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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Ten Truly Madrileño Terms

People from Madrid are a welcoming sort, but even so, they do have a strong sense of their own identity. Just like DNA, it is coded into the language, marking them out as citizens of the city. Which is why, if you’re in Madrid to stay, it’s worth getting to grips with some truly Madrileño terms….

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Madrid off the Beaten Track

On a visit to Madrid, it’s really easy to fall into the well-trodden paths. While the Royal Palace, the Prado and Retiro are all excellent places to visit, shuffling along with the crowds of tourists, you can feel as if you’re being force-fed a cookie-cutter experience that lacks any authentic flavor. But never fear, nine times…

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Five Things You Didn’t Know About Madrid

From Islamic origins to saintly bones, to mind blowing miracles, here are a few surprising things you didn’t know about Madrid. Its name derives from Arabic Top of our list of things you didn’t know about Spain’s capital is that its name derives from Arabic. The settlement was chosen for its strategic position high above the…

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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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How Spanish Nativities Became Huge

Spanish Style Christmas Kitsch I first encountered the OTT Spanish nativity at a Christmas feast hosted by my uncle-in-law. Tío Mariano is famed for stuffing his guests with enough fine wine, top shelf jamón, and truffles to bring on a deep and lasting food coma. I wound up stupefied however, the moment I walked through the…

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A History of Chocolate and Churros

A crunchy deep-fried churro dipped in a gloopy cup of chocolate is one of the most decadent and divine culinary pairings in history. It’s a calorific breakfast that can be enjoyed in churrerías throughout Madrid setting any tourist up for the busy day sightseeing. Surprising then that while both churros and chocolate have a long history…

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Serenos: Spain’s Night‎​watchmen

It’s 11 pm and all is clear The call of the sereno or nightwatchman was a sound that was a familiar part of the acoustic patina of Spain’s city streets for more than 200 years: “Son las once y sereno” (It’s 11 pm and all is clear). For most, this was a reassuring sound informing citizens…

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Best Day Trips from Madrid

While Madrid boasts fantastic art galleries and fabulous museums, if you’re interested in Spain’s Roman and medieval history, a day trip is your best bet. Only a short train or bus ride away, destinations like Segovia, Toledo, and Alcala de Henares never disappoint. Toledo Once the Visigothic capital of Spain, Toledo’s history goes all the way…

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