If you are coming to Madrid for just one day, the best option is to follow this route so you can see the main spots
How to get to the city center
First, from the airport, the fastest but most expensive way is is to get a Taxi (30€), the price is fixed, You can get also an Uber or Cabify.
The other option if you are on a budget travel, is to get the Metro. For that you will need to buy a red card for public transport, (3€), to fill it with 1 single trip costs (1,5€) and you have to pay also the airport supplement (3€).
You can buy those tickets at the metro entrance, If you have landed in the terminal 4, there is a metro entrance there, and if you have landed on the terminal 1,2 or 3, you may have to walk to terminal 2.
From the airport terminal, you have to take the line 8 (pink) to Nuevos Ministerios Station, and then take the line 10 (dark blue) to Plaza de España, that is where we will start our route
1) Plaza de España
Plaza de España (Spain Square) is where we start our day, it’s a large square and popular tourist destination located in central Madrid, it features a monument to Miguel de Cervantes and is adjacent to two of Madrid’s most prominent skyscrapers. In one of them, the Riu Hotel, you can go up, and see amazing views of the city. Sadly if you are visiting between 2020 and 2021 most of the Plaza will be closed as its being reformed, but it’s still a good point to start, as from there we can get to the Debod Temple in a 7 minutes’ walk
2 Debod Temple
The Debod temple is an Egyptian temple dating back to the 2nd century BC (it´s the oldest building in the city) and it was transported to Madrid piece by piece. The temple was donated to Spain by the Egyptian government to save it from floods following the construction of the great Aswan Dam. You can go inside for free, but as you don’t have much time, keep walking till the end of the park where you can see an amazing viewpoint of the city and the Casa de Campo.
After watching the views go back from where you have come from, and go straight and right to the Sabatini Gardens
3 Sabatini Gardens
The Sabatini Gardens are part of the Royal Palace in Madrid, from them you can get an amazing view just from the frontal lake. They honor the name of Francesco Sabatini (1722–1797), an Italian architect of the 18th century who designed, among other works at the palace, the royal stables of the palace, previously located at this site. After you have finished seeing the gardens, go up trough the stairs at the left so you can go to the main street that leads to the Royal Palace. Just in front of the gardens door there is an Icecream shop called Palazzo with really delicious Italian icecreams.