While restrictions for international travellers make almost impossible to receive guests from overseas countries, local tourism shows up as the best solution for our industry. Consequently, we had to follow health recommendations in order to offer our daily art walk in Madrid.
Moreover, the Spanish capital city has those many places that even people born and raised in town don’t even know that they existed. In case you were interested in rediscovering your city, this is the perfect moment to do it! For example, you’ll feel that streets are less crowded. Did you know that you could turn into a tourist in your own city?
What are the new measures that Cooltourspain implemented in the art walk Madrid?
According to last data shown by Exceltur, the Spanish tourism industry is suffering a 74,4% loss compared to last year’s numbers. This means that less people arrived to our country, but we still need to work hard and continue with our art walk in Madrid.
Participating in our street art tour might be a clear example of how important is to follow health recommendations. Cooltourspain team members make sure that all security measures are met before, during and after the alternative experience.
In case you wondered if it’s safe to participate at any of our tours or not, here you’ll find information about the steps that our project implemented. These are some of the actions that we took:
1-. Mandatory face mask
First of all, both the art walk Madrid leader and his/her guests are required to wear a mask at all times. We believe that taking care of yourself is as important as looking for others’ interests. Thus this is an important requirement.
As you will observe in the image featured above, it’s also important to support your local artists. For instance, Gerardo purchased the face mask that Keru de Kolorz developed during the lockdown. If you are interested in wearing it, you should directly contact the artist through instagram.
Okuda, JM Yes or Sixe Paredes are other Spanish renowned artists who also joined the cause. They elaborated similar face masks that people proudly wear while walking on the streets. Don’t they look fabulous with them?
2-. Electronic check-in
Before Covid-19, our guests had the possibility to show their tickets either in digital format or printed version. New measures made us minimize our leaders’ exposure to infection and it’s now mandatory that guests show us their ticket from their phones (without us touching the screen).
As a matter of fact, we don’t shake hands with our guests in order to greet them. It might look impolite, but we prefer to avoid all forms of interpersonal contact. We might salute with the elbows, but we rather not for your safety. Similarly to what happens at the beginning, we just say goodbye.
What happens with the guides’ tip in case there are any? We encourage our guests to do it through Bizum, as we avoid touching petty cash or notes. If there exists no tip for the guide, we’ll still run the street art tour with hardwork and a smile at all times.
3-. Distance between groups at the art walk Madrid
As we have previously described, we receive less participants than we used to do in the past. For you to have an idea, last June, July and August 2019 approximately 350 travelers joined our art walk in Madrid. 2020’s summer counted with no more than 15 participants per month.
This is an important downturn for our project, but at the same time it means that groups will be reduced. For instance, our tours do not count with more than 3 or 4 participants per guided visit. It’s a private visit at the price of a public tour. Isn’t that cool for you?
Similarly to what happens with the guided visits at Prado Museum, a distance of 1.5-2 meters must be complied at all times between different subgroups. That is to say, you could stay close to your friends/partners, but you must keep distance with other ‘strangers’ in the group.
4-. Reduced groups
Cooltourspain is committed with a high quality service. Furthermore, you should know that we are not a free tour company. In the same vein, the number of participants at any of our walking experiences are always reduced.
Our standards made us work for groups of 13-15 participants per guide before Covid-19. However, due to the economic & tourism industry crisis groups cannot be bigger than 7-8 people. As you may understand, this is another implementation that Cooltourspain set.
We cannot wait to work with regular standards, but we believe that the situation will not change until scientists develop a vaccine to kill the virus. We estimate that it will not be until 2021 when we go back to normal activity.
What areas are covered during the art walk in Madrid city center?
The reason why we started our project was because we observed that there existed a huge problem in the city’s tourism industry. Just a quick question, how many service providers would you recall that offer classic guided visits? On the other hand, do you know any other business which focuses only in an art walk Madrid specialized in graffiti and street art?
Taking these first steps into consideration, it’s been 4 years now that develop alternative tours in Spain. Visitors join our experiences because they are interested in learning about our culture, the city’s lifestyle and of course, urban art.
There are two areas in which our walking tours are led. These activities are offered daily, either in English or Spanish language. Were you here to practice your listening and speaking skills? This might probably be the most excellent way to do it! Pay attention to the areas that you will stop by.
– Lavapiés & La Latina
Embajadores district is currently one of the trendiest neighborhoods where to live/stay, although is it quite big. If we would have to choose an specific area, we would say El Rastro and surroundings, but there’s more than that. Take note and write down the spots that you should visit. Here they are:
- Sunday’s flea market: the biggest and most important in town. Just by visiting it, you’ll experience an art walk in Madrid itself. Why? Pay attention to your surroundings, bargain prices and find the no-frills! As it is stated, it only takes place on Sunday & Bank holidays. However, Covid-19 has shut it down temporarily!
- Esta es una Plaza: a unique urban garden in C/ Doctor Fourquet. What it used to be an abandoned lot, it now features a kids’ playground, a cactus garden and dozens of street art artworks. It only opens on sunny days, and access is restricted to groups at this current moment.
- Cava Baja & Cava Alta: two picturesque streets in La Latina. Check the bar fronts, the building facades, and even the urban art that graffiti writers performed in the streets’ corners.
- La Tabacalera: a social & cultural self-sustained center. It is located in Calle Embajadores, 53 and we could define it as an unfinished museum of contemporary art and post-graffiti. The spots’ interior and exterior walls are all decorated by local, national and international artists.
– Malasaña, San Bernardo & Noviciado
Another area to be visited is Malasaña. Its name might be familiar to you because it’s in almost every single alternative city guide. It’s cool, it’s hipster and there exists a contrast between the decades that it all started and present times.
An art walk in Madrid around this neighborhood will let you feel a community sense, although the further out you go, the more local experience you will live. For example, these are the locations that we would recommend you to visit:
- Plaza del dos de mayo: the district’s social epicenter. It’s specially crowded during the weekends, when groups of young adults meet in bar terraces. If you are lucky enough, you might hear some street musicians by sunset.
- Solar Antonio Grilo: a self-sustained urban garden near San Bernando. Two amazing wall murals will welcome you to this tiny green space. Moreover, you would be able to participate at any of the workshops or organic food markets organized here.
- PINTA Malasaña: yearly street art festival celebrated in the neighborhood. More than 50 artists painting at the same time both in public and private walls, metal shutters and other urban elements. It’s probably the most famous event of its kind in Madrid.
Last but not least, check the weather in Madrid before you leave your accommodation.
Cooltourspain’s opinion about the art walk Madrid
Walking is one of the most beneficial activities for the human being. On top of that, if you’d add a cultural component with this art walk in Madrid, the better it will be.
Our team members are waiting for your reservation to show you how beautiful, modern and alternative our city is like. What are you waiting for?