24 hours in Madrid

Madrid has so many attractions that you could spend weeks in the city and still not visit all of the amazing sites.

On a recent business trip, I connected thru Madrid, Spain. With less than 24 hours in the city, I chose to stay at the AC Hotel Recoletos for its proximity to the airport and central location to a significant amount of sites within walking distance. Read my recent hotel review of the AC Hotel Recoletos.

If you’re spending less than 24 hours in Madrid and want to take an easy stroll thru the city, these are the places to visit:

Puerta de Alcalá

The Puerta de Alcalá is one of the five old royal gates that gave access to the city of Madrid. It is located in the center of the roundabout of Independence Square and gave access to those travelers who formerly entered the town from France, Aragon or Catalonia.

Plaza de Cibeles

The Plaza de Cibeles is one of the most symbolic of the capital.  It divides the limits of the districts Centro, Retiro and Salamanca.

In In the center of the plaza you will find the famous fountain of Cibeles which was sculpted in 1782. On each of the four corners of the plaza you will find four emblematic buildings – The Buenavista Palace or Army Headquarters, the Palace of Linares or House of America, the Palace of Communications which currently serves as the headquarters of the Mayor of Madrid and finally the Bank of Spain.

Puerta del Sol

The Puerta del Sol is the so-called Kilometer Zero of the Spanish radial roads. The oldest building in the Puerta del Sol is the Casa de Correos The Post Office). Here you will also view the tower clock that was built and donated in the 19th century by José Rodríguez de Losada. This bells of the tower clock mark the traditional take of twelve grapes of the Spanish culture.

The Gran Via

The Gran Vía is one of the main avenues in Madrid.  It extends from Alcala Street to the Plaza of Spain.  It is also known as Madrid’s broadway and a must see after dark.

Where to eat

Spain is known for its Sidra (Cider), wines and tapas. When you visit Madrid, you must eat at Sidreria el Tigre. In fact, don’t even order food. For every drink of choice you order, you will be served one complimentary platter of tapas enough for a family of 4. Beware, order 4 drinks and you will be served 4 tapas so make plan this around lunch or if you plan to skip dinner.


Madrid is a must visit city. You can make it your main destination for a few weeks, a few days or just fly thru to get a taste of the amazing cuisine, drinks and sites.