What the city center of Madrid lacks in stunning monuments, it makes up for with no fewer than six World Heritage Sites that surround the metropolis on all sides. Each of these cities is no more than an hour away from the capital, which means you could spend a week hopping from one stunning Spanish city to the next yet never check out of your Madrid hotel. That, to me, sounds like a great way to spend some time in the center of Spain!
|View from the Alcázar|
How to get there: Ride the 27-minute high-speed train from Madrid’s Chamartín train station. From the Segovia-Guiomar train station, catch bus #11 to the aqueduct.
How to get there: Ride the 33-minute high-speed train from Madrid’s Puerta de Atocha train station. From Toledo’s train station, catch bus #5 to the main Zocodover square.
|Ávila at the Blue Hour|
How to get there: Ride the hour-and-a-half train from Madrid’s Chamartín train station. Head due west along the Paseo de la Estación to reach the old town.
4) El Escorial
How to get there: From Madrid’s intermodal Moncloa station (Metro lines 3 & 6), catch the hourlong interurban bus routes #661 or #664 to San Lorenzo de El Escorial’s bus station. The monastery is due south of the bus station. For history buffs, continue on to the Valley of the Fallen from the bus station.
5) Alcalá de Henares
|Plaza de Cervantes|
How to get there: Ride the 45-minute C2 or C7 commuter trains from Madrid’s Atocha Cercanías train station. Head due south along Paseo de la Estación to reach the old town.
|The Royal Palace|
How to get there: Ride the 50-minute C3 commuter train from Madrid’s Atocha Cercanías train station. Head northeast along the Carretera de Toledo to reach the palace.
What’s your favorite daytrip from Madrid? Tell me below in the comments thread!