I love the free walking tours in Madrid. They are a wonderful, sustainable, and healthy way to discover the history, culture, and top-rated attractions of the capital of Spain.
Besides, are a great option if you want to visit Madrid on a budget!
Table of contents
- 1 What is a free walking tour in Madrid?
- 2 My 5 Reasons to join the free walking tours in Madrid
- 3 How walkable is Madrid?
- 4 What are the best free walking tours in Madrid?
- 5 How much to tip a free walking tour guide?
What is a free walking tour in Madrid?
I would describe a free walking tour of Madrid as a type of tour usually lasting 2-3 hours with an expert local guide in a unique and fun experience while discovering the most popular tourist attractions in Madrid.
I want to highlight that you do not have to pay anything at all to book the tour. A tip is usually (fairly) expected though if you enjoyed the experience.
After all, although tour guides are passionate about Madrid, they also have invoices to pay. It is logical to think that their work deserves some reward too.
There is a wide offer of experiences to choose from and it can be sometimes difficult to identify the best ones. This is why I have included in this post the best free walking tours of Madrid from my point of view.
How to book the best walking tours in Madrid for free
It is not allowed to join the best walking tours in Madrid without booking.
Booking in advance a Madrid free tour is necessary to secure your place. Besides, you will be able to receive important information from your guide in case there are changes to the tour. Remember that children must also be counted at the time of booking.
The booking process is really easy. Just click on the link of the tours you will find on this post, choose the date, and fill out a brief form.
You will receive a confirmation email of your booking. In case you don´t, check your spam folder and verify you have input the right email address.
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.
In case you have booked one of the best Madrid free tours and something unexpected comes up, the cancellation is also free.
If so, remember to cancel the booking as soon as possible. This way, you will give the opportunity to others to join the tour.
The meeting point is usually an easily accessible place in Madrid´s city center. It is important to arrive about 10 minutes before the start time scheduled. This way, the guide will be able to begin the tour on time.
My 5 Reasons to join the free walking tours in Madrid
1. You will get an integral experience.
In my opinion, walking is by far the best way to explore Madrid.
Most tourist attractions are located in the historical city center within walking distance and the weather in Madrid is excellent to enjoy a stroll.
Public transport in Madrid is awesome 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 free walking tours in Madrid are perfect to get a deeper involvement and discover the local culture and the day-to-day Spanish life.
2. They are healthy and sustainable.
Walking is friendly to the environment.
According to the European Environment Agency, transport is responsible for a considerable part of the total greenhouse gas emissions.
Therefore, the free walking tours in Madrid result in fewer emissions released into the atmosphere, help to protect biodiversity and decrease noise pollution.
Besides, walking is beneficial for your health, reducing the risk of cardiac diseases and heart attack.
Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system, reduces the levels of stress and anxiety, and can significantly improve your mood.
Madrid´s nice weather is very convenient to enjoy a stroll. Rain is not usual, but in July and August a bottle of water will be much appreciated, especially at mid-day.
3. They are free.
The free walking tours in Madrid will allow you to save money on your trip to Spain. Being complimentary, you will have more budget available for other pleasures like tasting Spanish gastronomy.
Usually, the tour guides are young native freelancers with a deep knowledge of the city.
They will be always happy to offer you insider tips on places to visit, things to avoid, and the best restaurants. Therefore, a tip will be more than welcome in case you have enjoyed the experience.
4. Forget about planning.
One of the main benefits of the free-of-charge walking 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 have a nice time.
The tour guides will take care of the rest. 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 free Madrid walking tours are a great opportunity to meet people who probably share your interests.
Perhaps it is just me, but when I travel, I am more outgoing to talking with strangers than in my daily life.
It could be just because of this feeling of sharing the passion for discovering new places, but I have done plenty of good friends when traveling around.
How walkable is Madrid?
As a local, I would say that Madrid is easy to navigate on foot, especially at the city center which houses most of the must-see attractions.
The weather in Madrid is most of the time pretty appealing for walking, sunny days are usual. Madrid in Winter is beautiful too, and temperatures are not extreme.
Therefore, my list of the best costless walking tours in Madrid is an outstanding way to explore the capital of Spain, strolling along the streets and discovering the hidden gems of the city.
For me, walking in Madrid is a pleasure.
Pedestrian and green zones are common, especially in the city center, and they are clean and safe. Of all the ways to explore Madrid, nothing beats a walking tour.
In order to make Madrid a more walkable city, there is a continuous investment to increase the pedestrianized areas and improve the infrastructure for pedestrians.
The main objective is to improve the pedestrian experience and convert walking into the most enjoyable and attractive means of transport.
It is true, however, that there is still plenty of work to do, some areas of the city are much more walkable than others.
What are the best free walking tours in Madrid?
Do you want to truly get to know Madrid?
Walking tours are a great way to get a comprehensive insight into the capital of Spain and make the most out of your visit to Madrid.
There are dozens of tour companies, mainly paid, so visitors find it difficult to choose one.
In this post, I want to share with you which are, in my opinion, the best free walking tours in Madrid to help you plan your trip to Spain.
But it is not just me who believes these are the best free walking tours in Madrid. I have included just a couple out of hundreds of authentic excellent testimonials.
Please note that some free walking tours in Madrid are available in different languages, make sure to pick the right one before booking.
Here is my review of the 5 best free walking tours in Madrid:
1. Madrid free walking tour
My first option offers this free walking tour in Madrid which will allow you to discover the most emblematic areas and attractions of the capital of Spain.
You will learn all about Madrid´s history accompanied by a local bilingual guide.
This free walking tour in Madrid has a duration of 2 hours and you will stroll through El Madrid de los Austrias, the most historic neighborhood of the city.
The local guide will take you to the most iconic streets, squares, and landmarks, including the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, Plaza de la Villa, and much more.
While you wander through Madrid’s historic center, the guide will tell you interesting anecdotes and traditions which will bring you much closer to our Spanish culture.
Pablo was a really fantastic guide. He provided a great deal of history and information and did it with a good sense of humor. I would highly recommend this tour.Crystal | United States
2. Discover the heart of the old town of Madrid and its wonders
This tour will allow you to discover one of the most historic neighborhoods in the city, Madrid de los Austrias.
This is one of the best free walking tours in Madrid and lasts approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. Click here to book this free tour now.
The tour starts at the iconic Puerta del Sol, which houses some of the most iconic landmarks in Madrid such as the Royal Post Office, with the famous clock marking the traditional eating of the Twelve Grapes and the beginning of a new year.
You will also find El Oso y el Madroño, a sculpture of a bear and strawberry tree which represent the coat of arms of the capital of Spain, the Kilometer 0, a mounted statue of King Charles III, the Mariblanca, and the Tio Pepe neon sign.
Melissa was an amazing guide, she provided a lot of information and made the tour super fun with her humor! Certainly recommended!Anastasia | Poland
After a short walk, you will get to the famous Plaza Mayor, an outstanding arcaded square with a rectangular shape and a total of 237 balconies.
The next stop will be a gastronomic icon temple. El Mercado de San Miguel, with a remarkable early-20th century iron structure, has more than 20 stands with the best quality products in the entire Iberian Peninsula.
Finally, you will discover the emblematic Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral, and the Royal Theater, very close to the starting point of the tour.
3. Get your bearings in Madrid: Discover the old town
Here you will find the link to my third choice of the best walking tours in Madrid. Secure your place by booking now this free tour.
The tour has a duration of 2 hours and 30 minutes where the guide will show you Madrid´s historical center.
Do not worry if you are not an expert in history, the guides will only go as in depth in history as participants want to, and they will do their best to make it fun and easy to understand.
Some of the tourist attractions you will discover on this free walking tour in Madrid are Plaza Mayor, Plaza de la Villa, the 9th-century Moorish wall, and the Plaza de Oriente.
Sebastian was an excellent tour guide! We learned so much and got to see so many interesting parts of Madrid. Highly recommend.Barbara | San Marino
4. Free Tour “Millenary Madrid” – Madrid de los Austrias (Old Town)
Would you like to know the fascinating history of Madrid and visit its historic center, a legacy of the House of Los Austrias? Book now this tour for free.
This 2.5-hour tour is the next on my list of the top 5 free walking tours in Madrid.
The tour offers a route through Madrid de Los Austrias. You will walk through the historic center of Madrid, discovering and learning about its origins, history, and legends, which have given life to this majestic city.
On this tour, you will be able to enter some of the historical sites and an experienced local guide will help you to better understand customs, traditions, and local advice that will make you enjoy a better experience in Madrid.
Some of the tourist spots visited will be Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Plaza de la Villa, Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral, and Plaza de Oriente.
Join this tour without charge to discover this exciting city that is waiting to tell you secrets of more than a thousand years of history.
Luis, the guide, has been very attentive and entertaining, iproviding us with very detailed explanations. 5 stars!David | Nord de Palma
5. Madrid Highlights Free Walking Tour
This 2-hour historical walk offers a unique experience to discover the must-see attractions of the capital of Spain.
You will cover the most historic neighborhood of the city inside and outside what was the Medieval wall.
The local guide will carefully share valuable information about the attractions, Madrid´s history, and gastronomical advice that you cannot miss.
Some of the landmarks you will visit are the Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Plaza de la Villa, Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral, and San Miguel Market.
Great tour as a first glance at the city. We visited the most important places and heard curious facts about them. The guide was very helpful and fun.Annalisa | Lisbon
How much to tip a free walking tour guide?
As I said before, booking the best free walking tours in Madrid is free of charge.
However, in case you have enjoyed the experience you can reward the guide for his work with the amount you consider fair and appropriate.
After all, although tour guides are passionate about their job, it is logical to think that their effort deserves some reward too.
Besides, if we all do not collaborate with these guides, free tours will end up disappearing.
The amount to tip depends on everyone and it usually depends on the final satisfaction, duration of the tour, and the number of people in your party.
I would dare to say that the usual average is around 10 euros per adult for a 2-hour tour.