Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a city with a lot to offer: culture, history and art in every corner. There is so much to do in Madrid that it is difficult to decide where to start, so we propose a day by day itinerary to know some of the most important points of Madrid in 3 days.
Madrid itinerary in 3 days detailed
Day 1: Tour of the historic center, Royal Palace and Temple of Debod
Day 2: Museum, Chueca and Malasaña neighborhoods
Day 3: Retiro Park and Salamanca District
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Day 1: Tour of the historic center, Royal Palace and Temple of Debod
Start the first day of your trip to Madrid in 3 days with a walk through the center. There are many things to see, so we recommend starting early.
Puerta de Sol, Plaza Mayor and surroundings
In this itinerary through Madrid, we recommend you start the day in the Puerta del Sol, the heart of the city. Here you can see the famous clock of the Puerta del Sol, where the New Year is celebrated with the twelve strokes and the Bear with the Madroño Tree.
From Puerta del Sol, walk to Plaza Mayor. This square is one of the largest and oldest in Spain. It functioned as a market and bullring. The Casa de los Panaderos and the Casa de la Carnicería stand out.
A few meters away, you will find the Mercado de San Miguel, a gastronomic market where you can try typical dishes of Spanish cuisine.
Continue towards Calle de los Cuchilleros, until Segovia street, to enter the church of San Pedro el Viejo. This is a baroque style church and is the oldest in Madrid. Walk in the direction of Sacramento street, until you reach the Casa de la Villa, where you will find the City Hall and Casa Cisneros. Then take Calle Mayor towards the Royal Palace of Madrid.
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The Royal Palace is the largest in Western Europe and is currently only used for receptions or events, since the kings of Spain live in the palace of Zarzuela.
To enter it is accessed by a white staircase that takes you to the King’s Chambers, where you can see the hall, the daily dining room and the King’s bedroom. Among the rooms that are visited are the Hall of Halberdiers, which stands out for its paintings, the Hall of Columns, the Throne Room, the Music Room and the Chapel, among many others.
In the surroundings of this imposing palace, you will find the Plaza de Oriente and the Lepanto Gardens. Be sure to visit the Cathedral of Santa María la Real de la Almudena. Its construction is impressive both inside and out. It has an impressive front and an interior full of art pieces of great value. In addition, it is the place where some of the most important religious ceremonies in Spain are held, including the royal wedding between King Felipe VI and Queen Leticia in 2004.
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Temple of Debod
Finally, head to the Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple that was donated to Spain in exchange for help building a dam on the Nile in 1968. The temple is located in a park in the western part of the city and offers stunning views of the city at sunset. Admission is free, but we recommend you arrive early to find a good place.
Day 2: Visit a Museum, Chueca and Malasaña neighborhoods
Madrid is known for its world-renowned art museums, so the second day of your Madrid itinerary should be dedicated to one of them. We propose three options for you to choose from.
Museums in Madrid
The Prado Museum is dedicated to art and has a collection of more than 20,000 pieces of art, ranging from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. In the Prado you can see masterpieces by artists such as Velázquez, Goya and El Greco.
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Another art museum that we recommend is the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. This museum houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, including Pablo Picasso’s famous work “Guernica”.
As a third option is the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, which has a collection of European art ranging from the thirteenth to the twentieth century.
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The Chueca neighborhood is a reference area for the artistic and LGBT movements. The real name is Justicia neighborhood. There is a lot to see and visit, some places you should include in your visit to Madrid in 3 days are:
- The Longoria Palace
- La Duquesita: an important pastry shop in the area
- Museum of Romanticism and Museum of the History of Madrid
- Salesas Square
- Barbara Street of Bragnza
This neighborhood of young spirit, thanks to the students of the universities in the area. Although it is one of the historic neighborhoods of Madrid, Malasaña has great cultural movement since the 80s.
It was named after Manuela Malasaña, a 17-year-old girl who was a heroine of the uprising of May 2, 1808. Some of the points that you can not miss are:
- Plaza del 2 de Mayo
- Manuela Malasaña Street
- Idelfonso Square and San Idelfonso Church
- Fish Street
- Bar “El Penta”
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Last day of your visit to Madrid in 3 days: Retiro Park and the Barrio de Salamanca
We start this day with a visit to the Retiro Park. It is one of the most emblematic and important green spaces in Madrid. It was created in the seventeenth century as a place of recreation and hunting ground for the Spanish crown.
Furthermore, it is open to the public, and you can tour its beautiful gardens, among fountains and statues through its tree-lined promenades. It is also full of monuments and historical buildings. Among them are the Palacio de Cristal, an impressive glass structure built in the nineteenth century, and the Monument to Alfonso XII, an equestrian monument that dominates the park’s main pond.
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After visiting the Retiro Park be sure to visit the Barrio de Salamanca, an elegant and fashionable neighborhood of Madrid. Salamanca is known for its elegant streets and sophisticated atmosphere. For example, on Serrano Street you will find luxury fashion stores such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel.
But not everything is shopping, it is also possible to visit the National Archaeological Museum, where there are archaeological elements of the history of Spain and other countries. Another visit that cannot be missed is the Real Theater, place of presentations of operas, concerts, and ballets.
To finish the last day of Madrid in 3 days, head towards Plaza de Cibeles. Here is the famous Cibeles fountain, surrounded by the Madrid City Hall and the Palacio de Comunicaciones. This square is very beautiful at night, when it is illuminated and becomes an ideal point to go out for a drink or dinner.
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