Yes, we can show you all the “must sees” usually mentioned in the guide books, but we can also customize the tour according to your interests and desires.
Madrid is a city of barrios, or neighbourhoods, each with its distinctive feel and flavour. There’s the gentrified Malasana with its vibrant and cool scene and a myriad of bars, cafes and restaurants offering everything from traditional tapas to American cupcakes and gourmet burgers. Neighbouring Chueca never sleeps and is the heart of Madrid’s gay community with countless clubs and lounges. Madrid de Austrias, on the other hand, is the historic cradle of the city, with some of the most impressive architectural gems, including the Royal Palace, Opera, Cathedral de la Almudena, Plaza Mayor, etc. Barrio de Las Letras, as the name suggests, is known as the former home of some of Spain’s most important literary personalities, as evidenced by the plaques found along its main and most lively street, Calle Huertas, lined with countless restaurants, boutiques, cafes and bars. La Latina and Lavapies, on the other hand, are the city’s “hippiest” and most multicultural barrios, with some of the most interesting culinary spots offering a wide range of international cuisine, a heaven for antique lovers (and by that I’m not referring just to the weekly Rastro flee market) and for admirers of art (with a number of galleries that offer free exhibitions changing on monthly basis).
We can take you on a walking tour that will wind its way through the most interesting parts of these barrios with stops at places that, in our opinion, offer a glimpse into the real Madrid… This includes a candy store that sells Madrid’s beloved sweets made of real violets (yes, the flowers); bakeries that offer the city’s best warm Napolitanas or heart-shaped Palmeras covered with chocolate or lemon icing; a place that offers pinchos just as good as those served in San Sebastian; a gallery located in an old tobacco factory that, on a hot summer day, offers a great escape from the outside heat; a roof-top terrace with views of old Madrid’s red-tiled rooftops that can be admired from the terrace’s many beds and reclining chairs while sipping a tinto de verano; a traditional old azulejo-ladden bar serving Madrid’s most emblematic aloholic drink, the vermuth; a range of boutiques and rarity stores where you can be sure to find one of its kind designs and hand-made products often made on the spot (an alternative to the traditional souvenirs, whether for yourself or your loved ones); an old neighbourhood market where, on the weekends, the locals love to meet and chat over a glass of wine or beer with some traditional tapas; and a number of hidden parquettes, fountains, statues and small squares that are known to and loved by Madrilenos, but not necessarily frequented by the tourists.
So, if you’re feeling adventurous and are ready to experience Madrid from the perspective of a local, don’t hesitate to contact us using the form below. Let us know what interests you the most: architecture, art, gastronomy, shopping, etc. and we will make sure to customize a walking tour that will be perfect just for you.
For more visual impressions of Madrid, seen through my eyes, scroll through this album. Many of these places are, or can be, included in the walking tour of the city. Each walking tour is customized according to your interests and instructions, focusing either on the city’s architecture, art, gastronomy, shopping, neighbourhoods, any mixture of these, and anything else you may desire.