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THE MORE EXPERIMENTS YOU MAKE THE BETTER.

Madrid Historical Walking Tour

The English novelist Zadie Smith has called Madrid a “beautiful, unknowable city”, and she’s at least half-right. Much of that beauty and mystery is concentrated in the historic centre, where centuries of monarchs, matadors, and merchants have walked the narrow lanes and cobbled plazas. This tour follows in their footsteps to the grand architectural landmarks and hidden corners of Austrias  – the princely quarter around the Royal Palace, designed by the Hapsburg kings to resemble their native Vienna – and neighbouring Barrio de las Letras, once home to the great poets and playwrights of the Spanish Golden Age. En route you’ll take in the imposing classical facade of the Congress building, the glorious forum of Plaza Mayor, and the monumental, old-world Palace Hotel, where past guests include Sigmund Freud, Mata Hari, and Marie Curie. 

Our convivial historian shares trade secrets and local legends while leading you behind these facades to a flamenco tablao, a bullfighter’s bar, an elegant array of tapas counters inside the iconic iron-and-glass food hall of Mercado San Miguel. Down the wonky, witchy Cuchilleros Street you’ll enter the cellar of the world’s longest-serving restaurant to hear stories from the life and times of bygone diners like Ernest Hemingway. And by time you break for coffee at a 1930s cafe, you’ll realise this city is not so unknowable when you’re with the right guide.

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What to Expect

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Top sites include the Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace, the Congress building, The Palace Hotel, Barrio de las Letras, Barrio de los Austrias – including Cuchilleros street & Mercado San Miguel.

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Walk in the footsteps of monarchs, matadors, and merchants throughout Madrid’s oldest quarters, filled with narrow lanes and cobbled plazas.

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Bend your ear to hear your art historian spill trade secrets and tell you all about local legends.

Details & Booking

Available: Everyday
Meeting Place: Plaza Santa Ana, next to the statue of Federico Lorca.
Meeting Times: 11am
Duration: 3 hours
What’s included: A guided tour and a coffee at a 1930s cafe.

  • Please wear comfortable shoes.

How about a Spanish wine tasting after a morning filled with history?