One of the best things about living in Madrid is that you can easily escape the city center and take a wonderful day-trip or weekend getaway in one of Madrid’s surrounding towns. By car or public transport, you can get to Madrid’s beautiful surrounding towns and discover some of the world’s oldest universities, cathedrals, monasteries and historic monuments. Don’t forget to try some of the towns specialty dishes and other goodies such as Segovia’s suckling pig or sweet and sugary egg yolks, also known as yemas from Avila. These towns also have natural swimming pools, mountains, hiking trails and other adventure activities.
So here’s a list of the most must-see towns near Madrid, plus a few things you should know about each one. Click on each town below or our category link “How to get to” for a more in-depth post on each place on this list, and all the different ways to get there. Some of these towns, such as Rascafría or Acalá de Henares are just a short bus ride away. Madrid’s Cercanías train is another perfect form of public transport and can take you to cities like, Aranjuez or Cercedilla.
Madrid’s Surrounding Towns
- Alcalá de Henares: free tapas and Cervantes’ home
- Aranjuez: royal gardens and palace
- Avila: old surrounding wall from medieval times, cathedral of Avila
- Buitrago de Lozoya: castle and large reservoir
- Cercedilla: mountains great for hiking, biking, swimming (natural pool) and other adventure activities
- Cuenca: cathedral of Cuenca, hanging houses and lamb
- El Escorial: monastery, Valle de los Caídos (20th-century war memorial)
- Rascafría: nature, restaurant El Paular, monastery of El Paular, hiking trails, natural pool, and a waterfall
- Segovia: Roman aqueduct, cochinillo (suckling pig), The Jewish Quarter, Alcázar of Segovia (castle) and a nearby town called La Granja
- Toledo: where three cultures lived in harmony for centuries (Jewish, Christian and Muslim), museums, and the synagogue of El Transito