Tapas & Markets Bike Tour

Every day at 17:00 h

“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are” said Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, a French lawyer and politician who was best known as an epicure and gastronome. Food, in other words, says a lot about people.

On our popular tapas bike tour you will get to taste some authentic tapas, and experience traditional Spanish daily habits through visits to a selection of very different markets.

Each neighborhood in Madrid has a distinct feel to it, and nowhere is this more apparent than at the local markets – so if you’re looking to experience Madrid as the locals do, strolling through these markets is the best way to do it!

By the end of the tour you’ll know what authentic tapas are like, which tapas Madrileños like best, and why Spaniards don’t usually sit down at a tapas bar, but eat standing up.

Our Bike Tour starts from our shop, which is located in the heart of Madrid, and is suited to those who speak or understand English.

The tour lasts 3 hours and these are some of the tourist hotspots and points of interest along the way:

  • Royal Palace
  • Debod Temple
  • Plaza de Santa Ana

Most importantly though, we will visit some of the most popular markets in the city, including

  • Mercado de San Miguel
  • El Rastro
  • Barceló market
  • Mercado de la Cebada.

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Trip Details

Tour name“Tapas Bike Tour”
Tour en bicicletaBike Tour + 2 x Tapas Breaks
TYPE OF BIKEUrban bicycle, optional: e-Bike (electric bicycle)
IDEAL FORAll ages, groups of 4 & more participants, families, friends & colleagues, business & corporate
Rate45 € (min. 4 participants: 180 € – additional participants: 45 €)
LanguageEnglish, Spanish, French, German, Dutch
Bookable from4 participants
Departure Time17:00 h
DifficultyLeisurely
Duration3 hours
Distance12 Km (7,5 miles)
DepartureOur shop in Calle de los Jardines, 12 – 28013 Madrid (Spain), Returns to original departure point
INCLUDEDBike, Helmet: provided but optional, Tour Guide, Food & Drinks: 2 x Tapas Stop, Public liability insurance
NoteArrival at the departure point 15 minutes in advance is recommended.
DiscountsContact us for special rates for companies, groups, schools, summer camps, universities, OTA, MICE, FIT

Tapas Bike Tour – every day at 17:00 h

As everyone knows, tapas and markets are an important part of Spanish culture, so we put together this bike tour to allow you to dip into this part of the life of Madrileños.

Tapas & Markets Bike Tour

On our tapas and markets bike tour, as well as tasting some traditional Spanish food yourself, you’ll learn about Madrid and Spain through its culinary history.

The tour lasts 3 hours and these are some of the tourist hotspots and points of interest along the way:

  • Royal Palace
  • Debod Temple
  • Plaza de Santa Ana

Most importantly though, we will visit some of the most popular markets in the city, including

  • Mercado de San Miguel
  • El Rastro
  • Barceló market
  • Mercado de la Cebada.

With 3.2 million residents, most of whom have flocked here from other parts of Spain, Madrid is a very diverse city. Each neighbourhood has a distinct feel to it, and nowhere is this more apparent than at the local markets. If you’re looking to experience Madrid as the locals do, strolling through these markets is the best way to do it!

We’ll take you to traditional markets and centuries-old ‘mom-and-pop’ stores, and you’ll see how some markets have tried to adjust to the demands of the 21st century consumer. By the end of the tour you’ll know what authentic tapas are like, which tapas Madrileños like best, and why Spaniards don’t usually sit down at a tapas bar, but eat standing up.

Our bike tour starts from our shop, which is located in the heart of Madrid, runs for 3 hours, and is suited to those who speak or understand English.

Our first stop will be the San Anton Market. In the heart of Chueca, this modern market is full of surprises and is well worth a visit. Although it originally dates back to the 19th century, it was rebuilt in 2011 – it’s now a modern building with plenty of spots to buy food, and even some great restaurants.

Still in Chueca, we will visit its other market, the new Barceló Market. A farmers’ market for the 21st century, it boasts around one hundred stalls, a library, and a sports complex, and will soon feature specialist tasting areas.

As we continue on via Calle de Fuencarral, right between the neighbourhoods of Chueca and Malasaña, we will arrive at the San Ildefonso Market – this market is an innovative concept in food-based leisure, entertainment and socialising, in the style of the street-food markets found in such places as London, New York, Singapore and Bangkok.

The next market we will visit is the Mostenses Market. Built in 1946, it’s one of the city’s oldest markets. Today, however, it’s characterized by the incredible mixture of cultures, gastronomy and food from all over the world.Tapas & Markets Bike Tour – every day at 17:00 h

As we make our way to the next market, we’ll pass some important sights in Madrid – as well as getting to know Madrid’s food scene, our tour is great for getting to know the city itself. By the end, you’ll be full of food, but also full of ideas for where to return to and investigate afterwards!

One of the first buildings we’ll pass does not seem mediterranean at all. That’s because the Templo de Debod is a traditional Egyptian temple dating back to the 2nd century BC, which was transported to Madrid’s Cuartel de la Montaña Park and rebuilt in the early 1970s. Interestingly, the Egyptian government donated the temple to Spain to save it from floods, following the construction of the great Aswan Dam.

Another key building we’ll see is the Royal Palace, one of Europe’s largest palaces which was home to the Kings of Spain from Charles III to Alfonso XIII – it’s a fascinating journey through the regal history of Spain. Although it’s no longer the royal family’s home, it continues to be its official Madrid residence.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the bi-weekly changing of the guard (Wednesdays and Saturdays) or the monthly magnificent solemn changing of the guard (first Wednesday of the month). It’s certainly a sight to behold!

A stone’s throw from the Royal Palace is the Royal Theatre, one of Europe’s leading opera houses. It was originally commissioned by Queen Isabel II, and has undergone various renovations and changes since it was inaugurated in 1850. Since its most recent reopening in 1997, the theatre has hosted opera premieres such as Don Quijote, Poppea e Nerone, The Perfect American, Brokeback Mountain, etc.

Tapas & Markets Bike Tour – every day at 17:00 hNext up we’ll visit The San Miguel Market, close to the Plaza Mayor – it’s one of the most traditional Madrileño markets, which has slowly morphed into a gourmet paradise. It’s worth visiting just to take in the impressive iron architecture dating back to 1919… but more than that it’s a temple for food tasting, not just a food market.

Following this, we will cycle to a traditional market in the heart of the city called Cebada Market (cebada means barley), in La Latina district. It has a very colourful entrance, and spans two floors on a 6000 metre squared area. It offers not only the standard goods of meat, fruit, fish and poultry, but also cosmetics, flowers, eyeglasses, upholstery, and anything else you might need.

Next we will visit El Rastro, which isn’t just Madrid’s most well-known flea market, but it’s arguably Spain’s best-known street market. It’s one of the oldest in Madrid, dating back to the Middle Ages, and there’s nothing you can’t find here – from old coins and clothes, to books and antiques, to bars and food. To fully experience the atmosphere and vibrancy of this place, you’ll have to see it for yourself – it’s open every Sunday and public holiday.

After the Rastro, we’ll cycle to the last market of the day, the Mercado de Antón Martín. The closer we get to it, the more the typical bars and cozy cafes will turn into the florescent lights of butcher shops and delis. The “indie” vibe of this market reflects the neighborhood it is in – the area borders Madrid’s immigrant district and has a truly bohemian personality.Tapas & Markets Bike Tour – every day at 17:00 h

After satisfying our hunger and soaking up the Spanish foodie culture, we will now make our way back to the shop. As we cycle, we’ll pass the Palacio de las Cortes, where the Spanish Congress of Deputies meet. Located in the Las Letras (literary) quarter, this monument is undeniably one of the masterpieces of Spanish neoclassicism. Interestingly, the lions flanking the entrance were cast using the iron from cannons captured during the Spanish-Moroccan War.

Our final point of interest on the cycle back to our shop is the Plaza de Santa Ana. Translated as St Ann’s Square, it’s a delightful mix of bars, cafeterias, restaurants and cervecerias, which all together contribute to a vibrant atmosphere amid the beautiful, elegant architecture. As you might guess, the plaza is also the starting point for an evening of drinking and dancing in the lively Huertas district!

Throughout history, the plaza has been a focal point for intellectual life, and the cafes surrounding the plaza were host to prominent writers, poets and artists engaging in endless tertulias (literary and philosophical discussions).

And now, after a great few hours exploring Madrid and sampling some delicious food and drink, it’s time to finish up at our shop.

You will also see many tourist hotspots and points of interest along the way – for example

  • Royal Palace
  • Debod Temple
  • Plaza de Santa Ana

Most importantly though, we will visit some of the most popular markets in the city, including

  • Mercado de San Miguel
  • El Rastro
  • Barceló market
  • Mercado de la Cebada.

Cycling through the neighbourhoods of Las Letras, La Latina and Lavapiés you will get to know the ins and outs of Spanish and Madrilenian gastronomy. You’ll be shown the location of the oldest restaurant in the world, Botín, and you’ll see why the Cava Baja street is famous for its tapas bars. During the tour we will stop twice to taste some typical Spanish products.

C/ de los Jardines 12, 28013 Madrid

Tapas & Markets Bike Tour (private groups 4+)