresma and Clamores rivers.
El Escorial is home to a number of major attractions. Arrive by either bus or minibus, depending on which tour package you choose. When you arrive, your guide (if you have chosen a guided tour package) will take you to San Lorenzo de El Escorial, often called The Royal Monastery of El Escorial. The monastery and former palace contain a mausoleum which is the final resting place for many Spanish kings and queens.
Tour the Museum of Architecture, the Cloister of the Four Evangelists, the Hall of Battle, the Pantheon of the Kings and the Basilica! You can also visit one of the best-known and most controversial attractions: the Valley of the Fallen. Located in the Guadarrama mountains, this memorial to the fallen in the Spanish Civil War includes the largest stone cross in the world, 152 meters high. There is also a basilica and crypt carved into the mountain.
The body of Francisco Franco (Spain’s fascist dictator) was housed here but, after much debate, it has recently been exhumed. Tours of El Escorial usually last approximately 5 hours, depending on the tour package you select.
Instead of doing a Madrid one day tour to a single location, you can do two half-day trips to two locations. If you’re going to do a half-day, you’ll need to choose somewhere easily accessible from Madrid. Aranjuez is a popular choice but Segovia and Toledo are the most commonly visited on the same day.
Another option is to buy tickets for multiple tours. These don’t necessarily have to take place on the same day. You can even get multiple day tours from Madrid. Visit Cordoba, Seville and Granada over four days, for example. It’s certainly cheaper to combine your ticket purchases!
Yes, private tours are available. If you’re looking to get more time with your guide and move at your pace this is a great option. This isn’t only the comfortable option, you’ll also get a better overall experience of some of the most historically, socially and culturally important locations in Spain.
Toldeo is 74 kilometers south of Madrid and is accessible by AVE train (high-speed train), bus or taxi.
Both are technically possible but it would not be recommended as Seville and Barcelona are too far from Madrid to make the visit worthwhile.
Seven of the most popular places to visit near Madrid include Ribera Del Duero (one of Spain’s famous wine regions), Toledo, Segovia, Aranjuez, Ávila, El Escorial and Rascafria. These are just some of the great day trips from Madrid you can book now!