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One day in Madrid

We'll be traveling to Portugal and have the opportunity of a 7 hours layover in Madrid. Could we leave the airport and visit Madrid in around 5 hours to give us enough time to go back and catch our flight back to the USA?

Posted by
1178 posts

Take an Airport Express bus into the city, The first (I think) stop is at Cibeles the heart of the city. Go inside the City Hall on the fountain circle to the top to get an overview. From there walk to Retiro Park (basically behind you), and grab a bite to eat at one of the sidewalk cafes on the street. Or, walk up Gran Via in front of you and see the architecture. Note: Be sure to find the pick up location for the is not the same as the spot where you exited the bus, but on a corner near the City Hall side of the fountain.

Posted by
9363 posts

If you want a quick look, take the hop on, hop off bus. If you get off the airport express bus at Cibeles, there are HOHO bus stops there, too. When I did it a couple of years ago, it was 20 euro. It will give you a nice, narrated overview of the city, and you will see all of the major buildings and areas in the old town, as well as parts of the new. You can then stop off at any places you want to see more of (like Retiro Park or the Royal Palace or the Plaza Mayor). You should have plenty of time, but you will need to be back at the airport two hours in advance of your flight, and the airport express bus takes about 30 minutes. It will take a bit to get out of the airport, wait for the next express bus, etc., then 30 minutes into town. Then you have to be on the bus back by 2.5 hours before your flight.

Posted by
50 posts

I agree with Nancy. The hop on, hop off bus is the best quickest way to see as much of Madrid as possible in that short of time.

If you have some, spend extra time at Palacio Real or the Reina Sofia or Prado Museums.