City Center Walking Tour, Madrid

The oldest part of Madrid, Centro district is one of the most happening areas of the Spanish capital. A place of regular celebrations and festivals, it is also home to some of Madrid's major attractions, such as Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Espana, Plaza de la Villa, Puerta del Sol, as well as many cultural venues – theaters, museums and galleries. On this walk you will visit a good number of them.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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City Center Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: City Center Walking Tour
Guide Location: Spain » Madrid (See other walking tours in Madrid)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 15
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Author: emma
1
Puerta del Sol

1) Puerta del Sol (must see)

Puerta del Sol ("The Gate of the Sun") square is one of the best known and busiest places in Madrid. This is the centre (Km 0) of the radial network of Spanish roads, located in the very heart of the city, not far from Plaza Mayor. The square is dominated by the monument to King Carlos III and the famous bronze sculpture of "the bear and the strawberry tree". Another key attraction here is the clock whose bells mark the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes at a new year...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Calle Mayor

2) Calle Mayor

Calle Mayor street runs from La Cuesta de la Vega to Puerto del Sol. Back in the Middle Ages this was the main street of Madrid housing shops of silversmiths, coopers and fletchers who used to sell their wares to the rich merchants passing by to the city center. Today, Calle Mayor is renowned for its boutiques, cafes and restaurants, much as for excellent street musicians and a number of peculiar buildings associated with historic personalities and events. At N° 48 you will find the Cervantes...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Chocolateria San Gines

3) Chocolateria San Gines

Established in 1894, Chocolateria San Gines in Madrid is famous for its main course - churros con chocolate - deep-fried batter sticks served with hot chocolate. Also on the menu is a good selection of cakes. This place is ideal for a quick break on a sightseeing walk, to sit down and enjoy the crispy churro dipped into the hot, thick, dark chocolate, while watching the world go by for a while...
Opening hours:...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Plaza Mayor

4) Plaza Mayor (must see)

Plaza Mayor, originally known as "Plaza del Arrabal", was built during the Habsburg rule period and is a central square of Madrid, located only a few blocks away from Puerta del Sol. Rectangular in shape, the square measures 129 by 94 meters and is surrounded by three-story residential buildings with a total of 237 balconies facing the Plaza, nine entryways and a ring of old and traditional shops and cafes under their porticoes. Casa de la Panadería, a municipal building, dominates...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Restaurante Sobrino de Botín

5) Restaurante Sobrino de Botín (must see)

The Botín restaurant, a famous eatery in Madrid, claims to be the "oldest restaurant in the world." It was founded by Frenchman Jean Botin and his spouse and was originally called Casa Botín. The restaurant was inherited by their nephew Candido Remis, thus explaining the change of name to Sobrino de Botín, which survives to this day. The famous painter Francisco Goya is said to have worked here as a dishwasher in his younger years and the place was also a firm favorite of Ernest...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Plaza de la Villa

6) Plaza de la Villa (must see)

If you would like a bit of quiet in the heart of busy Madrid, the best place to go is Plaza de la Villa, not far from Plaza Major. This small, medieval square is surrounded by lovely buildings, each with its own story. Among them is Madrid’s old Town Hall (Casa Villa), built in 1696 and renowned for its graceful stained glass windows and frescoes by Antonio Palomino. Remarkably enough, at some point, this building was used as a prison. Adjoining the town hall by an archway is Casa de Cisneros,...   view more
7
Mercado de San Miguel

7) Mercado de San Miguel (must see)

No holiday in Madrid is complete without a visit to the Mercado de San Miguel in the heart of the Old Town. It really is a must for gourmets and gourmands alike. The market is housed in a glass-fronted 20th-century Beaux-Arts building and is known as the Cultural Culinary Centre of Madrid. There are over 50 individual stalls, each run by a specialist in his chosen field, e.g. fresh fruit, vegetables, fish or meat. You can browse through the stands of locally grown fruit and vegetables where the...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Calle del Arenal

8) Calle del Arenal

Before leaving Madrid, you would definitely want to stock up on small presents for family and friends back home and there’s no better place for that than the souvenir shops at Calle de Arenal (Sand Street) named so after the huge piles of sand that used to be stocked here during the construction of the nearby buildings. This mostly pedestrian street runs from Plaza Puerto del Sol to Plaza Isobel II and is full of gift and souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels, short-stay flats and...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Plaza de Isabel II

9) Plaza de Isabel II

At the end of Calle del Arenal you will find Plaza de Isabel II, a large square sided by the Teatro Real. It is a popular meeting place for the young of Madrid. Apart from the illustrious buildings around it, the square is rather unremarkable with the statue of Queen Isabel II in the middle of a fountain at its center. The queen succeeded her father King Fernando VII to the throne when she was only three years old. This in itself wasn’t so extraordinary, as child-monarchs weren’t unusual;...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Teatro Real

10) Teatro Real

While in Madrid you might like to spend an evening at the opera and you couldn’t do better than book your seats at the Teatro Real, the Royal Theatre just in front of the Royal Palace.

The Teatro Real is Madrid’s major opera house, finished in 1850 under the explicit orders of Queen Isabelle II, who was an ardent opera lover and who had grown tired of seeing the half-finished building in front of her palace. On the inauguration night (which just happened to be on the queen’s birthday)...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Plaza de Oriente

11) Plaza de Oriente (must see)

While on holiday in Madrid you will surely visit the Royal Palace; if so, don’t miss a stroll through the Plaza de Oriente on the eastern (“oriental”) side of the palace.

The plaza is shaped like a rectangle with one of its long sides curved outwards; it was designed by Pascual y Colomar in 1844. The plaza has a series of small, beautifully tended gardens separated by gravel walkways leading to a central stone basin fountain with the equestrian bronze statue of Philip IV as its...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
Palacio Real

12) Palacio Real (must see)

The Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid), also known as the Palacio de Oriente (The East Palace), is the official residence of the King of Spain in the city of Madrid, and it is only used for State Ceremonies. However, King Juan Carlos and the Royal Family did not reside in it, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid. The palace is owned by the Spanish State and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional, a public agency of the Ministry of the...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
13
Catedral de la Almudena

13) Catedral de la Almudena (must see)

Opposite the Royal Palace, you will find the Catedral de la Almudena, a Baroque-style cathedral which is less than twenty years old.

This lovely church was designed by Marquis Francisco de Cubas. Construction began in 1879 on the site of a medieval mosque. The original plans gave the church a Gothic Revival style with a Neo-Classical cupola. One unusual feature about the church is its orientation – North-South, instead of the traditional East-West.

Construction limped along for over 50...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
14
Jardines de Sabatini

14) Jardines de Sabatini (must see)

Jardines de Sabatini cover over two hectares on the North side of the Royal Palace. They are named after Francesco Sabatini, an 18th-century architect who designed the Royal Stables, which once stood on the site of today’s gardens. The layout is based on the designs he made with the same idea in mind for the use of the land before the stables were built.

This layout is similar to classical French gardens that you would see on a grander scale at Versailles for example. Formal Neo-classical,...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
15
Plaza de España

15) Plaza de España (must see)

Plaza de España is a large square, and popular tourist destination, located in central Madrid, Spain, at the western end of the Gran Vía. It features a monument to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and is bordered by two of Madrid's most prominent skyscrapers. Also, the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) is a short walk south from the plaza.

In the center of the plaza is a monument to Spanish novelist, poet and playwright Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, designed by architects Rafael Martínez...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Madrid, Spain

Create Your Own Walk in Madrid

Create Your Own Walk in Madrid

Creating your own self-guided walk in Madrid is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Sol Souvenir Shopping

Sol Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Madrid without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Madrid, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Salamanca Walking Tour

Salamanca Walking Tour

The Spanish capital is a vibrant metropolis made up of 21 districts. This walk brings you to and around one of them - Salamanca - one of the wealthiest and most expensive areas of Madrid, home to many foreign embassies and upscale venues. To see what else makes Salamanca a famous destination, take this walk and find out.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Cortes Entertainment Walk

Cortes Entertainment Walk

Madrid is the economical, political and cultural center of Spain. Founded in the 9th century, this city is one of the most relevant destinations that Spain has to offer to its visitors concerning culture and history. Madrid is a hot destination filled with interesting spots including museums, historical sites, Flamenco bars and much more. Discover Cortes barrio step by step, as proposed in the list below.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Buen Retiro Park Walking Tour

Buen Retiro Park Walking Tour

El Parque del Buen Retiro is one of the main attractions of the city of Madrid. Known to the locals simply as "El Retiro," the park is a favorite place to spend weekends and summer days and was considered a Royal Park up until two centuries ago. Highlights of the park include several fountains, palaces, monuments and arranged gardens. Discover this historical site step by step in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Museums Walking Tour

Museums Walking Tour

Madrid is not only a big cultural center in Spain, but in the entire Europe as well. Having a great and interesting history behind, Madrid developed a vast culture over time. The city became world-famed for its museums and galleries. The following tour will guide you through the most famous museums in Madrid.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Moncloa and Camberi Walking Tour

Moncloa and Camberi Walking Tour

Madrid is a vibrant metropolis made up of 21 districts. This walk covers two of them - Moncloa and Camberi - with the former being a leafy area replete with laid-back cafe terraces, evening crowds, and students hanging out at bars around Moncloa’s colleges. Camberi, in turn, is a quintessential castizo neighborhood, rightfully regarded as “simply cool” and ideal for those seeking to enjoy the authentic way of life in Madrid. Take this walk and discover Moncloa and Camberi in their variety.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 km

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