How to spend 24 hours in Madrid travel blog
How to spend 24 hours in Madrid travel blog
How to spend 24 hours in Madrid travel blog
Destination Guides Destinations Europe Latest Post Spain Tips

How to spend 24 hours in Madrid

By on 10. Oktober 2017

How to spend 24 hours in Madrid is a very interesting question, if you only have a short amount of time to stay in one of Europe’s most impressive cities. The capital of Spain has a lot of different sights to see and things to do. From classic historical monuments and politically important buildings to cool parties and incredibly friendly people. A city full of good vibrations. Definitely a big point on the bucket list to cross off, even if you only have 24 hours to spend.



When I was on a short trip to Spain, I did not know how to spend 24 hours in Madrid. Luckily I had a friend from Chile, who lived in Madrid by that time. He showed me around. Without him, I would have not seen a lot, because I would have been completely lost. It’s always good to have friends or to know some locals 😉

Because he showed me all the good and important places within one day, I decided to set up this how to spend 24 hours in Madrid itinerary. It’s designed to bring you to all the important places, but not to show you to much, so that you can still enjoy the day and not feel like you are in a rush all the time. That’s exactly what my friend did with me and I feel like this is the best way to explore a city.

Just like I always say: Before you explore a new destination, you need some general information first. It doesn’t make sense, if you know how to spend 24 hours in Madrid, but actually don’t have any clue what sight you visiting in that moment and what they represent. I don’t want you to have the situation where you stand in front of a building, statue, etc. and think “What in the world is this?”.

I had this a couple times in my life and I felt like a complete idiot. Plus I realised that there is no point of going somewhere without having any backround knowledge, right?

So get some information first and then read this guide on how to spend 24 hours in Madrid 😉

The how to spend 24 hours in Madrid schedule has a lot to offer – But you need backround knowledge

How to spend 24 hours in Madrid – Morning

9am – 10am

Start your day with a proper Spanish breakfast. I assume that you have finished your typical morning routine already. So wake up a little earlier than 9am 😉

Typical Spanish breakfast is really nice, even though there is a lot of different stuff to choose from. You could either go for a heavier breakfast (jamon, egg, tomatos, rolls and bread) or you go with the small sweat version (Churros con Chocolate). Both ways are great 🙂

They will give you enough energy to properly start the how to spend 24 hours in Madrid schedule. Furthermore you also get the first small impressions of the Spanish cuisine, which is one of the best ones in Europe. Spanish cuisine is the pioneer of Mexican and South American food. Really tasty!


Good restaurants or cafès to go to:

Random streets in Madrid’s city centre with lots of cafès and restaurants

10am – 11am

This is the time to really start with the how spend 24 hours in Madrid itinerary. There is a lot to see and the best way to get first bigger impressions of the city is to head straight to Plaza Major. It lies in the middle of the city and it’s the perfect spot to go back to, if you are lost. This huge plaza was built in 1590, has a big bronze statue in its middle and a suprisingly modern style. Plaza Major is full of all kind of different small shops. It’s the pivotal point of the city and the major spot for many tourists.

Plaza Major in the middle of the Madrid

From there, head west to Palacio Real de Madrid, which is the largest Royal Palace in Europe. The Spanish royal family chose to stay somewhere else, which is why it’s open for tourists almost all year long. Architecturally it is one of the most impressive buildings in the city and a huge tourist magnet.

Palacio Real de Madrid from above

How to spend 24 hours in Madrid – Visit Palacio Real de Madrid

Right next to it is the Catedral de la Almudena. This significant building has only been constructed in 1879, so it’s still relatively young. But that doesn’t make it less beautiful. It has been built in a combination out of baroque and Gothic style. With its mosaic decor, chapels, statues and heretogeneous styles, Catedral de la Almunda looks very modern and unique from the inside as well as the outside.

Catedral de la Almudena is such a beautiful building

Catedral de la Almudena from the inside

On top of the cathedral

View over Madrid

Make sure to have a look from the inside. Also walk up to the deck. You’ll have an awesome view over big parts of the city. Very pretty!

Viewing the city from above is a MUST DO on the how to spend 24 hours in Madrid itinerary

11am – 12am

From there you can go directly to the Puerta del Sol. It’s another big highlights on the how to spend 24 hours in Madrid itinerary. This place is buzzin and known to be the centre of the radial network of spanish roads.

Madrid has a lot of great places with spectecular views

There is always something special going on at Puerta del Sol, which is why you should not miss out on it. When I was there I saw about 50 people starting to dance Flamenco to Spanish music for no other reason than celebrating life. Really cool! 🙂

How to spend 24 hours in Madrid – Lunch

12am – 2pm

Siesta time is usually from 2pm – 4pm, but to escape the busy restaurants and tapa bars, you should settle down a little earlier. Find yourself a nice place to have lunch. You’ll find a lot around Puerto del Sol. These are a couple ones to go to:

The third cafè is a must see for Spanish cuisine, if you ask some locals for their advise. A couple traditional Spanish dishes you can try are:

  • Huevos Rotos (broken eggs with fried potatoes)
  • Bocadillos de Calamares (roll with calamari rings and souce)
  • Oreja a la Plancha (roasted pig ear with paprika, salt and lemon)

Generally Spanish people like to celebrate their siesta time. It’s like a symbol for the Spanish lifestyle, because siesta is the 2-3 hour time frame during the day to relax and chill out. Everywhere else in the world you have to be back in the office after about one hour at latest, but not in Spain. This is why you should have proper lunch anyway to do it exactly like the locals do it 😉


Why you should walk

You also have to walk a little more to finish the how to spend 24 hours in Madrid itinerary, which is why you need some energy. If you have something else on your schedule, which is further away, I would recommend you to take the bus or the metro. Other than that, every important sight is walking distance. If you walk, you gonna get a way better feeling for the city anyway. Madrid has countless of beautiful tiny alleys with a very special charme. They have been shaped through many different epochs, which is why there is a big variation of architectural styles and colours. Very lovely!

One of many beautiful allys in Madrid

Very charming streets in Madrid

2pm – 4pm

When everybody else is having siesta, it is the perfect time to explore some other big attractions on the how to spend 24 hours in Madrid itinerary. The first place to visit after lunch is Casa de Cisneros, which is a small palace on the Plaza de la Villa. It has been built in the 16th century. According to history it has once been a prison for a former secretary king called Philip II of Spain, Antonio Perez.

Casa de Cisneros

Another awesome spot

Your next destination should be the Prado Museum. This museum has one of the finest pieces from phenominal artists like “Las Meninas” by Velázquez. It’s the largest collection in Europe. A MUST SEE.

You’ve just got to love Madrid

Also make sure to walk along Gran Via, which is one of the main streets in Madrid. You’ll see nice monuments like the Cibeles Fountain or the Puerta de Alcala, which was the first modern post-roman triumphal arch in Europe ever.

Another cool spot is the Plaza del Callao. There is a big shopping center. If you go up to the highest floor, you’ll have an awesome view onto Gran Via and some other parts of the city. This area of Madrid’s center also has heaps of shopping arcades and entertainment.

My friend, who showed me around – Close to Gran Via

How to spend 24 hours in Madrid – Enjoy the view from the highest floor at the shopping center at Gran Via

4pm – 6pm

If you want to chill out and relax a little, then you should go to one of all the cool parks in Madrid. This is the eased part of the how to spend 24 hours in Madrid itinerary. From Gran Via it’s just a puddle jump to the El Retiro Park, which is basically a huge botanical garden. It contains a special tree, which suppose to be about 400 years of age. Very unique!

On your way back to the centre of the city you should stop by at the Basilica of San Francisco El Grande. This is a very pretty Roman Catholic church in the neighborhood of La Latina. Along the same way on Ronda de Toledo street lies the Puerta de Toledo, which is another one of 19 big arches in Madrid. One looks cooler than the other. Trust me 😀


During your walk you have the opportunity to absorb a bit more of the fantastic feeling you get in this incredible city. Maybe you buy some small snacks like tapas or pinchos de Tortilla from one of many street vendors. The street food culture is also a very charming part about Madrid.

How to spend 24 hours in Madrid – Afternoon

6pm – 8pm

This is the perfect time from the how to spend 24 hours in Madrid schedule to slowly sit down in a nice restaurant somewhere and have dinner. After 2 hours of walking in the morning and 4 hours of walking after lunch, you have well deserved a good plate full of delicious specialities.

Get some tapas as side dishes

Madrid has many great restaurants to go to for dinner. Try one of the following ones:

If you did not have tapas during the walk through the city, then you should have them for dinner besides your main dish. This time is also very good to get in contact with some locals. Everyone is drinking some beers and wine, the atmosphere gets even better than before and people sometimes randomly start talking to each other. Madrilenians are very open minded and they love a good talk 😉

8pm – open end

To end the how to spend 24 hours in Madrid schedule you should go on a night out, depending on what time you leave on the next day. If you leave a little later, then I would highly recommend your hit up some bars like Fatigas del Querer or La Casa del Abuelo.

If you are more into a cultural night, you should probably go to the Teatro Real or to a place where they play smooth life music.



Want to know more about another great city of Europe? Read here



What could also interest you:





Subscribe to the Newsletter

* indicates required



Christian "Volle" Vollmert
Hamburg, Germany

My name is Christian "Volle" Vollmert. I am a german dude, who loves travelling and exciting adventures from bottom of his heart. I want to inspire other people to get out of their comfort zone and travel the world. Plus I really want to show how much personal development as a human being comes along with it!

Check this out

Follow my journey
  • One of the best sunrises on the planet in the middle of the red desert 🌅
This sunrise taught me something, that I'll keep with me forever
It amazes me how certain moments just stick with you for the rest of your life
These particular moments just become one of your greatest memories instantly
Most of the time, it's the spontaneous decisions you make, that end up to be one of the greatest 😀
Seeing the sunrise at Ayers Rock was exactly a decision like that
I did not really plan to visit Australia's centre at all when I was there, but it was completely right that I did
Otherwise I would have not made such a fantastic memory
And only because of one thing: because I was spontaneous and stepped out of my comfort zone 💪
I am very grateful for the small lesson that sometimes "just going for it" ultimately leads to situations that you never forget ⏳
#travellessons #uluru
  • One of London's best sights... 🌉
This short weekend trip was something very special again
Met some friends, seen some local highlights and made some great memories
Definitely a place I need to go back to in the future 😀
#towerbridge #londonuk
  • How crazy and fascinating at the same time is the Dubai at night? 😲😍🌇
This city is the existing proof that there are always two sides of a medal. A positive and a negative .
On the one hand Dubai is the ultimate symbol of what humanity is capable of. A small city built to one of the most impressive metropoles in the world within only 70 years ⏳
On the other hand, isn't it ironic how much money has been spent only to built this city right in the desert. There is no point in doing that
To me, if you think about all the poverty in the world, this just seems ridiculous. There is no other way to describe it
But then again, there is just no doubt that a view like this can fascinate me and many other people to the deepest core 👌
This list of pros and cons could go on for ages... ⏰
What a great combination Dubai is to show that everything just always depends on the way you see things
TELL ME: What's a simple lesson YOU have learned from traveling? 😄
#dubai🇦🇪 #dubai
  • Trying to capture a special sight from one of the coolest cities I have been to so far 😀
I just loved copenhagen, even on a cloudy day
So many awesome things to do and see. Such a great place!
Next: London on Friday 😍
#copenhagen #denmark🇩🇰
  • Exploring the old conifer forests of southern Sweden...🌲🌳
Sweden is such a wonderful country with lots of great things to see
Especially unknown places like Undenäs are extremely beautiful and something I always like to remember 😍
Most of the time, the places that noone really goes to are the ones that are most fun and exciting to explore, right?
TELL ME: What's the most remote place you have ever been to??? 😄 .
#sweden #naturephotography
  • Golden sunset at Twin Beach in El Nido 🌅🌄
I don't know what it exactly is, but there is something magical about a great sunset
Maybe it's the fact that is symbolises the end of a day. But there never really is an end to it, because a couple hours later, once we wake up, we have the chance again to do something great with our lifes 💪
Each and every single day we can decide how we want to spend the day, what goals we work towards to and ultimately what kind of value we bring to other people 👍
It's always only up to ourselfs, if we are happy at the end of the day during sunset
Never forget, we all have a choice. Always❗
#sunsetpics #sunset_ig
  • Strolling through paradise... 😍👌🌴
Some places on our planet are just crazy beautiful .
It's almost impossible to describe the beauty and the feeling that you get when you walk around at beaches like this one 🌞
I could not say which beach of all the ones I have seen so far would be the best one, but all the beaches in El Nido are definitely top ranked 🌏
TELL ME: Where did you really feel lost (in a good way 😉) the last time???
#paradise #island
  • Hello mate, how are you? 😀🐻🐾
Isn't that the cutest animal on earth?
What I can definitely say for myself is that they are easily the fluffiest I have ever touched 😍
And they are by far the most relaxed animals ever. Maybe because of all the eucalyptus they eat... 😉
TELL ME: What's YOUR favourite animal?
#koala #bear
  • The door to Angkor Wat during sunrise 😍🌅
I love a good sunrise! Not only because of its enormous beauty, but mainly for the fact that it's the perfect symbol for a new chance 👌
A new chance to improve
A new chance to do something good
A new chance to bring value to the world
A new chance to walk towards the right direction
And ultimately and new chance to get the best out your life and make great memories!
Great Memories that you can tell grandchildren about in 50 years from now, which will teach them some valuable lessons for life 🙏
#travelmemories #getthebestoutofeveryday

Where to next