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48 Hours in Madrid

While studying abroad, I was fortunate enough to visit several cities in Europe on quick weekend trips. By traveling this way, I learned to research and plan out everything I didn’t want to miss in the short time that I had to explore. On select #TravelTuesdays, I’m going to start sharing “48 Hours in…” blog posts for various cities. As you can see, today's city is Madrid, Spain!

With only 48 hours to take in the Spanish capital, you’re going to need your most comfortable walking shoes and a detailed map, so be sure to note where you want to go ahead of time. Let’s get started!

Day One:

After arriving in Madrid and dropping your luggage wherever you’re staying, it’s time to head out to el Parque del Retiro! Spend some time walking around this gorgeously manicured park, and definitely don’t miss el Palacio de Cristal.

When you finish up at the park, exit on the southwest corner by the Royal Botanical Garden, and you’ll be right at the Museo Reina Sofia! This museum is a must-see for its modern art collection, including Picasso’s famous piece, Guernica. Be sure to check here to see their free admission hours if you’d like to plan your timing around that!

If you’re up for another museum, el Museo del Prado is the national art museum, housing works from as early as the 12th century. They also offer free admission during some time slots, so check here to see when you can skip the admission price!

For dinner, I would recommend la Pulperia de Victoria. Octopus (“pulpo”) is very popular in Spain, but they also have other dishes (like croquetas, one of my favorite Spanish dishes) if that doesn’t interest you. El Museo de Jamón is also nearby, and it really doesn’t get better than Spanish ham. On the subject of food, there are several locations around the city of a restaurant called 100 Montaditos (“little sandwiches”), and it’s the perfect place to stop in for a quick, cheap, and delicious bite to eat during your busy couple of days in Madrid!

Now get some rest before we set off on your second and last day!

Day Two:

Pick up a quick breakfast, and head over to the Palacio Real de Madrid and the Sabatini Gardens! You can tour the palace, but on such a short trip, I just took in the exterior and took a walk through the gardens.

After you finish there, head to el Mercado San Miguel to pick up lunch at an authentic Spanish market! Walk through the different stalls of the market, picking up some cheese here and some jamón there, until you’ve eaten your way through the market and are ready to continue on.

This last afternoon in Madrid is your opportunity to walk around and explore! One spot I can’t recommend enough to stop by while you’re exploring is the Chocolatería San Ginés. If you have a sweet tooth like me, their churros with dipping chocolate are not to be missed.

For dinner, have the best paella of your life at Arrocería Marina Ventura. If you can, make a reservation here ahead of time to assure you get a table. After dinner, you can cap off your trip to Madrid with a whimsical cocktail at Salmon Guru right around the corner.

And that wraps up your 48 hours! Of course these are all just my suggestions, so if you have something you think is a can't miss in Madrid, let me know on Instagram! I'd love to hear what your favorite places are.

If you love Spain as much as I do, click here to shop the original paintings I made inspired by Southern Spain, and here to join my email list so you're the first to hear about new Spain inspired pieces I make!

Safe travels,



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