- 2.5-hour private walking tour of Madrid’s Los Austrias neighborhood with an expert local guide
- Learn about the Habsburg dynasty and see the architectural legacy it left on Madrid
- See the Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real) and hear about the Bourbon kings who once lived there
- Admire the architecture of the city’s oldest church, Iglesia de San Nicolás de los Servitas
- Visit the colorful food market of Mercado de San Miguel, and then relax in Plaza Mayor
What You Can Expect
Continue along Calle Mayor, admiring elegant 17th-century palaces like Palacio de Abrantes and Palacio de Uceda, and then stop for photos in front of Madrid’s oldest church – Iglesia de San Nicolás de los Servitas – that was built on the site of a mosque in the 12th century. See its striking bell tower (the only Moorish feature that remains) and then stroll back toward Calle Mayor.
Head to Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid’s trendy covered market that sprawls across Plaza de San Miguel, and browse its gourmet food stores and bustling little bars. Hear tips from your guide for the best stalls to visit, and then continue walking to Plaza Mayor – the centerpiece of the city. Stroll around, soaking up the street theater ambiance that abounds, and pose for pictures in front of the equestrian statue of Felipe III – one of Madrid’s high-profile Bourbon kings.
Pick up the pace on your walk down Calle de Toledo, one of the city’s busiest streets, and pass Iglesia de San Isidro, a beautifully elegant, yet understated, church that was once a cathedral. Amble past Colegio Imperial de Madrid, where many of Madrid’s noblemen and dignitaries have studied, and hear about the Jesuits who once ran this prestigious establishment.
Return toward Plaza Mayor, seeing a series of famous mesones (typical Castilian restaurants) called Cueva de Luis Candelas – and enjoy two final stops before your tour ends. Stop on Calle Bordadores, a street where Madrid’s lace has been made since the 17th century, and then visit Iglesia de San Gines -- a charming 14th-century church that was fully reconstructed after a fire in the late 1800s.
Your tour then finishes on Calle del Arenal, in the center of town, leaving you ideally placed to continue sightseeing independently if you wish. Alternatively, you can finish with a hotel drop-off.
There was only the two of us, which was wonderful. Our guide was the sweetest elderly gentleman who was obviously proud to be from Madrid, and more than happy to show it off to foreigners. We saw the major highlights, and got lots of history. A slower pace that we thought it would be, more of a casual stroll, but we enjoyed it immensely.
We really enjoyed this tour and would highly recommend it. It's a great way to get to know the city better and our guide was very knowledgeable and interesting. Our lovely guide also gave us some excellent recommendations for restaurants including a wonderful authentic paella restaurant. If you are dong this in summer - start your tour early morning to avoid the heat and crowds.