5 Days in Madrid: Ultimate 5-Day Itinerary

5 days in Madrid: what to do and see?

Are you going to leave for 5 days in Madrid and are you wondering what to visit?

You are in the right place!

With my itinerary to visit Madrid in 5 days, you will be able to easily plan your days.

I will first give you my tips for not queuing in front of the main tourist sites and then I will detail the program to follow from day to day.

At the end of the article, I have also prepared my selection of the best hotels to stay in Madrid as well as some ideas for visits for a family trip.

All accompanied by my advice to make the most of your stay in the Spanish capital.

So what to do in Madrid in 5 days? 

Visit Madrid in 5 days: the best itinerary

I’m getting to the heart of the matter with this 5-day Madrid itinerary.

It includes the route to follow for each day and a map to help you find your way around the city.

At the level of the visits that I included, I assumed that you took the Madrid City Pass or skip-the-line tickets in order to avoid queuing and wasting too much time.

If you still have questions after reading everything, do not hesitate to ask me your questions in the section dedicated to comments, at the very end of the article.

So, here is the 5 days Madrid itinerary!

Day 1: Discovery of the Center

5 Days in Madrid: Day 1 Itinerary

The visits of day 1:

A. Plaza Mayor
B. San Miguel Market
C. Cathedral
D. Royal Palace
E. Royal Theater
F. San Ginès Chocolate Factory
G. Temple of Amun
H. Flamenco Show

A. The Main Square

Let’s go for this first day of this 5-day stay in Madrid that I suggest you start on the Plaza Mayor.

This large square built in 1690, in the center of which sits the statue of King Philip III, represents the heart of the city.

All around the Plaza Mayor, you can admire the arches and the very beautiful baroque buildings: the house of the Bakery, the house of the Butcher and the arc of the Cutlers.

In summer, the crowd is dense and takes advantage of the friendly atmosphere of the place to have a drink or a coffee on the terrace, eat in the restaurant, stroll or go shopping.

In winter, it is the magic of Christmas that invites itself with impressive decorations and lights and the chalets of the Christmas market. 

Tips for you Madrid itinerary:

The Madrid Tourist Office is in the Plaza Mayor, in the old Casa de la Panaderia (bakery house). Useful info to know if you want to take a map of the city for example.

Madrid itinerary 5 days
Plaza Mayor – Start of your 5 day itinerary in Madrid

B. San Miguel Market

A few steps from Plaza Mayor, now head to Mercado San Miguel (San Miguel Market).

This traditional , glass-covered market is a major tourist attraction in Madrid.

With its colorful stalls, its multitude of local products and its free tastings, it is a hit with locals and visitors alike. It is therefore an opportunity to come and taste the charcuterie, cheeses and other delicious products of the Spanish sun.

Tips for you Madrid itinerary:

The market is open daily from 10 a.m. to midnight and even later on weekends. You can therefore also visit it in the evening and take advantage of the tables and chairs set up there for dinner.

Madrid itinerary 5 days
The San Miguel Market

C. The Almudena Cathedral

Continue your journey in Madrid through the Almudena Cathedral. This monument is one of the most important in the Spanish capital.

The cathedral is only 5 minutes walk from the market and it has an amazing peculiarity: on the outside it represents the architectural style of classicism and on the inside it is gothic. The result is really interesting.

The advantage is also that you can visit it for only €1 per person. The best for large families!

Madrid itinerary 5 days
The Almudena Cathedral

D. The Royal Palace of Madrid

I now suggest you visit the Royal Palace, a place not to be missed during your 5-day Madrid itinerary.

The Palacio Real is recognized as one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe and we must admit that it is really superb!

This palace built in the 17th century can be admired from the outside with a stroll through its sumptuous gardens, but also from the inside where you can visit magnificent rooms such as the Hall of Columns, the Halberdiers Hall, King Charles’s bedroom II or the Salon des Miroirs.

I recommend the super interesting guided tour which allows you to better understand the history of the Palace. It is also so good that it is guaranteed “satisfied or refunded”.

Tips for you Madrid itinerary:

Booking a guided tour also allows you to avoid queuing, as does having your Madrid City Pass since the latter includes a skip-the-line ticket for the Royal Palace.

Madrid itinerary 5 days
The Royal Palace of Madrid – Visit Madrid in 5 days

E. The Royal Theater

Just opposite the Palacio Real, you will find the Royal Theater of Madrid (el Teatro Real) erected in Plaza d’Oriente.

Built between 1817 and 1850, this theater has such exceptional acoustics that it is one of the most prestigious opera houses in all of Europe.

The program lives up to its reputation, with the greatest international lyrical artists regularly performing there.

Visiting Madrid in 5 days is also an opportunity for fans to spend an unforgettable evening at the opera. You can reserve your seats on the Teatro Real website (watch out for the cheapest seats which often hide part of the stage).

If you just want to visit the theater and have access to the dressing rooms, the various performance halls and the exhibitions, that is also possible. The visit with audio guide is very interesting and can be reserved by clicking here! 

Madrid itinerary 5 days
The Royal Theater of Madrid

F. The San Gines chocolate factory

After all these visits, it’s time to take a break. And not just any!

You are very close to one of the best chocolate shops in all of Madrid, so this is the perfect opportunity to indulge.

The San Ginès chocolate factory has been open since 1894 and offers the best chocolate Churros in the city.

This dessert is a real institution of street food in Spain, an essential delicacy to taste absolutely. And by going to the San Ginès chocolate factory, I assure you that you will not be disappointed.

The chocolate factory is also open 24 hours a day, useful if you can’t live without it!

Madrid itinerary 5 days
Yum! Chocolate churros, the Spanish gourmet break par excellence

G. The temple of Amon

At the end of the day, one of the best places to be in Madrid is the Temple of Debod.

And that’s where I suggest you go now (on foot in 20 minutes or via metro line 3 in about 25 minutes).

Also called Temple of Amun, it is a real Egyptian temple imported from Egypt and rebuilt on site in 1972.

It houses several restored vestiges of ancient Egypt and is located in the West Park, in a superb setting which gives the opportunity to take magnificent photos (especially at sunset).

Admission is free, so anyone can enjoy it.

Tips for you Madrid itinerary:

To reach the temple on foot from the chocolate factory:

  • Pass by Plaza de España, another famous square in Madrid
  • To the west of the square, you will find access to the park where the temple is located.

Do not hesitate to take a walk in the park, it offers beautiful views of the city.

Madrid itinerary 5 days
The Debod temple of Madrid

H. Attend a flamenco show

Leaving for 5 days in Madrid is also an unmissable opportunity to attend a flamenco show.

This traditional dance originating from Andalusia and listed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO is an integral part of Spanish artistic culture.

You can attend performances in tablaos, small intimate establishments that feature musical performances, or in theaters.

One of the best known and which offers a show of excellent quality, with talented artists and a magnificent setting is the tablao Torres Bermejas. On the other hand, you will have to reserve your tickets in advance in order to be sure of having space.

That’s enough to spend a great first evening in Madrid!

Tips for you Madrid itinerary:

If the tablao is full, I also recommend another place known in the capital for its magnificent flamenco show : Café Zyriab.

Tickets can be booked directly here! 

Madrid itinerary 5 days
Attend a Flamenco show – A must do in 5 days in Madrid!

Day 2: Things to Do

Madrid itinerary 5 days
5 Days in Madrid: Day 2 Itinerary

The visits of day 2:

A. Queen Sofia Museum
B. Royal Botanical Garden
C. Retiro Park
D. Prado National Museum / Thyssens Bornemisza Museum
E. Cybele Palace
F. Circulo de Bellas Artes

A. The Queen Sofia National Museum

After a good night’s sleep, it’s time to set off again to discover Madrid.

I suggest you start this second day with a museum: the Queen Sofia National Art Center, one of the most important museums in Madrid.

You can admire a very fine collection of paintings from the 19th century to the present day, including the famous Guernica by Picasso. 

Consider taking a skip-the-line ticket to avoid having to queue for a long time at the entrance.

To have more explanations on the exhibited works, the museum also organizes guided tours

Madrid itinerary 5 days
Guernica, the painting by Picasso that you can see at the Reina Sofia museum

B. The Royal Botanical Garden

After visiting the museum, go to the Royal Botanical Garden located up next to the Prado Museum (which you will visit a little later).

This beautiful garden is home to a host of plant species from around the world. There is even a large greenhouse with rare tropical species. It is a very pleasant visit, in a peaceful setting.

It takes about 2 hours for the walk. For the entrance, count 6 euros per person. 

Madrid itinerary 5 days
The Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid

C. Retiro Park

Your 5-day Madrid itinerary continues in the greenery, this time at Retiro Park (Parque El Retiro).

It is the main green lung of the capital and it is very pleasant to walk there to enjoy the sun, admire the scattered monuments (including the Palace of Velasquez, the Crystal Palace, the monument to Alfosio XII, etc.) , statues and water points.

You can even take a boat trip if you feel like it.

Tips for you Madrid itinerary:

In the Retiro Park, guided segway rides are also offered!

It’s really nice to visit the park differently and enjoy an original walk while discovering the most beautiful corners of the park.

Madrid itinerary 5 days
Retiro Park – From 4 days in Madrid

D. Visit to the Prado National Museum or the Thyssens Bornemisza Museum

In Madrid there are 3 must-see museums : the Queen Sofia Museum (which you visited this morning), the Prado Museum and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum.

To vary the visits a bit, I don’t suggest you visit all 3 during your 5-day stay in Madrid, because that might be a bit much.

At this stage of the itinerary, I therefore suggest that you choose between visiting the Prado Museum and that of the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum. They are very close to each other, only 5 minutes walk.

The first is one of the largest art museums in the world. It exhibits a very rich collection of paintings from the 14th to the 19th century (Goya, Bosch, Velasquez, etc.).

I also remind you that the skip-the-line ticket for the Prado Museum is included in the Madrid City Pass.

If you don’t have the Madrid pass, the best way to avoid queuing is to buy your entrance ticket in advance by clicking here.

The Thyssen Bornemisza Museum exhibits works dating from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

For example, there are paintings by Gauguin, Monet and Rubens.

Skip-the-line tickets for the Thyssens Museum can be purchased directly here.

Madrid itinerary 5 days
The Prado Museum, a must on a 5-day Madrid tour

E. Cybele’s Palace

After visiting the museum of your choice, I suggest you go through the Cybele Palace along the Paseo del Prado and then up the street.

This former communications palace converted into a cultural center is also one of the most beautiful monuments in the city.

There are free exhibitions but above all two magnificent panoramas of Madrid on the 6th floor (at the level of the restaurant terrace) and on the 8th floor (at the level of the watchtower whose access costs 3 euros).

Madrid itinerary 5 days
Cybele’s Palace

F. Círculo de Bellas Artes

To end this second day in style, I recommend another superb view of the city: head for the Circulo de Bellas Artes.

This private cultural center in the center of Madrid is famous for its panoramic roof terrace which offers breathtaking views of the entire capital. It is also the most beautiful view of the city according to connoisseurs.

The roof terrace of the Circulo de Bellas Artes is accessible to everyone. There’s even a bar so you can sip a drink while admiring the sunset from the rooftops of Madrid.

Madrid itinerary 5 days
View from the Circulo de Bellas Artes

Day 3: Places of Interest in Madrid

Madrid itinerary 5 days
5 Days in Madrid: Day 3 Itinerary

The visits of day 3:

A. The Santiago Bernabéu stadium
B. The Las Ventas bullring
C. Shopping in Salamanca
D. The Chueca district

A. The Santiago Bernabéu stadium

Let’s go for this third day of visit in the Spanish capital.

To continue this 5-day Madrid itinerary, on this beautiful morning I suggest you visit the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, the legendary stadium that belongs to the Real Madrid football club.

Football fans will be delighted to walk on the pitchvisit the locker rooms and admire the collection of trophies. 

The visit must be booked in advance by clicking here.

Madrid itinerary 5 days
The Santiago Barnabeu Stadium, home of Real Madrid

B. Las Ventas Bullring

After the stadium visit, take the metro to get off at the Las Ventas stop.

You will arrive directly in front of the bullring of the same name, the largest in Spain. They are really very beautiful from the outside.

However, you should know that they are regularly the scene of the killing of bulls during bullfights and that they also house the bullfighting museum. Bullfighting may be part of Spanish culture, but it is logically debated.

However, nothing prevents you from staying outside and admiring the beautiful architecture of the arenas and then moving on to the next step.

If you are interested, you can also discover its interior by booking your Madrid bullring ticket + museum + audio guide by clicking here.

Madrid itinerary 5 days
Les Arenes de Las Ventas

C. Shopping in Salamanca

I now suggest a little shopping session in the Salamanca district that you can quickly reach on foot or by metro from the bullring.

Walk along Serrano street and the perpendicular streets to find many fashion boutiques, from the most accessible to the big luxury brands.

You can also take the opportunity to have a drink and enjoy a pleasant relaxing afternoon. 

Tips for you Madrid itinerary:

You can also shop on the city’s main shopping street , Gran Via, in central Madrid.

D. The Chueca Neighborhood

For your third evening in Madrid, I recommend the Chueca district.

It is a very lively area where you can experience Madrid’s nightlife. There are many trendy restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs .

This is the opportunity to spend a wild evening with friends or as a couple before starting the last two days of your Madrid 5-day itinerary.

Madrid itinerary 5 days

Day 4: Excursion to Toledo

Your first three days in Madrid will have allowed you to do a fairly complete tour of it and see the most interesting sites.

For this fourth day, I suggest you leave the city and visit Toledo, a magnificent medieval city mixing Christian, Jewish and Muslim cultures and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is only 1 hour drive from the capital.

Excursions with round trip transport and guide included are organized from Madrid. I offer you 3 to choose from: 

  • Option 1: Free discovery of the neighborhoods of Toledo
  • Option 2: A day in Toledo with a visit to 7 emblematic monuments included
  • Option 3: Tour of Toledo and Segovia.

Option n°1

You will be picked up by a shuttle from Madrid and you will spend a full day in Toledo.

Your guide will take you on a guided tour of the city and point out the monuments to visit. You will then have all the rest of the day to roam the city freely and visit the places you want.

For this outing, entrance tickets for tourist sites are not included, it will be at your expense.

Book this excursion to Toledo from Madrid.

Madrid itinerary 5 days

Option n°2

This excursion is essentially the same as the previous one except that it includes in its price the entrance to 7 monuments (with priority access) including the Church of Santo Tomé and the Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca.

Entrance to Toledo Cathedral is optional.

This excursion is really the most complete and the best to visit Toledo.

It is reserved by clicking here.

Option n°3

If you want to move a little faster in Toledo to also have time to visit Segovia, this option is the perfect choice.

You will start with a guided tour of Toledo then you will discover Segovia, ending with a visit to the Alcazar, one of the most famous castles in Spain.

Click here to book this day 

Tips for you Madrid itinerary:

If you don’t like organized excursions, you can also choose to reach Toledo by train from Madrid  and organize your visit to the city as you wish.

Day 5: Other Excursions around Madrid

You have the chance to spend 5 days in Madrid and therefore have time to visit AND the city AND its surroundings.

For this fifth day, I am once again offering you several excursions that you can choose according to your preferences:

Option 1: Discovery of the vineyards of the Madrid region

This organized day includes the guided visit of 3 wine cellars followed by a tasting of local wines in the picturesque countryside around Madrid.

This excursion includes round-trip transportation and can be booked online here.

Option 2: Guided tour of the Royal Monastery of El Escorial and the Valley of Los Caidos

This 5-hour guided tour takes you on a discovery of the Royal Monastery, a symbol of Spanish power in the 16th century. A splendid building, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On the way back, the shuttle will take you to a stop at Valle de Los Caidos (“the Valley of the Fallen”) where there is a basilica carved into the mountain where nearly 30,000 soldiers who died during the Civil War are buried.

General Franco, the dictator who ruled Spain for more than 35 years was buried there until 2019 when his remains were transferred.

To book this excursion, it’s here.

Option 3: Guided tour of Cuenca

By choosing this excursion, you will visit another historical site in the region of Madrid classified as a UNESCO heritage site.

Cuenca is a city built on the cliff (a bit like Ronda in Andalusia ), made up of hanging houses and historical monuments that give it a very special atmosphere.

The visit includes a guided part and a free part.

Option 4: Excursion to Avila and Salamanca

Avila and Salamanca are two important cities located around Madrid that you can discover during this organized day.

They each have a very beautiful cathedral and other historical monuments.

You’ll start with a visit to Salamanca and end in Avila before being taken back by shuttle bus to Madrid.

Accommodation in Madrid

Now that you have a good idea of ​​how to visit Madrid in 5 days, let’s move on to the next step, choosing and booking your hotel!

To help you, I have made a  selection of the best hotels to stay in Madrid according to your budget:

  • OK Hostel Madrid : Youth hostel located 700 meters from Plaza Mayor and 200 meters from a metro station. Bed in dormitory from €16 per night, breakfast at €3. The pluses: ideal location, very friendly welcome, cleanliness and modernity of the dormitories, possibility of having a meal for 10€. Note that the hostel also offers double rooms from €75 per night.
  • Ibis Madrid Centro Las Ventas : Located next to Madrid’s famous bullring and 100 meters from a metro station. Spacious and modern room from €60 per night and breakfast at an additional €7.95. The pluses: view of the arenas from the rooms, very generous buffet breakfast.
  • B&B Hotel Puerta del Sol : Ideally located 100 meters from Puerta del Sol and 400 meters from Plaza Mayor. Very quiet and comfortable room from €89 per night with a breakfast bag (water, fruit and pain au chocolat) included every morning. The pluses: free drinks and fruit available 24 hours a day, ideal location and lovely staff.
  • Only YOU Hotel Atocha :  Located right next to El Retiro Park. Comfortable, spacious and stylish double room from €190 per night, breakfast at €21. Most: the magnificent hotel, the available and attentive staff, the huge choice at breakfast, the location (10 minutes walk from the center and airport shuttle 5 minutes away), the decoration, the atmosphere. This is the best choice for a luxury stay in Madrid! 

Tips for you Madrid itinerary:

If these hotels are full or do not correspond to your desires, you will find a larger selection of accommodation in my dedicated article.

Click here to read it: The best hotels to stay in Madrid.

Visit Madrid in 5 days with the family

If you plan to go on a trip to Madrid for 5 days with your children, know that the city is perfect for a family stay.

The visits and activities to do are varied and can satisfy everyone’s tastes. Children will especially like:

  • The Mercado San Miguel with its colors, its flavors and its unlimited tastings
  • The impressive Royal Palace
  • The Sans Ginès chocolate factory (obviously!)
  • Picnic and/or boat trip in Retiro Park
  • The Bernabe stadium u if they are football fans.

If you have kids and they like rides, you can replace the guided tour on day four or day five with a day at Warner Park.

It is an amusement park located on the outskirts of Madrid and which allows you to spend a good day of fun with the family. Round-trip shuttles allow you to get there easily and are to be reserved at the same time as your entrance tickets.

Information and reservations for Warner Park by clicking here!

If they are too small for amusement parks, you can also take them to Madrid Zoo Aquarium which is one of the largest in Spain.

Entrance tickets to Madrid Zoo can be  purchased directly here!

Madrid itinerary 5 days
Mercado San Miguel Stall

More things to do and see in Madrid in 5 days

This itinerary to visit Madrid and its surroundings in 5 days is already super complete, but if you want to add or modify my program of visits a little, I advise you to consult my detailed tourist guide .

You will find there all the things to do in the Spanish capital. Perfect for concocting a route perfectly adapted to your tastes during this 5-day vacation in Madrid.

To read without further delay by clicking here: What to do in Madrid? The ultimate guide!

Map of your 5 day Madrid itinerary

To help you visualize your itineraries during these 5 days in Madrid, I made you a map listing the places to visit day by day. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow. You will then be able to view the routes for each day.

Need help organizing your 5 day Madrid itinerary? Do not hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments.

Are you going to Spain? Read also

Discover all our articles on Spain: all articles on Spain are listed here.

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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