Whether you are interested in joining others to discover the Spanish capital city, or booking a private service for your family members, friends, coworkers or students, here you may find some alternative suggestions. We master on activities which focus on group travel in Madrid, offering our guests a unique point of view. Have you ever heard about sustainable and responsible tourism?
Besides acting as a destination management company, also known as DMC or MICE, we’ll take the role of local hosts. Cooltourspain team members, and our group of official and certified guides, will let you discover the parts of the city that you may not discover on your own. That’s our job and our passion!
- Alternative things to do
- Madrid old town alternative tours and guided visits at the major museums
- Important facts to take into account while visiting Madrid
Alternative group travel in Madrid. What’s the local culture like?
In general terms, we’re an open society, diverse and integrated by several cultures. However, the fact is that we use the group travel in Madrid to fight agains injustices, specially racism and xenophobia. That’s one of our added values, and the way that we would like to change the XXI century society. We use education and culture as tools.
Districts such as Embajadores and Universidad, both in the city center, are melting pots of nationalities: Senegal, Morocco, US, France, India… It’s around those areas where we’ll show you the best art murals in town. Their streets will showcase our particular and alternative way of introducing Madrid to our visitors.
In this sense, we started our activities in 2015, and we didn’t stop growing. As a matter of fact, you could also take a look at our contemporary art tours around Usera. Many locals will say “why do you take travellers to this specific area?” What they do not know is that the most emergent artists have turned this working-class neighborhood, into a trendy area.
Exploring Lavapiés, a no-frills and off the beaten multicultural neighborhood
Still downtown integrated, Lavapies offers its visitors the opportunity to wander around its plazas, with a local atmosphere, away from mass tourism. It was here, where we developed our first group travel in Madrid, and you could end up any visit at Mercado La Cebada or San Fernando market. Are you joining us?
Please note that you’ll hear information about the following community related spots:
- Esta es una Plaza, a beautiful and quiet urban garden located at Calle Doctor Fourquet, next to MPA modern art gallery.
- CSOA La Tabacalera & Tabacalera Promoción del Arte: both are cultural related spots. However, one is a self-sustained center, and the other is a public sponsored building. They’re currently under construction. At least, until 2025.
- CALLE & Urvanity Art festivals: two of the most famous post-graffiti and street art festivals in Madrid. They take place on a yearly basis.
Which districts would you visit during our bike group travel in Madrid?
If you follow us on two wheels, instead of walking, you should expect a panoramic view of the city center, throughout the best urban art murals. This group travel in Madrid is not only tailored for adults, but suggested for teenagers over 16 years old too. Moreover, you should have previous knowledge and experience on commuting in cities by bicycle.
Cooltourspain counts with a modern urban bike fleet, but you may leave pedaling aside, if booking an ebike tour. Way easier! These are the most important highlights during our alternative guided visits:
- Pinta Malasaña & Urban art festival, where over 50 artists decorate the business’ metal shutters in a curated & permitted event.
- Akeah Hotel mural, painted by a Colombian artista called Creto. A reinterpretation of Madrid’s culture.
- Arte al Cubo, another street art festival where you’ll be able to observe the “fight” that exists between street art artists and graffiti writers.
- Muelle, Madrid’s graffiti pioneer. You’ll observe his artwork over Calle Montera, 32.
Everything you wanted to know about Malasaña and ‘la Movida Madrileña’
Last but not least, you will find another option for an alternative group travel in Madrid. That’s to say, a guided visit around Malasaña, its important landmarks, and the story of how the Spanish society changed during the 1980’s decade. For your information, ‘La Movida Madrileña’ is known as the counter cultural movement that introduced new waves within the artistic, filming, and music industries after Franco’s dictatorship.
At this moment, Malasaña represents a bohemian district, full of expats who rent appartments, and dozens of street food like restaurants/bars. Besides that, the post-industrial architecture will also catch your attention while our professional tour leaders talk to you about the messages that lie behind urban art murals around Calle La Palma, Corredera Baja de San Pablo, or Plaza Juan Pujol.
The guided visits usually take 2 hours to be completed, and out of that time, 1 hour and 40 minutes will be spent on walking and explanations, while the remaining 20 minutes corresponds to a graffiti practice that will take place at Plaza Dos de Mayo. Each participant, whether an adult or a teenager, will have the opportunity to spray paint on his/her own, following the guide’s instructions.
What are the classic options for a group travel in Madrid?
Despite all the above options are available for group travel in Madrid, we’ve also launched services for those who arrive for the first time to the Spanish capital city, willing to discover the most touristic spots in town. Even at the major museums.
We count with a group of professionals who are licensed and certified. They’ll explain you in details each of the spots visited. For your information, tickets might be included in the price and the guided visits usually range between 2 and 4 hours, leaving from 1 to 1.5 hours to the museum’s explanation. Still, you’ve got the chance to hire a guide in several languages during the whole day.
However, due to the alternative approach that we pretend offering to our guests, we won’t use this article just to explain the details about the classic guided visits, but to show you the differences between the most touristic parts and the off the beaten path.
Prado & Reina Sofia museums vs. La Neomudejar and 95 Art Gallery
Spain offers its visitors the opportunity of exploring some of the most recognized museums around the world, including but not limiting to Guggenheim Bilbao, Dali’s museum in Figueres (Girona) or Centre Pompidou (Málaga). In this sense, our group travel in Madrid offers a private tour either at Reina Sofia Museum or El Prado.
They both feature uncountable masterpieces, such as Guernica (Picasso), Las Meninas (Velazquez) or Saturn devouring his son (Goya). Consequently, a tailored service might be convenient to learn insider details about the Spanish Art History. On the other side, we could suggest you exploring the emergent artworks located at these ‘not than famous’ venues. You may visit them on your own, or accompanied by one of our local guides:
- Coleccion SOLO, unique private collection located next to Retiro Park. (Plaza de la Independencia, 5)
- La Neomudejar, former XIX century railway factory & warehouse turned into an avant garde center (Calle Antonio Nebrija, s/n)
- 95 Art Gallery. It’s probably the most underground space of its kind in town. Located in the suburbs. (Calle Alvarez Abellán, 23)
Group travel in Madrid around Plaza Mayor & Puerta del Sol
The next recommendations would be located at the city center’s heart, and it’s more than likely that your accommodation is nearby. Isn’t it? In this case, our group travel in Madrid will showcase information about the Spanish Monarchy and the contemporary era. All along the Habsburg area, known as Los Austrias.
However, similarly to what we have done in the previous paragraphs, we’d like to compare between the most visited spots and the ones which aren’t that known among visitors. For example, let’s talk about green areas, parks and other open air spots:
Retiro Park vs. Parque de las Siete Tetas
Although it’s formally known as Parque del Cerro del Tio Pio, this park is the place where to observe the best panoramic views in town. To enjoy the most our of it, please visit it by sunset time. It’s a 10 minutes walking distance from Buenos Aires metro station (line 1).
San Miguel market vs. Mercado de la Cebada or Los Mostenses market
We know from facts that travellers who participate at any of our group travel in Madrid are not only interested in art, culture and history, but also willing to try the local and national gastronomy. For instance, the regional cuisine such as cocido madrileño, or the typical tortilla de patata / paella.
For those of you interested in mass tourism, then you should head to Mercado San Miguel. Excellent products, but mainly targeting the foreign visitors. On the other hand, if you want to do what locals do, then go straight towards Mercado de la Cebada (Plaza de la Cebada, s/n) or Los Mostenses (very close to Gran Via Street). Popular pricing and great atmosphere, from both stall owners, and street food /tapas bars.
These spots are quite unique. Mainly because of their menu listings, but also because you’ll be able to share a space where people do their shopping list. These markets are a mix of local shops and venues with sloppy food restaurants. You’ll be surprised by the difference between one and the others.
Cooltourspain’s opinion about the group travel in Madrid
For us, it’s a pleasure working for the group travel in Madrid industry. We’re interested in showing you our city as if you were one of our friends. In other words, we pretend becoming your local hosts while in town. We’d like you to take the most from our quirky and alternative tours.