Madrid Culture & history

Our most recommended Madrid Culture & history

Madrid: Royal Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

1. Madrid: Royal Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

Embark on a guided 2-hour tour of Madrid's Royal Palace. Admire art pieces by Giordano and Goya while exploring the palace at a peaceful time of day alongside an expert guide with in-depth knowledge about the home to Spanish Royals past and present.  Start at the Opera Metro Station in Plaza de Isabel II, home to the Teatro Royal, where you will meet your guide. After a picturesque walk through Plaza de Oriente, enjoy skip-the-line privileges before entering the palace. Relish visits to the Throne Room, Banquet Hall, and Private Royal apartments. Be amazed as to how these rooms are brought to life in an engaging and fascinating way by your professional guide. Marvel at exclusive works of art by Giordano and Goya, as well as historical articles such as historic tapestries, suits of armor, and ornate swords. Take in in the building's 19th-century design and beautiful floral layout, which serves as an excellent backdrop for memorable photos. After the guided visit, feel free to take a relaxing stroll on your own through the Royal Gardens and visit other highlights such as the Royal Armory and Pharmacy.

Madrid: Toledo and Segovia Guided Tour with Avila Option

2. Madrid: Toledo and Segovia Guided Tour with Avila Option

Immerse yourself in the history, architecture, and cultural delights of Toledo, Segovia and visit the historic and beautiful Alcázar. Choose between a shared or private tour experience departing from Madrid. Your journey into Toledo begins with a breathtaking view of the city at the Mirador del Valle, a perfect opportunity to snap a stunning panoramic photo. As you enter the old district of Toledo, a walking tour will guide you through the historical Jewish quarter. The second half of your excursion takes you to the historical city of Segovia, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Admire the impressive Roman aqueduct, its impressive cathedral, and marvel at the architecture from ancient Roman and medieval times.  Saving the best for last, you’ll be led to the Segovia Alcazar, one of Spain's most famous castles from the 12th century. Afterward, take some time to explore the city on your own, along with insider tips from your guide to discover hidden gems.  Enhance your experience with an optional tour of the city of Avila. Start your guided visit at the Four Postes viewpoint and admire the skyline of this ancient city. Then, follow your guide through the historic streets. Stroll past the San Vicente Church, the city walls, and the impressive Cathedral of Avila. Hear the history behind each turn and explore the plazas of Adolfo Suárez and Mercado grande.

Madrid: Prado Museum Direct Entrance Ticket

3. Madrid: Prado Museum Direct Entrance Ticket

Since it opened in 1819, the Prado Museum has acquired a dazzling array of paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and decorative art that cover the history of Spanish art to form one of the finest collections of European art in the world. Based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, the Royal Museum would become known as the National Museum of Painting and Sculpture, and subsequently the Museo Nacional del Prado. The collection currently comprises around 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints and 8,200 drawings, in addition to a large number of historic documents. With your full-day ticket, you will have access to more than 1,300 works currently on display in the main building. The size of this collection can cause headaches for visitors trying to choose what to see, but the Prado has organized 3 routes that focus on its masterpieces, dating from the Romanesque to the 19th century. Once inside, you can purchase an audio guide to quickly lead you to works by artists such as Bartolomé Bermejo, Pedro Berruguete, Sánchez Coello, El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Murillo, Alonso Cano, Velázquez and Goya.

Madrid: Royal Palace Fast-Access Admission Ticket

4. Madrid: Royal Palace Fast-Access Admission Ticket

Enjoy fast access to the Royal Palace of Madrid, the official residence of Spanish royalty. Enter through an express security check and explore one of the world’s largest palaces. Wander the corridors that have witnessed centuries of Spanish history. Admire the architecture and decoration of the salon rooms, including frescoes by famous artists. Enter the private apartments of monarchs, visit the throne room, and stroll through the banquet halls. Witness the Hall of Mirrors from the reign of Charles IV. See artworks by painters such as Caravaggio, Juan de Flandes, Francisco de Goya, and Velázquez. Visit the Royal Armory and discover its exhibits of porcelain, watches, furniture, silverware, and more. Explore the heritage of Spain’s monarchy at the Royal Palace.

Madrid: Segovia and Toledo Tour, Alcazar, and Cathedral

5. Madrid: Segovia and Toledo Tour, Alcazar, and Cathedral

Discover the historic cities of Toledo and Segovia on a guided day tour from Madrid. Admire the imposing Alcázar of Segovia, the Cathedral of Toledo, as you stroll through both cities learning about their fascinating history. Depart Madrid and journey first to the city of Segovia. See the UNESCO World Heritage Roman aqueduct. Marvel at the iconic 1st-century monument, considered the most important example of Roman-era civil engineering in Spain. Visit the royal palace of the Alcázar of Segovia, built on a rocky crag above the confluence of 2 rivers near the Guadarrama mountains. Continue to the imperial city of Toledo. Once in Toledo, discover the medieval neighborhoods and historical monuments of the city on a walking tour and learn why it is called the City of Three Cultures. Depending on the option selected, finish with a guided tour inside Toledo Cathedral. Return to the center of Madrid at the end of your tour.

From Madrid: Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen

6. From Madrid: Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen

Embark on a guided tour to the Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial and enjoy skip-the-line entry. Explore the Basilica of the Valley of the Fallen and hear the history behind each turn from your guide. Leave Madrid in the morning and travel 50 minutes to San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Visit the baths upon arrival and then begin the tour of the San Lorenzo Monastery. Learn the long history of Spain, specifically the reign of Felipe II. See the building that best summarizes the ideological and cultural aspirations of the Spanish “Golden Age” and is named a World Heritage Site. See places like the Patio de Reyes, Cloister, Chapter Rooms, The Basilica (except on Sundays), The Pantheon of Kings and Infants, and the Royal Rooms. Travel to the Valley of the Fallen located in the Peña de Cuelga Muros after leaving San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Visit its surroundings and the basilica carved into the rock, and the burial place for 33,847 people who died in the Spanish Civil War. Be amazed by the great granite cross that is visible from kilometers away.

Madrid: Guided Walking Tour of Monasterio de las Descalzas

7. Madrid: Guided Walking Tour of Monasterio de las Descalzas

Explore the Monastery of Descalzas Reales Monastery on a guided tour and learn the stories and legends of what was once the richest convent in all of Europe. Allow your guide to take you through history, as you admire impressive paintings, staircases, and the many rooms within the building. Meet your guide at the Plaza de las Descalzas, right in front of the entrance door to the Monastery to begin the tour. Arrive at the entrance of the Monastery of the Descalzas Reales and listen to an explanation of its facade and exterior, before entering inside. Admire important areas of the building's interior, such as the cloister, through which passes the Procession of the Holy Burial that takes place every year on Good Friday. Then, contemplate the main staircase, considered by many to be the true jewel of the monument. On the walls, take in the mural paintings created during different periods that adorn the walls. In particular, look up at the ceiling to discover the impressive painting attributed to Claudio Coello. Through the tour, access the Tapestry Room, the Choir Room, and find Plateresque doors, countless works of art of enormous value, and paintings by some of the greatest painters in history such as Zurbarán, Antonio Moro or Luca Giordano.

Madrid: Avila and Segovia Day Trip with Tickets to Monuments

8. Madrid: Avila and Segovia Day Trip with Tickets to Monuments

Take a day trip from Madrid to visit two of Spain's oldest cities, Avila and Segovia. Explore the rich history of these UNESCO-listed cities with a guide. Admire Avila's walls, cathedral, and Basilica of San Vicente. Then continue to Segovia's Roman aqueduct, Gothic cathedral, and Alcazar fortress. Drive for an hour from Madrid and find yourself in Avila. See the stunning 11th-century walls surrounding the city. These fortifications are the most complete in all of Spain. Next, visit the interior of the Basilica of San Vicente to see the best examples of Romanesque architecture in the country. Pass by the Plaza Mayor and the Cathedral. At your next stop, enter the church-convent of Saint Teresa of Jesus that was built by the Order of the Discalced Carmelites in the 17th century, supposedly in the same place where Saint Teresa of Avila was born. Following the visit to Avila, enjoy free time to have wine, beer, soft drinks, and an aperitif, or continue exploring the city on your own. Regroup at 2 PM to head to the city of Segovia. Begin your tour of Segovia with a visit to its main symbol, the Roman Aqueduct, as evidenced by its presence on the city's coat of arms. Pass by the Casa de los Picos, Plaza de Juan Bravo and Plaza Mayor. Arrive at the cathedral dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption and of San Frutos. Enter to see its size, elegance, and blend of late Gothic style and Renaissance features, to understand why it's called the Lady of the Cathedrals. Finally, go into the Fortress of the Alcazar of Segovia, a medieval castle, located on a rocky crag at the confluence of 2 rivers near the Sierra de Guadarrama. Witness one of Spain's most distinctive castle-palaces by virtue of its shapes, such as the bow of a ship. After the visit, start the trip back to Madrid in a comfortable bus.

Madrid: Skip-the-Line Prado Museum Guided Tour

9. Madrid: Skip-the-Line Prado Museum Guided Tour

Discover masterpieces of art on a skip-the-line guided tour of the Prado Museum and explore the galleries of Spain's national art museum, located in the museum district of central Madrid. Widely considered to have one of the world's finest collections of European art from the 12th to the early 20th century, the Prado Museum also boasts the single best collection of Spanish art in the world. Founded as a museum of paintings and sculptures in 1819, it was enlarged by the addition of short pavilions at the rear of the magnificent building between 1900 and 1960. See masterpieces by Francisco Goya, Hieronymus Bosch and Peter Paul Rubens, along with acclaimed paintings by El Greco, Titian and Diego Velázquez. Journey through the story of Spanish and European art through the centuries and get expert explanations along the way. If you select the tapas tasting option, following the tour of Prado Museum, you will then walk through the city to one of the most important bars in Madrid where you will have the opportunity to taste several tapas of Spanish food. Spain is internationally renowned for its gastronomy and is proud of its rich culture and culinary history. Discover the traditional tapas of Spain and experience the food culture of Madrid like a local. Here your tour will finish, leaving you with the opportunity to walk through the center of Madrid.

Madrid: Prado Museum Guided Tour

10. Madrid: Prado Museum Guided Tour

Meet your guide at the Goya Statue outside the Prado Museum and begin your guided tour of its vast collection.  See the work of a variety of great European artists such as Velázquez, El Greco, Goya, Tiziano, Rubens, and El Bosco. Discover some of the collections on display, which date from the Romanesque period to the 19th century. The museum contains more than 8,000 paintings, 9,000 drawings, 5,500 prints, and over 900 sculptures. See some of the 1,300 works currently on display in the main building. Learn about the history of European art, and the story behind some of the works on display.

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Frequently asked questions about Madrid

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What people are saying about Madrid

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 7,531 reviews

I really love and enjoy this tour. An excellent guide describes everything who clearly knew the history. If you want to see amazing views go!

Wonderful tour through the palace with our guide, Sergio who was very informative. Beautiful palace and interesting history.

Benito is the best guide you can have...his English is top notch, as is his sense of humour Highly recommended

This was a great adventure. Our guide was knowledgeable and entertaining. Long day but worth it.

Excellent Service. Both guiders are nice and informative.