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

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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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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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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Eight 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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Recent blog posts

Alfonso XIII: Playboy King and Porno Pioneer

Spain’s first pornos As with the internet, it didn’t take long for pioneers to see the pornographic possibilities of film with early pornos appearing pretty quickly after the Lumiere brothers first displayed their invention in Paris in 1895. However, unlike the internet, this was no democratic tool, the first silent pornos were mainly made to titillate…

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The Habsburg Jaw

Maybe you’ve seen the signature pouty lips and jutting Habsburg chin caught on canvas in Velázquez’s paintings of Felipe IV or perhaps you’ve seen it grow to even more ridiculous proportions in portraits of his son Carlos II (pic above). But just how did this jawline get so out of control? Interbreeding for power The Spanish…

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Books about Madrid

Photo from Guide to Madrid’s Literary District by John Dapolito Last month my book A Guide to Madrid’s Literary District was published by Secret Kingdoms. To celebrate the launch, I’ve put together a reading list of other great books about Madrid that will give you a good grounding in local lore. Whether you’re a history buff…

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What is Madrid made of?

Artists Minty Donald and Nick Millar of Erratic Drift answer the question, “What is Madrid made of?” in this special guest post written ahead of their exhibition opening. A close look at the city When we visit a city as tourists, we’re often urged to stand back and look up to appreciate the architecture, or to…

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