You’ll start near Madrid’s jaw-dropping Royal Palace where you’ll meet your guide and small group of 20 fellow travelers in the beautiful Plaza Oriente. Enter the Palace a full hour before the general public and explore opulent interiors gilded in riches from the Spanish conquest of the Americas and decorated with paintings by Caravaggio, Goya, Velázquez, and more. Your guide will tell you the history of the palace and the immensely powerful royal dynasties that once called it home.
Leaving the palace, you’ll step off the normal tourist trail and into Barrio de la Morería, where the city’s Muslim roots are still visible, and end up in one of the largest food markets in the city, the Mercado de la Cebada. Enjoy a crash course in Spanish food culture as we take you to our favorite stall to taste wine, olive oils, and small plates and learn why the Spanish custom of tapas is one of the country’s most treasured institutions.
The medieval streets of central Madrid await you next as you and learn how the city went from being an outpost of the Moorish empire to a center of Catholic power in Europe. Along the way, you’ll stop in the jaw-dropping Plaza Mayor, where heretics were once burned at the stake, and the Puerta del Sol, the focal point of the modern city.
Before you go, we have a final surprise. Popping into the lobby of the nearby Circulo de Bellas Artes, your guide will take you up to the rooftop terrace which affords jaw-dropping views over the entire city. From there they’ll point out the different neighborhoods of the city and give you plenty of recommendations for what to see, do, and eat during the rest of your stay.
- Teatro Opera (outside)
- Plaza de Oriente
- Palacio Real (inside)
- Catedral de la Almudena (outside)
- Mercado de la Cebada (inside for tapas, wine & olive oil tasting)
- Plaza della Villa (outside)
- Mercado San Miguel (outside)
- Plaza Mayor
- Puerta del Sol
- Calle Alcala
- Panoramic viewpoint