You know how they say, New York is a good idea? Well, Madrid Spain is an even greater idea. It’s one of my favorites cities to visit in the world, and without a doubt, the place where I wanted to spend my twenty-fifth birthday in. I had so much fun I wanted to share a small itinerary jotting down most of the things I did during my stay. I include a few of my all-time favorite places to dine as well.

48 hours in Madrid



9:00 AM – You want to be a local, not a tourist. Waking up early in Spain is a must if you want to see everything the city of Madrid has in store. Based on your hotel of choice (I recommend Hostal Gala), breakfast at a near coffee shop (there’s one right below, if you stay with Gala) and order a Spanish tostada (French bread, tomato, and olive oil known as Catalan along with an orange juice).

*I know you’re thinking… hostel? It’s actually not. It’s very much a hotel room with your private bathroom and and private room*

10:30 AM – Start your tour at Parque del Retiro (Retiro Park) also known as the green lungs of Madrid.

12:45 PM – Real Jardin Botanico (Royal Botanic Garden) a giant greenhouse for the outdoor lovers.

1:30 PM – Visit the Prado Museum (one of my favorite museums in Madrid) opened Monday – Saturday from 10 AM-8PM and on Sundays opened from 10AM-7PM at a cost of 14 € equivalent to $16.44 (current conversion but expected to change based on how high the euro is at the time of visit).

3:30 PM – Pass through the Fuente de Cibeles (also known as Plaza de Cibeles) a historic landmark that has access to Puerta de Alcala and Palacio Buena Vista. This location has beautiful architecture to pose for that Instagram picture!

4:00 PM – If you are hungry at this time of the tour, stop by this hidden gem Gau&Café Terrace. It is Madrid’s most popular student hangout spot (if you are not a student, it is still one of the best places to brunch because of the view).

5:30 PM – Head over to Plaza Mayor, the iconic square notoriously known in Madrid. Plaza Mayor has a lot to offer to just about anyone. Explore and adventure this area on your own (if traveling solo!) because it’s quite the place to be.

7:30 PM – Visit Mercado de San Miguel just steps away from Plaza Mayor. Known to have the most amazing fresh foods, this is a quick stop you definitely want to make!

8:30 PM – Finish this tour by heading to El Sol or Puerta del Sol (one of my favorite locations) mostly known for the history behind this semi-square it has a lot to offer from local bars, restaurants, shopping stores, ect. Enjoy the bar hop!

*During the summer, the sun leaves around 10PM*


9:00 AM – Españoles have a very small-teeny-tiny breakfast. It is the smallest meal they have the entire day.  For today, start your day with their typical Coffee (Café con Leche) and potato omelet (Tortilla de Patata). If you are interested in one of my favorite breakfast spots (serves vegan options!!) go to  PUM PUM CAFE.

10:30 AM – You can’t visit Madrid without visiting the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, even if you’re not a Madridista.

The stadium is opened Monday – Saturday from 10AM-7:30PM and on Sundays from 10:30AM-6:30PM (these times are for non-match days) the price is a firm 19 € equivalent to $22.31 (current conversion but expected to change based on how high the euro is at the time of visit).

1:00 PM – Take a quick stop at Templo de Debod. (I only suggest this if you’re not visiting Rome during your euro trip. This temple is similar to the Roman ruins).

2:00 PM – Next, visit the infamous Royal Palace resident to the royal family (King Felipe and Queen Leticia). Access to the palace is available.  (I did not enter the royal palace because it was closed, but the architecture outside was phenomenal).

4:30 PM – The kings and queens of Spain strolled through the Garden of Sabatini and now you can too for free!

5:00 PM – You are either going to drive by it, walk by it, and pass by it but do know this door is important – Puerta de Toledo.

6:30 PM – If hunger kicks-in, this restaurant is a must but reservation and passwords are needed to dine at the best sandwich spot in all of Madrid. Le Nomad is an underground sandwich pop-up restaurant that changes their menu every month. The location of this restaurant is in Plaza del Callao or Plaza de Callao, 4 Madrid.

8:00 PM – To save the best for last, I want you to visit Gran Via. (If you like New York City’s Broadway, you’re going to love this street as well). There are numerous of things to do here (My favorite was shopping!). I suggest you get lost wandering the streets because there is no better way to enjoy it!

This travel guide was written and crafted 100% by me. You may use and reuse it, but I kindly ask you to tag me if you do decide to use my guides with #jocelynfotografia on your social channels. I appreciate it!

I had so much fun with my loved ones in Spain celebrating my birthday. You can find a similar post like this one here, where I share my experience while living in Toledo, Spain for 30 days. I made the decision to escape reality and go with the flow, which I think you may very much like. I used to spend a few hours in Madrid and that’s how I was able to fall in love with it.