I’m a huge fan of joining free walking tours when I visit a city for the first time, they’re a great way to quickly see all of the main sights and learn some interesting facts about the city. I only had one full day in Madrid so as soon as I arrived I did a search for a Free Madrid Walking Tour as I knew this would be the best way to see everything in the short time I had there. I found Sandemens free Madrid walking tour online which has great reviews so I chose to join the 2pm tour. They have 3 tours per day, 10am, 11am and 2pm, all meeting at Plaza Mayor, a very central square in the heart of Madrid.
The tour was offered in both English and Spanish and although we didn’t book in advance, if you’re in a large group it would probably be best to let them know as it was very busy. The tour began promptly and our guide was incredibly energetic and full of fun facts and stories from the beginning!
We covered only a small part of the city on foot however the tour took about 3 hours as there are lots of stops and information to take in. We had a break in the middle of the tour in a coffee shop where we could use the restrooms and also have the option to buy tickets to their other tours. As this is a free tour there is quite a lot of ‘upselling’ from the guide to persuade people to buy the other tours which is okay however it does take some time. It’s not an issue but in my opinion would be better if it was only mentioned once … At the end of the tour you can choose to tip the guide if you enjoyed it as they explain that they work as freelancers and are not paid anything by organiser. I’m not sure what the going rate is but I tipped 5 Euro per person which I think was a fair price.
All in all, the tour was very good. Lots of information, history and lots of sights crammed into 3 hours. I loved Madrid, it was so vibrant and pretty. I can’t wait to go back and explore further. Obviously on the walking tour you don’t have the time to go inside any places, so on my next trip to Madrid I will definitely visit the Cathedral and Palace. And the shops, there are so many shops! I cannot wait to go back and spend a few days just shopping! Desigual, the Spanish fashion brand is one of my favourites and I discovered that they have their largest store in the world on Calle Preciados! As this was very close to Plaza Mayor where the walking tour began I made a little detour on the way and grabbed myself some bargains from the outlet section! When in Spain … 😉