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Historic Madrid Tour

Created with Sketch. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain
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Duration

50 min. Start: 10:00-20:00, book anytime

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Tour Type

Daily Tour

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Group Size

4 people

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Languages

English, Español

Overview

Madrid is a city filled with wonders. Discover them from a very special car, a handmade Vintage car like no other in the world.
The audio-guide will inform you about the history of the most emblematic places and their funniest anecdotes.
A spectacular tour through the heart of Madrid, including the Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol, Plaza de la Cibeles, the Letters district, Puerta de Alcalá, the triangle of art, etc.
Let us surprise you! Enjoy this day with us.
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HIGHLIGHTS

  • The journey will start at a predetermined location. If you prefer to be picked up from your hotel, you will have to select the Historical + Modern Madrid Tour, as this is the only one that includes this service (from most of the hotels in the city centre).
  • Please, choose a time that let you be punctual because the Tour will end at the scheduled time in order to not to diserve the next customer.
  • When making the reservation, make sure to inform us of any kids who will travel in order to equip the car correctly (if needed). No extra amount will be charged for this equipment.
  • You can take pictures and videos freely.
  • To enjoy a better view the roof of the car will be either fully open or use a transparent roof during the tour. This will depend on the weather conditions.
  • The travellers must respect the Spanish traffic regulations, including the use of seat belts throughout the journey.

Itinerary

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Prado Museum

We are now in the Paseo del Prado within the so-called art triangle, one of the most beautiful and refined places in the world. In just over a kilometer, you’ll see the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and the Reina Sofía Museum. Inaugurated in 1819, the Prado Museum is one of the most important galleries in the world, with more...

Puerta de Alcalá

Further along is the Puerta de Alcalá, a work of Francisco Sabatini that dates back to 1778. The gate is one of the most well-known monuments of the city, and one of the five royal gates of Madrid. As you can see, the door has the shape of a triumphal arch, but with five doorways instead of the usual three. Its two facades are different on each...

El Retiro Park

Right next to the Puerta de Alcalá is El Retiro Park, which was built in the first half of the 16th century for the enjoyment of King Felipe IV and his court. At that time, the park was the scene of lavish festivities which saw participation from the monarchy and European nobility. Count Duque de Olivares, however, was the royal power of the em...

Plaza de Cibeles

We are arriving at Plaza de Cibeles, in the center of which lies the emblematic Cibeles Fountain which was sculpted in 1782 following a design from Ventura Rodríguez. During the Spanish Civil War, it was covered with sandbags to protect it from damage, as were many of the capital's great public works.

Each of the four corners of the square is dominated by imposing buildings, which were built between the late 18th and early 20th centuries. The most impressive is the Communications Palace, which has been the seat of the Madrid City Council since 2007 and remains one of the most iconic buildings in the city. You can also see Palacio de Linares which is the current headquarters of the House of America. The building is believed to be haunted. In the other corners, we have the Bank of Spain and the Army General Headquarters.

The Plaza de Cibeles is where triumphant celebrations take place for the victories of Real Madrid. The team has won countless national and international titles over the years.

Calle de Alcalá

We are now entering Calle de Alcalá. With 720 residences, this has been the longest street in Madrid since 1992. In this part of the street we can see the gardens of the Buenavista Palace which surround the General Army Headquarters and date back to 1777. Right in front of these, we can see the Banco de España building, then the Zurich Building, and then the Círculo de Bellas Artes Building, which was built by Antonio Palacios in 1926. It is crowned by a 3,000 kg statue of the goddess Minerva that stands six and a half meters tall. Up top, there is also a rooftop terrace which is popular among locals on hot summer evenings to relax over a drink with magnificent views of the city.

Gran Vía

We are now entering the Gran Vía, one of the main arteries of the city and one of its most distinguished avenues. Frantic, delirious, and at times chaotic, the pulse of the Gran Via is undeniably addictive. Nowadays, the avenue and its surroundings – such as Fuencarral street, the Callao Square, and Preciados Street - are full of restaurants, fashion retailers, cinemas, and theaters, making it one of the most popular leisure spots in the city. The area is often crowded with locals and visitors, so it is best to visit outside the rush hour.

Plaza de Callao

We are arriving at Plaza de Callao, Madrid’s "Times Square" which is full of life and color at all hours. We will continue along the Gran Vía towards Plaza de España. This section of the Gran Vía is full of theaters and musicals, making it one of the most valued entertainment hubs of the capital.

Plaza de España

Further on we have the Plaza de España, one of the largest squares in Madrid. In the center, you can see a monument to Miguel de Cervantes who is the author of Don Quixote.

Within the square stands the Torre de Madrid, a massive tower designed by the Otamendi brothers who finished their prized construction in 1960. For some years, Torre de Madrid was the tallest concrete building in the world. It was the also tallest building in Spain until the Torrespaña telecommunications tower was completed in 1982. Not to mention the tallest building in the European Union up until 1967.

Temple of Debod

Now we’re arriving at the Principe Pio Mountain, the home of the old Cuartel de la Montaña barracks where General Fanjul proclaimed the Spanish Civil War on July 19, 1936. Today you can see a monument to those who perished during the assault on the barracks.
At the top of the hill, you will find the Temple of Debob, an authentic Egyptian temple in the heart of Madrid. The Egyptian government donated the temple to Spain in recognition of the scientific and financial assistance they provided in saving a vast heritage area during a flood of the Aswan Dam. The 2,200-year-old temple was brought over from Egypt, stone by stone. We recommend visiting at sunset to enjoy the magnificent city views.

Palacio Real

We are now looking at the Sabatini Gardens. Despite their name, these were not designed by the architect Francesco Sabatini. They are, however, located around the old royal stables which the famous architect did indeed design. The two-hectare gardens feature geometrically arranged flower beds, fountains, sculptures, and ornamental plants, all of which create a peaceful and reflective atmosphere that sharply contrasts with the hectic concrete world outside.

The Royal Theatre

We are now outside the Royal Theater. Despite being inaugurated in 1850, it was not until 1997 that it became the magnificent opera house that it is today. It is located in Plaza de Isabel II, which is known by the locals as Plaza de la Opera.

The square is presided over by a statue of Queen Isabel II, a great lover of churros and chocolate, which are still popular in Madrid today. The most famous place to taste this local delicacy is the nearby San Ginés Chocolatería, which attracts both early birds and night owls looking for a sweet snack. It is open 24 hours a day.

The Almudena Cathedral

Next to the Royal Palace is the Almudena Cathedral. Even though its first stone was laid way back in 1883, it is one of Spain’s most modern cathedrals because it was not consecrated by Pope John Paul II until 1993. This is because religion in Madrid depended on the diocese of Toledo until the end of the 19th century. The diocese of Madrid-Alcalá de Henares was created during this time, which motivated a construction project that would last 110 years. For this reason, Madrid does not have a medieval cathedral, unlike other Spanish cities.

San Francisco El Grande

Next, we have the San Francisco el Grande, a monumental basilica which houses the paintings of Zurbarán and Goya. Its enormous dome, which is the third largest in Christianity, is a structural highlight. It was built by Francisco de las Cabezas between 1761 and 1768, the year in which Antonio Polo relieved it. The church consists of a circular central floor which is covered by a giant 33-meter dome. Surrounding it are several smaller chapels, each with their own mini domes. An exhibition of paintings from the 17th to the 19th century can be found within.

Plaza de la Villa y Plaza Mayor

We are now on Calle Mayor, a street which connects the Royal Palace with the Puerta del Sol. Here we can find La Plaza de la Villa, one of the most important medieval centers of Madrid and the former seat of the city council. Next, we pass through Plaza de San Miguel which houses the Mercado de San Miguel. The market has been converted into...

Puerta del Sol

During the Bourbons dynasty, especially throughout the reign of the “Mayor King” Charles III, much of the urban and monumental layout of Madrid came to fruition. Examples include the Puerta del Sol, Plaza de la Cibeles, City Hall, the Puerta de Alcalá, Retiro Park and the art triangle of the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Reina Sofía museums....

Barrio de las Letras

The Barrio de las Letras, which we are entering now, bears its name in honor of the great wordsmiths who inhabited its streets during the Golden Age: Cervantes, Quevedo, and Lope de Vega. Today, this is one of the most popular areas in Madrid due to its charming pedestrian thoroughfares and its buzzing shops and restaurants, which come alive o...

Calle Huertas

We are now entering Calle Huertas, the main thoroughfare of the Barrio de las Letras. The name of the street comes from it once being the road that led to the vegetable gardens which provided food for the city. In those days, the street had a bad reputation as a place for prostitutes and criminals. Later, its status would change as the neighbo...

Duque de Medinaceli Street

We are now on Duque de Medinaceli Street. Here, we can see the Basilica of Our Father Jesus of Medinaceli, which is the Catholic Church on your right. The temple stands over the former convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians of Our Lady of the Incarnation. Within the basilica is the Cristo de Medinaceli, an image that generates great devotion amo...

Plaza de las Cortes

We are now arriving at the Plaza de las Cortes. To the front and to your left you can see the Congress of Deputies, a building which dates back to 1850. The main door of the Congress is flanked by two lions, which were forged from the bronze of the cannons captured in the African War in 1860. Commonly known as Daoiz and Velarde, the lions are...

Museo Thyssen

Here we are in the Thyssen Museum, which houses works by Dürer, Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Manet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and Picasso. The list of great artistic names found within is impressive, not least considering it is the result of only two generations of collecting. All Western artistic movements can be seen here, from 13...

Included/Excluded

  • Classic car.

Tour's Location

Created with Sketch. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain

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Michal Woj

22/01/2020

Excelent experience!

A unique experience and they offer very professional service. Our clients were very satisfied. Highly reccommended!
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