Day Trippin'

If you feel that you want to explore the suburbs of Madrid, there are many beautiful towns to visit which are ideal for day trips. The best way to see these areas is to travel on the train, the 'Renfe Cercanias' which leaves from the main train station in Madrid, “Atocha Renfe”. The train is very cheap, plus the services are very frequent and on time!

To the east of Madrid, a half hour train journey will take you to the small town of Alcala de Henares. This is a quaint town which is famous for its University and the birth place of the well known Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes.

In the south of Madrid, also a half hour train journey away from the centre, is Toledo. This city is packed with culture and is often known as “the city of three cultures”. This refers to the Christian, Jewish and Muslim influences which dates back to the middle ages.

El Escorial is another great place to visit, with the added bonus of being just an hour’s train journey north-west from Madrid. The Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo is one of the highlights and is well known due to its vast size. A short bus ride away from El Escorial will take you to the Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen) where a monument of General Franco stands.

If football is on the agenda, then Madrid boasts possibly the biggest Football club in the world, Real Madrid. Their stadium, the Santiago Bernabeu is a huge three tiered structure holding 80,000 spectators. Ticket prices range from 15€, for a seat in the gods to 70€ for a seat pitch side. Tickets are readily available for most games except the ‘El Derby’ where they face fierce rivals Barcelona. There are a range of outlets where tickets can be purchased but it is recommended to travel to the ground to buy them.

On a sunny day, whether that is winter or summer, Retiro Park is a lovely place to visit and relax. It is Madrid’s equivalent to London’s Hyde Park and has a peaceful atmosphere. In the summer months, the lake in Retiro Park gets very busy with tourists and locals alike, floating on the boats which you can hire out at a cheap price for 45 mins.