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With some of the best museums in Spain and a plethora of historic sites, Madrid is wonderful city to visit. Whether you want to hang out at the Plaza Mayor, enjoy the hustle and bustle of the El Rastro flea market or get to grips with Spain’s tapas culture, there is something for everyone.
I found myself with a little extra time, so decided to venturing outside the city. I saw lots of vendors around the city, all claiming to offer the best day tours from Madrid. However, being a budget traveller and always up for an adventure, I decided to go it alone.
I decided to visit Toledo and Segovia, both had come highly recommended from other travellers. Toledo turned out to be my favourite of the two day trips from Madrid. However I’d highly recommend visiting Segovia too if you have the time.
This map shows where each of the day trips is situated in comparison to Madrid.
Related: Best Hostels in Madrid
Here is a full 2 day itinerary of Madrid from the blog ‘My Path in the World’
Segovia is a 96km drive north of Madrid, it’s most famous for its well preserved Roman aqueduct and makes an exciting day trip from the capital. A UNESCO world heritage site, this city of cobbled streets and beautiful medieval architecture takes a full day to explore.
How To Take A Day Trip From Madrid to Segovia
I took the bus from Moncloa metro station in Madrid. It took about 1 hour and drops off within walking distance of the centre.
The bus is run by La Sepulvedana, look for their ticket office – you shouldn’t need to buy in advance. It cost me about €15 for a day return ticket. When returning to Madrid, remember to validate your ticket at the box office before boarding.
It’s also possible to get there by train or on an organised day trip to Segovia.
Top Things To Do In Segovia
Roman Aqueduct – Visiting the aqueduct is a must-do activity on any day trip to Segovia. This mighty Roman structure has bought water to the city for over 2000 years and remains very much in tact. It runs right across the city and stands over 28m tall at its highest point.
Cathedral – Located in the main square, this impressive building is the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain, having been relocated from its original spot near Alcazar.
Alcazar – The Alcazar (fortress) is a castle situated in Segovia, most famous for being the apparent inspiration for the castle in Sleeping Beauty.
The city of Toledo lies 74 miles South of Madrid and is well worth a visit. It is an ancient walled city found on top of a hill, surrounded by a moat – what’s not to love!
Strolling the streets of Toledo was like taking a trip back in time. Learning about its history was even more intriguing. The city is known for being a haven of tolerance where Christians, Jews and Muslims could all live peacefully together, even during times of persecution, getting its name as “the city of three cultures”. This is still visible today as churches, synagogues and mosques all sit peacefully within the city walls.
How To Get To Toledo On A Day Trip From Madrid
Whilst many of the Toledo tours fro Madrid will be on bus, the high-speed train is the quickest and easiest route if you’re visiting by yourself.
The train departs from Atocha station in Madrid, it takes about half an hour and cost me €20 for a round trip. Once you arrive in Toledo, I noticed it to be a steep walk from the station, so consider a taxi if this isn’t for you.
Top Things To Do In Toledo
Take a Zip Line Across Puente San Martin – This medieval bridge was built in the 14th century and still retains it’s charm today. Walking across the bridge gives you a fantastic view down the river. If you’re the more adventurous type, instead of waling across the bridge, you can take the Fly Toledo zip line to the other side.
Toledo Cathedral – One of the most beautiful cathedral’s in Spain, Toledo Cathedral is an iconic landmark in the city. Inspired by French Gothic style with an added Spanish touch. Toledo was home to renaissance painter and architect El Greco during the latter part of his life, two of his most famous paintings remain on display in the cathedral today.
Toledo Tour Train – A great way to see the city is to take the small tourist train from Laza De Zocodover.
If you’ve visited Segovia or Toledo, or taken any other day trips from Madrid, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you’re looking for additional day trip ideas suitable for the family, visit Parque Warner (Warner Brothers theme park) just 34km from Madrid.
Kieren is the avid traveller behind the blog. His adventures have included Interrailing through Europe, road tripping the US and backpacking SE Asia.