Get to know Madrid’s vibrant Los Austrias neighborhood on a 2.5-hour walking tour, led by a private guide! Often called Habsburg’s Madrid in reference to the many monuments left by Habsburg’s dynasty, the district holds an array of exciting sights around every twist and turn. See the Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real), walk through Plaza Mayor, visit Mercado de San Miguel and more on this must-do private tour!
Start your tour with a pickup from your centrally located Madrid hotel and start your walking tours of Los Austrias. Meet your private guide and learn about the area, hearing how it’s referred to as Habsburg’s Madrid in reference to its majestic monuments, built at the time of the Habsburg’s dynasty. Pass the Royal Palace of Madrid and hear tales of the Bourbon kings who once lived in this extravagant abode.
Continue along Calle Mayor, admiring elegant 17th-century palaces like Palacio de Abrantes and Palacio de Uceda, and then stop for photos in front of Madrid’s oldest church – Iglesia de San Nicolás de los Servitas – that was built on the site of a mosque in the 12th century. See its striking bell tower (the only Moorish feature that remains) and then stroll back toward Calle Mayor.
Head to Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid’s trendy covered market that sprawls across Plaza de San Miguel, and browse its gourmet food stores and bustling little bars. Hear tips from your guide for the best stalls to visit, and then continue walking to Plaza Mayor – the centerpiece of the city. Stroll around, soaking up the street theater ambiance that abounds, and pose for pictures in front of the equestrian statue of Felipe III – one of Madrid’s high-profile Bourbon kings.
Pick up the pace on your walk down Calle de Toledo, one of the city’s busiest streets, and pass Iglesia de San Isidro, a beautifully elegant, yet understated, church that was once a cathedral. Amble past Colegio Imperial de Madrid, where many of Madrid’s noblemen and dignitaries have studied, and hear about the Jesuits who once ran this prestigious establishment.
Return toward Plaza Mayor, seeing a series of famous mesones (typical Castilian restaurants) called Cueva de Luis Candelas – and enjoy two final stops before your tour ends. Stop on Calle Bordadores, a street where Madrid’s lace has been made since the 17th century, and then visit Iglesia de San Gines -- a charming 14th-century church that was fully reconstructed after a fire in the late 1800s.
Your tour then finishes on Calle del Arenal, in the center of town, leaving you ideally placed to continue sightseeing independently if you wish. Alternatively, you can finish with a hotel drop-off.