Barcelona to madrid

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Estimated average budget per person: 600€

(hotels, meals, activities and local transportation includedd)  

4 day Barcelona to madrid Vacation helps you in your travel planning with ideas and recommendations. We do not sell travel, we simply provide the best recommendations.

Enjoy Spain´s 2 main cities in a short 4 day Barcelona to Madrid vacation. Fantastic airport connections to most countries andhigh speed train to get to Madrid or Barcelona make this a perfect combination to enjoy Mediterrean and Gaudi architecture in Barcelona. Tapas and art in Madrid… not to forget about soccer, shopping, nightlife…

Both cities offer great day excursion opportunities in case you would like to extent your stay

Vacation itinerary trip plan and budget in a nutshell

At Makesdpain we work hard to find the best trip ideas for you in Spain. We do not sell travel. We would however appreciate if some of the services proposed are booked through the links you will find. By doing so you help us in our aim to provide great content and trip advise.

Our budgets are based on average costs if you enjoy the different activities mentioned. Please bear in mind that prices vary from month to month, or also in case of special events at the city. 

You can add any of the elements we recommend to your Barcelona and Madrid trip plan list to ease your planning


Budget estimation
145 estimated per person
  • Casa Batló - Skip the line
  • Walk to La Rambla
  • Enjoy La Boquería market
  • Tapas meal
  • Gothic quarter
  • Paella by the sea
  • Well-located hotel


Budget estimation
160 per person
  • Sagrada Familia - Skip the line
  • Park Güell
  • Quick meal
  • Walk Calle verdi
  • Catalan dinner
  • Well located hotel


Budget estimation
260 per person
  • High speed train to Madrid
  • Check-in at hotel
  • El Retiro Park
  • Light tapas meal
  • Goya & Serrano
  • El Prado Museum
  • Flamenco and dinner


Budget estimation
155 per person
  • Gran Via and Sol
  • Plaza Mayor
  • Tapas meal at Mercado San Miguel
  • Royal Palace
  • Debod Temple
  • Fine dining or tapas in Plaza Santa Ana

Hotel options during your stay in Barcelona


Estimated walking time

1 hour – 3 hours

On day 1 of this Madrid and Barcelona vacation we recommend to enjoy a bit of Gaudi at Casa Batló, a walk in Las Ramblas to get the pulse of Barcelona and to experience the Gothic area and Barcelona´s Cathedral. 

Hotels: We provide 3 alternatives for different budgets, all of them are great hotels and well located to enjoy the itinerary. 

Restaurants: We recommend light lunch (tapas like) and a quality dinner to enjoy a special area of Barcelona

Barcelona Day 1 - Recommended itinerary

Casa Batlló in Barcelona

You must visit the noble floor and the museum, where the interplay of shadows and lights is absolute

cat-icon Passeig de Gràcia, 92

Las Ramblas in Barcelona

Las Ramblas is the place where you will feel the real oulse of the city

cat-icon La Rambla, Barcelona

La Boquería market in Barcelona

La Boquería is a must for foodies because you will sense the fantastic mix of aromas and flavours wh

cat-icon  La Rambla, 91, Barcelona

Gothic Quarter of Barcelona – Charm, and History

One of the most beautiful areas of Barcelona is the Gothic Quarter, located in the old town of the c

cat-icon Barrio Gotico Barcelona

Barcelona Cathedral – Saint Eulalia

Shadowed to many by the Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of Saint Eulalia is a real master piece and w

The itinerary for the day

Insider´s hints

Near Casa Batló

One of the best book shops in Barcelona is located at less than 10 minutes walk: Livreria La Central at  Carrer de Mallorca 237 .

If you are not into books but into fashion M69 is a great shop for you and very close to Casa Batló.

La Rambla

Some of Barcelona´s oldest shops can be found in La Rambla and the Gothic. 

Casa Beethoven (La Rambla 97)is Barcelona´s oldest music shop. 

Casa Cotchet J.Xanco (La Rambla 129) is one of Barcelona´s protected shops. Fantastic modernist decoration inside. They sell high quality men´s fashion.

Gothic Quarter

Casa Gispert (Carrer dels Sombrerers, 23) is one of Barcelona´s oldest food shops. Opened in 1851, a great selection of products can be found. The atmosphere is very special.

Abracadabra book shop (Carrer del General Álvarez de Castro, 5,) is a fantastic bookshop for children. Books in english are available. 



Estimated walking time

1 hour – 3 hours

On day 1 of this vacation you will enjoy the genius of  Gaudi.  His name is almost a byword for Barcelona and his works are a magnet for tourists. 

La Sagrada Familia is Gaudi´s most important, yet unfinished work. With Gothic inspiration but with the aim to emulate nature, Gaudi designed curves and frames that provide with surreal qualities. 

Restaurants. We provide you with different options to enjoy local gastronomy in Barcelona

Barcelona Day 2 - Recommended itinerary

Sagrada Familia- Barcelona

The Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family, known only as the Sagrada Familia, is The symb

cat-icon Carrer de Mallorca, 401

Park Güell- Barcelona

Modernist architecture and fantastic views of Barcelona. A superb experience.

cat-icon parc Güell, Barcelona

The itinerary for the day

Insider´s hints

Sagrada Familia

We strongly recommend to start your visit at opening hours to avoid crowds. A skip the line ticket is also advisable. If this not possible, the you should opt for the latest possible time but always with light to enjoy the stained glass windows!. As a matter of fact, if there is a sunnier day during your stay we would recommend that one to enjoy the interior of Sagrada Familia. 

5 minutes walk from Sagrada Familia you will find Bodega Iturre, where you can enjoy a traditional bar that has not changed much through the years. 

Park Güell

A 30 minute walk is needed from Sagrada Familia to arrive at Parl Güell. We would recommend using a taxi if a 30 minute walk seems long (public transportation does not offer a good combination)

What to do after visiting Park Güell? We would recommend you walk down Gracia neighbourhood once you finish your visit to Park Güell. Calle verdi is your best option to enjoy local atmosphere and a bit of shopping. You can stop at Plaça Virreina and enjoy views of the church and then continue to walk to Avenida Diagonal where you will be able to take the metro. 


Alternatives in Barcelona based on your travel style

We propose a different hotel, activity and restaurant most suited to different type of travellers. 


Hotel options during your stay in Madrid


Estimated walking time

1,5 hours – 2,5 hours

On day 1 in Madrid we propose you to enjoy an oasis of greenery, tapas and culture.  The Retiro park was built as a preserve for kings but since 1868 it was opened to the public and it is one of our favorite places in Madrid. Another highlight of the day is the spectacular Palacio de Comunicaciones (today the town hall) Out of the 3 art-galleries in Paseo del Prado we have opted for el PRado, but Reina Sofia or the Thyseen museum may be more suited to your taste… or you may prefer to enjoy the wax museum, or the naval museum or the bonatical gardens near the Retiro park (all 3 perfectly located within this itienrary too) 

Madrid Day 1 - Recommended itinerary

The itinerary for the day

Insider´s hints

Atocha train station

Take one of the earliest trains from Barcelona to enjoy the day in Madrid. The main area at Atocha station is a fantastic example of civil architecture with an iron and glass structure and tropical garden inside. 

El Retiro Park

Do not miss the Palacio de Cristal, the Retiro´s most beautiful monument. We recommend to start your walk from the entrance closest to the Prado museum. The Retiro is one of the few places in the world with a statue dedicated to the Fallen Angel (Lucifer). Your visit should include a stop at one of the terraces near the lake or the Paseo de Carruajes. We recommend to leave the Retiro from Puerta de Alcala, Madrid´s most famous Gate.

Tapas like a Madrileño  If you would like to enjoy tapas like Madriñeos do we recommend you exist the Retiro in Avenida Menendez Pelayo and get to streets Doctor Castelo and Menorca where many bars await you.  You can continue your itinerary in Goya and Serrano streets. These streets are one of Madrid´s main shopping districts. Serrano is home to some of the most exclusive shops in town. If you opt to walk from El Retiro straight to Plaza de Colón you will also find many bars and restaurants with tapas menu. 

Near Plaza de Colón If you are fond of chocolate you will find one of Madrid´s best shops near Colon (Cacao Sampaka) behind the romantic park of Plaza de la Villa de Paris.  Plaza de Santa Barbara is very close too, a local´s favorite for cañas ((the way locals refer to beer)

Recoletos and Cibeles. Cafe Gijón is one of Madrid´s most famous coffee-shops with lots of history.

At Cibeles (the square where real Madrid fans celebrate when the team wins a championship) you may decide to visit the City Hall. Views from the upper terrace are fantastic. 



Estimated walking time

1 hour – 3 hours

On day 2 you will enjoy the Madrid where the Royal power seated. But you will also enjoy fantastic Plazas!  The itinerary will take you first through Gran Via and Puerta del Sol, 2 of Madrid´s most reknown areas. Sol is meant to be Spain´s 0 kilometer. Plaza Mayor follows., one of the most beautiful plazas in Spain. We recommend to enjoy tapas in Mercado San Miguel and then head to the 3rd beautiful Plaza of the Day: Plaza de la Villa, which offers a deep contrast to the Plaza de Oriente which overlooks both the royal palace and the opera house. Our itinerary ends in Templo de Debod, where you will enjoy the best views of the city!

Insider´s hints

Gran Via and Sol

We recommend to start the itinerary drinking a coffee at one of the best terraces in Madrid (Hotel Principal or, on the other side of street, Círculo de bellas Artes). Do not miss the Metropolis and the Telefonica building (once the highest building in Madrid). 

The clock in Sol hosts every New year´s eve the count-down for the start of the New year. 

Plaza de Oriente

If you would appreciate to try a good paella or high quality cocido you will find 2 good options near the Opera House (El pato mudo for paella and La Bola for Cocido) 

La Almudena Cathedral and San Francisco el Grande

From San Miguel market you may decide to get to the Royal Palace through the Latina area instead of calle Mayor and Plaza de la Villa.. You will find some of Madrid best bars in Cava Baja and Cava Alta (and also Lucio restaurant).  If you enjoy a bit of atmosphere we recommend you to stop at the terrace of el Viajero. At the end of this “tapas detour” you will find la Basilica de San Francisco el Grande, which holds Madrid´s largest dome. From there you can continue to the Cathedral and the Royal Palace. 





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