The beautiful and imposing city of Madrid is much more than just a magnificent city full of historic buildings, museums, towers, and people who live at an intense pace. If you can see beyond the city’s structures, you will find endless towns and small villages, quiet and beautiful, where nature and calm rhythm are part of the routine.
If you are planning your vacations or processing your trip to take spanish lessons Madrid, you undoubtedly think that you already have a clear idea of all the corners to visit. Of course, you should see the classic monuments and touristic places of the city, such as La Cibeles, La Gran Vía, etc., but surely you are not aware that, less than an hour away from the city, the Community of Madrid host spectacular corners.
It seems as if it were “Another Madrid”, totally opposed to the cosmopolitan city, which is unknown to the vast majority of tourists who visit it (even for many Madrilenians as well).
It is that Madrid has a lot to offer beyond the capital. There are incredible places to discover just a few kilometers from the city. So, if you are on vacation or have traveled to learn spanish in madrid, we would like to recommend that you take a tour to some of the places that we will mention below.
We recommend that you reserve one or two days of your trip to be able to visit the surroundings of Madrid to delight yourself with its stunning landscapes, imposing castles and magical towns. These are small and charming towns or villages that are located on the outskirts of the city. So you can discover new corners, away from the crowded classic touristic spots.
These are fascinating places in the Community and easily accessible from the capital. We hope you can visit them all!
It is located 45 km from the capital, to the southeast. This town was declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1974. Although it was granted the title of city by Alfonso XIII, it only has 5,000 inhabitants, which is why it maintains the air of a town.
Chinchón is well known for its Plaza Mayor, which has an irregular shape and from which you can spot around 203 green balconies of famous style architecture. This square is the heart of the town; therefore, it is the specific meeting point for both locals and tourists.
It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful towns in the Community of Madrid. Here you can try typical dishes, such as sautéed gizzards, or roast lamb, in a place like La Balconada. You can also try the El Bodegón restaurant, which is located in El Parador, famous for its pot of Pedrosillano chickpeas or its meatballs.
Next to the square is the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, completed in 1626. Inside, you can see “the Assumption of the Virgin”, a painting painted by Goya, who was in love with this town.
Patones de Arriba
It is really one of the most beautiful villages on the outskirts of Madrid. It is a small town that belongs to the municipality of Patones, whose main characteristic is its black architecture because it is built with slate stone.
Its origin dates back to the 16th century, and it managed to survive all this time thanks to its livestock and agricultural activity. Patones de Arriba was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in the 1990s.
It is ideal for walking through its beautiful steep streets, while you observe the landscape adorned with flowers that contrast with the black houses. You can also enjoy a delicious dish in one of its charming restaurants. You should also visit its main monuments, such as the Canal de Isabel II Aqueduct, the Church of San José, or the Hermitage of the Virgen de la Oliva.
In addition, very close to this town is the Dehesa de la Oliva, where archaeological remains are from the Paleolithic era to the Middle Ages.
Buitrago del Lozoya
Located in the Sierra Norte de Madrid is Buitrago del Lozoya, a small town where it seems that time has stopped. One of those towns makes you fall in love at first sight.
It was declared a National Monument, a Historic-Artistic Site, and a Site of Cultural Interest. This medieval town has one of the best-preserved walls in Madrid; it is also home to a beautiful castle, a museum displaying works by Picasso, and the Casa del Bosque.
Visiting this town is like traveling back in time. The Mendoza castle dates back to the 14th century and is one of the town’s main attractions. It is built in brick with a Mudejar design, practically square in shape and fortified with seven towers, each of them made with a different structure. Another great attraction is the Iglesia Santa María del Castillo, which dates back to the beginning of the 16th century. You should also visit the Clock Tower, which is 16 meters high. The town also preserves bunkers and trenches from the Civil War due to the fact that the Somosierra front passed near there.
San Lorenzo de El Escorial
A town that owes its fame to the best known Monastery, the Monastery of El Escorial. If this building were located in the city of Madrid, it would be one of the most visited and well-known monuments.
San Lorenzo de El Escorial is located 47 kilometers from the capital and is a truly unique place. Here you can see the building that was considered the Eighth Wonder of the World, where the remains of the kings of Spain are found. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984.
This town also has a train pulled by a locomotive from the 20th century and several restaurants where you can taste traditional cuisine. There are options for all tastes, both traditional and more modern, whatever your preference, here you will love the food.