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Walking Tour Madrid: Top Sights of Madrid, Spain

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Hola! Ready to embark on a Free Self Guided Walking Tour in Madrid? From Plaza Mayor to the Prado Museum, this DIY Walking Tour of Madrid highlights the best things to see. You’ll easily navigate your way through lush parks and ornate squares, passing famous sights and some exquisite Madrid architecture along the route. 

Madrid Free Walking Tour: Best Sights of Madrid, Spain

On our first two visits to Madrid, Spain, we were on quick, 24-hour layovers. Both times, we dashed to see the sights of Madrid as quickly as we could. Our sightseeing was done haphazardly – and it was more of a sprint than a Madrid Walking Tour. 

Each time we returned to the Spanish capital for longer stays over the years, we were anxious to truly experience the best sights in Madrid. We compiled a list of the Top Madrid Landmarks, grabbed a Madrid Tourist Map and designed a Walking Tour Madrid Route that provides the perfect introduction to the city. To help others find their way to all the prime sights, we are sharing our Madrid tour for free !

Self-Guided Free Walking Tour Madrid

Our self-guided, free walking tour of Madrid is perfect for those who like to explore at their own pace. Budget travelers and independent travelers will find our free tour of Madrid particularly helpful.

How To Use This Madrid Walking Tour Free Guide

We’ve outlined the top sights to see – including beautiful plazas, decorative churches, food markets and famous museums. For step-by-step directions, use our Walking Tour Madrid Map and provided links to directions. Additionally, we provide pertinent Madrid sightseeing advice and tips that will help you plan your perfect vacation to Spain!

1 Day in Madrid Sightseeing

Our walking tour of Madrid Old Town is about 3 miles long. For ambitious travelers it can be completed in about 2 hours, but that only includes walking the route. We think the best way to enjoy this Madrid Self Guided Walking Tour is to make stops along the way – both for entering sites and tasting the local fare.

In fact, visitors can plan a full day of sightseeing in Madrid, Spain by using our walk as an outlined itinerary. The top sights in Madrid to visit on the route are the Mercado de San Miguel, Almudena Cathedral, Royal Palace and Prado Museum. We also include famous Madrid food recommendations to keep you satiated!

Whether you are spending a day – or one week in Madrid -you can use our Free Walking Tour to start your exploration!

Pin, Bookmark or Save our Walking Tour of Madrid for your trip to Spain!

Walking Tour Madrid, Spain

Puerta del Sol, Christmastime, Madrid, Spain

Are you excited to start our Madrid Free Walking Tour? Before heading off, fuel up with favorite Madrileno fare – either pastries, jamon or a squid sandwich.

Pasteleria La Mallorquina (established in 1894) is a traditional bakery that is known for their Chocolate and Cream Neapolitans. For something savory, however, get a meaty sandwich from Museo del Jamon or a bocadillo de calamares from Bar La Campana.

Now, lace up your shoes, load this Map on your phone for our Madrid Walking Directions and vamos!

#1 Puerta del Sol

Giant Christmas Tree in Puerta del Sol, Madrid, Spain

MAP . Start your self-guided city tour of Madrid in the bustling Puerta del Sol, a hub of activity and must-see tourist destination. Puerta del Sol dates to the 15th century when Madrid was encircled by protective walls. The name translates to ‘Gate of the Sun’ – as structures featuring the sun used to stand on the site.

The square is known as the center of Spain, marking the 0 km point for six major roads in the country. The exact spot is designated with a plaque in front of the Madrid Old Post Office. The historic Post Office building dates to 1766 and now serves as the office for the President of the Municipality of Madrid. 

View of Puerta del Sol Clock Tower, Madrid

Sol is also home to numerous iconic landmarks, such as the soaring clock tower, which is the center point of Madrid’s New Year Celebrations  and the famous neon Tio Pepe sign. Several monuments dot the area, but the most popular is the ‘Oso y el Modrono’ statue located on the east end of the square. It depicts a bear climbing a strawberry tree, which is an emblem of Madrid. 

A nearby site that soccer/football fans will want to make time for in their Madrid sightseeing adventures is the Legends: Home of Football Museum. A massive, interactive space featuring immersive experiences, the museum is located on the southeast corner of Puerta del Sol.

#2 Plaza Mayor

Wedding couple on balcony in Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain

The history of Plaza Mayor can be traced to the 15th century when it was utilized as the city’s marketplace. Today, the square still hosts markets – including a Sunday morning antique market and the famous annual holiday market, which is a highlight of Madrid Christmas Festivities .

An equestrian statue featuring King Philip III, an early 17th century Spanish sovereign, stands at the center of the square – as it has since 1848. 

#3 Mercado de San Miguel

Merado de San Miguel, Madrid Spain

MAP . Stop #3 on our self guided tour is the modern, upscale marketplace, Mercado de San Miguel . Featuring fresh produce, meat and fish and tasty prepared delicacies, the market is the pinnacle of Madrid gastronomy. Spend time squeezing your way through the crowds to peer into the cases of fine cheeses, divinely crafted desserts and beautifully displayed fruit.

Food at Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid, Spain

If something is too tempting to pass by (like the goat cheese and sauteed onion tapas), stay for a bite before continuing your Madrid tour. In fact, if you are ready for lunch, this is the perfect place! 

Pro Tip : For a real taste of Madrid, consider joining a culinary tour that explores the best gastronomy of the city – and includes a stop at Mercado de San Miguel. We highlight more guided tours of Madrid at the end of the article.

#4 Plaza de La Villa, Madrid Old Town Hall

Town Hall, Madrid, Spain

MAP . Continue your self-guided walking tour of Madrid to Plaza de la Villa – an area that is steeped in Spanish history. The quaint square features the 17th century Town Hall building, called Casa de la Villa de Madrid. It occupies an entire side of the square and is fronted by a pretty, fenced garden. Opposite Casa de la Villa is Casa de Los Lujanes, which has a short tower that dates to the 15th century – and ranks as the oldest civil building in Madrid. 

#5 Almudena Cathedral of Madrid

Almudena Cathedral

MAP . Next up on your Madrid city walk is the massive, but relatively modern, Almudena Cathedral. Equally impressive as it’s size is that it took 100 years to build. It was only completed in 1993 and consecrated by the late Pope John Paul II that same year.

Officially called the Cathedral of Saint Mary the Royal of the Almudena, the church was built in the Gothic Revival style and is topped with a dome that measures 65-feet across. Inside, however, the Madrid Cathedral is a trove of ancient and contemporary artworks – including bright stained-glass windows and an intricate, mosaic ceiling. 

Interior of Almudena Cathedral of Madrid, Spain

Visitors can also access the crypt beneath the cathedral. The columned catacomb features numerous altars and tombs of notable Spaniards, including royalty. The cathedral and crypt are open to visitors for free, but a donation is requested at the entry.

Pro Tip : It is believed that the cathedral in Madrid was built on the site of an ancient mosque. On the south side of the church, Parque del Emir Mohamed I showcases remnants of 9th century fortifications, called the Muslim Walls. 

#6 Madrid Royal Palace

Royal Palace

MAP . Sitting next door to the cathedral is the grand Royal Palace , which seems to go on forever and is one of the top Madrid landmarks. It is the largest palace in Europe with 3,418 rooms and almost 1.5 million square feet of space. The history of the palace can be traced to the year 860. It was originally a fortress built by the Moors and called the Royal Alcazar of Madrid. In 1734 the Alcazar burnt to the ground and a Baroque palace was built in its place.

Royal Palace Madrid, Spain

Since then, the palace has been expanded and renovated into the colossal royal residence that stands today. It’s interesting to note, that while it is the official home of the Spanish Royal Family, they don’t actually live there, opting instead to reside at the rural Palace of Zarzuela.

The interior of the Royal Palace is decorated with masterpiece paintings, gorgeous tapestries, fine furniture and incredible architectural details. Now mostly used for state functions and official visits, tourists can enter the palace (with a ticket) to see the rooms and artworks. 

Pro Tip : If you want to visit the palace and are trying to see Madrid in a day, be aware that there are often long lines to get inside. Be sure to purchase  Skip-the-Line tickets  in advance.

#7 Madrid Palace Gardens

Estanque Central Sabatini Fountain Madrid Palace Gardens, Spain

The palace grounds encompass two gardens – Sabatini Gardens to the north and Campo del Moro Gardens to the west. On sunny days, both gardens are fabulous to wander, not only for the solitude, but for the lovely views. 

Sabatini Gardens

Sabatini Gardens, Madrid, Spain

MAP . The Sabatini Gardens are an easy escape from the sightseeing trail and free to enter. The manicured terraces and groomed walkways are laid out in a grid, pass by pleasant fountains and provide stellar views of the Royal Palace.

Campo del Moro Gardens

MAP . While we love the Sabatini Gardens, one of the best places to walk in Madrid is in the vast Campo del Moro that sits behind the Royal Palace. Designed by Philip II, the sloping green space features several decorative elements – like the Conchas Fountain and Tritons Fountain. The gardens are free to enter and they often host concerts that are free to attended as well. (Plus, they have public toilets!)

#8 Plaza de Oriente, Madrid

Plaza de Oriente, Madrid, Spain

MAP . Plaza de Oriente, is just across the street from the palace – but we have made it a separate stop in our Walking Tour Madrid Free Guide because we think it deserves an up-close look. Designed in 1844, the space is lined with statues, trees, shrubs and a fountain in the center. The equestrian statue is of Philip IV and the others surrounding it represent the Spanish kings that were crowned at the Royal Palace. 

Plaza de Oriente, Madrid, Spain

The pretty plaza sits between the palace and Teatro Real. The ornate opera house, which is often just referred to as El Real or Opera, dates to the early 1800s and to this day is one of the premier European theaters. Those who are interested and have the time can take a tour. 

Pro Tip: Walk past Teatro Real and continue down Calle del Arenal – a busy street lined with cafes, shops, restaurants and hotels. Pop into Torrons Vicens – a shop that specializes in Spanish turron nougat and offers free samples!

#9 Chocolateria San Gines

Plaza de Espana, Madrid, La Navidena Drinks Bar, Christmas, Spain

MAP . Indulgent and divine, eating churros with chocolate is a must for visitors – and San Gines Chocolateria is the most famous churreria in Madrid. Established in 1894, San Gines has welcomes locals, tourists and celebrities.

The crispy, deep-fried sticks are served piping hot and then dipped into thick, rich chocolate for a heavenly treat. The shop is so popular that it has expanded into nearby buildings, so the line should move swiftly. 

Pro Tip: Nearby Chocolateria 1902 is also incredibly popular. The traditional family-run bakery is quite forward thinking – as they now make a selection a treats that are gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free and vegan.

#10 Calle de Preciados Shopping Street

MAP . A pedestrian lane, Calle de Preciados is one of the best walking streets in Madrid – which is just one reason why we include it on this self guided tour.

The other reason is that the atmospheric street is the city’s historic shopping strip. Running nearly 1000 feet from Puerta del Sol to Plaza del Callao and Gran Via, the bustling thoroughfare is lined with fashion retailers and boutique shops interspersed with cafes. 

Some of the best stores on Preciados are the El Corte Ingles department store, a FNAC media store along with many recognizable international brands. 

Top Tip: For those interested in learning more of the religious history of Madrid can make a detour to the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, which features artwork, tapestries and religious icons. 

#11 Gran Via

Grand Via, Madrid, Spain

MAP . Everyone should see the city’s most famous street, Gran Via, which is why we include it on our Madrid Self-Guided Walking Tour! Walking along the wide Gran Via just feels classy. Known for its early 1900s architecture and boasting many upscale shops, it is also referred to as Spanish Broadway for its many theaters, cinemas and exciting Madrid nightlife. Some stores even occupy former movie theaters. 

Buildings on Gran Via in Madrid, Spain

In addition to the big name fashion brands, two of the best stores on Gran Via are Casa de Libro bookshop and the Official Real Madrid Football Club outlet. Walk the street from west to east and notice that the stores to the east are more elegant, as is the architecture. The most ornate building is Edificio Metropolis, which marks the east end of Via Gran. 

Pro Tip: Love a good view? Gran Via is home to a few of the best spots for rooftop dining in Madrid. Top picks are Picalagartos and Ella Sky Bar. 

#12 Cibeles Palace and Fountain

Exterior of Cibeles Palace, CentroCentro Madrid, Spain

MAP . The striking Palacio de Cibeles was built in 1909 to house the Spanish Post Office headquarters. Today, the elaborate building is home to the Madrid City Council and the CentroCentro cultural center.

One of the best features of the Cibeles Palace is the Mirador Madrid observation deck. For a small fee, visitors can take in the expansive panoramic city views from the building’s tallest tower. The fountain that sits in the center of Plaza de Cibeles features the Roman goddess Cybele being pulled by two lions in her chariot.

Pro Tip: If time allows, walk one block east to Puerta de Alcala. The ornamental, arched gate was completed in 1778 – at a time when the Medieval walls still surrounded the Madrid city center. 

#13 El Retiro Park

Parks of Madrid

MAP . El Retiro is the most impressive park in Madrid, a UNESCO World Heritage site and an absolute must-see! The stunning 300-acre space was originally designated for royalty, but has been open to the public since the 18th century. The grand green space features a variety of gardens, paths, ponds and statues.

The top feature is the exquisite Palacio de Cristal de Retiro. The Glass Palace – constructed of cast-iron and glass – was built in the 1887 as a conservatory. Today, the greenhouse hosts art exhibitions from the Reina Sofia Museum. 

Statue-lined walkway in Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain

Additionally, visitors should see the impressive statue-lined walkway Paseo de las Estatuas and the Great Pond. That said, it is lovely to just spend time wandering the paths and well worth a longer detour from our Madrid city tour.

Pro Tip: On the southwest corner of Retiro Park is the Real Jardin Botanico. Opened in 1781, the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid features 90,000 plants, 1,500 trees and multiple greenhouses. 

#14 Paseo del Prado

Walking Paseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

MAP . Perhaps the prettiest street in all of Madrid, Paseo del Prado is a lush, tree-lined boulevard that connects Plaza de Cibeles in the north to Plaza del Emperador Carlos V in the south. It’s a place where couples stroll, artists paint and kids play. 

The gorgeous promenade features museums, monuments and fountains. The world-famous Prado Museum (which is next on our Self Guided Walk of Madrid), Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Naval Museum and the CaixaForum Arts Center all reside along Paseo del Prado. 

One of many Paseo del Prado Fountains, Madrid, Spain

Not to be missed is the extravagant Neoclassical Neptune Fountain. But smaller fountains – like the Apollo Fountain and the Fuentes de las Cuatro Estaciones – are also worth seeking out. 

#15 The Prado Museum

Exterior of the Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain

MAP . The next stop is one of the best museums in Madrid: The Prado. Founded in 1819, Prado Museum features a grand collection of renowned artwork. The most notable are Las Meninas and The Triumph of Bacchus by Velazquez. Many consider the Prado to be one of the greatest art museums in the world.

The Triumph of Bacchus, Pardo Museum, Madrid, Spain

There is an admission fee to enter the museum and we recommend purchasing a Skip-the-Line Ticket . However, some of the money-saving Madrid sightseeing cards might include entry into the Prado. Visitors short on time who want to see the museum highlights can join a Prado Museum tour.

Pro Tip : The Prado has free entry from 6-8pm Monday-Saturday and from 5-7pm on Sundays and holidays.

#16 Plaza de Santa Ana, Madrid

Plaza de Santa Ana, Madrid

MAP . The final stop on our walking Madrid tour is Plaza de Santa Ana – a square that quickly became our favorite in Madrid. Santa Ana Plaza is home to the 17th century Teatro Espanol, the oldest theater in Madrid. Yet the area has a quaint, neighborhood feel to it. In the winter, an illuminated Christmas tree casts a blue hue over the square at night.

As this completes our Walking Tour of Madrid, give your feet a rest and enjoy a glass of Spanish wine at one of the cafes on the plaza. We recommend taking a seat at Cerveceria Alemana, which opened in 1904 as a brewery and has been frequented by famous personalities, like Ava Gardner and Earnest Hemingway. 

Pro Tip: If you’re ready for dinner, continue another block to Matador for tapas or Pez Tortilla for a delicious Spanish-style omelet.

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Madrid City Tour Map & Walking Directions

Use our Map of Madrid City Center to route your way to the attractions highlighted on our Walking Tour.

Self Guided Walking Tour Madrid Map by JetSettingFools.com

  • This Map gives directions for the Madrid Sights numbered 1 to 10. 
  • This Map provides step-by-step directions for attractions numbered 10 to 16. 
  • This Interactive Madrid Tourist Map highlights each attraction listed in our walking tour. Simply click on any of the markers to expand the side bar for more information. 

Pro Tip : Our Walking Tour Madrid Attractions Map Route can be printed! Click on the image to enlarge it, right-click outside of the image and select Print. 

Madrid Tour: What You Will Need

Classic Buildings, Madrid, Spain

Before you set off on your trip to Madrid, make sure you are properly packed ! We have a few tips for things you will want to bring – and get your Free Packing Checklist to make sure you have everything in your suitcase or backpack for your Spain Vacation!

Walking Shoes for Madrid

Madrid is a walkable city, but only with the right travel shoes ! I like these by Columbia – Kris prefers Merrell trail shoes for all types of walks.

Travel Camera for Madrid Photography

Madrid is a truly beautiful city. Rather than using your phone to capture the sights, we recommend upgrading to a real travel camera . We use a DSLR Canon Rebel , which takes amazing photos and comes with a complete kit. For this, we rank it as one of the Best Budget Cameras . 

Madrid Weather Gear and Day Pack

Summers in Madrid are very sunny and very hot. Bring sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat on your walking tour of Madrid. We also recommend carrying this collapsible water bottle that is perfect for travelers! 

Those visiting Madrid outside of the summer months should be prepared for cooler weather with a chance of rain. Pack a travel umbrella and lightweight raincoat for your trip. You’ll also want to be sure to have a great Day Bag to carry and secure all your Daily Travel Essentials .

Wi-Fi and Tourist Map of Madrid

To be able to follow our Free Walking Tour Madrid (and the directions provided on the Maps), you will need an internet connection. If your phone is locked, rather than paying high daily fees for international data, we recommend investing in a Pocket WiFi Hotspot . 

We travel with a GlocalMe Mobile WiFi Hotspot . It allows us to connect up to ten devices at once (which makes it ideal for families or groups traveling together) and it doubles as a portable charger . What we really love about GlocalMe is that we can pre-purchase data plans…so we can be connected from the moment we touch down off that long flight !

Those traveling without Wi-Fi can print our Map of Madrid Tourist Attractions and Walking Route. For a more detailed map, consider purchasing a Map of Madrid City Center – like this one – in advance of your trip. 

Madrid Guided Tours

Wonderful Must-See Sights of Madrid, Spain

While we enjoyed sightseeing Madrid on our own, there are many guided tours that can help lead the way. If you would like the company of an expert guide (and fellow travelers), consider one of these highly-rated guided tours of Madrid. 

  • Small-group Madrid Tour and skip-the-line Palace entry – Book now
  • Retiro Park and skip-the-line Prado entry – Info here
  • Madrid Spanish Inquisition Tour –  Book it
  • Private Tours for the Best of Madrid ( Book here ) and Secrets of Madrid ( Reserve now )
  • Madrid Street Art Tour – Get Info
  • Book a Guided Madrid Free Tour –  New Europe Tours  

As an alternative to seeing the city on foot, visitors can catch a ride on the Hop-On Hop-Off Madrid Sightseeing Bus, or explore on a Segway Tour or this very popular Madrid Bike Tour .

Money-Saving Sightseeing Cards

Some of the places we pass on our Madrid Self-Guided Walking Tour require a ticket. To save money, consider purchasing a Madrid Sightseeing Card that will that includes entry to top sights and attractions, as well as other discounts. 

Madrid Sightseeing Tips

There are many, many options when it comes to visiting Madrid – as there is so much to see and do! In addition to the sights, a few of the top things to do are Flamenco dancing, tapas tastings, neighborhood wandering and sport matches. 

Flamenco Show in Madrid

With live music and steamy dances, Flamenco shows are a top Madrid experience. Visitors can attend a performance at one of the legendary Spanish tablaos. Reserve your seat!

Madrid Tapas and Wine Tour

Tapas Bar, Madrid, Spain

The gastronomy in Madrid is divine – especially when it comes to tapas – the much adored Spanish culinary snack. Spend an evening with a local guide on a small group tour to discover the best tapas and wine in Madrid. Join this popular tour!

Madrid Neighborhood Discoveries

View of Rio Toboganes, Madrid, Spain

Visitors can also get off the beaten path and navigate through Madrid’s best neighborhoods. We like to wander the streets of Chamberi to the north – or walk south to Parque Madrid Rio, a riverside park of wide paths, artistic bridges and inviting cafes. 

Planning Your Madrid Trip

Wonderful Architecture, Madrid, Spain

Creating an itinerary for Madrid is no simple task – but we are sharing some advice that will make it much easier! With sights located within walking distance, tourists can see a lot with just 1 Day in Madrid.

That said, we recommend spending at least two days in Madrid…but three is even better. We have outlined the top things to do in our One Week Spain Itinerary and our detailed 3-Day Madrid Itinerary .

Travelers visiting from overseas can find our best tips in our guide on How To Plan a Europe Vacation . We share all the need-to-know info and honest advice from our personal experiences. 

As you begin to prepare for your trip to Spain, organization is key! Stay on top of all the details with our Printable Travel Planner . 

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Start planning your trip to Spain ! Search for the lowest airfares , the best accommodations and fun things to do …then start packing !   Want more travel advice? Head over to our Travel Planning Page for more tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides Page !

We want to know: What are your favorite Madrid sights? Is there anything you would add to our Self-Guided Free Madrid Walking Tour? Please share with us in the comments below! 

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A Self-Guided Walking Tour to 10 Sights in Madrid, Spain JetSetting Fools

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Museum of Wander

Hit the Streets of Madrid With This Ultimate Self-Guided Walking Tour (Includes Map)

Our self-guided walking tour shows you the top sights, world famous art and the best places to eat in Madrid.

Madrid or Barcelona? Barcelona or Madrid? Madrid and Barcelona? It took us such a long time to make up our minds when we were planning our Spain and Portugal itinerary. Eventually, we committed ourselves to Madrid and we couldn’t be happier with our decision. With only two full days in Spain’s capital, we knew that we had to use our time wisely to see the highlights and eat all the tapas that we wanted. Except for planning to visit one of Madrid’s world-famous art museums, we had no real plan before arriving, so upon arrival, we grabbed a city map from our hotel and designed our own self-guided walking tour of Madrid.

Our self-guided walking tour of Madrid is a perfect introduction to the city. But let’s be honest: with only two days and being first-time visitors it doesn’t feature any hidden gems. It’s definitely not a local’s guide to Madrid. Instead, you’ll get to see the highlights of Madrid at a leisurely pace over two days and our recommendations of where to eat.

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you).

Where to Stay for this Madrid Walking Tour

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. And price. We stayed at Hostal Met Madrid which is just across the road from the Mercado de San Miguel. The room was spotless, quiet and the location can’t be beaten.

Being so central, this guesthouse is the perfect base for exploring Madrid. We walked everywhere we mention in our Madrid walking tour, except for taking the metro to the Reina Sofia museum.

Don’t think it’s a hostel ala bunkbed though. A hostal is a budget-midrange hotel, almost like a guesthouse and quite popular throughout Spain. The room was spotless, came with a small fridge and the AC was very welcome during our siesta sessions.

Hostal Met Madrid offers exceptional value for money and comes highly recommended. The money we saved on accommodation and transport went straight into our tapas/churros/sangria kitty 🙂

Check prices and availability

Madrid Self-Guided Walking Tour Map: Day 1

Day 1 of our Madrid walking tour will take in the major sights and monuments, and include stops at places to indulge in the city’s fabulous food.

Start Your Walking Tour at Puerta Del Sol

Madrid self-guided walking tour starting in Sol

Puerta del Sol, or simply Sol, is one of Madrid’s most central points from where all the city’s roads stem from. It’s also one of the busiest metro stops and the plaza is always buzzing. Sol is the starting point of our walking tour and also the gateway to many of the bars and restaurants in the immediate area.

The Tio Pepe sign advertising Andalusian sherry is one of Madrid’s famous landmarks. The man on horseback in the centre of the plaza is King Charles III of Spain . Other than tourists, street performers and businessmen you can also find the statue of the Bear and Strawberry tree here, which is a popular meeting spot. The statue represents Madrid’s coat of arms and while it’s the pride of Madrileños , you don’t have to go out of your way to see it.

Another quirky point of interest is the Kilometre Zero slab in front of the Town Hall. All major roads in Spain radiate outwards from this point.

Plaza Mayor

Entrance to Plaza Mayor, Madrid

Plaza Mayor is one of the most beautiful and famous landmarks in Madrid. The arcaded square is intimate rather than grande, and it’s indeed very picturesque. Three stories of residential buildings with wrought-iron balconies completely wrap around the Plaza Mayor.

Nine entranceways lead into the square where you’ll find an equestrian statue of King Phillip III who overlooks the international crowds and street performers.

Surrounding the square are cafes and restaurants which could make a nice place for a drink or bite to eat. But don’t eat here (yet) as our breakfast/brunch stop is just steps away. If you are staying in the area you should also come back to Plaza Mayor after dark since it has a totally different feel at night. Then you can have a drink and bite to eat here.

Eat Tapas at Mercado de San Miguel

Mercado de San Miguel on a self guided walking tour of Madrid

By now you should have worked up a nice appetite. That’s great since the stylish Mercado de San Miguel might as well be called the Mercado de Tapa Nirvana. The iron and glass art nouveau structure is one of the best places to come to experience Madrid’s excellent tapa culture. Not only are all the tapas here mini works of art in themselves, but everything we had here was damn good.

Established in 1916, this gastronomic paradise is one of Madrid’s oldest and hippest markets. The covered market has over 30 vendors, each stall perfecting one or two tapa dishes. All the tapas are beautifully displayed and we wanted to eat them all. It’s a good idea to walk through the market to see everything there is before going back to get your favourites. Good to know too is that alcoholic drinks are available. So if you feel like living it up here in Madrid, go ahead and have breakfast sangria, vermouth or beer. If saving yourself, then perhaps get a coffee. The market is open every day from 10:00 until midnight and makes a perfect stop any time of day or night. Since our hotel was just around the corner we came here a few times.

Want more food? Check out these awesome food tours in Madrid: Wine and Tapas in Madrid Lonely Planet Experiences: Madrid Tapas & Wine Tasting Tour Evening Tapas Tour through Madrid

Spot Unique Street Names

Madrid self-guided walking tour

Keep an eye out for the street names as you follow our walking tour. Even if you don’t speak any Spanish (like us) the pictures will pretty much tell you what it means.

We really liked looking at street names in Madrid. It seems that in days gone past each street was known for something special. As you walk around spot all these different streets. Street of the embroiderers, street of the blacksmiths, street of the clowns etc.

See the Modern Almudena Cathedral

Almudena Cathedral

Situated adjacent to the Plaza de Armas of the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral might look old but in fact, it was only opened in 1993. Uniquely modern inside, the cathedral is Neo-Gothic in style.

It looks as if a rainbow exploded onto the ceiling with its colourful patterns and designs. The stained glass windows have a nice modern twist to them as well, and can perhaps be described as religious pop art. Entry to the cathedral is free of charge, but you’ll need to pay if you want to visit the museum.

Feel Royal at the Madrid Palacio Real

Madrid Royal Palace

Right next to the cathedral is the monumental Royal Palace of Madrid, which is the largest palace in Western Europe. The palace is home to Spain’s royal family but is only used really for state ceremonies these days. Looking at the long line kept us from looking inside. The palace is still impressive to look at from the outside though.

Top Tip: Avoid the lines and book your fast-track entrance tickets online.

Is the Plaza de Espana Open?

Madrid self guided walking tour

We came here to see the monument to one of Spain’s most beloved figures: Don Quixote. When we arrived at the plaza we were disappointed to find it all boarded up due to construction work. The text on the boards read SUMMER BITCH !

Apparently, while construction was going on they found major historic artefacts and because extensive excavation will need to be done, it will be months before the plaza reopens. Staff at our hotel told us later that it will only reopen in 2020, but no one is sure when.

Stroll & Shop on Gran Via

Madrid self-guided walking tour

Plaza de España marks the southern end of Gran Via, Madrid’s most famous shopping street . Beautiful buildings from the early 1900s line the entire length of Gran Via and you can also find Spain’s famous fashion stores such as Zara, Mango, Stradivarius and Bimba y Lola here if you’re in the mood for burning money.

Gran Via is also known as the Spanish Broadway thanks to many theatres and exciting nightlife options.

Indulge in the Best Chocolate Con Churros in Madrid

Madrid self-guided walking tour

Is it possible to put heaven into a cup? ABSOLUTELY! Time for chocolate and churros! You’ll find Madrid’s, if not the world’s, best hot chocolate tucked away in alley Pasadizo San Ginés just off the busy Calle Arena. Madrileños have been coming here since 1894 for their chocolate – churros fix.

Order a cup of thick, sweet chocolate and a plate of golden fried churros from the marble counter and the waiter will bring it to your table within minutes.

Dip your churros into the rich and smooth chocolate and you’ll soon understand why Chocolatería San Ginés has been around for more than a hundred years and people are still lining up. This place has ruined every other hot chocolate that we will ever have.

Best of all, it’s open 24 hours a day to cater to all our choco-junkies.

As a national pastime, siesta is as Spanish as Sangria, Jamon and bullfighting. After being on the streets since the morning it’s a good idea to have some downtime and experience this essential aspect of Spanish life.

Dinner in Madrid doesn’t really start until well after 21:00, so go back to your place and do as the Spaniards do and take a nice long siesta. Take a nap, read a book, watch a movie, make love, open a bottle of wine or all of the above in no particular order.

Dinner at Museo de Jamón

Entrance to the Museo del Jamon in Madrid

Not a museum in the traditional sense but indeed belongs up there with the Prado and Reina Sofia, the Museum of Ham is a casual stand and eat-at-the-counter tapas bar . One part bar, one part meat deli the Museo is always loud, always packed and everyone always seems to be enjoying life here. But then who wouldn’t with cheap beer and ham under the same roof? It was actually so good and cheap that we came here three times in two days!

A little intimidating at first, it’s best to dive right in and join the crowd at the bar. Ask for jamón, and the barman will present you with an English picture menu. Ham is not simply ham here. Hundreds of pig legs hang from the walls, so you’ll need to specify whether is jamón Ibérico or jamón serrano . There are also plates of cheese and crispy sandwiches on the menu. We really liked the Iberico and melon plate and old sheep cheese portion.

Museo del Jamón is a chain and has branches scattered throughout Madrid. We visited the one on Calle Mayor, halfway between Sol and Plaza Mayor and the branch on Plaza Mayor the next day. The one on Plaza Mayor has seating outside on the square which is good for having a bite and drink, but the branch on Calle Mayor was our favourite by far.

Madrid Self-Guided Walking Tour: Day 2

Today is museum day but we choose to visit only one of the world-famous art museums. We think that doing more than one will be draining. You can choose to visit either the Prado or the Reina Sofia, which are located near each other anyway.

The second day of our self-guided walking tour of Madrid has less walking than the first day. You’ll have plenty of time to eat tapas and drink sangria too. Sounds like a plan so let’s get going!

Breakfast at Cerveceria 100 Montaditos

Breakfast in Madrid

For breakfast, you can choose to return to the Mercado de San Miguel for tapas or Museo de Jamon for more ham and perhaps a morning beer. Or give the small but popular Cerveceria 100 Montaditos a try.

Offering breakfast options from €1, it makes the perfect breakfast spot to start your second day of our Madrid self-guided walking tour. The breakfast set of Pan con Tomate (crushed tomato toast with olive oil), jamon toast and coffee is an excellent choice for only €1.90 Throw in a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice for €2 and you have a great start to your day for €3.90. As the name suggests they also have cold beer on tap.

After breakfast walk to Sol before taking the metro to Atocha station. Known as the golden triangle of art, the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen museums are all a short walk away from Atocha station.

See The Guernica in the Reina Sofia

The entrance to the Reina Sofia art museum in Madrid

One thing we really HAD TO DO in Madrid was to visit one of its world-famous art museums . Just like our Madrid vs. Barcelona predicament before coming to Spain, we were stuck with Prado vs Reina Sofia.

In the end, Reina Sofia won since we are more interested in seeing modern and contemporary Spanish art. The Reina Sofia boasts a collection of over 21 000 works of art from the 20th century. So if modern art is your thing, you’re in for a treat.

The big draw of the Reina Sofia is Picasso’s Guernica , but it also has a handsome collection of works by Dali, Miro and Gris amongst others. The Guernica is huge; much bigger than we had anticipated. Photos showing how it evolved and how Picasso changed the painting before completion are very interesting. Photography is not allowed in the exhibition area where the Guernica is displayed.

We recommend buying your ticket online before you visit as lines to get in can apparently get ridonkeylously long. When we arrived just after opening time we walked right in without having to wait.

The museum is closed on Tuesdays. Opening hours are 10:00-21:00. The entrance price is €10 when buying at the museum, or €8 when buying online. Plan to spend at least 2.5 hours here.

Lunch at Venta el Buscon

Madrid self-guided walking tour

Take the metro back to Sol and walk a block to Calle Victoria. This little street is chockablock with great restaurants and tapas bars. All of them have lunch menus displayed outside for about €15. We ended up at Venta el Buscon which is a great little place with generous portions and friendly staff.

The lunch menu includes bread, starter, mains, dessert and a drink for €14. Our enthusiastic and charismatic waiter tried the best he could to explain the menu options to us in English. We didn’t understand that dessert was included, so when we asked for the bill after our main course (we were stuffed by then anyway) the waiter said: NO! POSTRE INCLUDED!! Not knowing what postre is, he went on to say CAKE.

Jin had a beer, prawns, calamari and tiramisu while De Wet went with vermouth, curry samosas, oxtail and cheesecake.

Venta el Buscon has superb service, a great atmosphere and fantastic food. We definitely recommend a meal here.

With your tummy full, head back to your hotel to escape the hottest part of the day. Blame the jet lag, blame the hot weather, blame all the walking or tell yourself that you’re respecting local culture, but don’t underestimate the power of a good old siesta.

Cafe Culture in La Latina

Madrid self-guided walking tour

The colourful and vibrant neighbourhood of La Latina is great for walking around and having a drink outside at one of the countless cafes and bars. Away from the main streets, you will find many small squares filled with tables and chairs and waiters willing to take your order.

If in Madrid on a Sunday you should also visit the El Rastro flea market which is held near La Latina metro station.

See the Best View in Madrid at the Circulo de Bellas Artes

Best view in Madrid

The best view in Madrid is even better at sunset. Best place to see this view? At the Circulo de Bellas Artes of course. The trendy rooftop terrace and bar on the 7th floor offer fantastic views across the Gran Via and towards la plaza Cibeles.

In summer the sun sets around 21:30 in Madrid so come here about an hour before. We had to wait in line for about 20 minutes before we could take the elevator up to the rooftop.

You need to pay €4 to take the elevator up to the rooftop, but once there you don’t have to order anything unless you want to of course.

Dinner in Plaza Mayor

Sol Plaza at night, Madrid

As we mentioned before, dinner in Madrid does not start until late at night. After seeing the sunset (around 22:00) we walked back towards Sol and on to Plaza Mayor to see it lit up at night. We decided to have dinner at the Plaza Mayor branch of Museo del Jamón . At this branch, you can sit at tables outside on the plaza, unlike the branch around the corner where you have to stand at the bar. There’s no better way to end our Madrid self-guided walking tour than putting your feet up and having sangria and ham in Plaza Mayor.

Now it’s your turn : Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions. As always we will try our best to help. Did we miss anything? Go put on a pair of comfy walking shoes and hit the streets of Madrid!

Heading to Seville? Check out how to really enjoy Seville in 3 days . Going to the Costa de Sol? Here are the best Marbella Hotels .

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The Best Walking Tours in Madrid 

walking tour in madrid spain

Madrid is a very walkable city and one of the best ways to explore when you first arrive is by going on a walking tour. Whether you’re interested in immersing yourself in the city’s rich history or its street art scene, here are some of the very best walking tours in Madrid.

Graffiti tour.

Cool Tour Spain offers a tour that bypasses the historical sights and instead introduces travellers to Madrid’s street art scene. The tour weaves through Lavapiés, Madrid’s multicultural barrio that is full of interesting graffiti, some by big names in the street art world. The tour also includes a visit to La Neomudejar, a modern arts centre and La Tabacalera, a former tobacco factory turned modern art space. The two-and-a-half-hour tour costs €15 and can be booked online.

Street art in Lavapiés

Hemingway Tour

Hemingway (centre) in Spain during the Spanish Civil War

Sandeman’s Free Tour

Look out for the red T-shirt wearing guides in the tourist information office on Plaza Mayor, the starting point of this enjoyable and informative tour that takes place at 10am, 11am, 2pm and 2.30pm. The tour, which takes around two-and-a-half hours, takes in many of the centre’s historic sights including the Royal Palace, Teatro Real Opera House and Moorish Walls. Best of all, the guides tell you lots of intriguing stories about the chequered history of Madrid and its residents. Tours are free but tips are expected for the guide at the end.

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Legends of the Prado Tour

Tackling Madrid’s most famous museum can be daunting – what are the must-sees and where should you start? Take the worry away by doing a walking tour with WalkingMad that delves into the legends of the Prado, including Velázquez, Goya and El Greco. A local guide will take a small group (seven people max) around the highlights of the museum, explaining the historical and social significance of the paintings. The tour takes place during the Prado’s free hours so – bonus – there is no entry free either. Just tips for the guide at the end. Tours take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 5.30pm and on Sunday at 4.30pm.

Tour the Prado with a local expert

Free Walking Tour

Free Walking Tours offers tours in English and Spanish leaving every day from Plaza de Callao, just off the Gran Vía, at 11am. The guides are fun and informative, mixing historical tales with fun factual nuggets along the way. During the two-and-a-half hour tour you’ll learn about everything from Miguel de Cervantes to the Movida Madrileña, the indie, counter-cultural movement that flourished after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in the late ’70s and ’80s.

Devour Madrid

OK, this tour might be more eating than walking but it gives you a great introduction to Madrid’s food scene and you will walk off some of the food between pit stops. Devour Madrid offers a range of tours, from the tapas, taverns and history tour to a tour of Madrid’s rastro flea market and tapas scene. The company’s team of international guides are knowledgeable and passionate about Spanish cuisine, and eager to share their love with new visitors to the city.

Explore Madrid’s food scene

Madrid Day Tours

If you’re looking to travel a little further afield and prefer to be driven rather than take public transport, Madrid Day Tours offer hotel pick ups and fascinating day trips to Toledo, Segovia and El Escorial. Tours start at just over €100 per person, with a maximum of six people on the trip.

Explore nearby cities like Segovia, with its Roman aqueduct

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The original  Free Tour of Madrid  starts at Plaza Mayor, and covers many of Madrid’s top attractions, including the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral. After you’ve got the overview with the free walking tour, delve deeper with us!

The  Majestic Madrid Tour  will give you an overview of Madrid’s literary history, as well as taking you to the Golden Triangle of Art. After you’ve experience the enlightened Madrid, learn about the dark side with the  Spanish Inquisition Tour , to date one of the darkest periods of European history.

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One thing’s for sure; the top things to do and see in Madrid can all be found on a SANDEMANs tour!

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Travel Blog | Travel Inspiration

Free Self-Guided Walking Tour of Madrid, Spain

grand white building with pillars in front of a wide square- the royal palace of Madrid

Madrid is a wonderfully grand and proud city – it’s a pleasure to walk around its elegant streets.

Unlike some capital cities in Europe, Madrid’s city centre is fairly compact and it is possible to explore a lot of it without using public transport.

Follow my self-guided walking tour of Madrid to see how you can discover the main sights and attractions on foot.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. These are links to products or experiences I recommend and if you were to buy something after clicking on them, I might earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Any earnings go towards the upkeep of this blog, which I appreciate.

Table of Contents

About This Self-Guided Walking Tour Of Madrid

What you’ll see in this madrid walking tour:.

  • The Royal Palace
  • Plaza Mayor
  • Puerto Del Sol
  • El Retiro park
  • Museo Nacional del Prado
  • Almudena Cathedral
  • Mercado De San Miguel
  • Plaza De Cibeles
  • Los Austrias & the Royal Theatre
  • The tapas bar-lined streets of Calle de Cadiz & Calle Barcelona
  • An optional detour into the old neighbourhood Barrio De La Latina

How Long Is The Madrid Self-Guided Walking Tour?

If you were to walk this route non-stop it would be around 7km, or 4.3 miles, and would take you 1.5 hours. But, of course, you’ll be stopping many times along the way, so I suggest you give yourself at least half a day to do this route. In fact, my ideal suggestion is to start late morning and end in the early evening – so close to a whole day. This way you go at a comfortable pace and have plenty of time to do justice to all the stops. With this in mind, I’ve built in lunch and dinner stops into the route. After all, you can’t go to Madrid without trying some tapas !

Self-Guided Walking Tour Of Madrid – In Detail

1. almudena cathedral.

Our Madrid walking tour starts at Almudena Cathedral or Catedral de Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena . This impressive cathedral looks gothic and old, but in European cathedral terms, is relatively modern, having been built over a protracted period from 1879 to 1993.

i,posing grey cathedral front with two towers seen from below in Madrid

The architectural style is a mix of Neoclassical, Neo-Gothic and Neo-Romanesque. Several kings and queens of Spain are buried here and the crypt houses a 16th-century image of the Virgen de la Almudena.

And there’s very little walking to do to get to the next stop because Almudena Cathedral is just across Plaza de la Armeria from the Royal Palace.

2. Royal Palace

How could you visit the capital of Spain without seeing the official residence of the Spanish Royal family, Palacio Real De Madrid ? Visiting it is one of the top things to do in Madrid .

grand white building with pillars in front of a wide square- the royal palace of Madrid

There’s been a palace on this site since there was a fortress constructed by Emir Muhammad I of Córdoba in the 9th century. The current baroque-style palace, though, was built in the 18th century.

Palacio Real is the largest functioning royal palace and the largest by floor area in Europe – 15,000 m2!  You can admire its scale and grandeur from the exterior, including from Plaza de la Armeria or Sabatini Garden – but you can also get tickets to tour the interior .

3. Plaza Oriente, The Royal Theatre & Los Austrias

Once, you’ve had your fill of the palace, head east into a small tidy plaza called Plaza Oriente , which contains statues of 44 Spanish kings from the medieval period. In the centre is a large monument to King Philip IV.

statue of man on a horse in between trees with a large white palace behind

At the eastern end of the plaza, you’ll find the Royal Theatre or Teatro Real , an opera house inaugurated in 1850.

Head south and slightly east, into the heart of Madrid de Los Austrias . This area is so named because it was built during the time of the Habsburg dynasty (Casa de Austria) in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The walk from the Royal Theatre to the next stop is approx. 5 minutes. As you walk, look out for the statue of a fallen angel on top of one of the buildings Calle de Los Milaneses .

statue of a fallen angel visibile on top of a pink building in Madrid

4. Mercado De San Miguel

Soon you’ll come to a great place to refuel and get refreshed during the walking tour. 

Mercado de San Miguel was built in 1919 as a wholesale food market, but today it is a place to eat tapas and grab a drink. Within the covered market, there are around 20 stalls with a wide range of small-plate tapas foods, including fresh seafood, Iberian ham and Spanish cheeses. There’s also plenty of sangria on tap – literally!

indoor market with stall and a vaulted wooden & iron ceiling

It’s a popular place, though, so you might have to be savvy to spot a free table. If you don’t, you’re likely to be able to find space at one of the standing spots around the edge of the market.

5. Detour Into Barrio De La Latina

From Mercado De San Miguel, you could take an optional detour down Calle de Cuchilleros into Barrio de la Latina , another old part of Madrid.

Barrio de la Latina is a triangular area between Calle de Segovia, Calle de Bailen and Calle de Toledo. At the heart of it are Plaza los Carros, Iglesia de San Andres Apostle and the Museum of San Isidro. Calle de la Cava Baja is known for its tapas bars.

street with old-looking tall buildings with slightly sloped walls - seen walking in Madrid

6. Plaza Mayor

Whether or not you do the detour into Barrio De La Latina, your next stop is the main square in old Madrid and the centre of Los Austrias, Plaza Mayor . Plaza Mayor was built during the reign of Philip III in the 16th century.

As you enter the plaza through one of nine handsome archways, the spectacle will open up before you: tall red buildings line the square, which has a cobbled with a grid pattern; porticoes provide some shade at ground level, and in the centre is a proud a statue of King Felipe III.

archway with yellow ceiling through which a square with red buildings is visible

It’s a must-see sight in Madrid, but I don’t recommend you stop for a drink or food here. Like most major tourist sites around the world, the cafes on the square can be rather overpriced.

On your way to the next stop, you could take a minor detour via Palacio de Santa Cruz , a baroque building that was built in the 17 th century and used as a jail until the reign of Philip IV. It was then transformed into a palace and now houses the Spanish Foreign Ministry. Alternatively, go the more direct route via Calle Mayor, which has been a major street in Madrid for centuries and is rather lovely!

7. Puerto Del Sol

About 5 minutes from Plaza Mayor, you’ll find Puerto Del Sol . If Plaza Mayor was the centre of old Madrid, Puerto del Sol is the centre of modern Madrid: is a bustling square, often filled with people until late in the evening.

red and white building with a bell tower againat a peach-coloured sky at sunset

It is a significant space, the location of public meetings and demonstrations for centuries.  The square contains the clock whose bells ring in the New Year and mark the Spanish tradition of the eating of Twelve Grapes.

Other landmarks in Puerta del Sol include the Royal House of the Post Office which now serves as the office of the President of Madrid; a commemorative plaque for the neighbours of Madrid who rose up against the Napoleonic invasion of Spain in 1808; and another for the victims of the Madrid terrorist attacks in 2004. On its south side, there’s a mounted statue of King Charles III of Spain and on the east side, you can find the statue of The Bear and the Strawberry Tree ( el Oso y el Madroño ), which represents Madrid’s coat of arms.

The square is named ‘Puerto’, which means ‘gate’ because it was once one of the gates in the city wall that surrounded Madrid in the 15th century. And ‘del Sol’ is because it faced eastward towards the rising sun.

8. Gran Via

For your next stop on this walking tour of Madrid, head north-east along Calle de la Montera for 5 minutes until you come to Gran Via , at which point, head right, east-wards.

The ornate buildings along this well-to-do shopping street may look really old, but this street was actually built in the 20th century and most of the architectural style is revival architecture.

ornate white building on Gran Via in Madrid

There’s plenty of spectacle along this road, but the star is the Metropolis building , which sits at the eastern end of Gran Via, at the junction with Calle de Alcala. This spectacular Beaux-Arts-style building was inaugurated in 1911. The domed cupola is covered with 30000 leaves of 24-carat gold.

9. Plaza De Cibeles

Leaving Gran Via behind, carry on Calle de Alcala for 5 minutes, heading east and you’ll see your next stop ahead of you: an impossibly ornate cluster of neo-classical buildings surrounding a roundabout.  

intricately ornate buildings seen down a street in Madrid

This is Plaza De Cibeles , named for the central fountain of Cybele, a Phrygian goddess. The fountain is the place where Madrid’s football team, Real Madrid, celebrate their team victories.

The four grand buildings on the square are the Bank of Spain , the Palacio de Buenavista , Palacio de Linares and Palacio de Cibeles . The last one is the most ostentatious-looking and behind the white façade is Madrid City Council and a restaurant.

10. El Retiro

Another 5 minutes beyond Plaza De Cibeles, you’ll come to another fancy junction: Plaza de la Independencia , featuring Puerta de Alcalá, a Neo-classical gate once part of the walls around Madrid. Here you’ll find the entrance to your next stop, and somewhere you can rest your feet if they’re getting weary by this point.

Parque del Buen Retiro (or El Retiro for short) is a large, attractive park east of Madrid’s city centre. In the 16 th century, it was a royal garden. It was opened to the public in the late 19 th century and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021.

lake with a large monument and statue and a rowing boat

The 350-acre park is split into different sections, with a mix of ponds, gardens, walkways, monuments and palaces. Feel free to have a wander: don’t stick to the route indicated on the map for this walking tour – explore as much as you want.

I really loved this park. It is big enough for the sounds of the city to disappear and there’s so much variety within it. Some of my favourite parts of this park include:

  • Estanque Grande de El Retiro – a large lake in the middle of the park, featuring a monument to Alfonso XII, the King of Spain in the 19th Century.  I liked watching people row boats around the lake and there was a busker playing the saxophone along the walkway.
  • A wilderness section where the plants had been left untouched to encourage wildlife to flourish
  • Palacio De Cristal : an astonishingly pretty glass palace inspired by the Crystal Palace in London.  It looks out over a small lake with a fountain. It’s so picture-perfect!
  • Parterre Garden : an ornate and symmetrical garden with fountains, sculpted trees and a monument to the Nobel-prize-winning dramatist, Jacinto Benavente.

11. Museo Nacional Del Prado & Barrio De Les Letters

On the way to the final stop, you could visit Museo Nacional del Prado , which is the main Spanish national art museum, containing a collection of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century.

The final stop on this self-guided walking tour of Madrid takes you back into the city centre, in search of some tapas!

Tapas is small plates of food served with drinks, and it’s a great way to try Spanish specialities. Classic tapas dishes include patatas bravas, croquettes, Iberian ham, chorizo and calamari – but you’ll find all sorts of food combinations available these days. Sangria or beer are common accompaniments, but lots of places offer cocktails, too.

Madrid is renowned for its tapas bars and I found the biggest and best concentration of tapas in Madrid in Barrio de Les letters and on and around Calle de Cadiz and Calle Barcelona.

For a full rundown of all the tapas bars in Barcelona that I tried – the good and the bad – check out my post on tapas bars in Madrid . However, in the walking tour rout emap, I have marked a couple of my favourites that you could check out:

  • Revoltosa : a chilled-out tavern with some tables outside and plenty of space inside. It is about 15 minutes walk from El Retiro to Revoltosa
  • Rosi La Loca : this alice-in-wonderland-inspired place has some small dishes on the menu, including delicious tuna Tataki. Great cocktails, too!

plate of deep-fried cheese wedges and red sauce at street seating outside a tapas bar in Madrid

Self-Guided Walking Tour Of Madrid FAQs

Is madrid easy to get around on foot.

Yes, it’s pretty easy to walk around Madrid. Like I said before, it’s not a huge city like London or Paris , so the main Madrid attractions are fairly close together. And another bonus is that the streets are very attractive and pleasant – with lots of handsome buildings and café terraces on the pavement.

How Dangerous Is Madrid To Walk Around?

It’s difficult to answer questions like these. On the one hand, there are stats which suggest Madrid is relatively safe, compared to other cities: check out the crime stats on Numbeo , for example.  And my experience in Madrid certainly felt pretty safe. Madrid doesn’t have a reputation for street crime like Spain’s second city, Barcelona , does, for example.

However, I wouldn’t want anyone to think it is entirely risk-free to walk around Madrid.  All cities carry some risk of crime, so I’d urge you to maintain a sensible outlook on this walking tour of Madrid:

  • Keep your wits about you and don’t leave belongings unattended
  • Don’t wander around with your phone or camera on display – or anything else of value either
  • If you carry a bag, consider a cross-body version that can’t be easily grabbed off your shoulder
  • Keep anything of value closed away under a zip or equivalent enclosure.

When Is Best To Visit Madrid?

Like a lot of southern Europe, the peak season of summer (June-August) can be really hot and busy. The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn can be a good option.

I visited in mid-September and that seemed really lovely: it was sunny and warm, but not oppressive. And the crowds were not too bad, either.

avenue lined with trees of green and orange

What Gear Do You Need For This Madrid Walking Tour?

The following will be helpful on this walking tour:

  • Sneakers / trainers or comfortable shoes, as you’ll be doing a lot of steps!
  • Sunhat & sunglasses, unless you’re doing this in winter
  • Depending on your weather forecast, a compact rain jacket could be useful to have with you, just in case
  • A camera – but as I said, make sure you have a safe place to stow it when you walk
  • Some water in a reusable bottle. To keep you hydrated all the way
  • A theft-roof bag, such as this  Travelon one, which I use, could be good 

Check out my guide to my favourite travel gadgets .

Map: Self-Guided Walking Tour of Madrid  

Here’s a route map for this Madrid walking tour, showing all the key stops and sights along the way:

How To Use This Map : Click the tab in the top left-hand corner of the map to view the layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each one.  If you click the star next to the map’s title, it will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu, go to ‘Your Places’ or ‘Saved’, then click Maps and you will see this map in your list.

Where To Stay For This Madrid Walking Tour

I stayed in the  Hotel Pr eciados , which was centrally located on a smart street, not far from the start of the tour. However, don’t book a single room here – they don’t have external windows, which is a bugbear of mine! The double room I switched to was fine, though.

The Last Word

I hope you enjoy this self-guided walking tour of Madrid!  Do check out my guide to tapas bars in Madrid , also – you will have worked up a good appetite by the end of this walk!

If you like this article, I'd be delighted if you shared it!

About The Author

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Martha Knight

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Madrid Traveling

Best 5 Free walking tours in Madrid

I love the free walking tours in Madrid. They are a wonderful, sustainable, and healthy way to discover the history, culture, and top-rated attractions of the capital of Spain.

Besides, are a great option if you want to visit Madrid on a budget !

Table of contents

How to book the best walking tours in Madrid for free

My 5 reasons to join the free walking tours in madrid, how walkable is madrid, 1. madrid free walking tour, 2. discover the heart of the old town of madrid and its wonders, 3. get your bearings in madrid: discover the old town, 4. free tour “millenary madrid” – madrid de los austrias (old town), 5. madrid highlights free walking tour, how much to tip a free walking tour guide, what is a free walking tour in madrid.

I would describe a free walking tour of Madrid as a type of tour usually lasting 2-3 hours with an expert local guide in a unique and fun experience while discovering the most popular tourist attractions in Madrid.

I want to highlight that you do not have to pay anything at all to book the tour. A tip is usually (fairly) expected though if you enjoyed the experience.

#1 TOP PICK

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Madrid Old Town

✔️ Duration: 2h and 15min

✔️ Language: English

After all, although tour guides are passionate about Madrid, they also have invoices to pay. It is logical to think that their work deserves some reward too.

There is a wide offer of experiences to choose from and it can be sometimes difficult to identify the best ones. This is why I have included in this post the best free walking tours of Madrid from my point of view.

It is not allowed to join the best walking tours in Madrid without booking.

Booking in advance a Madrid free tour is necessary to secure your place . Besides, you will be able to receive important information from your guide in case there are changes to the tour. Remember that children must also be counted at the time of booking.

walking tour in madrid spain

The booking process is really easy. Just click on the link of the tours you will find on this post , choose the date, and fill out a brief form.

You will receive a confirmation email of your booking. In case you don´t, check your spam folder and verify you have input the right email address.

There is usually a minimum and a maximum number of participants. If you go to the meeting point without booking, the group could be full and do not accept additional participants.

The 5 Best Madrid Segway Tours

In case you have booked one of the best Madrid free tours and something unexpected comes up, the cancellation is also free .

If so, remember to cancel the booking as soon as possible. This way, you will give the opportunity to others to join the tour.

The meeting point is usually an easily accessible place in Madrid´s city center. It is important to arrive about 10 minutes before the start time scheduled. This way, the guide will be able to begin the tour on time.

1. You will get an integral experience .

In my opinion, walking is by far the best way to explore Madrid.

Most tourist attractions are located in the historical city center within walking distance and the weather in Madrid is excellent to enjoy a stroll.

Public transport in Madrid is awesome and can be a faster way to get around in case your planning is quite tight.

I prefer slow traveling though, as you can always come across some hidden gems of the city and experience Madrid like a local.

Plaza de Oriente is a monumental space surrounded by some of the most famous buildings in Madrid

I have always believed that it is not just a way of getting to your final destination, but it is actually enjoying every single place you go through .

The free walking tours in Madrid are perfect to get a deeper involvement and discover the local culture and day-to-day Spanish life.

2. They are healthy and sustainable .

Walking is friendly to the environment.

According to the European Environment Agency, transport is responsible for a considerable part of the total greenhouse gas emissions.

Therefore, the free walking tours in Madrid result in fewer emissions released into the atmosphere, help to protect biodiversity and decrease noise pollution.

El Retiro is one of the largest parks and one of the most popular attractions in Madrid for locals and tourists alike

Besides, walking is beneficial for your health, reducing the risk of cardiac diseases and heart attack.

Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system, reduces the levels of stress and anxiety, and can significantly improve your mood.

Madrid´s nice weather is very convenient to enjoy a stroll. Rain is not usual, but in July and August a bottle of water will be much appreciated, especially at mid-day.

3. They are free .

The free walking tours in Madrid will allow you to save money on your trip to Spain. Being complimentary, you will have more budget available for other pleasures like tasting Spanish gastronomy.

Usually, the tour guides are young native freelancers with a deep knowledge of the city.

The Royal Theater, landmark is a major opera house located in Madrid, Spain

They will be always happy to offer you insider tips on places to visit, things to avoid, and the best restaurants. Therefore, a tip will be more than welcome in case you have enjoyed the experience.

4. Forget about planning .

One of the main benefits of the free-of-charge walking tours in Madrid is that you do not have to worry about planning.

All you have to do is turn up at the meeting point on time, ready to have a nice time.

Cibeles square landmark has become one of the symbols of the city and should be a must in the planning of your trip to Spain

The tour guides will take care of the rest. The whole route is thoroughly planned in advance and you will not miss any of the best landmarks in Madrid .

Moreover, the tour guides will show you Madrid´s secrets that only the locals know.

5. Engage with new people

The free Madrid walking tours are a great opportunity to meet people who probably share your interests . That is why they are especially interesting if you are traveling solo to Spain .

Perhaps it is just me, but when I travel, I am more outgoing to talking with strangers than in my daily life.

It could be just because of this feeling of sharing the passion for discovering new places, but I have done plenty of good friends when traveling around.

Mercado de San Miguel is the most popular market in Madrid

As a local, I would say that Madrid is easy to navigate on foot , especially at the city center which houses most of the must-see attractions.

The weather in Madrid is most of the time pretty appealing for walking, sunny days are usual. Madrid in Winter is beautiful too, and temperatures are not extreme.

Therefore, my list of the best costless walking tours in Madrid is an outstanding way to explore the capital of Spain, strolling along the streets and discovering the hidden gems of the city.

Flamenco show in Plaza Mayor while locals and tourists enjoy some Spanish beers and tapas

For me, walking in Madrid is a pleasure.

Pedestrian and green zones are common, especially in the city center, and they are clean and safe . Of all the ways to explore Madrid, nothing beats a walking tour.

In order to make Madrid a more walkable city, there is a continuous investment to increase the pedestrianized areas and improve the infrastructure for pedestrians.

The main objective is to improve the pedestrian experience and convert walking into the most enjoyable and attractive means of transport.

It is true, however, that there is still plenty of work to do, some areas of the city are much more walkable than others.

What are the best free walking tours in Madrid?

The 5 Best (and cheapest) Bike Tours in Madrid

Do you want to truly get to know Madrid?

Walking tours are a great way to get a comprehensive insight into the capital of Spain and make the most out of your visit to Madrid.

There are dozens of tour companies, mainly paid, so visitors find it difficult to choose one.

In this post, I want to share with you which are, in my opinion, the best free walking tours in Madrid to help you plan your trip to Spain.

Image of Plaza de España and the remarkable monument to Don Quijote de la Mancha

But it is not just me who believes these are the best free walking tours in Madrid. I have included just a couple out of hundreds of authentic excellent testimonials .

Please note that some free walking tours in Madrid are available in different languages, make sure to pick the right one before booking.

Here is my review of the 5 best free walking tours in Madrid:

My first option offers this free walking tour in Madrid which will allow you to discover the most emblematic areas and attractions of the capital of Spain.

You will learn all about Madrid´s history accompanied by a local bilingual guide.

This free walking tour in Madrid has a duration of 2 hours and you will stroll through El Madrid de los Austrias, the most historic neighborhood of the city.

The local guide will take you to the most iconic streets, squares, and landmarks, including the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, Plaza de la Villa, and much more.

While you wander through Madrid’s historic center, the guide will tell you interesting anecdotes and traditions which will bring you much closer to our Spanish culture.

Pablo was a really fantastic guide. He provided a great deal of history and information and did it with a good sense of humor. I would highly recommend this tour. Crystal | United States

This tour will allow you to discover one of the most historic neighborhoods in the city, Madrid de los Austrias.

This is one of the best free walking tours in Madrid and lasts approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. Click here to book this free tour now .

The Real Casa de Correos is one of the most famous buildings in Madrid as hundreds of people meet in front of its clock tower on new years’ eve

The tour starts at the iconic Puerta del Sol, which houses some of the most iconic landmarks in Madrid such as the Royal Post Office, with the famous clock marking the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes and the beginning of a new year.

You will also find El Oso y el Madroño, a sculpture of a bear and strawberry tree which represent the coat of arms of the capital of Spain, the Kilometer 0, a mounted statue of King Charles III, the Mariblanca, and the Tio Pepe neon sign.

Melissa was an amazing guide, she provided a lot of information and made the tour super fun with her humor! Certainly recommended! Anastasia | Poland

After a short walk, you will get to the famous Plaza Mayor, an outstanding arcaded square with a rectangular shape and a total of 237 balconies.

The next stop will be a gastronomic icon temple. El Mercado de San Miguel, with a remarkable early-20th century iron structure, has more than 20 stands with the best quality products in the entire Iberian Peninsula.

Finally, you will discover the emblematic Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral, and the Royal Theater, very close to the starting point of the tour.

Here you will find the link to my third choice of the best walking tours in Madrid. Secure your place by booking now this free tour .

The tour has a duration of 2 hours and 30 minutes, and the guide will show you Madrid´s historical center.

Do not worry if you are not an expert in history, the guides will only go as in depth in history as participants want to, and they will do their best to make it fun and easy to understand.

The Puerta de Alcalá, one of the best landmarks in Madrid, is a neoclassical triumphal arch made of granite

Some of the tourist attractions you will discover on this free walking tour in Madrid are Plaza Mayor, Plaza de la Villa, the 9th-century Moorish wall, and the Plaza de Oriente.

Sebastian was an excellent tour guide! We learned so much and got to see so many interesting parts of Madrid. Highly recommend. Barbara | San Marino

Would you like to know the fascinating history of Madrid and visit its historic center, a legacy of the House of Los Austrias? Book now this tour for free.

This 2.5-hour tour is the next on my list of the top 5 free walking tours in Madrid.

The tour offers a route through Madrid de Los Austrias. You will walk through the historic center of Madrid, discovering and learning about its origins, history, and legends, which have given life to this majestic city.

Campo del Moro gardens offer a great view of the Madrid´s Royal Palace

On this tour, you will be able to enter some of the historical sites and an experienced local guide will help you to better understand customs, traditions, and local advice that will make you enjoy a better experience in Madrid.

Some of the tourist spots visited will be Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Plaza de la Villa, Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral, and Plaza de Oriente.

Join this tour without charge to discover this exciting city that is waiting to tell you the secrets of more than a thousand years of history.

Luis, the guide, has been very attentive and entertaining, iproviding us with very detailed explanations. 5 stars! David | Nord de Palma

This 2-hour historical walk offers a unique experience to discover the must-see attractions of the capital of Spain.

You will cover the most historic neighborhood of the city inside and outside what was the Medieval wall.

Puente de Segovia offers astonishing views of the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral

The local guide will carefully share valuable information about the attractions, Madrid´s history, and gastronomical advice that you cannot miss.

Some of the landmarks you will visit are the Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Plaza de la Villa, Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral, and San Miguel Market.

Great tour as a first glance at the city. We visited the most important places and heard curious facts about them. The guide was very helpful and fun . Annalisa | Lisbon

As I said before, booking the best free walking tours in Madrid is free of charge.

However, in case you have enjoyed the experience you can reward the guide for his work with the amount you consider fair and appropriate .

After all, although tour guides are passionate about their job, it is logical to think that their effort deserves some reward too.

Best Free walking tours in Madrid

Besides, if we all do not collaborate with these guides, free tours will end up disappearing.

The amount to tip depends on everyone and it usually depends on the final satisfaction, duration of the tour, and the number of people in your party.

I would dare to say that the usual average is around 10 euros per adult for a 2-hour tour.

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Walking Tours in Madrid

Madrid is a very easy city to explore on foot as most of the key sights -- palaces, churches, and museums -- are closely grouped in and around the central narrow-alleyed Austrias district, and the city itself, though high up, is mostly flat. Plus, you don't have to go to the periphery of the city to find beautiful green areas and a bit of respite from the urban hustle. The Retiro and the Casa de Campo can both be reached in 15-30 minutes on foot from the Puerta del Sol.

Note : This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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Memorable walks of madrid with local guides, check out our tours.

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Expertise matters! We offer free walking tours in Madrid since 2013 , what make us one of the most experienced walking tour companies in Madrid. Join us and discover the Madrid you never knew.

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We always offer small groups on our guided tours in Madrid. In this way, the experience is much more dynamic and we can offer an excellent service to our clients . Forget about being herded from one location to another with little time to ask questions or see anything in detail.

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Feel the tradition. Our team of hand-picked guides will make you discover Madrid and its history in a fun and entertaining manner. They love sharing with you the hidden gems not mentioned in guidebooks, secret spots and the local people you wouldn’t otherwise meet.

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Hola! We are Javier and Tatiana, a couple passionate about Madrid and its fascinating history. In 2013 we decided to start OgoTours, a walking tour company specialized in Madrid. This project would change our lives forever.

Time has flown by since OgoTours started but we are proud to continue being a 100% local business. This is the backbone of our company. Being a family-run business give us a special relationship with the city and community. A connection that extends far beyond business relationships. Unlike the big multinational tour operators, being a small local company allows us to keep the authentic essence of the city.

Nowadays, our small team of guides consists of historians, art historians and local experts who love sharing their favorite spots in the city and its history. We will make you feel Madrid like a local.

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Our groups are now limited to 10 people, therefore it is required to book your spot in advance.

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Free Madrid Walking Tours

Which free tour is best.

This post covers free walking tours in Madrid, including outings that cover the historic district, the best-kept secrets of the city, and even a look at the city after dark.

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Madrid has been one of the epicenters of Western art in Europe for centuries and is now home to world-class museums, culture, architecture, monuments, and other attractions.

While exploring the Spanish capital, you will navigate through the city’s fascinating history from its foundation as a Moorish town to its modern and vibrant current state.

Free Walking Tour of Madrid

Below is a calendar of some of the great free walking tours led by locals that are available in Madrid. Click on the entry below to expand the listing for more details.

The tours listed below are run through us. More tours are available in the following sections.

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Here is a calendar with more of the best free walking tours in Madrid.

Take a walking tour and become a Madrileño for a day, because in the words of the great writer Calderón de la Barca: “Madrid is everyone’s homeland…”

This model of tours is pay-what-you-wish, meaning you can pay your local guides what you think the tour was worth, or what you could afford after your walk is over.

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According to online reviews, most tourists pay between €5 to €20 per person for free walking tours Madrid-style.

We offer tours globally . Here are just a few cities.

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HISTORIC DISTRICT TOURS + ESSENTIALS 

Several free walking tours take you through the most historic neighborhoods in Madrid, providing a closer look at notable landmarks and explaining what life was like during medieval times.

While you can expect to learn some history on these outings, you’ll also receive tips about the best places to visit, great restaurants in the area, and more.

Royal Palace of Madrid

Royal Palace of Madrid

In addition to discovering how the capital of Spain developed into the city we see today, you can also expect to visit some of the following locations:

  • Puerta del Sol
  • Plaza Mayor
  • The Royal Palace
  • Almudena Cathedral
  • Mercado de San Miguel

If you want to learn more about these sites, consider one of the pay-what-you-wish tours listed below.

Learn about the royal families of the past and how this city rose to prominence as you visit some of the most notable sites on this 2-hour free tour of Madrid.

This pay-what-you-wish tour is available in both English and Spanish twice a day at 10:00 am, 10:30 am, 11:00 am, 11:30 am and 17:00 (5 pm) on every day.

The tour will start at the Puerta del Sol also known as the Sun Gate.

Get more information or book this tour .

You may also want to consider a self-guided exploration game instead. This service puts you in the role of someone escaping the Spanish Inquisition.

Although the self-guided game is not free, at only €10, it's around what most people would consider tipping their guide for a pay-what-you-wish walking tour.

This tour game lasts 2 hours and runs daily from C. de San Bernardo, 1, 28013 Madrid, Spain

MAJESTIC MADRID

If you’re looking to take a more unique tour of the city, there are at least a couple of options you may want to consider.

While some cover the basic history of Madrid from a different perspective, others are more focused on the culture of the city, including details about famous writers and artists from the area.

Puerta de Alcalá

  • Puerta de Alcalá

At least one of these outings includes free food samples!

You can expect to see some of the following highlights on these tours:

  • Circle of Fine Arts
  • Plaza de la Armería
  • Fuente de Cibeles (Cibele Fountain)
  • The Royal Theatre (Opera House)
  • Monastery of the Royal Barefoot
  • Prado Museum

For more information about locations like these, consider taking one of the pay-what-you-wish walking tours listed below.

Xtreme Tours

Discover the other side of Madrid on a tour covering several notable sites you won't see on the typical tour of the city centre.

In addition to the unique take on history, you’ll also get some free drinks just for taking this 2 ½ hour tour.

The tour is available every day at 11:30 am and 17:30 (5:30 pm).

The tour starts at Puerta del Sol in front of the equestrian statue of Carlos III. Your tour guide will be waiting with a distinctive white umbrella with the Xtreme Tours Madrid logo.

Book the tour or learn more .

If you’re interested in learning about the most famous artists who ever lived in Madrid, Sandemans Majestic Madrid tour is an excellent choice.

Learn about the history of Miguel de Cervantes (Don Quixote), Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms), and many other literary geniuses who once walked the streets of this city.

Although this tour is free, it will only cost €3 for adults and €15 for groups (per guest) to get priority tickets. Many travelers tip between €10-€15 after a pay-what-you-wish tour, so this is a quite fairly priced outing.

This Madrid tour is available in both English and Spanish on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 15:00 (3:00 pm).

The Tour starts in front of the Tourist Information Centre in Plaza Mayor

TAPAS TOURS

There’s a lot of great food in Madrid, but tapas are one of the most popular dishes in all of Spain, so you can expect to find a wide variety of them at restaurants in this city.

These tasty treats are so prevalent that there are some free walking tours you can take which will help you find the best tapas in all of Madrid.

Tapas in the window of a Madrid restaurant

Most of the locations you will visit are known as tapas bars, which specialize in making several different styles of meals.

Each of these tapas tours will allow you to decide how much food you try, as you’ll be paying for your food along the way.

Leaf Madrid

This tour company offers a free tour that will take you to popular bars and restaurants which specialize in making a variety of different tapas.

Rather than paying one flat price upfront, you’ll pay for all the food you want to try along the way, giving you control over the cost of the tour.

Available in both English and Spanish, this 2 ½ hours free tapas tour is limited to groups of 10 or fewer and it’s offered on Thursday at 18:00 (6 pm).

Meeting point of the tour is Puerta del Sol at Carlos III on Horse Statue . Tour guide will be holding a Sky Blue Umbrella in his hands.

Book your tour or learn more .

Unseen Footprints

If you’d rather explore the city and try some of the best food in Madrid on your own, this self-guided tapas tour is an excellent choice.

This outing includes multiple different stops at tapas bars in the city, allowing you to try several different types of this popular dish.

The best part about this option is that you don’t have to pay anything for a tour guide and you can decide how much you want to spend on the actual food as you make your way to each location.

The tour starts around 9 pm and the first stop of the tour is El Oso y el Madroño .

Take this self-guided tapas tour or learn more .

Enmanuel Tours

Note: Tour is currently unavailable.

This expert local guide offers a tour called "Delicious Madrid," which covers some of the best foods to eat in the city.

Rather than focusing just on Tapas, this is both a gastronomy and historical tour, providing details about Spanish traditions, customs, and history.

Along the way, you'll have opportunities to taste some of the best dishes in Madrid at local, family-run businesses.

This tour is offered every Saturday and Sunday at 11 am and 16:30 (4:30 pm).

Find out more about the Delicious Madrid tour .

NIGHT TOURS + PUB CRAWLS

These are pretty much the same as a tour of the historic district, but they are offered after the sun goes down.

That said, some night tours offer additional tips and tricks to help guests find their way around the city.

Almudena Cathedral, Madrid

If you’re interested in seeing what Madrid looks like either as the sun is setting or after it goes down, these are excellent sightseeing opportunities.

It’s also worth noting that the free tapas tour from Leaf Madrid starts at 6 pm, so you could easily consider this a night tour as well.

We’ll also provide a few options for pub crawls in Madrid to help you find the best sangria, beer, wine, and vermouth in the city!

Here are a few of the sites you can expect to see after dark:

  • Plaza de la Villa

Discover what Madrid looks like at night on one of the following free walking tours.

Tours Tilla

This is the same historic district tour that we have listed above, but it should be noted that they offer their service after dark, and it’s one of the best free night tour options in Madrid.

Guests can take the tour every night in either English or Spanish at 17:00 (5 pm), and it’s approximately 2 hours in length, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city after dark.

Learn more about this option or book the tour now .

Madrid’s Origin

This outing provides information stretching back over 1200 years of history, and it includes stops at some of the most famous locations in the city.

Although this 2-hour tour is offered in both English and Spanish three times a day – once at 17:30 pm, 21:00 pm and again at 22:30 pm Daily!

Meeting point of the tour is Puerta del Sol and guide will be carrying a light blue umbrella.

Find out more or book this tour .

El Tigre, Madrid

GPS My City

If you’re looking for a free pub crawl, there is one self-guided option provided by GPS My City that you might want to consider.

This guide will use GPS to help you find your way from one bar to the next and it has a total of 18 stops.

You can download it to your smartphone using their app on either iTunes or Android.

Since you don’t have to pay for a tour guide, you can save all your money on trying out a variety of different drinks at the bars you’ll visit along the way.

Take this self-guided pub crawl or learn more .

Other Madrid Pub Crawls

Most pub crawls in this city are not free, but they do often include at least one free drink at each of the bars visited in addition to some drink specials to save you even more money.

Prices range from just €11 to €39, and these outings can last up to 6 hours depending on which one you choose.

If you want to learn more or see what’s available, please check this list of Madrid pub crawls .

FLAMENCO TOURS 

Madrid is home to some wonderful artistic and cultural traditions, and it’s the origin of a popular form of music and dance known as Flamenco.

Flamenco dancers and singer on a dark stage

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about this dance form, there is at least one free walking tour you may want to consider.

You can expect to visit some of the dance schools and Spanish bars where famous Flamenco dancers and musicians have performed throughout the years.

You’ll also visit some artisan shops which sell items such as Flamenco shoes and handmade guitars for artists who perform either the dance or the music that goes along with it.

Your tour guide will also provide information about Flamenco to help you understand its artistry of it and get the most out of any show you might choose to see after this outing.

This 1 ½ hour free walking tour is only available every Saturday at 11:45 am, so it’ll be important to sign up for the service well in advance to ensure you’re included in the group.

Book this tour or learn more .

See a Flamenco Show

If you want to see this music and dancing for yourself either before or after the tour, several venues offer tickets you can purchase well in advance.

Here are a few of the best Flamenco shows currently available in Madrid:

  • Corral de la Morería
  • La Taberna de Mister Pinkleton
  • Centro Cultural Flamenco
  • Torres Bermejas
  • Cafe de Chinitas

In addition to all of the other types of free walking tours, you can take in Madrid, there are also several companies offering pay-what-you-wish tours of notable museums.

While these services do not include admission to the museums in question, they are an excellent way to make sure that you're seeing all the best exhibits and sites at each museum.

The only issue with these museum tours is that they aren't always consistently offered on a regular basis, so availability really depends upon when you plan to visit and how far in advance you reserve your spot.

Here are a few of the best options currently available:

  • Best of the Prado Museum
  • Prado Museum Essentials Tour
  • Best of the Reina Sofia Museum
  • El Prado: A World Art Treasure
  • Free Tour of the Royal Palace of Madrid

And much, much more

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Free Walking Tour of Madrid

  • 9.60 / 10 2,272 reviews | 16,062 travellers Very interesting, the guide is great. 10 Dominique

Join us on our free walking tour of Madrid  for a blend of excitement and culture as we visit iconic sights in the Spanish capital alongside an expert guide !

Plaza Mayor

What to Expect

Fall in love with the capital city, as many locals do, on this free guided tour of Madrid. A city that dates back to the mid-9th century, it's cobble-stoned streets have many stories to tell. Alongside our knowledgeable guide, we'll stroll through winding streets, getting to know its hidden secrets.

Over 2.5 hours, our comprehensive route includes:

  • Puerta del Sol : Meet us at this centrally located point to kick off our guided tour of the Spanish capital
  • Almudena Cathedral : As part of the Royal Palace complex, it's the only Cathedral to break the mold with its North-South facing orientation versus the traditional East-West.
  • Royal Palace : Europe's largest functioning royal residence in present day.
  • Plaza Mayor : Historically the city's central market, the square has seen many functions over the centuries. In the center is an iconic statue of King Phillip from 1848.
  • Plaza de Oriente : An open-air garden museum of sculptures right in front of the Palace complex, lined with sculptures of different Spanish monarchs from centuries past.
  • Plaza de la Villa : Right next to Plaza Mayor, this plaza houses some of the oldest buildings in the city.
  • Opera House : One of the original main European theaters since its opening in 1850.
  • San Miguel Market : Initially an open-air market, it's now converted into a favorite stop among visitors and locals alike for a refreshing vermouth and tapa moment.

Immerse yourself in the rich historical tapestry of the Spanish capital, on this guided Madrid city tour. Get to know the storied past, traditions, and folklore of the capital city, evident in its palaces, convents, and squares.

More Information

2 hours 30 minutes.

The activity takes place with a guide that speaks in English.

English–speaking guide

Not included

When to book.

You can book up until 2.5 hours before the activity as long as there are still places. Book now to guarantee your spot.

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Wheelchair accessible. This must be indicated in the reservation.

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All services published on Civitatis are carried out in accordance with our Sustainability Code .

Our providers commit to:

  • Provide a safe and satisfying experience.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • Incorporate eco-conscious technologies.
  • Uphold fair employment standards.
  • Foster the growth of local communities.
  • Preserve the integrity of local culture.
  • Safeguard both cultural and environmental heritage.
  • Ensure ethical treatment of animals.
  • Operate with honesty and transparency.
  • Encourage sustainable behaviors among customers and staff.

This particular activity contributes as follows:

  • No printing of documentation required.
  • Promotes local employment.

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Q - Why do this activity with Civitatis?

A - At Civitatis we guarantee the best quality and prices, click here if you want to know how we select our activities.

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A - To reserve the activity, choose the date and complete the form on this page. You will receive your confirmation immediately.

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A - This activity requires a minimum of 3 participants. Should this number not be reached, we'll get in touch with you to offer alternatives.

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Free cancellation

Meeting point.

Puerta del Sol, in front of the statue of Carlos III on horseback

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walking tour in madrid spain

Best things to do and see in Madrid

Madrid is a city that doesn’t need any introductions. It is the capital of Spain, and a tourist hotspot every year along with Barcelona. Its abundant culture, architecture, cuisine, and art make it obvious why so many decide to visit this Iberian city, along with all the different niches and interesting sites it has to offer if you know where to look, that is! If you are planning on visiting this European metropolis, it’s important that you have a few reference points so you get the most out of your trip.

If you are looking for the best free walking tour in Madrid , the best idea is for you to do it with a local guide who knows all those mandatory tourist stops and of course the more hidden charms of this great city. If you tour this capital city you can’t miss places like: walking through Madrid’s Retiro, park area, or walking by the Gate of Alcala, (la Puerta de Alcalá) Cibeles Square, continuing until the Sun Gate, (la Puerta del Sol). A visit to the Main Square, (Plaza Mayor) where you can take a walk to the gardens beside the Royal Palace is also a must. There are also more specific tours you can choose that will take you some of Madrid’s different neighborhoods like: Salamance, Chueca, La Latina or Argüelles. If you enjoy art and museums, Madrid is a top destination with world-renowned museums like the Prado, Queen Sophia, the Archeological Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza or the Sorolla Museum. If you are choosing a walking tour, you can’t forget about places like Columbus’ Square, the Argüelles viewpoint, Santa Ana’s Square, the Gran Vía Avenue or the Plaza de España itself.

Find out more info about the free walking tours available in Madrid , by going to the webpage and reading other walkers’ opinions and reviews about their experiences on the same route with the same guide.  Whether you book a guruwalk in the morning, afternoon, or evening, you will have a great time getting to know some of the charms with professional guides who will get you the most out of your holidays in this Spanish capital. 

Free walking tour near Madrid

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Madrid is one of the greatest cities in Spain

Madrid is a vibrant, buzzing city. Its many cafés, tapas bars and restaurants are testament to the Spanish capital's legacy as a cultural and very social city - indeed it's home to Botin restaurant, the oldest in the world! There's always a party in Madrid, from Puerta del sol square to the hip district of Chueca you'll embrace a famous local nightlife made of excellent flamenco bars, great pubs & taverns and a world renowned clubbing scene. This coupled with a wealth of fantastic museums, galleries & theatres, beautiful gardens and parks makes Madrid an ideal city to visit.

Madrid's winding streets have seen a great deal of history and freetour.com recommended free walking tours will give you an unbeatable, authentic insight to this wonderful city. Join enthusiastic local guides to see hidden secrets & key sights like Palacio Real, Puerta de Alcala & majestic Almudena Cathedral and to learn about fascinating history including occupations, the civil war, the Spanish Inquisition, General Franco and much more.

There's so much to do in Madrid after your tour. You can shop and bargain hunt at El Rastro flea market, watch the world go by with a great coffee in Plaza Mayor, soak up the sun and spirit in Buen Retiro park, visit the Prado gallery for art works by Goy and Bosch, or even catch a Real Madrid game at the Bernabeu. Before long, you'll be madly in love with Madrid.

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free walking tours madrid

Traveler Rating 1579 Reviews

Free Walking Tours Madrid

The best free tour of Madrid! Free Walking Tours Madrid promotes a tourism that fuses entertainment, culture and respect for the city 🙂 Join and discover Madrid with us!

  • Entertainment and culture , is the combination that defines our success formula.
  • Expert guides that are passionate about the city!
  • Free Tour concept, where you choose the price.

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Tours & Activities in Madrid

  • Free Tour Madrid The best Free Tour of Madrid! Free Tour Madrid promotes tourism that blends entertainment, culture and respect for the city. Join and discover Madrid with us, discover the best side of the city !! Book & Info
  • Free Tour Madrid Monumental & Retiro Park Explore with us the most monumental and artistic Madrid, a tour of the great architectural works of the city. Book & Info
  • Flamenco Show in Madrid Live the passion of dance and flamenco in Madrid. Highly talented artists and a unique environment to discover this incredible Spanish dance. An experience for the senses! Book & Info
  • Full day Toledo Visiting Toledo is to get to know the history of our country. The so-called "city of the three cultures" , gathers artistic and architectural jewels of Christianity, Judaism and Muslim culture. Book & Info
  • Avila + Segovia, Full day Tour Free Walking Tours Madrid, together with our partner company VPT, propose a full day tour to Avila and Segovia. A magnificent full day tour in which you will get to know two World Heritage Cities. Book & Info
  • Escorial and Valle de los Caídos Visit San Lorenzo de El Escorial and enjoy the spectacular views from the Valle de los Caídos, all accompanied by our expert guide. Book & Info

Private tours in Madrid

Private Tours

With private tours we can adapt to your needs, with the duration and travel you prefer; a great option for groups of students, corporate events or simply to live a more personalized experience in Madrid.

We believe that everyone has the right to a quality tour regardless of their budget. At the end of the free tour you are the ones who can value the service.

We work with experienced guides, respectful with the city and passionate about transmitting the best stories and corners of the city.

With more than 5 years of experience and a thousand positive comments on the internet, we continue to strive to provide the best service to travelers from all over the world.

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21 Best Things to do in Madrid with Teens

M adrid is a vibrant and exciting city with plenty of things to do with teens. I don’t think a family trip to Spain is complete without at least a few days in Madrid! The Spanish capital is a bustling metropolis with a rich history and culture, offering a unique blend of old-world charm and modern-day excitement. You can explore world-renowned museums, sample Madrid’s famous cuisine, enjoy the city’s beautiful green spaces, and so much more. Scroll down to check out my list of fun things to do in Madrid with teens.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something we have recommended. Please check out our  disclosure policy  for more details. Thank you for your support!

Top Things to Do with Teens in Madrid, Spain

I spent time in Madrid during college, and it’s always been a favorite place to come back to with my whole family! It’s great for even a quick trip because you can easily plan to visit a variety of places with so many sites located inside or close to the city center. So, keep reading below for the best things to do in Madrid with teenagers.

1. El Palacio Real (Royal Palace)

The Royal Palace of Madrid , also known as the Palacio Real, was once the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. Today, it’s open to the public. You can explore the palace’s stunning, gilded interiors, with ornate furnishings, frescoes, and tapestries. There are beautiful gardens and courtyards surrounding the palace that you can visit, as well.

General admission tickets give you access to the Palace, kitchens, and gardens. You can also add on guided or audio tours for a small fee. There’s a discounted rate for kids 5 to 16 years old, and kids under 5 are free.

Highlights of the palace include the Throne Room, the Hall of Mirrors, and the Royal Armory. The 18th-century palace is also home to an impressive collection of Spanish art, including works by Velázquez and Goya.

2. El Retiro Park and Crystal Palace

If you’re looking for a great place to relax and unwind, or if you want to explore some of Madrid’s most beautiful natural spaces, check out El Retiro Park.

Located in the heart of Madrid, this sprawling urban oasis spans over 125 hectares and was recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s breathtaking, with a wide variety of trees, gardens, sculptures, fountains, and ponds.

One of the highlights of the park is the stunning Palacio de Cristal, or Crystal Palace. It’s a stunning glass and steel structure that was originally built in the 19th century as a greenhouse. Today, the palace is used as a venue for contemporary art exhibitions.

Other popular attractions in El Retiro include the lake, where you can rent rowboats and the Rose Garden, which is home to over 4,000 rose bushes.

3. Take a Tapas Tour of Madrid

If you’re looking for things to do in Madrid with teens, you can’t go wrong with a food tour. Tapas are a type of small savory dish or a snack that was originally served alongside wine or beer. A tapas tasting tour is a great way to experience authentic local culture and see the city!

You can book this small group tapas walking tour of historic Madrid with a local guide. You’ll start out in the historic San Miguel Market and explore the old city from there. Each booking comes with your choice of wine, beer, or another beverage. Kids of all ages are welcome.

4. Eat at Mercado de San Miguel

If your family prefers exploring local markets on your own, the San Miguel Market is a must-visit destination. Located in the heart of Madrid, this historic indoor market has been in operation since 1916. It’s home to dozens of vendors selling everything from fresh seafood to artisanal cheeses and Iberian ham.

You can pick up items to take back to your vacation rental or enjoy the outdoor seating in the Plaza de San Miguel next door. The market is always bustling with activity, and visitors can sample a wide variety of delicious Spanish specialties while soaking up the lively atmosphere. Plus, the San Miguel Market is also home to several bars and restaurants. You can visit every day from 10 AM to midnight.

5. Chocolatería de San Ginés

No trip to Madrid is complete without having churros and hot chocolate at the historic Chocolatería San Ginés . If you’re looking for unique experiences in Spain, this is a must. This iconic café has been serving up its famous churros con chocolate since 1894, and it remains a beloved institution in the city to this day.

The café’s churros are made fresh to order and served with a thick, rich chocolate dipping sauce that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. They’re open 24 hours, so you can stop by for a quick snack while you’re sightseeing or come in for a leisurely breakfast.

6. Day Trip to Segovia

Segovia makes the perfect day trip for those interested in history and architecture. Just an hour from Madrid, Segovia is known for its impressive Roman aqueduct, which dates back to the 1st century AD, as well as its beautiful Gothic cathedral. And if the city’s stunning Alcázar fortress feels familiar, that’s because it was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s enchanted castle!

You can easily explore this stunning mountain city on your own or book a full-day tour of Segovia with transportation . Spend the day exploring the city’s charming streets and learning about the history of this ancient city from an expert. You’ll also get to sample the local cuisine, like Segovia’s famous roast suckling pig. And your tour also includes admission to local museums and sites like the historic aqueduct.

7. Temple of Debod

The Temple of Debod is one of Madrid’s most unique and fascinating attractions, offering visitors a glimpse into the city’s layered history and cultural heritage. This ancient Egyptian temple dates back to the 2nd century BC and was originally located in Upper Egypt, but it was gifted to Spain by the Egyptian government in the 1960s!

Today, you can visit the Temple of Debod inside the beautiful Parque del Oeste. The temple is free to visit and features beautiful carvings and hieroglyphics, as well as historical markers where you can learn about the temple. The park itself is lovely to walk through with beautiful gardens and unbeatable views of Madrid (especially at sunset).

8. Parque de Attraciones

inside the massive Parque Casa de Campo near Madrid’s city center is the seasonal Parque de Attraciones de Madrid . It’s a great time if your crew is a fan of visiting theme parks on family holidays!

If you’re looking to fill a whole day and have both older and younger kids, this is also a great option. There are a variety of rides for children, teens, and adults alike, including thrilling roller coasters!

You can attend live shows or visit the water park (though there aren’t many thrill rides here), and younger kids will love the new Nickelodeon Land section of the park. When you’re hungry, you have a variety of options. There are cafes, kiosks, and restaurants throughout the park, or you can bring in your own food.

9. Watch a Real Madrid Soccer Game

For families, attending a Madrid soccer (or futbol) game is a fun way to bond over a shared love of sports. Even if you’re not a die-hard soccer game, attending a game is a memorable way to experience a unique aspect of Spanish culture! Madrid is home to two of the world’s most popular football clubs: Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid .

These teams have a fierce rivalry that spans decades. This means that attending a game at either of their stadiums is highly entertaining. Even if the teams aren’t playing during your visit, a tour of their respective stadiums is worth it. Real Madrid plays in the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and Atlético Madrid plays in the Metropolitano Stadium.

10. Museum of Illusions

For more things to do in Madrid with teens, check out the Museum of Illusions , located in the city center. The museum is an immersive, interactive museum featuring exhibits around different optical illusions. If your young people love being silly, taking pictures and videos for social media, and learning about science in a cool way, this place is perfect for them!

You can explore different exhibits and installations, like the Ames room that makes people appear to change size. Or there’s the Infinity Room that creates the illusion of infinite space. There’s also a game room with different mentally challenging puzzles, but it’s probably geared more toward younger kids. The Museum of Illusions is open every day, from 11 AM during the week and 9:30 AM on the weekends.

IKONO is another interactive art museum located in the heart of Madrid, Spain that you don’t want to miss! The museum is designed to provide visitors with unique and immersive experiences that show how art and technology work together.

Each room features different interactive installations and exhibits that involve many of the senses, including smell and touch. The installations at IKONO are designed to be visually striking, with bright colors, bold patterns, and creative use of lighting and sound.

You’re encouraged to engage with the exhibits, touching and interacting with the art to create your own unique experience. Many of the exhibits are designed specifically for social media, with photo-friendly backdrops and installations that are perfect for taking selfies! If you’re interested in skip-the-line tickets to IKONO, click here .

12. Take a Guided Tour of Madrid

A quality way to see Madrid’s most popular landmarks is on a guided tour. Consider this 2-hour walking tour through the heart of Madrid . Your guide will entertain you with fascinating tales of the city’s long history and point out interesting architectural details.

First, you’ll explore the historic Puerta del Sol in the very center of Madrid. Then, you begin your walk toward the Royal Palace. At the palace, you’ll skip the lines and go right inside for a private tour through the city’s most famous historical site.

For a tour that your teens won’t soon forget, take a Tuk Tuk tour of Madrid ! Zipping around on this electric, open-air vehicle is a great way to get in a lot of sightseeing in a short time.

You’ll wind through the city center and around the El Retiro neighborhood, taking in the city’s beautiful palaces, churches, and museums. This tour is also great because you can choose between 1-4 hours, depending on how much time you have.

13. Visit a Museum

Madrid is known for having some of the best art museums in the world. Some good options for exploring with teens include the Prado Museum , the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and the Reina Sofia Museum.

Art lovers can’t miss the Prado Museum, one of the most famous art museums in the world. It houses an extensive collection of European art from the 12th century to the early 20th century.

Nearby, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum boasts a collection of art that spans eight centuries, including works by some of the most famous artists in history. A little further down the road, the Reina Sofia Museum is home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of modern and contemporary art.

14. Day Trip to Toledo

Like Segovia, Toledo is another good option for a day trip from Madrid . Only an hour south of the city, you can easily drive there and explore the cobblestone streets of the old town.

Many of the stunning structures in Toledo date back to the 13th century. It’s fascinating to see the mix of Arab, Christian, and Jewish influences throughout! Toledo was also home to the famed painter, El Greco. You can experience his work at the El Greco Museum or at the church of St. Tome.

You can also make things easy on yourself and book a guided tour with transportation . Just meet your guides at their offices near the Royal Palace. You’ll enjoy a scenic ride and a fully planned itinerary to the best stops in Toledo. If you prefer, you can also choose a half-day tour (AM or PM) or a full 8-hour tour.

15. Experience a Flamenco Show

Flamenco is a traditional dance and musical style that has been a part of Spanish culture for centuries. Performances combine live music, dance, and singing, making it a thrilling and unforgettable experience for audiences of all ages. Flamenco shows tend to include dinner and drinks, so it’s a great way to spend an evening with the family!

There are several places to see a flamenco show just in Madrid’s city center alone. Probably the most popular option is the Corral de la Morería , one of the oldest and what is considered the best flamenco venues in the world.

For a more casual experience, Cardamomo Tablao Flamenco is a popular choice, with shows every night and a cozy atmosphere.

If your family is looking for a more upscale setting with a prix fixe dinner, go to Tablao Flamenco Torres Bermejas .

16. Walk Around Plaza Mayor

While you’re visiting Madrid with teens, take at least one morning or afternoon to walk around Plaza Mayor. It’s one of the most iconic and historic landmarks in the city. The plaza was constructed in the 17th century and has been the site of numerous cultural and historical events. This includes bullfights, royal coronations, and even public executions!

Today, the plaza is a bustling center of activity with numerous shops and restaurants at every price point. In the winter, it’s the site of a Christmas village, and during the warmer months, you’ll often see free summer concerts or interesting art installations in the square.

This is a lovely place to enjoy some tapas, watch street performers, and pick up some souvenirs, all in the most famous and historic plaza in Europe!

17. Paella Cooking Class

How exciting to learn how to cook an iconic Spanish dish like paella from a real Spanish chef? One of the best things to do in Madrid with teens is enjoy a 4-hour cooking class with dinner ! Head to Cooking Point in the city center to meet up with your small group and chef guide.

From there you’ll head to a local market where you’ll learn about local ingredients and purchase what you’ll need. Then it’s back to the cooking school to create your masterpiece.

This is a great way to bond with the family and enjoy good food when you dine on the dish you’ve created at the end of the class. (If you want to make paella, make sure to book the morning class, instead of the evening tapas class).

18. Parque Warner

Parque Warner Madrid is an amusement park themed around Warner Bros. and DC Comics characters. It features a range of attractions and rides, including roller coasters, water rides, and a 4D movie theater.

The park is divided into 5 areas, with themes like Hollywood Boulevard, DC Superheroes World, and Old West Territory. There’s enough variety that it’ll be tons of fun for adults and teens, as well as younger kids!

The park also features daily shows and parades, as well as all kinds of eateries, including coffee shops and frozen treat vendors. Parque Warner is located less than an hour outside of Madrid, with easy access by public transportation or car.

19. Segway Tour of Madrid

Another great way to take in some of the most beautiful landmarks in Madrid or simply enjoy low-impact sightseeing is on a Segway tour.

Segways are tons of fun and can be driven by kids as young as 16 (age 10 with an adult onboard). This small group Segway tour of old town Madrid will take you all over the historic city center and through some of the most beautiful streets in the city.

You’ll get close looks at historical sites like Almudena Cathedral, Puerto del Sol, the Templo de Debod, and the most popular plazas in downtown Madrid. Each guest will get a helmet and Segway safety lesson before heading into the city.

Your tour guide will give you fascinating information about each place you visit, too. This is a highly customizable tour with different route options and tour lengths. You can choose routes that take you to see the massive Casa de Campo or end your tour with a visit to an amazing tapas place!

20. Casa De Campo

Casa De Campo is the largest park in Madrid, located just west of the city center. It is a sprawling green space that covers over 1,700 hectares and offers a range of things to do for visitors of all ages. Originally a royal hunting ground, Casa De Campo was transformed into a public park in the mid-20th century. Today it’s a favorite destination for both locals and tourists.

One of the highlights of Casa De Campo is the Teleférico de Madrid, a cable car that offers panoramic views of the city as it transports you across the park!

There’s also an absolutely beautiful zoo, the Madrid Zoo Aquarium. The park offers numerous hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for boating and fishing. There are also several picnic areas scattered across Casa De Campo, making it a great place to spend a relaxing day with the family.

21. Madrid Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

One of the best activities for a multi-generational group and for anyone wanting to fit in as much sightseeing as possible should book a hop-on hop-off bus tour of Madrid ! It’s a great way to get your bearings in the city center.

The tour company has 2 different routes, and you can book either 1- or 2-day tickets. So, if you want to try different routes on different days, you can!

A hop-on hop-off tour is a top-notch way to experience any new city because you can enjoy audio guides for more information on sites along the route. If you want to spend time at an attraction, hop off and go inside! You can always catch the next bus when it gets to your stop. If you were to complete an entire circuit without getting off, it only takes about an hour or 90 minutes.

As you can see, Madrid has a wealth of activities and attractions for teenagers. From exploring the vibrant neighborhoods and trying new foods to visiting world-class museums and attending sporting events, there is never a dull moment. If you’re planning a family vacation to Spain or a weekend getaway, Madrid is the perfect place to bond with your teens and create unforgettable adventures together.

Where to Stay in Madrid

  • Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via – central location on the Gran Via, offers triples and family rooms that sleep up to 4. Teens will love the rooftop pool and wellness center.
  • Petit Palace Plaza Mayor – close to both Plaza Mayor and Palacio Real, this boutique property has several quadruple rooms for families and some rooms sleep up to 6.
  • The Four Seasons – families looking for a luxury property should look no further. Housed in seven historical buildings with a four level wellness center and rooftop pool. Central to Puerta del Sol and the Prado Museum.
  • The Madrid EDITION – beautifully designed hotel with a rooftop pool. Centrally located to Plaza Mayor .

The post 21 Best Things to do in Madrid with Teens appeared first on Kids Are A Trip™ .

Madrid is a vibrant and exciting city with plenty of things to do with teens. I don’t think a family trip to Spain is complete without at least a few days in Madrid! The Spanish capital is a bustling metropolis with a rich history and culture, offering a unique blend of old-world charm and modern-day...

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The 7 Best Hotels in Madrid

The charming historic buildings in Madrid, Spain on a bright summer day

Madrid has it all: incredible food, world-class museums, stunning architecture, non-stop nightlife, and picturesque winding streets. The vibrant capital of Spain , here you can spend your days exploring iconic landmarks like the Prado Museum and your evenings luxuriating over glasses of wine in bustling tapas bars.

While my first visit to the city was a bit ill-fated (I was sick and spent most of the time in bed), I’ve been able to visit many times since then.

Over the years, I’ve stayed at lots of hotels here. To help you plan your visit, here’s my list of the best hotels in Madrid:

1. Petit Palace Puerta del Sol

A mirror hangs above a double bed with white sheets and bath towels arranged in a decorative manner at Petit Palace Puerta del Sol hotel in Madrid, Spain

The soundproofed rooms are compact (to be expected in such a central location) but optimize the space with flatscreen TVs, Wi-Fi, parquet floors, small desks, and minibars. The rooms are are minimalist with no real décor to speak of, though they’re clean and comfortable. Some rooms have a lot of natural light, while others are windowless, so if that matters to you, be sure to book a streetside room for a lovely view. The recently renovated bathrooms have rainfall showers with excellent water pressure.

2. Radisson RED Madrid

A large painting hangs above a double bed in a hotel room with a wooden desk and red rotary phone on the nightstand table at Radisson RED Madrid in Madrid, Spain

The rooms have a beautiful contemporary design, with artwork on the walls and ample amounts of natural light. Each room has a flatscreen TV, work desk, Nespresso machine, AC, safe, and a spacious bathroom. There are also family rooms and rooms with a massive private terrace available too. It’s an excellent place to stay if you plan on taking the high-speed rail elsewhere in Spain, as you’re right across from the main train station.

3. L&H La Latina

Two portrait photographs hang above a double bed in a sage-colored studio with a kitchenette and table at L&H La Latina aparthotel in Madrid, Spain

The rooms and suites are painted in a calming sage green color, with minimalist décor and artwork on the walls. All apartments have a lot of natural light and feature a flatscreen TV, wardrobe, and AC. The large bathrooms have complimentary toiletries and showers that have excellent water pressure. Overall, this is a great centrally located hotel perfect for travelers who want extra space or access to a kitchen.

4. Hotel Catalonia Goya

A golden piece of decor hangs above a double bed with a love seat at the foot of the bed at Hotel Catalonia Goya in Madrid, Spain

The sizable rooms are clean and stylish, with a contemporary design and parquet floors. All rooms have a desk, smart TV with Chromecast, minibar, coffee maker, and safe. The bathrooms are spacious too and have hairdryers as well as large showers with good water pressure. While you’re walking distance to many attractions, the hotel is also right next to a metro station that can take you across the city in just a few stops. I think the value of what you get here is phenomenal.

5. Hotel Indigo Madrid–Princesa

A cluster of photographs and drawings hang above a bed with red pillows and orange blankets, next to a wooden desk with a red rotary phone on it at Hotel Indigo Madrid-Princesa in Madrid, Spain

All room types have a large smart TV, minibar, Nespresso machine, and desk. The beds are comfy with extra plush duvets, and the bathrooms are large with nice walk-in showers, hair dryers, and comfy bathrobes. The hotel is walking distance to main sights like the Templo de Debod and Royal Palace, but you’re also just steps from a metro station so it’s easy to get across the city too.

6. VP Plaza España Design

A king sized bed in a hotel room with a contemporary design, a large mirror, and orchids on the table at VP Plaza España Design in Madrid, Spain

There are nine different types of rooms and suites to choose from here (including rooms with a private terrace, and others that have an elliptical and stationary bike). All are spacious and soundproofed, decorated with curated artwork and fresh flowers. In-room amenities include a minibar, desk, Nespresso machine, Bluetooth speakers, flatscreen TV with Chromecast, and 24-hour room service. The beds are super comfy and there are both blackout blinds as well as a pillow menu so that you can get a good night’s sleep. The bathrooms are large too, with a towel warmer, complimentary luxury toiletries, rainfall shower with excellent water pressure, and a separate bathtub. You won’t want for anything here!

7. Four Seasons Madrid

A luxurious cream-colored hotel room with a large bed, blue chaise longue by the open window, and a desk at the Four Seasons in Madrid, Spain

The rooms here are fit for royalty, decorated in cream tones with contemporary art on the wall and lots of natural light from the large windows. All rooms include an array of furniture, including a chaise longue, desk, dining table, and amenities like a coffee maker, flatscreen TV, and minibar. The marble bathrooms are just as elegant, furnished with a deep bathtub and separate shower, thick terry bathrobes and slippers, and luxurious toiletries. There’s also a nightly turndown service as well as room service available 24/7. If you want to splurge, this is the hotel for you.

The sunny capital of Spain has so many things to see and do (and eat!) that you’ll be able to hard-pressed to fit them all in. But no matter how long you visit for, be sure to pick one of the hotels above. Do that, and you’ll have an unforgettable stay in one of the greatest cities in Europe !

Book Your Trip to Spain: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned!

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • SafetyWing (best for everyone)
  • Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
  • Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They save you money when you travel too.

Want a Guide? Madrid has some really interesting tours. My favorite company is Walks , which has expert guides and can get you behind the scenes of the city’s best attractions. It’s my go-to walking tour company!

Want More Information on Madrid? Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Madrid for even more planning tips!

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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A Russian Defector’s Killing Raises Specter of Hit Squads

The death in Spain of Maksim Kuzminov, a pilot who delivered a helicopter and secret documents to Ukraine, has raised fears that the Kremlin is again targeting its enemies.

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Men in blue uniforms and white hazmat suits lean over a body on the ground. They are surrounded by parked cars.

By Michael Schwirtz and José Bautista

Reporting from Villajoyosa, Spain, and Kyiv, Ukraine

The men who killed Maksim Kuzminov wanted to send a message. This was obvious to investigators in Spain even before they discovered who he was. Not only did the killers shoot him six times in a parking garage in southern Spain, they ran over his body with their car.

They also left an important clue to their identity, according to investigators: shell casings from 9-millimeter Makarov rounds, a standard ammunition of the former Communist bloc.

“It was a clear message,” said a senior official from Guardia Civil, the Spanish police force overseeing the investigation into the killing. “I will find you, I will kill you, I will run you over and humiliate you.”

Mr. Kuzminov defected from Russia to Ukraine last summer, flying his Mi-8 military helicopter into Ukrainian territory and handing the aircraft along with a cache of secret documents to Ukrainian intelligence operatives. In doing so, he committed the one offense President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has said again and again he will never forgive: treachery.

His killing in the seaside resort town of Villajoyosa last month has raised fears that Russia’s European spy networks continue to operate and are targeting enemies of the Kremlin, despite concerted efforts to dismantle them after Mr. Putin invaded Ukraine in 2022.

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Villajoyosa

Russia’s intelligence services have been put on a war footing and begun operating at a level of aggressiveness at home and abroad reminiscent of the Stalin era, said Andrei Soldatov, an author and expert on Russia’s military and security services.

“It’s not about conventional espionage anymore,” he said. “It’s about operations — and these operations might include assassinations.”

In Spain, Mr. Kuzminov lived “an indiscreet life,” the senior Guardia Civil official said. He went to bars popular with Russian and Ukrainian clientele, burning through the money he had received from the Ukrainian state. He drove around Villajoyosa in a black Mercedes S-Class.

Exactly how the killers found him has not been established, though two senior Ukrainian officials said he had reached out to a former girlfriend, still in Russia, and invited her to come see him in Spain.

“This was a grave mistake,” one of the officials said.

Senior police officials speaking on the condition of anonymity said the killing bore hallmarks of similar attacks linked to the Kremlin, including the assassination of a former Chechen rebel commander in Berlin in 2019 and the poisoning of the former Russian military intelligence operative Sergei V. Skripal in Salisbury, England, in 2018. Mr. Skripal survived.

The two hooded killers who appeared on surveillance camera footage from the parking garage of Mr. Kuzminov’s apartment complex were clearly professionals who carried out their mission and quickly disappeared, police officials said.

“It is not common here in Spain for someone to be shot with a lot of ammunition,” said Chief Pepe Álvarez of the Villajoyosa Police Department. “These are indications that point to organized crime, to a criminal organization, to professionals.”

While no evidence of direct Kremlin involvement has emerged, Russia had made no secret of its desire to see Mr. Kuzminov dead. Weeks after his defection, the Kremlin’s signature Sunday evening news program ran a segment quoting fellow pilots and commandos from Russia’s military intelligence service vowing revenge.

“We’ll find this person and punish him, with all the severity of our country’s laws, for treason and for betraying his brothers,” said one of the commandos, who was not identified. “We find everyone eventually. Our arms are long.”

The defection of Mr. Kuzminov was a coup for Ukraine, orchestrated by a covert unit in the HUR, Ukraine’s military’s intelligence arm. The unit specializes in recruiting Russian fighters and running agents on Russian territory to carry out sabotage missions. Some soldiers from the unit have received specialized training from the C.I.A. on operating in hostile environments.

While the unit had been able to persuade individual Russians and sometimes small groups of soldiers to defect, Mr. Kuzminov’s daring flight — and the high value of what he delivered — was unprecedented, said a senior Ukrainian official with knowledge of the operation.

The success of Ukraine’s efforts to recruit defectors is difficult to quantify. Thousands of Russian citizens have joined volunteer units fighting with the Ukrainian military and at times crossed into Russian territory for lightning raids on border outposts. It does not appear, however, that they have shifted the balance of power in any significant way.

Mr. Kuzminov said in interviews that he became disillusioned after reading postings by Ukrainians on the internet.

“I understood who was on the side of good and who was on the side of truth,” he said in an interview with a Ukrainian blogger.

In the early evening of Aug. 9, 2023, Mr. Kuzminov took off in a military helicopter from an airfield in the Kursk region in western Russia for what was supposed to be a simple cargo delivery to another base in the country. With him in the cockpit were a technician named Nikita Kiryanov and a navigator, Khushbakht Tursunov. Neither soldier appeared to be aware of Mr. Kuzminov’s plans.

Shortly after takeoff, Mr. Kuzminov turned off the helicopter’s radio communications equipment and dove to an altitude of just under 20 feet to evade radar. Then he crossed into Ukraine.

In interviews with Ukrainian news media, Mr. Kuzminov was coy about what happened next. He said only that he had landed the helicopter at a prearranged rendezvous point in the Kharkiv region, just over 10 miles from the border, where he was met by HUR commandos.

“Everything went well,” he said in one interview.

The reality is more complicated. When he crossed into the country, Mr. Kuzminov surprised a group of Ukrainian fighters, who opened fire, according to another senior Ukrainian official. In the confusion, Mr. Kuzminov was shot in the leg.

What happened to his crewmates is less clear. A Russian television report about them, citing a medical examiner, claimed that the two had been shot and killed at close range and suggested that Mr. Kuzminov had killed them before landing. The senior Ukrainian official involved in the operation said this was not true.

“Our soldiers shot them,” the official said. “Otherwise they would have killed Kuzminov and could have escaped in that helicopter.”

In interviews, Mr. Kuzminov said his crewmates were unarmed but never explained how they died.

The HUR clearly considered the mission a major success. Shortly afterward, Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, announced that the operation would give confidence to other Russian soldiers who were considering defection. The intelligence agency even produced a documentary film about the operation to showcase its triumph.

Mr. Kuzminov went on a media tour, holding a news conference, giving interviews denouncing Russia’s war and calling on others to follow his example.

“You won’t regret it,” he said in the documentary. “You’ll be taken care of for the rest of your life.”

The Ukrainian government paid Mr. Kuzminov $500,000 and provided him a Ukrainian passport and a fake name: Ihor Shevchenko. They also offered him a chance to join them in fighting Russia.

Instead, Mr. Kuzminov left Ukraine in October and drove to Villajoyosa, a small town on the Mediterranean coast popular with British and Eastern European tourists. There, he settled on the ninth floor of a modest apartment building about a 10-minute walk from the beach.

It was a curious choice for someone so explicitly targeted by the Russian authorities for liquidation. The region is a well-known base of operation for Russian organized crime figures, some of whom maintain ties to the country’s intelligence services, the Spanish authorities say.

In 2020, the Spanish police arrested more than 20 people connected to Russian criminal groups, some of whom were operating out of Alicante, in the same province as Villajoyosa. The people were charged with laundering millions of dollars acquired through drug and human trafficking, extortion and contract killings, the Spanish authorities said.

Another Russian military defector who has settled in Spain and spoke on the condition of anonymity for safety reasons called the region where Mr. Kuzminov settled “a red zone” filled with Russian agents. “I’ll never go there,” he said.

On the morning of Feb. 13, a white Hyundai Tucson entered the garage under Mr. Kuzminov’s apartment building and parked in an empty spot between the elevators used by residents and the ramp leading to the street. Two men waited there for several hours, according to the senior Guardia Civil official.

Around 4:20 p.m., Mr. Kuzminov drove into the garage, parked and began walking toward the elevators. As he passed in front of the white Hyundai, the two assailants emerged, called out to him and opened fire. Though he was struck by six bullets, most of them in the torso, Mr. Kuzminov managed to sprint a short distance before collapsing on the ramp.

The two killers got back into the car and ran over Mr. Kuzminov’s body on their way out. The vehicle was found a few miles away, burned with the help of what investigators believe was a special accelerant. It took specialists a week to identify the make and model of the car and establish that it had been stolen — two days before the killing — in Murcia, a town about an hour away.

A special unit in the Guardia Civil is carrying out the investigation under strict secrecy rules. The authorities have not publicly confirmed that Mr. Kuzminov was the person killed. They have struggled to reach officials in Ukraine who might help them.

But among the community of Russian and Ukrainian expatriates living in Villajoyosa, there was no question of who was behind the death.

“Everyone thinks the services took him out,” said Ivan, 31, who fled his home city, Kherson, Ukraine, at the start of the war. “They’re everywhere.”

Spain’s annual report on national security threats, published this month, said Russia had revamped its intelligence operations in the country after the expulsion of 27 Russian diplomats over the war in Ukraine. Though fewer in number, the report said, Russian spies continued to seek out ways to “destabilize Spain’s support for NATO.”

In the past, Russian officials have twisted themselves into knots trying to obfuscate the Kremlin’s connection to various assassinations around Europe, often in the face of clear evidence of state involvement. Mr. Kuzminov’s case is different. Senior Russian officials spoke of his death with barely disguised glee.

“This traitor and criminal became a moral corpse the moment he planned his dirty and terrible crime,” said Sergei Naryshkin, the director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service.

Dmitri A. Medvedev, the former Russian president who is now the deputy chairman of the country’s security council, said, “A dog gets a dog’s death.”

In contrast with the great fanfare that accompanied Mr. Kuzminov’s defection, the Ukrainian authorities have been mostly quiet about the killing. Senior officials worry that it could dissuade others from following his example.

“Who will cooperate with us after this?” said one of the senior officials.

“Russia will intensively spread propaganda — they’re already doing it — that they will find all traitors,” he said. “This is a hidden message to other citizens of Russia, especially military personnel, that we will find you if you betray us.”

Michael Schwirtz is an investigative reporter with the International desk. With The Times since 2006, he previously covered the countries of the former Soviet Union from Moscow and was a lead reporter on a team that won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for articles about Russian intelligence operations. More about Michael Schwirtz

Our Coverage of the War in Ukraine

News and Analysis

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has signed into law three measures aimed at replenishing the ranks of his country’s depleted army, including lowering the draft age to 25 .

With continued American aid to Ukraine stalled and against the looming prospect of a second Trump presidency, NATO officials are looking to take more control of directing military support from Ukraine’s allies  — a role that the United States has played for the past two years.

Exploding drones hit an oil refinery and munitions factory far to the east of Moscow, in what Ukrainian media and military experts said was among the longest-range strikes with Ukrainian drones so far in the war .

Conditional Support: Ukraine wants a formal invitation to join NATO, but NATO has no appetite for taking on a new member  that, because of the alliance’s covenant of collective security, would draw it into the biggest land war in Europe since 1945.

“Shell Hunger”: A desperate shortage of munitions in Ukraine  is warping tactics and the types of weapons employed. What few munitions remain are often mismatched with battlefield needs as the country’s forces prepare for an expected Russian offensive this summer.

Turning to Marketing: Ukraine’s troop-starved brigades have started their own recruitment campaigns  to fill ranks depleted in the war with Russia.

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Our team of visual journalists analyzes satellite images, photographs , videos and radio transmissions  to independently confirm troop movements and other details.

We monitor and authenticate reports on social media, corroborating these with eyewitness accounts and interviews. Read more about our reporting efforts .

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Vingegaard breaks collarbone and several ribs in crash at race in Spain. Evenepoel also injured

Jonas Hansen Vingegaard - Team Visma - Lease A Bike, the winner of the race, celebrates on the podium with the Trident Trophy after the 59th Tirreno - Adriatico 2024, Stage from San Benedetto del Tronto to San Benedetto del Tronto, Sunday, March 10, 2024 in San Benedetto del Tronto, Tuscany, Italy. (FGianmattia D'Alberto/LaPresse via AP)

Jonas Hansen Vingegaard - Team Visma - Lease A Bike, the winner of the race, celebrates on the podium with the Trident Trophy after the 59th Tirreno - Adriatico 2024, Stage from San Benedetto del Tronto to San Benedetto del Tronto, Sunday, March 10, 2024 in San Benedetto del Tronto, Tuscany, Italy. (FGianmattia D’Alberto/LaPresse via AP)

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MADRID (AP) — Two-time defending Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard broke his collarbone and several ribs Thursday in a crash at the Tour of Basque Country that also caught up Olympic gold medalist Primoz Roglič and Remco Evenepoel, who also sustained a broken collarbone.

Evenepoel, one of the favorites for the road race at the Paris Games, also has a broken right shoulder blade and was scheduled return to Belgium on Friday for surgery on his collarbone, his team said.

Vingegaard was hardly moving as he was put in an ambulance wearing an oxygen mask and neck brace after the crash occurred with less than 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) left in the fourth stage.

“Examinations at the hospital have revealed that he has a broken collarbone and several broken ribs. He remains in hospital as a precaution,” Team Visma said of the 27-year-old Danish rider, who won the race in Spain a year ago.

The accident happened as riders were making a right-hand turn, and one rider’s front tire appeared to slip out and send other riders off the road. There were some large rocks in the area, though it wasn’t clear if any of the riders hit them.

Matteo Jorgenson of The United States celebrates on the podium after winning the general classification of Paris-Nice cycling race in Nice, Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Video and images of the crash showed riders strewn alongside the road, including in a concrete drainage ditch.

Vingegaard won both races he entered this season at Tirreno-Adriatico and the Gran Camino in Spain. He is considered the heavy favorite to triumph again at the Tour, which ends with a time trial in Nice this year because of the Paris Olympics.

“Over the radio we heard Jonas was involved in a big crash,” Visma sports director Addy Engels told Eurosport. “We immediately saw that it didn’t look good when we arrived to him. Fortunately, he was conscious. Jonas is now being examined at the hospital. We are waiting for any updates now.”

Evenepoel, who won stages at the Giro d’Italia and Spanish Vuelta last year, hit the pavement and landed in a wooded area during Thursday’s crash, though he appeared to be walking away while clutching his chest.

Evenepoel’s team, Soudal Quick-Step, later confirmed that the Belgian “suffered a fracture to his right collarbone and his right scapula.” The team said he will undergo surgery “and further examination” at the hospital in Belgium.

Roglič was leading the overall race despite a heavy fall on Wednesday. He was one of the riders that ended up in the drainage ditch, and he was later spotted walking to a Bora-Hansgrohe team car and driving away with a team staff.

The injuries to Roglič came one day after his teammate, Lennard Kämna, was hit by an oncoming vehicle and sustained serious injuries while on a training ride in Tenerife. Kämna was expected to spend several days in the intensive care unit.

Other riders taken to the hospital Thursday included Jay Vine of UAE Team Emirates and Steff Cras of TotalEnergies, which reported its rider was conscious and “transferred to hospital to carry out additional examinations.” EF Education-EasyPost said two of its riders, Alexander Cepeda and Sean Quinn were involved, and Quinn was forced to abandon the race and his “medical evaluation was ongoing.” Others involved in the crash included Quinten Hermans and Natnael Tesfatsion.

The race was neutralized until the finish line, and the restart had to be delayed until doctors could rejoin the race to accompany the remaining riders. Six riders who had been in a breakaway stopped to wait in the next town, and they were allowed to sprint for the stage win but neither their times nor any bonuses would count for the general classification.

Louis Meintjes of Intermarché Wanty wound up winning the stage. Mattias Skjelmose took the overall race lead.

“It’s a sad day. I wish all the guys who crashed all the best and wish them a fast recovery,” Skjelmose said at the finish. “My mind is with the guys who crashed, and right now I am not thinking about the leader’s jersey.”

AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports

walking tour in madrid spain

Vingegaard breaks collarbone and several ribs in crash at race in Spain. Evenepoel also injured

MADRID — Two-time defending Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard broke his collarbone and several ribs Thursday in a crash at the Tour of Basque Country that also caught up Olympic gold medalist Primoz Roglič and Remco Evenepoel, who also sustained a broken collarbone.

Evenepoel, one of the favorites for the road race at the Paris Games, also has a broken right shoulder blade and was scheduled return to Belgium on Friday for surgery on his collarbone, his team said.

Vingegaard was hardly moving as he was put in an ambulance wearing an oxygen mask and neck brace after the crash occurred with less than 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) left in the fourth stage.

“Examinations at the hospital have revealed that he has a broken collarbone and several broken ribs. He remains in hospital as a precaution,” Team Visma said of the 27-year-old Danish rider, who won the race in Spain a year ago.

The accident happened as riders were making a right-hand turn, and one rider’s front tire appeared to slip out and send other riders off the road. There were some large rocks in the area, though it wasn’t clear if any of the riders hit them.

Video and images of the crash showed riders strewn alongside the road, including in a concrete drainage ditch.

Vingegaard won both races he entered this season at Tirreno-Adriatico and the Gran Camino in Spain. He is considered the heavy favorite to triumph again at the Tour, which ends with a time trial in Nice this year because of the Paris Olympics .

“Over the radio we heard Jonas was involved in a big crash,” Visma sports director Addy Engels told Eurosport. “We immediately saw that it didn’t look good when we arrived to him. Fortunately, he was conscious. Jonas is now being examined at the hospital. We are waiting for any updates now.”

Evenepoel, who won stages at the Giro d’Italia and Spanish Vuelta last year, hit the pavement and landed in a wooded area during Thursday’s crash, though he appeared to be walking away while clutching his chest.

Evenepoel’s team, Soudal Quick-Step, later confirmed that the Belgian “suffered a fracture to his right collarbone and his right scapula.” The team said he will undergo surgery “and further examination” at the hospital in Belgium.

Roglič was leading the overall race despite a heavy fall on Wednesday. He was one of the riders that ended up in the drainage ditch, and he was later spotted walking to a Bora-Hansgrohe team car and driving away with a team staff.

The injuries to Roglič came one day after his teammate, Lennard Kämna, was hit by an oncoming vehicle and sustained serious injuries while on a training ride in Tenerife. Kämna was expected to spend several days in the intensive care unit.

Other riders taken to the hospital Thursday included Jay Vine of UAE Team Emirates and Steff Cras of TotalEnergies, which reported its rider was conscious and “transferred to hospital to carry out additional examinations.” EF Education-EasyPost said two of its riders, Alexander Cepeda and Sean Quinn were involved, and Quinn was forced to abandon the race and his “medical evaluation was ongoing.” Others involved in the crash included Quinten Hermans and Natnael Tesfatsion.

The race was neutralized until the finish line, and the restart had to be delayed until doctors could rejoin the race to accompany the remaining riders. Six riders who had been in a breakaway stopped to wait in the next town, and they were allowed to sprint for the stage win but neither their times nor any bonuses would count for the general classification.

Louis Meintjes of Intermarché Wanty wound up winning the stage. Mattias Skjelmose took the overall race lead.

“It’s a sad day. I wish all the guys who crashed all the best and wish them a fast recovery,” Skjelmose said at the finish. “My mind is with the guys who crashed, and right now I am not thinking about the leader’s jersey.”

AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports

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