Happy Saint Valentine’s day! As we were getting closer to this day I like to think that there is more to these days, filled with love in the air than just material gifts. One of the gifts that we can give that special person, whoever that is, best friend, partner….is the gift of traveling somewhere new or changing the scenery to a nicer and more charming place. I know this is more like a celebration made for people to spend, spend, spend but I prefer to see it as an excuse to experience, feel gratitude and do nice things with our loved ones.
Since I am traveling so much to Madrid these days, I thought I would share some of the great sights and mini-trips you can take when you are there. I will write a different post soon about the coast of Spain (around Alicante and Murcia) which is where I am right now.There are many places you can visit if you are tired of the noise and the busyness of the big city!
But if you are in Madrid, there are many places you can visit if you are tired of the noise and the busyness of the big city!
In fact, you have many cheap and quick options for one-day trips that are really special.
This beautiful city is one of my favorites in Spain. I have been there a million times and I never get tired of visiting this magical town. Its unique architectural mix comes from being the “city of the three cultures” because, in the past, Christians, Arabs, and Jews lived together for centuries. The moment that you arrive in Toledo you will marvel at the train station because it’s truly unique. Then, you will have to walk for about 15 minutes and pass the medieval walls, while taking the scenery in (you will walk along the river). Once inside the city, you will walk through their narrow streets until you find the main square. From there Toledo is made of churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques, synagogues and really narrow streets. The diversity of artistic styles was the reason this magical city was declared World Heritage Site.
HOW TO GET THERE: BY TRAIN (AVE) from Metro station: ATOCHA RENFE. It is useful to book in advance as by the time you get there it may be booked out. You can do that here.
This place is another town declared as World Heritage Site. The first thing you will notice is its Roman aqueduct, romanesque churches, the beautiful Cathedral and a Fortress go to form this magnificent landscape. Don`t forget to visit ‘El Parador´ as this castle looks like it was taken from a Walt Disney movie! And if you are hungry I recommend that you savor the city’s most traditional dish: roast suckling pig. If you are not a meat person, know that there are many great dishes that are worth tasting and vegetarian as well, like ´parrillada de verduras´(my favorite!) which is a mix of grilled vegetables.
HOW TO GET THERE: BY BUS from the metro station in Moncloa (floor -1 I think) and the bus company is LA SEPULVEDANA. You will need to go in person to get your ticket (14€ return) as last minute booking may result in the bus being booked out.
This place is only 10k away from Segovia. There is a bus that will take you there, but you will need to book online for their main tourist site: La Granja de San Ildefonso. This palace and its garden were designed with Versailles in mind and they did a marvelous work.I know they do water shows with the fountains a few times a year but it sold out really fast.
HOW TO GET THERE: BY BUS (1 hour and 15´) from metro station Moncloa to La Granja as it is the same bus company that goes to Segovia. If you don’t get that bus, you can always take the one to Segovia and then take another bus to La Granja, but to take only one bus is always easier.
The train takes 25´ with the AVE, but it leaves you in Segovia GUIOMAR and you will need to take a bus or taxi from there to the city and it leaves you outside.
I found this other article very useful when planning your visit:
Aranjuez is a gorgeous place. It is a pity that I went a year ago in the middle of July, heat wave included. It is not pleasant with 40 degrees! But in any other time of the year, this is a great place to disconnect and just to wander as the sights are really beautiful.
It was the Royal Estate of the Crown of Spain in the times of Philip II in 1560. And then, since the Enlightenment Aranjuez was inhabited exclusively by the Kings and the nobility. This is something you can feel when you walk around the city as it is full nicely decorated mansions. And Aranjuez was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001!
You can go by RENFE (different than AVE, as this one is long distance and RENFE-cercanías- is for shorter distances).
I hope that you enjoy these tips and your experience in the towns around Madrid! Let’s continue the conversation! Do you know other cool places to visit in Spain? How was your experience? You can do that in the comments below ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️ and on any of my social media!