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Day Trips

The most popular Day Trip destinations from Madrid are Avila, El Escorial, Salamanca, Segovia and Toledo. Here is some brief information about each destination and more photos. You can also contact us for more information.



A much overlooked city not far from the Spanish capital, some say it beats Toledo for prettiest walled city near Madrid. You can visit Avila as part of a day trip from Madrid, taking in Segovia at the same time.

Three Things to Do in Avila:

• Walk along Avila's city walls between Puerta del Carmen and Puerta de los Leales.
• Explore the many archways and turrets that once protected the city.
• Visit the Convento de Santa Teresa, which (somewhat grotesquely) includes Teresa's ring finger, complete with ring.



How to Get There from Madrid:
• By Car take the M30, direction A Coruña, before taking the A6 (direction still A Coruña). Before long you'll see signs for Ávila.
• By Train Take line C8 of the Cercanías local train network. Pick up the train at Atocha, Recoletos, Chamartin or Nuevos Ministerios.
• By Bus Avanza runs the bus service to Avila, from the bus station at Mendez Alvaro metro stop.

El Escorial


El Escorial's monastery and kings' crypt (where the majority of Spain's kings for the past 400 years are buried) are a nice alternative to tourist-heavy Segovia and Toledo. 

What to Do in El Escorial
• The spectacular monastery, Monasterio de San Lorenzo del Escorial.
• The Crypt in which the majority of the Spanish Kings are buried, from Charles I (who died in 1556) through to Alfonso XIII (died 1931) through Philip II, Philip III, Philip IV, Charles II, Louis I, Charles III, Charles IV, Ferdinand VII, Isabel II, and Alfonso XII.
• To complete your tour of deceased Spanish rulers, General Franco (dictator who ruled Spain for much of the twentieth century) is buried in the Valle de los Caídos. Transport to El Valle de los Caídos is difficult, so it is advisable to take a guided tour of El Escorial and El Valle de los Caídos.



Two-and-a-half hours north-west of Madrid, Salamanca is the perfect final stop on the way from Spain to Portugal, or a first stop if traveling the other way round. Cold in winter and pleasantly warm in summer, Salamanca is a clean city, famous for its nightlife and even more famous for its university, and is very popular with foreigners for learning Spanish.

Three Things to Do in Salamanca:
• Marvel at how everything goes so well together, with the uniform sandstone architecture amazingly beautiful for something so consistent.
• Look for the Lucky Frog on the Universidad Civil, before heading around the corner and searching for the astronaut and ice cream cone on the Catedral Nueva.
• Learn Spanish at the University - the University of Salamanca is one of the oldest in Europe (the sixth oldest still in existence) and the Spanish spoken in this area is one of the purest in the country.



With its famous Roman aqueduct and a stunning castle, rumored to have inspired the castle in Disney's Sleeping Beauty, Segovia is perhaps the most interesting of the day trips from Madrid.

Five Things to Do in Segovia:
• See the Roman aqueduct. Segovia's aqueduct is two thousand years old and is still in immaculate condition.
• The fairytale-castle Alcázar, said to have been the inspiration for the castle in Disney's Sleeping Beauty.
• The Museo de Arte Contempraneo Esteban Vicente
• Try cochinillo (roasted suckling pig) Segovia's local dish and in my list of the best Spanish dishes.
• The Jewish quarter - starting at Plaza del Corpus Cristi



The former capital of Spain, Toledo is a fortress city with striking gates all around the city. It is one of the three essential day trips from Madrid (along with Segovia and El Escorial).

Three Things to Do in Toledo:

• Buy a Toledo sword! Toledo is famous for its steel and a sword from Toledo (or letter opener if weaponry isn't your thing) is in my Ten Best Souvenirs from Spain.
• Sample Toledo's three historical religions - Christianity at its Cathedral, the Jewish Sinagoga del Tránsito and the Islamic Mezquita de Cristo de la Luz
• Visit the Iglesia de Santo Tomé, where El Greco's masterpiece, El Entierro del Conde de Orgaz is kept, before going on to discover more of artwork of El Greco throughout the city.

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