While the old Atocha train station in Madrid may now be a shopping center and tropical garden, the new Atocha Station right next door has plenty of train services you can hop onto if you want to get out of the city. In fact, the destinations are so exciting that it’ll be hard to resist making a different day trip from Atocha Station every day while you’re in Madrid.
You can board trains at Atocha Station that will take you to several different UNESCO World Heritage cities or out to the countryside where the Don Quixote stories were created and castles dominate the landscape. There are also unique villages that offer amazing photo opportunities and places where you can hike through ancient beech forests or spend time on a beach.
All you have to do now is drop your bags off at a Madrid Atocha Station luggage storage and make the almost impossible decision of where to go first.
Where To Go On A Day Trip From Madrid Atocha Station
Cordoba is a must-visit when you’re as close as two hours away by train, and that’s all it takes to get from Atocha Station in Madrid to this amazing city. You won’t be bored during the journey either as the train passes through some of the most beautiful countrysides in Spain.
Once you disembark in Cordoba, head straight for the Historic Center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site displaying centuries of architecture built by the different cultures that have occupied the city. If you didn’t get up early and only have time to see three things, make sure they’re the Great Mosque, the Roman Bridge, and, even if you have to get a taxi there, the Alcazar.
If Roman architecture really rocks your boat, then you won’t be able to leave Segovia off your list of day trips to take from Atocha Station. Segovia hosts one of the world’s best examples of Roman engineering in the form of a gigantic aqueduct. The aqueduct straddles the Plaza Azoguejo in the center of the city and is something that has to be seen to be believed.
The Roman aqueduct isn’t the only outstanding structure in Segovia, as there’s also the Alcazar, the cathedral, and the city walls. The best way to spend the day is to take a wander around the cobbled streets of the historic Jewish Quarter, then eat a tapas lunch in the Plaza Mayor before walking up to the Alcazar to enjoy the impressive views.
If you’re someone who likes to give their hiking boots a hard time when you’re having a day out, you’ll want to check the times of trains departing from Atocha Station to Patones. Patones is a unique location just under two and a half hours north of Madrid, where you can explore a mountainside village of unusual slate houses and go trekking on trails through the countryside.
Arrive in Patones and compared to Madrid, it’s a completely different world dominated by the Guadarrama Mountains. While the village is no longer inhabited, you won’t be alone. Drop into the visitor center, and they’ll offer you a guided tour for less than the price of a coffee in the capital.
The trails around and outside of the village are quite steep, so be prepared for a decent leg stretch. Once you’ve worked up an appetite trekking in the mountain air, you’ll be ready for a meal in one of the many restaurants here that are ready and waiting to serve the daily influx of visitors. Expect traditional food, and you won’t be disappointed.
Without a doubt, one of the best day trips you can take from Atocha Station is one that takes you to the east coast of the country and the city of Valencia. Madrid may be the capital, but Valencia has it all. History, stunning architecture, lots of cultural activities, and beaches.
The train ride from Atocha Station to Valencia takes around two hours, so the earlier a start you can get, the better, as there’s so much to explore here. One can’t-miss part of Valencia is the City of Arts and Sciences. Even if you don’t visit any of the museums or the aquarium there, it’s still incredibly impressive.
If you arrive in Valencia equipped with swimwear and towels, you’ll be able to choose between El Cabanyal beach, La Malvarrosa beach, or Patacona beach to spend a couple of hours. If you didn’t, take a stroll along the Paseo Maritimo or treat yourself to an authentic paella at a seafood restaurant in the marina.
When you don’t have time for a long train journey, one place to consider that’s not far from Madrid is Navalcarnero. The historic town is just an hour’s train ride north of the city and is particularly interesting to wine lovers.
Historically, wine and food here were stored in caves, and you can see examples of some underneath the town’s interpretation center. Start to explore the town’s historic center, and it won’t be long before you’re falling through the doors of the Bodega Munoz Martin to sample some wines.
The bodega produces its own wine from grapes grown in its vineyard just outside of the town, so a more locally produced offering would be hard to find. Navalcarnero is still a relatively new town to emerge as a wine destination, so you’ll be able to say – you got there first.
Whatever train you get on at Atocha Station in Madrid will take you somewhere interesting that’s worth exploring. Just be careful not to mistake which platform your train is leaving from, or you could end up in France!