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.

Recent reviews

Press clippings

Popular posts from the archives

Madrid’s Oldest Stores

Tough times for Madrid’s oldest stores Last year was a brutal one for retail and sadly, many of Madrid’s oldest stores fell victim to the pandemic. These included the stationer, Papelería Salazar and the bookstore Nicolás Moya. Those that have hung on in there have done so by their fingernails. The shopkeepers I spoke to while…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Seven 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…

Read More

Recent blog posts

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More


Want to hear more about my tours? Get in touch to find out more.