How to get there
Direct flights from Boston to Madrid on Delta Airlines start at $457. The lowest round-trip airfare from Boston to Madrid at press time was $492 on Delta.
Alcala is a good day trip from Madrid. A cab to Alcala from the airport costs about $39. Taking the Metro (Madrid's subway) and the Cercania (a light rail for regional travel) avoids traffic and costs about $7.
On the Cervantes Train, which runs some weekends, actors in period dress perform short skits and serve pastries. About $18 for adults, $11.50 for children. Includes a guided tour of the city. Train leaves Atocha Station at 11 a.m. and returns at 7 p.m. Check with the tourist office for dates.
What to do
Guided tours are available throughout the day. Stop at one of the town's two tourist offices for a free map and advice, or visit one of the websites listed here for information before you go. Nearly every corner in the historic part of the city has a sign pointing to the nearest office and attractions.