Real Madrid Bike Tour
Feel the vibes of Ronaldo & Co
What is Madrid without its famous stadium and the history of the Real Madrid Club?
This bike tour is ideal if you are a football fan and want to get to know Madrid at the same time. Follow your football heart and visit the most popular football stadium in Spain: the Real Madrid Club de Fútbol.
According to a study made in 2014 the Real Madrid Club has the highest number of fans in Spain: 32% of all fans are “Madridistas” compared to the next most popular club FC Barcelona with 24,7% of fans. So if there is a match between Real Madrid and Barça almost the entire nation is on TV or radio and the bars are full of people watching “El Clásico”. Just a little tip: don´t organise any dinner or other event when these football matches are taking place.
The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium has seen some of the most famous and internationally celebrated football players such as Puskas, di Stefano, Breitner, Zinedine Zidane, Iker Casillas, Raul, Figo, Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. Can you believe that Cristiano Ronaldo holds the highest goal score record with 451 goals, followed by Raul with 323 goals?
The visit to the Santiago Bernabéu is self-guided and includes a panoramic view of the stadium. There, you will have the opportunity to almost touch the sky and listen to the echo of 80.000 fans. You will travel through the history in the ‘Best Club” room with the biggest collections of objects and trophies. You will go through the ”Sensations” room. You can take a picture with your favourite player. Look into the changing rooms .. and much more.
If you want to feel the vibes of this stadium, this is your tour!
The tour starts from our shop in C/ de los Jardines 12, in the heart of the city. From here we will guide you to the Plaza de Pedro Zerolo in the Chueca district, the most liberal part of Madrid where people can be who they like. Pedro Zerolo was a Socialist politician and gay rights activist who helped get same-sex marriage approved in Spain in 2005. This place has changed its name various times before: it was Plaza de Bilbao and later Plaza de Ruiz Zorrilla.
From here we will head to Plaza de Santa Barbara, in the “ La Justicia” (justice) district, so named as it was formerly the area of the Courts. Apparently the name Santa Barbara comes from the convent that was located there before.
Have you ever stopped to think what the Madrid Metro was like in the past? Thanks to the “Andén 0 Project” (Metro Museo Chamberí), which we will see next, you can travel back in time and obtain quite a realistic image of the metro in those years: The walls, arches and advertising panels, as well as the furniture and original platforms have been fully remade as they were in 1919.
As we are already in Chamberi, an elegant residential district with many points of interest like the house of the painter Sorolla, we will pass the market of this district. Opened in 1943 and operating for almost 70 years, this traditional market has become one of the best known in Madrid, for both the quality and the variety of the products and services it offers.
This is the moment when we finally head to the highlight of the tour. The Bernabeu Stadium. Madrid Football Club was founded on the 6th of March 1902. In 1920, King Alfonso the XIII gave it the title ‘Real’, which means Royal. From the beginning the shirts have always been white. That’s why the people gave the club and the players nicknames like Los Blancos (The Whites), Los Merengues (The Meringues), Los Vikingos (The Vikings), or La Casa Blanca (The White House).
You now have one hour to enjoy the stadium by yourself. Audioguides are available at the entrance.
When you come out of the stadium, with all your new impressions, you’ll get to see quite a contrast: the Picasso Tower. From its name you would expect a traditional building but this is not the case; with its 45 rectangular floors the Picasso Tower was the tallest building in Madrid until the construction of the Four Towers and today it is one of the most emblematic buildings in the city. Designed by the American architect of Japanese origins, Minoru Yamasaki, who also designed the now disappeared World Trade Center in New York, the Picasso Tower is home to offices designed with the latest technology and comfort.
We are now cycling back in the direction of Madrid city center . The long white buildings that you will see on Paseo de la Castellana are called “Nuevos Ministerios” (ministries) and currently house the government departments of Development and Employment, Immigration and Social
Security. As a change from modern buildings we will pass the impressive National Museum of Natural Sciences which is one of the most important institutes in the country for scientific research into the natural sciences. The current museum was first created by King Carlos III in 1771, as the Royal Cabinet of Natural History.
As you can see Madrid is full of museums but the next one is really different. The Castellana Open Air Sculpture Museum, located under the overpass that joins Juan Bravo and Eduardo Dato streets, contains an excellent collection of Spanish abstract sculpture. The whole structure is unique as the bridge, accesses, pedestrian crossings etc. form a unitary whole in which the sculptures exhibited there are perfectly integrated.
As we move through the chic and glamorous Salamanca district with all the designer shops and elegant streets, we will arrive at the Statue of Columbus. The monument dedicated to the man who discovered America presides over the Plaza de Colón. 17 meters tall, it is situated in the center of an island between the streets of Paseo de Recoletos, Paseo de la Castellana, Génova and Serrano.
After passing the National Archaeological Museum of Spain which contains a wealth of exhibits from Spain and beyond and is housed in a Neoclassical building, we promise to leave the museums behind and enter the nicest park in Madrid, the Retiro Park, to have a relaxing stroll and
enjoy the beautiful lake and the famous Glass Palace. When we get there you’ll see the Alcala Gate, one of Madrid’s iconic monuments. Erected in 1778 by Italian architect Francesco Sabatini, this triumphal gate was once the main entrance to the city. It is situated next to El Retiro Park
Covering over 125 hectares and comprising more than 15,000 trees, El Retiro Park is the green oasis in the heart of the city. In it you’ll find all kinds of interesting monuments and gardens, including the Jardín de Vivaces, the Jardines de Cecilio Rodríguez , the Jardines del Arquitecto Herrero Palacios, the Rosaleda rose garden and the Parterre Francés, which holds a Mexican conifer that is nearly 400 years old and is believed to be Madrid’s oldest tree.
In addition to its role as one of the city’s green lungs, it is also a popular spot among Madrileños who like to go there for a walk, to do some sport, visit an exhibition or take the kids to a show. In the park you will find a large artificial lake, where you can rent a rowing boat and exhibition halls like the Velázquez Palace and Glass Palace. The latter is a beautiful glass pavilion built in 1887 to house exotic plants for an exhibition on the Philippines. It is one the finest examples of cast- iron architecture in Spain. A monument to the fallen Angel in the Retiro park? It is often often said that Madrid is the only city in the world with a monument to the Devil. In fact, it is a fountain, representing the Fallen Angel being exiled from Paradise.
Last but not least and before we finish our tour we will see the Plaza de Cibeles. This is the most famous square in Madrid. It is centred by a beautiful fountain and flanked by majestic buildings. In addition, the Real Madrid victory celebrations in Cibeles are a classic of Spanish football. Is is also the place chosen for other sports celebrations, such as those of the Spanish Soccer and Basketball team.
We are coming to the end of our tour and we are cycling back to our shop.