5 Original tour & alternative experiences in Madrid that are shaping the city.

Olliemonsta as captured in the original tour

Are you a traveller interested in getting to know Madrid in a different way? Or would you prefer to do what the rest of “tourists” frequently do? If you want to see the B side of this diverse city we would recommend you going on an original tour around hidden stories and cultural aspects of the Spanish capital.

  • Architecture
  • Feminism
  • Spanish history
  • Madrid neighborhoods

1-. From Jewish Quarter to Multicultural paradise: Lavapiés original tour.

Tabacalera self sustained center
International dance workshop at La Tabacalera self sustained center, Calle Embajadores. Madrid

It has been four years since Javier, the original tour pioneer at Cooltourspain started showing locals and visitors around Lavapies area, through its graffiti and street art.

A glance to a broken history.

Lavapies neighborhood is just a small part of Embajadores district but it has a unique atmosphere.

In its different interesting chapters of history, Lavapiés has observed as:

  • Corralas, famous XVII century building style, hosted performances and plays.
  • A convent turned into what’s now UNED University.
  • Mercado de San Fernando sells his spirit to commercialism

Overall, Lavapies area has always resisted to all sorts of trends, but what will happen to the most actual one: the monster of gentrification?

An admirable sense of community.

Original tour Madrid at Lavapies square
Multicultural festival celebrated at the entrance of Teatro Valle Inclan (Calle de Valencia, 1)

Something we love about our original tour in Lavapiés area is that most of the art we show and explain to you, is not separated from its context. 

It’s during the guided visit in Madrid that we explore citizen initiatives which create social links in a very multicultural and diverse community-

Being respectful to others is one of our most important values and we do not take the neighborhood as a zoo.

2-. Not just an original tour, but a Feminist tour. Women’s empowerment!

Feminist tshirt
Our group leader showing her Shirt during the original tour in Madrid city center

Patricia will share her knowledge about amazing women who shaped the Spanish feminist movement:

  • It’s beginnings,
  • The hidden locations where they met
  • Leaders on the demonstrations

Herstory Madrid style

Women live rough times, so if you consider yourself a feminist you probably want to hear about the different activism that has taken place in this city.  

Madrid’s feminism features amazing stories to tell, which were silenced throughout Spanish history. Let’s hear the complete story!

The essential names in the fight for equal rights!

Feminist stencil graffiti
Graffiti technique observed in the streets during a Women’s demonstration

Have you ever heard about the “Cigarreras”? What about“Sin sombreros”? (the hatless ones). Unless you are an expert in feminist history, these names will not be familiar to you. Are they even named in media or history books?

This original tour will take on a ride through time, all the way from the dark inquisition times or the rough Francoist dictatorship, to the “Ni una menos” NOT ONE LESS movement.

We value the activism being done nowadays by the new generations and we’ll explain to you where it all comes from.

3-. Madrid’s Architecture with Emilio’s professional perspective

UNED University, Madrid
Building located in Calle Sombrerete, next to Lavapies metro station and San Fernando food market.
  • What’s the sculpture on top of that building?
  • Who lived in this palace?
  • Where could you find Madrid’s best rooftop views?

Those are common questions that he listens from guests in a daily way. Emilio has elaborated a friendly guide so that you could remember the key details of each building structure.

Explore the Spanish cultural identity in an original tour

Stunning buildings will surround you anywhere that you step in. What’s their story to tell?

We constantly wonder about the stories behind these constructions and if you join Emilio’s architours you’ll get to know a wide range of styles, names and stories that will amaze you!

Typical corrala in the city center
Famous Corrala in Lavapiés district. Photograph taken in Plaza Arturo Barea.

More than just a cultural experience.

Understanding the way buildings were designed, the uses they received, and the era that they were built in will give you a better panoramic idea of what the lifestyle of a specific moment was.

Madrid features two important areas where industrial and post-industrial edifices.

  • Gran Via’s hotels and thaters.
  • The city center’s corralas.

4-. The beginnings of the counter cultural movement at Malasaña’s Movida Madrileña

Madrid rock music history
Woman walking in front of wall painted with spray cans somewhere around Malasaña district.

Malasaña has historically earned his position at the alternative scene, and especially in the XX century.

Did you know that the name where our original tour is led was Universidad and Maravillas (Wonders)? What a cool name! Right?

The district is internationally known because of being the cradle of a prolific art scene, La Movida Madrileña. An art wave that took place during the 80’s in the Spanish Capital.

  • Alaska y los Pegamoides
  • Radio Futura
  • Los Secretos
  • Pedro Almodovar

Cooltourspain’s original tour visiting an open air museum.

original tour around Malasaña neighborhood
Famous YASTA club in Calle Valverde, next to Gran Via street. Best electronic music in town.

Guests will get the chance of becoming familiar with the local street art and graffiti communities: urban art festivals, contemporary art fairs, pop-up exhibitions…

Nothing is predictable in the art industry, but most likely that you’ll see political art, art just for the sake of giving positive vibes, and even techniques that will blow your mind. 

Madrid bike tour vs. walking tour Madrid

Whether you prefer to discover the city in an electric bike or walking, we’ll make sure that you explore our beloved city in a totally alternative way.

Guests who are time-limited, may join our groups cycling around Chueca, Malasaña, San Bernardo, Noviciado and La Latina areas.

5-. Reinventing the Spanish history with Gerardo in a Classic tour.

Picture taken next to Opera metro station
Picture of the Royal Palace, taken in a cloudy day Summer day. Madrid 2019

Madrid has a fascinating history. Did you know that for some years, Spain was part of a Muslim Caliphate? You’ll hear about the Spanish history in a way that will leave impress you, from the beginning to the end.

Cooltourspain’s team members have done an extensive research work in order to feed your brain with interesting facts about the Spanish histoy.

Join now our daily services and get a discount when purchasing several experiences. Ask for further information at info@cooltourspain.com

Our opinion of what should an original tour be like?

First of all, it should be unique! What do we mean with that?

An original tour should be that one which creates an impact on you, and you never forget it. The guide did an amazing job and the tour was led in a interactive & close manner.

You then wrote a review in Tripadvisor because of satisfaction level.

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