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Cuenca or other small towns outside Madrid for 2 night stay with moderate hotel recom

We are interested in an historic town for 2 nights with easy access to Madrid Airport preferably..
Prefer public transit but car rental is possible. The usual Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, etc will already be on our bus tour. Thanks in advance.

Posted by
2212 posts

Cuenca is a great option for 2 nights! You can take the AVE from Madrid, but need to take a taxi into the centre of Cuenca, as the AVE station is 15-20 min away.

Other small historic towns you can get to with public transport/cars, fairly close to Madrid, good for a relaxing 2 nights stay:

  • Albarracín - need a car

  • Teruel

  • Trujillo

  • Cáceres‎

  • Calatayud

  • Soria

  • Sigüenza - need a car

Posted by
3138 posts

We visited 2 Spanish towns last spring, each about 1 hour from Madrid, by train, which I recommend you look into. One was Cuenca. If you go there, there are 2 modern art museums which merit your attention.
In my opinion, the second, Zaragoza, was far more interesting. It has a Roman archeological site, with an accompanying museum, lots of Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings, a Moorish palace, a noted basilica, and quite a few other attractions. Hotel prices were very reasonable. We were able to walk or get a bus to almost everything we wanted to see.

Posted by
18906 posts

If two nights means not much more than one full day, I'd throw Alcala de Henares into the mix. It's easily reached by frequent local trains from Madrid. There seems to be bus transportation to the airport; it's relatively quick, but a transfer is required, which isn't exactly desirable. In a pinch, it appears that a taxi wouldn't be exorbitant; Rome2Rio says the distance is about 17.5 miles; I haven't verified that on ViaMichelin.com.

Much as I am extremely fond of Teruel, I don't think it works for you here unless you rent a car, and even with a car you're looking at more than a 3-hour drive. As far as I know, there is no direct public-transportation connection between Madrid and Teruel. Teruel is linked by rail with Zaragoza and Valencia.

I believe the Extremadura towns of Trujillo and Caceres are farther from Madrid than you'd want to be, but they are picturesque. Caceres, in particular, could keep you occupied for more than a full day.

Posted by
2265 posts

JS, last year I spent time in both Cuenca and Zaragoza. The old city (on a hill) is compact, photogenic, somewhat interesting in my opinion. But not really extraordinary. I spent one night in the Parador, very nice,not cheap but reasonable, it is connected by a pedestrian bridge to the old city. I enjoyed Zaragoza more, but it is a pretty big city, not a small town. Lots to see and do in and around Zaragosa, although my full day there was a Monday, when the various museums were closed. The Aljaferia was terrific, and just a healthy walk from downtown.

Posted by
205 posts

We loved Cuenca, Segovia, Toledo. In Cuenca and Segovia, we stayed at the paradors. If you can swing it, they are beautiful and such a great place to stay. In Toledo we stayed at Santa Isabel or something like that. It was in the heart of the city (great for walking around) and it had a roof deck with a great view of the city, especially at night. The room was fine - not great, but fine. Buen viaje.

Posted by
3551 posts

Many thanks to all for the suggestions. I will check the recons..
so helpful.