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Looking for the best walking tour in Madrid? Lucky you! Why am I saying you’re lucky? First of all, because that means you get to travel to Madrid (AKA my most loved Spanish destination). Second of all, because I’ve gathered a few fellow bloggers’ recommendations to help you pick the right tour for you.
Honestly, I wasn’t always into tours, but I’ve really come to love them. Not as an alternative to wandering the city on my own and exploring it freely, but as another way to get to know the local culture and history.
Good guides are knowledgeable, but also have a contagious passion and a fresh perspective that make all the difference between a great tour and a boring one. So without further ado, here are six of the best walking tours of Madrid!
A CLASSIC FREE WALKING TOUR IN MADRID
By Daniela from Grumpy Camel
I’m not a big fan of walking tours as I like to explore a place at my own pace, but one of my best city experiences is a free tour that I took in Madrid.
It was a gloomy November day in the Spanish capital, and my friend and I found ourselves in Puerta del Sol with no destination in mind. So we decided to join one of the free walking tours that leave from Madrid’s main plaza.
Thanks to our amazing guide Tatiana, we got to explore Madrid’s fascinating history and culture in just under 3 hours. Tatiana runs Ogo Tours, a small tour company, along with her husband, Javier.
Her highly engaging tour took us through the beautiful cobbled streets of Madrid, where we stopped at popular attractions like Plaza Mayor and the Royal Palace of Madrid, as well as lesser-known places, including an old watchmaker and a shoe shop known for its colorful espadrilles.
We also visited Sobrino de Botin, the oldest running restaurant in the world and Hemingway’s favorite Madrid haunt.
I highly recommend Ogo Tours if you want to explore Madrid with a super friendly guide who is very passionate about Madrid and local history.
AN INTRIGUING FOOD TOUR IN MADRID
By Sarah from Sarah Sees the World
The highlight of my short visit to Madrid was the walking tour I took with Secret Food Tours.
This tour is around three and a half hours long, and our guide Jeorge took us through the streets and squares of the centre of Madrid, learning not only about the food we got the chance to try but also the history, culture, sociology, and economy of the city.
The tour included six stops at places the locals go to eat and gastronomic delights, which included delicious cakes and coffee, an unexpected sandwich, vermouth with olive oil, bread, and cheese.
Every Secret Food Tour has one stop with a “secret dish” that you only find out about on the day, and this one was incredibly simple yet delicious.
GOURMET TAPAS AND LOCAL NEIGHBORHOODS TOUR
By Stella from Around the World in 24 Hours
Madrid, like many cities in Spain, is chock-full of incredible food. A visitor to Madrid can have a difficult time knowing where to start eating! Fortunately, Urban Adventures Madrid offers a morning Gourmet Tapas and Local Neighborhoods tour that will take you to the best hidden food spots and markets in Spain’s capital.
You’ll start the tour with freshly made churros and decadent hot chocolate for dipping the churros. Then you’ll find a secret door behind which nuns have been making cookies for decades.
After that, the tour takes you to several local markets. You’ll be able to snack on fresh produce, as well as famous Spanish cheeses. There will even be an opportunity to sip on cava, the sparkling Spanish wine. By the end of the tour, you’ll be so full there will be no need for lunch…and possibly dinner as well!
Alternatively, you can check out other tapas tours in Madrid here.
THE MOST FASCINATING FREE WALKING TOUR IN BARRIO DE LAS LETRAS
One of the best walking tours in Madrid has to be the incredible free 3-hour tour in the arts quarter (also known as the literary quarter or Barrio de las Letras) operated by Strawberry Tours.
This neighborhood was the home of dozens of internationally famous Spanish authors, playwrights, painters, and other cultural figures. If you want to hear the most captivating stories about this area and influential icons like Tirso de Molina and Cervantes, you absolutely have to take this wonderful tour.
From rivalries and haunted legends to funny anecdotes and love stories, I’ve learned so much from my fabulous guide Leticia. She was so knowledgable and made sure to keep things interesting (instead of sounding like a history lesson).
Good to know: You’re welcome to leave a tip at the end of the tour. In this particular case, you’ll be happy to know that Strawberry Tours takes these donations and invests them in the local community.
VEGAN TAPAS TOUR
By Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan
The tour focuses on the lively Malasaña district and goes to some rather hidden, out-of-the-way cafés, bars and markets that you probably wouldn’t find wandering around on your own.
And the tour is not only for vegans, of course! Foodies of all persuasions will be amazed at the many textures and flavors created from purely plant-based ingredients. The calamari and the patatas con carne will have you questioning whether these dishes are really vegan, but they are!
Madrid Vegan Travel has built relationships with local chefs, some of whom make special new creations each day that are available only to tour participants. Book this tour here!
A CULTURE WALKING TOUR OF OLD TOWN MADRID
By Kim from Travelling Around Spain
This is a tour that delves deep into the traditions and culture of the people of Madrid. The tour takes you to the nooks and crannies of Madrid that most tourists would never find on their own and explains stories of the people who lived there and shaped the city to make it what it is today.
You will wander through the oldest streets of Madrid, find out when and how Madrid became the capital city and how a king dealt with a housing crisis in the 16th century.
You’ll learn about a woman who taught five queens in the 15th century, a bandit who was loved by the people of Madrid to the point songs and legends were written about him (and why he was so adored), a restaurant where Goya worked and a monument that Galileo helped design.
If you are the type of person who walks along a street thinking “if only the stones could talk to tell me the stories about what has happened here in the past,” this is the tour for you.
Read more about Madrid:
- The best 2-day Madrid itinerary
- Non touristy things to do in Madrid
- Tips for visiting Madrid like a Pro
- Where to stay in Madrid
- What to pack for Madrid
- Cafes in Madrid
Have another suggestion for an interesting walking tour of Madrid? Tell me about it in the comments!
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