One of my favorite ways to orient myself with a new city is to take a walking tour and I found in Prague that it was an excellent adventure to plan for your first day. When my mom and I arrived in Madrid one afternoon in April we spent the the day exploring Retiro Park and the Prado Museum and when we woke up the the following morning, we were ready to go! On our first full day in town we took a free three hour SANDEMANs NEW Europe walking tour of the city starting in the very hub – the Plaza Mayor. Two minutes into the the tour we were handed a map that read, “we’ll take you down the medical streets, across majestic squares, and through 1,200 years of history.” I love that there are cities with hundreds and hundreds of years of history and this Madrid walking tour did an excellent job highlighting the centuries of Madrid.
We saw the Royal Opera House, the world’s oldest restaurant, the Catedral de Almeunda, and we ended outside the Royal Palace. Two of our highlights were while walking through the old quarter we learned an abridged version of the Spanish inquisition and the history of Tapas. One of my favorite things that the guide showed us was that the city had recently undergone a renovations and the street signs were remade not only into tiles placed high on buildings so you can see them over cars, but they were also illustrated to show the meaning of the street name or what it is historically used for.
Later in the day we made sure to go back to Plaza Mayor, where we had started our Madrid walking tour, for delicious cocktails and tapas, because why not? We enjoyed watching locals and tourists alike play with bubbles while we sipped on sangria and white wine respectively.
Which is your favorite photo from our Madrid walking tour?
Have you ever been on a walking tour?