I love exploring cities on a bike. The best bike tours in Madrid are healthy and sustainable, what else could you ask for?
Besides, you can move faster than walking, so you can save time and make the most of your stay in Spain.
For those looking to experience Madrid like a local, hop on two wheels and join one of the best bike tours Madrid has to offer.
There are lots on offer and visitors can find it difficult to choose, that is why I have selected my 5 best bike tours in Madrid.
Just like the best free walking tours in Madrid, the bicycle tours are an ideal way for you to discover Madrid´s history, culture, and attractions at your own pace.
Table of contents
- 1 My 5 Reasons to join the best bike tours in Madrid
- 2 Is Madrid a bike-friendly city?
- 3 How to book the best bike tours in Madrid
- 4 What are the best bike tours in Madrid?
- 5 What is BiciMAD?
- 6 What is the Cycling Green Belt in Madrid?
- 7 Tips for cycling safely in Madrid
My 5 Reasons to join the best bike tours in Madrid
Cycling in Madrid reveals all the magic of the city in an ecological and healthy environment.
It has been difficult, but I have tried to summarize the main benefits of Madrid bike tours in the following 5 points:
1. A unique experience.
Taking one of the best bike tours in Madrid is a great way to discover the capital of Spain.
Most tourist attractions are located in the historical city center where you can easily access cycling. Besides, the weather in Madrid is excellent for a ride.
Public transport in Madrid is excellent and can be a faster way to get around in case your planning is quite tight.
I prefer slow traveling though, as you can always come across some hidden gems of the city and experience Madrid like a local.
I have always believed that it is not just a way of getting to your final destination, but it is actually enjoying every single place you go through.
The best bike tours in Madrid are perfect to get a deeper involvement and discover the local culture and the day-to-day Spanish life.
2. Healthy and sustainable.
Cycling in Madrid is a fun, healthy, and environmentally friendly way to get around the city.
According to the European Environment Agency, transport is responsible for a considerable part of the total greenhouse gas emissions.
Therefore, the bicycle tours in Madrid result in fewer emissions released into the atmosphere, help to protect biodiversity and decrease noise pollution.
Besides, pedaling is beneficial for your health, reducing the risk of cardiac diseases and heart attacks.
Madrid´s nice weather is very convenient to go for a ride. Rain is not usual, but in July and August a bottle of water will be much appreciated, especially in the hottest parts of the day.
3. They are pretty affordable.
The best bike tours in Madrid will allow you to control your budget on your trip to Spain.
You will find that the prices are quite accessible, especially compared to other European cities.
You have to consider that the tour includes, apart from the bike, 2-3 hours with a professional bilingual guide with a deep knowledge of Madrid´s history, culture, and traditions.
Some of the best cycling tours in Madrid even include a bottle of water and some snacks.
Taking that into consideration, you will probably agree that prices are quite fair. In case you have finally enjoyed the experience, a tip will be more than welcome.
4. Forget about planning.
One of the main benefits of the best bike tours in Madrid is that you do not have to worry about planning.
All you have to do is turn up at the meeting point on time, ready to spend a nice time.
The tour guides will take care of the rest. They know each street, each square, and each corner of the city, as well as the conventional routes and the most alternative tours.
The whole route is thoroughly planned in advance and you will not miss any of the best landmarks in Madrid.
Moreover, the tour guides will show you Madrid´s secrets that only the locals know.
5. Engage with new people
The best Madrid bike tours are a great opportunity to meet people who probably share your interests. Two at least, tourism and sports.
Perhaps it is just me, but when I travel, I am more outgoing to talk with strangers than in my daily life.
It could be just because of this feeling of sharing the passion of discovering new places, but I have done plenty of good friends when traveling around.
Is Madrid a bike-friendly city?
Madrid might slowly, but will probably become in the next few years one of the most bike-friendly cities in Spain.
Some steps have been already given but there is still much work to do to improve infrastructure and safety for cyclists.
I would say that in order to be a more bike-friendly city, Madrid needs to focus on 4 main pillars: less traffic, bike lanes, green routes linking the main areas of the city, and citizens` culture and awareness.
The traffic in Madrid´s city center has been reducing in the last years and there is a limit for cars not to drive faster than 30 kilometers per hour.
To ensure that car drivers actually drive at a safe speed, you will find a variety of traffic calming measures.
Besides, in some areas, there are bike lanes separated by a painted line to provide bicycle riders with a dedicated space. But citizens` awareness still needs improvement and motorists do not always obey the painted line.
It is also necessary to increase the number of bike lanes to connect all the neighborhoods.
Currently, cycling infrastructure is not connected, that is why it is not that usual to see locals getting around by bike. Its use is mostly limited to work out or leisure during the weekends rather than as a way of transport.
The City Council has invested in creating a Cycling Green Belt. This is a 64 km segregated cycling and pedestrian path that surrounds the urban area of Madrid through a circular route.
Hopefully, this will be just the first step for Madrid to become a bike-friendly city.
In a few words, getting around Madrid by bike can be stressful, especially in areas with a worse infrastructure.
Therefore, the best idea is to book one of the best bike tours in Madrid, counting with experienced guides that will take you along safe and scenic routes.
How to book the best bike tours in Madrid
Taking one of the best bike tours in Madrid is an awesome way to discover Madrid and can be quite a unique experience.
Remember that it is not allowed to join most tours without booking.
Booking in advance one of the best bike tours in Madrid locks in your spot. Furthermore, you will be able to receive important information from your guide in case there are changes to the tour.
In addition, there is usually a minimum and a maximum number of participants. If you go to the meeting point without booking, the group could be full and do not accept additional participants.
The booking process for the best bike tours in Madrid is really easy. Just click on the link of the tours you are interested in where you can read all the necessary information.
For instance, the general information regarding the tour itinerary can be found in the “Overview”, “What to Expect”, “Additional information”, and “Frequently Asked Questions” sections on the tour page, often including a sample tour itinerary with the approximate duration of each stop.
The “What’s Included” section shows a list of what is and what is not included in the tour.
You can check availability at any time by selecting your desired date and number of guests and clicking ‘Check Availability’.
Consider that you can never be sure how much availability is left so I recommend you to always book as soon as possible as in most cases you can cancel your booking for a full refund up to one day before your activity.
However, always check the “Terms and Conditions” section for the detailed cancellation policy for your specific activity.
Once you have verified the availability of the best bike tours in Madrid, you just need to fill out a brief form with some personal information and payment details.
Details regarding your purchase will be included in the confirmation email you receive once you’ve completed your reservation. If you don’t receive the email, check your spam folder.
Some tour providers require you to reconfirm your attendance before your tour. If so, remember to contact your local tour provider to reconfirm your pickup details at least 24 hours before your activity begins.
The meeting point is usually an easily accessible place in Madrid´s city center.
Some guides expect that you arrive about 10-15 minutes before the start time scheduled. This way, everyone will be ready to start the tour on time.
What are the best bike tours in Madrid?
Do you want to truly get to know Madrid?
Discovering Madrid on two wheels is a great way to get a deep insight into the capital of Spain and make the most out of your trip.
There are dozens of tour companies, so visitors find it difficult to choose the best one.
In this post, I want to share with you which are, in my opinion, the 5 best bike tours in Madrid to experience Spanish culture or just have some fun with a healthy activity for a few hours.
But it is not just me who believes these are the best bike tours in Madrid. I have included for each tour just a couple out of hundreds of authentic excellent testimonials.
Please note that some of Madrid´s tours by bicycle are available in different languages, make sure to pick the right one before booking.
Here is a review of the 5 best bike tours in Madrid:
Highlights of Madrid by Bike
My first option of the best bike tours in Madrid will allow you to admire the spectacular sights and attractions of the capital of Spain.
You will learn all about Madrid´s history accompanied by a local bilingual guide.
Participants will cycle at a leisurely pace for 3 hours and will stop intermittently to listen to expert comments from your guide and to capture photographs of Madrid’s historical and architectural highlights.
All safety equipment is included in the price of this tour as well as a bottle of water and some snacks to recover energy.
This bike tour in Madrid will start after a short and informative briefing and you will visit, among others:
- El Retiro Park has become an icon of the capital of Spain. The park offers an outdoor museum full of commemorative monuments, magnificent buildings, peaceful lakes, outstanding fountains, and other of the best things to see in Madrid.
- Cibeles square, with the famous Cibeles fountain where Real Madrid celebrates its trophies with the team´s supporters. The fountain is surrounded by some of the most outstanding buildings in Madrid such as the Cibeles Palace, Linares Palace, and the Bank of Spain.
- Puerta del Sol is one of the most popular and busiest squares in Madrid. Many citizens meet in front of the clock for the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes and the beginning of a new year.
- Plaza Mayor is a remarkable portico-lined square located at the heart of Hapsburg Madrid, the old part of the city and one of the capital’s most charming districts.
- Plaza de la Villa is one of Madrid’s oldest and best-preserved historical landmarks.
- Royal Palace of Madrid is the largest functioning royal palace and the largest by floor area in Europe.
- Many others such as the Almudena Cathedral, La Cebada market in La Latina, and Las Letras neighborhood, the district where many giants of the Golden Age of Spanish literature had their homes.
This is one of the best and most popular bike tours in Madrid and the activity allows a maximum of 20 travelers.
This was a great way to see the high points of Madrid in 3 hours! Dan did a great job! Even got to see a surprise parade in Retiro Park. Highly recommend as a first stop to see the lay of the land and learn the culture and “places to go” after the tour.Ronald_B
Madrid 360º Bike City Tour: Highlights & Parks
Join this essential 3.5-hour bike tour in Madrid to discover the main cultural and historical highlights of the capital of Spain accompanied by an official professional guide.
This is one of the best bike tours in Madrid as you will enjoy an effortless route on one of their agile and dynamic light bicycles.
The route offered covers the main attractions in Madrid`s city center such as:
- El Retiro is one of the largest green zones in Madrid, close to the Puerta de Alcalá. El Retiro is one of the most popular attractions in Madrid for locals and tourists alike and is a must-see for all the best bike tours in Madrid.
- Atocha station is one of the main transport hubs in Madrid. The original façade faces Plaza del Emperador Carlos V, a site at which a variety of streets converge.
- Madrid Rio Park. This green space, next to the Manzanares River, is a great place for relaxation, leisure, and sports. It is one of the best 10 parks in Madrid.
- Casa de Campo is the largest public park in Madrid. It is situated west of downtown Madrid. It gets its name ‘Country House’ because it was once a royal hunting estate.
- The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish royal family, although now it is mostly used for receptions, state ceremonies, and official acts.
- Almudena Cathedral is the most important Catholic church in Madrid and it is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid. The cathedral was consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993.
- San Miguel market is the most popular market in Madrid. Millions of visitors, locals, and tourists come to enjoy the top-quality products and wines from all corners of Spain in this culinary temple.
- The Plaza Mayor is an outstanding arcaded square with a rectangular shape and a total of 237 balconies are present on the residential buildings that face inward towards the square.
- Cibeles square, with the famous Cibeles fountain. The fountain is surrounded by some of the most outstanding buildings in Madrid such as the Cibeles Palace, Linares Palace, and the Bank of Spain.
- Puerta del Sol is one of the most popular and busiest squares in Madrid. Many citizens meet in front of the clock for the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes and the beginning of a new year.
This bike tour in Madrid has a maximum of just 15 travelers, so book this tour now. You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
The best EBike tour in Madrid!. Our guide Matej was very informative and funny. We enjoyed the best places in Madrid: Plaza Mayor, Palacio Real, Retiro…the ebikes are a new and excellent way to discover the city. Highly recommend!!!!Alex_R
Highlights of Madrid by bike – only 3 hours
Get a comprehensive tour of Madrid’s top sights via bicycle on this small-group tour.
With a guide in the lead, you can just pedal along, focus on the scenery and listen to the commentaries from your guide on the local history, culture, and architecture.
This 3-hour route is one of the best bike tours in Madrid. Some of the attractions you will discover are:
- Royal Palace of Madrid: The largest royal palace in Western Europe is a must-visit for all. Home to the Kings of Spain from Charles III to Alfonso XIII, Madrid’s Royal Palace takes us on a journey through the history of Spain.
- Almudena Cathedral: This imposing church and the Royal Palace nearby form one of Madrid’s most popular tourist attractions. Madrid’s cathedral, which stands in Hapsburg Madrid, has a short but tortuous history.
- The Prado Museum´s walls are lined with masterpieces from the Spanish, Italian and Flemish schools, including Velázquez’ Las Meninas and Goya’s Third of May, 1808.
- Debod Temple. This is an Egyptian temple dating back to the 2nd century B.C. The temple was donated to Spain by the Egyptian government to save it from floods following the construction of the great Aswan Dam.
- Plaza Mayor: This arcaded square located in the historical center of the city is the heart of Hapsburg Madrid.
- El Retiro Park. Visitors coming to Madrid can’t miss El Retiro Park and its surroundings, filled with cultural attractions, restaurants, and shops.
It is important to consider that the price of this bike tour in Madrid does not include the entrance tickets to the attractions.
Such a fun and beautiful way to see the city and get a better understanding of Madrid’s history! Highly recommend!Josh_P
Madrid at Night Bike Guided Tour
This is one of the best bike tours in Madrid as it allows you to see another side of Madrid on this enchanting 2-hour night route with an informative, friendly, and professional guide.
You will pedal through historic streets and squares after the sun goes down and the city takes on an atmospheric glow.
See illuminated landmarks like the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, and Retiro Park, and cruise down lesser-known side streets for a local perspective on Madrid after dark. Book this bike-guided tour in Madrid now at the best price.
Our guide, Abdul, was absolutely fabulous! Couldn’t have asked for anything better – he has an amazing wealth of knowledge on Spanish history, showed us some cool street art, introduced us to the barrios, and kept us feeling safe on our bikes at all times. Can’t recommend this enough!Corrie_J
3 hrs highlights bike tour in Madrid
With limited time to explore Madrid, it can be tough to see all the top sights.
This bicycle tour in Madrid is perfect for travelers hoping to see more in less time, as you can visit several of Madrid’s most notable sights in just a few hours.
Just grab your helmet, hop on your bike, and let your guide lead you through some of Madrid’s most scenic neighborhoods, like Malasaña and Barrio de Las Letras, with several stops along the way.
Some of the landmarks you will visit with this bike tour in Madrid are El Retiro Park, Puerta del Sol, Royal Palace, Debod Temple, Plaza de Oriente, Plaza de la Villa, San Miguel Market, Plaza Mayor, and Barrio de Las Letras.
Our bike tour of Madrid was awesome with our guide Chris! He was very knowledgeable about the area sharing many facts and stories along our 3 hour ride!! We had many stops for pictures, rest, information, and even a beer/tapa! My husband and I enjoyed every aspect and we highly recommend this trip and company!!Dean_R
What is BiciMAD?
If instead of booking a guided bike tour in Madrid, you finally decide to go for a ride on your own, you will be probably interested in BiciMAD.
BiciMAD is Madrid´s public program with more than 3,000 electric bikes available.
The electric bikes are ideal for those who are not used to riding a bike for a couple of hours.
Electric technology is added to help you with several levels of pedaling assistance (low, medium, and high). The autonomy of the bikes is nearly 70 kilometers.
The BiciMAD service is very popular as it is really simple to use, through the docking station totems or the App. It is quite convenient too as you can rent a bike at any of the docking stations and leave it in any other.
BiciMAD will charge you 2 € for the first hour and 4 € for every additional hour.
I have included further information about how to use BiciMAD in my post about public transport in Madrid.
What is the Cycling Green Belt in Madrid?
The Cycling Green Belt is a 64-kilometer path that surrounds the urban area of Madrid through a circular route.
In the last few years, it has become the most popular friendly route in Madrid for cyclists after the City Council made an investment to improve black points, conflictive sections, and public lighting.
The Green Belt runs through the periphery. Therefore, some users have criticized its uselessness as a way to use the bike as a real means of transport in Madrid.
Besides, a significant part of the route is shared with walkers. Plenty of runners, roller skaters, and families walk through the different sections, especially on weekends, alongside the bikes. In these areas speed should be reduced to prevent accidents.
To sum up, Cycling Green Belt is a good way to enjoy a safe ride, have fun, or work out, and it is the first step for bikes to become an actual way of transport in the city.
And if you want to sightsee the most popular Madrid attractions while cycling this is not a good option. Instead, you should book one of the best bike tours in Madrid.
Tips for cycling safely in Madrid
Bikes are a fun and increasingly popular way to explore Madrid. But it is essential to know and follow the local biking rules before hitting the road.
No matter if you have booked one of the best-guided bike tours in Madrid or you go for a ride on your own, take extra care and read the following tips to safely ride around Madrid.
1. Verify the proper conditions of the bike before using it. Pay special attention to wheels, brakes, lights, seat, and bell.
2. Bicycles shall drive on the road, preferably on the right lane, and avoid the bus lane.
3. It is forbidden to drive on the sidewalks and pedestrian areas.
4. Make yourself more visible to other drivers by using reflective gear and by driving in the center of the lane.
5. Remember to sign all the maneuvers and turns in advance. Point in the direction you are turning (left arm for left turn, right arm for right turn), and hold your right arm down at your side when you are stopping.
6. Obey all the traffic signs and lights.
7. Children under 16 years old must wear a helmet.
8. As it is better to be safe than sorry, I always recommend booking travel insurance with adequate coverage.