5 day trips from Madrid Spain

Seeing the most of Spain: Exploring Madrid and its neighbouring cities

If you are planning a vacation that has several sights and surrounding cities to behold, Madrid, Spain is the place to go. Madrid, as well as its neighbouring cities, such as Toledo, Aranjuez, Segovia, Guadalajara, and Avila, will not leave you bored. As an independent traveller to the area, you will enjoy authentic food, museums, theatre, festivals and the city’s Spanish charm. From the historic monuments to the vibrant night life, there is bound to be something to suit your needs.



Toledo is 74 km (46 miles) south of Madrid and if you have the time during your trip, you will not want to bypass this city. Being one of the oldest cities in Spain, you can imagine the history to explore here.
The Toledo Cathedral, formally known as Catedral Primada Santa Maria de Toledo, is one of the most visited places in Toledo. Even if you are not able to take in a church service, the architecture of the building will leave you breathless.
The Alcazar was built as a royal residence. It sits atop the highest hill in Toledo; just picture the view. The building now houses a military museum and is open to visitors six days out of the week.
Plaza de Zocodóver is where you will find all the action of the city of Toledo. After seeing all the other attractions, you can browse the shops of the plaza and enjoy lunch at one of the cafés.

For your travel planning

The metro bus lines 6 and 11 can be caught in Plaza Eliptica and will take about 75 to 90 minutes; however, the high-speed Renfe AVE train might be a better choice if you are looking to arrive in Toledo quickly. You might want to take a taxi or local bus 5 or 6 to get to the centre of town as the bus and train will leave you at the bottom of a steep hill and about 1 km from the action.

Travelling Madrid and the surrounding cities of Toledo, Segovia, Aranjuez, Guadalajara, and Avila will leave you rich with the history of Spain. Day trips from Madrid are easily organised thanks to high-speed trains, bus or travelling by car.
Lovely view of the city. The cathedral is on the left, the Alcazar on the right.
Picture source



Aranjuez is located about 42 km (26 miles) south of Madrid. The city is known for its gardens, formerly being the royal summer residence, and as the main supplier of fruit and vegetables for Madrid.
The Palacio Real (Royal Palace) was the summer home for many kings. The palace is encompassed by lush gardens, of which you can enjoy if you time your visit just right, as visitors are allowed to eat in the garden’s picnic area during the summer.
Jardín del Principe (Prince’s Garden) is the largest garden in Aranjuez. This ancient garden, originally established in 1772, features fountains, pavilions, and a variation of trees. Don’t forget your camera as you will want to capture the beauty on your stroll.

For your travel planning

The best way to travel to Aranjuez from Madrid is by taking the Atocha C3 train. You can also drive, but it will take the same amount of time via A4 as taking the train; about 45 minutes.



Your list of “must see” places should include Segovia. This quaint little town holds centuries of history and the architecture is worth a day trip from Madrid. Take the time to roam the streets, the Roman ruins and the many ancient buildings.
The Segovia Aquaduct was built sometime around the first century to channel water from the Guadarrama Mountains into the city. The structure is massive and crosses from one side of the city to the other and even though it hasn’t been in use since the middle of the 19th century, it is something for the eye to behold.
The Old City of Segovia is a photographer’s dream come true with many historic buildings and narrow, winding streets. Make sure you pick up a map before heading into the area so you can find the best things to see and more importantly, so you don’t get lost.

For your travel planning

Whether you are taking a day trip or spending the night in Segovia Spain, you can choose from taking the train or the bus from the Chamartin Station in Madrid. If taking a taxi or driving yourself, expect to be on the road for about one hour and follow A6 out of Madrid to Castilla y León.



Guadalajara is just 57 km (35 miles) northeast of Madrid and sits on the bank of the Henares River. The city dates back to the 8th century and since that time, has seen so much, like being destroyed by the French Army in 1808, but it came back strong and continues to grow still today.
The Palacio del Infantado is one of the most popular sights to see in Guadalajara. This palace was home to the Mendoza family, who influenced the city in the 14th century. Although it suffered a fire, some of the interior murals were salvaged and the unique exterior architecture is still there.
The Church of San Gines is home to the tombs of the Count of Tendilla, Elvira de Quiñones, and others. The church’s construction began in 1561 and was never completed, so it stands as half a church; however, is still a sight to behold.

For your travel planning

The town is a 40 minute car ride by taking the M23 motorway out of Madrid to A2, or by Atocha bus out of the Chamartin station, which runs every four hours. There is also the option to travel by train through the Renfe services or by taxi.



Ávila is 109 km (69 miles) northwest of Madrid. This quaint old town is surrounded by a medieval wall which features watchtowers and over 2,000 turrets. You will find no loss for history within the walls of Ávila.
The Cathedral of San Salvador should be at the top of you list of things to see in Ávila. It is made of granite and was built in the 11th Century. An even more interesting thing to see is that a part of the building acts dually as part of the wall surrounding the city.
If it is shopping you are looking to do, you will want to walk the Plaza Mayor. It is in the centre of the town. When you are all shopped out, you can stop and quench your thirst at one of the Plaza’s bars.

For your travel planning

You can travel by train from Madrid to Avila through the Chamartin Station. Taking a 70 minute bus ride is also available by taking the Larrea bus out of the Sur Station; and there is always the option to enjoy the scenic drive yourself by taking A6 motorway to AP6 to AP51, and taking exit 105.

Travelling Madrid and the surrounding cities of Toledo, Segovia, Aranjuez, Guadalajara, and Avila will leave you rich with the history of Spain. Day trips from Madrid are easily organised thanks to high-speed trains, bus or travelling by car.
Picture source


Travelling to Madrid

With the convenient transportation throughout the area, taking day trips from Madrid or in and around Madrid, makes sightseeing all the more pleasant. There are also many means of transportation to get into Madrid. There are flights available from all over the world and train services, e.g. from Paris and London.


When is the best travel time?

When planning your vacation, keep in mind that the best time to travel to Madrid is in the fall when the temperatures average 13 to 26 degrees Celsius (56°F to 79°F). If you don’t mind things a bit cooler, spring is not a bad time either, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 21 degrees Celsius (60°F to 70°F). Do your research and enjoy your travels!


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4 responses to “5 day trips from Madrid Spain”

  1. Dear Ash,
    You’re welcome! Enjoy your day trip to Segovia.

  2. Hello Diego,
    I have no plans to visit Madrid any time soon. I publish your comment in case one of my readers would like to check out this option of a guided tour.

  3. Ash

    A brilliant list and thanks for the tip about the map. Will be in Madrid next month for a wedding and it looks like we will do a day trip to Segovia.

  4. Thank you very much for your tips! We love to show Madrid and its surroundings. Would you come with us?