The Madrid region is a year-round destination as it always offers a huge variety of attractions and activities geared towards all types of audiences. In this post, we’ll tell you all about the must-dos to make sure that you have an amazing getaway in the region.
The Landscape of Light
In 2021, UNESCO added to its World Heritage Site list the so-called ‘Landscape of Light’, an area that includes the Paseo del Prado, the Buen Retiro Park and the Landscape of the Arts and Sciences.
We recommend starting off the route by visiting some of the city’s most important museums, such as the Prado or the Thyssen-Bornemisza. Once your cultural visit is over, you can enjoy a well-deserved break in Madrid’s green haven, the Buen Retiro Park. Take a leisurely stroll around to admire the Paseo de las Estatuas, the Parterre Gardens, the impressive Palacio de Cristal, the Fountain of the Fallen Angel and the Cecilio Rodríguez Gardens, followed by a delicious picnic, a drink on a terrace or a boat ride on the Estanque del Retiro. Round off your trip to the wonderful Landscape of Light by heading towards the Palacio de Cibeles, the Casa de América or the imposing Puerta de Alcalá.
The Strawberry Train
To continue exploring the cultural life of the Madrid region, the Strawberry Train is definitely one of the best options. Opened in 1984, it’s a true journey through time and space, following the route of the region’s first ever railway that linked the city of Madrid to the Aranjuez Cultural Landscape, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The tour starts off at the former Madrid-Delicias Station, which now houses the Madrid Railway Museum, where you’ll be welcomed by a group of actors who will accompany you throughout the trip, recreating the history of the train and Aranjuez. Once in the town, you can visit numerous cultural, natural and culinary attractions, while on the way back you’ll get to savour the famous Aranjuez strawberries.
The Cervantes Train
Another of the historic trains that will enrich your trip to the Madrid region is the Cervantes Train, which this year celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary. The train pays tribute to Spain’s most famous literary figure, Miguel de Cervantes, who was born in Alcalá de Henares.
It departs from Atocha Station and heads to Alcalá, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the journey includes entertainers performing excerpts from Cervantes’ first ever novel, Don Quixote.
San Lorenzo de El Escorial in the summer
If you’re visiting the region in the summer, San Lorenzo de El Escorial is definitely one of the best options, famous for being home to the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, listed as a Historic-Artistic Monument since 1931 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. You can also discover other iconic places such as the Frailes Garden, the viewpoint in the Adolfo Suárez Park, the Casas de los Oficios, the Cocheras del Rey, the Casita del Príncipe, the Real Coliseo de Carlos III, the Museo del Coliseo and the Bosque de la Herrería.
What’s more, the town this year became the first in the Madrid region to receive the Family Tourism Seal, so it’s a perfect place for visiting with kids. In summer, it also plays host to a fascinating agenda of events that includes concerts, storytelling sessions, exhibitions, film screenings, etc.
Rural tourism in the Sierra Norte
To truly feel at one with nature, head up to the Sierra Norte de Madrid, an area made up of forty-two villages that covers the northern part of the region. Attractions here include the Sierra del Rincón (declared a Biosphere Reserve), the Lozoya River Basin and its spectacular mountainous massif, and the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, among many others.
Dining past and present
Another must-do is savouring local cuisine at centuries-old restaurants, such as the Restaurante Botín (1725), where you can enjoy the best roast pork and lamb, the Taberna Antonio Sánchez (1787), the oldest in the city and famous for its excellent Madrid cuisine, and Lhardy (1839), which depicts the splendour of Spanish haute cuisine.
The gastro markets in the city of Madrid will also entice you. Some of the most popular are the Mercado de San Ildefonso, the Mercado de San Miguel, the Mercado de Antón Martín, the Mercado de Vallehermoso and the Mercado de Chamberí.
Ready to enjoy the Madrid region like never before?