I have to say that walking through big cities is giving me the impression of belonging to those places.
Madrid is one of the best places I’ve been walking through.
It is somehow the same as Paris, you’ll never get bored being there.
Every narrow street in the old city, every large boulevard on the modern part of it, all Madrid is calling you back every day, making you forget that your batteries are empty and your feet get sore.
Every corner, every small shop calling you inside, everything is part of that special place.
The inscriptions on the walk ways are lovely, even if all of them are only in Spanish. Of course, the tourists are doing their part in creating that special ambience.
And the most interesting is that, everywhere is popping-up something special to see.
A souvenir shop, a coloured Spanish fan manually painted, a statue or a museum, a church dom or the Mounted Police- Policía Montada, ready at any time to make some photos with their beautiful horses.
On the top of those attractions will remain for sure the crowds. I have never seen so many people roaming together everywhere.
Although little of Madrid architecture is truly ancient there are still many beautiful and impressive buildings to see as you wander.
Many of the mansions and larger apartment buildings are of the 'wedding-cake' variety...mostly, I think, from the late 1700s and 1800s.
The Gran Via, between Callao and Gran Via Metro stations, somehow reminded me of New York..the broad streets lined with tall 'skyscraper'-ish buildings.
The narrower, older streets of La Latina, Lavapies and Huertas (Las Lettres) seemed to me more how much of Madrid once was, crowded with ordinary people living ordinary lives.
And there were individual buildings I enjoyed too...the 1930s (?) 'skyscraper' on Paseo Recoletos, the Cine Dore on Calle de Santa Isabel....Aticha Renfe....the Palacio de Comunicaciones.....the rather wonderful building under which Macdonalds hides (on Gran Via) .....and lots more.
So just walk Madrid and enjoy the architecture! :-)
If one architectural feature sticks in my mind about Madrid it is the vast number of balconies, on almost every building, open to the elements or fully-enclosed behind glass, too small to do anything but stand and lean on the railing or big enough for a comfy chair and a drinks cupboard (I really saw one of those).
There is a huge number of balcony styles, from the plain-and-simple to the extremely ornate. Look at their bases too: some have lovely tilework.
I don't think I've been to a city with *quite* so many balconies before. I really enjoyed keeping my eyes open for unusual ones!
From the Puerta del Sol to the Plaza de Los Cibeles there is a lovely stroll along the Calle de Alcala.
A continuation of the Gran Via it crosses the city from east to west, a wide, tree lined avenue.
Lots of traffic, but also lots of places to see, to stop for a coffee and people watch or to enter the Parque del Retiro.
It ends where it crosses the Avenue de America - about 6 km altogether (it is longer, but from here leads to the outskirts of the city).
Many beautiful buildings, and Museums are along this route. The Real Academia de Bellas Artes, the Metropolis building with the towering bronze sculpture on top, through the Plaza de la Independencia and the Puerta de Alcala. One passes the Plaza de Cibeles, and Neptune, the Instituto Cervantes, and lots and lots of shops for those that are interested in shopping trips.
A lovely walk, a nice area to take photographs and an historical avenue.
Madrid's tourist office has put together a series of very interesting walks that allow you to discover the history of the capital of Spain in a fun and entertaining way. Each tour lasts about 90 minutes, and takes you around the old city. We chose to go on the "Legends of Old Madrid" tour, which presented a really interesting blend of facts and hearsays. Our guide was fun to listen to, and he obviously knew a lot about the city as he was able to answer all our questions. Other tours focus on the arts, literature, royal families, churches, taverns and neighborhoods that have left a special mark on the city's history. A great way to go slightly off the beaten path and discover some of the city's hidden little gems!
You can buy your ticket (3.30 Euros) at the tourist information center located at No. 27, Plaza Mayor. There are a few walks offered in different languages every day, so check out the Website to find out which tour runs when!
Walking around during Christmas and the New Year celebration, the small streets leading towards Puerta del Sol are canopied with beautiful lights -- a perfect setting for a walk which captures this time of year in Madrid.
Intermittently, during your walk, you'll come across some very talented musicians. String quartets. Flamenco guitarists. Singers.
I came and after some refreshment i started my trail with a friend. Since my homebase is somewhere at Diego Leon, so we started our walks from there. We came across to those famous places like Plaza Colon, Plaza de Cibeles, Puerta del Sol, Calle mayor, Plaza Mayor, Plaza de la Villa, Cathedral Almudena, Palacio Real, Plaza de Oriente and so on. I couldn't say anymore what i have seen on that very first time i stepped my feet in the city. There's no doubt, this is one of the best way to see more of the place.
This is always a must see activity, moreover in a very "easy going" city like Madrid is.
Hang around, have a look and visit all the sights, but don't be in hurry...
Stop for a drink, a coeffy or some food, enjoy the sun and enjoy the atmosphere, that's the first must !!
Madrid is a city to walk, to get lost in those narrow streets and enjoy the beautiful buildings and the warmth of the spanish people.
Get lost around town, walk along streets hundreds of years old and enjoy. You won't be dissapointed!
The best thing about walking in Madrid for me is the endless opportunities to sit down and stop walking for a while. Outdoor cafes abound, and you come up on one when you least expect it...and need one the most. Sit down, have a drink, and watch Madrid pass by.
This green and leafy place is the Paseo del Prado. When I visited in September, there was some sidewalk construction there.
Walking around Madrid, you'll get to see all sorts of gorgeous architecture, fountains, statues, etc. It's a big city with lots of old historical buildings alongside the modern buildings. There are also some cobblestone streets for pedestrians. It's definitely worth it to explore Madrid by walking.
I think this is one of the most wonderfull places you can go in Madrid with is situated in the north west of Madrid Comunity. It name is the Barranca. I think the access is difficult because of the horrible road you have to choose where you can broke you car.
Anyway, I recommend all people going to this place. There is a cold river where you can dry without problems, million of plants: pines (in Spain are named Pinos), cistus (in Spain are named Jaras)... And the best of all is that is probably you can walk one hour and a half alone, no one will see you.
In winter is very very cold. Temperatures can be 10 minus 0 or more but is wonderfull seeing cows there while is snowing.
Madrid is a very "walkable" city. The center is rather small and the area called "Madrid de los Austrias" (from Plaza Mayor towards the south west) deserves a calm walk around, looking up to admire the old buildings and quiet streets...
Walk alot, the best way of really seeing a city is on foot. Start off at the Parque del Oeste in Moncloa, maybe see the Temple of Debod. Walk up to Plaza de España (very nice fountain!!)and up Gran Vía , famous for being the center of activity in Madrid. If you keep walking up that Avenue (lovely buildings on the way...) you´ll end up in Cibeles (fountain), one of the main attractions of Madrid. From there you can either go right and visit the main museums, or go left to another fountain in plaza de Colón and shopping area. If you´re not into visiting parks, fountains, and museums, you could go to el Parque de Atracciones, the amusement park.
I think this way, although you end up a bit tired, you can really see what Madrid is like, not just go from museum to museum.
I like walking in Madrid without any plan.
It is great place to be spontanious and to relax.
Here are some pictures from our walk around Madrid in August 2005.