Madrid Highlight Tour
The best of Madrid in 3 hours
and be guided by an experienced local, who shows you around while giving you all kinds of useful information, TIPS & TRICKS that will enhance and deepen your experience on your visit to Madrid. While riding on your bike through the little streets of Madrid sometimes it feels like you are time traveling, passing gorgeous and imposing historical buildings, all with there own story. The route is designed in such a way, that you´ll get a good sense of the layout of the city and get ideas where to return and investigate a little more.
The people of Madrid are called, Madrileños, they are known for their hospitality and capacity to enjoy their leisure time, they spend much time standing at the bar eating tapas drinking wine, beer or vermouth and meeting with friends and family. They especially enjoy the nights well into the little hours. The social life in Spanish culture is one of the most important and significant for the Spanish people, and surely the climate is a big help and probable cause of that. They love spending time outdoors in the sun, talking and debating about anything possible that is on their minds.
Our Highlights Bike Tour starts from our shop, situated in the heart of Madrid. First, we will guide you through the hippest areas of Madrid, the neighborhoods of Chueca and Malasaña. Chueca is named after the 19th-century composer Fréderico Chueca. A neighborhood that is characterized by its beautiful architecture of Madrid de las Austrias, constructed under the Austrian Habsburg Family. Modern, trendy, and great shopping and eating area.
Followed by Malasaña that has a slightly more bohemian ambiance, because it was marked by La Movida de Madrid in the nineteen-eighties. Malasaña has more to offer than only bars, venues and disco´s, it has all kinds of small trendy shops with vintage clothing, vinyl record shops, and close to the weekend there are little street markets with curiosities. Both areas are a very important part of the bustling nightlife in Madrid. Here the weekend starts on Wednesday! The locals will keep you awake from dusk ´till dawn!
A spectacular view from El Parque Del Oeste will take your breath away! In this quiet city park (one of so many) we find the Egyptian/Roman Temple of Debod that was a gift of the government of Egypt after it was rescued in the 1960s from ending up on the bottom of Lake Nasser (former valley of Nubia) in the south of Egypt. The view allows the guide to explain details about the origin of Madrid, and show the sheer size of the largest city of Spain.
You will be impressed by the mighty Royal Palace that was constructed by the first king of the French Borbón family, Felipe V. Here we can witness the wealth of the old empire of Spain, this palace is the largest functioning palace of Europe, with a staggering 3,418 rooms! The beautiful Plaza de Oriente is constructed in a typical garden architecture that was introduced by the French, the square is flanked by the Royal Palace and the Royal Theatre.
The emblematic Plaza Mayor is a must-see location and of course, our bike tour will pass it too, the old market center of Madrid is the perfect location to eat a delicious bocadillo de calamares (calamari sandwich) like the madrileños like to do. The market center dates back to the 15th century when Toledo was still the capital of Spain but when Madrid had become more important as a leisure city of the royals. The architecture of the square is a perfect example of Habsburg Madrid. The old market square had a make-over in the early 17th century under Felipe III and the guild houses all around the square where constructed.
The eating times in Spain are always a point of interest for visitors because when you are from abroad and you want to have dinner, you´ll notice that you will be too early at the restaurants and without some very useful tips of your local guide you can fall in the typical tourist traps, and thus pay too much for poor food. So this is a very important point that is going to be explained to you by our local guide.
El Barrio Las Letras. The area has many art galleries, antique shops, and beautiful houses. In the seventeenth century, the Golden Age of Spanish Literature, Cervantes, Tirso de Molina Lope de Vega, and Quevedo among other authors, lived in this neighborhood. In some streets, they paid homage to these important intellectuals by placing quotes from their works in the streets.
And from the Barrio Las Letras, we´ll go on our way to the Retiro Park. Just before we arrive at the most popular city park in Madrid, we pass the Fountain of Neptune the first of two fountains where soccer victories are celebrated. The Fountain of Neptune is adopted by Atlético Madrid.
And then, what catches your eyes, is one of the most important art museums of Europe, the Prado Museum, the Louvre of Madrid!
The collection is considered one of the finest of all of the European art between the 12th and the 20th century, with a great collection of the Spanish Royal collection with royal court painters like Francisco Goya and Diego Velazquez. and masters like Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, and Titian.
With its 1.4 km2 (350 acres) El Parque Del Buen Retiro (Retiro Park) is not the biggest city park of Madrid but most likely the most beautiful and popular park in the middle of Madrid. Once a private rural retreat of the Royal Families that reigned in Spain, situated for centuries outside of the city walls of Madrid. Mid-19th century it became a public park and never lost its popularity by the people. For both locals and visitors this park is the best place to take it easy. The beautiful park offers enough places where you can have a fresh beverage in the sun or shade, meanwhile, it has also some attractions to offer, like the Crystal Palace, and the statue of The Fallen Angel or you can skate on the massive avenues that go all through the park. In the hot summers, the local Madrileños will look for shade and leisure time in this green oasis. Quiet, but yet, not too far from the bustling city!
Going towards the end of the bike tour we will finally see the incredible City Hall of Madrid, a massive building that was constructed early 20th century to house both the phone and postal services. La Casa de las Comunicaciones, located at the famous 18th century Fountain of Cibeles, it is open for the public and has space for exhibitions, a top floor with amazing views over the city and of course a bar to have a coffee or something stronger. The Fountain of Cibeles is the second fountain, where both the National soccer team as Real Madrid celebrates their victories. The water of Cibeles comes from a natural water source deep underground. This is the reason that the government of Spain decided to build the bank of Spain, Banco de España, at this location. This allowed them to build the vaults deep underground. In times of crisis, (thanks to the construction of a moat with drawbridge!) they could surround the vault with water from the natural water source of Cibeles, and flood the moat!
And now it´s time to back to the shop, just in time for a great menu of the day because you do get hungry riding a bike tour!