top of page
Plaza Mayor, Madrid.jpg

Madrid Tour 1

This tour is a bit of walking but will get you a feel for the city and it's history, as always there will be FOOD!

We start from Puerta Del Sol

Puerta Del Sol


The square has been witness to many different historical events, including:  the Esquilache Mutiny in 1766, the resistance against Napoleon’s troops on 2 May 1808, and the coronation of Ferdinand VII in 1812. 

Puerta del Sol contains a couple of attractions such as the Bear and the Strawberry Tree statue, (weird as strawberries don't grow on trees),  the 9-metre tall equestrian statue of Charles III and the large clock that dominates the square which sees in the New Year for many Spaniards.

Lets Begin with a typical Spanish breakfast

If there’s one thing you should know about breakfast in Spain, it’s that it’s the lightest meal of the day. Some of the most traditional food options include tomato on toast or a coffee with a small pastry. If you’re looking for an extra decadent and delectable experience, then you might want to indulge in enjoying in the typically Spanish sweet that is churros. The most iconic place in the city that serves up churros is  Chocolatería San Ginés . This Churrería has become something of an institution in the Spanish capital. The building itself was constructed in 1890 as a guesthouse, but by 1890 had been transformed into a place which produced churros. Today, you can order your sweet fried dough together with a warming chocolate bowl to dip them in.

You could go for the bakery on the corner of Puerto Del Sol La Mallorquina, a bakery that has been servicing the Madrid sweet tooth since 1894. Or you could start walking and dive into El Riojano founded in 1855 by the personal pastry chef of Queen María Cristina de Borbón, Dámaso Maza. A tiny shop with beautiful old decor and a wealth of yummy treats.

Plaza Major

Madrid’s Plaza Mayor is a symbol of the city and a must-see, this enormous esplanade in the city centre was begun in the 17th century by King Philip III, whose bronze equestrian statue stands in the square. Officially opened in 1620, it is rectangular in shape and lined with pillars and arches.

Over the years it has been the setting for many public events, from bullfights, processions, fiestas and theatrical productions to trials of the Inquisition and even executions. The arcades are home to traditional shops and a plethora of bars and restaurants. Some of the most notable buildings on the square are the Casa de la Panadería, with a frescoed façade, and the Casa de la Carnicería.


Calle Mayor/Plaza De La Villa

If you walk down Calle Mayor you will soon reach the heart of “Madrid de los Austrias” (Madrid of the Hapsburgs) a pretty and charming square called Plaza de la Villa which is home to a statue in honour of Álvaro de Bazán (19th Century). Alongside the square is Casa de la Villa House, designed by Juan Gómez de Mora in the 17th Century and formerly used as a prison. Next to it stands Casa de Cisneros House, a 16th century palace rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century. Inside, the Tapestry Room is a highlight, with an impressive collection of extraordinary quality.


Now  head for the "Mercado De San Miguel" but before you get there stop off for some nun's biscuits.

Nun's biscuits

From Plaza de La Villa head down "Calle del Codo"


Convent de las Carboneras

Monasterio del Corpus Christi las Carboneras

Plaza del Conde de Miranda, intersects with Calle del Codo

Square of the Count of Miranda, 3,28005

OK so this one is for the adventurers, these nuns are cloistered and have little if any contact with the outside world, however they make and sell biscuits. The way they do this is, you press a bell, tell them what you want and a turntable rotates delivering the cookies. You put your money on the turntable and change magically appears.  Crazy experience.


After the biscuits turn left down Pl. Del Conde de Miranda turn left again and you will be at the Mercado de San Miguel


Mercado San Miguel

After a morning of exploring and soaking up some culture, it’s time for a well-deserved break. Grab a bite to eat at Mercado San Miguel.

The market was originally opened to the public in 1916 as a covered food market. The market building remains the best example of an iron structure building in the Spanish capital.

Today, there are no grocery sellers left and instead the entire place is filled with vendors touting everything from filled piping-hot empanadas to mouthwatering sweets. It’s the perfect spot to go with a group as everyone can choose exactly what they want to eat.


Head back to Calle Mayor and turn left heading towards Catedral de Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena, cannot miss it really.

Almudena Cathedral

At the end of the 19th Century building work was started on the Almudena Cathedral which was constructed on the site of the old Santa María la Mayor church to honour the patron virgin of Madrid. In 1883 the first stone of this impressive monument was laid, located in one of the most beautiful areas of the city. In 1911 the crypt was opened for worship, but construction was halted until after the Civil War, when architects Fernando Chueca Goitia and Carlos Sidro were placed in charge of the project. In spite of everything, the building process was extremely slow. In 1993, the cathedral was consecrated for worship by His Holiness Pope John Paul II. The inside of the church retains a Gothic style, although the outside is Classicist.


Royal Palace

Madrid's Royal Palace was built in the 18th century by order of Philip V on the site of the old Alcázar fortress, a former Moorish castle.

Sachetti began the works in 1738, and the building was completed in 1764. Sabatini designed the southeast wing and the great staircase, or staircase of honour. It has a square floor plan with a large central courtyard. The Puerta del Príncipe gateway on the east side gives access to the central courtyard. 

If there’s one cultural institution that you should make the time to visit during your Madrid stay, it’s the Royal Palace of Madrid. This is the official residence of the Royal Family of Spain and the building that you can see today was constructed during the 18th-century.

The gigantic building boasts a whopping 3,418 rooms and is the largest functioning royal palace (when measured by floor area) in Europe! Of course, you can’t visit all of the rooms during a visit, but you can still get a glimpse of this sumptuous Palace.

A visit to the palace takes anywhere between one and two hours depending on your visiting style.

Plaza de Oriente

Without a doubt this is one of the most monumental and stunning architectural sites in Madrid due to its ideal location next to the Royal Palace and Royal Theatre. It is not to be missed. The first driving force behind the square was Joseph Bonaparte who proposed a large grassy area in front of the Palace. A few years later, in 1817, Fernando VII commissioned a new construction project but this could not go ahead. The final design was conceived when Isabel II came to the throne, by architect Narciso Pascual y Colomer.

The square was opened in 1844. In the same year the equestrian statue of Felipe IV was erected, the work of the Italian Pedro Tacca in 1640, which stands at 12 metres tall and 17 in diameter. With its perfectly-designed gardens, the Plaza de Oriente has become a museum of sculptures due to the twenty figures of different Spanish monarchs that surround the area.

Keep going past the Plaza and bare left, you're heading to a weird Egyptian monument, the Temple of Debod. 


Temple de Debod

One of the most unique things to see in Madrid which is located just a short ten to fifteen-minute walk away from the Royal Palace of Madrid. En route, you’ll pass through (or alongside depending on the route you take), the Sabatini Garden.

This classical garden was built in the 1930s on the site of the former Royal stables and are now free to visit. The gardens offer a particularly unique view of the Royal Palace and are one of the best places to enjoy the sunset in Madrid.

The Egyptian Temple of Debod is an ancient monument which dates back to the 2nd Century BCE. Unlike many Egyptian monuments and artefacts in Europe (such as most of the British Museum), the temple was actually a gift to Spain from Egypt. 


From here you can head to Plaza de Espana,  cross the square and catch the metro back to Puerto Del Sol, the orange line or walk there down Gran Via.

bottom of page