Looking for an exotic, dynamic, and sunny destination? Without a doubt, Madrid is a perfect choice! The capital of Spain is often forgotten in favor of Barcelona. However, Madrid has a lot to offer its visitors, as we will show you in this travel article. Here are the top tourist attractions to tick off on a 2-day holiday in Madrid!

What to visit in 2 days in Madrid?

Being a capital, a visit to Madrid in 48 hours will require a selection of attractions and sights. Although everything is easily accessible by metro, you won't be able to visit everything. So, here are the places you shouldn't miss when you go on holiday to Madrid for the first time:

1. The Royal Palace

Royal Palace Madrid

If you had to visit only one monument, we would recommend Palacio Real. The palace is no longer the official residence of the king today but is used for protocol and tourist functions. It is twice the size of the Palace of Versailles, and one of the largest palaces in Europe. So, you will have to reserve enough time to visit it, about 2 to 3 hours. We suggest you book your tickets online to better prepare for your visit when you only have 2 days in Madrid.

It is possible to visit the Royal Palace for free from Monday to Thursday from 17:00.

2. Almudena Cathedral

Almudena Cathedral

Located right next to the Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral is quick to visit and entry is free (by donation). Little secret: you can visit the Cathedral Museum and go up to the roof, where you will discover one of the most beautiful views of Madrid (a 360° view of the palace, the mountains, and the whole of Madrid!)

3. The Royal Gardens

Royal Gardens Madrid

After this morning's visit, there is nothing better to do than to go to a park to relax a bit! Next to the Royal Buildings, you'll find Campo Moro, the royal gardens of the palace, where you can stroll the paths and meet some friendly animals. Closer, you can visit the Sabatini Gardens, with the royal stables.

4. Templo de Debod

Debod Temple Madrid

If you want to continue your visit to the Sabatini Gardens, you can go back to the Templo de Debod. Well known to tourists for its unusual appearance, this is an Egyptian temple. The place is very photogenic, and a visit here is very pleasant in summer.

5. Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor Madrid

Plaza Mayor is a place not to be missed when you spend 2 days in Madrid. In the square with ocher-colored buildings, you will find the Puerta del Sol and the statue of Felipe III. The latter is the monarch who ordered the completion of this place.

In one of the nearby alleys, you can eat tapas and try Bocadillo de calamares.

6. Mercado San Miguel

Mercado San Miguel Madrid

The San Miguel Covered Market is located right next to the Plaza Mayor. It is a gastronomic market, where you will find more elaborate tapas than in a traditional restaurant, but also much more expensive.

It is very pleasant to walk around and admire the magnificent metal architecture of San Miguel Square.

If you're looking for a market where you can eat with the locals, try Mercado San Ildefonso (Malasaña district) or Mercado Anton Martin near Calle de Atocha.

7. Puerta Del Sol

Puerto del Sol Madrid

In 2022-2023, Puerta Del Sol is undergoing renovations, therefore completely closed to visitors. As soon as it opens its doors again, you can enjoy this cultural attraction where tourists mingle with locals.

8. Plaza de España

 Plaza de España Madrid

Recently renovated, Plaza de España is located at the beginning of Gran Via. You can admire the building called Edificio de España, the tallest skyscraper in Europe in the 1960s and in Madrid until 1985. Today it is a luxury hotel with a 360° view roof at the top.

What to do in 2 days in Madrid?

After you've seen all the major architectural highlights, there are a few things you shouldn't miss when visiting Madrid. First, you must make time to visit one of the many museums in Paso del Arte. Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, Reina-Sofia. They all have a specific cultural peculiarity, you just have to choose what appeals to you more.

When you pass the Paseo del Arte, stop in the Parque del Retiro for a boat trip on the estanque or a stroll through the alleys to discover the casita del pescador or rose garden! In the summer, Retiro Park is where locals go for a picnic in the shade or a morning jog.

Finally, before you leave, you must go to Cardamomo to see a flamenco show. Although Andalusia is the cradle of this dance, in Madrid you can enjoy excellent performances. It is a must for any 2-day city break in Madrid!

Where to look for good accommodation in Madrid?

It's always a question that travelers who want to stay in the best neighborhood in Madrid ask themselves. I mean a central neighborhood, quiet enough to sleep well and not too expensive!

You should know that in Madrid, all neighborhoods are very safe. And the evening metro is very safe, so you can take it without worry after the evening spent in the center to get to the hotel, even if it is in an area further from the center.

You can find very good hotels on the Gran Via and the perpendicular streets that allow you to rest in peace. The Malasaña neighborhood is also very nice to spend a weekend in Madrid. The hypercenter is super practical to easily get back to land between 2 sightseeing visits. And if you want to reduce your holiday costs, look for accommodation near the Las Ventas Choir Arena, the Chambéri district, or near the Paseo de Castellana.

I hope this article will help you better organize your 2-day holiday in Madrid!

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