The Making of Madrid

Tours and tapas away from the tourist traps

See another side of Madrid with Lonely Planet guidebook writer Felicity Hughes.

.Journalist Felicity Hughes has been living in Spain’s capital for more than ten years. With a wealth of knowledge at her fingertips, she runs unique historical walking tours of Madrid that show another side to the city.

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Popular posts from the archives

Seven scams to avoid in Madrid

Visitors coming to Madrid are often nervous about being targeted by scammers. A legitimate fear if you don’t understand the language and are reliant on the kindness of bilingual strangers to help you navigate your way around a foreign city. As problems can start as soon as you get off the plane with unscrupulous taxi drivers…

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Three Museums that Reveal Madrid Through the Ages

From when mammoths stalked the Manzanares River to when Napoleon stomped through the city’s gates, these three museums reveal Madrid through the ages. And the good news is, they’re all completely free! The Museum of San Isidro: The Origins of Madrid The first of my three museums that reveal Madrid through the ages is  The Museum…

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Quiet corners of the Prado

Out of the pandemic, there’s no perfect time to visit the Prado. Even if you visit first thing in the morning or during lunchtime – that’s 2 pm to 4 pm in Spain – you’ll still have to contend with crowds swarming around the museum’s greatest masterpieces. And while Velazquez’s Las Meninas, Goya’s Black Paintings and…

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Three Myths About the Spanish Inquisition

Founded in 1478 to root out false Jewish converts to Christianity, the Spanish Inquisition was a bloodthirsty organization that killed between 5,000 and 10,000 people during its 350 year existence. Given these horrifying statistics, it might seem odd to say that the Spanish Inquisition wasn’t quite as bad as it has been made out to be…

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The Bear and the Strawberry Tree

Why a bear and strawberry tree? Visitors seeking an Instagrammable picture of themselves in Madrid often head to the statue of the bear and strawberry tree in Sol. The work of artist Antonio Navarro, the bronze Oso y Madroño statue was installed in 1967, the very same year Madrid’s coat of arms got a modern update….

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Street Signs in Madrid: a Brief History

The beautiful tiled street signs in Madrid are one of the city’s most distinctive features and reproductions of them are sold by the bucket-load to tourists looking to take some souvenir of their stay back with them. But did you know that these iconic tiles only date as far back as the 1990s? What might surprise…

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Modern day cabalgata in Madrid 2018

Madrid’s Three Kings Parade

Showers of sweets On the evening of Jan 5, a shower of sweets rains down on the city as the Three Kings Parade snakes a noisy glitter-strewn path through central Madrid. The Cabalgata de Reyes is a massive affair complete with beautifully decorated floats and huge speakers blaring out seasonal tunes that climaxes at Cibeles Palace…

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Ateneo de Madrid’s Turbulent History

Ayuso squares off against Ateneo Isabel Ayuso Ateneo de Madrid, one of the city’s most important cultural institutions, has just had its 100,000 euros per annum local government funding abruptly shut off. The only local organization hit by a total funding cut, speculation that the move is politically motivated is rife. The heart of the problem…

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