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What to see in Madrid in 1 day

Madrid is an effervescent, cosmopolitan capital city but, at the same time, very welcoming. Even if you’re only in this city for one day, you can see the best it has to offer. You’ll have time to visit one of the best museums in the world, stroll along colourful avenues and try delicious Spanish cuisine. And if you’re someone who loves a party, remember what they say: “Madrid never sleeps”. You could start off at a tablao [flamenco establishment], and then go on to enjoy one of the city’s funkier hostelries.

One single day could leave you with amazing memories of Madrid. After that, you can just return to carry on getting to know the place.

Day 1

Itinerary day 1

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Museo del Prado

It is considered the best art gallery in the country, thanks to its wide collection of Spanish art. Opt for the basic tour of 14 essential works offered by the museum, and focus on artists such as Velázquez and Goya.

11:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Paseo del Prado

When you leave the museum, continue walking along the avenue called the Paseo del Prado, where there are other art establishments and monuments, including the Museo Thyssen, the CaixaForum Madrid, the Naval Museum and the Fountain of Neptune.

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM

Plaza de Cibeles

This is one of Madrid’s busiest nerve centres. Dominated by the Fountain of the goddess Cybele, the square is surrounded by flagship buildings such as the Palacio de Cibeles, the seat of the City Council; the Palacio de Linares, the Palacio de Buenavista, and the Bank of Spain.

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

San Miguel Market

Thanks to its fine architecture and its offer of multiple delicatessen options, this gourmet market is the perfect place to stop off for lunch. On its over twenty stalls, you will find tapas ranging from the most traditional to oysters, caviar and sushi. It also offers fine vermouths.

2:45 PM - 3:45 PM

Plaza Mayor

The Plaza has witnessed so much of Madrid’s history over the past 400 years, and since the time of Philip III, kings and commoners alike have passed through its colonnades. This vast Baroque square is a place to relax, shop and enjoy a drink on one of the terraces.

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

The Royal Palace

The large Royal Palace, built on the orders of Philip V, has stood majestically in the Plaza de Oriente since the mid eighteenth century. The best way to see it is to join a guided tour and then take a stroll through the Sabatini Gardens.

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Shopping in the centre of Madrid

In the centre of Madrid, in the strand between Sol and Gran Vía, you will find several large stores and individual shops where you can buy all kinds of souvenirs. It is an area buzzing with life, and frequented by an array of street musicians, magicians and dance performers.

9:30 PM - 11:30 PM


Tucked away in the Barceló Emperatriz Hotel, this chic culinary space offers a wonderful menu to spoil any palate. Choose from savoury tapas and dishes such as arroz meloso de sepia (silky rice with cuttlefish), lamb chops or succulent locally sourced young beef. The wine menu offers a wide selection of tantalising options.

Day 1