Are you looking for a tour guide in Madrid to discover the city alternatively?

official tour guide in Madrid

The Spanish capital city received in 2022 the award as the world’s leading meetings and conference destination. For a fourth year in a row, it got ahead of cities such as Paris, Las Vegas or Seoul. In this sense, while people participate in business meetings during the morning, there is always time to visit and enjoy the local culture in the afternoon, or viceversa. That’s the reason why we would like to present you the services of our tour guide in Madrid.

The main proposal is to walk along the most multicultural, diverse and colorful areas, although we do not leave behing the cities’ most classic parts. We’re interested in showing you what’s our lifestyle like, as well as showcasing what are the people’s interests and worries. Have you ever heard of the term sustainable tourism? Those are the kind of activities that we want to promote among our visitors.

Here is the information that you will find along the following paragraphs:

What should be the features of any tour guide in Madrid?

It’s true that you will find many competitors on the tourism field. As a matter of fact, you just need to log into platforms such as Airbnb, Get Your Guide or Viator to book experiences related to your area of interest. However, we’d like to illustrate the importance of hiring a licensed tour guide in Madrid. Thanks to his/her knowledge on the field, and the proffesionalism endorsed by travel agencies, there is no room for mistake.

Make sure you investigate on the internet before paying on any website that offers tourism related activities. Are they active on social networks sharing pictures with customers? Do their reviews only showcase the positive aspects, or also the connotations to improve on? Do they offer legal advice about their company? Are the conditions clear before processing any payment?

We also consider that any tourism related worker should have great public speaking abilities -in at least 2 or 3 languages- and the capability to solve any unexpected issues. From that perspective, let us inform you that we became pioneers in town 6 years ago. You should know that we were the first project which offered daily street art tours for alternative travellers. Since then, over 3,000 visitors per year have participated at any of our services.

1-. Knowledge about the topic

discovering the city with a tour guide in Madrid
Mural in Chueca district. Artist: Artez, Picture: Alb Yester/ flickr

First of all, we would like to introduce an important question about contemporary art. Is street art similar to graffiti? What are their similarities? Any differences at all? To our tour guide in Madrid, there exists a rich debate related to this topic. Mostly, because while one of our guests might see an artwork with a particular point of view, another one may have a different way of understanding it. What’s true is that urban art (or muralism) is not graff.

Thanks to their experience on the field, these professionals will give you insider details about the emergent artists’ community. Our proposal is that you don’t just listen to information. The idea is that you share your oppinion by justifying your answers. These are some of the common questions that you’ll hear during a 2 hours service:

  • What’s the fine that you will have to pay if police ever catches you painting?
  • Are there any unwritten laws in the graffiti community?
  • How long could it take an artist to paint a mural?

2-. Reasonable honoraries. What’s the price for a private tour guide in Madrid?

off the beaten tour guide in Madrid
Javier, in the middle of an explanation about the local street art movement

Last 29th December 2021, the Spanish Government passed a new law by which the labor conditions of any tour guide in Madrid were settled (BOE-A-2022-594). Thanks to the effort of tourism related unions, such as CC.OO, UGT, CEAV and SPV, a new plan for travel agencies, and all the workers within the field, was introduced. In view of this, it’s important to fight for our rights, salaries, and holidays, among other important details.

That’s the reason why Cooltourspain charges its customers, a fee that starts on 181€ for a 2 hours service. If visitors require longer services, then the amount of money to be paid will also increase. That’s the way we use to dignify our job. We’re completely against those free tours who charge their customers based on tips. Don’t they have to feed their families?

In case you were interested in participating at any of our public guided visits, then the price will vary from 20€ to 25€ per adult. Kids and teenagers pay 10€, and those under 6 years old will not pay at all. The difference between a private and a public service is that participants who book the former service, will have the chance to choose their desired starting time, while those interested in the latter, will have to addapt to the 11.15am schedule. Please note that a minimum number of participants is required.

3-. Opened to all audiences

discovering the city through its unknown stories
Gonzalo is one of the official tour guides who collaborates with Cooltourspain

The truth is that our tour guide in Madrid specializes in graffiti and street art, but from time to time we receive requests from all kinds. Thanks to our SEO strategy and the team’s efforts to open to new audiences, the volumen of these guided visits is increasing. Moreover, you should know that we hire freelance professionals to lead explanations at the Prado Museum and Reina Sofia.

Our main customer is usually a women, aged 25-50, who travels on her own, with a group of friends or her partner in life. Despite this data, school groups and MICE & DMC agencies, usually hire our private services for employees or students. For your information, Cooltourspain’s team members usually lead walking or cycling tours in Spanish, French and English.

Appart from customer oriented skills, being able to speak fluently in different languages will grant you a higher number of bookings. In our case, we receive a lot of visitors from the United States, Israel and France. We even created a subdomain in Hebrew to attract those travellers interested in visiting Madrid in a different way. What’s your favourite way of discovering a new city?

Where should a tour guide in Madrid take you to see the off the beaten path?

Apart from Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Gran Via street or Retiro Park, a tour guide in Madrid could show you other areas of interest. Furthermore, our experts are specialized in exploring districts which are catalogued by many locals as ‘gentrified’. Have you ever heard of this expression? The gentrification, as defined by National Geographic, is the process where wealthy, college-educated individuals begin to move into poor or working-class communities, often originally occupied by communities of color.

What during the 1980s used to be districts full of drug addicts and heroin, is now home to bohemian cafés, vintage shops and other fancy bars and restaurants. Moreover, they feature countless street artworks performed by the local emergent community. However, what are the negative connotations related to this social moving process? That’s what we will tell you during the 2 hours service.

Cooltourspain’s guides will tell you what are ‘madrileños’ doing (people born and raised in the city) in order to protect their streets from capitalism. One one hand, we want to show you what’s currently happening, but on the other hand we will explain actions such as:

  • Hanging yellow t-shirts on balconies to show their statement against over overtourism.
  • Attending protests and demostrations.
  • Collaborating with public institutions.

Lavapiés district, one of the most multicultural areas in town

Discover Lavapies with a tour guide in Madrid
Lavapies is known for its ethnic diversity and colorful stores. Picture by R2hox/ flickr

It was in 2016 when we launched the services of a tour guide in Madrid. Since then, our best seller service has been the walking tour around Lavapies district. No doubt that people are interested in wandering around its streets with us. Despite the fact that we do not live in the area, because of the high rental pricing that appartments feature here, locals already recognize us as the guides who talk about graffiti.

We specialize in taking visitors to areas that they wouldn’t explore on their own. As a matter of fact, that’s a common review that you’ll read on the internet about our job. We pretend to be walking with our friends, rather than customers. We connect very easily with guests. Furthermore, you should know that we do not use microphone and speakers to make our voice louder.

On the contrary, the maximum number of participants per group is set on 15-18 per guide. That means that if you are booking a service for 45 participants, then you should know that we will count with 3 professionals for this guided experience. The largest number of people that we’ve ever hosted was a tour for 290 people. There were 17 of us leading the service.

Walking with a tour guide around Malasaña, Madrid

One of the many squares around Malasaña district
Terrace full of people at Plaza de las Comendadoras. Picture by Nicolas Vigier / flickr

The triangle created between the following points make an interesting area to enjoy the city differently. To start with, we will suggest you walking around Tribunal metro station. Our tour guide in Madrid will take you to explore the artworks created by the festival PINTA Malasaña. Next, get to Plaza dos de Mayo, and paint a graffiti with us. We’ll do it just in the square. Continue walking passed San Bernardo metro station. That’s the spot where you’ll see the open area featured in the picture above. Lastly, head back towards Calle de La Luna.

That’s the area that we’d suggest you visiting. It includes the entrance to AKEAH Hotel’s garden, where you’ll photograph Concreto’s artwork. In his case, visitors will identify several references to the Spanish culture. Please take into consideration that our activities are related to our history, but offered in a modern way. Did you ever imagine talking about Picasso’s Guernica, performed with spray cans?

Lastly, do not miss exploring any of the municipal markets around Madrid’s 24 districts. Rather than just visiting Mercado de San Miguel, the most famous and touristic in town, why don’t you support the alternative options such as Mercado de Los Montenses? Does the name Mercado Barceló sound familiar to you?

Other areas of interest

urban art murals in Usera
Mural artworks in User district

If you are the kind of traveler who is interested in contemporary art, then you should listen the following information that our tour guide in Madrid has prepared about Usera district. It’s considered by many as the new Lavapies style area. Why? There are different art projects in the neighborhood, such as Okuda’s newest gallery Factory of Dreams. Not only you will see his studio, but also the ones from emergent creators, whose art workshops are located in Usera.

In between one space and another, we’ll take you to analyze the story of this working class district, through municipal markets, important landmarks, and street art themed murals. GVILLE or SPOK are two of the Spanish contemporary art artists who have painted on faccades. Please do not expect observing any similarities with Plaza Mayor or Puerta del Sol. Usera is a multicultural district, madrileño style.

What do Cooltourspain team members think about the job as a tour guide in Madrid?

Thanks for reading up to here. Our tour guide in Madrid and the rest of the team love meeting people from different nationalities to show them our culture. We love graffiti, it’s our passion and we’re lucky enough to say that we live from what we enjoy most, which is painting. We hope to see you soon at any of the services described within this article.

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