In Madrid and overwhelmed by the incredible variety of things to do, by almost-too-much culture, by the different priorities of your traveling companions? Do you need some air, some green or does your brain need a rest between business meetings or before visiting the next outstanding museum? Take a walk with us!
Whether you’re on vacation, a business trip or a newly arrived resident, Madrid is a city with surprising options for walking. It takes a little more to discover Madrid than cities like Toledo or Barcelona, but just like those places, walking is the best way to get the feel of the city and see things you’d miss in a car or tour bus.
Of course you should explore on your own, but if you’re short on time, want some guidance or an insider’s view on the city…. take a walk with us!
TOP TWELVE CITY WALKS: These walks are classics and offered to INC (local expat club) several times a year. Most are about 3-4 hours long. If the dates are right for you and there is space, you may be able to participate.
Wall Walk: Walk around the perimeter of Madrid’s 12th century wall, with a nod at the 9th century wall. Not much of either wall remains, but this is a great way to discover the oldest part of the city. History, legends, gossip, trivia, and a chance to find streets and squares you might not find on your own.
Old Shops – Plaza Mayor: Traditional commerce near our Main Square: hats, herbs, baskets, espadrilles, traditional kitchen ware, hand-dipped candles and that huge cowbell you want for the front door. Not a shopping trip, but a way to get to know interesting shops so you can go back another time.
Old Shops – Santa Ana: Traditional commerce around Madrid’s best tapa area: ceramics, gloves, candy, a quirky knife store and more. Not a shopping trip, but a way to get to know interesting shops so you can go back another time.
Food Lovers – Center: Yummy tour covering traditional and trendy places for food near the Plaza Mayor. Some restaurants but mostly shops, everything from mushrooms to chocolate to cheese to tea and back again.
Food Lovers – Alonso Martinez: Yummy tour covering traditional and trendy places for food near Alonso Martinez metro. Some restaurants but mostly shops, everything fromchocolate to cheese to oil to honey to ethnic and back again. This tour has been done in one morning in the past, but with many new places popping up it will probably soon be two separate Food Lovers tours.
Discover Chueca: One of the “triplets”, three neighborhoods between the last two lines of city walls, all settled more or less at the same time but with completly different personalities. Chueca is trendy and mostly gay, a fascinating mixture of old and new. Restaurants and clothing boutiques abound, also traditional shops where time seems to have stopped. Not to mention….. shoe heaven!
Discover Dos de Mayo: One of the “triplets”, three neighborhoods between the last two lines of city walls, all settled more or less at the same time but with completly different personalities. Dos de Mayo is funky-retro, packed with bars and boutiques. This neighborhood was the center of the post-Franco cultural explosion called the Movida Madrileña and is still The Place to Be for many people in the arts.
Discover Conde Duque: One of the “triplets”, three neighborhoods between the last two lines of city walls, all settled more or less at the same time but with completly different personalities. Conde Duque is up-and-coming elegant. Its transformation started a little later than the other two neighborhoods but it is well on the way to being a more sedate version of Chueca. Awesome leather store, lots of restaurants and a very eclectic market.
Discover Lavapies: Madrid’s multicultural neighborhood has changed from traditional Madrid to artsy local to Chinese to Moroccan to sub-Saharan to Pakistani in a very short time. Now bits of all those things co-exist; this is a great neighborhood for ethnic restaurants, ethnic grocery stores, people watching and some fun surprises.
Discover the Weekday Rastro: Madrid’s Sunday flea market is an active commercial area during the week, even without the Sunday stands. Come learn the history and the layout so you can get the most out of your Sunday experiences. Borders on Lavapies but is completely different.
Discover Moncloa – Argüelles: A bit newer than other areas explored but still interesting, and with a lot of good shops and restaurants.
Discover San Isidro: Learn about Madrid’s patron saint, his life, his haunts and most importantly, where to go, what to see and what to expect for the big mid-May celebration for San Isidro, the kickoff for Madrid’s outdoor street party season. Always done late April or early May.
OTHER CITY WALKS: Offered less frequently but things to watch for: Civil War history walk in the Casa de Campo, Discover Plaza de España – Parque Oeste; Discover Off Gran Via; Park walks like La Cornisa, Madrid Rio, Quinta de los Molinos – and more under development.
Click HERE to see photos of Madrid City
Click HERE to see Madrid Country Walks