Madrid, Spain’s central capital, has been ruled by myriad civilizations in its two thousand year history. All have contributed to the culture and left their mark on the city. Local Spanish rule has been interrupted by the Romans, Visigoths, Muslims, Christians, Napoleon, and even the Hapsburgs of Austria. Today Madrid is a city of elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks such as the Buen Retiro. It’s renowned for its rich repositories of European art, including the Prado Museum’s works by Goya, Velázquez and other Spanish masters. The heart of old Hapsburg Madrid is the portico-lined Plaza Mayor, and nearby is the baroque Royal Palace and Armory, displaying historic weaponry. Its history, culture, cuisine, architecture, and people are among the most fascinating in all of Europe.
(This extension can be modified to fit before our Southern Spain Andalusia tours or our Northern Spain Barcelona to Bilbao tour.)
Tour Dates & Pricing
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Day 1: Bienvenido a Madrid
Upon arrival in Madrid today you'll check in to your 4-Star hotel, well situated near the city center. Madrid is located on the Meseta Central, the inner plateau set at a lofty 600 meters, which helps to lessen the summer heat. It is a fitting start to our exploration and one of those places that draws people back time and time again, either for its rich culture, great food and architecture ranging from contemporary to Medieval or simply to sit outside on a busy plaza watching the Madrilenos enjoying themselves. This afternoon you'll meet your local guide for a short walk through some of Madrid's fascinating neighborhoods. Eventually we'll find out way to one of our guide's favorite local restaurants for a wonderful dinner. Spain's capital, being centrally located, draws on the entire Iberian peninsula for its cuisine culture. Seafood from both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, rich roasts and stews from Castile, olives and ham from Andalusia, and wines from both the North and South of Spain, and even from nearby Portugal.
Day 2: Madrid and Toledo
This morning we set off on foot to wander through the old town of Madrid of the Austrian, getting some off-the-beaten track impressions of the past and modern life in this buzzing city. Among other things we'll see is the Templo de Debod, which was originally from ancient Egypt. It was given to Spain in 1968 as a thank you for the country's help in saving the temples at Abu Simbel during the Aswan Dam's construction. It now stands in Parque del Oeste and is one of the few ancient Egyptian temples to be found outside its native country. Stop for Churros con chocolate , a typical Spanish breakfast snack in front of the Royal Palace. At noon we enter Atocha Station; it's so large it once had its own nightclub and now has a covered tropical botanical garden. A short journey by rail takes us to Toledo, an incredible city rising high above the River Tajo. We enjoy a typical lunch in the Old Town. The so-called City of Three Cultures is Spain’s old capital and the only way to experience this remarkable place is on foot. We spend the rest of the day (and evening) with our local guide exploring its backstreets, which include a heady combination of churches, mosques and synagogues. You'll have your own Toledo Pass, which will allow you to visit any of Toledo's sites on your own. Later in the day we'll use the high-speed train to return to Madrid.
Tonight you are free to explore Madrid's bustling nightlife and find a fun place for dinner. You'll have plenty of choices, from tapas bars galore to world-class restaurants.
Day 3: Cooking Class and Tapas Crawl
Today after breakfast you'll have the morning free to ramble through Madrid's endless maze of streets and neighborhoods. This is a perfect time to visit the famed galleries of museums like the Prado, the Reina Sofia, or Von Thyssen's eclectic private collection. You may like to join the Madrilenos in their leisurely stroll around the beautiful Retiro Park before enjoying another favorite pastime 'tapeando', passing from bar to bar sampling the local tapas. You also have the option of visiting the royal residence of Palacio Real, or meandering through Huertas, known as the literary district with a variety of good restaurants, bars, squares and shops to browse through. Mid-morning we meet to start our hands-on cooking class and learn how to cook traditional Spanish cuisine dishes from some of the best in Madrid.
Tonight we again join the locals for the traditional tapas crawl and try the best tapas in Madrid!
Day 4: Adios Madrid
This morning after breakfast your Go Get Lost Madrid adventure will end.
- 3 nights double occupancy accomm in 4-Star Hotel ME Reina Sofia (or similar)
- 3 breakfasts
- Arrival dinner on Day 1
- Walking tour of Madrid with local guide
- Lunch with the locals on Day 2
- RT Train transfer to Toledo
- Walking tour of Toledo
- Toledo Pass
- Tapas cooking class
- Tapas crawl on Day 3
- Local taxes
- A Lifetime of memories!
What´s not Included
- Meals not listed in the itinerary
- Entrance fees not listed
- Trip Interruption/Cancellation and Medical Insurance, (strongly recommended, call for details)