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The 7 best free walking tours in Madrid

Exploring a city becomes both enriching and budget-friendly when explored on a free walking tour. These guided tours, done on foot, typically span around 2 hours. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide and a group of fellow explorers, you'll visit key landmarks of the city, learning the history and culture of the places you visit. The unique aspect of these tours lies in their cost, with participants only encouraged to contribute a modest donation at the conclusion of the journey.

In this article, I am going to talk about the best free walking tours in Madrid: night vibes, downtown adventures, the artsy scene in Las Letras, and a peek into the royal side of Madrid with the Bourbons. Are you ready to have some fun? Let's begin!

Table of contents

1. Free Walking Tour of Madrid, a classic!

free walking tours madrid
Plaza Mayor

This free walking tour of Madrid, one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Spain, is the most basic of all and the one that any tourist arriving in the city should book, as it takes you through the main monuments of Madrid. You will be able to visit the highlights of the city while you learn about its history, legends, and curiosities. This free guided tour of Madrid has a total duration of 2 hours and 30 minutes, is in English, and can be booked for up to 6 people.

Thanks to this tour, you will be able to visit the following places:

  • Puerta del Sol.
  • Plaza Mayor.
  • Plaza de Oriente.
  • The Royal Palace of Madrid.
  • Plaza de la Villa.
  • Opera.
  • Market of San Miguel.

Tour rating: 9.5/10.

🛏️ If you still haven’t booked a place to stay in Madrid, I recommend Fuencarral Adeco, an affordable hotel located in the center of the capital.

2. Free walking tour of El Capricho Park

el capricho park
El Capricho

This free tour in Madrid is not as popular as the one that I have already mentioned, but if you are going to spend several days in the city, I am sure that you will love it. In this case, the guided visit is to Parque El Capricho, one of the most beautiful parks in Madrid. This tour is 2 hours and 15 minutes and is done in English.

This park is located in the Alameda de Osuna and is the only garden of romanticism present in the Spanish capital. It was ordered to be built by the Duchess of Osuna in 1784. Construction took place between 1787 and 1839. The Duchess of Osuna died in 1834 without seeing the work completed.

The most emblematic and photographed place in El Capricho Park is the Temple of Bacchus. However, this park is full of hidden treasures.

Apart from getting to know this temple, thanks to this tour, you will be able to appreciate the English, French, and Italian-style gardens and visit the Casa de la Vieja, the labyrinth, the palace, and the Dance Casino, among other places.

Tour rating: 5/5.

3. Free walking tour of Madrid at night

free walking tours madrid
Temple of Debod

Another very cool fee tour in Madrid is booking a night tour of the city. Madrid looks just as beautiful, or even more, at night than it does during the day. Stroll through the streets of the city once the sun has set and discover all its secrets and legends thanks to this free guided tour. This tour is 2 hours long and is available in English.

The tour starts at Plaza de Oriente, next to the Royal Palace. You will visit all these places: the Cornice of the Royal Palace (where you can enjoy views of the Casa de Campo), Calle Mayor, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Calle Preciados, Fuente de Cibeles, the facade of the City Hall and the famous Puerta de Alcalá.

4. Free walking tour in Madrid of the Bourbons

things to do in Madrid
Puerta de Alcalá

I also propose a free guided tour through the Madrid of the Bourbons. Thanks to this visit, you can learn about the expansion of Madrid and the influence of Carlos III through the monuments and architecture. The tour lasts 2 hours and is conducted in English.

You will visit the following places: Puerta del Sol, the Congress of Deputies, the Neptune Fountain, Paseo del Padro, and the famous Puerta de Alcalá.

Tour rating: 9.7/10.

5. Madrid Ghost Tour

gran via
Madrid Ghost Tour

Restless spirits wander the streets of Alcalá, Montera, and Gran Vía. Souls of times past roam the city after dark. Explore the legendary stories of Madrid in this free tour about the specters of the capital.

The tour starts at Plaza de la Luna, where you will learn about the ghost stories of Desengaño Street, San Ginés Church, and Puerta del Sol. Then you will go up to Gran Vía to learn about the legend of the House of the Seven Chimneys.

Then you will go to the Palacio de Linares, a place that has been the scene of several paranormal studies. The reason? Strange silhouettes and disturbing sound recordings have been the protagonists of unusual incidents on the property.

Tour rating: 8.8/10.

6. Chueca and Malasaña Free Tour

Madrid free walking tours

If you want to know two of the most attractive neighborhoods of the Spanish capital in greater depth, there is no better idea than to take this free tour. This one also starts at Plaza de la Luna, from where you will get to Malasaña. You will visit the Lara and Alfil theaters, the Church of San Antonio de los Alemanes, and the popular Calle del Pez.

The tour continues to the Plaza del Dos de Mayo, the epicenter of the neighborhood. Nearby are some of the bars that played a key role in the cultural movement known as the Movida Madrileña in the 80’s. You can discover its fascinating history!

Afterwards, you will go to the Museum of History of Madrid and then take Fuencarral Street towards Chueca. You will visit its emblematic square and some of its most famous stores, many of which have links with the LGTBI community.

Tour rating: 9.3/10.

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7. The Golden Age of Literature Free Tour

santa ana square
Plaza Santa Ana

If you are a fan of literature, this is possibly the best free tour in Madrid for you. As you walk through the fantastic neighborhood of Las Letras, you will get to know some of the best stories of the writers of the Golden Age. Of course, this guided tour starts at Plaza Santa Ana.

Afterwards, you will be guided through the neighborhood of Las Letras, making a stop next to the Ateneo de Madrid and the statue of Cervantes. After admiring the facade of the Basilica of Jesus de Medinaceli, you will explore two emblematic places: Cervantes Street and Lope de Vega Street.

You will see the facades of the homes of these renowned writers and be told the origins of the intense rivalry that arose between these two literary geniuses.

Tour rating: 9.2/10.

Visit my Spain travel guide if you need to know more about the country.

I hope this article about the best free walking tours in Madrid has been useful to organize your trip to the Spanish capital. If you want to tell me about your experience in this city or have any questions, I encourage you to leave a comment. See you next time!

↠ Book free tours and guided visits on Civitatis or GetYourGuide. I always use these platforms to check what organized activities there are at my destination.

↠ To pay with card in foreign currency or withdraw money from ATMs, I always use this card (there are free and paid plans). It works the best!

↠ Traveling with travel insurance to a destination where you don’t have healthcare coverage is a must. Get your insurance 5% cheaper with this link.

↠ If you want to have cellphone data at your destination from the moment you land and don’t want to waste time, there is nothing like this eSIM. Use the code “comeamaviaja” for a 5% discount.

↠ Check out Booking’s offers, a platform I always use, as I always find very good options thanks to its search engine with filters.

↠ For destinations where I need to rent a car, I always check Discover Cars and Auto Europe search engines. I recommend them!

↠ If you still need to buy flights for your trip, there is no better search engine than Skyscanner (although I always recommend booking the flight on the company’s website).

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