Madrid is one of the most popular tourist destinations thanks to its monuments, infrastructures and the city’s leisure activities. But it is not only in the capital that you will find incredible places, as there are also destinations in the surrounding area that will surprise you.
Although Madrid is a city full of tourist places to visit, there are times when you feel like getting out of the city to disconnect and discover new places near the capital. It is true that sometimes we don’t have as much time as we would like to go on excursions, but if you have a free day, we suggest 6 places you can visit near Madrid and make a getaway.
Visiting Aranjuez is one of the best day trips you can make from Madrid. Located 50km from Madrid and on the banks of the Río Tajo is this beautiful city. This place is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the surroundings of Madrid, declared Patrimonio de la Humanidad in 2001 by Unesco. The most beautiful thing about this city is its beautiful Royal Palace and its gardens, which are of great tourist interest, as well as its great cultural and historical wealth.
Of the various gardens in Aranjuez, the Prince’s Garden is our favourite. It is an incredible place to lose yourself in the middle of nature, with different paths where you can do outdoor sports, walk or have a picnic on the banks of the river.
Alcalá de Henares
Alcalá de Henares, better known as the city of Miguel de Cervantes, is another Patrimonio de la Humanidad de España. Here you can visit one of the oldest universities in Spain, where the buildings are one of the main attractions. You should not leave without taking a stroll along the Calle Mayor, where you will find plenty of great restaurants and terraces. It is surely one of the most special and essential places in Madrid, and at the same time, one of the closest to the capital.
The so-called “Imperial City” is another of the cities declared a Patrimonio de la Humanidad in Spain that you will undoubtedly have to visit at some point in your life. Toledo is one of the most monumental cities in the country, and a magical place that you will be hard put to forget, located less than an hour from Madrid. Here you can walk through the streets of what is known as the City of Three Cultures, where Christians, Jews and Muslims passed through, and where you can discover the history behind all the monuments and corners. The most famous sights of the city are its cathedral, the Alcazar, the monastery of San Juan de los Reyes and the Plaza de Zocodover.
Visiting the city of Segovia is one of the most recommended tours you can do in the area surrounding the capital. If you are going to visit this city, you will start by walking through the historic centre, which spreads over a hill. The most famous feature of the city, and what you should not miss, is the Acueducto romano, at the foot of which you will find the tourist office building, and also the beautiful building of one of the most famous restaurants, the Casa Cándido. Afterwards, you can stroll through the centre until you reach the Calle Real, which will take you to the Plaza Mayor, where you can discover Segovia Cathedral. This is an excursion that is definitely worth doing if you come to Madrid and have a day to spare.
This is one of the oldest cities in Spain and is surrounded by a perfectly preserved 11th-century wall. In the old town you will find a large number of Romanesque churches, Gothic palaces and a fortified Gothic cathedral. You can also see the basílica Románica de San Vicente and the Plaza Mayor. And when you have finished visiting the most touristy places, we recommend that you take a stroll through the oldest streets of the city until you reach the convent of Santa Teresa.
Another of the best day trips from Madrid is to visit the famous Royal Monastery that Felipe II ordered to be built almost 500 years ago. The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is one of the most touristic places in the whole Madrid region, as it was recognised by UNESCO as a Patrimonio de la Humanidad. In the surrounding area you can discover the four sides of the Royal Monastery, where you can find the Jardín de los Frailes, a haven of peace full of gardens. This area is free to visit, and from inside the gardens you can even see Madrid’s Four Towers in the distance.