Top 5 Madrid art walks for an alternative experience in the Spanish capital

Madrid art walks by the river side

Our group of local guides will let alternative travellers know what are their favourite areas to enjoy the best Madrid art walks while in town. Ready?

Despite Spain’s capital city is known for the quality of its public transport, we wanted to let you know about urban trails where to discover classic & modern art.

  • The river side
  • City center areas
  • Offbeat Madrid art walks

Madrid art walks by the River side.

The number one of these sightseeings would be along Manzanares River, which is born in Guadarrama Mountain range and crosses the city.

There are several spotlights that Celine, our French-speaking street art tour guide would like to recommend you.

1-. Matadero Madrid

Building of Matadero Madrid
Matadero Madrid can be observed from the River side. Picture by Nicolas Vigier

First place to visit on your Madrid art walks would be Matadero de Madrid, a former slaughter’s house which is now used as cultural and artistic center.

Your steps should start from Legazpi metro station, where you’ll observe the warehouses and buildings that occupy over 165,000 square meters.

What kind of things could you do at Matadero?

  • Visit monthly artistic exhibitions
  • Observe the arquitecture of a place which dates back to 1908-1928
  • Join any workshops opened to all audiences

What other places could you discover along Manzanares River?

Madrid Rio walks
Enjoy a lovely afternoon around Madrid Rio. Photography by Nicolas Vigier

If you keep on jogging northeast by the Manzanares River towards San Isidro Park you would get to Puente de Segovia (Segovia’s Bridge) built in 1582.

It is from there where you will be able to observe in the distance the Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral, which are two wonderful places to see by the sunset.

Madrid art walks by the city center

Santi, our Bike tour leader, loves the city center and the fascinating urban landscape that you would be able to observe in its narrow streets and walkable avenues.

There are several parts that he would like to recommend you, but today he is focusing on Lavapies area.

2-. Lavapies multicultural neighborhood

Lavapies street art district
Lavapies is considered to be a very multicultural area. Nicolas Vigier / flickr

He thinks that all Madrid art walks should cover this neighborhood because of its multicultural style.

In the artistic terms, there is a street art festival which is celebrated every year. CALLE Lavapiés brings artists from all over Spain to decorate the stores and faccades located around Argumosa street.

Doctor Fourquet is also a famous part of the city because of the number of art galleries that are present around Reina Sofia Museum.

“You should visit the best urban garden in Madrid. Esto es una plaza is a local community hub which features the artwork of the world-wide known artist called ROA. He is the one my world’s favourite street art artists!

Santi, Cooltourspain’s team member

3-. Malasaña, a bohemian & chic district

Malasaña bohemian and chic
Malasaña district can be observed from Malasaña metro station. Nicolas Vigier

Gerardo, known as Gerzu in the tour guide industry, would suggest you to visit Universidad district.

He leads our street art tour in Malasaña and as an expert on the field, there are several spots he would feature on the fourth of these Madrid art walks.

  • Plaza del Dos de Mayo would be one of them because of the sculpture representing those who passed away on the Napoleon attacks over Madrid city.
  • Calle Hortaleza is also known for the art stores where you can buy different canvas, paints or any other materials you may require before puttings hand to work.

According to him, you should also pay attention to Pinta Malasaña, an urban art festival which takes place during the month of April. You should visit it not only because of the artistic component, but for the atmosphere existing at the neighborhood during the event (always held on a Sunday).

Madrid art walks around Atocha train station.

Last but not least, the triangle area between El Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen museums features the best of Madrid art walks.


It will surprise you to known that two of the most avant garde centers are separated by less than a kilometer distance.

4-. La Neomudejar de Atocha

La Neo ft. Madrid art walks
Former installation at La Neomudejar. Picture by R2hox

First spot to visit around Spain’s most important train station would be La Neomudejar, a visual arts/contemporary center which used to be one of the first factories for the rail track system in Spain.

Its entry fee is only 4€ and its walls will totally amaze you.

  • Brut art in the installations exhibited monthly
  • Visual art during the IVAHM festival
  • Street art in its outdoors’ garden

5-. Caixa Forum

Caixa forum modern art museum
Urban garden observed at the entrance of Caixa Forum. Picture by Dan /flickr

On the other side, you will find Caixa Forum, which features a vertical garden in its entrance square.

Modern and contemporary art through exhibitions that included among others Andy Warhol.

Are these places enough to start your journey in town? We hope so, but in case you need more help, take into account that you could also contact us on Facebook.

Our opinion about the Madrid art walks

It’s our goal to let you discover the alternative Madrid art walks. We hope that you find this information helpful for your trip planning.

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