A trip to Madrid, Toledo, Aranjuez and Segovia

We recently spent ten days sightseeing and having fun in Madrid, Toledo, Aranjuez, Segovia and a car-trip around La Mancha. Here are some of our highlights, and recommendations on things to do and things to skip.

To listen, hit play below or find episode 243 in iTunes or Soundcloud:



  • See the Templo de Debod.
  • Have a cheap lunch at the Museo del Jamon (€8-9 for a set menu).
  • Visit the royal palace complex, gardens and museums.
  • Enjoy the view and reading space in the town hall.
  • Visit the Prado for free, after 6pm.
  • Relax in Parque Retiro — there’s lots to see there too.
  • Wander around and admire the architecture.


Toledo is awesome.


  • Enjoy the mix of architectural styles. There’s strong elements of Jewish, Islamic and Christian influence.
  • Visit the Spanish military museum.
  • Duck inside the Cathedral crypt, and pay to enter the rest if you like what you see.
  • See Roman, Moorish, and Christian buildings at the Cristo de la Luz mosque.
  • Visit one or two of the many churches and synagogues
  • Cross to the Parador for a full-city view and a drink on the balcony.


So much of this city is a UNESCO site. Amazing!

Plaza in Aranjuez


  • Visit the Royal Palace.
  • Wander the gardens and admire the statues and fountains.
  • Enjoy the opulence before it fades.
  • We saw people kayaking the river, and that looked fun.


Aqueduct in Segovia, Spain


  • Marvel at the 2,000+ year-old aqueduct. How high! How straight!
  • Walk slowly through town to the Alcázar.
  • Eat roast piglet — but it’s pricey! We settled for a kebab instead.

You can read more about our trip in these two diary posts: our Spanish holiday and Sun and sangria in Castilla-La Mancha; but I really recommend listening to the podcast too. Hit play at the top of the post, or check for episode 243 in iTunes.

Your thoughts on "Things to do near Madrid podcast"

  • Excellent list! Spain's architecture is so beautiful and full of culture!

    on July 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm Reply
    • Yes, there were so many more things we did that we just didn't have time to talk about. Spain really plows money into its architecture, which -- along with some epic countryside -- makes its cities a joy to explore.

      on July 24, 2012 at 3:17 am Reply
  • Been to Segovia and Toledo, great cities. The aqueduct in Segovia is one of the best in Europe.

    on August 6, 2012 at 8:04 am Reply
    • Hi Stephen, yes - we were stunned by it. As we said in the show, we really didn't have many expectations... and it was something else!

      on August 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm Reply
  • Central Spain is one of my favorite parts of Europe. Just returned from Madrid, Segovia and Toledo and had a fantastic time. Looking forward to bringing a group of photography enthusiasts to the same locations, plus Barcelona, in September 2012, and then again in September 2013. I call Spain "the other Italy," it's just as wonderful, less crowded and a bit less expensive, plus they're really good at futbol!

    on August 6, 2012 at 11:47 am Reply
    • Such a shame we missed you, Ralph! We might be down in Barcelona again in November, so we'll miss you again! Spain definitely compares with Italy in terms of things to see, do, and eat.

      on August 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm Reply
  • Such a nice article about Toledo! I'm planning a few days trip around Madrid, and friends told me that Toledo is really close, so one day could be there... But what I dont know, what is the best way to get from the airport to madrid city centre? I don't want to lose much time of travelling and getting lost... How are the taxis? And the transfers? I found this company: transfer2airports do you know anything about them? Is the public transport easy enough? Thank you a lot!

    on August 2, 2016 at 5:04 pm Reply
    • Hi! It's really easy to get to the city centre by public transport, we usually used a bus or metro train. Don't bother with private transfers!

      on August 4, 2016 at 5:13 pm Reply

Would you like to leave a comment?