Guided Tours

Guided Tours

See another side of Madrid on a guided tour of the city with Felicity Hughes, the author of The Making of Madrid.

Each of the tours lasts one and a half to two hours and is followed by a drink and tapas at the end.

Enjoying tapas and a drink in a local market

The following tours cost €110 for solo travelers, €60 per person for two (€120 for the group), €45 euros per person for three (€135 for the group), €35 euros per person for four (€140 for the group), €30 euros per person for five (€150 for the group), and €25 euros per person for six (€150 for the group). The price includes a drink and a tapas.

Larger groups can negotiate a price privately.

To book, contact Felicity by email at: info@felicityhughes.com

There are currently five tours with tapas on offer:

Madrid, the Early Years

Covering the city’s origins as an outpost of Islam up until the end of the Hapsburg dynasty, the tour reveals how a Protestant smear campaign still colours our view of the Spanish Inquisition and exposes a conspiracy to destroy the original royal palace that implicates the first Bourbon king himself. Along the way you’ll visit some of the few surviving medieval buildings in the capital, a secret garden and the remains of the original city wall.

Muslim Madrid

Madrid was founded by Mohammed I of Cordoba as a line of defense against Christian invaders. While the citadel was conquered by Alfonso VI in 1083, only the ruling classes were forced to flee. Muslim citizens stayed on in a morería for centuries. Starting where the original fortress was built, we follow the fate of the city’s Islamic community from when Madrid was part of Al-Andalus up until the forced conversions of 1502.

The Making of Malasaña

Burning corpses, sex mad nuns, revolution and prostitution! Even before becoming the hipster paradise it is today, Malasaña has never been boring. On this tour you’ll find out about its roots as a pious and yet somewhat sleazy suburb, about the emergence of its native tribe of majos, about the Dos de Mayo uprisings, and about how during the 19th century the neighbourhood turned into a university city and industrial hub. Then, of course, we’ll finish up by delving into the heady post-transition days of the Movida.

Lavapiés: Defiance in its DNA

From the foundation of Madrid up until the recent riots, this tour takes a deep dive into Lavapiés’ turbulent past and is a history of the city told not from the perspective of its kings, but from the perspective of its poorest citizens. Starting off with the Rastro, the bloody trail that led down from the city’s medieval slaughterhouse, we learn about the fate of the manolos, a tribe of Jewish conversos who were the first inhabitants of the barrio. Travelling downhill towards its modern heart, we end up in the barrio’s multi-cultural present day.

The Manzanares River with Clare Starkie

Find out more about Madrid’s hidden gem: The Manzanares River. Flowing from the mountains in the north, this river runs through one of the city’s newest parks, yet has some of the oldest and most fascinating stories to tell.
Starting at the Matadero, a 1920s slaughterhouse and now a cultural centre, this 2.5km walking tour will explore prehistoric wildlife, Golden Age feats of engineering and the river’s role during the Civil War. The tour finishes at one of Madrid’s oldest bridges, the Puente de Toledo (near Marques de Vadillo metro).

For this tour, your guide will be Clare, who has lived in Madrid for over 3 years after moving from England, where she was a museum curator for more than 20 years. She now teaches English to adults and researches Spanish history.

There are two other tours available, though these do not come with a drink and tapas

Retiro: Construction, Destruction and Reinvention

Tracing the evolution of Madrid’s most iconic park from royal spiritual retreat, to decadent pleasure palace, to public playground. Highlights along the route include the remains of the old palace, the now defunct House of Beasts, and the ghastly tale of Madrid’s first and only human zoo.

Murder and Malice: A Journey Through Madrid’s Dark Past

Incest, intrigue and infamy! Smothered passions that consume innocent lives and rage on into the afterlife haunting the guilty and blameless alike. But just who is the woman in white pointing an accusing finger at the Royal Palace? And what about that pale figure trapped behind the windows of the Palacio de Linares? The disturbing answers to these questions and more will be revealed on this journey through Madrid’s dark past!

The Retiro tour and the Ghost tour last around one and a half to two hours and cost a €90 euro flat rate for groups no larger than six. To book, contact Felicity by email at: info@felicityhughes.com