I clicked the “buy tickets” button, still reeling from my first solo travel adventure to Paris. It was my going to be birthday, after all, so why not spend four days in Madrid, Spain?
Ok, let’s back up a second. I didn’t expect to catch the travel bug nor did I plan to. So when I returned from Paris a swift depression hit. Not a huge episode, but enough to leave my heart yearning for more. More experiences, something different, new sights … which ultimately led me to want more travel! Compelled to find the next adventure, I pulled up google maps and thought, “where can I go next?” while contemplating each country. Seriously, folks, that’s what happened.
My birthday is in September, I love warm weather, and can only take four days off. These pieces of information served as my inspiration while scrolling in and out of continents. South Africa, perhaps? No, it’s too long of a flight. Costa Rica? Nah, too rainy. I want nothing more than fun and sun while traveling alone. That’s when I happened upon Madrid. With an average temperature of 70 degrees in September, little to no rain, an 8-hour flight, and the perfect price, I booked my 4 days in Madrid.
After booking my flight and hotel it was time to piece together my Madrid itinerary. Museums, hands-on activities and day trips, I want it all. Plus, I’m a night owl and Madrid is the perfect city because it never sleeps and is safe to travel. Dinner doesn’t even start until around 9pm! When I travel, I pretend as if it’s my last – and only – trip I will ever take to the city and plan accordingly.
After a few short months of research and planning, I curated the perfect itinerary for how to spend 4 days in Madrid.
- Visit the famous Museo Nacional del Prado (Prado Museum) to take in the masterworks of art such as Las Meninas and The Garden of Earthly Delights.
- Shop for Alpargatas (espadrilles) at Casa Hernanz.
- Talk a walk in Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s centrally located main square.
- Dine at Restaurante Sobrino de Botin – the Guinness Book of World Record’s oldest restaurant in operation in the world.
- Bike Tour to see the highlights of the city.
- Lunch at a trendy rooftop bar, La Cocina de San Anton.
- Wander around the city – Madrid is best seen by foot!
- Attend an evening Flamenco show with dinner and dancing workshop at Taberna Flamenca El Cortijo.
- Market tour and small group hands-on Spanish cooking class. Make tapas, seafood, paella, and desserts while sipping authentic sangria with a local chef.
- Visit the Royal Palace of Madrid
- Delight in traditional churros y chocolate at Chocolatería San Ginés.
- Dine at Mercado San Miguel, an energetic night-time spot that buzzes with great food, wine, and activity.
- Day Trip to Avila & Segovia. Roman aqueducts built in 5 A.D., castles, and beautiful churches await.
- Browse the streets of Madrid and shop during the evening
- Pick up a flight of tapas at Taberna del Chato – a delicious and affordable tapas bar.
This 4-day itinerary kept me pretty busy (and full) during my vacation to Madrid. Feel free to take this itinerary and make it your own. There is a lot to do in Madrid and four days only scratches the surface, but it is possible to have a wonderful time in just a few days.
In addition to my itinerary, be inspired by a few of the most popular things to do in Madrid, Spain by browsing a few activity ideas below. Who knows? Today’s inspiration may lead to tomorrow’s adventure!
Have you been to Madrid? Are you looking for more suggestions for what to do? Please leave them in the comments below!
Antoinette | Frolic & Courage