Here is the complete itinerary to one perfect day in Madrid, Spain! This post includes all the attractions to visit, 3 meals and a walking map.
Can you do Madrid in 1 day?
You can see many of the top attractions in Madrid in just one day. This 10 stop walking itinerary highlights exactly where to go. Of course, I recommend spending more time in the city if you can!
What to do in Madrid in one day?
- Have breakfast at Natif Coffee & Kitchen.
- Head to El Retiro Park.
- Check out Puerta del Sol.
- Stroll around Plaza Mayor.
- Grab lunch at Mercado de San Miguel.
- Enjoy a coffee and a sweet treat at FOUR Madrid.
- Check out Royal Palace of Madrid.
- Go to Temple of Debod.
- Have a drink at El Viajero.
- Eat the best dinner at Juana La Loca.
Walking map for one day in Madrid
If you are more visual, I created a walking map for your day in Madrid.
The entire day is walkable. You do not need public transportation unless you need a break. Michael and I walk EVERYWHERE. It's rare that we take public transportation unless absolutely necessary. We believe that walking is the best way to truly explore a city.
Where to stay
During our stay in Madrid, we stayed at THIS airbnb. It's located in the central neighborhood of Chamberí. It's a quiet and residential area. We absolutely loved the area and felt like we were living like locals. It was $119 a night. If you are going to visit alone or with one other person, this airbnb is perfect!
The first stop on this One Day Madrid Itinerary is Natif Coffee & Kitchen which was near our airbnb. This is why we are starting here the day here.
1. Natif Coffee & Kitchen
First, start your day with breakfast at Natif Coffee and Kitchen.
I cannot even begin to explain how amazing this place is. We went here for 4 days straight. Natif Coffee and Kitchen is one of the best breakfast restaurants in the world. It only compares to one other breakfast we had in Paris (but we know the French know how to do eggs).
Natif Coffee and Kitchen is aesthetically pleasing and the food is carefully curated and delicious. Plus, the staff is beyond friendly! We saw the chef prepare our food each morning and he would personally deliver it to us. He even took the time to speak with us.
Be sure to order a cortado, the tomato toast and the chia pudding!
2. El Retiro Park
After breakfast, head to El Retiro Park. This park is one of the largest in Madrid. It's surrounded by a lake. I recommend walking around, admiring its beauty and snapping pictures along the way. At El Retiro Park you can see peacocks roaming, the Palacio De Cristal and hangout by the water. The best part is that it’s all free! My favorite part was seeing the Palacio De Cristal. It's made of almost all glass! You can't miss it.
3. Puerta del Sol
Now, check out Puerta del Sol. It's a famous public square in Madrid. Take some time to stroll around and snap pictures.
4. Plaza Mayor
Once you've spent time at Puerta del Sol, head to Plaza Mayor. It's another famous public square in Madrid. You've probably seen this square in pictures. I recognized the statue of a king riding his stallion.
5. Mercado de San Miguel
I bet you walked up an appetite by now. It's time for lunch at Mercado de San Miguel.
I know you might think this is a touristy thing to do, but the market has delicious food and it's an experience. The market is super packed all of the time. You will probably have to stand up and eat. It's worth it though. It's just one of those things you have to do. You know what I mean!
I recommend browsing all of the stands and then trying a bite from your favorites. I don't remember the names of all the vendors, but I will tell you two items that I really enjoyed. I loved this skewer with mushrooms with a green sauce and an olive stuffed with sausage. Also, the sangria was 2 euro a glass.
6. FOUR Madrid
Since you probably didn't get to sit down for lunch, sitting for a coffee is a must! It's time for an afternoon coffee and sweet treat at FOUR Madrid.
We loved their coffee here. I ordered a cappuccino and Michael ordered a cortado.
I saw a chocolate chip cookie when we walked in and it looked amazing. By the time we ordered, the cookie was gone. It was disappointing but I know it was for a reason. The reason was that I had to try their tahini slice. It was so yummy! I believe it was a shortbread crust with some type of caramel-like layer and chocolate with sea salt. If you go, try the tahini slice!
7. Royal Palace of Madrid
After you sit and enjoy your coffee at FOUR, it's time to get back on your feet! Head over to the Royal Palace of Madrid. This is the largest palace in Western Europe. We never went inside, but it can easily be appreciated from the outside. You'll be in awe just from the sheer size of it and the beauty of nature that surrounds it as well. If you are interested in visiting inside, there are plenty of options through different booking sites.
8. Temple of Debod
Next up, The Temple of Debod. This is one of the most interesting landmarks we've come across in Europe. This is an Egyptian Temple that was built back in the 2nd century BC and was donated by the Egyptian government to save it from floods. The temple has this mystical feeling about it, it's hard to explain but you'll know when you go. It also sits on top of a hill so you get great views of Madrid. There are many benches throughout if you need to take a break or just want to revel in the serene environment. This is another FREE attraction!
9. El Viajero
Next, head over to the La Latina neighborhood and grab a drink at El Viajero.
We stayed in this neighbored when we first visited Madrid in 2019. It has a fun and colorful energy. El Viajero is a rooftop with lots of greenery.
10. Juana La Loca
To end the night, I recommend heading to Juana La Loca for dinner.
Michael and I went to this restaurant back in 2019 and we have been waiting to go back ever since. It is still one of our favorite restaurants! We constantly dream about their tortilla and broken eggs. The environment feels very authentic. You will feel like you're living like a local. Make sure that you make a reservation beforehand! It gets super busy.
As you can see, Madrid is absolutely worth visiting! I hope you found this post to be a helpful outline for things to see in Madrid in one day!
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