The tour takes around 3 hours and you will get to know the most interesting places of Madrid. We will stop so that you can take pictures and we will have a break in the middle of the tour to have a drink.
Meeting time/point: at 11.00am
C/ de los Jardines 12
(near Puerta del Sol)
From March to November – everyday at 11:00 a.m – Monday to Sunday – 7 days a week. No reservation required.
We usually don’t have to worry too much about bad weather in this town – we are in Spain
Information about Madrid:
Strategically located in the centre if the Iberian Peninsula, the city of Madrid lies 650 metres above sea level on a series of hills and gullies that form the Manzanares Rivers Basin. The mountains of the nearby Sierra de Guadarrama have a decisive influence over its climate, helping to make Madrid one of the healthiest cities in Europe, with pleasant temperatures in spring and autumn.
The entire population of Madrid metropolitan area (urban area and suburbs) is calculated to be 5.85 million. The city spans a total of 607 km².
CONVENTO DE LAS DESCALZAS REALES
Founded by Princess Joanna of Austria, daughter of the Emperor Charles V, this convent occupies a former palace belonging to Alonso Gutierrez, the emperor`s treasurer.
The Royal Theatre is an opera house in Madrid. This was originally the site of the fountains and washing place of the district. In 1704, a group of travelling actors made their home here, the origins of the theatre which stood here until the early-19th century.
PLAZA DE LA VILLA – CITY HALL
Plaza de la Villa has a long history in Madrid since it is from here that the city has been governed from time immemorial. The people used to meet in the Church of San Salvador, and in the 14th century formed a municipal association by royal request of Alfonso XI. In this way Madrid City Council was created.
This central square of the city – heart of imperial Madrid – was constructed by Philip III to increase the prestige of his reign. The work was commissioned from Juan Gomez de Mora, who built it on Plaza del Arrabal, the site of an in important market since the 16th century. Work began in 1617 and was completed two years later. The project was a total innovation for the city due to its rationality and approach to town planning, in the Baroque style, which was to become a characteristic of architecture during the reign of the House of Austria.
PUERTA DEL SOL
Puerta del Sol is one of Madrid’s most visited places, both by tourists and the people who lives in the city. The name of the gate came from the rising sun, which decorated the entry, since the gate was oriented to the east.
CASA DE LOPEZ VEGA
Lope de Vega is one of the greatest Spanish poets of his time. His reputation in the world of Spanish letters is second only to that of Cervantes, while the sheer volume of his literary output is unequalled: he is estimated to have written between 1,500 and 2,500 fully-fledged plays – of which some 425 have survived until the modern day – together with a plethora of shorter dramatic and poetic works protested against the supposition that in writing for the stage his aim was glory and not money.
CASA DE CERVANTES
Here live and died one of the most important and influential persons in literature and the leading figure associated with the cultural flourishing of sixteenth century Spain. His novel, Don Quixote, is considered as a Spanish founding classic of Western literature and regularly figures among the best novels ever written; it has been translated into more than sixty-five languages, while editions continue regularly to be printed, and critical discussion of the work has persisted unabated since the 18th century.
PASEO DEL PRADO
This densely tree-lined, wide and centric avenue is a cherished landmark for the city residents and the location of important cultural and tourist spots in the city, including the so-called Golden Triangle of Art, which encompasses three world-class museums: the famous Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and the Reina Sofia Museum (where Pablo Picasso`s Guernica’s hangs, among a collection of 20th century art).
From its privileged residence surrounded by trees and some of Madrid’s greatest monuments, the National Museum of the Prado is one of the most visited attractions in the capital. Comprising several buildings, the collection can be enjoyed in the traditional Villanueva building and the Casón del Buen Retiro.
The Thyssen Museum, along with the Prado and the Reina Sofia, is one of the main attractions on the Art Walk.
With a collection of over 1,000 works of art, the Thyssen-Bornemisza is a key stop on one of the world’s most singular cultural and artistic touring routes. This Museum allows visitors to embark on an exceptional journey through seven centuries of painting or to contemplate any one of the 50 paintings it holds that are considered to be universal masterpieces. Carpaccio, Dürer, Caravaggio, Rubens, Frans Hals, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Klee, Hopper, Kirchner… These are but a few of the old masters whose work is on display under a single roof at Palace de Villa Hermosa, the Madrid headquarters of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation.
This is the most important park in Madrid, not so much for its size (12 hectares) as for its history. The gardens were originally created as part of the Palacio del Buen Retiro, constructed in the 17th century with the collaboration of Italian artists, who conceived the gardens as a succession of spaces in which vegetation alternated with ponds, statues or tiny hermitages, forming an authentic labyrinth.
The El Parque de Retiro named by Madrid’s king (Park of the Pleasant Retreat) is a large and popular, 1.4 km² (350 acre) park in the city center. Once outside the city, Madrid now entirely surrounds the park.
PUERTA DE ALCALA
The Puerta de Alcalá (Alcalá Gate) is one of the most photographed monuments in the capital, enchanting both locals and tourists alike. It is one of Madrid’s most important landmarks and has been associated with the history of the city since the 18th century. Standing in the Plaza de la Independencia, its archways dominate a square that leads to one of Madrid’s principal arteries, Calle Alcalá, looking out over the goddess Cybeles reclining in her chariot
PLAZA DE CIBELES
Known as the Great Mother or Mother of the Gods, Cibeles is more than a fountain for the citizens of Madrid. A symbol of the city throughout the world, no visitor can leave the capital without having included the beautiful goddess in the list of sights to see. Goddess of nature, the personification of the female element, and protector of the people, the sculptured monument representing her was designed in 1777 (reign of Charles Carlos III) by Ventura Rodriguez.
REAL ACADEMIA DE BELLAS ARTES
It is another art injection. Fernando VI founded it in the 18th century as a center to train promising artists. Little seems to have changed since then. The first floor, mainly devoted to a mix of 16th to 19th – century paintings, is the most noteworthy. You can see works by José de Ribera, Zurbarán, El Greco, Bravo Murillo and Goya, which include a couple of self-portraits, portraits of King Fernando VII and the infamous minister Manuel Godoy and a take on bullfighting. Upstairs you can also see some drawings by Picasso.
The fortress or Alcazar that formerly stood here before – a huge, cold, inhospitable place constructed by the Moors in 9th century and extended by members of the House of Austria – was totally gutted by a horrifying, all-consuming fire on Christmas Eve 1734.
The present king Juan Carlos and the royal family do not actually reside in this palace, instead choosing the smaller Palacio de la Zarzuela, on the outskirts of Madrid. However, the Palacio Real de Madrid is still used for important social occasions in the royal calendar, but some of its rooms are open to the public.
The palace is one of the largest in Western Europe after the Louvre, occupying an area of 135,000 m². It is richly decorated by artists such as Velázquez, Tiepolo, Mengs, Gaspsrini, Juan de Flandes, Caravaggio, and Goya.