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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Espadrilles on sale in Madrid

Madrid’s Oldest Stores

A tribute to Madrid’s oldest stores You may have noticed little brass plaques in front of shops in Madrid. Designed by the cartoonist Mingote, they indicate that the store in front of you has been in business for more than 100 years. An incredible feat considering that these shops have stayed the course through a civil…

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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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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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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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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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