It’s surprising just how much you might be able to pack in within just 48 hours, especially in a city with as varied and fascinating history and culture as Madrid.
If you prepare yourself reasonably well in advance, there is likely to be less aimless walking around between places of interest. If you book your accommodation through us here at BeTheFirst, you’ll not only stand the chance of securing a cut-price rate through an opening offer, but choose a hotel that is also close to the itinerary that suits you.
So, how to make the most of those 48 hours?
Puerta del Sol
Probably the most famous square in Madrid and, since it’s also the most central, a fine spot from which to get your bearings at the start of your stay. The square had a make-over as “recently” as 1860 but still exudes much of Spain’s rich history.
If it’s ancient history you’re after, Madrid actually offers a genuine Egyptian temple dating back to the 2nd century BC.
Following the 1960s Aswan dam project which would have drowned in its home country, the temple was dismantled stone by stone and rebuilt in the centre of Madrid – so you can take in both Spain and Egypt all within your 48 hours.
Time for lunch yet? Feeling peckish? Madrid is awash with tapas bars – many of them evocative of a long history in serving steady, local custom.
Pick yours wisely and avoid the obvious tourist traps.
City cycling tour
Fortified by lunch, a great way to spend the afternoon is on a city cycling tour.
There are even tours where you can choose an electrically powered bike to take some of the strain as you pedal between some of the most famous sights, such as the Royal Palace and El Retiro park.
After you’ve been back to your hotel to take a well-earned nap and to freshen up, a lively night awaits. Madrid’s an especially lively city, so you won’t be stuck for choice. Head off towards Huertas which is at the heart of the capital’s vibrant entertainment scene.
It’s likely to have been a long, Latin night, but don’t lose the whole morning by sleeping in.
Start off your day with nothing too taxing by taking in the sights and atmosphere of another of the city’s famous squares, Plaza Mayor. Lonely Plant describes this as one of the prettiest open spaces in the whole of the country.
Lunch at the world’s oldest operating restaurant
Close to Plaza Mayor is the Sobrino de Botín – the world’s oldest operating restaurant – so what better place to stop and have lunch?
With museums and art galleries, you run the risk of absorbing too many of your 48 hours in one visit.
But you could hardly visit Madrid without dropping in to its most famous cultural palace, the Prado Museum. Among the works of classic European masters are those of Velázquez, Goya, Raphael, Rubens, and Bosch.
Open-top bus tour
You pedalled your legs off on the bike yesterday, so why not do a different city tour from the comfort of an open-top bus today. A tour which takes only a couple of hours might spark interest in other sights and attractions you might want to get back to.
Last night was probably so good you’ll want to repeat it again for your second night in this liveliest of cities.
Over dinner, why not take in another of those iconic Spanish pastimes, Flamenco.
When you wake up, it’ll probably be time to go home – but not without making yourself a promise to come back soon.
For further ideas, visit the Madrid Tourism website.