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

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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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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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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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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