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

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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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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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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Where to find a bathroom in Madrid

Public bathrooms: the awful reality In 18th-century Madrid, long cloaks were all the rage among Madrid’s working classes. Not only did they double as a blanket when you got sleepy but they also provided some much-needed privacy when you needed to take a wazz against a wall. Two hundred years later, you’d think things would have…

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How to Survive Summer in Madrid

You’re coming to Madrid in August for your summer holidays, hombre, are you crazy? – would be the typical response a Madrileño would give you if they heard your travel plans. They know from bitter experience that this delightful city turns into a furnace during summer. Anyone in their right mind ought to head to the…

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Mealtimes in Madrid

What are typical mealtimes in Madrid? Mealtimes in Spain can drive you crazy, especially if you arrive at a restaurant ravenous, only to find the kitchen won’t be open for an hour yet. As Madrid is always full of tourists, there will be places willing to serve you lunch at 12pm. Unfortunately, these are often tourist…

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Why are true Madrileños called gatos?

What is a gato? Gato means cat in Spanish but in Madrid, it also refers to someone who can count their ancestry back two generations within the city. This means that both their parents and grandparents were born and raised here. While there’s a little bit of debate on whether this should be on both sides…

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